Windows 10: What’s the big idea?

Windows 10: What’s the big idea?

Being seated among the other reporters in the exhibition hall of Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters last January 21, for the company’s big Windows 10 Consumer Preview event, was like attending a reunion of a PC users’ group from the 1980s, only not in a bowling alley.  I saw people with whom, in another era, I engaged in vigorous discussions about the issues that shaped our world: whether security notices should nag PC users, whether lock screens perform vital functions, and the intuitiveness of Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

The immediately shocking thing to me was that we were mostly the same people.

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What if Windows 10 fails?

What if Windows 10 fails?

It has been 25 years since the potential market failure of a Microsoft operating system carried serious consequences outside the corporation's own campus. MS-DOS and Windows versions have failed to gain traction before and even been publicly lampooned. But in that quarter-century, Microsoft's dominance of the desktop has kept the platform afloat, even when consumers and businesses stalwartly refused to upgrade.

Today, the word "dominance" doesn't really apply to Windows, and especially not to Microsoft.

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Microsoft to make the case for Windows 10 on both PCs and phones

Microsoft to make the case for Windows 10 on both PCs and phones

Say you found yourself in a Best Buy, or one of those retailers where everything on display was automatically described as "cool."  Someone hands you a phone and it has Windows 10 on it, and you say, "cool."  And you see a tablet, and it has Windows 10, and there's a laptop with Windows 10.

What do you think at this point?  Are you thinking, "Does this mean I can run my same software on all three of these things?"  Or is that not something you really need to do?  And if it's not, then what's the big deal about Windows 10 being "everywhere?"

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Self-launch

Several times during the last six years, my colleagues and I have been told outright that we are our own brands.  Well, if that's the case, then I think I could do a better job at marketing mine.  No, not with the automated tools that the Web gives us.  They resemble marketing about as well as those fake electric football stadiums we played with as kids (remember, the ones that vibrated and made the felt-bottomed players dance on the field) resemble real football.  I mean with the same tools that made David Brinkley, James Garner, and Pee-Wee Herman into real stars.

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Start Over: What Windows 10 Should Become

I've been threatening to do this for long enough, and now, here I go.  In this first edition of the video series, I diagnose why Windows 8 failed in the market and the public conscience (let's be fair, that's exactly what happened), and propose steps Microsoft may take to restore the next version of Windows to something approaching prominence.  You may ask yourself, why should we seek to restore Windows to prominence at all?  True, it still holds a grip on the world's desktops, but they're desktops that people use less and less.  I have innumerable reasons, but the #1 reason on the list is really the only one that matters to me:  I'm dubious of anyone else taking a stab at the world's workspace.

Great Depression

Great Depression

The death of a champion and hero of mine, Robin Williams, has forced me to objectively consider the nature of depression.  It’s something I consider subjectively far too often, and not by choice.  But when the question is forced to the surface and calls upon an expert to provide an objective answer, there is something inside of me that raises a hand.  And that image, in itself, could tell the entire story.

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