"I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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"I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:28 pm

PCs gave the world a whole new way to work, play and communicate. The PC-plus era will be just as revolutionary. It will take the PC's power and make it available almost anywhere, on devices that haven't yet been dreamed up. Given my job, it's hardly surprising that I'd say this. But I'm betting Microsoft's future on it.


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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:14 pm

Don't count them out yet. Yeah they were rather late to the mobile party, but they've got a lot of resources; what they've been lacking is focus and vision. It remains to be seen whether they can gain those things in time to become a dominant player. It could still happen.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:07 pm

Microsoft entered the game late, and lost the first round it entered. Judging by the products it put out, Microsoft is trying to copy the iOS ecosystem by making its products streamlined for media consumption; the push of Modern UI is the first clue, and its small Surface tablets are the other. Modern UI's ubiquity shows that MS turned its back on the desktop crowd, and the small Surface tablets gave productivity a back seat to media consumption.

If Microsoft played to its strengths it would have done much better. Most people who prefer Windows do so because of its productivity promise, either program variety or business compatibility. The Surface should have been a 12" or 13" convertible tablet with 15" ultrabook options that people could use to be productive, and Windows 8 should have looked just like Windows 7, but with the capability to switch UIs on the fly when the user engaged tablet mode. For dedicated tablet devices, the tablet UI could be enabled by default. This would cater to Microsoft's user core and seamlessly blend their ecosystem with the tablet world.

Instead, Microsoft is trying to pretend that no one uses Windows for productivity purposes. We see how well that's going. It's hard to imagine that Microsoft won't realize what it's doing, and slowly get eclipsed by MacOS (or even Linux), but those of us sitting at a desk or laptop who need to get real work done will choose the best tool for the trade, and a tablet ain't it.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:58 pm

When told that yearly updates were too frequent for business customers, Ballmer said: "Let me push back and say, 'Not really'."

Microsoft has done a lot of pushing back against its customers during the last two years: against those who said that Modern on the desktop was a mistake (remember "fast and fluid"?), that Surface RT was a mistake (a 900-million-dollar mistake), that Windows Store was a mistake, and now that yearly updates are a mistake.

Perhaps, ten years ago, Microsoft could have successfully "pushed back" against its customers. However, Windows 8 was to Microsoft what PS/2 was to IBM: a warning that it could no longer lead the market, that customers wouldn't buy if they didn't like what was offered.

Ballmer lost his job because he couldn't learn that lesson. Will Microsoft as a whole now learn it? We'll see.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:05 pm

That quote shows that Bill Gates is a visionary... and that being a visionary is also kind of overrated.

The whole Internet boom of the '90s followed by the mobile boom of the '10s reminds me of the early days of the automobile. There were plenty of visionaries back then who could see the potential of the automobile, but the vast majority of them were never really successful in turning their visions into working products.

Ford certainly wasn't the first guy in the car business, but he figured out how to make a product that people wanted to buy. In the world of mobile, Apple & Google have been able to do that even though neither one of them can come even close to taking credit for the "smartphone" concept. MS has, ironically, been the company that was able to dominate the PC with the same lack-of-vision, but now they are throwing the PC away in a vain attempt to jump to mobile too late.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:19 pm

just brew it! wrote:Yeah they were rather late to the mobile party

Microsoft was big in the mobile space well before Google/Apple kicked them to the curb. I remember my IPAQ Hx4700 way back in 2005-2006.

We have video evidence of when Microsofts mobile empire began to fall.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:35 pm

Zune.

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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:37 pm

I think people are still waiting for the device that does all the function of a cell phone, tablet and laptop without real losses in any department. What that device will look like I have no idea. I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:51 pm

Sunburn74 wrote:I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.

That sounds utterly terrible. I am visualizing the eyes from the film A Clockwork Orange and the crazy computers from the film Brazil.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:37 am

End User wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.

That sounds utterly terrible. I am visualizing the eyes from the film A Clockwork Orange and the crazy computers from the film Brazil.


I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity. It has an OS that provides access to the same application ecosystem in all its forms, but switches UI when you go from tablet to desktop, and back again. The phone, a separate device, has the same OS and has the capability to connect via bluetooth to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor so you can have your entire workstation in the palm of your hand if you need it, albeit with a bit less horsepower.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:35 am

FireGryphon wrote:I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity. It has an OS that provides access to the same application ecosystem in all its forms, but switches UI when you go from tablet to desktop, and back again.

At what price point?

The Surface Pro 2 has what you want now although, at its current screen size and weight, it is rather awkward as a tablet. One would also have to say its keyboard makes it rather awkward as a laptop. The dock is rather pricey as well. Too many compromises.

FireGryphon wrote:The phone, a separate device, has the same OS and has the capability to connect via bluetooth to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor so you can have your entire workstation in the palm of your hand if you need it, albeit with a bit less horsepower.

Last year I tried using my laptop as a desktop replacement. I hated it even though I was using a BT keyboard/touchpad and a display with Ethernet/USB/Thunderbolt. I'm definitely one who likes dedicated devices as it avoids having to compromise.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:41 am

End User wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.

That sounds utterly terrible. I am visualizing the eyes from the film A Clockwork Orange and the crazy computers from the film Brazil.

A decade ago, the idea that millions of people would eventually be "typing" e-mails on a tiny virtual keyboard displayed on a touch-sensitive phone screen would've seemed pretty ridiculous too. (It is still far from optimal, but thanks to clever prediction and auto-correct algorithms it doesn't totally suck...)
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:57 am

End User wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.

That sounds utterly terrible. I am visualizing the eyes from the film A Clockwork Orange and the crazy computers from the film Brazil.


The projected screen and keyboard would be on a surface of some sort. Duh! Only if there was no surface would it project directly onto your retina. Obviuously!
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:01 am

End User wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity. It has an OS that provides access to the same application ecosystem in all its forms, but switches UI when you go from tablet to desktop, and back again.

At what price point?

The Surface Pro 2 has what you want now although, at its current screen size and weight, it is rather awkward as a tablet. One would also have to say its keyboard makes it rather awkward as a laptop. The dock is rather pricey as well. Too many compromises.


The Surface Pro 2 has too small a screen to be a serious productivity device. The clicky keyboard dock isn't bad, but it needs a hard, flat surface to work right, which limits its use. As a tablet, Win8 doesn't have the application support to rival other ecosystems. Then there's the fact that people buy Windows to get work done, not watch movies and browse Facebook.

Microsoft's tactic should have been to produce mobile workstations like the Lenovo Yoga 2 or Dell XPS 12 that would attract its core customers and ease them into Tablet Land to grow the ecosystem, rather than pretend that their immature Tablet Land was all that existed.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:34 am

...and then he retired and left things up to Ballmer. :roll:
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:20 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Then there's the fact that people buy Windows to get work done, not watch movies and browse Facebook.

Surely you jest.

The only reason I have a Windows rig is to game. I get my work done under Linux/OS X/iOS. I think it is bizarre that people believe that only Windows will do in the workplace.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:50 pm

End User wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:Then there's the fact that people buy Windows to get work done, not watch movies and browse Facebook.

Surely you jest.

The only reason I have a Windows rig is to game. I get my work done under Linux/OS X/iOS. I think it is bizarre that people believe that only Windows will do in the workplace.

Really depends on the use case. Some people require proprietary software to do their jobs (e.g. the Mech Engineers where I work have to deal with SolidWorks models).

I could easily do all of my work in Linux if I didn't have to deal with other peoples' MS Office documents (a few of which don't open/format correctly in OpenOffice) and use Outlook for e-mail (required per corporate IT policy). In fact, until we got bought out recently my primary desktop was Linux, with a Windows VM for the stuff that absolutely required Windows. Things are a little less optimal now, as the situation is reversed with Windows being the host OS and Linux the guest. Sad thing is, the Linux VM actually performs better than the Windows host OS, due to all the IT-mandated "security" software that bogs the native Windows apps down. I've actually gotten permission to migrate my old Linux desktop onto the new network, but I keep putting it off (mostly because of the draconian content filter). I'll probably wait until they pull the plug on the legacy network...
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:09 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHA I KNEW IT WAS AN EU POST.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:56 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity.


It is here, and I have it: Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... 2-pro.aspx

AWESOME 3200x1800 pixel screen. Decent battery life. Great build quality. And I got an i7 w/ 8GB of ram and the 256 GB SSD for about $1500!

I love this thing. I only wish it had an ethernet jack (gigabit makes a big difference for remote desktop).
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:23 pm

digitalnrg wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity.


It is here, and I have it: Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... 2-pro.aspx

AWESOME 3200x1800 pixel screen. Decent battery life. Great build quality. And I got an i7 w/ 8GB of ram and the 256 GB SSD for about $1500!

I love this thing. I only wish it had an ethernet jack (gigabit makes a big difference for remote desktop).


The Yoga 2 Pro come close, but fails on its own account by having a screen that is broken by design; the panel is not capable of displaying yellow properly, which makes the display unusable for anything other than the most basic of tasks. Any image viewing, or anything where yellow needs to look like yellow, can't really be done on this unit. On a cheap consumer device that might be passable, but not for a serious work machine that costs upwards of a grand. Heck, even tablets half its price have superior screens.

The exposed keyboard on the Yoga in tablet mode is more of a nuisance than a terrible problem, but but the unit still has to grapple with having Windows 8 on it. Of course, that's just a knock against Microsoft, but the Yoga 2's disappointing display panel is what made me pass it by.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Sunburn74 wrote:I think people are still waiting for the device that does all the function of a cell phone, tablet and laptop without real losses in any department. What that device will look like I have no idea. I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.


While I don't think Google Glass is the ultimate solution it's certainly a step along the right path. What you are talking about would fit in well with head mounted glasses that allow you to see a full size computer screen without the need for an external monitor, but only when you need it. Other times they might just be clear glasses or they could display the same sort of basic data that Google Glass does (like an incoming phone call with number ID.) How you control it is the question because you want a portable control mechanism (or mechanisms) that works well for simple things like phone calls but also works for more complex tasks like email/web browsing and even gaming. I don't think we have such a mechanism now though using one of those roll-up keyboards and portable mouse is a start.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:19 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
digitalnrg wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:I'm imagining a 13" convertible tablet that can be used as a laptop for mobile productivity, a tablet for media consumption, and then hooked up to a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse for real productivity.


It is here, and I have it: Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... 2-pro.aspx

...


The Yoga 2 Pro come close, but fails on its own account by having a screen that is broken by design; the panel is not capable of displaying yellow properly, which makes the display unusable for anything other than the most basic of tasks. Any image viewing, or anything where yellow needs to look like yellow, can't really be done on this unit. On a cheap consumer device that might be passable, but not for a serious work machine that costs upwards of a grand. Heck, even tablets half its price have superior screens.

The exposed keyboard on the Yoga in tablet mode is more of a nuisance than a terrible problem, but but the unit still has to grapple with having Windows 8 on it. Of course, that's just a knock against Microsoft, but the Yoga 2's disappointing display panel is what made me pass it by.


Actually, the display can be "fixed" to some extent by disabling some of the power saving feature and doing a calibration. I actually just looked at mine again and I don't really notice it. I think a lot of people are over-reacting online and/or there was a bad batch of displays. Either way, you can't really do proper color work unless you are in a controlled environment with a calibrated screen so I don't agree with you that this makes the device "unusable"

Windows 8.1 (which it came with preinstalled) has actually resolved most of my complaints about Windows 8. There is still the issue of MS moving stuff around and not "polishing" the new "homes" for things but most of my immediate frustrations have been addressed (I haven't even installed a Start Button replacement this time around).

The keyboard being exposed in tablet mode being a problem is BS. Yes, it is too big to use this thing as a proper tablet and the keyboard would be odd to touch on the backside BUT I use it in the photo frame mode (ie: /_ ) when it is laying on my chest or as a tablet (flat) on my lap. It is perfect for both of those.

I'm not knocking on your personal preferences or opinion... but I am saying this device is ALMOST that convergence and I think it is the right form factor/compromise. Add a docking station so it is easier to connect to desktop stuff and it is the "perfect" solution.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:44 pm

just brew it! wrote:
End User wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:I'm thinking some sort of watch with a projected screen, projected keyboard and mouse you control with your eyeballs.

That sounds utterly terrible. I am visualizing the eyes from the film A Clockwork Orange and the crazy computers from the film Brazil.

A decade ago, the idea that millions of people would eventually be "typing" e-mails on a tiny virtual keyboard displayed on a touch-sensitive phone screen would've seemed pretty ridiculous too. (It is still far from optimal, but thanks to clever prediction and auto-correct algorithms it doesn't totally suck...)

That was pretty much the UI in Star Trek TNG. So Gene Roddenberry saw it coming.

Though oddly, people rarely wrote things down in Star Trek.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:11 pm

Who has time write anything down when there's warp cores to be ejected and polarities reversed.
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Re: "I'm betting Microsoft's future on it."

Postposted on Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:02 pm

digitalnrg wrote:Actually, the display can be "fixed" to some extent by disabling some of the power saving feature and doing a calibration. I actually just looked at mine again and I don't really notice it. I think a lot of people are over-reacting online and/or there was a bad batch of displays. Either way, you can't really do proper color work unless you are in a controlled environment with a calibrated screen so I don't agree with you that this makes the device "unusable"


The problem can be mitigated, but the panel still cannot display a true yellow; it remains a mustard-brown color. This is due to the technology behind the panel, not a flaw in manufacturing. Other laptops that use this panel have the same difficulty. Color accuracy is important for me even if I'm just viewing photos or videos, or even playing games. This may not be important to everyone, but there was a pretty significant outcry when the Yoga 2 was released and the panel's limitations were noticed. Having yellow that's a bit off (as per most non-calibrated panels) is one thing, but having a panel that is incapable of producing anything close to yellow is unacceptable, especially in a device in this price range.

Never mind that the fix decreases the Yoga 2's battery life, which sucks considering that its battery life wasn't as high as other laptops to being with.


Windows 8.1 (which it came with preinstalled) has actually resolved most of my complaints about Windows 8. There is still the issue of MS moving stuff around and not "polishing" the new "homes" for things but most of my immediate frustrations have been addressed (I haven't even installed a Start Button replacement this time around).


It makes the OS more usable for people used to the traditional Windows interface, but there's still a big separation between the tablet end and the desktop end, and it's not easy, or at best automatic, to appropriately switch between desktop and tablet mode. Windows 8 (in all forms) also has horrible scaling issues, which becomes an even bigger deal with high PPI displays like the one on the Yoga 2. While these issues don't render the OS unusable, Windows 8.1 is still a far cry from what Microsoft should have produced in a convergence OS.


I'm not knocking on your personal preferences or opinion... but I am saying this device is ALMOST that convergence and I think it is the right form factor/compromise. Add a docking station so it is easier to connect to desktop stuff and it is the "perfect" solution.


The Yoga 2 almost sold me, but I couldn't bear spending that much money on a unit and have a screen that couldn't display yellow. I spent about an hour in Best Buy playing with the thing and couldn't get pictures to look right without proper yellow (even with the fix). That, the scaling issues, and the antiquated wireless device made me put off the purchase. Shame, because the Yoga 2 strikes a chord in so many ways that other devices don't.
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