Tag Archives: microsoft

SHOCK: Microsoft makes a good XBox video

I like my XBox 360. It entertains me, and when I want to play a game it basically just works (ignoring that RROD incident a while back…). But Microsoft has, in my opinion, had trouble in the past coming up with good advertising that appeals to the mass market. This little Youtube video from Microsoft that plays off the avatars in the “New Xbox Experience” user interface changes the tone, and it seems to me that it has appeal that extends beyond the hard core gamer:

Here’s hoping that Microsoft can win over a few of the less hardcore who may be getting tired with their Wiis…

It’s a big ass table…

Microsoft has been working on something they call “Surface” technology. Basically, it is a touch sensitive user interface, and it is usually demonstrated using a large, flat horizontal LCD panel… a table. I’ve had my doubts about the usefulness of this technology outside of a niche environment- but I’m ready to be proven wrong. That said, I find the following video pretty effectively expresses my doubts…

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Bill Gates last CES Keynote address

I first encountered Microsoft in terms of buying their products in about 1981. I bought a game for my Apple II- Adventure (aka “Colossal Cave”, the original Crowther and Woods text based adventure) from them. I followed Bill Gates’ career from about that time, and always felt like, in a weird way, he and I were twins separated at birth… even though he’s older than me and I’m far, far sexier.

In about 1990, I had a beer (several, actually- I think it was a post-training course social thing) with a fellow in Seattle who told me I looked just like Bill. He then proceeded to tell me how his family used to have a summer cottage near the Gates’ clan when Bill was a kid. He described summers sharing BBQs and swimming with the Gates’ family, and turning down a job offer from Bill in the early 1980’s. My momentary pride at being described as “like Bill Gates” was quashed when the guy described the young Bill Gates as a pain in the neck smartass geek, and how he once nearly drowned Bill while swimming because he was so irritating.

In later life, I realized that the “pain in the neck smartass” was a lot more like me than I was probably willing to admit.

Continue reading Bill Gates last CES Keynote address

Bill Gates stepping down from day to day role in MS

It’s really not news that Bill Gates is stepping down from his role at Microsoft. I recall him saying pretty clearly five or six years ago that he planned on removing himself from his position within the company before he was 55, and spending an increasing amount of time in his philanthropist role within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Microsoft’s new error reporting feature- WE-SYP

Microsoft is giving clearer and clearer signs that they really “get” the frustration and pain their complex and sometimes buggy software causes.  Their error reporting features within Windows XP have allowed Microsoft to reduce system problems significantly.  But what’s next?

Continue reading Microsoft’s new error reporting feature- WE-SYP

Replace my computer with an iPod? I don’t think so…

Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal penned an article the other day about how the Personal Computer era may be ending, to be replaced by … I’m not really sure, I guess he’s saying purpose built devices for particular purposes. Actually, the way I read his article, I think he’s saying that the “component build” model appears to be a poor one to use for things like iPods, but the technology media seems to have picked up on this being someone yet again predicting the end of the personal computer.

I’m pretty sure that Mr. Mossberg didn’t actually intend to predict the end of the personal computer. That’s been done so many times before its almost laughable. Network Computers were hyped and died in the mid ’90s. We’ve had several generations of game consoles that were supposed to kill the personal computer. And now ubiquitous devices like iPods and web browser/camera/music player/pda/cell phones are going will be the death nell that removes that machine from under your desk.

Bill Gates has responded to this kind of thing before, and apparently he’s written a letter to the WSJ for this one (although I’m not a WSJ subscriber, so I can’t read it). To be honest, Bill, you are wasting your time.

Continue reading Replace my computer with an iPod? I don’t think so…