Software // Operating Systems
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4/12/2014
09:06 AM
Michael Endler
Michael Endler
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Microsoft's 5 Next Tests

Microsoft made progress during the past few weeks but still has important things to prove. For starters, think Start screen and wearables.
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In a screenshot from Microsoft Research's now-removed video, Live Tiles can show deeper content, such as an email inbox, and even launch desktop applications.
In a screenshot from Microsoft Research's now-removed video, Live Tiles can show deeper content, such as an email inbox, and even launch desktop applications.

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petey
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petey,
User Rank: Strategist
4/13/2014 | 7:51:16 AM
Optimistic
Although most here probably do not remember a pre-Facebook internet world, my money is on Microsoft to re-emerge as a dominant player. Microsoft doesn't need to dominate like they did with the desktop, they need only stay relevant. With a new leader experienced in cloud services, a dominant presence in the gamer world, the beginnings of a in car auto presence, and finally a willingness to integrate with apple products, I see nothing but positive for Microsoft in the next 5 years. Right company, right direction and right products indicates steady growth and profit.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 2:46:21 PM
Re: Optimistic
I defintely remember the pre-Facebook Internet world. I fact I remember a pre-WWW IT world. Ahhhhhh the good old days.
petey
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petey,
User Rank: Strategist
4/14/2014 | 4:58:49 PM
Re: Optimistic
I'm not sure what pre-WWW means, specifically. But you get some points for an attempted mock. No disrespect to Facebook but let's see if it's still around in 20 years. Microsoft has been around for awhile like them or hate them. My opinion is they are beginning to make some interesting moves, and it should be fascinating to watch them over the next 5 yrs. office on iPad has to be one of their most interesting moves but I like their cloud offerings too
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 3:54:18 PM
Re: Optimistic
Less optimistic.  Remember Novell?  Remember Wordperfect?  Remember VisiCalc?  These companies suffered at the hands of Microsoft because they lacked a williness to change, put profit formost while lacking in customer focus or concern.  Great desciption of Microsoft now.  The phrase "the worm has turned" comes to mind.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
4/14/2014 | 4:45:13 PM
Re: Optimistic
In response to DDURBINI, I don't recall the likes of Novell, WordPerfect, or VisiCalc losing to Microsoft because they lacked a willingness to change. They made great products but were simply buried by Microsoft's near-monopoly market/bundling strength and financial resources.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 5:32:36 PM
Re: Optimistic
Novell was the number one work group network vendor but refused to support native IP insisting IPX was the better route meanwhile Microsoft took OS2's networking ability from IBM creating Lan Manager which suported IP.  By the time Novell added IP the contest was over.   WordPerfect incrediblely decided NOT to support Windows and so did Lotus.  Again, by the time these companies offered a Windows version both Word and Excel dominated well before Office came to market.  I don't think Microsofts fate is to disappear as these examples show how well Microsoft can catch up but there's something different about Microsoft this time around that makes me less confident because of the mistakes with Win8 and Xbox1, something the old Microsoft would never have done.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 10:48:34 PM
Re: Optimistic
Very good examples - Novell and Lotus all lost the big business due to a wrong decision from the beginning. For MS, I will sit back and keep my fingers crossed. MS is not the same as before, especially when Mr.Gates is still in charge. Its future growth depends on its agility and ability of innovation. But the good thing is that, Windows OS is still dominating. But MS cannot afford lose any further footprint.
awebb199
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awebb199,
User Rank: Strategist
4/13/2014 | 10:33:26 AM
"Microsoft additionally made most Windows licenses free for OEMs" is not accurate.
It was only licenses for small devices.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/13/2014 | 12:00:10 PM
Re: "Microsoft additionally made most Windows licenses free for OEMs" is not accurate.
Thanks for your comment. It occurred to me after the story posted that "most" wasn't great diction. As you point out, free licenses apply to smartphones and tabets with screens smaller than 9 inches. Free licenses will also apply to the future "Windows for IoT" OS, which I think will debut sooner than later. In a sense, this means most licenses have been made free, since phones and "things" will likely consititute a bigger percentage of new Windows licenses than traditional PC/laptop/server licenses do. But still, probably could have been phrased better.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2014 | 11:04:41 AM
start screen

Windows 8.1 is much improved over 8 in my opinion. I have it running on my laptop and with an add on for the start menu, which mimics the windows 7 start button, it runs the way i like it. I don't see the start screen being used on non-tablets. The full screen apps are pointless on a laptop. I would like to see MS give you the option for installing the start screen. Why do you need it on a laptop?

majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 9:03:18 AM
Re: start screen
I have Win 8.1 running on an old Vista era laptop that I had XP on. Since this is not my main system I am trying to learn to use the interface without any third party add-ins. Leaving the start screen on the apps screen instead of the tile screen gives me pretty quick access to the apps I want to use. And right clicking the start icon gives the control panel etc. stuff I also want to use. This exercise is not to prove MS was right but just to see what I can learn. I remember when they went from Win 3.1 to Win 95 and introduced the start menu, I hated it and my initial thought was to put a bunch of open folders on the desktop to simulate the old 3.1 interface. I don't want to be caught in that issue again, so I am trying to adapt. That being said I also installed Ubuntu on the same laptop and had it create a dual boot for me and I am also trying to learn to use Unity which I hate about as much as Win 8's interface.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 4:06:27 PM
Re: start screen
Returning the start menu will help with Win7 transition however the start screen is very usefull.  What needs to be fix most is the dual personality going from Desktop to Metro apps.  I've been told to just not use the metro apps but why then provide them at all. Microsoft needs to make up its mind and provide one environment instead of two. 
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 4:33:25 PM
Re: start screen
The start sceen might be very useful to you... But for me the start screen and metro apps are useless on a non touch device.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 4:39:14 PM
Re: start screen
Probably sooner than later all apps will be Metro apps (bye bye desktop) so get use to them. :-)
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 4:45:25 PM
Re: start screen
I would like to know how you know that. That would be one of the worst moves MS could make.

Why did they put out 8.1 then? Just to pacify people?  I don't think so.

 

 
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 5:43:27 PM
Re: start screen

I'll admit its just a guess  Win8 is actually a "hybrid".  The Win8 updates are a temporatary measure to stay in the game. Win9 will have a "unified" user interface more likely totally based on Metro otherwise its still just Win7/8.  Think in terms of all applications operating in Metro mode from the Start/Metro screen. Done right Metro can work across the board for either touch or non-touch devices without the schizophrenic behavior of involving desktop mode. 

Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/16/2014 | 7:06:46 PM
Re: start screen
Hmm, while I see where you're coming from, I don't think Microsoft will ditch the desktop in Windows 9. Most if not all of its application efforts might involve Modern/Win RT apps, but as Windows 8.1 Update shows (and as the future addition of windowed Modern apps solidifies), Modern apps and the desktop aren't mutually exclusive. Terry Myerson went out of his way at Build to emphasize that Microsoft is committed to the desktop and knows that over 1 billion people use and like it. He runs their OSes now, so if anyone's able to speak authoritatively on this topic, it's him. Unless his plans include facing off with a bunch of pissed off customers in a few years, I don't think he would have offered this reassurance if the desktop were in jeopardy.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 10:11:37 AM
Re: start screen
Microsoft is so committeed to the desktop it left desktop users completely out in the cold with Win8?  Microsoft knows a billion people use the desktop every day to get things done yet screwed them royal with Win8.  Even Win8.1Update1 still doesn't correct the massive pain inflicted by Microsoft so that Win7 is still the choice for most desktop users.  So to what end did Microsoft take this approach?  My guess is they thought a billion users would switch all at once to the modern UI putting great sums of money in their pocket.  They guessed wrong and now lick their wounds.  iOS and Android to well without a "desktop" but these are mobile touch OSs.  Eventually Microsoft will need to admit one OS is not for everything and Win9 will do that.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 10:43:03 AM
Re: start screen
I think you're probably right that Microsoft expected much higher Win 8 adoption, and much less backlash from users.

As for leaving users in the cold... It was Sinofsky's teams that made the most radical decisions and produced the roughest version of the OS. At least at a leadership level, those teams have been largely disassembled. Myerson leads the OS efforts now, but he wasn't part of the team that removed the Start button and menu, or decided users should boot only to the Start screen, or who let the OS ship with such lousy first-party apps, and so on.

Myerson made the comment about the desktop only a couple weeks ago. My interpretation at the time was that he basically meant, "Look, the people who were running Windows the last few years were confusing. Let me be clear: We are not killing the desktop."

He didn't make the point about previous Windows leaders quite this bluntly-- but the point about the desktop was pretty unambiguous. I don't think we can second guess Myerson by pointing to decisions Sinofsky made a few years ago, under a different CEO and different operating structure, and when Myerson wasn't even part of the team. Also, Myerson went out of his way to address the issue. It was a keynote-- so no on was harassing him with questions, or putting pressure on him to say something he didn't want to say. It was scripted, part of the plan. The Ballmer-Sinofsky Microsoft botched Windows 8's release, no doubt. The Nadella-Myerson duo carries the burden of fixing some of these problems, but not the responsibility for creating them.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 8:54:12 AM
SPAM
Looks like the spammers have found your site.
anon0909414853
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anon0909414853,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2014 | 5:37:00 PM
About the XBoxOne
You are absolutely right!  They need a simple machine that requires a smaller Kinect and can be not much bigger than an Apple TV.  I am not sure if that is possible but it would be FANTASTIC!.  I would like to network my tv's together.  I would like to join them to a domain in my school district and run Power Points off of them,  It would be nice if they communicated with surface devices or any tablets so we can use big TV's during presentations and trainings.  I can get almost an 80" TV for half the cost of a smart board.  If MS could work on this device they could conceiably get a windows machine in the front of every classroom, boardroom and office in the US.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 10:50:42 AM
Re: About the XBoxOne
"If MS could work on this device they could conceiably get a windows machine in the front of every classroom, boardroom and office in the US."

That might be true. Apple TV has become more popular among schools and libraries because the product is easy to use and "cheap enough," even if it isn't the absolute cheapest. It's easy to mirror content from an iPad to a television, and I've talked to teachers (and a few businesses, but not as many) that use it for presentations. The device can obviously do more, but the benefit of simpler presentations seems to have sold a lot of people. I've seen many presenters fumble with an uncooperative projector, so I can see why this lone function might sway people.

Ecosystem limitations and UI differences aside, Xbox One offers Apple TV's benefits and more-- but without the attractive cost. Seems like there's room for Microsoft to produce two Xbox devices-- a souped-up one for console gamers and a cheaper option for general media users.
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