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Microsoft's device chief sees a future without three versions of Windows

ChemCat

New Member
Or they can drop the ball and abandon rt. I know it sounds cynical, but for corporations the bottom line is the name of the game. This is why we shouldn't be a fanboy of anything. MS should know that if they drop rt on this one I swear I will switch to linux.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
They do need to ramp up inventory.

Or they can drop the ball and abandon rt. I know it sounds cynical, but for corporations the bottom line is the name of the game. This is why we shouldn't be a fanboy of anything. MS should know that if they drop rt on this one I swear I will switch to linux.

This is different from the Zune situation because the Surface is a showcase device for Windows 8-gen, including RT, and eventually all of Windows is supposed to become unified. Microsoft has far more invested in the Surface in terms of future planning in relation to the OS, as opposed to Zune, which was really just an expansion into a different industry.
 
They do need to ramp up inventory.

This is different from the Zune situation because the Surface is a showcase device for Windows 8-gen, including RT, and eventually all of Windows is supposed to become unified. Microsoft has far more invested in the Surface in terms of future planning in relation to the OS, as opposed to Zune, which was really just an expansion into a different industry.
There was far more to what Microsoft was doing with the Zune than just expanding into a different industry. A few of the many purposes that the Zune served was as a testbed for creating a secure device, secured music/video store, and UI design (the prototype for Xbox 360, WP7, WP8, and Windows 8).
There are elements of the Zune (firmware, software, hardware, etc.) that have been embedded in the Surface.

I wish that I could show you that quite a few of the design elements and thoughts behind the Surface goes all the way back to the Zune HD.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
There was far more to what Microsoft was doing with the Zune than just expanding into a different industry. A few of the many purposes that the Zune served was as a testbed for creating a secure device, secured music/video store, and UI design (the prototype for Xbox 360, WP7, WP8, and Windows 8).
There are elements of the Zune (firmware, software, hardware, etc.) that have been embedded in the Surface.

I wish that I could show you that quite a few of the design elements and thoughts behind the Surface goes all the way back to the Zune HD.

I didn't pay attention to Zune development or marketing at the time, so I'll take your word for it. Awful shame it never took off--it seems everyone I've met who owned a Zune had only good things to say about it.
 

ChemCat

New Member
I didn't pay attention to Zune development or marketing at the time, so I'll take your word for it. Awful shame it never took off--it seems everyone I've met who owned a Zune had only good things to say about it.

Everyone I've talked to who had the Zune had nothing but good things to say about it too.

I think the problem is marketing and self image. Apple had successfully created a cool image of themselves in the eye of the public while MS slacked off on the PR image for years.
 

SEANT

Member
I wonder if the Zune and Kin debacles were a matter of timing. Microsoft saw that they were late to the game, and surmised that the smart phone (and living room console) was the correct path. Based on some of the charts I’ve seen, even iPod numbers have fallen since mid-2008.

It may be inevitable that corporations with diverse product lineups have to abandon specific branches. Clearly, though, the cost of abandonment extends beyond the capital investment. The integrity of the corporation suffers a loss.

If we consider the devices mentioned above, and the abandoned toolsets on the development end (SilverLight, XNA, etc.), Microsoft’s integrity needs intensive care. A monumental commitment has to be applied to this particular branch. A course correction may be tolerable, abandonment could be critical.
 
I wonder if the Zune and Kin debacles were a matter of timing. Microsoft saw that they were late to the game, and surmised that the smart phone (and living room console) was the correct path. Based on some of the charts I’ve seen, even iPod numbers have fallen since mid-2008.

It may be inevitable that corporations with diverse product lineups have to abandon specific branches. Clearly, though, the cost of abandonment extends beyond the capital investment. The integrity of the corporation suffers a loss.

If we consider the devices mentioned above, and the abandoned toolsets on the development end (SilverLight, XNA, etc.), Microsoft’s integrity needs intensive care. A monumental commitment has to be applied to this particular branch. A course correction may be tolerable, abandonment could be critical.
Excellent insights, particular regarding the impact of abandoning development toolsets.

Regarding the Kin, it was simply a matter of "project inertia". The Kin was in the development pipeline for such a long time that by the time they decided to kill it, it was too late to pull the plug. For financial, contractual, and legal reasons, they needed to move forward to produce and release it. Even if it meant pulling the plug 30 days later.

My reason for mentioning the Zune (in the context of the Surface), is simply to point out that Microsoft knows how reap a tactical advantage from a misstep. That is something that they do well. (which is a good thing because of all of their missteps) So, I'm not a doom-n-gloomer because they botched the RT launch. Microsoft is really on the verge of turning things around for the long haul. They've been in that position before with other products. But for a variety of reasons, (blind fan following, hubris, etc.) they don't heed the warning of, "don't be stupid"... and ended up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That's the historical arc of the Zune. Microsoft is following the same path with the Surface, but now they need to change course in order to not suffer the same fate as the Zune. And there's a possibility that they might actually change course into a better direction.

Apple really hasn't been tested yet on that. It will be interesting to see what happens when Apple produces something so off that even the press in their pocket can't spin it positive.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I need to point out that the Zune was develop by Jim Allard's team and he was a proponent of slaying the Windows/Office Duopoly inside Microsoft and had very little support with the other Execs. Also Courier was his baby as well. Good news, many of his team are now part of the Surface Team.
 

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