Microsoft: “We’re Back” with Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface
We’ve done a lot of polling lately, and one of the things we asked you was “What do you think of Windows 8?” The split was pretty even for whether people liked it now, but 29% of you said that you believed Windows 8 is a step in the right direction. That’s just one step though; Microsoft has worked hard recently to reimagine their company.
Apple made more revenue from iPhones than Microsoft did in total this year, and they’ve set out to change that. This month they released Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the Surface to further their strategy of unifying their product line.
Windows 8, as I wrote last week, seems to be a leap in the right direction. It’s modernized with a more consumer friendly look. It’s built for tablets and touch which is the future of computing. The Windows 8 app store is a promising step in distributing Windows apps and curbing bugs which have plagued Windows for years.
As I also said, it will take a while for manufacturers to switch to touch hardware in full, and Windows 8 is not built for non-touch hardware. This is where the surface comes in. Microsoft raises their revenue which helps their weak bottom line, and they get a chance to exemplify what they see as the future of computing. They are setting the standard of Windows PCs by releasing their own. Hopefully I’ll be able to really put this to the test if Microsoft lends me a Surface to review.
Microsoft isn’t even done there. Their new Windows Phone 8 OS resembles their main operating system which gives them brand identification. The phones are optimized for Windows (although they do have an app in the Mac app store) which gives people more of a reason to use PCs. The actual OS is very well designed. In my limited testing of it, it looks fantastic, works very speedily, and impressed me continually.
My only issue with the OS is that for some psychological reason, the boxiness feels a little claustrophobic for my taste. It’s just this feeling I get when I look at the home screen which really throws me off. It doesn’t happen on larger Windows displays, but I get it on the smartphones.
It isn’t all good news for Microsoft. Their controversial CEO, Steve Ballmer is a little delusional and arrogant which is not a group of positive traits for a CEO of a sinking company. Ballmer said in a CNBC interview, “You can go through the products from all those guys … and none of them has a product that you can really use. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point”. Is he kidding? Apple has sold 100 million iPads to rave reviews. Google and Amazon have sold several million tablets as well. Apple has sold several hundred million iPhones and Google’s Operating system Android has well over 500 million activated devices. What is Steve Ballmer talking about. What world is he in?
Still, Microsoft seems to be on the right track, and I’ll know more when I test the surface and do more testing on Windows Phone 8. With the changes they’ve made, Microsoft has shown they’re serious about reform, and despite the blunders of their CEO, I believe Microsoft definitely has a good shot at gaining more loyal (and profitable) customers for the long run. What do you think? Leave a comment or answer the poll.