Yesterday was one of the most important days in the history of Microsoft as they finally revealed more details about the future of Windows – specifically Windows 10 and how it will work across Windows devices of all sizes and shapes.
This past decade Microsoft has taken a beating from the technology press, Apple, Google and smaller more nimble companies. Some of this negativity was certainly well deserved, but much of it was unnecessarily taken to the extreme to make Microsoft look bad no matter what.
However this past year, Microsoft has started to really come into it’s own and changed the company around into one that is clearly still very relevant in today’s world. We have seen the revolutionary Surface Pro 3, the launch of Microsoft Band, the major growth of Azure, Office365, Xbox One and other services that make up the 16, billion dollar solutions Microsoft provides.
Yesterday Microsoft took that success another step further by showcasing the flexibility, power, usability of the new Windows – Windows 10. In addition to Windows 10 Microsoft announced their latest big screen, touch friendly display called the Surface Hub and the never seen before, innovative, “virtual reality” device called the HoloLens.
There is no way I could write in depth about all that Microsoft announced yesterday, so I have decided to start compiling a list of related articles from other sites that I can reference in the future as we learn more about Microsoft’s future for Windows and Windows 10.
IE / Spartan Browsers
I’m not typically one to do predictions or year end reviews, but in an attempt to try new things I have decided to compile my list for 2014 and 2015. Some things are fairly obvious and as a Windows user I’m a bit biased – but it’s all justified :)
Enjoy and hope you had a great year and a great new year!
- Surface Pro 3 is probably the best piece of hardware and software that I have ever owned.
- I use my SP3 as my primary computing device, it works as a desktop, laptop and tablet. I use it for intense daily needs like running Photoshop, Visual Studio, Outlook, OneNote and numerous other applications.
- I also use it for casual use like watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web, Skyping, drawing and much more.
- Sales of Surface Pro 3 will continue to increase in 2015 unlike the iPad
- We’ll see the launch of Surface Pro 4 which will kickoff a massive upgrade cycle especially for businesses, but also the average consumer.
- We’ll see Apple try to compete by launching a similar product, with a pen of it’s own.
- I predict we will reach a point where 90% of the population will need only two primary devices a Surface Pro 3 type device and a Phone.
- We’ll have docking stations and external monitors at home and at the office, we’ll simply dock our tablets and work and then un-dock to consume and be mobile. (I’m already doing this)
- Very few people will need a full-blown desktop, very few will want to carry or want to pay for a desktop, a tablet, laptop and a phone.
- Windows 8.1 has been a really powerful OS for my needs, I know a lot of people don’t like it – but I find it to be very stable, fast, efficient and works very well for mouse, touch and pen. Windows 8.1 has gotten a bad rap, once you use it for a couple weeks it all feels natural and logical – in my opinion.
- Windows 8 will start to gain additional market share, despite it’s slow start, it will pick up momentum in the first 6 months 2015.
- We’ll get our first look at Windows 10 for the “consumer” in January
- Windows 10 will launch late summer and people are going to be ecstatic about it – anything to get them away from Windows 8.
- Windows 10 will have massive growth through the end of 2015 and all through 2016.
- Windows 10 will be the one OS that will truly work across ALL devices.
- Code once, work everywhere will be a huge selling point for businesses, developers and consumers. You’d be insane not to build on top of it.
- Windows Phone
- Windows Phone has had a rough couple years in growth, but it is growing and is in a solid 3rd place.
- With the failure / slow start of other devices like Amazon Phone, Tizen, Blackberry we can see just how hard it really is to grow in the phone world. The fact that Windows Phone has been able to get to 3rd place in a few short years is actually pretty impressive.
- With the release of Windows 10, we’ll start to finally see some big growth in apps for Windows Phone.
- Windows Phone is becoming a large enough platform that companies not porting their services to it will start catching a lot more grief from their customers.
- We’ll finally see the launch of a “Surface Phone”, it will be a cutting edge, flagship Windows phone – unfortunately I think we’ll only get one of these a year (think iPhone, Surface Pro)
- They will however continue to drive the cost down on lower end Windows phones to see continued growth in developing countries.
- We’ll see a lot more OEMs building for Windows Phone as well.
- I use OneDrive for all of my storage needs, my dependence on it will continue to grow – but only if they work out some of the kinks.
- I love being able to access ANY of my files from my Surface, my phone, my old desktop and anywhere from the web – this has drastically changed my file management processes and increased my productivity.
- Storage costs are going to go through the floor in 2015, they are already low, however we are not quite at the bottom.
- The changes we have seen in Windows 10 for OneDrive are causing a lot of concern for users (including me), the way OneDrive works seems to be changing quite drastically and removing some of the useful features that power users have come to love. (Ghosted Files)
- I am confident though that once Windows 10 actually launches the issues we are seeing in OneDrive will be a thing of the past and we’ll see it as a no-brainer move.
- Software / Services
- OneDrive technically could have been placed in this section, but I use it so much I wanted to keep it separate.
- Microsoft has at least 16 Billion+ services under it’s umbrella. (Windows, Windows Server, Azure, Office, Xbox, SQL Server, System Center, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Dynamics, Online ads, Phone, Office 365, CAL, Enterprise Services, Enterprise communication software) –
- We’ll see that the Surface line will be added to that list in 2015 as well.
- I don’t know of any other company with such a diverse and successful ecosystem – Microsoft has set itself up to withstand technology trends as they continue to build for the long-term.
- Azure is going to explode in 2015
- Cortana will be integrated to as many devices / ecosystems as possible (Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Android and iOS if they can figure out a way)
- Bing will continue to gain market share and will also be integrated more broadly into devices
- Microsoft has the most services on the most ecosystems, in the end Microsoft doesn’t really care about the device, they care about the user. Devices and even ecosystems come and go every year, the one thing that never leaves is the user. The more people Microsoft can get to use their services the more power they will have.
- We saw the launch of the Microsoft band in 2014, I think we’ll see an updated, more powerful version in 2015. After or around the Windows 10 launch.
- I don’t think they will launch an actual “Smart Watch”, I think they will stick to the more fitness oriented device.
- I DO think they should launch a true “Smart Watch”, not because I want one but I think they need to do so to stay competitive with Apple and Google in that space. If they are not in the game I think it will damage their image.
- I personally have little interest in an actual smart watch, I have yet to see something that really shows it’s usefulness.
- The iPad has seen tremendous growth since it launched, however I think it has reached it’s peak and will continue to slide in market share until it levels off in 2016.
- With the success of the Surface Pro 3 and Android devices I have a hard time seeing the iPad having any more major growth opportunities.
- iPad is certainly a great consumption device, it’s great for a few simple tasks, but when it comes to true productivity, efficiency and versatility it still falls short in my book
- The iPhone will continue to be a huge money maker for Apple, with the iPhone 6+ they are satisfying the needs of Apple fans who have been craving a large screen. It’s an easy, quick sell.
- They just had a killer holiday season, so it’s pretty much all down hill from here in sales until next holiday. Android will continue to cleanup in between that time.
- With the rise in high quality, low cost Android and Windows Phones hitting the markets, I expect iPhone users to start realizing there are other great devices out there that cost a lot less than an iPhone.
- The iPhone luster will finally start wearing thin in the next 2 years.
- Apple Watch
- The Apple Watch is the next big thing people are expecting from Apple in 2015.
- Will it be a massive success? Yes, it’s created by Apple and they have legions of people eager to buy anything at the blink of an eye. (So do Microsoft and Google users, but it’s not nearly as intense).
- Journalists will finally say that Smart Watches are truly useful once the Apple Watch is released – despite the fact that it won’t add a whole lot of value to the general consumer.
- It’s from Apple, so obviously it’s perfect and solves all our needs. /s
- Software / Services
- Apple really only has 3 or 4 Billion+ services, iPad, iPhone, App Store and laptop/desktops. While it’s impressive that the can make so much money from only a few services, I think in the long run they will struggle to grow. If just one of their services tanks, that ends up being a huge loss for them – they need to diversify more, especially into software.
- Apple is by far the most closed ecosystem out there, this will hurt them in the next few years. People want to use software on a wide range of devices and ecosystems – Apple does not fill this need.
- Microsoft and Google apps are very popular on Apple devices, what happens to Apple once those users realize they can use those same services on cheaper, more customized hardware?
- Apple is partnering with IBM which will help them on the software front, however it will likely push developers a way from the platform who would rather not compete with Apple and IBM in the app store.
- Android will go down in the history books as a case study on how to succeed. Just a few years ago it was a blip on the radar, now it leads in Tablet sales, Phone sales and it’s Chrome books are rising up the charts.
- Android will have another solid year of growth in 2015, but it’s going to slow down, by a lot.
- Samsung is their top OEM and currently Samsung is in a bit of a free-fall with no end in sight. Unless they or some other OEM can figure out a drastic change, Android will hit a wall.
- Android fragmentation has been significantly reduced, which will make developers happy
- Material Design
- While I haven’t directly used their new design language, I do like what I see from a design / interactivity perspective.
- They took the Modern Design Language from Microsoft and made it a bit more approachable, playful and dynamic.
- I’d actually like to see Microsoft adopt some of the elements of Material design into their own to liven it up a bit more and to make it feel a bit more organic.
- Material design has had a very positive reaction from the tech community in general, yet Microsoft’s Modern Design Language has not – I find this to be a bit of a slap in the face and unfair towards Microsoft.
- Search has been Google’s bread and butter for years, it will continue to lead in market share in 2015 but the future is looking rough.
- Firefox didn’t renew their agreement with Google, Apple is using Bing more and more throughout it’s apps.
- A lot of people go directly to Amazon to search / buy things, rather than through Google.
- People are searching more and more through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- It will be an interesting few years for Google Search.
- Self-Driving Cars
- Self-Driving cars, yes please!
- Google is leading the pack on self-driving cars, I’d love to see other big companies like Apple, Microsoft and even Amazon get into the space.
- We’ll see significant progress in this field in 2015 and 2016, we’ll also see a lot of consumer concern over it.
- One major accident or loss of life in a self-driving car and the media is going to go crazy. Which is really sad because the benefits out-weigh the negatives by a lot.
- Will it be weird not having to drive yourself, yes. However, it will literally change the world. From pollution, to parking, to traffic, to gas consumption and even architecture of homes and buildings.
- This will be a huge market one day and that day is not very far away.
- Google Glass
- Google Glass, the once loved accessory of Robert Scoble. (What happened to him anyway? Kind of disappeared, like Google Glass).
- Unless Google can pull something out of a hat in 2015, I think Glass is about dead.
- There are certainly a few industries where it makes a ton of sense to use (Medical Field), I just can’t see it being a huge consumer product.
- It’s too big, too clunky, too invasive and too expensive to be accepted by the average consumer.
Recently I ran across this article over on GIGAOM written by Mark Crump entitled “Could I do 80 percent of my work on an iPad?”
It peaked my interest because this sounded like it was going to be a nice experiment about Tim Cook’s original comment that he is able to do 80% of his work on his iPad.
Mark starts off the article by saying he is a big proponent of using iPad for productivity and wanted to truly see if he could do his job on an iPad. He goes on to break down how he spends his day working, he even has pretty pie charts and everything.
Even while throwing out his “side job” of freelance writing because really all you need for that is a word processor he breaks his job down into other tasks around his real day of Meetings, Word (writing), Excel, and Visio. Things that are not particularly difficult to do even from a phone.
In the end he concluded that he could do nearly half of his work on an iPad, the remainder he needed something better than an iPad. So even though he has relatively basic job requirements – he still could only use his iPad for half of his job. Yikes!
About halfway though his article I actually burst out laughing when I realized he literally had to sit down and break out his entire work structure, evaluate his ability to do his job on a device that he strongly encourages people to use as a productivity tool which in the end he is only able to do 50% of his job with. Do you have any idea how crazy that is!
I have a Surface Pro 3, you know how much of my job I can do on it: 100 Percent.
I don’t even have to think about it, it literally just works for my entire job – I have no doubts at all. That my friends is called NO COMPROMISES.
IPad users have to ask themselves: “What CAN I do on my iPad?”
Surface Pro 3 users ask themselves: “What CAN’T I do on my Surface?”
The wording is only slightly different but the difference in meaning is huge!
My job isn’t based around simple word processing either, my job involves large Photoshop files, Illustrator documents, Visual Studio, Expression Blend, Outlook, Office – plus numerous other apps. No Compromise.
Back to Tim Cook’s original comment saying he “can do about 80% of his work on his iPad”, I say “80% isn’t good enough, I need 100%.” – with my Surface Pro 3 it’s finally possible.
Individuals and Businesses who are trying to decide between an iPad or a Surface Pro 3 – the answer is obvious – even Tim Cook, who goes to meetings and responds to emails all day can only do 80% of his job on his iPad. Why would you compromise 20% of your productivity to a device that clearly won’t meet your needs?
Choose Surface Pro 3 and be 100% productive, streamline and only use two devices – not four.
If you watched the Super Bowl this year or like me and only watched the Ads later online, you will see that one ad really stands out from the rest – Microsoft’s “Empowering” video.
Microsoft often gets slammed for it’s advertising, but I think this spot absolutely nails it.
Technology, no matter what company it comes from empowers so many people with and without handicaps – it’s great to see how this new technology is making people’s lives better.
Watch this video to get a better understanding how Steve Gleason uses the power of technology (specifically the Surface and Kinect) to live a better, more interactive life while living with ALS. It’s empowering!
Apple SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller told MacWorld
“It’s not an either/or. It’s a world where you’re going to have a phone, a tablet, a computer, you don’t have to choose. And so what’s more important is how you seamlessly move between them all… It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
I find this statement a bit odd, Phil is saying you “Don’t have to choose which device, simply move between them all”, yet with this viewpoint the user actually DOES have to choose. They have to choose do I bring my Laptop? My Tablet? Do I need to bring both? Despite what Phil and Apple believe, this isn’t freedom, this isn’t choice, this is flat-out cumbersome.
I do believe that users will need two devices, a tablet and a phone with “accessories” to flush out the full experience. Instead of buying a full desktop you simply buy a docking station and a monitor when you need the desktop experience. (I’ll talk more about this in a future article)
A Surface Pro 2 or similar Windows 8 based tablet device offers you the most bang for you buck, the most flexibility in size, portability, productivity and consumption.
The real reason Apple doesn’t want to merge devices is because they make almost all of their money from hardware. If they don’t sell hardware they don’t make money, that would make me nervous if I were an investor.
This is what Apple wants their users to own:
- Desktop ($2,999 – Mac Pro)
- Laptop ($1,499 – Mid-Level MacBook Pro)
- Tablet ($599 – 32GB iPad Air)
- Phone ($299 – iPhone 5s, 32GB, ATT 2 Year Contract
This is what Microsoft wants their users to own:
- Tablet ($999 – 120GB Surface Pro 2 – Replaces both a Laptop and Desktop)
- TypeCover ($129)
- Docking Station ($199.99)
- Phone ($99 Nokia Lumia 1520, 16GB expandable to 64GB, ATT 2 Year Contract)
Total Difference: $3,969.01
Have you ever wondered why Apple hasn’t added in support for multiple accounts on iPads? Think about it, they want every individual person to own one, that’s great for Apple, not so great for you.
Post-PC equals 2 devices not 4 as Apple seems to strongly believe.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pick and choose between 4 devices everyday, I want work on 2 devices everyday and use them wherever, whenever and however I need to.
Business Insider Article: Apple’s View of the Future of Personal Computing
Macworld Article: Mac at 30
Digital Video Enterprises just announced that it has launched it’s holographic DVE Immersion Room solution featuring Windows 8, Surface Pro and Kinect experience.
Are you are a business who frequently needs to use video conferencing or make PowerPoint presentations, this solution by DVE is an interesting approach and once again shows the power of a connected ecosystem of Windows products.
DVE has also created a new generation of real telepresence, that delivers true eye contact to conference rooms and desktop systems, and is driven by the Lync desktop client. This revolutionary concept eliminates the need for legacy videoconference and telepresence systems without forcing a change in underlying network infrastructure. When combined with DVE’s patented technology, Lync delivers HD images of life-size people sitting across the table.
Source: PR Newswire