Microsoft’s latest announcement has finally got me excited in the company. Windows 10, Surface Hub and HoloLens are all intriguing next steps for the company. More importantly it seems like the company is run by someone who cares about more than the numbers. Microsoft has always been the company I have had a vague dislike for. It stems from my slow and clunky childhood computers. (We are talking 1998-2007.) I loved my first Mac, which I got in ’07. I found it intuitive and it worked more like I thought a computer should work. Unlike other Mac users I have never had disdain for Microsoft, I just found it boring and needlessly confusing. That is quickly changing. I really like Windows Phone, Windows 10 looks like a step in the right direction and the Surface Hub and HoloLens both look like an interesting vision toward the future. I love that Cortana is coming to the desktop, the live tiles in the Start menu and the Messaging app is something I’ve wanted for a long time. My next computer will still be a Mac but I actually have a bit more faith that Windows could be a viable alternative for me. (And I may even install Windows 10 as a virtual OS.)
HoloLens and Surface HUB
I really like that Microsoft is releasing moonshot projects like Holosence and the Surface Hub. HoloLens looks like a logical, if early, next step for computing. (I don’t really see it catching on with the public, looking like it does but it shows a strong vision of what is coming.) The Surface Hub is something I’ve wanted for a long time. A smart computer on my wall that I can interact with. I also don’t think this is going to catch on yet but it shows Microsoft is still trying to enact their vision of the home of the future.
Most of the worlds desktops run Windows and most big businesses run Windows, use Word, Excel and Outlook. This makes Microsoft a huge company but it’s also the anchor that ties them down. I’d love Microsoft to do what they did with Project Spartan (a new web browser) and develop a new Windows OS concurrently with the traditional version. One where they can throw out legacy support and where they can do crazy things. Businesses and average consumers all still get the regular version of Windows but anyone who wants to can download to Windows X, the playground of innovation. I realize the challenges, and costs, involved wouldn’t make this a smart short term business strategy but I think it could help them usher in the future. The moonshot ideas go to X, are polished and then added to Windows Vanilla. Sort of like how jailbreak tweaks “inspire” Apple.
Microsoft has a chance to become exciting again and I really hope they succeed. We will see if they can transform themselves from into a company of the future not a goliath holding onto its vestiges of the past. Microsofts new CEO, Satya Nadella, is a refreshing change with a strong vision beyond Windows and Office.