What's up with Microsoft Webcast? Webcast was spotty most of the times, with frames freezing almost every minute or so (I have a 6 Mbps broadband connection). It's ironic that a keynote speech which touts blazing-speed-bleeding-edge services (like MTV's Urge and Starz's Vongo) cannot be webcasted properly to a worldwide audience. Maybe that's why I came out to be unimpressed :)
Ofcourse, the star attraction of the day was Windows Vista and how "cool" it is. Frankly, if you ask me, I didn't see anything in the demo that was shown that I cannot already do. OK, I can't have transparent 3D windows. But why do you need it? Microsoft's answer: It's cool and we can do it. Oh, btw - you need to have atleast a 256MB Video card (top-of-the-line) to get those effects. And there's a SideBar (the one which looks almost like the one released by its-not-so-main competitor Google). I am not sure how MS is planning to convince the home users (they will scare the corporate users into upgrading in 5 years) to upgrade to Vista from XP. I know people who still use '98 because they dont see any problems with it.
What MS should do is to have a feature set that'd completely change the user's experience. WinFS could have been one of that feature, which has now been dropped from Vista. They should identify 5 biggest problems with Windows currently (Security, Cumbersome Patching, Lack of Media Center, Slow Startup & Non Intuitive UI) and take them head on. Here they are free to borrow heavily from another non-competitor Apple.
As rightly pointed out here at eHomeUpgrade, MS should stop replicating after others -- they will never be able to catch up. Live.com, Sidebar, MTV Urge are good examples. Come up with something totally unique, capitalize on the areas where they are leaders (Media Center is actually quite slick although I have my rants about that too. See below).
[BTW, I am not a MS Basher. Infact I have defended them in quite a number of discussions at work and elsewhere. I have followed them for a long time (about 7/8 years) and have quite a number of friends working there]
Generic Rants about MS:
- I use a Windows Smartphone (Audiovox SMT5600). Why can't microsoft use pictures (icons) instead of long (unreadable) names for various features.
- How does MS come up with names for their products? There is a name 'Microsoft Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003 Second Edition" -- whoever came up with that name must be starved!
- Why can't MS acknowledge their competitors? They go to great lengths to avoid using/mentioning iPod (which happens to be the most popular Digital Music Player out there) in any of their presentations. Who the hell uses Toshiba Gigabeat?
- Has anyone tried calling MS for tech support? Do they even have a tech support number to call if I have some issues with say, Internet Explorer?