10-21-2013 01:38 PM
26 12
tools
  1. Lurchorama's Avatar
    That might sound like a bit of a derogatory title; but bare with me for a sec...

    I've been a Windows Admin for a fair chunk of time. I cut my teeth on NT4 and got serious with the intro of Win2k.
    But even back then, Windows was never 'cool'. The hard-core geeks where fiddling already with Linux and all the multimedia guys were already on Mac. But at home we ran our Windows machines because it was the only thing that had games.
    Win2K didn't play the games well, so by the time XP came out we were well and truly over our 98SE machines. (We dont talk about Win ME). Windows XP was a good, solid OS.
    But then MS went all hit and miss.
    Vista was a complete nightmare (thank god MS kept the support up for XP), then Win7 came out and all was right with the world again. But Apple had made some serious in roads in the 'cool' factor and the world had discovered Android. So Win7 was good - but never cool.
    Then Win8 first hit the shelves and a lot of us went 'WTF?'. I still dont think it works well on machines without touch, but the main killer was that it was such a huge change. Even for us who 'know what they're doing' looked at it and it made no sense.

    But slowly but surely, thanks to some slick marketing, and great devices from both MS and other makers (eg: My wifes Asus VivoBook is spectacular) it started to make sense. Add onto this the partnership and then the buyout with/of Nokia. Then MS had a platform being produced on what it arguably the best built phones on the market. Putting the app support to one side for a sec; MS went out on a limb to completely change the idea of how a phone/touch interface should work and then bring it to the desktop and tablet and soon the game console.

    Over the last year, I think, a lot of people have started to go from 'WTF?' to 'Ahh, now i get it'.
    Its been a slow burn.

    Thats great for MS; but what about everyone else?
    Well, Apple hasn't *really* changed the interface of either iOS or OSX since the day they were released. iOS is now 6 years old, and OSX is a whopping 12 years old now! Yes, they've had a few good features added and a bit of a nip/tuck; but in essence the actual usage remains the same. iOS is still a screen grid of icons and OSX still is mainly controlled from the Dock and Finder.
    Then theres Android. So much potential ruined by so little control. Google spend more time these days bug-patching than adding much new. The only innovation really comes from Samsung and HTC with their own launchers (Touchwiz and Sense). Neither of which have changed much either. But with the openness comes a dogs breakfast in regards to the user interface and complete and utter lack of coherency between the OS and Apps.

    And the openness brings on another area.
    Apple are famous (or infamous?) for the tightly controlled nature of their apps and app store. Which is fine I guess. What you get is a strictly controlled selection of apps which all work great, but do seem to lack a degree of innovation or freedom. Android on the other hand is complete open slather. Anything goes. Which sadly means you can end up trying 10 different apps that all pro port to do the same thing only to find none of them *actually* work. And when you do find one it has zero integration with any other app let alone any kind of coherence in the user interface.
    Then snugly in the middle you have MS (I'm assuming by learning from the other two). While they do dictate on the user interface and do (as far as I can tell) do rigorously test the apps (lets not talk about Board Express) you're pretty much right to try whatever you like!
    And the dev tools are pretty much free these days (MS trying to encourage devs).

    So at the end of the day; its become MS who are the ones willing to try new things. It certainly hasn't been all smooth sailing (*cough* Vista *cough*) and even Win 8 took a while to 'work'. It's managed to collect a small but very dedicated group fans and developers who are willing to try new things and fill the gaps when other companies (eg Instagram) fail to come to the party.

    And lastly - MS has become the underdog. And everyone loves the underdog :)

    - Lurch
    Last edited by Lurchorama; 10-19-2013 at 07:14 AM.
    10-19-2013 07:02 AM
  2. ohgood's Avatar
    I like the intro and history supporting it. They have always innovated and always had a huge wealth of brain power at work on campus. Unfortunately the corporate structure has hindered ms for so long that now they are playing catch up in feature filled devices and learning how to read the markets wants and needs of late.

    Give them another year or two before they realize a few things about tablets and mobile phones, I'm sure they can catch up.
    10-19-2013 07:31 AM
  3. Lurchorama's Avatar
    I think with the Surface 2 + 8.1 they're there.
    I never realised how limiting a 'cut down' OS on a tablet was until I got my VivoTab. Its a revelation.
    10-19-2013 07:34 AM
  4. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    Agree.

    Microsoft innovated on the XBOX when it came out.
    Microsoft lost their competitive advantage from WinMo, so they ended up innovating on WP.
    Microsoft foresaw the same thing happening, and innovated in Win8.1 (Win8 was rushed)
    Microsoft has never taken the lead from Google in search, and voila! Bing innovation.
    Servers? Innovation.

    Then, you have the Surface and its Blades.

    We're just scratching the Surface, but we're already at the bleeding edge!
    luk3ja likes this.
    10-19-2013 07:36 AM
  5. Lurchorama's Avatar
    Some good points there - tho I disagree with Bing! being an innovation.
    The weird thing is that MS *had* the smart phone market waaaaaaay back in the day with WinMo. And they completely took their eye off the ball.
    WinXP was a great OS, but again - not really innovation. They pretty much just added WinME's multimedia/graphics abilities on the Win2K core.

    The servers; yes. Sorta. Its not that mail, authentication, database, and web servers are/were anything new.
    But what MS did do was 'polish' and integrate the lot and put them altogether. Having each work well with the other. AND make it easy to do so and manage them.
    They make a good package that is easy to support, manage, and maintain.
    'Hard core' admins turn their nose up at Windows - but at the end of the day (for the most part) - the s**t just works. And as an admin - I've got better things to do than spend hours at a command line trying to *make* something work.
    10-19-2013 07:58 AM
  6. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    Bing? I beg to differ.

    Deep Search integration in Win8.1. Their new improvements in search.

    As for servers, I admit to not having much in the way of experience there, but I do know that they work. They work well.
    10-19-2013 08:09 AM
  7. 1101x10's Avatar
    Microsoft have always been innovative but where they get it wrong is timing and execution. Apple (under Steve Jobs) did this well - wait until the technology is advanced enough for your vision and then deliver a polished product.
    10-19-2013 08:11 AM
  8. Lurchorama's Avatar
    I should point out that the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek
    Its not a reference to their ability or what they've done - but to the perception of MS over the years.
    10-19-2013 08:16 AM
  9. ohgood's Avatar

    Deep Search integration in Win8.1. Their new improvements in search.

    what does that mean ? or better yet, can you describe what you're referring to ?
    10-19-2013 11:20 AM
  10. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    I should point out that the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek
    Its not a reference to their ability or what they've done - but to the perception of MS over the years.
    I get what you are saying. I think this perception is partly because Microsoft is involved in multiple markets. They spent several years focusing mostly on the enterprise markets and on the console gaming market. They were very competitive and innovative in both markets during that time, but the average consumer would not have noticed that. Around that same time a new generation of smart phones and tablets was becoming feasible due to smaller and more powerful hardware. Apple and Google were right there ready to capitalize on that potential, but MS was focused elsewhere. Apple really only has a handful of products (Mac, iPod, iPhone, bigger iPhone, and biggest iPhone) and Google is basically the same (advertising, Android, advertising, web apps, and advertising).

    In the long run I don't think it will hurt MS too much. They got a late start in current gen mobile, but they have built a solid set of products for mobile devices and they are doing well in the other markets where they were focused at the time. They have successfully built an enterprise "ecosystem." I think the next race is for a full consumer ecosystem. People are eventually going to want all of the devices in their life to just work together as seamlessly as possible. Most people I know either barely use their current devices because they aren't willing to put in the effort or they are fighting with their devices more than they are enjoying them. I feel that MS is much better positioned to solve those problems and reach that goal than anyone else.
    10-19-2013 12:25 PM
  11. jedpatrickdatu's Avatar
    They also innovated with the Metro/Modern UI. Before Windows Phone, every UI I see looked very similar to the old iOS. Icons and menus try to look realistic by having 3D effects, shiny chrome textures, and shadow effects. Although they look amazing at first, they kinda feel fake and tacky. Now that Metro is released, almost every UI I see in computers, phones, and in the internet is flat, clean, and vibrant. This style is also easier on the CPU than the 3D style.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-19-2013 08:56 PM
  12. Lurchorama's Avatar
    I like the intro and history supporting it. They have always innovated and always had a huge wealth of brain power at work on campus. Unfortunately the corporate structure has hindered ms for so long that now they are playing catch up in feature filled devices and learning how to read the markets wants and needs of late.

    Give them another year or two before they realize a few things about tablets and mobile phones, I'm sure they can catch up.
    I had to have a bit more of a think on this in regards to the corporate structure.
    its a sad thing you see too often. Innovative business gets drowned in their own policies and structure. Too many fingers in the pie and too many layers of internal red tape that get in the way of new ideas seeing the light of day. You can see it starting to happen to Google. And you can see Yahoo trying to claw their way out of it right now (eg the near death of Flickr)
    I'd hate to think of the number of skunk-works project out of MS that have never seen day light.
    But I think we're starting to see Microsoft's innovators break free of the chains right now.
    It's exciting times.
    a5cent and Laura Knotek like this.
    10-19-2013 09:08 PM
  13. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Some good points there - tho I disagree with Bing! being an innovation.
    The weird thing is that MS *had* the smart phone market waaaaaaay back in the day with WinMo. And they completely took their eye off the ball.
    WinXP was a great OS, but again - not really innovation. They pretty much just added WinME's multimedia/graphics abilities on the Win2K core.

    The servers; yes. Sorta. Its not that mail, authentication, database, and web servers are/were anything new.
    But what MS did do was 'polish' and integrate the lot and put them altogether. Having each work well with the other. AND make it easy to do so and manage them.
    They make a good package that is easy to support, manage, and maintain.
    'Hard core' admins turn their nose up at Windows - but at the end of the day (for the most part) - the s**t just works. And as an admin - I've got better things to do than spend hours at a command line trying to *make* something work.
    I wouldn't say Microsoft ever 'owned' the smartphone market. I didn't know many people who had WinMo devices. Most folks I know used Palm or BlackBerry back in the day.
    10-19-2013 11:43 PM
  14. Oliver Newell's Avatar
    I am loving Microsoft's new theme, ideology and interface structure they have going on. The fact that you can use a mobile phone, PC and tablet with essentially the same set up and design throughout I think is fantastic. The minimalism in metro design is so refreshing and easy to use. I think during the last 6 months Microsoft is back on track, since sorting out the DRM on the XBOX and releasing 8.1 which has broadly got good reviews from critics, and with GDR3 for WP having quad core and full HD resolution support, this all gives google and apple fan boys less ammo to attack MS.

    The fact that they now onw Nokia, with the view that these people really know how to build a quality piece of hardware is just a bonus. MS won't ruin Nokia at all.
    10-20-2013 07:23 AM
  15. luk3ja's Avatar
    I am loving Microsoft's new theme, ideology and interface structure they have going on. The fact that you can use a mobile phone, PC and tablet with essentially the same set up and design throughout I think is fantastic. The minimalism in metro design is so refreshing and easy to use. I think during the last 6 months Microsoft is back on track, since sorting out the DRM on the XBOX and releasing 8.1 which has broadly got good reviews from critics, and with GDR3 for WP having quad core and full HD resolution support, this all gives google and apple fan boys less ammo to attack MS.

    The fact that they now onw Nokia, with the view that these people really know how to build a quality piece of hardware is just a bonus. MS won't ruin Nokia at all.
    They don't own Nokia yet, the sale still hasn't been approved and I do hope Microsoft don't ruin Nokia but they really should use Nokia's brand on future phones because Nokia have said they have no problem with this but it is Microsoft who are choosing not to use the brand. When you're in 3rd place I think it is dangerous to lose a brand name that has helped you sell the majority of Windows Phones and I would love to see Nokia's brand name, that everyone knows, survive and not die.
    10-20-2013 12:03 PM
  16. Oliver Newell's Avatar
    They don't own Nokia yet, the sale still hasn't been approved and I do hope Microsoft don't ruin Nokia but they really should use Nokia's brand on future phones because Nokia have said they have no problem with this but it is Microsoft who are choosing not to use the brand. When you're in 3rd place I think it is dangerous to lose a brand name that has helped you sell the majority of Windows Phones and I would love to see Nokia's brand name, that everyone knows, survive and not die.
    Ahh, my bad. But yes, you are right. I would like to think MS isn't stupid enough to get rid of or stop using such an iconic name. I have heard on the grap vine that the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1520 will be just called the Lumia 1520, or the Nokia 1520, keep hearing different stories. I think it is just going to be called the Nokia Lumia 1520 like the rest of the line up.
    10-20-2013 04:17 PM
  17. davidD93's Avatar
    ...great devices from both MS and other makers (eg: My wifes Asus VivoBook is spectacular) ...
    - Lurch
    I couldn't agree more.
    Lurchorama likes this.
    10-20-2013 04:38 PM
  18. EchoOne30's Avatar
    Good post, OP.

    However people have most certainly not changed to "oh I get it". Tile interface on PC is still pants on head moronic, and should be done away with.

    I say that as a WP lover and supporter. Tiles on phone and tablet is superb. On PC? Worst idea ever.
    10-20-2013 04:55 PM
  19. z33dev33l's Avatar
    Good post, OP.

    However people have most certainly not changed to "oh I get it". Tile interface on PC is still pants on head moronic, and should be done away with.

    I say that as a WP lover and supporter. Tiles on phone and tablet is superb. On PC? Worst idea ever.
    well, now you can make the start button go right to the app list so all is well
    10-20-2013 05:15 PM
  20. AccentAE86's Avatar
    Good post, OP.

    However people have most certainly not changed to "oh I get it". Tile interface on PC is still pants on head moronic, and should be done away with.

    I say that as a WP lover and supporter. Tiles on phone and tablet is superb. On PC? Worst idea ever.
    I still kinda feel the same way. But I'm starting to get the feeling that MS is looking to the future, as tablets are quite powerful now (the Surface Pro 2 is more powerful than 95% of consumers would ever need!) I think MS is preparing for the death of the traditional PC. To take it a step further, maybe even the death of the laptop. There's no other way I can explain their whole strategy of late. An OS that is totally touch oriented, that works beautifully on small devices like tablets, that is still compatible with the old traditional desktop applications. PC sales dropping, laptop sales dropping.

    The iPad is killing it in the tablet world, but I actually think MS has the better long term plan. Short term pain, long term gain. That's what I think.
    a5cent likes this.
    10-20-2013 08:05 PM
  21. thatotherdude24's Avatar
    what does that mean ? or better yet, can you describe what you're referring to ?



    Not sure if somebody already replied to this or not but I'll give you an example. Yesterday I was wanting to run ccleaner on my computer so I went to the start menu and typed 'ccleaner' and found I didn't have it installed so all in the same window Bing gave me the homepage to download ccleaner.



    Sent from my RM-845_nam_vzw_100 using Tapatalk
    a5cent and Lurchorama like this.
    10-20-2013 08:34 PM
  22. Lurchorama's Avatar
    Not sure if somebody already replied to this or not but I'll give you an example. Yesterday I was wanting to run ccleaner on my computer so I went to the start menu and typed 'ccleaner' and found I didn't have it installed so all in the same window Bing gave me the homepage to download ccleaner.



    Sent from my RM-845_nam_vzw_100 using Tapatalk
    Ahh - gotchya :)
    10-20-2013 08:59 PM
  23. Lurchorama's Avatar
    *For me* at least; I think the biggest innovation in the tablet arena has been bringing a *proper* OS to tablet form.
    Yes, there has been laptops with touch screen that swivel and sit flat before - but they're still the size of a laptop!
    Using my VivoTab has been a revelation!
    10-20-2013 09:01 PM
  24. thatotherdude24's Avatar
    Ahh - gotchya :)
    It's a nice convenience thing

    Sent from my M470BSA using Tapatalk 4
    10-20-2013 09:02 PM
  25. ohgood's Avatar
    Not sure if somebody already replied to this or not but I'll give you an example. Yesterday I was wanting to run ccleaner on my computer so I went to the start menu and typed 'ccleaner' and found I didn't have it installed so all in the same window Bing gave me the homepage to download ccleaner.



    Sent from my RM-845_nam_vzw_100 using Tapatalk
    great explanation, my apologies for assuming you market speaking some buzz words the first time.
    10-21-2013 06:49 AM
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