Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Nov 2011 22:55 UTC
Microsoft "Steve Ballmer had a dilemma. He had two groups at Microsoft pursuing competing visions for tablet computers. One group, led by Xbox godfather J Allard, was pushing for a sleek, two-screen tablet called the Courier that users controlled with their finger or a pen. But it had a problem: it was running a modified version of Windows. That ran headlong into the vision of tablet computing laid out by Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft's Windows division. Sinofsky was wary of any product - let alone one from inside Microsoft's walls - that threatened the foundation of Microsoft's flagship operating system. But Sinofsky's tablet-friendly version of Windows was more than two years away." I'm still mad at Microsoft for this one.
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Small minded people
by JAlexoid on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 02:41 UTC
JAlexoid
Member since:
2009-05-19

(if Sinofsky's involvement is true)It just amazes me how coprorate culture can let a small minded person to become such a high level executive... Microsoft is not the only one like that.
But the corporate world is riddled with corpses of promising, or even revolutionary, projects. Sometimes the shareholders have to be shown the middle finger.

Well, it's no wonder that corporations tend to acquire new technologies from outside, rather than invest in proper ventures.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Small minded people
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 04:19 UTC in reply to "Small minded people"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That isn't "corporate culture" that's Microsoft culture. They developed a cloud based alternative to windows years ago which they killed because it competed with office. They do it all the time. Microsoft research does amazing things that are never acted upon because they would disrupt their office/windows profit streams. This is why win mobile sucked. Its purpose was to kill mobile systems. When palm faded, it had no reason to exist. This is why Internet explorer 7 was so much later than 6, they'd killed netscape no more competition. Microsoft creates products to kill competitors ( Hello Zune!).

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Small minded people
by zima on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Small minded people"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hm, well there is Wii and Kinect... (which notably, even if the modus operandi you describe is indeed the case, still appears to be a rather good product, "innovation through competition" - so maybe that MS culture doesn't give too bad results, after all? ;) )

Edited 2011-11-02 14:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Small minded people
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Small minded people"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Once the wii is dead, I think kinetic will also die shortly there after.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Small minded people
by zima on Sun 6th Nov 2011 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Small minded people"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps not. Kinect seems to have sold by the truckloads, captured quite an attention, and it doesn't exactly lose money for MS (not at this point at least, and in foreseeable future) - OTOH, at the very least, abandoning the already huge installed base would probably result in some bad blood (though I'm not sure if tinkerers would be fed up by it ...or glad, from the huge number of "surplus" units ;p )

Maybe it's here to stay, even if in more limited roles than the worshippers of Minority Report UI (and gorilla arm :p ) would envision. There's even Windows SDK now.

Too bad one aspect of the units wasn't very future-proofed: the resolution of RGB camera is unimpressively low (and released near the tiem when inexpensive 720p modules were already showing up in mobile phones) ...still, should be enough for Skynet ;) , watching: [__O_OO___]

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Small minded people
by JAlexoid on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Small minded people"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

That isn't "corporate culture" that's Microsoft culture.

I don't know about you, but I've seen the exactly same issue in IBM, Nokia, Accenture, NetApp, Sun, Fujitsu and Siemens.(I just happen to have worked for all of them, directly or as an external consultant)

Edited 2011-11-03 10:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 05:36 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft is a computer industry dinosaur.

Reply Score: 2

Well you know what....
by gregthecanuck on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 06:50 UTC
gregthecanuck
Member since:
2006-05-30

Ballmer did the right thing.

Unfortunately with two competing ideas it makes sense to focus on one and run with it and put 100% effort into it - something the whole company can get behind. If that means some bruised egos then so be it.

That funky dual-screen folding model was something nobody else had come out with and for good reason. Trying to design an OS around that was an even worse idea. There was definitely a novelty factor but it just wasn't practical.

The whole "ecosystem" idea beind Windows 8 is a good one if MS can get it right.

Edited 2011-11-02 06:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

They was right
by Straho on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 08:18 UTC
Straho
Member since:
2011-09-30

I never think that I will say that but Balmer was right. Now everybody are forgotten Zune, but MS still remember it and don't want another fail.

Well, I'm not fair Zune was mentioned in Two and half man new season, sadly this was only funny moment so far.

Actually I'm very surprise that Xbox is so nice. They should be grateful Apple don't have game console.

Reply Score: 2

RE: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 08:40 UTC in reply to "They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12
RE[2]: They was right
by Straho on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:07 UTC in reply to "RE: They was right"
Straho Member since:
2011-09-30

My fault. 1995 I bought my first desktop and in Eastern Europe that wasn't easy, real game console came around 1999.
There's always something new, thank you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Oh, I was by no means correcting or criticizing you.

A lot of people aren't aware of the Apple Pippin (because it didn't last very long and was a complete bust), so I thought I just threw it in there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: They was right
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They was right"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I want one of those so badly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I have managed to collect loads of computers and the wise lesson I learned is that they are useless without software. Even more so game consoles as you can't even program those yourself.

So getting hold of a Pippin will not be easy, but perhaps even harder is to get any games for it. Also considering not many have been made.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: They was right
by zima on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: They was right"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Id's say they're mostly useless also with software, considering most of the ancient software is pretty much useless ;)

The only scenario planned for my C64 which I could honestly describe as sort-of-useful, maybe: Contiki IRC client (plus IM, via Bitlbee) - and that's probably still mostly for bragging rights fun on one channel I sometimes visit, and with few IM buddies.
With some PC providing connection and... display (via TV tuner). And that's still only thanks to quite recent software.

Also, most of the old games are horrible. We just mistakenly remember them as good.
Though, overall, old consoles are probably more straightforward - they were always about "smoother" user experience, and the difference gets even bigger when exploring old ones (both with hardware or emulation)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I enjoy old games more than new ones. On occasion I still play Paradroid, Revs, Mega Apocalypse, Twin Tornado. Yesterday I played a game of Delta on my Commodore 128.

And no RPG ever came close to matching the fun I had with Ultima V.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: They was right
by Laurence on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: They was right"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I want one of those so badly.

They're on eBay.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Bandai-Apple-PiPPIN-ATMARK-/260876708...


Also, +informative to MOS6510. That console has taken me completely by surprise!

Edited 2011-11-02 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

You didn't know it??? You should read more Apple Failures lists, the Pippin is a permanent feature on those. ;-)

I must admit that I was very much in to gaming when the Pippin came 'n' disappeared and I only learned of it a few years ago.

It's interesting to note that a number of successful Apple products were failures many years ago. Newton vs iPad, Macintosh TV vs Apple TV, Cube vs Mac Mini. Even the first MacBook Air can be considered a failure and the current one a success.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: They was right
by Laurence on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: They was right"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You didn't know it??? You should read more Apple Failures lists, the Pippin is a permanent feature on those. ;-)

Why, when on the whole I don't really care that much about Apple products? :p


I must admit that I was very much in to gaming when the Pippin came 'n' disappeared and I only learned of it a few years ago.

I skipped a generation back then. Went from the Megadrive / Genesis to the Dreamcast.


It's interesting to note that a number of successful Apple products were failures many years ago. Newton vs iPad, Macintosh TV vs Apple TV, Cube vs Mac Mini. Even the first MacBook Air can be considered a failure and the current one a success.

Indeed. It also makes me laugh about how circular trends are in IT too (eg TSS -> Desktop -> Cloud computing).

To be honest, I loved the Cube even back then. It's just a pity MacOS 9 was lacking in so many ways (when compared to the rest of the market)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: They was right
by zima on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: They was right"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's interesting to note that a number of successful Apple products were failures many years ago. Newton vs iPad, Macintosh TV vs Apple TV, Cube vs Mac Mini. Even the first MacBook Air can be considered a failure and the current one a success.

MobileMe? You already forgot? ;)
We should probably somehow remember about the ongoing retirement of many ~"professional" product lines, too...
(doesn't that essentially present current "revolutionary" Apple product lines as not so revolutionary after all?... walking on the corpses of earlier attempts; not only by Apple)

And it's certainly not so straightforward with Cube - it seems like a second and worse attempt at what was apparently some fetish of Steve, judging from Nextcubes ;) (which I would count as much more successful product, even if much less visible on the consumer market). Also, it's a bit too much to call Apple "just a hobby" TV a success... it's doing OK.

Overall, since Next came up - sometimes I'm not sure if it's quite accurate to see those "two Apples" as one company - Apple of the 90s failed (it would possibly fold if not for, unmerited at the time, following it enjoyed; maybe even also if not for MS desiring to be able to point fingers at some "competition"). What happened afterwards seemed kinda like (mostly wilful, but still) corporate takeover, pretty much gutting many of Apple projects, starting big new & continuation of "alien" ones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: They was right
by Straho on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They was right"
Straho Member since:
2011-09-30

No problem.
I don't have much work, just sit and drink coffee in the office. That was new and interesting information.
May be I was a little too sarcastic in my first comment, but still I think MS couldn't offer something competitive and that was right decision.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 09:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I think they could make something that would sell, if it wasn't for the iPad hype.

They have such a dominant position with Windows and Office, they should be able to exploit that with a tablet that complements those two products.

Then again a lot of companies make tablets and either making a loss or not making much money. It may be too much trouble or too big a risk for too little profit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: They was right
by Laurence on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: They was right"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I think they could make something that would sell, if it wasn't for the iPad hype.

They have such a dominant position with Windows and Office, they should be able to exploit that with a tablet that complements those two products.

Then again a lot of companies make tablets and either making a loss or not making much money. It may be too much trouble or too big a risk for too little profit.

MS have never been bothered about running a project at a heavy loss as long as there was the potential to cut into someone else's profit margin.

Edited 2011-11-02 13:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

True, but a tablet of Microsoft would rather cut in sales of The Others and not a lot in Apple's, who'd still be taking home the treasure chest.

It's a shame, because Microsoft has the money, people and experience to make potential interesting stuff.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: They was right
by dsmogor on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: They was right"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

They first must prove they can turn Office into a tablet killer app. This is still undecided if they (or anyone) can.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: They was right
by zima on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: They was right"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

in Eastern Europe [...] real game console came around 1999.

What was "not real" about Dendy or Pegasus NES clones?! ;) (and, to a lesser degree, Sega Megadrive or Amiga CD32, at least at my place) Explain yourself!! ;)

Well, OK, "Europe" supposedly leaned more towards gaming on home computers, the likes of C64 or Amiga - it was certainly the case in Central (typically called "Eastern" anyway...) Europe, but there were still at least tons of Dendys around.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: They was right
by MOS6510 on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They was right"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

In The Netherlands in the late 70s/early 80s you could spot a few Atari 2600 consoles, but most consoles were Phillips Videopacs.

When the Commodore 64 arrived most people when for it, mainly because of the "free" software. After that people upgraded to Amiga's and a few to the Atari ST.

Home computers were THE game computers. We used to laugh at PCs that beeped and had these strange ugly looking CGA screens.

Reply Score: 2

RE: They was right
by zima on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 14:31 UTC in reply to "They was right"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Now everybody are forgotten Zune, but MS still remember [...] Actually I'm very surprise that Xbox is so nice. They should be grateful Apple don't have game console.

The Pippin was already mentioned, but there's also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Interactive_Television_Box - the two categories converge, it's very clear MS wishes for Xbox to be more than just a game console - which also places it, most notably, in similar category and out-competing the present Apple "just a hobby" TV.


Generally, human memory - also (particularly?) collective one - is quite poor, we quickly forget most stuff and settle on, largely, self-reinforcing myths (the first mechanism mentioned here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_memory#Features_of_collecti... is a charming example ;) )

How many remember that iPod was not Apple's first attempt at digital portable audio player? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerCD (NVM how it really caught on much later than often remembered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ipod_sales_per_quarter.svg - which was also near the time when most of the world simply shifted or outright jumped over to music-capable phones)
How many remember Apple digicams? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_QuickTake
Apple III? The Puck Mouse? Recent MobileMe issues at least? Or what a mess their platform was thrughout large part of the 90s? (them not folding probably mostly due to - undeserved at the time - fanbase)

Sometimes it ends up really funny... how many of the people who embraced x86 Mac transition remember almost slandering P3-era x86 chips? (together with the marketing campaign of PowerPC "supercomputer on a chip" G4, based on few hand-picked, optimised Photoshop tasks ...while, short few years later, jumping on quite direct descendants of P3 and boasting huge speed improvements at the announcement)


It's not nearly only Apple of course - look at, say, "all their formats fail" Sony (curiously, in a bit opposite direction), which created or co-created many of the widespread standards (this naturally makes them less exclusively associated with Sony, that's pretty much the definition of "standard" - only the failed ones retain those association; and since Sony does a lot, and large part (most?) of it doesn't even face consumers...)

Edited 2011-11-02 14:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

At risk of severe down-voting...
by Laurence on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 13:51 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I'm going to risk severe black-lash here and say that I never liked the look of Courier anyway.

As a concept device, it was great. But as a real world product, it just looked terrible:

* duel screen is just horrible in my opinion. I know they're trying to emulate an journal but I don't want my tablet to have a spine down the middle.

* the mixture of long presses, gestures and interactive widgets were a usability nightmare. So much functionality was hidden behind arbitrary user interactions that you'd have to memorise the OS inside-out to make it practical for everyday use. Current tablet OSs have a more uniformed UI specification, which may not always be prettier, but on the whole makes them more usable and with a lower learning curve.

* lack of thought for 3rd party applications can make this device very limiting. the whole OS seems like it was built around MS's vision with very little scope for customisation nor extendability. I know MS have been criticized for pushing Win7 and XP onto tablets and then expecting their OEMs and/or users to adapt the OS to the customers way of working, but the Courier was too far the other way.


So I can't say I'm any more disappointed by this article than I was when I first read about MS dropping the Courier.

Reply Score: 3

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The Nintendo DS(i) (Lite) (XL) has a dual screen, which I personally don't like that much. They do not form one bigger screen, but rather 2 separate screen you need to switch between both physically with your eyes as mentally with your brain.

Simple game controls are one thing, but if you'd use it for serious stuff I seriously doubt it would be a pleasant experience.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You forgot about multi-monitor configurations? Many of their owners would call it "serious stuff" (or even "very serious"). Physical and mental switching doesn't seem to be a show-stopper.

The "physical" is even barely the case on DS, with its minuscule size (the design was possibly also about clamshell form-factor, after GBA SP experiment - the handheld being smaller and more sturdy that way, but with more screen).
"Mental" - depends on the game (heck, it's also sort of the case with split-screen gaming on one display). One of the displays is often treated as a control area on which one barely needs to look; or an info-screen / map which would otherwise "steal" even more attention or screen real-estate, in traditional variants.

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

* the mixture of long presses, gestures and interactive widgets were a usability nightmare. So much functionality was hidden behind arbitrary user interactions that you'd have to memorise the OS inside-out to make it practical for everyday use.


And ... that's different from today's smartphone/tablet OSes how exactly? Android, iOS, WebOS, etc are chock full of interactive widgets, multi-finger gestures, long presses, hardware buttons, software buttons, non-uniform UIs, etc. And none of them come with manuals that explain what anything does. It's a usability nightmare. And none of the knowledge learned on one OS is transferable to another OS.

Current tablet OSs have a more uniformed UI specification, which may not always be prettier, but on the whole makes them more usable and with a lower learning curve.


Hah. That's the funniest thing I've read yet.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Hah. That's the funniest thing I've read yet.

And ... that's different from today's smartphone/tablet OSes how exactly? Android, iOS, WebOS, etc are chock full of interactive widgets, multi-finger gestures, long presses, hardware buttons, software buttons, non-uniform UIs, etc. And none of them come with manuals that explain what anything does. It's a usability nightmare.



I can't speak about iOS, but there is more consistency with Android (I'm sure it's true for iOS as well given Apples strict policies).

Granted there's some apps that break things, but generally a button looks like a button. things that scroll look like lists. List items are traditionally "clickable" - this behavior doesn't really change from app to app.

There's a standard set of objects which consists of menus, buttons, progress bars, message boxes, and so on. Notifications are all kept in one place. App launchers are all stored in one place. You even have 'hardware' buttons that roughly perform the same functions in every app (eg menu, home screen, back, search).

I'm not in any way saying smart phones have got things perfect and I do agree with you that a lot of functionality is hidden away behind unintuitive interactions. However, for the most part, it's all pretty straightforward.

However after watching all of the Courier promos, I still hadn't a clue how most of the functions were run. The thing tried too hard to function like an old fashion diary while being modern and interactive. On this occasion, MS managed to create something needlessly complicated by merging the worst of two worlds together.

And none of the knowledge learned on one OS is transferable to another OS

To a degree, that's true for any OS: on desktop, server or mobile platforms.

In fact, what drives people to one OS over another is generally the differences (ie I prefer the way xyz does something) rather than the similarities.

Plus companies would probably get their product banned in the "free markets" of half the developed world -due silly to patent laws- if they did try to implement transferable skills into their OSs ;)

Edited 2011-11-02 21:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

* the mixture of long presses, gestures and interactive widgets were a usability nightmare. So much functionality was hidden behind arbitrary user interactions that you'd have to memorise the OS inside-out to make it practical for everyday use. Current tablet OSs have a more uniformed UI specification, which may not always be prettier, but on the whole makes them more usable and with a lower learning curve.

* lack of thought for 3rd party applications can make this device very limiting. the whole OS seems like it was built around MS's vision with very little scope for customisation nor extendability. I know MS have been criticized for pushing Win7 and XP onto tablets and then expecting their OEMs and/or users to adapt the OS to the customers way of working, but the Courier was too far the other way.

& the nearby:
However after watching all of the Courier promos, I still hadn't a clue how most of the functions were run. The thing tried too hard to function like an old fashion diary while being modern and interactive. On this occasion, MS managed to create something needlessly complicated by merging the worst of two worlds together.


Metro (the "way forward" instead of Courier) might have not entirely unrelated problems - certainly I had a strong impression that the people presenting WP7 were quite lost in its UI, particularly during early demonstrations (yes, early - still, they were supposed to "sell" it, they should have decent familiarity already)

Perhaps it's not that great. It looks sleek, sure, but there seem to be many people who get stuck while trying to use it, to pick it up (it seems not only I have this impression - bloodline comments in this thread http://www.osnews.com/thread?494755 for example )

It's fairly consistent all right - but perhaps that consistency builds upon not so great interaction model.

In fact, what drives people to one OS over another is generally the differences (ie I prefer the way xyz does something) rather than the similarities.

Perhaps it's too different and/or not very suited to humans after all.

Consider (unavoidable analogy ;p ) how the steering wheel wasn't a standard UI of cars for a few decades - but once we "discovered" it, nothing can quite replace it (and there were experiments, for example a "swinging joystick" of sorts above the central tunnel*) - probably only a massive paradigm shift, like autonomous cars (*this could fit them well), can change that.

Perhaps ~WIMPy UIs (hey, few here think that iOS or Android UIs aren't a very big departure from them...) is what works for humans - at least, before / precluding some massive paradigm shifts (say, neural implants for example ;p )


PS. And generally, we're talking here about a company which, for almost a decade, tried pushing "very desktop" UI onto mobile phones - with poor results, not surprisingly.
So, what do they decide to do next? (with Windows 8) Well, pushing phone UI onto desktops, of course! ;)

Edited 2011-11-06 19:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

OEM's and hardware
by fran on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 17:32 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Microsoft makes great hardware but those are almost exclusively peripheral devices such as keyboards and such.
I wonder if the real reason why the Courier project itself was shelved is MS's very real reluctance to compete with it's OEM hardware partners.
They probably could have licensed it, but maybe the cost of a book like tablet with two LCD screens, ect. was a hard sell.
So the the real reason i think is not software related (issues which is MS bread and butter), it's all down to the hardware and OEM issues.

Edited 2011-11-02 17:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: OEM's and hardware
by zima on Sun 6th Nov 2011 15:10 UTC in reply to "OEM's and hardware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft makes great hardware but those are almost exclusively peripheral devices such as keyboards and such.

Well, if one overlooks such little detail as Xbox consoles and peripherals... (and no, "keyboards and such" are also contracted out by MS to Asian manufacturers)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OEM's and hardware
by fran on Sun 6th Nov 2011 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: OEM's and hardware"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

true

Reply Score: 2

Two years away
by malxau on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 21:42 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

...But Sinofsky's tablet-friendly version of Windows was more than two years away...


How far away was Courier? Concept art and prototypes are cheap, products talk.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Two years away
by bowkota on Wed 2nd Nov 2011 22:32 UTC in reply to "Two years away"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

"...But Sinofsky's tablet-friendly version of Windows was more than two years away...


How far away was Courier? Concept art and prototypes are cheap, products talk.
"

It was very far...

They never really had a running prototype.
They had running prototypes and all the features spread amongst them but there wasn't one that combined everything together.

Reply Score: 1

twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

This particular idea isn't very good but they killed much better and brighter ideas. I think they killed more then half of ideas their teams and Microsoft Research came up with. Killed because they are conservative and afraid of changes.

If some company from Cupertino had so many researchers and teams coming up with so many ideas, I bet we would have seen a lot of new devices and software floating around.

Microsoft is afraid from anything that has the slightest chance to be "revolutionary". They prefer to sell their "good old" Windows and their "good old" Office. And that's about it.

Even Windows and Office releases just added some performance improvements, some eye candy and a little bit of functionality. Not big changes. Windows 8 is a different story because they are forced to make changes by the tablet competition.

I bet some guys at MS would be happy if hardware wouldn't evolve at all so they could sell MSDOS 6.66 and Windows 3.11 for ever and ever. ;)

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

they killed much better and brighter ideas. I think they killed more then half of ideas their teams and Microsoft Research came up with. Killed because they are conservative and afraid of changes.
If some company from Cupertino had so many researchers and teams coming up with so many ideas, I bet we would have seen a lot of new devices and software floating around.

I guess the same company from Cupertino which, for some time now, gradually axes products which make them ~"less focused" or some such; also axes powerful software of niche appeal. And which has its share of blunders, also of the kind bringing it to the brink of collapse (mentioned elsewhere in this thread)

"Killing more than half of ideas" seemed to be the trick for them recently, according to their messiah... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY&feature=player_detailpag...
lousy engineering management [...] 18 different directions [...] it doesn't add up, the total is less than the sum of the parts [...] focusing is about saying "no"

Or maybe even https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY&feature=player_detailpag...
Apple had its head in the sand for the last many years [...] missed out [...] attitude of arrogance [...] the rest of the world passed us by [...] we need to bring the Mac up into the modern world [...] because we weren't first, because we didn't set the standards [...] this whole notion of being so proprietary in every facet what we do has really hurt us [...] reinvent the wheel our own way; and yeah it might be 10% better but usually it ended up being about 50% worse

(emphasis mine)


Microsoft is afraid from anything that has the slightest chance to be "revolutionary". They prefer to sell their "good old" Windows and their "good old" Office. And that's about it.

Why do everybody miss Xbox? Its integrated experience proved fairly revolutionary, I'd say (even if one can see the killing of classic-style console HW - & also game genres, in favour of PC ports/hybrids - as unfortunate...); finally a properly realised set-top-box, even.

And even if Xbox is finally profitable overall, it still happened fairly recently. Not many companies would stick to such massive & expensive project for so long.

Or how Kinect brings something quite new, possibly spawning much more than merely "Wii competition". Then there's Metro.

Even Windows and Office releases just added some performance improvements, some eye candy and a little bit of functionality. Not big changes. Windows 8 is a different story because they are forced to make changes by the tablet competition.

MS tried to be "very revolutionary" & aimed for lofty goals with original Longhorn. They learned their lessons.
There's a reason why big breakthroughs are rare and far between (it's probably a bad methodology with most ~software products, anyway)

Plus, it's not only about what companies can make, also what the market will accept - and it very much seems to go towards preferring "OS of a decade" model (Win7 might very well turn out to be the new XP ...MS probably realizes this, maybe that even makes them too bold with "intermediate" release)

I bet some guys at MS would be happy if hardware wouldn't evolve at all so they could sell MSDOS 6.66 and Windows 3.11 for ever and ever. ;)

I bet such guys are at pretty much any company (heck, I had to suffer with Mac Classics - running MacOS ~7.5, ugh - in the year 2000 in highschool, which were essentially dumped on the place few years earlier, possibly in dubious circumstances http://www.osnews.com/permalink?489120 )

But then, in the same era of DOS & Win 3.x, MS was bringing NT to the world. Using their own internal workstation on i860 CPU.

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