The beloved tech industry and its sudden shifts in trends.
What seemed to be a journey filled with partnerships, multi-level profits and sharing – seems to have almost come to an end… for Microsoft anyway.
From the past (Bill Gates) to the present (Steve Ballmer), Microsoft has primarily grown as a software company through many partnerships with hardware manufacturers – thanks to its Windows Operating System, Office Suites, Server/Active Directory Management software. Times have changed though, thanks to companies like Apple/Google – one can clearly see that in order to sustain your tech-status in the industry – a company needs to produce its own software as well as hardware.
Unfortunately, the new tech-categories (smartphones and tablets) do not highlight Microsoft’s stake – in terms of hardware production. The only exception is Microsoft’s XBOX360 (gaming/entertainment), this device has been the company’s only device which is produced and manufactured by itself. They’ve drawn millions of dollars worth of profit on an ever-increasing pace.
Based on the patterns seen in latest tech-exhibitions, one can clearly see where Microsoft is headed — towards applications (compatible with all), smart-devices, and hardware production. There are a couple of products aligned to meet this objective. Let’s take a brief look at some of these.
SmartGlass will be an application designed to control your XBOX through any smartphone or tablet on the market. Yes, this will be one application compatible with ‘the famous’ platforms (will be initially released on iOS, Android, and Windows phones). Microsoft knows why its important to bring ‘multi-platform-compatibility’ and thus indirectly accepts people owning devices from different manufacturers. But that shouldn’t stop a company from increasing their user-base, should it?
If you’re watching a show/movie through XBOX, SmartGlass app will display relevant information on your device. If you’re playing a game through XBOX, SmartGlass will show things that they can’t fit on the TV, like extended maps, objectives, missions — something that usually requires a game to be paused. —- Release Date: October 26, 2012
This will be Microsoft’s very own 10″ tablet – running Windows 8 OS. It will come in two versions, Surface RT (ARM processors) and Surface PRO (Dual-Core Intel i5 processors). Both versions are known to carry the same specs, except for processing power and battery consumption. It looks very slick and is aimed at replacing tablets/netbooks because of an add-on keyboard which they call Touch Cover and Type Cover — which are offered as a cover for the tablet as well as a keyboard — including a built-in touchpad (mouse for the tablet). —- Release Date: October 26, 2012
Windows 8 Operating System – SmartDevices & Desktop
Windows 8 – Microsoft’s next jump into its OS-world is being presented as the company’s biggest shift from its “start menu” and “taskbars” approach to Windows 8’s comprehensive “Metro tiles and bars”. It will probably be one of the most diverse and different GUI experiences ever witnessed by its users. A concept similar to Linux – shells are being introduced in Windows 8, which remove actual windows; meanwhile, presenting content in tiles – either full screen or docked (smaller tile).
As per previous iterations, Windows 8 will be available in multiple flavors; primarily designed for the smartDevice-generation (touchscreen) and for different processing manufacturers (Windows 8 RT – for ARM, and Windows 8 PRO for Intel/AMD). From phones (misc manufacturers) to desktops (misc manufacturers) to laptops (misc. manufacturers) to tablets (initially, its own production), Windows 8 will be available everywhere. —– Release Date: October 26, 2012
October 26, 2012 — will be a very important date for Microsoft and consumers. Call it, a new beginning for Microsoft, possible resurrection in this Apple/Google market era. Will Microsoft re-gain its momentum among the industry’s current champions?
Hmm, I don’t think they’ll beat the current fan following for a few years – but give them at least two years to hold a third stake in the smartDevice leadership board.
People have forgotten that Microsoft revolutionized the tech industry. They are the ones who created “PC” – an important tech-segment that not only has helped consumers but created jobs with pro-economic stimulus for major countries and markets. They helped companies grow existing product portfolios — like HP, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Acer, Toshiba etc. Microsoft’s new strategy doesnt aim at ‘smartphones’ or tablets in general, what Windows 8 constitutes is a global approach to software and hardware adaptation. Here’s how I’ll summarize their strategy for 2013+:
- Partnerships with phone hardware manufacturers (Nokia, HTC, Samsung)
- Software for all platforms: desktops, laptops etc. – usable on different processors
- Software for entertainment hubs – usable on different processors
- Tablet competing hardware (their own production)
A very careful and educated approach, in my opinion. Yeah, you can say there’s nothing ‘innovative’ about it. But the company is known to exceed and steal existing markets (XBOX vs PS3 — or — Apple vs Win95 — or — IBM-PC vs Microsoft 3.1). Ofcourse, not all can be based upon history, but what else is there to compare?
At least they’re not waiting forever to release something in the market that should have been out by now… (and yes, I’m looking at you Blackberry).