Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Apr 2014 22:17 UTC

It looks like the Internet of Things could be the next big computing battleground, and Microsoft seems willing to sacrifice a few battles in order to win that war. Facebook is chasing virtual reality; Google wants home automation, smartwatches, and internet-connected glasses. More than 200 billion devices are likely to be connected to the internet by 2020, a huge example of the way the technology industry will shift and new battles will emerge. Satya Nadella believes the future isn't Windows desktops, Windows tablets, and Windows Phones. It's not Windows everywhere, it's Microsoft everywhere, offering software and services for every device - including an entire world of interconnected devices that have yet to be built.

The speed with which is doing this u-turn makes it quite clear that people within the company wanted to do this for a long, long time (otherwise it could not have been done this quickly), which implies that Ballmer may have simply held these changes back.

The elephant in the room here is that while people talk about Microsoft as if the company is down and out, it's still hugely profitable and has consistently been posting great financial results. It's just that Microsoft's money isn't coming from sexy products like smartphones and tablets, but from enterprise and backend stuff - stuff the technology press either can't write about, doesn't understand, or both. It's very similar to all those articles claiming Apple no longer innovates and disrupts, even though the company sent shockwaves through the microprocessor world.

In any case, it seems like Microsoft finally found the right direction in this new world.

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Not really. There is no point in exclusivity, it's a stupid thing. If developers can target cross platform - it's better for everyone. Let the best platform win users on merit, not on using lock-in and exclusivity tactics. That's the whole shift which is happening right now. Windows is falling behind from being THE gaming desktop OS. And it's a lost battle for MS to keep it as such. And it it will benefit desktop Linux overall and will be another milestone in reducing global Windows domination.

Regarding consoles - time will tell. It's too early to say how this will develop, but Steam Machines is a serious contender which has benefits that others like Xbox and PS can't offer (openness of the platform, free development tools, no artificial limits on performance with upgrades only once in N years and etc.). So even if it won't destroy them, it can take a huge chunk of the market from them, and fast.

Edited 2014-04-08 15:39 UTC

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