Microsoft, ups and downs in tech.

As a tech consumer, and not a rich one; I like to have the latest news & trends so I can save up for the best device to make my life and ego feel better. At work I use windows machines and I am a mac at home. I am no fan boy of any company, I just want it to work as it should. I like Apple because they make a great product, it’s not just the hardware, it is the software they produce is extremely user friendly. So I wonder these days with Apple selling the new iPhone, iPad, new versions of the Macbook & iMac. What the hell is Microsoft doing these days? I know they have popped out windows 7, which will I hope be the best OS they have ever produced; I want there to be competition. Which is what I think happened to the mighty Microsoft in the first place!

Got my first Windows machine in late 1998, it was running windows 98 and it was a wonder to behold. I grew up before the advent of computers is schools and the kind of work I did was always hands on. So I had not really had a chance to play with a computer until then. It was a Gateway with pentium 2 processor and a 20GB hard drive.  Of course I upgraded to 256mb of RAM; I was a power user at the time you see! The internet was allot more humble then, not too much graphics to drain the system.

Apple was not very influential at this time, and for Microsoft the world was it’s oyster. The software was buggy and I learned lot’s about the computer having to keep my humble machine working. I learned to write software programs and did some beta testing for Microsoft. I was always stunned that other then the OS there was no native Calendar and the software programs didn’t interact with each other. I always thought Outlook Express was a great e-mail/news reader. And Outlook was so buggy that I was never happy with it.

Next OS I used was an upgrade to windows Millennium, and what a waste of time that was. It was really just a bug fix to win98, and wasn’t worth money. When windows finally released XP the world was ready for something new, and for me I can say XP was a great OS, I still have it on my own windows machine, and until win7 there was no reason to change! Microsoft was forgiven for Millennium and the biggest tech company on the planet.

So what the hell happened to Microsoft?

It seems that after the release of XP Microsoft has been lost, showing to innovation or direction; just some interesting but isolated projects. More promise of the future than anything substantial. Project Natal (now Kinect), is a great platform for future applications and video games. But just as it’s being released Sony have their own system  “Playstation Move” released so Microsoft have not gained an advantage by the release. Microsoft Surface is another wonderful future OS for graphical, photo, and Video. But it has taken so long to bring it to the public, that I fear it has missed the boat to Apples iPad OS. Of course with the release of the iPad all the windows fans have been wondering when they will release a windows pad. But it doesn’t seem to be on the cards for this year, and even windows 7 may be too bloated as an OS for a Pad device. Microsoft should consider the windows mobile platform to develop, following Apples example.

For many years Microsoft has made it’s money selling it’s Office software to business, but we are moving to cloud based systems and Google has been slowly chipping away in the cloud based office tech. The Advantage being interoperability and freedom of access by any connected device. Security being the only major problem depending on the sensitivity of the data. Because Microsoft is actually one company made up of dozens of independent departments, the collaboration is limited and innovation has been stifled. I hope it can get it’s act together as I like competition that real innovation can bring to the tech industry, and the subsequent business opportunities. My first computer was windows, and it would be a shame to see the company that helped the internet become the wonder that it is with cheaper computers for the masses. I am curious to see what Microsoft comes up with to counter the impact the iPhone and iPad have had in the way we use our tech. The days of the desktop computer is numbered, mobile tech is the future; is Microsoft a follower or a leader?

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