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What Microsoft's recent reorganization means for Windows (and you)

Microsoft Surface logo
Microsoft Surface logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft's announcement of its reorganization of the Windows team – effectively breaking up the Window Devices Group – was seen as a surprise by many. For others, the writing had been on the wall for the last few years.

While cloud and edge computing bolstered by artificial intelligence (A.I.) sound like buzzwords, many tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft are betting big on them.

What does former Windows chief Terry Myerson's departure say about Microsoft's faith in Windows 10 and the future of the consumer market? It's complicated.

Moving towards ambient computing

Prof. Charles Marcus, University of Copenhagen, building a quantum PC with Microsoft. Image via Qubiz.

Prof. Charles Marcus, University of Copenhagen, building a quantum PC with Microsoft. Image via Qubiz.

Microsoft's Windows 10 OS had a rough start a few years ago as the company tried to rebound from Windows 8. That cycle was a repeat of the Windows Vista to Windows 7 situation. and it demonstrates how difficult managing the Windows OS – and predicting what consumers and businesses want – can be.

Now in 2018, Windows 10 seems stable. Quarterly growth in PC users is consistent, albeit small. Bi-yearly updates are predictable, if somewhat underwhelming due to unrealistic expectations. In many ways, this is the Windows OS people have wanted for a long time.

Unfortunately, the world has changed. The cloud, ambient computing, A.I., and mobile devices now drive innovation. Quantum computing is a reality with machine learning and blockchain building the foundation for the next 30 years of computers.

How Microsoft fits into that world is the challenge its CEO Satya Nadella faces.

Today's changes, with the creation of an "Experiences & Devices" unit under Executive Vice President Rajesh Jha and the "Cloud + AI" group under Scott Guthrie, reflect that new drive towards where computing (and yes, the money) is headed for Microsoft.

This direction for Microsoft is not so new as the company has been aggressively pushing into these evolving categories for years. The difference now, according to ZDNet's Ed Bott's analysis, is that 65 percent of Microsoft's revenue comes from large corporations and government versus traditional consumers.

That "follow the money" strategy is entirely driving these changes. Today's shift of responsibilities solidifies that momentum.

The question: Does Windows drive A.I. and the intelligent edge? Or is it the other way around? Microsoft is weaving Cortana and A.I. throughout its products – including Windows – but the foundation of what we understand Windows to be is shifting. That rightly causes trepidation.

What about Surface and consumers?

The most relevant question for the Windows Central audience is what this Windows reorganization means for consumers and fans of the Surface line.

Part of the answer is how Microsoft views consumers in 2018 versus 2012. According to people at Microsoft, the divide between enterprise and consumers is not something they consciously think about when designing products. Those working in a cubicle, office, or professional firm want to use the same laptop for work as they do for home and travel. The same goes for mobile phones, and the days of carrying a BlackBerry for business and an iPhone for fun are long gone.

The same rationale is used for the recent focus on adding 4G LTE to laptops and Surface devices as I recently explained. The modern workforce is increasingly mobile, reliant on the internet (and by extension, the cloud), and it requires security. These are all areas where Microsoft can not only contribute but drive innovation.

That view is why the head of Surface – Panos Panay – gets the new title of Chief Product Officer from his previous designation as corporate VP of Devices where he will, according to Microsof, lead "our devices vision and further our product ethos across hardware and software boundaries for our first-party devices, while creating new categories and opportunities for the entire ecosystem."

For those worried that Microsoft will ditch the Surface brand, something I called crazy in the past, today's news demonstrates the company is doubling-down on hardware. Nadella told Bloomberg in 2017, "It's Alan Kay who said 'if you're serious about your software, you make your own hardware.' I think there's some truth to it."

Conversely, if Microsoft were going to dump its hardware ambitions for Windows software, today would have been a great day for to do it. You don't get many chances to reorganize a massive part of your company.

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Windows 10, "…will continue leading our Windows experiences and will drive Windows innovation in partnership with the PC and device ecosystem," Microsoft said. "The future of Windows is bright as we continue to innovate across new scenarios and device form factors, and more deeply connect to our Microsoft 365 offerings."

The "new devices and form factors" should not be surprising, and Belfiore is evidently thinking about next-generation tech, as he told us in a recent interview.

Windows will adapt

Is this the end of Windows? Far from it. But this may be the end of Windows as a cornerstone of Microsoft's business, and that is a big deal.

Long term, I see Windows, the intelligent cloud, and the intelligent edge weaving together to adapt to where computing is heading. The notion that in 10 years we'll still have traditional desktop PCs and candy-bar smartphones seems antiquated. Ambient displays powered by roaming cloud profiles for Windows, holographic wearables, and devices that adapt to our needs seem more likely, even if still distant.

One of the most significant problems Microsoft has had in the past is creating technology in response to the current market. This "too late" scenario has played out numerous times, followed by "too early" and "not taken seriously." Microsoft Band, Windows Phone, and various digital services come to mind.

This time, however, Microsoft is thinking about its survival for the next 30 years, not only as another tech company, but a leader. Concepts like "the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge" feel intangible and hard to define, yet there seems little doubt that how we view computing, communication, and smart assistants is undergoing a significant shift.

A lot of what we know today as "personal computing" will be based on A.I., the cloud, and intelligence in the next few decades. Operating systems will need to not only support that structure but be built around it. If Microsoft doesn't do it, Amazon or Google will, and that leaves the future of Windows not in the hands of Microsoft. From that view, I see Windows as being the front-end to A.I., ambient, and cloud computing versus the be-all, end-all platform it is now. That's a significant shift in how we view computing.

Having the right people in charge to focus and execute on what customers – consumer and corporations – want versus just optimizing for efficiency is going to be fundamental. Whether today's decisions reflect that remains to be seen. My hunch is we'll be hearing a lot more about Microsoft's new focus at Build 2018 in May.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

135 Comments
  • Nicely put Daniel. Thank you.
  • If you say so, bro.
  • What it all means is that Windows will become a subscription service like office 365. The failure to monetize Windows via the app store (entirely their own doing) means Windows is no longer a core system and it will be shifted to some kind of hybrid cloud OS. A lot of people are going to jump ship from this, MS is probably going to try and string people along for as long as it can but if you still prefer the way things are done get familiar with linux or contemplate an Apple Mac.
  • Do yourself a favor and read other perspectives other than the rah rah go Microsoft slant this site always pushes. There's a lot that is being glossed over here that gives a better overview of what these changes mean in the long run.
  • I get that big ideas and far fetching plans are good, we need to look ahead of the curve to stay relevant. But my main concern is that they will neglect "the now". It might sound petty, but the small bugs and roughness around the edges of the current Windows is actually very disturbing to me. I get that it is not that important to have nice artist art for every artist in Groove or be able to select text with hold shift + arrows via touch keyboard, but that is important to me, and I bet that is important to a few more people. To be brushed off update after update and not get those small, seemingly unimportant things is upsetting to say the least.
  • MS' roller coaster ride under Nadella would all be forgiven if something big like Andromeda (Surface Note) hit store shelves in 2018. I hope this is not just more hitting "refresh" (aka reboot) by Nadella. I'd like to see at least some of the fruits of these efforts in my lifetime! At least to this developer MS' strategy feels "so close... and yet so far..."
  • I think it's about building Windows for the future. In 20 years, any OS as we know it will be cloud-based, AI-driven. If Microsoft doesn't have that platform someone else will. That's not a good position to be in. In this regard, think of Windows as being the front-end for all this new tech.
  • I wouldn't mind them retrenching Windows if I believed them, but they do tend to tell us these porkies just before products receive an aggressive ignoring. MS kinda do the same thing over and over again. I'm not convinced they are as keen on change as we would be to see it.
  • I'm not sure about being keen on change as much as being keen on going where they are making money ;)
  • > keen on going where they are making money
    You are absolutely right... the problem is that they do not know where this place is and whether it even exists.
  • And from reading Mary Jo, sounds like making everything subscription based.....lovely.
  • They are on to creating a distributed computing platform for the masses, that's just great.
  • Good points. I'm all for building for the future, that's why I have $ in a 401k. But I have to agree with YeahRrright's sentiment too, that all this constant push to the future is leaving the here and now somewhat disappointing. They need to build for the future without alienating their base. Andromeda in 2018 would assure us that MS still cares about the folks that helped them get where they are today.
  • "In this regard, think of Windows as being the front-end for all this new tech." A 'Window' to the new tech.... for all the dumb marketing decisions coming out of Redmond, they certainly picked a great name for their OS.
  • That's a disturbing prediction to come to terms with. Personally I don't see Microsoft as working for me. Only for big business, so I stopped following most of their stuff closely a while back. I doubt OSes will be cloud only. I think Privacy Laws will catch up to technology and make it imoractical, if not impossible, for something like this to be implemented.
  • Which will be utterly retarded for technological progress.... Not every tech company has a business model such as FB.... And not everybody want or need laws to tell us how to handle there privacy rights... I'm fine on my own thank you, let me give what I want to whom I want.. I'm a big boy... The FB fiasco is of no surprise to me and I'm still fine to have an account with them.. I never considered anything on their services to be private....
  • The world doesn’t revolve around you, big boy. Regulation is definitely needed. This info economy is out of control. This will barely affect Microsoft and Apple as they do not traffic in data, and don’t have Ad based business models. They actually sell products to consumers and businesses to make their money. This business model encourages these companies to overreach. What you’re saying is cliché. Most people don’t care what you think when their kids are on these sites and being exploited because you’re incapable of using a different email service for “reasons.”
  • The new world of ‘personal computing’ will based on OS’s that run personal computing devices; phones, wearables, speakers, thermostats, etc. In other words, Android and iOS. Nadella failed to understand the new world, and famous admitted, “I did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones”. He thought the new light ARM capable OS’s were just for cell phones. (doh!) "If anything, one big mistake we made in our past was to think of the PC (personal computer) as the hub for everything for all time to come. And today, of course, the high volume device is the six-inch phone. I acknowledge that. "But to think that that's what the future is for all time to come would be to make the same mistake we made in the past without even having the share position of the past. So that would be madness," Nadella said. He failed to realize that continuing the investment in the Windows on phones, was really an investment on Windows to the future. He should have extended support for Windows 7, and then doubled down on the Windows Mobile OS, even if they never caught up to Android. Why? Because those efforts would create light-weight ARM OS that could quickly migrate to future devices. Instead, he cut Windows Mobile, and now the Cortana Invoke speaker (the only home automation device for Microsoft or Cortana) is running on Linux. You can see Microsoft flailing to recover from Nadella’s utter stupidity. They are trying to create a C-Shell OS that would be perfect for phones, home-automation, etc. At the same time, they will continue a real Windows 10 for main computing, gaming, VR, etc. Nothing like wasting 4 years running in circle while your competitors jump in and dominate new markets. Even his AI plans are lost, because the small ARM based devices in the world are the eyes and ears of AI. The data those devices collect are needed to feed AI. Great algorithms will be worthless without massive piles of data on people. What they do, what they ask for, what their calendar looks like, what music do they listen to, and when do they do stuff. Only with the data from the ARM devices in our world will make AI useful. This change also mean C-Shell on ARM may be failing internally. That means Andromeda probably is in trouble. If that was going to work, why fire Myerson? Nadella obviously isn’t a “the buck stops here” kind of leader, so Terry Myerson had to be the sacrificial cow.
  • As every time! All the nonsense that Terry simply left, is plain bull***. I am 100% convinced he was "told" to leave. I have not seen such dense reorganizing anywhere else. This is a clear clue they have no idea what on earth to do next. Constant shifting of people and teams means you are desperate and have no idea HOW TO CONTINUE! And this was expected, as Nadella's total LACK of visio and obsession for cost cutting, total lack of care about quality=win10, reached the edge!
    Congrats to the whole MS board! You managed to *** things up! Enjoy your pockets while there is still some $$ coming in...
  • Down vote all you want, but it's the end of March and you can't pre-order that GLAS thermostat (as planned) can you? You don't see Andromeda, do you? Why? Because the OS isn't ready? Why? Because 4 years ago Nadella decided to shift Microsoft investments and focus to an OS's that required Intel x86 processors. Or, "he didn't get" why Microsoft needed to continue to invest in a light Windows version that ran on ARM. Now he (and Microsoft's old partner ecosystem) can't use Windows to build home automation, smart speakers, automotive systems, wearable... and YES phones. In other words, he focused on a OS that couldn't be used on the systems of the future, and cut investment in the one that could have been. It may have been one of the stupidest business decisions ever. Only lucky timing on enterprise cloud adoption has kept people from seeing him for what really he is as a CEO.
  • How about thinking about the present? Or you live 20 years from now, and came back in a time machine? Everyone using tech needs stuff NOW, in the present. Anyone can simply vanish the next day and then what? You guys here dream too much at what could be happening 20 years from now but you seem to forget we live in the present...
  • Maybe it is time to look at Linux then. I for one do not want my life hooked up to the cloud. It is bad enough as it is with companies wanting to know what we are doing, when how, why, what we are buying.
    Saying that in 20 years time I will be 73 if i am still around, so I doubt I will worry by then
  • Linux will simply be monetized and bring you back to square one. You underestimate the power of a professionally designed UI, App Store, Codec Licensing, high quality out of the box software and experience, a uniform UX (not 3+ desktop choice drop down), etc. Even I paid $200 for RHEL-WS back when I used the OS in college, because convenience. Everything worked out of the box. All I had to do was copy my media over and it all played, e.g. Also, Linux is harder to support than Windows and Mac, which have most things exposed through the GUI. There are differences in FS layout between distorts, desktops and UI, default applications (and application versions). You still need a command line to fix a ton of issues, and you often need kernel sources or headers just to install a device driver. Drivers also go unsupported super fast, while Windows 10 will happily use XP/Vista drivers flawlessly for old hardware (macOS less so). Plus, Linux software is still ass, with only a few exceptions. There are entire niches of software where Linux has literally no options, but there are F/OSS choices available for Windows. Leave Linux on the server. Desktop Linux has been tried. The people running the show care very little about consumers, and in some cases continue to design the OS in a way that creates a poor UX for them. They are out of touch, and consumers do prefer supported products. They don’t want to pay $1,000 for a PC only to be told to RTFM when something breaks. macOS has stepped in where Linux has failed.
  • Yet I live in a highly populated rural area that STILL can't get broadband internet. For years, everyone around us, even in smaller towns has broadband. All I can get is very slow DSL. I don't see that ever changing. The push of everything to the cloud will be the death of devices for us.
  • My response is coming out of extended disappointment from the decisions taken by Microsoft to abandon several products over the last few years.
    Where does the recent diminished role of Windows take us Daniel? We name ourselves the 'Front End Central'?
    Why don't Microsoft first work towards developing trust in the consumers for once?
  • Basically Windows is becoming the next ChromeOS, in a sense.
  • With current AI based products like Bing and Cortana sitting stagnant compared with the competition, I'll believe it when I see it. Amazon and Google aren't forfeiting the present for the future, why would Microsoft?
  • AI right? Does anyone know what it actually is? Everyone is blindly trying to win this race without actually understanding what it is. Mr. Nadella, wake up.
  • " Does anyone know what it actually is?"
    Yes. But there is a disconnect right now for consumers between what is and what will be that is very tangible. Go read Motherboard today about how researchers got a computer to "hallucinate" and then learn to play “Doom" while tripping. Computers, AI, quantum, is the next big growth area. We know what AI is. The question is how do we get there. Are you suggesting the problem is too hard and Microsoft should give up, and make what, just focus on Windows even though PCs have plateued?
  • "play Doom while tripping"? What's the big deal? I do it all the time.
  • "play Doom while tripping"? What's the big deal? I do it all the time. Lol, nice. But I wonder if machines see trails?
  • > We know what AI is.
    Yeah, we do -- marketing buzzword to slap on anything and everything that does not move too fast. The term has been around since 1960s, briefly resurfaced in 2000s and now is waved around by anybody who knows how to string two letters together.
    Maybe you should do an article on what *you* know AI to be. That would be an interesting read -- absolutely no sarcasm.
  • Surely the question is does AI know what we are?
  • I kind of had to laugh at this article. You really have no idea what most businesses have to deal with in regard to software and hardware. It might be different for the large corporations but for the small business world, most are locked into hardware based off of third party proprietary software. Most of these proprietary software companies are slow to jump to newer version of Windows and when they do they are often costly for the business in question to upgrade to. That is why you still see Windows 7 still used quite a bit. I even see instances where XP is still used for certain software. In most cases these smaller businesses still only have PC towers. I don't see the traditional desktop going away from the business that I'm in in the next 10 years. Again, not only would it require our third party software vendors to change, it would also put quite the financial burden on the business to change.
  • "You really have no idea what most businesses have to deal with in regard to software and hardware."
    Oh, I do. I also know that Microsoft's cloud and Microsoft 365 programs are huge driving most of the growth of the company. The same businesses you refer to. I'm not sure what you're laughing at. The idea that Windows as an OS is no longer the cornerstone of the company is obvious for the very reasons you point out. Literally, nothing you said is interesting, unique, profound or new. We all know enterprise is slow to adopt OS upgrades. And?
  • I've actually been in the business for over 30 years so I think I know a little more about it then you but you write a blog so.....
  • An argument from authority is not a real argument. Say something profound and challenge what I have stated. Tell me something new.
  • Can you tell me how well does Microsoft Cloud integrate with Flex OS?
  • WTF is Flex OS? 😁
  • Lol😂😂
  • I think he meant Flux
  • It's an RTOS that hasn't had an update for 32 years. The use of it would certainly be an outlier example. Time to look forward.
  • Very good. Although FlexOS itself has morphed into https://www.toshibacommerce.com/?urile=wcm:path:/en/home/products/softwa...
    It is still very much alive and kicking and used by many large and small retails across the country.
  • I moved from Quickbooks to AppFolio, a cloud-based PWA (I assume) program. This increased my productivity 50%. My use of excel and word has dropped as well. But I have found the SP with a surface dock with a large 4k monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard at my house and office lets me leave the 15.6" HP laptop at home and rarely used. I have also like the superior sound quality of the Invoke and I have found Cortana useful, Not so much as a voice assistant, but something working in the background doing ministerial tasks. I suspect Cortana will become better and better with these mundane but necessary tasks.
  • Daniel this is kinda the reason why it would be a good idea to have an enterprise section of this site. There aren't very many good enterprise blogs outside of ms proper. Outside of going to ignite or interrogating a TAM most people don't get to see the enterprise offerings. With your argument that the business and consumer lines are getting blurred wouldn't it make sense to have an enterprise focused section of this site to show the progressions of MS in the enterprise space and what they are doing for their enterprise customers?
  • > We all know enterprise is slow to adopt OS upgrades. And? And it is slowly upgrading *away* from Windows. I work for the medium-to-large company (25,000+ employees) and the servers that all have been Windows 2003 10 years ago are now mostly SLES and more and more people in the building are brandishing Mac laptops.
    If the trend reverses (and I do not see why) it is unlikely to go any quicker, for the reason you stated.
    I realize that plural of anecdote is not data, maybe some of the readers, working for enterprise can comment on the trends they see.
  • Oh but those businesses will move on eventually. For how much longer do you think they will be able to sustain running antiquated software on second-hand obsolete hardware they pay tons of money to scavenge globally? And it will be for their best too. One more thing: the computing landscape has changed dramatically with the emergence of smartphones. Before that era it was only computer-savvy people (professionals and enthusiasts) that used computers. Meanwhile everyone uses them, just in a different form, and if a software powerhouse like Microsoft wants to stay relevant they definitely need to look ahead and adapt. The small business world you speak of becomes more insignificant by the day as a market. Mind you, I hate using online crap (severely limited version of the software dependent on internet connectivity), but if i have to use it i would rather use Microsoft's software than the crap Google and the rest put out.
  • Usually the bigger the business, the more customized the tech/software and the harder to migrate to something else. Sure there may be small businesses using very specialized or custom software, but these are the tiny minority. Most could shift to Office 365 tomorrow if their fear of change didn't hold them back. Sorry but 30 years experience in a small business environment still on XP and tower PCs seems to me like 30 years wasted.
  • No one is against change but you have to have something to change to in it's place. If you think business just run Office then you would be sadly mistaken.
  • Small businesses I know are all in on cloud and auto-updating their os, all to avoid spending time and money on "the it guy". To me it sounds like you know one specialized small business sector and you think their needs translate to all small business.
  • LOL, sure, ok.
  • Most major pro softwares have been shifting to cloud/service based business model... Any company still on 7 with old stand alone software licences and planning to stay like that for the next decade are actually going to spend way more money than needed with the current offering and keep outdated tech at the same time... And don't get me started on the security factor....
    You've been im the business for 30 years well I have seen major shifts in "smart" small companies across several continents over the past 20 heck even more so over the past decade... What have you been doing ??? Living under a rock....
    Let me tell you something, those company you are speaking of... If they don't get with the program will suffer on the software computer hardware front what factories that missed the automation revolution endured a few decades ago... The question will not be do you WANT or CAN change your software hardware park to adapt to the new era... Or will you be left behind while other will take lip and make the investment... Adapt or die...
  • This is what most fanbabies here think. That enterprise means running O365 and nothing else! And MS thinks that enterprises have time to be their free guinea pigs for the enterprise insider program..LOL. MS does not have a damn clue about what enterprises really think about them, and they have absolutely ZERO clues about what quality software means anymore. What more can you say when some here, emphasize that junk winARM is justifiable for enterprises! Or that joke S mode! S mode inside an enterprise! LOL
  • Sounds interesting, though I don't agree with it all. The problem is, we all know from past experience Microsoft says these great, committed sounding things about their products just before pulling the plug. Heck, they even went on a promotion drive for Groove music pass right before closing it down. This is how Microsoft operates. And as usual they come out with announcements that contain a tonne of weasel words that need careful analysis before we can try to infer something that might just pass as information. They talk about change at Microsoft a lot it seems, yet somehow they always seem to disappoint us in the same ways over and over again. Perhaps you're right Dan, and this time it'll all be different. Still, it would be nice if they took ownership of their mistakes and acknowledged them directly, committing to a clear change from the old tricks. Unfortunately they won't, and I am concerned that fact might be the most telling of all.
  • "Sounds interesting, though I don't agree with it all. The problem is, we all know from past experience Microsoft says these great, committed sounding things about their products just before pulling the plug. "
    That was definitely an era, but many are calling this the most significant reorg in the company's history. They essentially broke up how Windows is managed and developed. That's a bold step, and not the same as say, a small team making the Microsoft Band and only selling it at Best Buy.
  • Bold, sure. But is it a bold move towards a more successful OS or a bold step towards retrenching Windows away from consumers? Or even dropping it eventually? I wish I could tell, but they always get so vague at that point and just spout generally positive sounding stuff whilst sharpening a knife behind their back. The more they do this, the more detail and commitment to that detail is needed to convince people that this time it's different and they're actually being honest. Problem is, remaining vague now communicates a very firm message, because we don't have to remember very far back to see what that means from MS.
  • "Bold, sure. But is it a bold move towards a more successful OS or a bold step towards retrenching Windows away from consumers?"
    I don't see that implied anywhere. But as a business, it would seem obvious that Microsoft should not bank on Windows as its core, not when cloud/azure and other emerging technologies are driving revenue. Windows, I would say, is on a set path. It's on a regular cadence of updates as a service, has the infrastructure, etc. It's not going anywhere. WCOS will launch and let the OS evolve further. Microsoft is simply building out the platform needed to power Windows for the next 20 years.
  • "But as business, it would seem obvious that Microsoft should not bank on Windows as its core, not when cloud/azure and other emerging technologies are driving revenue." By that logic shouldn't Google stop developing Chrome OS altogether and just focus on advertising, which is driving revenue the most? Slowly, looking by the direction Microsoft is taking, Google will have the next Windows on all sorts of interfaces and Microsoft will just be limited to behind the scenes businesses.
  • This is where Windows One Core + C-Shell and Composers come in. Windows One Core will run + C-Shell will run on all devices and the Composers will provide the unique features of the device. Also, software using the the .NET Core Framework and .NET Standard should run on all devices.
    Also do not forget about PWAs that can run on any browser. And PWAs can get near native performance with WebAssembly.
  • I think you're right. The biggest problem for Microsoft to solve is how to have an outstanding version of Windows on each of these devices. This new approach shows that the "one Windows" idea won't work, at least in terms of what a user interacts with. How they tailor Windows to be perfect for a specific device, while keeping it broad enough to not be terribly fragmented is key. When a user picks up a new Windows device it needs to be familiar enough that there's no learning curve but tailored enough that it looks and feels like the software was made specifically for that device without compromises.
  • Ok pwa may get near native performance but we all know how well Microsoft's native uwp apps perform. That means even worse performance right?
  • I think in the future native Windows apps will be UWP apps, cross-platform apps will be C# using the .NET Core Framework and .NET Standard or cross-platform apps will be PWAs using WebAssembly.
  • The real deal is execution rather than concepts, which Microsoft miserably fails.
  • In find the direction MS is going very vague, to say the least. I can envision some vague utopian world like they do. But turning that into real products that will actually sell and will be supported long enough to become successful. I don't see todays MS achieve that. Thank god they have azure and office 365 to survive this clueless period, but apart from these two services I don't see anything in which MS excels or is about to break open a new market. Fortunately apple and google are just as lost, but at least they still have growth in mobile, iot, car sw, home speakers etc etc to keep them going for a while. MS has pretty much missed out on all of these.
  • We are definitely in rapidly shifting times. It's hard to know what to bet on with buzz words like blockchain, intelligent edge, AI, crypto, etc. abounding in the news cycle.
  • I agree. I want to like Nadella. But he confounds me with all his psychobabble. We need someone in between ballsy (bumbling) Ballmer and nutty (esoteric) Nadella. Someone who envisions the future but stands his ground today.
  • Bill Gates?
  • April 1 is right around the corner... Just saying...
  • As a consumer I couldn't care less about this news. All i have ever asked from Microsoft is all services woven perfectly so that it just works which they have pathetically failed time and again.
  • April 1st is every day at MS
  • I smell Cloud Central forming.
  • Is the Andromeda, Polaris stuff related to this reorganization?
  • I get the future will be devices we connect to a sever for everything. Xbox will just be a controller we connect to some visual device same as a generic phone slash watch glasses that also connect to a mega sever running everything. I just don't get how you can have that but no os/windows running it. Guess if Ai just runs there own made up code and there's no more android Linux win apple anymore. That just seems like 10 to 20 years out. We still don't have flying cars...well kinda don't I just thought when I was a kid...now 42 it would be like the Jetsons. Not all things move as fast as ms would like.
  • Blablabla. The last years it has always been the same weak story from Microsoft. Always promising far fetched things in a distant future. They totally forget about the 'now'. Please stop the AI hype already, put it on a silent course until AI actually isn't dumb as ****. I'm so tired of this AI bullshit. Every single AI developed right now is more dumb than a cucumber. It's such a fake hype, unbelievable. Come back im 30 years when there actually is a breakthrough, when AI can do things that are not programmed. AI is just a toy right now, and it will be for the next decade. And also shut the hell up about augmented reality and virtual reality. It's never going to replace phones. And stop pretending there is something that is going to replace phones in their current form factor. Nothing is going to replace phones in at least 15-20 years, I even dear to guess they will be around in 50 years. The computing will happen in the cloud. The phone will become a display that streams video and audio and makes photos. That is the future and nothing else. Btw I'm talking to Microsoft, not to you Daniel.
  • Couldn't agree more
  • I love a good rant every now and then. I'm laughing so hard right now I'm crying! Classic man. Thanks for not tip toeing around it.
  • Yeah. Everything will stay like this forever, and anyone who wants to create something new is a dumb fool. Why would you need any new tech, when you can still use flip phones and Windows 95...
  • These guys are closed minded fools.. They think the current is the future... This fool actually believes one day he will be buying a Galaxy S19.
  • He has a chance of buying a Galaxy S19, rather than a mythical Microcrap device that never has a chance..but you desperate fanboys like to keep your heads back in Nutella's @$$ all the time...
  • Actually not at all. Azure? 100% for it! Windows on ARM? Applaud it! Windows 10? Love it! Cortana based AI? By all means take your 8000 AI employees, catch up in "skills" with Alexa, and bring it to all 242 MS markets not just US! Surface with eSim? Super exciting! HoloLens? By all means finish the bloody thing and bring us a version that isn't $3000! But as soon as Nadella gets that crazed look in his eye and starts spouting off about AI and the "intelligent edge" I can't help but thinking of some guy who thinks he hears the government talking to him through his fillings. He's either a mad genius who's going to usher in a utopia of sentient but serving bots, or he seriously needs to address his schizophrenia. Give all this bloody AI stuff a rest until you invent a bloody automated phone system that doesn't drive you completely mad in the first 15 seconds!
  • No I couldn't have a more open mind. I simply know that having a screen the size of the phone is the perfect form factor for viewing digital information. There is no alternative for this. There simply is not, and it cannot be invented. Smartwatch is too small. Anything on the head like glasses is annoying. Real holographs or anything that's projected in the air is unwanted and semitransparent because everyone can see what you see. It's not private enough. The phone is the perfect form factor and there can only be made variations of. Like flexible screens, dual screens, etc. You sir are with your mind in Harry Potter land, just like Nutella.
  • Well, when I have that chip implanted in my cranium that allows me to use a virtual screen merely by thinking about it, I'll be laughing at your Model T of a phone ;-) Resistance is futile.
  • "...a screen the size of a phone is the perfect form factor for viewing digital information." *Some* information, but by no means all, or even most. It's a really crappy form factor/interface for a lot of conceptualizing of information.
  • Yeah, that's the way to stay in business long term.
  • I'd much rather be the CEO of Microsoft with 65 percent of my revenue from enterprise and the rest from consumer facing sectors including education than one with 90 percent of my revenue coming from one product or 95 percent coming from one service like some other large tech companies. I think it is important to keep this reorg in context with the giant reorg of the sales teams that happened one year ago. Not too many people here probably paid much attention to that, but it was as big as this one and was also focused on the future: cloud and AI. In some ways, this reorg is bringing engineering in line with that. I don't see Microsoft deemphasizing consumers at all in this announcement, in fact they just promoted Phil Spencer to the Senior Management Team a short while ago. I know they also know that consumers are essential to mind share over time. PS. Windows Phone fans should be sure to read Terry's post on Linked In where he addresses the problems they faced with phone.
  • I hope that the new Windows chief will keep supporting x64 and win 32 applications for at least 20 more years, since Windows 98 I have tried Linux, FreeCAD, Solaris, Os X, iOS, Android and none had the nice experience I had with Microsoft's great OS, thanks Terry Myerstown for all these great years working on the best Os in the PC industry
  • I can't be the only one who feels uncomfortable with being so dependant on a company...
  • Nice article, Dan. I am at the point it doesn't matter what people are shifted around anymore. MS has done just about everything to piss me off (and lose me) on a consumer and business level. Its a combination of them making bad or late move after move, and/or me just outgrowing them. Just wait for the "Tech Fallout" to hit them too. The Facebook privacy issue is just the tip of the ice that's going to find its way into Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others. Following all the resignations and firings of folks in high places has been, to say the least, elevated in the last 8-10 months. IMO, this may be part of it.
  • You would have to admit..MS was too fragmented. To many division going off in their own direction. Software for Xbox, software for Pc (NTBks, dsktps), Tablets (RT ). What has happened had to happen or MS would have consumed itself as a bloated burocracy. Before: 👈☝👉👇.... Now...🔁🔜🚾🔛Ⓜ™🚾⭕💲
  • Good article Dan, very well written. I just think I have fatigue from all the consumer failures I have been apart of regarding Microsoft products, all I tend to take away from articles like these is blah blah blah future blah blah blah buzzword, etc... I honestly don't see myself in investing in MS much if this strategy indeed comes to fruition. I work in the information privacy field and this AI future scares me to death...
  • I went with the Windows at work and Windows at home idea for 20+ years. Got Windows Phone 7, 8, 10. Got two Surface tablets. Then came Nadella and screwed me over, pissed on me, and expected me to want some more. Now I got an Android phone which is much more reliable than W10 ever was and is. My two surfaces sits in the closet since Nadellasoft refuses to make W10 actually useable on a tablet and I have two Android tablets instead. Nadella putting more of his cronies in place is not a good thing.
  • Who uses android tablets? They are toys for baby sitters.
  • Who uses Windows tablets?
  • Plenty of Surface users.
  • I personally know one, that is 1, person only who uses Surface. Everyone else use Android or iOS.
  • Same here Stan. My sister-in-law has a Surface3. She liked it much better when it was running 8.1, but of course it was force-updated to 10. I know no one else with a Windows "tablet".
  • "Plenty of Surface users"? Define "Plenty". Here, I will do it for you. Tablet Operating System Market Share Worldwide - February 2018: iOS 64.78%. Android 34.73%. Windows 0.25%. That is not "Plenty". That is no one.
  • Bollocks, complete and utter bollocks. Danny boy, you have no freaking idea what’s going on so why keep bulldust articles like these happening? MS are panicking and I don’t blame them for a minute. They are best off ditching “consumers” and concentrating on business. Already I have changed from a Nokia 930 to an iPhone X although I keep a Samsung Pro S to keep me on the Windows domain. I also use an iPad Pro (12.9”) and a MacBook Air 11”. Another 12 months and MS will have given up the “consumer” market for good, except for XBox.
  • Nope, I'm actually right on this.
  • lol that was fun lol
  • More layoffs :)) Why don't I wonder? I bet Terry was fired in a way and not left on his own 100%...Nadella style management. Good work Nutella, fire some more experienced people, anyway your products continue to be of a mediocre quality. But hey, you have an insider program :)) nice, free beta testers.
  • Layoff, singular. There are no reports of layoffs, plural, happening with this reorg.
  • So any project which was under x person will be scraped under the new y person?
  • I agree with the last paragraph.
  • "Is this the end of Windows? Far from it. But this may be the end of Windows as a cornerstone of Microsoft's business, and that is a big deal." This almost made me cry for some reason. That's actually sad and I'm not saying sad in a bad sarcastic slang way, but the sad sad way. Some people like me lived their entire life believing this one software called Windows by this software company Microsoft is the deal (even Linux distros and Mac OS X, as it was called). It's not like this anymore in 2018. Millenals and next gen leaders are rising and we are now fading to irrelevance old people that try to be adequate to the new world's dynamics and trends. I personally have always looked at Windows as the pearl in Microsoft's treasure chest. no more. It's optimistic, but in the same time sad. Good luck in the next 30 years, MS, when even Satya won't be guiding the ship, but some younger and energetic kid that's probably 10 now
  • Nadella told Bloomberg in 2017, "It's Alan Kay who said 'if you're serious about your software, you make your own hardware.' I think there's some truth to it." You should already be able to read what Nutella is really telling in his jesuitic statements. Microsoft is not serious about Windows for a long time, everyone can see it clearly. So what he really said was: "As we are not serious about Windows now, it is time to ditch windows hardware all together" If one is going to say "Yes, we are betting on our hardware" he can say just that "Yes".
    Nutella is not saying Yes, he is saying the opposite, but in a typical Nutellish way.
  • I think you're trying to read a double meaning in what was a very literal comment by Nadella, which to me sounds like crazy-people talk.
  • lol, good comment lol ps we do you thank the tablet-phone will be an ounce?
  • Just build me a small c-shell Surface tablet that uses a SIM or eSIM, so I can replace my 950XL by Christmas.
  • oh, and a Band 4, with removable strap would be nice.
  • Again Daniel Nicely put and I couldn't agree more
  • Interesting read, curious to see how another re-org plays out. There is onething I disagree with "Microsoft is thinking about it's survival not as another tech company but as a leader", primarily because they have conceded so much ground to the competition through their own doing. You don't become a market leader by sole focus on the enterprise, it's done through the consumer space and then cornering the enterprise sector. Secondly, under Satya Nadella - Microsoft has given away aspects that play heavily with the "intelligent cloud" such as mapping (to uber), advertising (to aol). Axed the Xbox Entertainment Studio, which they could have used to create many, many gaming franchise that pulls gamers to xbox by extension to xbox live. Microsoft health vault plays heavily in the intelligent cloud spectrum say with the Microsoft band and happened to those products + services? Cancelled to save money on R&D, wages and associated overheads. Thirdly and most importantly, if you want to be a market leader you sure as hell don't compromise on testing your operating system. By firing the programmatic testers and relying on the insider programme and telemetry is the most moronic way to test an operating system. It's sad that Terry Myerson had to go, he is not at fault. The blame really lies with the CEO because of he is utterly risk averse. The reason why I say that in his appointment open letter he heavily emphasises focuses on their strengths. What many thought was that he would be focusing on Windows (first and best). What it turned to be the most lopsided, haphazard, flip flopping of pathways. Conceding further ground to the competition. For heaven's sake there is no UWP app for Linkedin, nothing for Mixer and they are testing Microsoft Teams PWA - OUTSIDE - the company (heavy emphasis on outside because that is the most retarded thing to let happen for any CEO, regardless of the company). Everyone knows if you are going to go ahead with secret project (i.e hololens) you appoint a select few - WITHIN - the company so there is a continuation if the product gets the full greenlight. They really are chasing the next "shiny new thing" like magpies before building a solid foundation. What this really shows is that he is at the wall, he can no longer leverage short term stock price gaining tactics. This was his last card, don't you think it's not surprising that it's done before build and perhaps most importantly before the next earnings call. The inflection point has been reached. If this re-org fails, then there is no one to take the blame but the CEO. As his track record of following through what he says is really subpar. Windows as the intelligent cloud?
    Really? They'll need 5 G for that and a network mesh of satellites I don't see that happening anytime soon. Instead they should be building on first, foremost UWP (their actions say they are not) and the intelligent cloud + PWA. Any chess player worth his/her salt knows you don't concede ground to competition (without concrete plans). You don't give the board way to your opponent on a silver platter. You cannot be utterly risk averse, cautious of risk? Yes. But risk averse? Absolutely not, you become blind sided (exactly what happened to Microsoft, as apparently they were shocked how much ground they lost by the "retrenchment".) You make moves to slowly transition the game in your favour. Microsoft, has no concrete plans hence the constant re-orgs, they handed the ground to competiton on a silver platter whilst they were at it, they also provided them an all you can eat buffet by destroying their own windows ecosystem. There has been zero, zilch, nada, no transitional play whatsoever after Satya Nadella took the reigns. Because he is entirely risk averse, hence why there is no follow through with what he says at all. "if manufacturers don't make phones, we will" then goes to axe the entire mobile division. A division that is absolutely crucial for Microsoft not to be another tech company, but a market leader.. In addition Cortana, who was at one time a hall mark has been left to languish and is heavily isolated to the US. As a result OEMs are now pushing Alexa on Windows laptops which ship with Cortana AS STANDARD. That's fine If you want to become a bottom rung tech company not a market leader. As result Microsoft went to reactive mode, hence all the amazing focus on Cortana (/sarcasm). Cortana should have been one of main primary focuses after she was introduced with windows phone 8.0. Microsoft needs to be pro-active but under Satya Nadella with hardly many follow throughs, risk averseness and no propet transitional pathway is a far cry from pro-activeness. Yes, I know my language is rather brusque and salty because another re-org to me personally shows they've lost the plot and don't understand what a transitional phase really means.
  • Agree completely, well said techfreak1
  • If you read his book, "Hit Refresh", look at his reference to the way he played Cricket? He is running the company the same way. If he feels that he can't win, then he doesn't think they should play in that game. As I read his book, I started to think about everywhere MSFT withdrew when they were not winning in the market. Yes, he did backtrack on a number of promises he made, like making devices (Phones) for business and fans. They have lost so much consumer mindshare. So much so that businesses don't trust them. Companies feel that they will just abandon technologies and leave them hanging. It's no surprise that Dell and other OEM didn't launch WOA devices. I'm actually surprised that HP did after how they were left out to dry with Windows 10 Mobile. They make huge investments in the Elite x3. I think there was plenty of space for them to stay in the phone market until the next mobile thing came along.
  • This is a great point. Sometimes a company has to accept it might not win in a space, but to keep "winning" the trust of its customers it needs to continue to support it and improve. A company the size of Microsoft can financially afford to not be #1 or #2 in certain areas if it means not abandoning the customers that you need in other areas.
  • 'The next mobile thing' is one of the rare fairy tale stories that Microsoft used recently, but this one somehow still stands, for others people found those are imaginary stories. You know, it is like if you are a car maker and you wait for 'the next car thing'. Well you could wait for hundred years by now, though you would probably bankrupt in the meantime. Simply most products are designed by characteristics of the human body, number of people in the human family... It takes hundreds, thousands or even millions of years for those things to change. And you need to run your business in the meantime.
  • @Wheelerk. The case of HP can be summed in three words: Return On Investment. Thanks to UWP any software that optimised for the elite x3 it will work on WoA with not much code change. The hardware also is still fundamentally the same as the same-ish chip set is supported by Windows 10. As WM10 is pretty much embedded into the desktop o.s. In addition Windows core and the versatility of composers offers compelling new use cases and scope for innovation. However Microsoft are placing themselves into a corner by going the giving users no compelling unique selling points to stay in the windows ecosystem. As a result through default Microsoft will fade into the background as a simple facilitator, in short they will become nothing but a dumb pipe just like a utility provider because they work in the background not the foreground. That is the future Microsoft is placing themselves into through PWA as it's not ecosystem dependent, adaptive cards and pushing + entrenching users into ios and android. Well intended but the consequence for Microsoft will be catastrophic as by going towards PWA there will be a need for one IDE and the ecosystem with most reach - will have it all - as it stands that's Android. Why Android? Most Smart TVs these days have android or a fork of android as PWA is primarily web based. Generally speaking those who have highest amount of disposable cash usually buy the latest in TV technology or "when it stops working" with smart tvs that's an update away. Secondly, Chrome O/S benefits heavily from PWA as developers wouldn't need to worry about retrofitting Android apps to Chrome O/S. They'll just make a PWA and push out a lite version until such a time exists that internet bandwidth can support full featured apps powered over the web. Thirdly, I doubt Google won't force developers into the PWA spectrum by enforcing an addition to the Google's Mobile Suite - that if you want access to the play store - you have to have a PWA webwrapper. For many applications it makes sense for them to change to PWA plus it's substantially cheaper and offers access to all platforms. So why wouldn't you want to go to PWA? Most importantly, Microsoft's mobile play is practically zilch. The entire mobile division got axed and that plays heavily into Microsoft's future mobile prospects. Instead of having additional skills, expertise, knowledge to draw from and make their lives easier. They just made it harder for themselves (case in point they over-fired engineers as result they didn't have many who have experience with CDMA as result the Verzion Elite X3 was heavily delayed as it was left these poor souls and HP to make that work). Sure, there is andromeda but that device is not in the market yet. With the new re-org I am rather concerned that UWP is going to be left languishing in favour "mobility of experiences" that are geared towards solely ios and android not Windows. If it was Windows then we would have already have had a decent change over experience like contuinity on apple, heck even Dell beat Microsoft to the punch with their sync client. After Zune was killed off... we have had no movement in that front at all. Microsoft's only saving grace is xbox, if it had not been for xbox they would not have much consumer mind share at all. Why? E3 and other high profile gaming exhibitions + competitions, without these the consumer mindshare of Microsoft would be non-existent. Due to the lack of mindshare it's easy for tech blogs to slate Microsoft every chance they get for the clicks because people don't know much about Microsoft bar a few products and services. So that perpetuates the stigma against Microsoft. More over by focusing solely in the US they aren't really helping themselves either as that severely diminishes audience reach on a global spectrum. I can point countless flaws and possible fixes but as it's really more flaws and issues... that's what really concerns me. To be honest, if Satya Nadella is running the company as the way he plays a cricket match then he should be fired immediately. Because cricket is not that fast moving or fluid unlike other sports suchas Basketball, Football (which some of you call Soccer) and American Football. Cricket entails very little strategy in comparison to these sports as the simple aim of the game is to score many runs as possible and some batters after hitting a 6 / over the boundary don't run at all. However unlike the opposing side (bowling) there has been no attempt to catch the competition of guard. There has been no outfield play, no transitional movement as it's all haphazard. Generally speaking the motion is completely on this side and it's the bowler's job is to spin the ball / target an area where it would make the batter's job harder as well enabling the outfield players to catch the ball after it's being hit. This why I say he should be fired, Microsoft has been lobbing easy softballs at the competition and the outfield players are left pretty much motionless as the competition has been racking up easy runs. As a result of these easy plays, they are losing their fanbase. Those who bet Microsoft would make soft ball plays are making easy money, it's almost akin to match fixing. When it comes Microsoft's time for batting... it's been below subpar overall with some exceptional plays here and there. So yeah, you can't run a company like a cricket match... in short it's like asking Humpty dumpty to run in a egg and spoon race whilst holding himself as he sits on a tea spoon - it doesn't make sense at all. In tech a year is a lifetime as the rapid scale of iterations has become the norm. I would say mobile tech is more akin to Basketball as it's rapid, fluid, full of blocks, steals, lane plays and in some cases spectacular slam dunks and three pointers.
  • Great article, Daniel. Build 2018 should be a very interesting event.
  • While we don't know what's behind the curtain and then it might be, currently people just don't think so. Microsoft still can't sell the tickets for this Build after spamming developers with emails for the millionth time. It wasn't like that before.
  • Microsoft has done a few things I have felt hurt it. I think Metro Tiles Modern UI tiles should have been only been ONLY used on Tablets and Windows Smart phones not on any non touch screen devices like 95 plus percentage of Servers , Desktop PC's and Laptop Computers are. I think Windows smart phones should have had a windows NT core from the beginning. I do not think Microsoft advertised Windows smart phones correctly. MS VP Elop did not have a top notched Windows 10 smart phone on the market for over a year. Many Windows 8.1 smart phones did not get the upgrade to Windows 10. The 950 & 950 XL were not done right and again no top notch Windows smart phone was introduced for a year and then Nadella had Microsoft kill Windows 10 mobile. WOW that was a Mistake. Hmm Maybe Microsoft will buy blackberry and sell smart phones again but they will have a Blackberry interface not Windows 10 mobile interface and have no tiles.
    I wish Microsoft all the best.Microsoft CEO Nadella has done a great job making money for Microsoft through non consumer products which is where Microsoft always made it's big money from so it's a strong company but it's Consumer market products department Stinks. The Surface Line of products are good but cost to much for a lot of people to buy. Microsoft needs a good but Cheaper line of products to sell to the general public and support them for 5 years
  • You know Gregory, as you were ALWAYS wrong I have some hopes that you might be wrong on this, but I guess this time you are right.
  • I've got a bit of a problem with this reorg. And it relates to what MS thinks it's trying to build. The new mantra is 'intelligent edge + intelligent cloud'. But let's analyze there these are at and where we are going. It's not much of a secret that most things are migrating to the cloud. A lot of current 'workloads' are moving to the cloud. They want all data stored in the cloud, and not as 'files' on local devices. This is all great and good, but it requires always-on connectivity, and we don't have that and likely never will. There will always be more processing power available in the cloud than locally. But not everything needs that power, because with having everything distributed in this way, you get latency which can be the death of some use cases. Such as gaming: it just doesn't work to have all the processing done in the cloud and then just send the screen down to display on your local device. Too much latency. There's lots of other stuff you want to be able to process quickly and don't want to wait for. There's lots of 'OneDrive synch' type stuff but its still too slow. This all relies on a future for something like 5G which is always-accessible and has massive bandwidth. I'm not convinced that is going to happen. You've got two ways to connect to the cloud right now: via 'cellular wireless' [and worse, satellite], and via 'wired' [direct connections for businesses, via cable/telco for homes]. The problem is the telco controls most of those access paths, and they're going to want paying. The piece of the puzzle that is not at all clear yet is the devices end, or 'intelligent edge'. At present, these range from desktop/laptop/tablet, smartphone, smart speakers, games console, HMD (HoloLens), IoT 'nodes' etc. Each has different hardware in it, and you need an OS to run that hardware. The hardware is either Intel or ARM. And MS is in one hell of a mess with ARM and any type of device based on it. They need something to run these local apps (localized AI included) and either you have a middleware layer that sits over any underlying OS to develop to, but that is close to device hardware capabilities, or you are sunk. By putting 'Windows' as a background entity and de-emphasizing it in this reorg, you've severely undercut the 'intelligent devices' part of your strategy. The intelligent cloud doesn't work without attached intelligent edge devices.
  • Dan, if you get a chance to send someone to Build, and if they get a chance to ask some tough questions of MS I'd like them to ask this... "Just what are your 8000 AI 'intelligent edge' employees doing all day?" If you read this article you'll see that in 2017 Alexa had some 15000 skills, compared to Cortana's inexusable 65: https://www.voicebot.ai/2017/07/02/amazon-alexa-skill-count-passes-15000... Now Alexa is expanding into the meeting room: https://aws.amazon.com/alexaforbusiness/ Android is expanding into the Enterprise: https://www.android.com/enterprise/ Chrome is expanding into the Enterprise: https://enterprise.google.com/chrome/ Okay so let's talk future... long term... if people are using Alexa in the office, Android in their pocket, Chromebooks in the classroom, Chromebooks on the front line workers desks, iPads at home, iPads in delivery trucks... just what makes Nadella think the developers of all these non-MS front line apps are going to pipe their data through Azure, and not Google Cloud or AWS? We don't hear Bezos or Google spouting off about "intelligent edge", "blockchain", and blah blah this and buzzword that. You see Amazon and Google actually DOING something about AI. The rubber's got to hit the road somewhere. Amazon and Google are delivering on devices that capture all this data. If MS really believe's their own hype, then why aren't they bombarding us with a flurry of Cortana Skills? Making Cortana available in every emerging market on the planet? And making sure that it's Cortana sitting on the meeting table and not Alexa? Why is there no new mobile device offering almost 3 years (in June) after killing off Lumia? I don't know what your plans are for Build, but if you guys get a chance can you please ask these tough questions?
  • I am starting to think MS ditching of W10M was one of those "too early" deals. I am still carrying my Elite x3, and am getting more and more people commenting on it with things like "I want one of those." Too bad I keep having to tell people that MS ditched the OS.
  • This is the right step from Nutella to lead the company to be IBM 2.0
  • Just for the record, there is zero actual holographic technology in any of Microsoft's so-called "holographic" devices. As a physicist who has actually worked with real holograms, I really wish that tech blogs would stop perpetuating Microsoft's marketing terms. We are far away from having any kind of real holographic display at this time. (I know I'm being pedantic but isn't that what comment sections are for? ;)
  • 1 Andromeda os is not Cold name it is the new os.
    2 The tablet-phone is coming. with the name Surface tablet or surface-mini.
    3 The surface note is Smartphone with 2 screens One of the back on the front.
    4 working on Smartwatch with name Watch it or Surface Band
  • I remember wondering why I needed a cell phone when I could plan stuff and use pay phones....the world keep changing!....and for the better...
  • Terry Myerson is just the person that might organize a startup and build a WP or such type device...
  • Somehow Microsoft always expects that computing will revolutionize and that they have a chance to start from the scratch. Most of the products depend on the human ergonomy and once they reach a proper form factor they simply cannot change radically anymore. For example, cars are the same for more than 100 years and will be for some more time. Possibly self-driving car might push single-sit or two-sit as a dominant form, but it is yet to be seen. So hope that the mobile phone or laptops will go away as a dominant form is just a hope, nothing more than that, not based on any reason.
  • I can't imagine what the article means when it says building stuff too early. Building for 2048 is just fine. It's in time for the Blade Runner to make use of Windows.
  • The browser almost seems like and OS - as long as everything runs in it. Google seems well positioned, Amazon - could see that. I wonder how this backlash against and FB might change things. Do we really want more cloud and AI solutions that consolidate our private data to one company. W10 is a pretty solid desktop OS - had very few problems with crashing and Virus/Malware - how ever how much info is MS taking from me even though I paid for the OS... can I really stop them?
    But my experience has been good. Maybe the flipside is some providers can be trustworthy....a certain social credit...something beyond just financial credit... Ok, I am babbling like a Utopian idiot....back to under my rock... Mr. V
  • I can understand MS moving away from consumer since they have had zero success with new products in consumer markets for years. I also don't think it's 100% their fault - they have made some genuinely great products, but I just don't think Microsoft will ever be 'cool'. Better to focus on areas where they actually are doing well. If they do put out a "Surface Note" and it's a huge success, it would probably scare the heck out of them. I do wish that they would put as much effort into making sure their current products are *great*, because these products are important now, today, and also inform our perception of how well they will do in the future.
    Good article though.
  • I think there is a lot of misinterpretation going on here. Nadella has said that they need a growth mindset and that over time software starts to reflect the organiztional structure of the business that built it. With that in mind I think the plan is to cross pollinate and kick start innovation. This isn't about de-emphasizing or emphasizing anything, it is merely a technique to get rid of stale processes and thoughts. This why you see so many reorgs under Nadella it's to disrupt and innovate and I think he is right.
  • To be honest, they're doing something which we have always complained they haven't done well with in the past - investing in the upcoming, the changes. So many people complained that they weren't quick to react when the mobile landscape changed and MS were caught snoozing. And they were caught snoozing, no mistake. Computing has changed and is going to continue to change, that's where they are investing.