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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Surface’

Is Microsoft ‘Cool’ Now, or Was This Just a Big Stunt?

A couple of weeks ago we poked fun at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for his brilliant plan to make the tech dinosaur “cool”  despite the fact that price has been its main selling point for some time. Yet today marked the official release of the Surface tablet and the Windows 8 platform and, based on the public reaction, we feel like Ballmer may have succeeded in spite of himself.

OK, we love our Xbox, but when was the last time anyone got excited about a new Microsoft product?

Apparently that would be yesterday. Microsoft aimed to make a spectacle out of its new product rollout, and the crowds at its Times Square preview event were surprisingly dense.

The craziest thing about the scene was the fact that none of the people who waited in line for a Surface last night actually got one. They paid for the tablet, and then they were told that they could either return at midnight to pick it up or “have it delivered to their homes or hotel rooms by noon tomorrow.”

Wow. That’s iPhone-level insanity.

Has Microsoft really become a contender for techie supremacy again?

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Ballmer’s Brilliant Plan: Make Microsoft ‘Cool’

When you try to think of the most groundbreaking “devices and services” company in the world today, the first name that comes to mind is…Microsoft, right?

No? Well, CEO Steve Ballmer wants to change all that, and he’s got a brilliant, semi-secret plan to do it—by making the company “cool” again. See those air quotes? Oh yeah, we’re totally (not) feeling it.

Ballmer’s recent letter to shareholders promises to deliver more products like the Xbox (which is actually pretty cool) and the Surface (which is an iPad with a kickstand) as well as the brand new MS Office and Windows 8, opening on PC screens near you later this month. Ballmer also plans to focus more on omnipresent cloud services, which will be key to any electronics company looking to compete in the market of the future—or the present, come to think of it.

By referring to “a new era”, Ballmer all but concedes that his company has fallen behind a certain fruit-themed competitor—a theory reinforced by Kurt Eichenwald’s Vanity Fair article about Microsoft’s “lost decade” which notes that the iPhone currently “brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft”. The article focuses on bureaucracy inhibiting innovation—and, you know, we haven’t heard about too many ground-breaking products emerging from Microsoft in recent years. Have you?

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