Windows Weekly 241

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Windows Weekly
Episode 241

Topics

  • Best of Microsoft in 2011
    • Mary Jo Foley joined Windows Weekly. :)
    • Kept Kinect relevant - or at least in the news/public consciousness. Kinect is generally pretty terrible, but it benefits from the "Xbox 360 halo effect": You can't criticize it without being dumped on, mostly by people who have never, and would never, use it.
    • Fixed the Windows Phone update process (with Mango, after a disastrous NoDo) - Questions remain about whether it was "fixed" or if Microsoft simply benefitted from its "you must install every other update" rule. There are signs now that Microsoft's deals with carriers/hw makers has actually harmed Windows Phone. Plus: Windows Phone, generally speaking, is one of the best things Microsoft has ever done. It only got better in 2011, with NoDo, Mango, and the various added capabilities.
    • Cloud transformation. Delivered an "office in the cloud" SKU (Office 365) for small businesses -- with SMB being right in Google's wheelhouse. And not just Office, but also PC management with Windows Intune. This is Microsoft pulling off one crucial transition for its core businesses. Windows is another story.
    • Ca-ching. Microsoft sold a heck of a lot of Windows 7 and Office 2010 (especially given new versions are due next year). In fact, they sell 20 million licenses to Windows 7 every single month. Every. Single. Month.
    • Bing. Kept Bing share constant -- if not slightly up. Kind of a mixed bag because Bing could disappear if Yahoo continues falling or runs in a different direction.
    • Compete. Finally took off the gloves (via Twitter and blogs) around hitting back at Google misinformation. You gotta love Tom Rizzo.
    • Patents. Started collecting tolls on Android using patent threats. Ah, the Microsoft vig.
    • Xbox Live. Latest update gives MS a decent TV play. Arguably superior to Apple TV, Roku. But will this stuff ever take off if its not integrated at the cable provider level?
    • IE. IE 6 share declining, finally, and leading us to a more standards-compliant web. But IE 9 isn't keeping up, and IE overall is slowly losing share.
  • Worst of Microsoft in 2011
    • Microsoft isn't Apple. Information lock down on already disclosed features of Win 8, resulting in misinformation/confusion. Microsoft can't do the secrecy thing like Apple can. There has to be a happy middle ground between Allchin- and Sinofsky-style disclosures. (Example: Why ARM? Will it be full Windows? Will it be yet another device version of Windows? Why can't you tell us?)
    • Windows Phone. Not enough new Win Phone 2nd gen devices in market for holiday 2011. WP is sold as a high-end phone but doesn't have high-end features like true 4G/LTE or NFC support. Spec is perhaps too limited; we're still seeing devices with 800 x 480 screens, regardless of the physical size.
    • Silverlight futures blackout causing angst before Build and developer confusion after Build. Silence from Microsoft, again.
    • Rats vs. sinking ship. Microsoft lost a lot of veterans in the middle ranks to competitors. What do they know that should be worrying us? A lot.
    • Cloud concerns. Still not a lot of Windows Azure uptake due to pricing, lack of IaaS functionality, and other factors. It's amazing that Microsoft's Azure pricing structure at launch amounted to, "let's see how this works because we have no idea."
    • IE. Microsoft jumps on the standards bandwagon and abandons XP, just when Chrome jumps on the light and fast one (result: IE losing share). Chrome is killing both IE and Firefox.
    • Tablets. Two years after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood on the CES keynote stage and promised excellent Windows-based tablet PCs, we're still waiting.
    • Relevance. Microsoft just isn't relevant to a growing generation of younger people who like Apple and Google smart phones and online services. You will never win this audience back. And you're increasingly not even part of the discussion.
    • Xbox LIVE Gold. Please explain why we're still paying for this exactly.
    • Speed and execution. Microsoft's advances in the cloud with Office 365 and Intune are notable, but it's inability to execute quickly elsewhere is as notable. Windows Live? Mobile? Consumer/digital media? Office on iOS, or full Office on the web? Hello?

Notable Quotes

Significant Products

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Audible

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Picks

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The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw (UNABRIDGED)
Narrated by Sean Pratt

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Production Information

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