Coffeehouse Thread

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What's going on at Microsoft?

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  • User profile image
    Stebet

    It feels like Microsoft is stuck in it's treads or has ground to a complete halt in some aspects lately. Orcas looks really really  exciting though, and so does Surface, Windows Home Server and Windows Server 2008. But those are mainly new products that have been in development for a long time. There are a couple of things that have really bothered me lately.

    1. Long Zheng has just pointed out the Microsofts appalling commitment to the Ultimate Extras program. He thinks customers have been screwed over and i have to agree, they have been. It's been 6 months since Vista was officially released and we're still stuck with the same Ultimate Extras since then and Dreamscene seems nowhere close to get out of it's Beta status. We've been shown "possible" Extras (developed by MS Research if i remember correctly) a long time ago but heard nothing since. Way to show Microsofts support for the enthusiasts.

    I ask the same as Long Zheng, Where's the responsibility?!

    2. Just recently the Messenger team launched the Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta complete with a UI overhaul (yet again). I immediately thought "Finally Microsoft are going to give us something cool, perhaps a WPF powered Messenger since Yahoo seem to be well on their way with their own WPF powered IM". But no! A slightly changed UI that tries to imitate Aero Glass with no new features whatsoever (at least none worth upgrading for i.m.o), ONE new emoticon (do i hear a rumbling applause? no?) and get this. a NEW SETUP (amazing!). All of this most likely with even more memory usage (i'll wait until i see the final about that though). A complete let-down. We all know that the IM market is the perfect market for flashy, animated things. So what's the hold up?

    We're seeing all sorts of tech demos, tutorials and lot's of really really good stuff from Microsoft regarding WPF, WCF and some research technologies for example but still Microsofts seems afraid to put it to use in it's own products (I don't count the Expression tools since they are aimed at a very small group of customers).

    I ask again, what the hell is going on? Are the days of dogfooding (not just products but your own new technology) and leading by example gone? Microsoft seems to be afraid of taking chances and making changes lately. It's pretty clear to me that developer adoption of the new .NET technologies for example will be rather minor until Microsoft themselves lead by example.

    And someone please wake up the Ultimate Extras team (if they even exist anymore)!

  • User profile image
    eagle

    Do you have a new GPU with DirectX 10?

  • User profile image
    TiAdiMundo

    I hope they are working on WPF driven apps for Vista SP1. Maybe a WPF sidebar gadget to implement Windows Live services (with an all-new Messenger)? Or a new Media Center created in WPF?

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Agreed, the UE policy is terrible. Charles, any chance for a question on what's happening there in the "What do you want to know about Vista?" video?

    I guess not...

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    Have to agree with you on all points.

    Showing all that cool stuff is great, but if it just lives in labs, then you may as well stop doing it.


  • User profile image
    Stebet

    eagle wrote:
    

    Do you have a new GPU with DirectX 10?



    Actually i do at home (but not at work) but what has that got to do with anything?

  • User profile image
    Koogle

    "Long Zheng has just pointed out the Microsofts appalling commitment to the Ultimate Extras program."

    mwuaha well I saw them coming a mile off, just microsoft trying to lure people into paying more for not a lot really.. I laughed at the Channel 9 videos about ultimate extras...  it is a shame that they haven't really developed much more

    just there games for windows live thing is joke aswel..

    as for msn 8.5 well I not bothered installing the new beta mainly because I hate vista ugly minimize/close buttons... they don't fit in at all with my xp style theme... and i have no intention to switch to vista anytime time soon.. and secondaly there really isn't much new is there.. or maybe a new bunny emoticon ('.') ... yup lol.. think I'll wait for another version  

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    Zune is another area where they have the potential to deliver cool stuff but just don't really deliver anything.

    It's been, what 5 months and all they've managed to push through firmware updates are silly performance improvements (which I don't really notice) and a more random shuffle?

    I understand games wont be for awhile, but they can at least do something about the currently useless wi-fi. Put text messaging on it, allow video to be shared, put a browser on it.

    And then there's the expansion capability. Instead of mimicking iPod hardware, why not think of something cooler. How about release a voice recorder add on, a webcam add on, memory card reader add on.

    There's just a lot of stuff you could do with a Zune, and Microsoft is more than capable of doing it. Just, they don't, which I don't get.

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    mVPstar wrote:
    There's just a lot of stuff you could do with a Zune, and Microsoft is more than capable of doing it. Just, they don't, which I don't get.


    Exactly. Things like this just continue to amaze me. A few years ago during the devlopment of all the new .NET stuff (WPF, WCF, Workflow etc.), the 360, Vista, Visual Studio 2005 and Zune it felt like Microsoft were finally pushing innovation and progress. Now that these products are out it just seems like the momentum disappeared and Microsoft are sitting on their thumbs.

    The only exception seems to be the Visual Studio guys, i know they've been busy little bees and it's showing with all the Orcas stuff and Scott Guthrie is very good at keeping people interested.

    However, the Zune hasn't progressed at all, the 360 has progressed a bit but there's always just that tiny little extra needed to really wow the consumers (the half-assed mpeg4 and container support is a good example), WCF and WPF adoption inside MS seems to be non-existant and the Ultimate Extras are dead.

    It just makes me sad to see all this potential there and nothing being done about it.

  • User profile image
    eagle

    LINQ

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    eagle wrote:
    LINQ


    Are you trying to make a point? If so, make it already!

    I already said that not everything is bad. Let me spell things out so you might understand what i'm trying to say since reading seems to be so hard.

    Good:
    Visual Studio (that includes Orcas, LINQ and all that. An excellent example of momentum continuing after a product is released).
    Windows Home Server/Surface (great innovation, let's see how their momentum builds up after release).

    Bad:
    Ultima Extras seems dead (broken promises, screwed over customers).
    WPF/WCF adoption inside Microsoft seems to be nonexistant (a severe lack of momentum, not very encouraging for developers, we need releases, not betas/demoware).
    Missed Opportunities (WLM 8.5 is the perfect candidate for a WPF/WCF app for example)
    Zune/Xbox (a lot of potential going to waste, underwhelmed consumers).

    Given:
    Windows/Office (these things sell themselves).

  • User profile image
    Jack Poison

    mVPstar wrote:
    

    Zune is another area where they have the potential to deliver cool stuff but just don't really deliver anything.

    It's been, what 5 months and all they've managed to push through firmware updates are silly performance improvements (which I don't really notice) and a more random shuffle?



    Really...

    I keep hoping that Microsoft will pull some cool stuff out of its sleeve. Surface actually got my hopes up...

    But, this really feels like an abusive relationship: we keep getting told "things will get bettter.. Just you wait!!!" and "Wait the announcement next week.. You won't believe it!!". And suddently getting hugely disappointed: slapped in the face. And yet, we keep believing for some reason.

    I wonder if this trend will ever turn around.. I wish Microsoft would excite us and make us proud of using their technology.

    Maybe they'll even look at the results of that survey floating around on the homepage.. It seems to ask questions in this very area.


  • User profile image
    Ray6

    Jack Poison wrote:
    

    I keep hoping that Microsoft will pull some cool stuff out of its sleeve. Surface actually got my hopes up...



    Then I saw the price. This is not going to make a difference to anybody for the next ten years at least. And I expect PopFly will stay in beta for the next decade or so.

    The problem is lack of competition. Pure and simple. Any company will sit on its arse and do bugger all as soon as it manages to get itself a monopoly.

    Perhaps Microsoft needs to be broken up for its own good.


  • User profile image
    Ray6

    Looks like Mary Jo's got wind of this ...

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=513


  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    Those that think that Microsoft is doing nothing might want to read this:

    Report: Microsoft's TechEd 2007

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    Escamillo wrote:
    

    Those that think that Microsoft is doing nothing might want to read this:

    Report: Microsoft's TechEd 2007



    That applies to the developer.

    We're talking about end user stuff. Ultimate Extras, Zune features...that kind of thing.

  • User profile image
    Stebet

    Escamillo wrote:
    

    Those that think that Microsoft is doing nothing might want to read this:

    Report: Microsoft's TechEd 2007



    Read the thread. I said there's no lack of new developer stuff which is all well and good.

    Although MS doesn't seem to be using all this new development stuff themselves except to give us more development stuff (like the Expression tools). I want to see MS use WPF/WCF/Workflow etc in real world applications. There's plenty of opportunity in all these new Windows Live programs. Windows Live Messenger, Writer, Mail etc.... We need MS to lead by example and release something. Not just betas that eventually get canceled and demoware.

    Why should i use all this new stuff if MS doesn't do it themselves?

    Mvpstar also hits the nail on the head regarding other end user stuff like with the Zune. The Xbox 360 is another example of tons of potential being wasted.After all, it was marketed as not just a games console but as a full blown media hub.

    Long Zheng (and others) have also rightly pointed out the awful Ultimate Extras situation.

  • User profile image
    typemismatch

    One thing that I feel does apply to the development side and maybe what some consider slow adoption is that MS appear to be playing catch-up in a lot of areas ... but, I'm not sure their heart is in it. I think they still see everything running on the desktop and are just waiting for us to all get bored with the web.

    I know asp.net ajax came out but yippy ... it really isn't anything special - even telerik controls had update panels and such long before atlas was even known and now ... nothing, it gets released and it barely lives up to other products.

    I know for companies their size it is really really hard to break out of their old ways, desktop ways etc I think a lot technology is just to humour us. Another example - .net gets pushed like mad, asp.net ajax gets pushed and then blam ... we get silverlight - which doesn't need asp.net or ajax - you can do most your development in a text editor, run client-side and just expose basic data via your server so .... now what? where do we develop? we are back on the desktop ....

    and maybe ... just maybe there is too much innovation! I'm sure the economy will do fine if we don't all have to upgrade hardware so often and we just take what we have now and make it work properly Smiley

    -c

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