This week I attended Microsoft's Big Picture in Melbourne and I think it showed what's wrong with Microsoft currently and only a bit of whats right.
Microsoft and the Windows operating system were the overall majority of peoples introduction to computers and what they could do.
You used to see roadshows where experts would show you tricks with Windows and Office to increase your knowledge and productivity and love of the operating system.
It gave you a grass roots love of the operating system.
You stuck with Windows through the good times and the not so good times ( Vista , Me) and developed an appreciation of what could be done with the personal computer.
The personal computer progressed into the business environment and as Microsoft makes the majority of it's revenue from business , it appears ,that is where they now concentrate and to the average user this preoccupation with business and enterprise is not that appealing.
There were great discussion's at the Big Picture on applications for business with knowing nodding going on from people listening to these talks , that contradicted the blank looks on others faces and when you talked to some people they had no understanding of some of the concepts presented but said we will leave it up to the IT department.
Don't get me wrong , there were demonstrations of the Xbox 360 , the Kinect , Ultrabooks ( from Asus , Samsung , Toshiba), Windows Phones , Zune software ( I will get to the Zune ), Microsoft Surface ( round the $16,000 mark ), monitors ( a really nice one from Samsung) and some Asus and Samsung tablets running Windows 7.We all love playing with technology and these proved extremely popular.
Microsoft should not forget the grass roots which made the company as it is the base that will grow the top end as you don't see Apple deserting the consumer for the business and for them it appears to be good operating system , good hardware.
Yes I am well aware that the average consumer is catered for online at their website but all I saying is that while other companies market themselves from the ground up , they appear to be going from the top down.
So lets do a quick whip round of the hardware there.
Liked the Asus Ultrabook ,well designed , brushed metal top and interior with a glass top trackpad as with the Macbook Air and even the Microsoft spokesperson compared it to the Macbook Air , its quick ( should be with the SSD), well built and well designed.
The Asus is on the left of the photo , the other 2 well , how do I say this , are just ok.
The Samsung in the middle is quick but has some plastic tabs that cover and pull down to access ports that could easily snap off and appeared to be not that well made.
The Sony on the right has the "battery wobbles" , a loose fitting battery that if tapped does move around.
This is the Asus tablet running Windows 7 ( to be honest i would have thought we should have seen Windows 8) which ran quiet well and lets not forget Microsoft did have tablets years ago.It however is quiet heavy and is no iPad.I also was able to use a Samsung tablet running Windows 7 as well (what no andriod!) , light ,quick and it ran quiet well and this was a good sign with Windows 8 on the horizon.
This is the Toshiba Ultrabook which again is quick , ( they all are as they have SSDs , solid state drives) but on this you can bend the screen and is quiet well built.
This is the new 27" Samsung monitor , nice design.
I was able to use some of the Windows Phone's and was quiet impressed with them , nice and quick with a good design with the HTC phone probably being the stand out.
While I was at the event I made a comment on twitter about Zune
Just a slight jab at the fact there is no longer a Zune player , not that it was ever available here.
I was however quickly corrected.
I knew that and if you want to know more about the Zune check out this Lifehacker Post.
Zune Pass:Microsoft Fans Only Need Apply
In conclusion upon leaving the Microsoft Big Picture event I filled in the feedback form and left with nothing .
In the past you would have recieved , a bag , maybe a usb drive , pamphlets , pens but for this event , nothing.
So I tweeted the following.
Received the following back
I think poor old Jason missed the point.
These events are all about leaving an impression and the impression that I left with is that life will go on for Microsoft , I may not agree with their marketing , I like the products from Microsoft but I also like what Apple and Google are doing and in the end the innovation from all will drive the industry to develop further.