MicroSoft's future plans


M

moose

Microsoft, in middle age, to go beyond the PC

GENEVA, Oct. 12 - When Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, gives his
keynote address on Monday at the international exhibition here he plans to
show off some of the company's latest technology - software that powers
mobile phones, online game machines and television services.

Those areas are crucial to the company's long-term strategy. And so the
industry is watching to see whether Microsoft can be innovative enough to
compete effectively in software platforms beyond the personal computer. The
goal is to provide software giving consumers access to content from a
variety of gadgets: showing family slides on a personal computer, television
or game console, for example, or tapping into a personal music library from
a mobile phone, TV, laptop or stereo.

Already, consumers use many of Microsoft's Xbox game consoles to watch
DVD's. And it is possible to listen to music and watch the accompanying
video on a Microsoft-software-powered personal computer, mobile telephone
and television.

The company says that its investments in the new areas are a long-term play.
Microsoft, which is pouring more than $6 billion annually into research and
development, "has the financial flexibility to stay the course for a lengthy
period of time," said John G. Connors, the chief financial officer.

Microsoft is also marketing its TV technology to phone and cable operators.
Interactive TV is an area that many companies have been aiming at for a
dozen years. Microsoft has come up with a variety of new technology
solutions in the last 18 months that do a better job of meeting customer
demands, analysts say.

One example is a TV delivery service based on Internet standards that allows
carriers to deliver new pay TV services over existing high-speed Internet
connections. An experimental model of the system will be on display for the
first time at the show here. The technology will be tested by phone
companies in Canada and India, said Ed Graczyk, director of marketing for
Microsoft TV.

Phone companies need to compete with cable and satellite operators, which
are able to deliver voice, data and video services. Microsoft's pitch is
that the Windows Media 9 version of its Media Player is a cost-efficient and
technologically superior way of compressing video over a limited amount of
bandwidth, allowing phone companies to deliver pay-TV services to set-top
boxes.

In game consoles, Microsoft went from nowhere to become No. 2 worldwide, but
it is still way behind Sony. The research and consulting firm International
Data Corporation forecasts that Sony will control 61.1 percent of the game
console market at the end of this year, compared with 22.9 percent for
Microsoft and 13.5 percent for Nintendo.

But Microsoft is interested in selling more than boxes. It is putting a lot
of emphasis on Xbox Live, an online game service that it says is driving
broadband traffic for phone companies.

Microsoft's cash hoard gives it a huge war chest, and it is looking to gain
dominance 10 to 15 years from now, after two or three more generations of
consoles have been released, according to Michael Goodman, a Yankee Group
analyst.

A Microsoft executive seemed to support that view. "It is a marathon, not a
sprint, and we are pretty good at marathons," said Peter Moore, vice
president for worldwide retail sales and marketing at Microsoft's home and
entertainment division.
 
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M

MS#1Fanboy-JoJo

Microsoft, in middle age, to go beyond the PC

GENEVA, Oct. 12 - When Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, gives his
keynote address on Monday at the international exhibition here he plans to
show off some of the company's latest technology - software that powers
mobile phones, online game machines and television services.

Those areas are crucial to the company's long-term strategy. And so the
industry is watching to see whether Microsoft can be innovative enough to
compete effectively in software platforms beyond the personal computer. The
goal is to provide software giving consumers access to content from a
variety of gadgets: showing family slides on a personal computer, television
or game console, for example, or tapping into a personal music library from
a mobile phone, TV, laptop or stereo.

Already, consumers use many of Microsoft's Xbox game consoles to watch
DVD's. And it is possible to listen to music and watch the accompanying
video on a Microsoft-software-powered personal computer, mobile telephone
and television.

The company says that its investments in the new areas are a long-term play.
Microsoft, which is pouring more than $6 billion annually into research and
development, "has the financial flexibility to stay the course for a lengthy
period of time," said John G. Connors, the chief financial officer.

Microsoft is also marketing its TV technology to phone and cable operators.
Interactive TV is an area that many companies have been aiming at for a
dozen years. Microsoft has come up with a variety of new technology
solutions in the last 18 months that do a better job of meeting customer
demands, analysts say.

One example is a TV delivery service based on Internet standards that allows
carriers to deliver new pay TV services over existing high-speed Internet
connections. An experimental model of the system will be on display for the
first time at the show here. The technology will be tested by phone
companies in Canada and India, said Ed Graczyk, director of marketing for
Microsoft TV.

Phone companies need to compete with cable and satellite operators, which
are able to deliver voice, data and video services. Microsoft's pitch is
that the Windows Media 9 version of its Media Player is a cost-efficient and
technologically superior way of compressing video over a limited amount of
bandwidth, allowing phone companies to deliver pay-TV services to set-top
boxes.

In game consoles, Microsoft went from nowhere to become No. 2 worldwide, but
it is still way behind Sony. The research and consulting firm International
Data Corporation forecasts that Sony will control 61.1 percent of the game
console market at the end of this year, compared with 22.9 percent for
Microsoft and 13.5 percent for Nintendo.

But Microsoft is interested in selling more than boxes. It is putting a lot
of emphasis on Xbox Live, an online game service that it says is driving
broadband traffic for phone companies.

Microsoft's cash hoard gives it a huge war chest, and it is looking to gain
dominance 10 to 15 years from now, after two or three more generations of
consoles have been released, according to Michael Goodman, a Yankee Group
analyst.

A Microsoft executive seemed to support that view. "It is a marathon, not a
sprint, and we are pretty good at marathons," said Peter Moore, vice
president for worldwide retail sales and marketing at Microsoft's home and
entertainment division.
Same thing they did with Internet Explorer. Netscape kicked its butt until
Microsofts fourth browser came out. I am amazed that Microsoft is controlling
around 22 percent of the market after just two years in the console business.
 
J

joe

And this would be of interest to PS2 owners because?

Because it may sway you into selling your outdated console and purchasing an
XBOX.
 
B

Bagpuss

Same thing they did with Internet Explorer. Netscape kicked its butt until
Microsofts fourth browser came out. I am amazed that Microsoft is controlling
around 22 percent of the market after just two years in the console business.

They are after 60% of the mobile phone market next. Currently, if you
count services they claim to have 4% market shared. They said IIRC,
60% of the mobile phone/services market is about as much as any
company could aim to achieve.
 
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T

Thrasher

In other words, now that everyone has a PC and software can't get any
easier to use, Microsoft intends to dumb down every other mass-market
media (and the PC is certainly that, now) that they can stick their
nose into.

What happened to the days when people made software because it was
powerful and amplified the skills of advanced users, instead of "ease
of use" being the driving factor in software design? Now, everything
is easy to use but it doesn't DO anything. PC software companies
haven't done anything innovative since Windows 95 came out. Because
they can't make things easier than they are. And that's what counts,
right?

And I know 53,000 people are going to jump in and tell me how much
Windows XP is different from Windows 95 and how much more advanced
Excel is and Microsft Word is than they were a decade ago. Sell it to
somebody who just fell off the turnip truck.
 
M

magnulus

Why do you have a burr up your butt?

Windows 2000/XP is alot more stable than Windows 95. It's a night and
day difference. I run machines with Windows ME still, and they will crash
for absolutely no reason, and I never see this with XP or 2000. In fact I
hardly ever turn my Windows XP PC off or reboot, because there usually is no
reason to do so.

XBox is just Microsoft testing the waters. It's interesting to note that
while they are doing XBox, they are also starting a multimediaedia-PC
initiative (that uses a remote instead of a mouse) that has similar goals
but a much more traditional PC design. Why? Hedge their bets, tap into two
different markets. XBox will appeal to kids, technophobes, and the computer
illiterati out there, media PC's will appeal to a demographic that wouldn't
dream of buying a videogame toy to connect to their home theater. Either
way, Microsoft stands to make money.

And before you think I'm nuts, there's a whole demographic of 50
somethings that don't have any interest in videogames, but they are familiar
with PC's and they might want that kind of functionality in a home theater.
An XBox just doesn't appeal to the AARP generation, older people really
don't like those kinds of games (they tend to not play as many games in
general), yet that demographic is where the money is going to be in the
future.
 
T

Thrasher

Windows 2000/XP is alot more stable than Windows 95. It's a night and
day difference. I run machines with Windows ME still, and they will crash
for absolutely no reason, and I never see this with XP or 2000. In fact I
hardly ever turn my Windows XP PC off or reboot, because there usually is no
reason to do so.

I have some bad news for you... I left my Windows 3.1 development
machine on at work 24/7 and it never crashed, except when my programs
caused it to, in 4 years. Windows XP is more fool proof than previous
versions of windows. Note the word "fool" in that statement. That was
the whole point of my post. The ability to use software packages (and
operating systems) used to be a basic proof of competency.

Is there anything an amateur can do with Microsoft Word now that a
professional couldn't do with Aldus Pagemaker 15 years ago? No. There
is also nothing a PROFESSIONAL can do with Microsft word that they
couldn't do 15 years ago with Aldus Pagemaker. Only, the amateur is
still an amateur and cannot get a job doing technical writing, so why
do they *need* to be able to do all those things? Used to be if you
said you could use Lotus 1-2-3 on your resume but obviously couldn't
when hired, you got terminated for lying on your resume. Now, it takes
6 months of reading through idiotic reports for managers to realize
somebody isn't actually competent for the job which they were hired to
do.

I'm a software developer and I'm here to tell you even in the field of
programming this is a problem now. Somebody without any knowledge of
C/C++ at *all* can make a skeleton app that appears to at least do
something, and then they can waste everyone's time while they try to
learn programming on the job. It's no longer obvious when a new hire
is just blowing smoke.
And before you think I'm nuts, there's a whole demographic of 50
somethings that don't have any interest in videogames

I'm not even 40 something yet, and I also want nothing to do with
video games. I'm also beginning not to want anything to do with the
PC. It's become a platform for the masses, rather than a platform for
pros and techies.

But I think you miss my point. My comments have nothing to do with the
X-Box, the PC, mobile phones or anything else currently in use. They
have to do with the future and where MS, as the tech leader, intends
to take us.

For instance, there will come a time when television news media won't
involve real people at all, but instead lifelike virtual talking
heads, ala Max Headroom from the 80s. But they won't be
distinguishable from real people. Can you imagine the dialogue from
both sides of an issue being programmed by the same random anonymous
back office employee? Oh, and maybe the show isn't reaching enough
blacks - easily fixed, swap out the white talking head for a black one
and use a different voice, maybe with some black-isms thrown in. But
still programmed by the same random employee in a cubicle somewhere
out of view. I think the media is too much in control of public
opinion *now*, but what I'm talking about is serious mind control.

And if you think this won't happen, you are nuts. There is so much
money to be saved and so much ploitical influence to be had a news
company would be committing suicide by *not* using such technology
when it becomes available.

And that's just one example of where Microsoft wants to take us today.
 
T

Thrasher

Same thing they did with Internet Explorer. Netscape kicked its butt until
Microsofts fourth browser came out.

Nope, Netscape was doomed to die the day they went public and became
the first billion dollar company with no revenue. Netscape was their
only product so they had no choice but to try selling it when everyone
else was giving away their browser for free. Netscape is the poster
child for everything that went wrong with the dot coms. They started
dragging down the NASDAQ way back in March of 99 and took the DOW down
with them in October of 2000. By that, I mean the idea that warm &
fuzzy new age-ish self promotion that has nothing to do with actual
business practices became the standard for mainstream companies as
well as dot coms, since it seemed to work so well. Turns out the media
isn't the message, after all. The message is the message. Oh, well.
Water under the bridge now. I doubt investors will get sucked in by
such meaningless tripe again anytime soon.
I am amazed that Microsoft is controlling around 22 percent of the
market after just two years in the console business.

I'm not. The console market is *perfect* for Microsoft. I'm surprised
they aren't doing better.
 
D

Doug Jacobs

In alt.games.video.sony-playstation2 Thrasher said:
I have some bad news for you... I left my Windows 3.1 development
machine on at work 24/7 and it never crashed, except when my programs
caused it to, in 4 years. Windows XP is more fool proof than previous
versions of windows. Note the word "fool" in that statement. That was
the whole point of my post. The ability to use software packages (and
operating systems) used to be a basic proof of competency.

How'd you manage that? The first time I ran Windows 3.1 (not 3.11 - 3.1)
it crashed when I simply moved my mouse frm one side of the monitor to the
other.

Things have come a long way since then, thankfully.

Though I still think it's sad that it took Microsoft about 10 years to
create an OS that's nearly stable as OS/2 was. (Linux was still just a
"toy OS" at the time.)

As for the "fool" comment, why should software be hard to use? Good
grief, I think it's downright *criminal* that places like Oracle and
others charge companies thousands or millions of dollars for software that
cannot even be *installed*, much less used, without having to hire an
expert. Worse still, the quality of these large enterprise software
systems makes good 'ole Win 3.1x look like a paragon of quality and
stability!
I'm a software developer and I'm here to tell you even in the field of
programming this is a problem now. Somebody without any knowledge of
C/C++ at *all* can make a skeleton app that appears to at least do
something, and then they can waste everyone's time while they try to
learn programming on the job. It's no longer obvious when a new hire
is just blowing smoke.

Well, any tool can be misused... Heck, at one company I used to work for,
someone whipped up a prototype using some Perl and Javascript, only to
have sales run off and sell it as-is. Thus starting the tradition...
Each new prototype tried addressing issues from the previous version, but
there was never any time to actually address the issues the new version
introduced until after it shipped. As you can imagine, patches were
complex and plentiful.
I'm not even 40 something yet, and I also want nothing to do with
video games. I'm also beginning not to want anything to do with the
PC. It's become a platform for the masses, rather than a platform for
pros and techies.

What, it's not l33t enough for you?

There's a lot more skill involved making something efficient, robust and
easy to use than efficient, robust and obfuscated. That's not to say that
Microsoft is the paragon of software development... They can only manage
east to use...some of the time. Besides, having the masses use something
gives better job security than making a niche tool for techies, who are
outnumbered by the masses by thousands to one ;)
 
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H

hermes

While listening to the voices in their head blather on endlessly about
inspecific gibberish, moose typed:
:: Microsoft, in middle age, to go beyond the PC
::
:: GENEVA, Oct. 12 - When Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, gives
:: his keynote address on Monday at the international exhibition here
:: he plans to show off some of the company's latest technology -
:: software that powers mobile phones, online game machines and
:: television services.

OK - Here it goes. I thought that our TVs would be forever safe from the shink wrap license BS M$ tries to pull, but obviously not. This is very bad news for comsumers. :(

::
:: Those areas are crucial to the company's long-term strategy. And so
:: the industry is watching to see whether Microsoft can be innovative
:: enough to compete effectively in software platforms beyond the
:: personal computer. The goal is to provide software giving consumers
:: access to content from a variety of gadgets: showing family slides
:: on a personal computer, television or game console, for example, or
:: tapping into a personal music library from a mobile phone, TV,
:: laptop or stereo.
::
:: Already, consumers use many of Microsoft's Xbox game consoles to
:: watch DVD's. And it is possible to listen to music and watch the
:: accompanying video on a Microsoft-software-powered personal
:: computer, mobile telephone and television.
::
:: The company says that its investments in the new areas are a
:: long-term play. Microsoft, which is pouring more than $6 billion
:: annually into research and development, "has the financial
:: flexibility to stay the course for a lengthy period of time," said
:: John G. Connors, the chief financial officer.
::
:: Microsoft is also marketing its TV technology to phone and cable
:: operators. Interactive TV is an area that many companies have been
:: aiming at for a dozen years. Microsoft has come up with a variety of
:: new technology solutions in the last 18 months that do a better job
:: of meeting customer demands, analysts say.
::
:: One example is a TV delivery service based on Internet standards
:: that allows carriers to deliver new pay TV services over existing
:: high-speed Internet connections. An experimental model of the system
:: will be on display for the first time at the show here. The
:: technology will be tested by phone companies in Canada and India,
:: said Ed Graczyk, director of marketing for Microsoft TV.
::
:: Phone companies need to compete with cable and satellite operators,
:: which are able to deliver voice, data and video services.
:: Microsoft's pitch is that the Windows Media 9 version of its Media
:: Player is a cost-efficient and technologically superior way of
:: compressing video over a limited amount of bandwidth, allowing phone
:: companies to deliver pay-TV services to set-top boxes.
::
:: In game consoles, Microsoft went from nowhere to become No. 2
:: worldwide, but it is still way behind Sony. The research and
:: consulting firm International Data Corporation forecasts that Sony
:: will control 61.1 percent of the game console market at the end of
:: this year, compared with 22.9 percent for Microsoft and 13.5 percent
:: for Nintendo.
::
:: But Microsoft is interested in selling more than boxes. It is
:: putting a lot of emphasis on Xbox Live, an online game service that
:: it says is driving broadband traffic for phone companies.
::
:: Microsoft's cash hoard gives it a huge war chest, and it is looking
:: to gain dominance 10 to 15 years from now, after two or three more
:: generations of consoles have been released, according to Michael
:: Goodman, a Yankee Group analyst.
::
:: A Microsoft executive seemed to support that view. "It is a
:: marathon, not a sprint, and we are pretty good at marathons," said
:: Peter Moore, vice president for worldwide retail sales and marketing
:: at Microsoft's home and entertainment division.
 
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E

Eltanin

MS future plans? Can you say PS3!

hermes said:
While listening to the voices in their head blather on endlessly about
inspecific gibberish, moose typed:=20
:: Microsoft, in middle age, to go beyond the PC
::=20
:: GENEVA, Oct. 12 - When Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, gives
:: his keynote address on Monday at the international exhibition here
:: he plans to show off some of the company's latest technology -
:: software that powers mobile phones, online game machines and
:: television services.=20

OK - Here it goes. I thought that our TVs would be forever safe from =
the shink wrap license BS M$ tries to pull, but obviously not. This is =
very bad news for comsumers. :(

::=20
:: Those areas are crucial to the company's long-term strategy. And so
:: the industry is watching to see whether Microsoft can be innovative
:: enough to compete effectively in software platforms beyond the
:: personal computer. The goal is to provide software giving consumers
:: access to content from a variety of gadgets: showing family slides
:: on a personal computer, television or game console, for example, or
:: tapping into a personal music library from a mobile phone, TV,
:: laptop or stereo.=20
::=20
:: Already, consumers use many of Microsoft's Xbox game consoles to
:: watch DVD's. And it is possible to listen to music and watch the
:: accompanying video on a Microsoft-software-powered personal
:: computer, mobile telephone and television.
::=20
:: The company says that its investments in the new areas are a
:: long-term play. Microsoft, which is pouring more than $6 billion
:: annually into research and development, "has the financial
:: flexibility to stay the course for a lengthy period of time," said
:: John G. Connors, the chief financial officer.=20
::=20
:: Microsoft is also marketing its TV technology to phone and cable
:: operators. Interactive TV is an area that many companies have been
:: aiming at for a dozen years. Microsoft has come up with a variety of
:: new technology solutions in the last 18 months that do a better job
:: of meeting customer demands, analysts say.
::=20
:: One example is a TV delivery service based on Internet standards
:: that allows carriers to deliver new pay TV services over existing
:: high-speed Internet connections. An experimental model of the system
:: will be on display for the first time at the show here. The
:: technology will be tested by phone companies in Canada and India,
:: said Ed Graczyk, director of marketing for Microsoft TV.
::=20
:: Phone companies need to compete with cable and satellite operators,
:: which are able to deliver voice, data and video services.
:: Microsoft's pitch is that the Windows Media 9 version of its Media
:: Player is a cost-efficient and technologically superior way of
:: compressing video over a limited amount of bandwidth, allowing phone
:: companies to deliver pay-TV services to set-top boxes.
::=20
:: In game consoles, Microsoft went from nowhere to become No. 2
:: worldwide, but it is still way behind Sony. The research and
:: consulting firm International Data Corporation forecasts that Sony
:: will control 61.1 percent of the game console market at the end of
:: this year, compared with 22.9 percent for Microsoft and 13.5 percent
:: for Nintendo.=20
::=20
:: But Microsoft is interested in selling more than boxes. It is
:: putting a lot of emphasis on Xbox Live, an online game service that
:: it says is driving broadband traffic for phone companies.
::=20
:: Microsoft's cash hoard gives it a huge war chest, and it is looking
:: to gain dominance 10 to 15 years from now, after two or three more
:: generations of consoles have been released, according to Michael
:: Goodman, a Yankee Group analyst.
::=20
:: A Microsoft executive seemed to support that view. "It is a
:: marathon, not a sprint, and we are pretty good at marathons," said
:: Peter Moore, vice president for worldwide retail sales and marketing
:: at Microsoft's home and entertainment division.
 

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