Microsoft Windows event

3 minutes estimated reading time

I’ve been in-and-out of meetings that prevented me from reflecting fully on the Microsoft Windows 10 event of October 7, 2015. Microsoft put a lot of content out there which is worthwhile picking through. I have put these items in the order that they occur to me rather than an order of importance.
Windows 10 : Everything You Need To Know About

Microsoft Windows 10 is designed to run on a wide range of devices, a by-product of this is that the PC on your desk maybe a phone connected to a screen and keyboard. Now this may not work for all applications, but it could be enough for browser-based needs. It also means that bring-your-own-device could move beyond having your email on your phone.

The Surface Pro 4

Whilst Microsoft has undergone a regime change since the launch of the original Surface, somethings haven’t changed. I think that the Surface Pro 4 represents a continued effort to decapitate the Microsoft PC eco-system. The targets in the frame are devices like:

  • Lenovo La Vie Z
  • Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
  • H-P Spectre 13x 360
  • Dell XPS 13

All of these devices broadly fit into the 13 ultra notebook format that Apple plays in, but I think that the goal is to maximise Microsoft’s revenue share of the Windows eco-system. The hardware design hasn’t done the wider Microsoft brand any harm at all.

New Lumia devices

The 950 and 950XL put Microsoft in the game, at least from a hardware perspective with the Android eco-system, comparing favourably on hardware specifications with the likes of Huawei, LG and Samsung. What I found more interesting is the allusion in Microsoft’s own commentary of the event that the phones would face a gradual rollout in markets and Microsoft wouldn’t be rolling it out to all markets in Europe.  Don’t necessarily expect to see these handsets being rolled out in multi-national companies without an extensive availability and support network.

Whilst mobile network providers would like a third eco-system to reduce the power of Android and iPhone, there doesn’t seem to have been universal carrier acceptance of the devices. This maybe partly due to the tighter integration of Skype in the Windows 10 OS?

Xbox on Windows 10

Xbox need to bring more customers on board and having backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games provides a more cost effective gaming experience thanks to eBay and other used console game exchanges. It also does beg the question about possible non-gaming or even enterprise use that could be made of the new Xbox (beyond running Linux on them).

Rolling out an OS so universal as Windows 10 is an interesting move. It presents some risks:

  • Compromised user experience due to different user contexts (gaming, business desktop computing, consumer PC usage, tablet experiences). A touch orientated interface on a laptop is sub-optimal for content creators who can touch type for example
  • Bloat due to the ‘Swiss Army knife’ requirements catering at a core level for different form factors and displays

More information
The Secret of iOS 7 | I, Cringely
Final 2014 prediction: the end of the PC as we knew it | I, Cringely
Thoughts on Microsoft Surface | renaissance chambara
Skype in Windows 10 Preview: Built into Windows 10 so you can do more with friends across devices | Big Blog (Skype owned blog)
Windows 10 Devices: a new chapter | Microsoft News