Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT
Microsoft, it's time to start talking about "Surface v2"
AlthoughMicrosoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has only recently gone public with information that Surface had been a busted flush, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has known the grisly details for far longer. The information must have
come to light quickly from all manner of telemetry and intelligence vectors that what they'd put out there was not looking like it was headed for success. And yet Microsoft has said nothing about what's happening with "Surface v2". That's odd, right? I think if I'd shipped a "company-saving" product that turned out to be very poor, I think I'd be up there talking up the next version.
Microsoft’s new ‘By The Numbers’ site boasts big stats but skips the Surface
If you ever wanted to know how many active Outlook.com members there are (400 million), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has made it easy to find out. Want to know the number of Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide (76 million)? You can find that, too. If you’re in a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) versus Apple debate, and you’re trying to make your point that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is indeed the better of the two, the company’s “Microsoft by the Numbers” site, which launched yesterday, is here to help.
The company calls the site “a collection of visual statistics about Microsoft products and services.” Laid out in the typical Windows 8 “Metro” design, the tiles are active, allowing users to click on them and see certain statistics about the company. Not only will you be able to know that as of August 11, over 250 million people have a SkyDrive (whether all of them use it regularly is another question), we also know that about 2.6 million gallons of free beverages are guzzled every year by Microsoft employees (and that the most popular soda selection is Coke Zero).
Microsoft Doesn’t Want To Admit Windows RT Is Dead
Microsoft is in a tough spot. Windows RT is all but dead in the water. But Microsoft has approximately a zillion and a half Surface RT tablets collecting dust in warehouses. And so Ballmer and Co. continued its ignorant fight against Apple and the far more successful iPad with another TV spot that pits the two against each other. Spoiler: The Surface RT is declared the winner. Like in previous commercials, the Surface RT’s legitimate advantages are touted over the iPad and iOS. And in many cases, Microsoft isn’t exactly deceitful. The Surface, and with that, Windows RT, has clear advantages over the iPad. At first blush Windows RT feels more productive and advanced than iOS. But after a couple of swipes left and right on the Start Screen, the novelty wears off. Of course Microsoft failed to stack Windows RT’s apps against those found in iOS.
Is Microsoft the Next IBM?
The parallels here are interesting, and of course the irony is marvelous. If you roll back to the early 1990s, you see IBM entrenched with enterprise* customers, Apple holding the consumer’s imagination with the best products, other companies strong in key niches (Novell in network operating systems, Sun in technical computing), and Microsoft stealthily disrupting IBM’s birthright by taking over the software layers on top of the PC. We know how this story ends: IBM’s financial performance deteriorated, hundreds of thousands of employees were laid off, and CEO John Akers was forced out.
Microsoft tweaks Windows 8.1 again to help new users
Although most of the big changes in Windows 8.1 were announced in June, Microsoft is making a few more adjustments before shipping the update to users. The changes appear in a leaked build of the near-final version of Windows 8.1, as tested by The Verge. Along with the return of the Start button, better built-in apps, and more options within the modern-style interface, the changes should smooth out the learning curve of Windows 8. For example, Microsoft’s built-in apps such as Mail and Calendar now display a narrow bar along the top or bottom of the screen, with three dots on the right side.