Meet Steve Ballmer’s Windows Phone

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 02:02 Written by admin Tuesday, 30 October 2012 02:02

You wouldn’t expect Microsoft’s CEO to be using an iPhone, would you? Watch the video embedded below, and you’ll get an introduction to Steve Ballmer’s very own Windows Phone device. Apparently, Bill Gates is “number 1 on the speed dial,” just in case good old Steve needed some advice.
The question now is, if you weren’t ready to embrace Windows Phone, is Steve Ballmer’s WP ad enough of a catalyst to make the jump? When was the last time when you asked yourself, what would Ballmer do?

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Microsoft’s Windows 8 Surface Tablet, the iPad Killer

Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 09:54 Written by Mire_B Monday, 18 June 2012 09:51

Last time that Microsoft truly worked hard to kill something of Apple it didn’t really go all that well. I’m of course referring to the Zune vs. iPod “killing spree” which failed to come to fruition. But try, try again seems to be a popular enough tactic, and with Windows 8’s impending launch on the horizon, the Redmond company is doing exactly that, taking a new shot at Apple, this time, going for its tablet supremacy.


Surface, a new family of PCs for Windows, as they’re referred to, are designed to be the first machines qualifying as real competitors for the Apple iPad. Two versions will be unleashed on the slate craving Windows lovers, one packing an ARM processor and running Windows RT and the other powered by a third-generation Intel CPU in tandem with Windows 8 Pro.


Surface for Windows RT will launch with the general availability of the operating system, while Surface for Windows 8 Pro is scheduled to follow 90 days later, at least in the US. Microsoft hasn’t yet announced palns for the rest of the world, or any pricing information.


Surface for Windows RT

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Light(1): 676 g
  • Thin(2): 9.3 mm
  • Clear: 10.6” ClearType HD Display
  • Energized: 31.5 W-h
  • Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Light(1): 903 g
  • Thin(2): 13.5 mm
  • Clear: 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
  • Energized: 42 W-h
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB

Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD.  It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.

  • VaporMg:  The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch.  Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
  • Integrated Kickstand:  The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras.  The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover.  You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.


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3 Reasons Why Windows Phone Has Not Taken Off

Last Updated on Tuesday, 3 January 2012 11:39 Written by Mire_B Tuesday, 3 January 2012 11:34

Former Microsoft Windows Phone General Manager Charlie Kindel said sometime last year that carriers and device makers are responsible for Windows Phone’s moderate, to use an euphemism, success.


You see, Microsoft is the good guy in the WP story. The company is battling device makers and imposing strict hardware requirements for Windows Phone. And at the same time it’s holding carriers on a tight leash and not letting them run wild with the platform.


The result? Both OEMs and carriers have little love for Microsoft.


“Apple has been successful (at least in terms of generating revenue) in this space by cutting the device manufacturer out. They have then used that fact to force the carriers into being even more of a fat dumb pipe. A topic for another day, but my belief is over time this strategy will start to deteriorate for Apple.


Google has been wildly successful with Android (at least in terms of units) because Android was built to reduce friction between all sides of the market. It ‘bows down’ to the device manufactures AND the carriers. It enabled device manufactures to do what they do best (build lots of devices). It enabled carriers to do what they do best (market lots of devices). It enabled users tons of choice. My hypothesis is that it also enables too much fragmentation that will eventually drive end users nuts.


With Windows Phone Microsoft has taken a different approach. WP raises its middle finger at both the device manufacturers and mobile carriers. WP says “here’s the hardware spec you shalt use” (to the device manufacturers). And it says “Here’s how it will be updated” (to the carriers).


Thus both of those sides of the market are reluctant. Especially the carriers, but also the device manufacturers. Remember that end users are highly influenced by advertising and RSPs. Carriers own the marketing money and spend billions a year. The money is provided by the other sides of the market: OS providers & device manufactures, but the carriers get to spend it; they are the aggregation point where the money actually gets spent. The carriers choose what devices get featured on those TV ads. They also choose what devices to train their RSP (retail sales professionals) to push. They choose to incent the RSPs to push one device over another.


This is why, despite being a superior PRODUCT to Android, Windows Phone has not sold as well. Spending marketing dollars on advertising Android devices is and easy decision for the carriers. Pushing RSPs to push Android is easy.


Spending marketing dollars advertising WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers. Getting RSPs to push WP7 requires Microsoft to push hard on the carriers to incent their RSPs correctly.”


Here are a few of my own reasons why Windows Phone is failing to really gain traction with consumers worldwide:


No iPhone killer


The one thing that Microsoft and its OEM partners should have created is the ultimate device, the iPhone killer. I don’t think that there was a single customer not expecting the anti-iPhone from Nokia. Instead they got the two Lumia handsets, brilliant only in their mediocrity.


But it must be very hard getting OEMs to build you an iPhone killer when you’re busy alienating them with countless patent violation lawsuits and intellectual property infringement blackmail.


Now, just to be clear, every big tech company is using the same arsenal as Microsoft, Apple included. But some, such as Apple can afford to sue left and right. Others, less so.


No love from geeks


Hardcore geeks hate Microsoft. This is as axiomatic as it is gratuitous. Microsoft hate is so strong that some geeks are ready, willing and perfectly able to content to using an inferior product just because it’s not a product of the Redmond software giant.


And you know who consumers listen to before they even get in the store for salespersons to push whatever device they prefer to down their throats? Well, they ask their geeky friends what’s their best option.


I guarantee that today, the vast majority of geeks would recommend that their less tech savvy friends buy anything else but Windows Phone.


Windows is no longer cool. Windows Mobile never was. Windows Phone is in a coolness limbo.


iPhone is cool. Google is cool, and almost everything it touches turns cool as well.


Windows is not cool. And Microsoft is as cool as a bluescreen, or a blackscreen, or endless crash loops, or Windows Vista (ouch! But true!). Windows Phone is in a coolness limbo.


People don’t buy iPhones because they’re cool, they camp out for days in front of Apple stores to get devices that are arguably minor updates to the ones they already have.


And if Google makes using the Internet as cool as, then how cool would a mobile OS from this company be? A whole lot of consumers are crowding to find out.


Windows Phone has no coolness factor to give it an extra edge. None to speak of. And for so many, Windows is still synonymous with crashes and bluescreens, with viruses, with Internet Explorer, with Vista. Bleah… Who would really want that on their device? It doesn’t matter that it’s not true. Perception beats reality once again, imagine the surprise.


Please don’t make me explain this coolness thing. If you disagree leave a comment. If you dare say that Microsoft is cool, leave a comment.


You know what being cool is all about? It’s about going into a store with a single thought in your mind, and whatever the carrier ads said, whatever the salespersons are telling you, buying a Windows Phone or opting to use a land line, because that’s the only conceivable alternative for you.


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