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MSFT, RIM, and the Enterprise (and Intel?)


VAL9000
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Adding this article to the debate over the future of Microsoft (and the future of RIM):

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/06/why-windows-phone-8-means-the-blackberry-is-doomed/

 

The piece is a bit heavy on the doomsday forecasting for RIM based on a fairly insignificant aspect of the overall package (i.e. the device management software).  I do agree with the overall thesis that with Microsoft hitting the enterprise market even harder with Windows Phone 8, RIM is further wedged between a rock and a hard place.

 

It will be interesting to see how the market responds to Microsoft branded/built hardware.  Microsoft has seen failures (Zune) and successes (Xbox) using this model.  What I think is significant with the current approach is that Microsoft is tying in their flagship brand with the current effort.  Windows 8 and Surface tablets are functional synonymous to me.  That is, from what I've seen you need a Surface tablet to get the most from Windows 8 and vice-versa.

 

I am interested in everyone's thoughts on two other aspects of Microsoft's developing Windows strategy:

 

1) Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT ( the low-power tablet edition of Windows 8 ) share significant code base.  This is like a weak-form version of iOS for iPhone and iOS for iPad being the same OS.  Not exactly the same but close enough for our purposes.  Is this significant enough for Microsoft to draw many of its existing Windows enterprise customers into a pure Windows-based hardware strategy?  Simplifying the question..  does the appeal of the iPhone exceed the appeal of a Windows phone assuming the Windows phone can run all of my enterprise applications and my iPhone can't?

 

2) Windows 8 RT looks like a new Windows code fork designed to run on a different processor set.  I don't know if it's compatible with both ARM and Intel chipsets, but I do know that it is compatible for at least ARM chipsets.  I'm going to assume that any software built on Windows 8 RT will also run on Windows 8 Pro.  What I'm getting at here is, if all new software is built for Windows 8 RT compatibility, then wouldn't this present a significant risk to Intel's business?  My understanding of the ARM chipset business is that it works like the PC business.  One set of guys do the "software" and lots of guys do the actual manufacturing at razor-thin margins.  Pulling Intel into direct competition with this market could be a disaster for their profit margins as they would be exposed to the same weak manufacturing margins while also keeping the cost of chip/tech development.

 

 

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Guest valueInv

Here's are more relevant questions:

 

- Microsoft went big on tablets a few years ago and failed miserably. What is the difference between those tablets and the new ones today?

- What has changed in the market that helps/hurts the new tablets? 

 

Also, its way to early to speculate. MSFT has announced to pricing and no timing. It wouldn't event let people touch the new keyboards. The event was hastily created to precede Google I/O where they're expected to release their own tablet.

 

The MSFT tablets are supposed to be available only through MSFT retail stores - yup, all 20 of them.

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Here's are more relevant questions:

 

- Microsoft went big on tablets a few years ago and failed miserably. What is the difference between those tablets and the new ones today?

 

The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

- What has changed in the market that helps/hurts the new tablets?

Helps: the market exists.

Hurts: the market is dominated by a competitor.

 

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I would not be surprised if the author of that article had not come up with the title because it was actually a good article.  Illustrates the problems that RIM faces and why MSFT is not an appropriate partner (or potential acquirer) at this juncture.

 

I agree with you, Val, on the necessity of having a Surface tablet to get the most out of Win 8.  It's just another illustration of how these OS providers are trying to get on every single screen that an individual or company utilizes.  I do think that having legacy enterprise software out there and already paid for will enable MSFT to keep some of those enterprises using Windows across multiple devices.  However, I still think that there is a huge opportunity for businesses to switch out of Windows into different client OS ecosystems.  But I would note that every OS provider who is trying to own customers across every screen has to worry about businesses adopting a thin client strategy, where you can bypass the need for a "unified" experience by building your information systems to take advantage of virtualization, web application technologies and SaaS, and low latency communication networks. 

 

Regarding Intel, I think that ARM continues to be a big threat and MSFT's support of ARM increases the threat.  (As an aside, this is why MSFT's strategy is so interesting.  All old partnerships -- like Wintel and MSFT/HP or MSFT/DELL -- are falling by the wayside.)  However, Intel still can break into the mobile market, which provides some upside in terms of market share.  Additionally, I believe that providing computer power for servers will be "where it's at" in the future, and I think that Intel will continue its push there as computing power migrates to the cloud (whether public or private) over the long term.  So margin compression will/may be offset by growing market.

 

Having said that, I was a fan of Intel at $18, but at $27, I would not be long INTC given the competitive environment.  Not enough upside. 

 

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Here's are more relevant questions:

 

- Microsoft went big on tablets a few years ago and failed miserably. What is the difference between those tablets and the new ones today?

 

The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

- What has changed in the market that helps/hurts the new tablets?

Helps: the market exists.

Hurts: the market is dominated by a competitor.

 

+1

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

 

 

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

Are you trying to say that you think Surface won't sell to business customers?

 

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

Not sure why you are focusing on using the Surface tablets at the office.  The point is that these are mobile devices, isn't it?  They can be carried away from the desk, used at home, or can be taken with them while on travel.

 

Also, you seem to be forgetting (or perhaps you haven't watched the keynote) that the Surface tablet can essentially be docked to use with a keyboard that isn't "crappy."  When the Intel version is docked, you essentially get a Win 8 desktop setup.  That's the ideal, isn't it?  If you had an Apple tablet that had the power of OSX built into it and that could be docked at work to give you a fully functional Mac, but then would switch to iOS when undocked, wouldn't you like that?  I would.

 

Val's comment that the tablet "market exists" pretty much sums it up.  The difference between tablets then and tablets now is that there is actually a use for them and that both hardware and software has evolved to where the things you need to make a tablet useful -- good touch interface, high res screen, decent battery life, and apps that make use of touch -- are actually present.

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

Are you trying to say that you think Surface won't sell to business customers?

I'm trying to see what has really changed with the announcement. What is MSFT offering since this week that improves its odds? I'm looking at the bottom line - what does it really mean to a customer making a buying decision?

 

Wether it will sell will depend on pricing, timing, distribution, eco system,etc.

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

Not sure why you are focusing on using the Surface tablets at the office.  The point is that these are mobile devices, isn't it?  They can be carried away from the desk, used at home, or can be taken with them while on travel.

 

Also, you seem to be forgetting (or perhaps you haven't watched the keynote) that the Surface tablet can essentially be docked to use with a keyboard that isn't "crappy."  When the Intel version is docked, you essentially get a Win 8 desktop setup.  That's the ideal, isn't it?  If you had an Apple tablet that had the power of OSX built into it and that could be docked at work to give you a fully functional Mac, but then would switch to iOS when undocked, wouldn't you like that?  I would.

 

Val's comment that the tablet "market exists" pretty much sums it up.  The difference between tablets then and tablets now is that there is actually a use for them and that both hardware and software has evolved to where the things you need to make a tablet useful -- good touch interface, high res screen, decent battery life, and apps that make use of touch -- are actually present.

 

I'm focusing on the office because thats where MSFT has the advantage. They are also positioning their tablets for the office for the large part. Why else would they offer an expensive Intel version with backwards compatibility?

 

I wouldn't want Mac OSX running on my tablet because that would entail compromises from Apple that would reduce my IOS experience. The whole point of the tablet is to move away from many of the legacies of the desktop. The tablet starts from the ground up and builds a modern UI. It removes some of the mistakes made in the past when guis first came into existence. 

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I'm trying to see what has really changed with the announcement. What is MSFT offering since this week that improves its odds? I'm looking at the bottom line - what does it really mean to a customer making a buying decision?

 

Isn't that obvious?  The promise of an iPad and a PC in a single device.  If they do a good job of executing on this promise, then I think it's a clear win for customers.  People who want an iPad will get a PC for "free", and people who want a PC will get an iPad for "free".  I say "free" because we don't know the price point yet, but clearly without competitive pricing it's not going to work.

 

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The software... and the hardware.

- Windows 8 offers a touch-oriented UI and is designed with the tablet form factor and all of its particularities in mind.

 

But apparently, touch is not great for getting work in the office done like creating presentations. The Intel version supports current Windows apps and needs a touchpad to work.

 

For the Intel versions, the new tablets are smaller and support Metro also. They also have a crappier keyboard. Thats the difference.

 

For the ARM version - no legacy support. You have to create new Metro apps.

 

- Chipsets are much more energy efficient vs. "a few years ago".  Both because ARM is now an option and Intel has made it an important goal.

 

Was battery life ever a problem in the workplace where you are sitting at your desk or a meeting for most of the day? Are enterprises complaining about the power consumed by laptops/tablets? Does the average person every know what ARM is and base their buying decision on "ARM inside"?

 

Not sure why you are focusing on using the Surface tablets at the office.  The point is that these are mobile devices, isn't it?  They can be carried away from the desk, used at home, or can be taken with them while on travel.

 

Also, you seem to be forgetting (or perhaps you haven't watched the keynote) that the Surface tablet can essentially be docked to use with a keyboard that isn't "crappy."  When the Intel version is docked, you essentially get a Win 8 desktop setup.  That's the ideal, isn't it?  If you had an Apple tablet that had the power of OSX built into it and that could be docked at work to give you a fully functional Mac, but then would switch to iOS when undocked, wouldn't you like that?  I would.

 

Val's comment that the tablet "market exists" pretty much sums it up.  The difference between tablets then and tablets now is that there is actually a use for them and that both hardware and software has evolved to where the things you need to make a tablet useful -- good touch interface, high res screen, decent battery life, and apps that make use of touch -- are actually present.

 

I'm focusing on the office because thats where MSFT has the advantage. They are also positioning their tablets for the office for the large part. Why else would they offer an expensive Intel version with backwards compatibility?

 

I wouldn't want Mac OSX running on my tablet because that would entail compromises from Apple that would reduce my IOS experience. The whole point of the tablet is to move away from many of the legacies of the desktop. The tablet starts from the ground up and builds a modern UI. It removes some of the mistakes made in the past when guis first came into existence.

 

You're conflating use by business (which it is fair to say is where MSFT has its advantage) with use at the office.  It's the fact that there are legacy applications that is making them offering the "expensive Intel version."  If you were to say, MSFT is positioning their tablets for use by business, I would agree with you.  I just don't see an issue with keyboards or touchpads or anything like that.  As I said before, a docking station will take care of that. 

 

You also sort of sidestepped my question on a competing AAPL product by assuming that the iOS experience will always be reduced by creating a hybrid OS like Win 8.  That's the Tim Cook line, of course.  But what if you could switch seamlessly between traditional desktop/laptop UI and a tablet UI?  Would you still have the same opinion?  I think it's a mistake to conclude that a typical tablet UI is optimal for every sort of use case.  A tablet UI is not necessarily a better version of the traditional GUI (I love the OSX GUI, for example).  The tablet UI is different because of the use case.

 

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You also sort of sidestepped my question on a competing AAPL product by assuming that the iOS experience will always be reduced by creating a hybrid OS like Win 8.  That's the Tim Cook line, of course.  But what if you could switch seamlessly between traditional desktop/laptop UI and a tablet UI?  Would you still have the same opinion?  I think it's a mistake to conclude that a typical tablet UI is optimal for every sort of use case.  A tablet UI is not necessarily a better version of the traditional GUI (I love the OSX GUI, for example).  The tablet UI is different because of the use case.

 

Well, that switching thing is what most reviewers of Windows 8 are complaining about:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2012/mar/05/windows-8-desktop-experience

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I'm trying to see what has really changed with the announcement. What is MSFT offering since this week that improves its odds? I'm looking at the bottom line - what does it really mean to a customer making a buying decision?

 

Isn't that obvious?  The promise of an iPad and a PC in a single device.  If they do a good job of executing on this promise, then I think it's a clear win for customers.  People who want an iPad will get a PC for "free", and people who want a PC will get an iPad for "free".  I say "free" because we don't know the price point yet, but clearly without competitive pricing it's not going to work.

 

Or they'll get device that is neither a good tablet nor a good pc.

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I'm trying to see what has really changed with the announcement. What is MSFT offering since this week that improves its odds? I'm looking at the bottom line - what does it really mean to a customer making a buying decision?

 

Isn't that obvious?  The promise of an iPad and a PC in a single device.  If they do a good job of executing on this promise, then I think it's a clear win for customers.  People who want an iPad will get a PC for "free", and people who want a PC will get an iPad for "free".  I say "free" because we don't know the price point yet, but clearly without competitive pricing it's not going to work.

 

Or they'll get device that is neither a good tablet nor a good pc.

 

Never know.  So far with the Surface, they've gotten the device right, but not so much the software.  The Windows Phone 8 OS looks pretty darn good on the software side, and apparently there are rumours that they are working on their own phone.  If it is anything like the Surface hardware, it may be pretty good. 

 

They are late to the game, just like they were with the video game console.  Give them some time.  They don't need to kill Apple, but just remain competitive and make inroads.  It's Google that may need to worry more than Apple.  Cheers!

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Never know.  So far with the Surface, they've gotten the device right, but not so much the software. 

 

What did they get right about the device?

 

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Never know.  So far with the Surface, they've gotten the device right, but not so much the software. 

 

What did they get right about the device?

 

The design, the processors, useability, it's efficient, keyboard/cover, etc.  Other than the display, which isn't on par with the retina display on the iPad3, it pretty much covers all of the bases.  And the display is still on par or better than all Android tablets and the iPad2.  They will probably have a retina option some time next year.  Not to mention the fact that it will run Office efficiently and most gamers will probably prefer this machine to the Apple iPad.  There definitely is a market for the Surface.  Cheers!

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You also sort of sidestepped my question on a competing AAPL product by assuming that the iOS experience will always be reduced by creating a hybrid OS like Win 8.  That's the Tim Cook line, of course.  But what if you could switch seamlessly between traditional desktop/laptop UI and a tablet UI?  Would you still have the same opinion?  I think it's a mistake to conclude that a typical tablet UI is optimal for every sort of use case.  A tablet UI is not necessarily a better version of the traditional GUI (I love the OSX GUI, for example).  The tablet UI is different because of the use case.

 

Well, that switching thing is what most reviewers of Windows 8 are complaining about:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2012/mar/05/windows-8-desktop-experience

 

I can come up with counter-examples:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57456484-92/microsoft-surface-shows-apple-could-be-wrong/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/06/microsoft_surface_is_this_the_ipad_rival_the_tech_world_desperately_needs_.html

 

Nevertheless, I expect that the first version of Windows 8 will be pretty buggy in terms of UX and will be off-putting to people who are used to the traditional desktop UI.  That doesn't mean that MSFT won't get it right in updates to the OS or in the next version.  And I actually think Apple is BS'ing about the notion that there will never be a hybrid MacBook-iPad device.  I think they just haven't figured it out yet but will release something like that once they have figured it out.

 

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You also sort of sidestepped my question on a competing AAPL product by assuming that the iOS experience will always be reduced by creating a hybrid OS like Win 8.  That's the Tim Cook line, of course.  But what if you could switch seamlessly between traditional desktop/laptop UI and a tablet UI?  Would you still have the same opinion?  I think it's a mistake to conclude that a typical tablet UI is optimal for every sort of use case.  A tablet UI is not necessarily a better version of the traditional GUI (I love the OSX GUI, for example).  The tablet UI is different because of the use case.

 

Well, that switching thing is what most reviewers of Windows 8 are complaining about:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2012/mar/05/windows-8-desktop-experience

 

I can come up with counter-examples:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57456484-92/microsoft-surface-shows-apple-could-be-wrong/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/06/microsoft_surface_is_this_the_ipad_rival_the_tech_world_desperately_needs_.html

 

Nevertheless, I expect that the first version of Windows 8 will be pretty buggy in terms of UX and will be off-putting to people who are used to the traditional desktop UI.  That doesn't mean that MSFT won't get it right in updates to the OS or in the next version.  And I actually think Apple is BS'ing about the notion that there will never be a hybrid MacBook-iPad device.  I think they just haven't figured it out yet but will release something like that once they have figured it out.

 

You do realize that no one has actually had much time to play with the Surface devices to review its usability? MSFT would not even let them turn on the devices with the keyboards. The only devices out there that have dual interfaces - Metro and Windows classic -  are the Windows 8 laptops/desktops. Funny you should post the review by Farhad Manjoo. He had this to say about the dual interface topic that we are discussing:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/06/windows_8_microsoft_s_radical_operating_system_redesign_will_aggravate_you_to_no_end_.html

 

As far as the windows classic interface on the tablet - I think the markets response was very clear when MSFT tried to sell it a few years back.

 

 

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You also sort of sidestepped my question on a competing AAPL product by assuming that the iOS experience will always be reduced by creating a hybrid OS like Win 8.  That's the Tim Cook line, of course.  But what if you could switch seamlessly between traditional desktop/laptop UI and a tablet UI?  Would you still have the same opinion?  I think it's a mistake to conclude that a typical tablet UI is optimal for every sort of use case.  A tablet UI is not necessarily a better version of the traditional GUI (I love the OSX GUI, for example).  The tablet UI is different because of the use case.

 

Well, that switching thing is what most reviewers of Windows 8 are complaining about:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2012/mar/05/windows-8-desktop-experience

 

I can come up with counter-examples:

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57456484-92/microsoft-surface-shows-apple-could-be-wrong/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/06/microsoft_surface_is_this_the_ipad_rival_the_tech_world_desperately_needs_.html

 

Nevertheless, I expect that the first version of Windows 8 will be pretty buggy in terms of UX and will be off-putting to people who are used to the traditional desktop UI.  That doesn't mean that MSFT won't get it right in updates to the OS or in the next version.  And I actually think Apple is BS'ing about the notion that there will never be a hybrid MacBook-iPad device.  I think they just haven't figured it out yet but will release something like that once they have figured it out.

 

You do realize that no one has actually had much time to play with the Surface devices to review its usability? MSFT would not even let them turn on the devices with the keyboards. The only devices out there that have dual interfaces - Metro and Windows classic -  are the Windows 8 laptops/desktops. Funny you should post the review by Farhad Manjoo. He had this to say about the dual interface topic that we are discussing:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/06/windows_8_microsoft_s_radical_operating_system_redesign_will_aggravate_you_to_no_end_.html

 

As far as the windows classic interface on the tablet - I think the markets response was very clear when MSFT tried to sell it a few years back.

 

Yeah, I do realize that.  Further, did I not just say that "I expect that Windows 8 will be pretty buggy in terms of UX . . . "?

 

That does not mean that Surface is not something new or that it will totally fail in the marketplace.  Whereas there was very little point in having a Windows tablet when they were first introduced years ago, now there is clearly a need/use case for tablets, and this is an interesting -- and possibly successful -- approach for keeping business users from switching to AAPL or GOOG, at least for tablets.  Not only do you get the Metro UI for your tablet experience, but you also get the power of a desktop/laptop experience, if you choose to use it.  To say that this tablet is exactly like MSFT tablets of past is hyperbole, at best.

 

Furthermore, it's not the tablet use case that is the problem with Win 8.  The problem is with the traditional desktop UI for Win 8.  That is, if you're at the office and you need to get stuff done, it's gonna be much harder to use Win 8 than to stick with Win 7 or XP.  I don't disagree with that point made in many reviews that are out there.  It's your idea that switching between UI's will never work that I disagree with, and I would be willing to bet that AAPL eventually comes up with some device where you can switch between a touch UI and traditional UI.

 

Bottom line: It's not a good bet to dismiss Surface outright.  And it would be helpful to get input on Val's actual question, which was a good one. ;)

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So, Val, how likely do you think it is that the next Xbox OS uses the same code base/kernel as Win 8 and Win Phone 8?  If you have a media app for Win Phone 8 and Win 8, I would think you would like to be able to put it on the Xbox without too much extra work.  Although not a lot of apps will be useful on the Xbox.

 

And do you have any thoughts on SmartGlass and how it might further keep developers from abandoning  the MSFT ecosystem?

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So, Val, how likely do you think it is that the next Xbox OS uses the same code base/kernel as Win 8 and Win Phone 8?  If you have a media app for Win Phone 8 and Win 8, I would think you would like to be able to put it on the Xbox without too much extra work.  Although not a lot of apps will be useful on the Xbox.

I think it's extremely likely that we'll see "Xbox 720" running "Windows 8".  Xbox 360 software is already pretty close to a cleaned up version of Windows 2000 as it is, but the system design goals likely didn't include any cross-device compatibility.  Maybe I'll go a little further and say that it's pretty likely that Xbox 720 will run a version of Windows 8 RT rather than Windows 8 Pro.  I say this because if I were them, I would be pushing to roll-over development from "Windows Classic" to "New Windows".

 

Apple's strategy here seems like it's already mapped out..  Proprietary device, iOS code base, probably an all-in-one system, leverages iTunes ecosystem.

 

What do you think about Google?  Android has been successful in terms of OS adoption using a scatter-shot approach, but do you think that will hold up in a living room setting?  And how does Chrome OS / Chromebox fit into this?  The idea of being able to tie everything together from the OS & up seems untenable given the level of fragmentation.

 

And do you have any thoughts on SmartGlass and how it might further keep developers from abandoning  the MSFT ecosystem?

 

I don't have deep thoughts on this..  I see SmartGlass as a marketing term wrapped around a group of related software features that nobody has really taken the time to stitch together.  I think entertainment companies have a huge opportunity (both in terms of increased engagement and increased revenue streams), but I don't believe that what SmartGlass offers will be unique to the MSFT ecosystem.  You can do what they're showing with an iPhone, iPad, and a marginally improved Apple TV.  The innovation will really come from the third party developers.  You?

 

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What do you think about Google?  Android has been successful in terms of OS adoption using a scatter-shot approach, but do you think that will hold up in a living room setting?  And how does Chrome OS / Chromebox fit into this?  The idea of being able to tie everything together from the OS & up seems untenable given the level of fragmentation.

 

Hard to say what GOOG's gonna do -- I'm hoping we'll get some answer at I/O.  I'd like to see them say that only Motorola and Sony will make hardware for the Google TV system and then optimize those boxes to work with other devices that use Android, for example, the new Motorola tablet that is expected to debut at the conference.

 

Not sure what to do about the tablet/phone hardware situation.  It seems like the trend is to vertically integrate like Apple.  Maybe GOOG should release Motorola devices on the same schedule as iPhones and re-brand the OS's on those devices as using "Google OS" (with Android, of course, being the underlying open source software).

 

Re Chrome OS, I don't see that playing a big part in the lives of individuals yet.  But maybe businesses or educational institutions will adopt it for a thin client IT setup.  Who knows?  I'd actually really like to play around with one of those boxes, but I ain't paying $329 for one.

 

I don't have deep thoughts on this..  I see SmartGlass as a marketing term wrapped around a group of related software features that nobody has really taken the time to stitch together.  I think entertainment companies have a huge opportunity (both in terms of increased engagement and increased revenue streams), but I don't believe that what SmartGlass offers will be unique to the MSFT ecosystem.  You can do what they're showing with an iPhone, iPad, and a marginally improved Apple TV.  The innovation will really come from the third party developers.  You?

 

Not really.  It's nice to see that they've been thinking about this.  I wonder if the SmartGlass app will get through the App store . . . 

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