So let me get this straight. The new tablet from Microsoft will have a
Nice. It’s an inconvenient laptop. I assume there’s also a cursor to go along with the trackpad?
So you can use your fingers to swipe the screen, then type away on what will be an awesome Office app, then break out the stylus and create magical annotations on your Excel worksheets. Open your laptops now and try that interaction. Pretend that it’s a Surface (not a hard leap), and move between the screen and keyboard and trackpad.. and imagine throwing a stylus on top of that. Is that natural? Is that something you’ll find yourself doing a lot?
I’ll withhold judgment since we actually haven’t been able to play with the product yet.. but this suspiciously seems like a design by committee exercise that can only end up in a Frankenstein of a device. But hey, maybe this is a pre-pre-precursor Microsoft’s brave new world. We ought to push into new forms instead of grafting old interactions onto new products. This feels very much like a diluted copy of a new technology (very Microsoftian).
Apple’s vision for the future of computing versus Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing.
As horrible as Explorer 8 is, this is not a fair comparison. The correct comparison is to OSX Lion’s Finder, which I think is terrible. Awful navigation, unintuitive cut/copy metaphors, too many view options. It makes iTunes look good.
I got my mom a laptop last year for her birthday. An Acer. Fully loaded with the latest Windows software. I’m a horrible son.
Every month, I inevitably get an IT call from mom about how something has changed and how she can’t find things or how something doesn’t work. Time to get her an Air this Christmas to make up for it, if only for my sanity.
“Some of you will say, well, when? When? And I say, As soon as they’re ready. It is job one urgency around here. Nobody is sleeping at the switch. And so we are working with [our] partners, not just to deliver something, but to deliver products that people really want to go buy.”
Steve Ballmer on the Windows 7 Slate
(via Dustin Curtis): Such a novel idea he has, of delivering products that people really want to buy. But he’s actually wrong. He should be delivering products people want to use.
Great article about Microsoft and their head in the sand strategy:
Someday, a large institutional holder will get tired of waiting, tired of watching yet another rah-rah, ‘the future will be great’ speech from Ballmer, and they’ll dump their shares. That might shock the Board into taking the required drastic action. Take a look at the institutional ownership of Microsoft stock. Many have already started selling portions of their holdings.
Salon’s Andrew Leonard opines:
A hint as to why Microsoft eventually lost its way. Allard’s tone is: Here’s this important thing that we need to exploit, instead, here is this incredibly cool thing that enables people to do all kinds of cool things: how can we be cool like that?
Allard’s focus: The Internet is an important way for us to make money. Apple and Google’s focus: How do we make the Internet work for you. Their philosophies are different — Apple believes in controlling the interface, while Google pursues a more open approach — but the fundamental understanding is shared. Cool tools to do cool things. Meanwhile, Microsoft just wants market share.
I think Leonard is giving Google and Apple too much credit and is trying to frame Microsoft’s failures in a pithy paradigm. All companies are out to exploit value - everyone is trying to figure out the next place where people congregate and talk and buy things and how to reach people in those places — Microsoft is just extra clumsy at it and doesn’t wrap their intentions nicely in rounded corners or clean primary colors.
Wedged in John Gruber’s excellent article on the battle between Apple and Google was this nugget :
Three years ago, just before the original iPhone shipped, here’s what Steve Ballmer said in an interview with USA Today’s David Lieberman:
“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.”
How is it that Steve Ballmer still has a job? To wit, Microsoft has failed at:
- Social communities
- Online retail & shopping
- Online media
- Advertising monetization
- Gaming & entertainment software and devices
- Mobile platform & devices
Essentially, they’ve missed the boat on every single technological development in the last decade. They can’t even anticipate and defend their cash cows — the Office tools and IE. So what are they left with? A round-the-wagon mentality for an operating system business that’s tethered to the increasingly obsolete PC.
What defines Microsoft now? What’s their mission? What is their company’s identity? Their existing enterprise and PC manufacturer relationships ensures steady profit margins for the next 5-7 years, but technology businesses operate 15-20 year out, and Microsoft’s irrelevance is not even up for debate any longer, but sadly, an obvious silent fact.