Well, I'm sure I don't have all the answers, but I'm going to be doing my best to tackle questions on all things Microsoft later today as part of our new Editor's Office Hours feature. It's all part of our special coverage leading up to Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference, which takes place at the end of the month in Los Angeles.
Computer sales on Amazon.com are not exactly a proxy for the broader retail market. Still, I do think it is noteworthy that of the top 20 best-selling laptops on Thursday evening, just one was running Windows Vista.
That one is an HP mini-notebook that ranked No. 18, trailing behind a gaggle of Macs and Netbooks running either Windows XP or Linux.
On the plus side for Redmond, 10 of the top 20 machines were running some flavor of Windows. And, as I mentioned, Amazon is not a true barometer.
Apple's market share, while growing isn't exactly neck … Read more
Some companies are planning to skip Windows Vista, and that's OK, according to Steve Ballmer. But Microsoft's CEO hopes that those companies come back for Windows 7.
Ballmer said that "if people want to wait they really can," ZDNet's Larry Dignan reports. "But I'd definitely deploy Vista," he said.
Speaking on Thursday at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo conference in Orlando, Ballmer defended Vista and noted that "The adoption rate of Vista is faster than the adoption rate was of XP at two years in."
Ballmer did note that Vista has … Read more
In many ways, Microsoft's decision to keep the Windows 7 name was entirely logical.
It was the product's code name, something relatively simple, and it is generally seen as a lucky number (at least here in the United States).
But to arrive at the number 7, Microsoft does some strange math, as general manager Mike Nash outlined in a blog posting Tuesday. Nash writes:
The very first release of Windows was Windows 1.0, the second was Windows 2.0, the third Windows 3.0.
Here's where things get a little more complicated. Following Windows 3.0 … Read more
Apple made a few jabs at Microsoft during Tuesday's notebook event, but if I were a Windows executive today, I'd probably be breathing a sigh of relief.
Although Apple did revamp its entire Mac product line on Tuesday, it didn't hit the $800 price point that the rumor mills had projected.
The new laptops seem nice enough, and they might be enough to keep Apple on a roll, but Apple didn't take the Mac into any new segments of the market.
Clearly fearing that Apple was on the brink of such a price move, Microsoft launched … Read more
The long-awaited software developer kit for the Surface tabletop computer will be made available to those attending Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference at the end of the month.
Microsoft made that pledge on its PDC Web site, as part of a listing for a session focused on writing Surface applications.
"Hear about the unique attributes of Microsoft Surface computing, dive into vision-based object recognition and core controls like ScatterView, and learn how the Surface SDK aligns with the multitouch developer roadmap for Windows 7," Microsoft said, in promoting the session. "Attendees will receive access to the Microsoft … Read more
Bowing to continued demand, Microsoft has again extended the life of Windows XP.
Although the largest PC makers can't sell XP anymore (except for ultra-low-cost machines), they can sell Vista Ultimate and Vista Business machines with XP discs in the box, or even Vista machines that are "factory downgraded" to Windows XP.
That option was supposed to go away early next year, as Microsoft was going to stop supplying Windows XP media after January 31. However, the company now says it will offer the discs through July 31, giving the option a six-month extension. (Update: PC makers … Read more
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday promised it won't be long before the world gets to meet what he is calling "Windows Cloud"--something that acts like Windows but operates over the Internet.
"Just as we have an operating system for the PC, for the phone, and for the server, we need a new operating system that runs in the Internet," Ballmer said Thursday in a speech before France's CIGREF (Club Informatique des Grandes Entreprises Françaises). "I bet we'll call it Windows something. We're going to announce it in … Read more
Microsoft's effort to woo Internet searchers with financial incentives strikes one Wall Street analyst as a "desperate move" that will make little headway.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced SearchPerks, a frequent-flier-like program that gives searchers one "ticket" for every search they do via Microsoft's Live Search engine.
To Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal, though, SearchPerks is just another sign that Microsoft lacks a "Plan B" strategy to gain share against Google without buying Yahoo.
"Our preliminary reaction is that SearchPerks will likely result (in) a sub-standard outcome," Aggarwal wrote in a … Read more
One of the topics I didn't get a chance to write about during last night's Churchill Club speech was Steve Ballmer's comments on virtualization.
Here's a ZDNet video with Ballmer talking about Microsoft's "opportunity to democratize virtualization."
For those who want to skip to the money quote, here it is:
"If you want virtualization on 80 percent of servers instead of 5 percent of servers, you better not charge three times as much as the price of the server for the virtualization," Ballmer said. "For certain high-end applications, the approach … Read more