Skip Links

For Microsoft, simply ending CEO hunt is a good move

Had Microsoft dragged out its CEO search any longer, it risked continued embarrassment.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Thu, 02/06/14 - 10:12am.

By now, you’ve all probably heard that Microsoft has chosen its third CEO, Satya Nadella, a 22-year veteran of the company who most recently held the position of President of the Server & Tools division. Satya, however, has also been VP of the Research and Development for the Online Services Division, the Business Division, and the Cloud and Enterprise group, among a couple of other positions.

Read more

Review: Xbox One has mountains of untapped potential

If Microsoft executes on the software front, the Xbox One could be the first step toward true ubiquitous computing—in your home, at least.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 12/09/13 - 11:23am.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an Xbox One and a handful of games early on in the lead-up to the official launch. If you’ve followed all of the news that broke since Microsoft first began talking about the Xbox One publicly last May, you probably knew what to expect: ¬better in-game graphics, enhanced controllers, tight integration with the newly revamped Kinect sensor, and a more Windows 8/Windows Phone-like UI (full review here). All of that stuff was practically a given considering the next-gen nature of the console.

Read more

Microsoft just doesn't learn how to keep customers happy

Despite a plethora of interesting products, Microsoft continues to squander opportunities to do right by itself and its customers.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 10/28/13 - 3:01pm.

For all of the talk recently that Microsoft is listening to its customers, the company just doesn’t seem to get it. There are a number of reasons I say that, but two recent events in particular have me scratching my head. The first had to do with Windows 8.1’s unceremonious arrival in my TechNet account a few weeks back, although Microsoft publically claimed it wouldn’t release final 8.1 code to anyone prior to the October 18 launch date. And the second relates to Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

Read more

Is Ballmer's departure the cost of Microsoft's missteps?

Steve Ballmer and Microsoft claim the CEO's departure is all about proper timing while the company transforms itself into a supplier of devices and services. I'm not so sure.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Fri, 08/23/13 - 4:55pm.

Microsoft made a surprise announcement this morning that its divisive CEO, Steve Ballmer, would be stepping down within the next 12 months once a worthy successor is chosen. Many have been calling for Ballmer’s resignations for years, as they watched Microsoft make misstep after misstep, especially in the mobile market. But, according to today’s press release, Ballmer’s exit is all about timing and the company’s recent reorganization.

Read more

5 steps Microsoft can take to beef up Windows Phone 8 market share

According to IDC's most recent data Windows Phone sales increased by 77% year over year, but its market share is still dwarfed by iOS and Android.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Wed, 08/21/13 - 2:58pm.

A little over a year and half ago, I wrote about an IHS and iSuppli smartphone market report, which claimed that Windows Phone would surpass iOS in market share by 2015, due in part to Nokia’s aggressive push into the space and Microsoft’s huge marketing blitz.

Read more

The PC never died

Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Tue, 08/13/13 - 10:28am.

At this point, the PC’s woes are well known; I’m not going to extensively dissect any market trends or make any bold predictions about the future of the PC here. I may just snap, though, if I hear one more person say “the PC is dead” anytime soon.

Read more

Start listening to your customers, Microsoft

Microsoft would do itself some good by putting on their listening ears and being a little more proactive.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Tue, 07/30/13 - 5:01pm.

Witnessing the last few weeks of Microsoft news unfold has been like watching a really bad soap opera. There’s been a ton of news lately in regards to the company’s re-org and a myriad of other events, but a few specific things have really stuck out for me, as someone who follows the consumer space closely.

Read more

Microsoft's Kinect technology is a potential goldmine for mobile

Microsoft should leverage its Kinect technology to advance human-computer interfaces in next-gen PCs.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Tue, 06/18/13 - 9:56am.

The consumer PC market has undergone a major transformation over the last few years, due in no small part to the rapid influx of relatively powerful and easy-to-use ultra-mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Read more

I'm ditching Windows Phone 8 again, but not without reservations

My second foray into the world of Windows Phone 8 is once again ending with me going back to Android. The experience was much better this time around, though.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 06/03/13 - 2:15pm.

Back in January, I got my hands on a Nokia Lumia 920 and decided to give Windows Phone 8 an honest try. I’m a fan of Windows 8 and I own a Surface tablet, so I thought it might be cool to somewhat unify all of my computing platforms and immerse myself in all things Microsoft. As you can read in the original post, my experiment did not end well. I found the actual device and OS to be nice, but the Windows Phone 8 app ecosystem left me wanting.

Read more

Xbox One used game policy is a lawsuit waiting to happen

Although Microsoft's official stance on how customers can distribute their used games, the company may want to tread lightly.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Thu, 05/30/13 - 11:23am.

When Microsoft’s initial Xbox One unveiling ended, the company allowed the press to get a little more up close and personal with the console and ask engineers and designers some questions that weren’t answered during the event. A number of questions that came up were related to used games and how Microsoft would handle them with the Xbox One. Though nothing concrete was reported from the event itself, it seems Wired got the full scoop from a Microsoft Exec who had this to say via email:

Read more

Why Xbox One gaming has been an afterthought

Microsoft took some criticism for pushing gaming to the back burner with its Xbox One announcement, but isn't game quality a given?
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Wed, 05/29/13 - 1:37pm.

Microsoft may not have wowed hardcore gamers with its initial Xbox One announcement, but I’m not sure it wanted to. All of the exclusive game titles and advanced graphics capabilities of the Xbox One will most likely be shown off at the E3 show next week; it’s at that event when Microsoft will specifically target the gaming crowd. What Microsoft did accomplish at its initial Xbox One announcement, however, is declare war on every set top box, media streamer, and HTPC on the market.

Read more

Microsoft's new idea to steal Android users is a good one

Microsoft's 'Switch to Windows Phone' Android app will scan a device for installed apps and suggest equivalent or alternative apps for Windows Phone.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Wed, 05/01/13 - 3:55pm.

News broke a few days ago about a mobile app coming to the Google Play Store, designed to ease the transition from Android to Windows Phone 8. The “Switch to Windows Phone” app being developed by Microsoft and its partner Quixey scans the apps installed on a device, then checks the Windows Phone App store to see if the same apps are available for WP8, and if not, it suggests similar or alternative apps. The list can then be sent to a Microsoft account for easy retrieval should the user actually make the switch to Windows Phone.

Read more

Why a 7-inch Surface tablet would be a mistake for Microsoft

Rumors have begun circulating that Microsoft is working on a 7-inch version of its Surface tablet. I'm not convinced the company should even bother.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Thu, 04/18/13 - 9:55am.

For the past couple of weeks, the web has been buzzing with rumors and speculation that Microsoft is working on a 7-inch version of its Surface Tablet. There has been no official word from Microsoft, of course, but if you look at current market trends, introducing a smaller tablet would seem to make a lot of sense. The popularity of the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 are clear indicators that consumers are interested in smaller tablets, and Microsoft surely wants a piece of the action.

Read more

What am I missing with Windows Phone 8?

My first foray into Windows Phone 8 didn't go over with the readers so well, but since the OS and apps I use have been updated a few times since then, I'm giving Microsoft's mobile OS another go.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Tue, 04/02/13 - 9:53am.

A few months back, I acquired a Nokia Lumia 920 with the intent to use the device as my everyday smartphone. I had been a long-time user of the old and now defunct Windows Mobile, and still like to experiment with custom ROMs on an old WinMo-based HTC Rhodium from time to time, but for the last couple of years I’ve almost exclusively used Android-based devices.

BACKGROUND: Why I abandoned Windows Phone 8

Read more

Microsoft's TEALS program: Facilitating computer science education, coding at a younger age

The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools, or TEALS, program helps struggling schools with remote computer science and technology education.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Tue, 03/12/13 - 11:21am.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a video posted to YouTube by the Microsoft Citizenship group titled "Woolly worms to worlds of opportunities: Jeremy's story." The video tells a story of a high school student from Beaytyville, Kentucky, named Jeremy who wants to be a software engineer, or more specifically, a game designer. Unfortunately for Jeremy, his school didn’t have much of a computer science program, so he tried to learn as much as he could on his own. That only got him so far, though.

Read more

Surface Pro is making people crazy

For whatever reason, some folks in the media went a little nutty during the lead-up and launch of Microsoft's high-end Surface Pro convertible tablet PC. It's time for a reality check.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 03/11/13 - 2:20pm.

I understand that Microsoft is a divisive company. I get it; I really do. Over the years, they’ve won over a few fans and created more than a few enemies - and both sides are constantly at war. But what’s happened since the release of the company’s Surface Pro tablet PC was nothing short of incredible. It seemed that an as-yet-unknown feature of Surface Pro was making some journalists a bit crazy.

RELATED: Why I abandoned Windows Phone 8

Read more

Windows 8, once called a 'catastrophe,' is actually ideal for gamers

Despite Gabe Newell’s claim that Windows 8 is a "catastrophe," users of his Steam digital distribution service are adopting the OS at a decent clip.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Fri, 03/08/13 - 9:34am.

A few months back, I wrote about an interview in which Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell called Windows 8 a “catastrophe.” Just to refresh your memory, back then Mr. Newell specifically said, “I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC original equipment manufacturers. They’ll exit the market.

Read more

Prepare for the Windows 8 app onslaught

Despite disappointing initial sales, Windows 8's early numbers may be good news for Microsoft after all. Now that the install base of Windows 8 is already in the millions, developers are going to come flocking.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 01/14/13 - 9:06am.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched numerous people try to analyze what little solid information is available regarding Windows 8’s initial sales. Microsoft made an announcement a few weeks back claiming that it sold 40 million licenses in the operating system’s first month, and that first-month sales were better than Windows 7’s during its launch.

Read more

Why I abandoned Windows Phone 8

I recently acquired a Nokia Lumia 920 to experiment with Windows Phone 8. But a few weeks in, I'm already back to my Android-based device.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Mon, 01/07/13 - 9:17am.

A few months ago, I forced myself to switch to Windows 8 on my desktop system (and laptop) and ended up liking the operating system very much. Once I got used to the quirks and garish look of the new Start screen and learned many of the shortcuts built into Windows 8, I found myself enjoying the operating system and was more than pleased by its myriad of enhancements and performance improvements.

Read more

Questioning Microsoft's relevance is nonsense

Many pundits have claimed that Microsoft is irrelevant and that its products are no longer needed in the so-called post-PC era. I say they're nuts.
Submitted by Marco Chiappetta on Thu, 11/29/12 - 2:33pm.

Over the last few years, Microsoft has been bombarded from nearly every direction. Whether it be the vicious assault from Apple and iOS, the unstoppable force that is Google, or the ever-increasing array of quality open-source operating systems and applications, it seems Microsoft is in a constant battle for its life on multiple fronts. I may be dramaticizing a bit, but all of that is true—no doubt about it. And if Microsoft continues to let opportunities pass them by, the company’s days as one of the leaders in tech will be numbered.

Read more