State of the Platform
Last week Microsoft announced their renewed enthusiasm in the consumer space with Windows 10. In the 2 hour keynote Windows director Joe Belfiore, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer spoke to the public about the exciting new things Windows 10 aims to bring, and at first glance it’s fairly impressive.
For the past few months Microsoft has struggled with its message. While not usually known for good PR, the frustration of Windows Phone fans at the closing of 2014 was evidence of Microsoft’s failure to communicate with their most loyal customers. With no flagship phone for the holiday season, and constant improvement of apps on other platforms, it’s no wonder even prominent windows phone fans have ditched the platform.
I was also one who sat poised between leaving for iOS/Android and sticking with WP until Microsoft showed what they had to offer in Windows 10. After using Windows Phone since 2011 I had finally reached my limit of waiting for the “next best version of Windows”. I’m excited to say now that Windows 10 has rekindled my love for the platform and has taken a big step in quieting the naysayers.
Cortana on Windows 10 is the most prominent feature in my opinion of Microsoft’s new OS and it is indicative of their new strategy of cross platform prioritization and cloud based services. The news that Windows 10 would be free for a year for users of Windows 7 and up came as little surprise, but was much welcomed. Additionally, the Hololens tech, and the improved game focus with the Xbox app for Windows 10 come as very exciting developments. But what stands out to me more than any one feature they announced was the tone of the presentation. As Satya Nadella said “We want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows. That is our bold goal”. It’s clear that Microsoft is reinventing itself to appeal more to the average consumer. This seems to mark an interesting shift from the Microsoft of old—a business focused, Office software slinging, enterprise giant—to a new sleek, innovative, “mobile first cloud first” Microsoft of the future. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to the next few years I’ll spend with Microsoft’s new platform. 4 years down, and hopefully many more in store.
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