Making Microsoft great again

It seems as though Microsoft is waking up

Over the past decade, Microsoft has seemed to be asleep at the wheel.  They are constantly late to the game on just about every technology advancement.  The features that they had which separated them, seem to have fallen on the back burner or have been killed off completely, (windows media center, cough cough).  They have been able to generate excitement around certain hit products like the Xbox, but that customer hype doesn’t seem to be present by users of the Windows operating system. Confronted with major competition, Microsoft is facing the reality that they need to either get with the game or watch their empire become slowly eroded by others who seem to be innovating faster.

Bogged down and bloated

In my opinion, Microsoft OS’s biggest downfalls are a poorly maintained OS and the inability to take control over applications that tend to take over most system resources. Windows XP was a light, well loved operating system. It ran even on the most minimal of hardware…but then came Vista, the big bloated mess that started people’s disenchantment with the windows operating system. Vista was an attempt at beautifying the Operating system, but instead of lean code that enabled the computer to shine they did just the opposite, resulting in a bloated OS that only ran decently on the most powerful PC of the time.  Since then, with each iteration of Windows they have fought to streamline the OS and have finally gotten back to a good place with windows 10.

The Competition

Once upon a time, a machine with Microsoft OS was the very best in computer processing. Now it seems as though a PC is just something to buy in order to get the job done. Where Windows lacks in customer enthusiasm, their competition has been happy to excite their disenfranchised users. Apple came out swinging with commercials painting Windows as a lame business machine. This has translated to Apple taking most of the high-end Windows PC market.  This didn’t seem to affect Microsoft too much. Most of its sales consisted of sub-$1000 PCs so it didn’t effect their bottom line to a great degree.  Just as Microsoft settled in to their low to middle of the range market, a newcomer started making waves.  Out of the blue, Google’s new OS started to catch on and was rapidly taking the low end of the market.  Googles Chrome OS is now evolving and targeting Microsoft’s main users with the introduction of application support and a more robust and advanced operating system.

Expelled from the smart phone market

The smart phone market is another example of a competitive space in which Microsoft failed to see and follow the trends until it was too late. Once a leader in the smart phone world along side blackberry, Microsoft didn’t see the future coming.  When the first iPhone was released in 2007, Windows mobile market share was at an all time high achieving 42% of all smartphone sales. Fast forward to the present day where they account for less than 1% of the market. Time and time again Microsoft has found that their efforts were too little too late.

Manufacturers just don’t innovate

To be fair, Microsoft isn’t the only one to blame for the stagnation of Windows.  It seems to me that with very few exceptions, the manufacturers of PCs have dropped the ball by producing uninspired, half baked, cheap, plasticy, junk. Every year the same old machines are spit out and quality doesn’t often seem to be a focus. Finally in 2012, Microsoft showed the world what a modern PC should be with the introduction of the Surface.  Unfortunately, at that point they had a bigger problem on their hands in the form of Windows 8.  They showed that quality hardware mattered but the next step was to fix the problems with the operating system.

Firing on all cylinders

The surface line has become a force to be reckoned with. This, in combination with windows 10, is helping Microsoft to take back some of their high end market share. The surface line shows the full potential of a Windows computer, combining high quality hardware with a clean a simple aesthetic. These PCs are just the beginning of Microsoft making strides to return to the spotlight and get people excited about their Operating System again.

Announced in the fall of last year along with the introduction of their new ultra high end Surface Studio all in one PC (which is aimed squarely at Apple’s user base), was the announcement of the new update coming to Windows 10, called the creators update.  This update is massive and adds much needed and useful features which have been long since neglected in Windows.  A full feature list is available on Microsoft’s web site, but the two main features that are greatly anticipated are the upgrade to Microsoft Paint and an overhaul of gaming in Windows.

Currently, Paint is severely lacking in features, being used mostly for cropping and the most basic editing. With the update, we are told it will be a full featured 3D art studio, giving the user the basic tools needed to create in 2D and 3D.  The second exciting part of this update is the overhaul of gaming in windows. This will brings PC gaming back to the forefront by combining PC gaming with their immensely popular Xbox.  Using the Xbox live back end, you will be able to converse with fellow gamers and seamlessly share content.  In addition to this, Microsoft will also be improving the gaming experience by allowing the computer to more fully use the resources available for each game and by minimizing other programs so that they don’t impede performance.

Conclusion

No longer is Microsoft the sleeping giant. They have woken up and are ready to do battle,hoping to breathe excitement into the souls of all of their users. Excitement is key for the turn around to succeed. In order for this to work for Microsoft, they need people yelling with enthusiasm when they see new cool innovation being released. They need people queuing up to purchase the next greatest thing.  If they can turn this corner and battle the invaders, they just might keep their crown as the dominant Operating System. Who knows…if this works, they might have the clout to reenter the arena of the mobile phone market.

 

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Deal – Free premium games and apps – get them before they become paid again

The Passenger

Short and experimental adventure game
Get involved in a world where you will be solving logical puzzles, brain teasers and mini-games.Discover a relaxing experience designed specialy for mobile devices with an original and innovative Point-and-click graphic adventure game.Enjoy beatiful 2D hand-drawn backgrounds and character animations.
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You won’t find any lengthy boring dialogs in this indie puzzle / adventure game.

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TA: Little Red Riding Hood

Step into a bizarre fairy-tale world and set out on a Little Red Riding Hood adventure that only App Games can bring to life!

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Reed

Reed – it’s a tiny creature and the last creation of an old supercomputer.
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Can you collect all the cube that could be found in levels that are not so easy to pass ?
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Danmaku Unlimited 2

The sequel to the critically acclaimed vertical shmup blasts onto Android!

Danmaku Unlimited 2 brings a modern, original take on the classic Japanese arcade genre rarely seen on mobile devices! Climb the ranks as you pilot the powerful Senko fighter to destroy legions of enemies in a hailstorm of bullets!

Continue the saga as you fight to uncover powerful relics from the old war and unravel the secrets surrounding the Valkyrias!

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The objective.

The game is all about rotating pieces properly, so that there would be no loose ends.

The content.

Entire content of the game consists from most exceptional fan-made puzzles, which were carefully selected by the developer team. This is why each and every puzzle will surprise you and bend your imagination in extraordinary ways. Animals, superheroes, real-life objects or beautiful abstracts – you can find it all here.

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The length.
The game currently presents about 12-14 hours of top-notch puzzle experience. Please note that to ensure the infinite play, the content will be frequently updated. Make no mistake – every puzzle you see will blow your mind

 

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Swiftly Switch Pro

Time to upgrade my machine

Today, AMD gave us the full details about Ryzen and it looks groundbreaking.

Summary of video

  1. AMD = High Performance Computing
  2. 10 percent smaller chip size
  3. Ryzen is completely new hardware, not just a change in design
  4. AMD beats its own goal of 40% boost in IPC – achiving 52%!ryzen-1
  5. Ryzen 7 = models 1700, 1700x and 1800x
  6. The 1700x beats the intel i76900k currently selling for $1049.ryzen-2
  7. Ryzen 7 1800x ($499) beats the i7 6900k($1049) by 9 percent on Cinebench.ryzen-3
  8. Worlds lowest powered 8 core processor and 46% better performance.ryzen-4
  9. 82+ AM4 motherboards will be available at launch.
  10. AMDs goal was to disrupt the industry.ryzen5ryzen6ryzen7
  11. AMD blows away the competition – available March 2nd.  Pre-orders start today.

Watch out Intel, AMD just might knock you down with Ryzen

Intel may soon find themselves in a place they haven’t been in 15 years.  AMD has been hard at work developing their next generation of CPU/APUs.  They will be splitting their CPU line up into 3 classes: Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 7.  Seems like they are trying to copy Intel’s scheme of i3, i5, and i7. That’s where the similarities stop. If the leaked benchmarks are true, the Ryzen 5 chips will directly take on the mainstream Intel i7 for a much cheaper price.  Take a look at this leaked benchmark.wp-1487448488156.jpg

This benchmark shows the AMD Ryzen 5 1600x chip, which is rumored to be priced at $259, beating an Intel i7 $610 chip in CPU performance.  I hope this is true. It would turn the industry on its head and finally there would be better competition.

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I am hoping to see some benchmarks on graphical performance soon. If they can similarly increase the performance of the GPU in the chips, we may be able to see the low end graphics card market drop off in favor of integrated graphics.

Better Gaming in Windows 10 coming soon – Merging Xbox and PC

windows-gaming-update

Microsoft is currently preparing for a massive update.  This will be included in what Microsoft is calling the Creators Update.  This was announced last year and has been getting updates via the insider channel for developers and tech enthusiasts.

The gaming part of the update will allow game developers to take better advantage of the system resources of the computer by minimizing the other parts of the system when a game is running.  This is similar to how the Xbox uses it resources.  If you haven’t noticed, the Xbox has about the same performance as a PC using a 3 year old AMD APU.  The reason games run smoother on less powerful hardware is the ability for the system to allocate a greater percentage of processing power to the game.  Microsoft is looking to harness more fully the power of the processor and graphics cards.

Another feature that Microsoft is touting is called Beam. Microsoft would like to be the default way for users to stream their gameplay to their friends.  Beam connects to an Xbox Live account and uses that back end to connect users to their entire xbox friends list, with the ability to instantly share gameplay with them.

They are also looking to integrate other Xbox features in to windows.  The additions to windows will help to blur the lines between Xbox gaming and windows gaming, which up until this point have been completely separate from each other.

source – xbox blog