Microsoft sets sights on providing an Apple-like experience

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  • Reply 101 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Balmer that Microsoft doesn't sell PC's.



    I love that.
  • Reply 102 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simont View Post


    Steve Ballmer looked completely idiot on the stage. For a CEO, he should have been calm and make a witty joke at his competitor. Oh! Isn't it what Steve Jobs do? Sorry! There is stupid and stupid... looking at him, a monkey would have done it better.



    If Microsoft wants people to have a better opinion of its products, then they should fire Ballmer first, then concentrate on products that appeal to people and that go away from that "Social experience" mind. The Zune is a failure, Vista is a failure on all the line, and everything else they are doing just s***.... maybe except the 360, and even in that field, the hardware isn't working that well and the interface is clunky...



    In fact, why bother rebuilding this company? Shut it down, give the money back to the investors and save the face...



    Psst... I still want to eventually work for that company. Sorry, but Apple is in Cupertino and all of my family is in Western Washington; a number within a few miles of Microsoft; some but a mile away.



    The 360 is having its interface revamped. The hardware is definitely awful though, that fan sounds horrid and the failure rate is much higher than the PS3 or Wii consoles. Microsoft needs to consider a redesign, similiar to what Sony did to the Playstation 2.



    Vista is the biggest fuck up of all time. Windows Media Player 11 doesn't support h.264 and nor does Windows Home Server; for that matter only the Zune, Zune software and Xbox360 support h.264. Apple supports h.264 globally. The Zune, honestly - what were they thinking?



    But - I've used the Surface, and despite the "big ass table" video - which is funny as hell, it's a pretty neat thing. Kind of like a big ass iPhone that you just so happen to set drinks on.



    Microsoft Research does some good. Office is still the best there is - bar none, even though most recent Mac version (2008) could use a little optimization. And believe it or not, Windows can be fixed.



    Apple didn't always have OS X. Mac OS 9.22 and earlier sure as hell had problems; hell even Mac OS X early on, 10.0 and 10.1 defined incomplete. Should Apple have shut itself down when the CEO of Dell suggested it in the late 90's?



    Microsoft can weather this storm - shutting it down is not in the best interest of the computer industry, Microsoft employees, Microsoft shareholders or even us Apple fans. That said, I do agree - Microsoft could do a little better with less monkeys.
  • Reply 103 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhillyMJS View Post


    ...is the one they should copy the most: Admit their OS isn't cutting it anymore, build a new one from scratch, and add legacy support for the old OS into the new one for a few years until application developers make the transition from old-and-busted Windows to new-hotness Windows.



    Windows is a bloated piece of crap, spaghetti code, ready to collapse under its own weight. They need to throw it out and start over, they just refuse to admit it to themselves. That's why Vista took so long to come out. Actually they did sort of do it, in typical half-assed Microsoft fashion, a few years back-- when they decided to throw out what they had done and rebuild Vista on the newer Server 2003 codebase. That was a start, but there's still too much legacy crap weighing the system down, and the proof is in the fact that you need a pretty beefy machine with a ton of RAM to even hope to get performance comparable to XP on older hardware.



    The funny thing is, I think Microsoft is in a better position to do this sort of thing than Apple was back when they did it. Microsoft owns Virtual PC, and that coupled with today's virtualization technologies ought to make running the "classic" Windows and apps in a sandbox on top of a revamped OS a pretty painless exercise.



    ~Philly



    You get it. You're 100% correct. Microsoft needs their own Windows X project.
  • Reply 104 of 118
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by parksgm View Post


    Amazing thought process.



    Microsoft should stop focusing on capturing and dominating markets? That is the point of a corporation - to make the shareholders/investors money by capturing and dominating markets. It's wonderful if a corporation has other goals...but the corporation can't fund those goals without making money, and to make money they must attempt to dominate whatever market they are in. Basic economics.



    Your political comment doesn't follow either - while you may disagree with the reason for the war in Iraq, the United States is not "capturing" or "dominating" Iraq in any way. Troops are actually being withdrawn *right now* as peace and stability in the country continues to increase. The widely stated purpose is to ensure that the Iraqi people have a stable, democratic (or whatever they want) government and functioning social system when the withdrawal is complete. How is that "capturing" or "dominating"?



    Finally, General Motors makes "high profit impractical SUVs"? The MILLIONS of Americans who have purchased them specifically for their utility since the introduction of the Ford Explorer ("first" SUV) in ~1990 prove that they were in fact very useful, practical vehicles.



    Basic economics for some companies might be to make something that's cheap to make like a Big Mac and relentlessly advertise it until consumers get sick or figure out that driving a tank to work solo doesn't make sense. I am looking on the consumer side of things that favors innovation that can be stymied by market hogs. With regard to Iraq, Sadaam was contained prior to the war. The U.S. hasn't successfully spread Christianity (or democracy if you want to call it that). Is the U.S. promoting democracy in Israel? It wouldn't exist. China? What about our stuff made from slaves? Darfur, where there's no oil? Where's our oil from Iraq and Kuwait. You would think that the U.S. owns Kuwait-they hate the U.S.
  • Reply 105 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bpatton View Post


    From the Memo: "Looking ahead, I see an incredibly bright future for our company. As I said at the June 27th Town Hall for Bill, we are the best in the world at doing software and nobody should be confused about this. It doesn?t mean that we can?t improve, but nobody is better than we are. Nobody works harder than we do. Nobody is more tenacious than we are. We?re investing more broadly and more seriously than anybody else. Our opportunities to change the world have never been greater."



    Huh? Did he wake up thinking he was working for Apple?



    "Grass today is sharper than when I was a boy."

    - Abe Simpson
  • Reply 106 of 118
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    The problem with that is then you alienate some people and have the potential to lose marketshare. MS thinks more features = appeals to more people. Put enough in there and everyone will like some part of it. They don't understand that too many features = a confusing mess to the "average" customer.



    - Jasen.



    I think the most generous way to describe it is

    "Windows tries to please everybody"



    But you are right, to get back to a cleaner Windows experience, they are going to have to annoy some vendors, developers and customers.



    The only thing I can think of is a WindowsPlus badge. The hardware has to be MS Approved.

    The Drivers will have to be signed. And if you plug in a card (or certain software) that breaks rules - the WindowsPlus icon gets a red X through it.



    C.
  • Reply 107 of 118
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post


    Amazing - that's Ballmer's Big New Idea that's going to turn Microsoft round & save his job

    - Copy Apple!

    - the man's a genius!







    Ballmer doesn't get it. He thinks he can lead by following! Someone hand him a pink slip.
  • Reply 108 of 118
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    Microsoft has a lot of VERY smart people working for them - maybe too many. I've heard/read that Vista was a design by committee nightmare with multiple levels of managers second-guessing, turf-battling, and other such petty things during the design & implementation.



    ...



    As long as they continue to be a design by committee, make sure everyone is happy, let everyone's finger touch it shop, they'll be doomed to making camels rather than race horses.



    - Jasen.



    You nailed it. A building full of engineers are no substitute for one great visionary.
  • Reply 109 of 118
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,625member
    The satires actually show more respect for Microsoft than the conference video of Stevie B does. If Jobs had ever run around the stage at a convention like an immature drunken tourist at a strip club, he would have been criticized as not being in touch with the conservative conventions of corporate America.



    On one hand, you have to acknowledge that Microsoft has been and continues to be one of the most successful companies in existence. By most financial and market penetration measures, whether fairly achieved or not, they completely outflank Apple.



    But on the other, if you ignore market success and evaluate their offerings solely on the quality of the software from a UI, technical and productivity standpoint, just about everything Microsoft offers is crap.



    I suppose one can argue that the original DOS and perhaps Windows 98 were good products. But just about every product since is embarrassingly bad, in my opinion. It continues to shock me how annoying it is to use Vista and how bad the UI is in Word in spite of the fact that Word is on almost every PC in the world. And IE7 seems pretty lame even compared with the AOL Browser (which uses IE as its core, but has far superior functionality).



    Microsoft has never gotten it right. They've been successful by manipulating the market into providing a near-monopoly for them and the result is that their applications and OS don't have to perform. Users do not enjoy using Microsoft products, rather they put up with Microsoft products because they're there and it runs on cheap hardware. When corporate America buys hardware, UI Experience is not one of the items they're checking off.



    It's sort of like living in an area that only has fast food restaurants. They're easy to get to and they seem cheap and after a while you define those places as what a restaurant comprises in your own mind and you don't think you need anything better.



    Apple certainly has its flaws and arrogance has hurt some of their offerings. But they get the user-experience right a lot more often than they get it wrong and for the last few years they've mainly been hitting home runs and it's finally paying off for them.
  • Reply 110 of 118
    Why do they HAVE to create an iPhone competitor, and based off the Zune no less, which is a complete flop?



    I admit it will be amusing though, to see a Zune, with WinMobile on it. How much more sadistic can you get anyway?



    Personally I'm waiting for the perfect coffee table killer... oh wait.
  • Reply 111 of 118
    guinnessguinness Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    The satires actually show more respect for Microsoft than the conference video of Stevie B does. If Jobs had ever run around the stage at a convention like an immature drunken tourist at a strip club, he would have been criticized as not being in touch with the conservative conventions of corporate America.



    On one hand, you have to acknowledge that Microsoft has been and continues to be one of the most successful companies in existence. By most financial and market penetration measures, whether fairly achieved or not, they completely outflank Apple.



    But on the other, if you ignore market success and evaluate their offerings solely on the quality of the software from a UI, technical and productivity standpoint, just about everything Microsoft offers is crap.



    I suppose one can argue that the original DOS and perhaps Windows 98 were good products. But just about every product since is embarrassingly bad, in my opinion. It continues to shock me how annoying it is to use Vista and how bad the UI is in Word in spite of the fact that Word is on almost every PC in the world. And IE7 seems pretty lame even compared with the AOL Browser (which uses IE as its core, but has far superior functionality).



    Microsoft has never gotten it right. They've been successful by manipulating the market into providing a near-monopoly for them and the result is that their applications and OS don't have to perform. Users do not enjoy using Microsoft products, rather they put up with Microsoft products because they're there and it runs on cheap hardware. When corporate America buys hardware, UI Experience is not one of the items they're checking off.



    It's sort of like living in an area that only has fast food restaurants. They're easy to get to and they seem cheap and after a while you define those places as what a restaurant comprises in your own mind and you don't think you need anything better.



    Apple certainly has its flaws and arrogance has hurt some of their offerings. But they get the user-experience right a lot more often than they get it wrong and for the last few years they've mainly been hitting home runs and it's finally paying off for them.



    Pretty much, it's only taken Apple and Microsoft about 30 years to truly figure things out.



    Really, it doesn't matter how awesome a product is, if it doesn't fit the needs of its intended audience. Apple and Microsoft have had their share of screw-ups, but I view them as targeting 2 different sectors most of the time. Apple sucks for business use, and most of their products aren't business-oriented. Whereas Microsoft understands businesses a lot better, but are beginning to confuse the consumer, with overly wizard driven setups and burying other functions.



    Apple currently has nothing to counter Windows Server/VS/Direct X/Exchange/Office, but Microsoft can't compete with iLife/iWorks, etc, general ease of use, and UI, and the closed system model (although I don't like closed systems that much), ie stuff that matters to most consumers. Each have the pieces to improve on their weaknesses, but it will take time.
  • Reply 112 of 118
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guinness View Post


    Pretty much, it's only taken Apple and Microsoft about 30 years to truly figure things out.



    Really, it doesn't matter how awesome a product is, if it doesn't fit the needs of its intended audience. Apple and Microsoft have had their share of screw-ups, but I view them as targeting 2 different sectors most of the time. Apple sucks for business use, and most of their products aren't business-oriented. Whereas Microsoft understands businesses a lot better, but are beginning to confuse the consumer, with overly wizard driven setups and burying other functions.



    Apple currently has nothing to counter Windows Server/VS/Direct X/Exchange/Office, but Microsoft can't compete with iLife/iWorks, etc, general ease of use, and UI, and the closed system model (although I don't like closed systems that much), ie stuff that matters to most consumers. Each have the pieces to improve on their weaknesses, but it will take time.



    I understand the point you're attempting to make, but you're wrong. "Apple sucks for business use"? Get real.
  • Reply 113 of 118
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post


    Now, from a developer perspective, his comments make more sense.

    3) If you want to develop for a Mac, you use Cocoa and Objective-C. Very complete, but that's just about it.

    4) On a PC, you have C++, C# .NET, VB .NET, VBA, etc. See - CHOICES!!!



    You're just listing off Microsoft APIs.



    Who says C++ is PC-only?



    Mac OS X can run apps built in C, C++, Objective-C, or all 3 together ("Objective-C++").



    Then there's the usual assortment - Perl, Python, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Cocoa-Ruby, Cocoa-Python, Fortran, AppleScript, AppleScript Studio, Java and all of its cohorts. All except Fortran come with the OS for free.



    And of course you can call into the Carbon libraries from C if you need to.
  • Reply 114 of 118
    Microsoft need to reformat their company and download some free cheap nasty software to stop them fouling up all the time. Then they can de-frag monkey boy. Oh and while they are at it - they can find that missing .DAT file.



    Bunch of Loosers. "I know, let's copy Apple" - must have been a real forward thinking brinner (brunch and dinner) meeting to come up with that sh*t.



    Microsoft are like their operating system - over-complicated, boring, and a f*cking wast of time and effort.
  • Reply 115 of 118
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lundy View Post


    Java



    Java is only so-so supported. To develop in java for OSX you're limited to 1.5.



    Back to MS though...there is a strategy in which it could compete with the Mac home experience...revamp the 360:



    1) Fix the hardware...upgrade the 360 Elite to PS3 build quality (no more RROD...rock solid feel to construction) for $499:
    • Jasper MB

    • 120GB HDD

    • 802.11N, gigE, FW400, USB

    • wireless keyboard and mouse

    • DVD burner ($599 for Blu-Ray)

    3) Further refine the dashboard to make the user experience even better.

    4) Release MS Office 2007 Home as a 360 title.

    5) Release an iLife equivalent as a 360 title. (maybe with MS-Money)

    6) A web browser that doesn't suck on the 360.



    The new dashboard looks decent but continued refinement for usability and user experience is desireable. Also improving the user experience between MS Windows Home Server and the 360 would be good. Requiring Home Servers to have 802.11N for connectivity to 360s would be good as well.



    They probably would want to license the 360 Elite to HP, Dell and maybe a couple others to rebrand and sell since home PCs desktop sales will tank.



    I assume that at $499 this thing is instantly profitable even for a BR upgrade at $599.
  • Reply 116 of 118
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,830member
    If Microsoft is going to offer a uniformly great 'end to end experience' across all hardware manufacturers, be it cell phone or PCs, then what this implies is that these manufacturers will have to design and sell products that are even less differentiated from each other. In essence Dell PCs will become even more interchangeable not only with HPs but with the mom-and-pop PC builder down in the corner strip mall.



    Guess how happy the manufacturers will be when the message from Microsoft is that they have even less room to differentiate their product from the rest of the pack?



    It will be a notable first in business history if a company actually agrees that "Yes, making our product even more generic and more of a commodity is really good for us!"
  • Reply 117 of 118
    "narrow but complete"



    How could anything be both ?

    Could Windows be user friendly but cheap ?



    C'mon...
  • Reply 118 of 118
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by powderdust View Post


    Microsoft need to reformat their company and download some free cheap nasty software to stop them fouling up all the time. Then they can de-frag monkey boy. Oh and while they are at it - they can find that missing .DAT file.



    Bunch of Loosers. "I know, let's copy Apple" - must have been a real forward thinking brinner (brunch and dinner) meeting to come up with that sh*t.



    Microsoft are like their operating system - over-complicated, boring, and a f*cking wast of time and effort.



    & money, don't forget waste of money. PC manufacturers may be able to bash out notebooks (which can't run Vista) for half the price of a MacBook but that's just a waste of the deposit on your MacBook.



    McD
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