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Former Microsoft CTO creates beautiful culinary app exclusively for iPad

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's former chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold loves both science and food, a combination that resulted in Modernist Cuisine, a six volume foodie encyclopedia that's now available in a digital form exclusively as an iPad app.



After applying his interest in science and technology to the culinary arts to create the original Modernist Cuisine, Myhrvold created a distilled "At Home" cookbook, featuring the same beautifully illustrated focus on expert cooking technique in app form.

However, despite his high profile background in tech (Myhrvold founded Microsoft Research in 1991 and spent 13 years at the software company) he "wanted nothing to do with digital," avoiding any eBook or PDF version of his cooking reference,
stated Mark Wilson writing for Fast Company.

"His concern was around usability," explained Matt MacInnis, the founder and CEO of Inkling, the publishing platform used to deliver the iPad app. "He has an insane attention to detail. The notion he'd do this on a normal ebook reader wouldn't do justice to the work he'd put into it."

After an initial rejection of the idea by Myhrvold, MacInnis outlined a project to do the cookbook justice on the iPad as an interactive app, a project that would involve a development team of 10-15 people working over nine months.

The result is a interactive work that includes 37 technique videos, 416 recipes and 1,683 photos. Recipe cards dynamically adjust the measure of ingredients you'll need to yield a given number of servings, then add these items to a shopping list.

Myhrvold targets iPad despite scathing tablet market press releases



Myhrvold


In addition to crafting culinary literature, Myhrvold cofounded Intellectual Ventures, a patent acquisition and licensing business that's earned him the pejorative of "patent troll" from his critics over the past decade.

Last summer, AppleInsider covered Myhrvold's defense of intellectual property in a conversation with Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital conference.

Myhrvold's decades of background in business and technology, combined with his master's degree in mathematical economics, led him to publish his book on iOS despite grave warnings from IDC, Gartner and Strategy Analytics announcing that Apple's share of the tablet market is falling, has fallen and will possibly continue to fall.

Microsoft says apps don't matter as Surface fails to sell



Microsoft itself is still struggling with the concept of mobile apps, despite originally being one of the first companies to recognize the commercial importance and potential of software back in the 1980s.

Last year, Cameron Evans, the chief technology officer of Microsoft Education, tried to explain to the The Denver Post that the limited number of apps for Windows 8 wasn't really a big deal.

"Why do we have so many apps in the first place? The reason why we have so many apps is because when the first smartphones were created, they didn't have enough processing power to run the full Web," Evans said. He then demonstrated a "a popular iOS game" running within Internet Explorer "on a Samsung tablet powered by Windows 8."

"Instead of something that looks like a website, it's functioning and moving for me like an app would," Evans said. "The Web is there, it's open, it's free, so why do you need 700,000 apps?"

Andy Vuong, writing for The Post, added, "even so, Microsoft is making a push to bolster its lineup of Windows 8 apps."



Since then, Microsoft has spent over $1 billion advertising Windows 8 and its its own Surface tablet, then reported writing off $900,000,000 in unsold Surface inventory after sales flopped.
post #2 of 49

Everyone comes to iOS eventually ;), and the iPad is the perfect consumption and productivity tool.  People are using apps for all types of business and education these days, your life can really be an 'App 360' of digital productivity. Microsoft just doesn't get it with the Surface. Yeah its a good unit and probably well designed, but when your productivity is limited to only MS Office, it makes for a pretty constrained life. I believe that market appeal of the Surface will just continue to decrease as the 'App 360' across the iOS and Android ecosystem will consume more and more of peoples lives and investment. As such, people will depend on their devices more and more...(I'm never parted from my smart phone), hence the move to wearable devices and less importance placed on MS Office, because no-one wants to compliment their life with MS Word, you really want to leave that at work, if you even use it at all???.

post #3 of 49

It's pretty telling that this former MS CTO is releasing his app for iPad and not for the Surface. The Surface is a damn joke. iPads are where it's at. He's not stupid, he wants his app to sell, and he wants to sell it to people who actually buy apps, and he wants to sell it on the best app store in the world.

 

First of all, there's the Surface Pro, which is not really a tablet, it's just a laptop, with laptop components inside, including ridiculous fans, and it's basically a laptop that got it's keyboard chopped off.

 

Then there's the Surface RT, which is a huge flop. I pity the ignorant people who would waste their money on one of those, as it has no future at all.

post #4 of 49
I'm guessing the ex MS CEO also loves food! 1biggrin.gif
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kormoran13 View Post

Everyone comes to iOS eventually 1wink.gif , and the iPad is the perfect consumption and productivity tool.  People are using apps for all types of business and education these days, your life can really be an 'App 360' of digital productivity. Microsoft just doesn't get it with the Surface. Yeah its a good unit and probably well designed, but when your productivity is limited to only MS Office, it makes for a pretty constrained life. I believe that market appeal of the Surface will just continue to decrease as the 'App 360' across the iOS and Android ecosystem will consume more and more of peoples lives and investment. As such, people will depend on their devices more and more...(I'm never parted from my smart phone), hence the move to wearable devices and less importance placed on MS Office, because no-one wants to compliment their life with MS Word, you really want to leave that at work, if you even use it at all???.

Welcome to the blog.

All good points.

I have to say when we eventually get to the point in history where we have devices implanted in our heads I'll be in line outside the Apple Store not the Samsung or Microsft one! (assuming I'm still here) 1biggrin.gif
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
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nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #6 of 49

Anyone who is interested art, culture, and style eventually ends up using Apple products.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Anyone who is interested art, culture, and style eventually ends up using Apple products.

 

I agree.

 

I'm more into the art side of things, as opposed to business, and virtually everybody that I know is an Apple user. It's a blessing that I don't have a single friend who is an Android user, because that tells me right there that they are not worth knowing. I have no time for uncultured people.

 

And who gives a crap about Office and those sorts of things? I'm not a damn secretary. I do know one person who still uses Windows, but in his case, it's because he couldn't afford anything else at the time, so I don't usually give him a hard time.

post #8 of 49
Let's see your windoze 8 tablet run something like Infinity Blade in explorer Mr Evans...
post #9 of 49
I would like to be able to support Modernist Cuisine, but Myhrvold's "real" job as co-founder of Intellectual Ventures (aka one of the biggest patent trolls) means no thanks.
post #10 of 49
$80 US? Well it certainly is priced like a Microsoft app. Looks beautiful, but that's a lot of cabbage for a cook book...
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxfrogdog View Post

I would like to be able to support Modernist Cuisine, but Myhrvold's "real" job as co-founder of Intellectual Ventures (aka one of the biggest patent trolls) means no thanks.

Exactly. The guy is a fucking scumbag. Don't support him or this app.

post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fh-ace View Post

$80 US? Well it certainly is priced like a Microsoft app. Looks beautiful, but that's a lot of cabbage for a cook book...

Expensive indeed Not cheap, no. Then again, 9 months for a whole team...they gotta eat.

I didn't see a link in the article:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/modernist-cuisine-at-home/id731685730?l=en&mt=8
post #13 of 49
Wow someone really likes writing articles about the surface to mention it in an article on a cook book.

10 - 15 devs over 9 months is a lot of resource! Just shy of £2 million. Must be an epic cook book.
post #14 of 49
I'd also like their business users to try these "comparable" web apps when they are on a business trip and have no access to the web on their cross country or cross Atlantic airplane trip. Or in a motel that does not have internet access. Or or or or or....
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fh-ace View Post

$80 US? Well it certainly is priced like a Microsoft app. Looks beautiful, but that's a lot of cabbage for a cook book...

You haven't checked out what the hard cover copy set sells for, apparently.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Wow someone really likes writing articles about the surface to mention it in an article on a cook book.

10 - 15 devs over 9 months is a lot of resource! Just shy of £2 million. Must be an epic cook book.

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold Hardcover $525.73 on sale at Amazon. w00t!!!
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #17 of 49
I guess he wasn't a good enough dancer to dev for the Surface.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's pretty telling that this former MS CTO is releasing his app for iPad and not for the Surface. The Surface is a damn joke. iPads are where it's at. He's not stupid, he wants his app to sell, and he wants to sell it to people who actually buy apps, and he wants to sell it on the best app store in the world.

First of all, there's the Surface Pro, which is not really a tablet, it's just a laptop, with laptop components inside, including ridiculous fans, and it's basically a laptop that got it's keyboard chopped off.

Then there's the Surface RT, which is a huge flop. I pity the ignorant people who would waste their money on one of those, as it has no future at all.

Who was the Microsoft VP who said if he weren't working for Microsoft, he'd be using a MacBook? Anyone remember that?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fh-ace View Post

$80 US? Well it certainly is priced like a Microsoft app. Looks beautiful, but that's a lot of cabbage for a cook book...

Modernist Cuisine: Ultimate Edition... for $399.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxfrogdog View Post

I would like to be able to support Modernist Cuisine, but Myhrvold's "real" job as co-founder of Intellectual Ventures (aka one of the biggest patent trolls) means no thanks.

Thank you. Only reason I clicked on this article is to post the same thing. If you must have it, get a used copy.

post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Modernist Cuisine: Ultimate Edition... for $399.

 

What was the Ballmer quote again about the price of the iPhone?

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Who was the Microsoft VP who said if he weren't working for Microsoft, he'd be using a MacBook? Anyone remember that?

I do think that I remember somebody from Microsoft saying that a while ago also, but I can't recall who.

 

I do know that some higher up at Samsung uses all Apple products, and I do remember that.

 

I use a Mac, actually, at home. I’ve always used Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad…

 

http://macdailynews.com/2012/12/13/samsung-chief-strategy-officer-i-use-apple-mac-iphone-and-ipad/
 

post #23 of 49
I might have paid $30 or even $40, but $80 is just obscene. No sale.
post #24 of 49
Just goes to show that Microsoft does have people or at least did that can create something 'beautiful'. The talent is there, they just have to harness it.
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post #25 of 49
Clearly he hasn't haha. Well it's still a great deal when you consider the price of the actual book. The only unfortunate thing is the fact that it's the 'at home' edition and not the regular modernist cuisine. It's still a great deal though. And it's from inkling. Which is the same company that makes the CIA's (Culinary Institute of America) the professional chef app. Which is also based on their text of the same name. And that one is $49.99 I believe. Also cheaper than the real text. And having these on an iPad would make 'lugging' them around a hell of a lot easier on the back lol
post #26 of 49
We'll you don't necessarily have to spend a dime to get it. Just do a little research and grab the PDF of it. Then upload to your iPad and viola! All done. It won't be interactive whatsoever. But at least you'd have the text and it won't cost you a thing.

Here you go: http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/7153205/Modernist_Cuisine_-_The_Art_and_Science_of_Cooking_%5BVol_1-6%5D_(HQ
post #27 of 49
Uh oh, did my two posts not reply to the users I meant to reply to? The first was for Macky the Macky and the second was to macsimcon. Oh well, as you all can clearly see. I'm new at this lol
post #28 of 49

Really, a review based on expectations? That's like Obama getting the Peace Price for what he said he would do in the future. How stupid! 

 

 

Also, 9 months to create this app? 10-15 Developers (what, he does not know how many he hired?) and the result was only

Quote:
The result is a interactive work that includes 37 technique videos, 416 recipes and 1,683 photos.

 

I'm not purchasing this just to see how 'stunning' it is, but I can't see how it took that long to create a cookbook app. I should have stopped reading at Microsoft. 

post #29 of 49
Looks like synchronised reporting. I saw an article about this app on iLounge as well. That had a picture of the app showing cooking using the Sous Vide method.

I know a restaurant in India that bought the Sous Vide cooking appliance for $45k. Looks like it is not just the cooking method and accessories, but also the recipes that are really expensive!
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Who was the Microsoft VP who said if he weren't working for Microsoft, he'd be using a MacBook? Anyone remember that?

Longtime Windows development chief James Allchin wrote in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software vendor had “lost sight” of customers’ needs and said he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1054364/allchin.html
post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fh-ace View Post

$80 US? Well it certainly is priced like a Microsoft app. Looks beautiful, but that's a lot of cabbage for a cook book...

The original set of cookbooks were extraordinarily expensive, so $80 is nothing in comparison.

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post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxfrogdog View Post

I would like to be able to support Modernist Cuisine, but Myhrvold's "real" job as co-founder of Intellectual Ventures (aka one of the biggest patent trolls) means no thanks.

That's an utterly irrational argument. More likely, you have no need for a haute cuisine/molecular gastronomy cookbook anyway.

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post #33 of 49

I can't believe the shoddiness of the writing of this "article" --

 

1) First off, anyone who claims to be a "journalist" should know that there are two Modernist Cuisine products -- the original multi-volume set that was aimed at professionals and cost hundreds of dollars.  Which this app is NOT. 

 

This app is actually the singular (although still pretty spectacular) volume for home chefs called Modernist Cuisine...at Home.  That book, which I own, is around $100.

 

2) I don't know how this product announcement totally derailed into some crazy rant about the failure of the Surface.  I read AppleInsider because I like Apple products, but I really don't need the sensationalist nature that this site is increasingly taking to as the writing style.

 

2) is even more egregious because it seems no time was devoted to looking up what the heck the product is (just by a simple search on Amazon you'll see the two books!  The trailer for this app even uses the "At Home" cover!) and yet so much time was devoted to writing another scathing, "oh look, another reason why Surface is failing" BS "article"

post #34 of 49


Microsoft has confirmed the new CEO You can see his Genius face here http://ow.ly/qPsLd

post #35 of 49

Yikes, the only time I eat food that fancy is when my work is paying for it due to wining and dining foreign visitors. 

 

I have two iPad cooking apps, one by Jamie Oliver and one by Nigella Lawson, both of whom make more wholesome and hearty food than cuisine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLYf0Zl1kzg

post #36 of 49
"The Web is there, it's open, it's free, so why do you need 700,000 apps?"

So I can offer my clients/customers a highly customized user experience, you dumb ass.
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold Hardcover $525.73 on sale at Amazon. w00t!!!

This is the single volume "at home" edition which is normally $140 in hardback.

The $500 version is a five volume set that is geared toward those whose kitchen is more of a laboratory.

 

I am torn over supporting this due to his patent troll ways.

post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Expensive indeed Not cheap, no. Then again, 9 months for a whole team...they gotta eat.

I didn't see a link in the article:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/modernist-cuisine-at-home/id731685730?l=en&mt=8

Those developers that need to eat would probably end up with more $$$ at the end of the day if they priced the app at $2.99. Millions would buy it as opposed to (at most) thousands.

Thompson
post #39 of 49

And Tim Cook was recruited from Compaq.  I guess Apple's doomed to fail now.

post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganirai32 View Post
 


Microsoft has confirmed the new CEO You can see his Genius face here http://ow.ly/qPsLd

 

I think it's going to be Alan Mullally. He's been an excellent CEO for Ford and he has an engineering background. Technology wouldn't scare him and he should be able to go after Microsoft's money losing divisions and sell them off or kill them without any problems. With an internal hire or someone with connections inside Microsoft, they would be less willing and able to make the tough decisions Microsoft needs now.

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