Tag Archive | Windows

Microsoft is entering forbidden terrain

Microsofts is entering forbidden terrain 

Microsoft is currently surprising friend and foe by producing their own hardware in the form an expensive laptop. The firm is more flexible than everyone expected.

Windows, Office and Outlook, those are the products that we know Microsoft of. These are all software products, but since Microsoft is now manufacturing its own, super fast laptop, the whole business model changes.

Microsoft is from now on a hardware manufacturer with its own game consoles (XBOX), phones, tablets and smart watches. Two weeks ago, a laptop got introduced into the wide array of products that Microsoft produces.

Nobody could’ve seen it coming since the innovational focus was no longer on Microsoft. Microsoft was considered a big and inert company with no ability to innovate in a disruptive way, and therefore, it could develop the Surface Book without the hassle of prying eyes of competitors. Microsoft was considers inert because the corporate software they are developing is considered dull and in the technological revolution that we currently live in, giant players like Apple and Google dominate the market.

However, the Microsoft Surface is not completely new. It got introduced back in 2012 as a substitute for tablets and laptops, since it amalgamated both products’ characteristic into one, ersome tablet with a keyboard that just didn’t work properly. However, it gained some popularity in the corporate sector because of the mobility of the machine.

RevenueiPadPro

The Microsoft Surface can cumbbe called some sort of niche, but in 2012, it gained a revenue of roughly 2 billion dollars. This is a revenue that has not been completely unnoticed; Apple is now entering this niche with the iPad pro which has a significantly larger screen, a stylus and an optional keyboard, which is integrated in a cover. When Apple is imitating you, it is a good sign.

Microsoft is now extending its Surface-line with a ‘tabtop’ that is able to lie on your lap, just like a laptop does. However, it remains an amalgamation of a keyboard and a tablet, since both are disconnectable.

Competition
The Sufrace Book is entering the market with a very high price. This is an indicator that Microsoft is trying to distinguish itself by delivering high quality products like, for example, Apple. It therefore competes with the MacBook Pro, but also with some cheaper competitors like Lenovo, Acer, Surface-Book-Impressions-2HP and Dell. These companies will not be happy that their biggest softwarepartner is now a competitor in the computer hardware side of business.

The traditional divisions between hardware developers, software developers and online services are now diminishing and Microsoft is now increasing its stakes in premium gadgets. Windows is thereby an aid and not a goal in itself. The operating system is now deployed in order to lure users in towards Microsoft’s (online) services, like OneDrive, Office 365 etcetera.

Strategy
This is from now on the financial substantiation that CEO Satya Nadella is implementing rapidly. However, this did not come without any sacrifice; Microsoft had to layoff over 17000 of its employees in order to habilitate this strategic change.

The overall strategy is to escape the dull image that Microsoft has by showing the world that it is still able to innovate. Therefore, Microsoft’s structure will consist of three pillars from now on: 1) Windows and Hardware (XBOX, Surface, Phones etc.) will be now one entirety under the name: ‘Personal Computing’ 2) ‘Intelligent Cloud’ and 3) ‘Productivity and Business’ (Office and other corporate software).

An overall shift within Microsoft as you can see, but will this be the shift that will enable Microsoft to compete with its biggest rival Apple?

References:

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/microsoft-becomes-friend-and-foe-to-pc-partners-20121017-27q9q.html

Hijink, M. (2015), Microsoft’s Buigzame Karakter, NRC Next

What is the future for Windows Phone?

Lumia-950-XL-620x310

It was in 2010, when Microsoft brought a new innovation to the Mobile OS market, with its Windows phone 7. Although it did not turn out to be a game changer in the market, it had really brought in some interesting innovations for a mobile phone OS. ‘Live tile’ was the most important of them. It allowed users to see all the information they needed from the start screen. And they were not standalone icons like in iOS, but live tiles, which kept on updating real-time. Windows phone came at a time when Nokia was seeing its initial downfall in the market and was looking for a solid OS to compete with the likes of Samsung (Android) and Apple (iOS).

With the introduction of Windows Phone 8 in late 2012, its devices started to see some significant growth in the market. Nokia introduced Windows Phone 8 in the market with its Lumia 920 and 820 range, following it up with a low-cost Lumia 520. The devices turned out to be a hit and windows phones started seeing more than 100% year-on-year growth. Unfortunately, that saw windows phone’s last smile.  Despite the growth, Nokia could not manage to financially lift itself up from the big losses it had undergone in the previous years and ultimately ended up being acquired by Microsoft in late 2013.

What seemed to be a good deal for the growth of windows phone, turned out to be more or less the beginning of downfall of the Operating System. Since then, windows phone is making news for the wrong reasons more than the right reasons. The most important of them was seen in July 2015, when Microsoft decided to write down Nokia’s acquisition deal of $7.5b, which indicated nothing but negative signals for the future of windows phones.

A recent article published by PC Mag claimed “Microsoft Doesn’t Really Want to Sell Windows Phones in the U.S“. In the US, Microsoft Lumia devices are only available with AT&T.  Does it mean that no other carrier is interested in Windows Phones? Apparently, that is not the case. Almost every carrier in the US is open to having windows phones, but Microsoft gives them the cold shoulder. Infact, the CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, himself had tweeted saying

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 23.59.47

Is Microsoft deliberately trying to jump into the well?  It does seem so.

What is the future for windows phone? Will it continue to exist? Was Microsoft too ambitious when it had decided to become a smartphone device maker, rather than just a software maker? Would Microsoft and Nokia have remained better off without the acquisition?

These are some of questions that pop up in everyone’s mind and unfortunately, are still debatable.

Author: Gaurav Kumar


Sources:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2492850,00.asp

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2945371/smartphones/microsoft-writes-off-76b-admits-failure-of-nokia-acquisition.html

http://uk.businessinsider.com/even-microsoft-is-giving-up-on-windows-phones-2015-7?r=US&IR=T

Windows 10 and how sometimes April fools jokes become real

By the time of this writing it’s been 2 hours since Microsoft announced their new product durring a press event in San Francisco. Everyone was expecting a demo and details about Windows 9. However, Microsoft decided to surpise the public with the announcement of Windows 10.

Yes, you read this right – 10! They decided to skip 9 and jump directly to 10.

Microsoft have stated more than once that they have teams working on the next Windows version even before the previous one is released. The point is to release new versions and upgrade the OS as fast as possible. Despite this, they decided to skip a whole version on which a dedicated team has been working for who knows how long and focus on the one after that. No one gives explanations why they did so but the 10th version is already being called “The best Windows yet”

In the live event when asked about the naming difference they answered:Windows10 Start Menu

Q: Can you talk about the name? Seems weird going from Windows 8 toWindows 10.
A: This product, when you see the product in your fullness I think you’ll agree with us that it’s a more appropriate name.

They even released a small introduction video showing some of the changes in the new OS. Windows 10 will reintroduce an enchanced version of the old start menu that we all loved before Windows 8 removed it. They are also distancing the product from the Metro style which was by and large optimised for Mobile devices. However, according to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems, the OS is designed to run on even more devices than the previous version.

I am sure in the following days and weeks we’ll get a tone of information about the new Windows. Meanwhile, I found this interesting article dating from 1st of April last year. The author, Pete Babb, jokes about Microsoft skipping a version of Windows and goind directly to 10. Is this a an inside information that no one saw comming or is it just a very lucky guess? 🙂

What do you, dear readers think? Is reintroducing old features going a step backwards or is it just a clever marketing strategy? Express your feelings in the comments below!

Google hijacks Microsoft’s Windows 8

Microsoft released the latest version of its operating system, Windows, a bit more than one year ago. Windows 8 as it is called was Microsoft’s attempt at penetrating the mobile market of tablets and other mobile devices with a single operating system. The interface, dubbed Metro, is clearly optimized for touch based interaction; the start menu has been replaced with big interactive ‘tiles’ that provide shortcuts to the most commonly used apps. As such, the system sort of mimics iOS’ and Android’s interface currently the two dominant operating systems on tablets and mobile phones.

Google in its constant quest for market share has found a way to exploit the interface of its rival Windows 8. Chrome is Google’s web browser and currently the most used browser on the internet with a market share of about 35-40%. One reason for Chrome’s success is the availability on the majority of operating systems on not only mobile devices, but also desktop systems. Moreover, Google has extended the Chrome product line beyond the browser into a complete operating system based on Linux called Chrome OS.

Here comes the trick: Windows 8 enables software to launch in a so called ‘Metro-style mode’. The original intended function of this feature is to give applications in Windows 8 a coherent and consistent user interface in line with the OS itself. However, the latest versions of Chrome in this metro-style mode is basically identical to Chrome OS. As such, you have the functionality and user interface of Google’s operating system within a Windows ecosystem, including an app launcher and toolbar with Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Google Docs, and YouTube.  This strategy, if not stopped by Microsoft, will let Google develop its own apps ecosystem even more than it has done so far on Android and the web.

It is not clear whether Microsoft will continue to allow this, but it clearly shows the intense competition of these companies. I find it a bold move by Google, but doubt that Microsoft will allow this to happen for a long period. Microsoft is already losing market share because it moved rather late into the mobile industry and most probably does not want to fight Google on more fronts than it is already doing.

What do you think? Will Microsoft allow this strategy, or perhaps even pull a Google itself? And do you consider this move by Google to ethically responsible?

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References:

http://gizmodo.com/google-is-sneaking-chrome-os-into-windows-8s-metro-m-1441598557

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/5/4806562/google-building-chrome-os-into-windows-8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-metro-interface-blues-7000013036/

https://sites.google.com/site/chromeoslinux/

Microsoft goes hardware

Although Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, does not see Microsoft as one of the Big Five of most influential technology companies in the industry (AllThingsD), I personally see Microsoft being the underdog. Windows Phone 7 and 8 are completely different in terms of user interface. Anyone who has played witch such a phone knows it works well, intuitively and looks great. I know in our class at least one of us has one. Also the new desktop OS Windows 8 is different, and looks great. It combines tablet, phone and desktop in the experience. Microsoft also recently announced Surface, with which they combine software and hardware again, just like they did with the Xbox. The also added a keyboard into the “Smart cover” of the tablet! Microsoft is combining the strategy which brought them so far, licensing, with the tight integration of software and hardware.

As Steve Balmer wrote in the annual shareholder letter: “There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface,

David Zax, journalist for the MIT Technology Review, is pointing out that Microsoft is going Apple. We are also seeing that Google is going Apple, although still licensing other manufacturers to build the Nexus 7 tablet. Is the way Apple is doing it the right way? Does the customer benefit from a closed ecosystem? The user experience might be better, but the user is “locked-in” by the manufacturer.

What are your opinions on this move in the industry?