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Microsoft for a mid term play? Windows 10 cross plaform...


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Admit that I've not been a fan of MS as they seem to have been floundering like 500lb gorilla from product and software development efforts over at least the last 10-15 years. Their phone efforts have also seen false starts. As a company, they bled lots of $$ to just again change directions. Their lack of thorough development and testing before release, has always made them a "Point Release" kind of software. (Or sometimes a Point Point cycle, like old 3.11:)!). It was a standard practice in our multi billion dollar aerospace firm, to wait for the 2nd or 3rd release of MS Enterprise wide software, before upgrading and rolling it out.)


All that being said. I like what I see and read about how Nadella is 'leading' MS. The "10" cross platform is long overdue. And if done correctly, could be a sign that MS is back. Lots of synergy on crossing over out of the corporate usage of the PC's that most Fortune 500 corporations still deploy, into private life usage. Add in the phone world, and if MS can make a compelling and quality product, I feel they could again start becoming a choice vs forced to use primary software. Toss in new hardware successes, and though I did not chose a Surface Pro 3 for my new PC (went with the Apple MacBook Air 13"), it is a solid product with good sales. Chase this with a "10" MS Phone. And have them all work well back and forth between them - and MS could have a homerun and start recapturing.


How long? Well allowing for development, and some shall we say more 'refined' testing and fixing prior to release. Then add in this is over multiple platforms. I suspect it will be at least 2-3 years before things stabilize per Nadella's vision.


So from a pure investment standpoint, I'd let things fester for a 3-5 year window.


Opinions please on your feelings about MS as investment growth opportunity.


Best to all,



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It is interesting to see that they haven't abandoned ARM computers and are putting out a version of Win 10 for the new Raspberry Pi. That does show some vision that has been a sadly lacking factor at Microsoft for many, many years, think of where they would be today if they hadn't ignored the internet for so long. By supporting ARM they are getting a foot in the door for the "Internet of Things" phenomenon that is just taking off and if they don't go off track too far it should reward their efforts.

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I have been dual booting the Win 10 Tech Preview for a while now. Although it is NOT finished it is very polished already. MS is bringing back a Start Menu of sorts although I have still installed a Start Menu replacement app since I like to have the CP as a menu drop down on the Start Menu. I also am not sure I like the steps to get to WU. Plus at present WU does not give the option of choosing when to download updates.


So far all the apps I presently use with my Win 8.1 still work on Win 10.


Best of all, Win 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to Win 7, Win 8 and Win 8.1 users for a year.


I understand Win 10 will be available sometime this year.

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When Win 8 was first released to Manufacturing (RTM) there was a very large backlash simply because it did not look the same as previous versions of Windows. It was really different. It took me a while to start to figure things out. Understand, I started with Win 8 DP (an early beta version) and that beta was MUCH less polished than the current version of Win 10. And even though a very simple fix was to install a Start Menu replacement app, MANY people resisted this simply because they thought MS made a mistake in removing the Start Menu in favor of a Start Screen. These people felt that they should not have to "fix" a problem MS created. MS has listened to their customers and decided to change Win 10 to include a Start Menu.


Many did not mention the better integration and better security, just the lack of a Start Menu. Those of us that actually used Win 8, then Win 8.1 with a replacement Start Menu app were very impressed with this new OS. Unfortunately for MS there just were not that many of us. This is most likely why MS will offer Win 10 for free. They want to get the loyalty of their customers back.


On a side note, there is rumored to be a new version of IE that will be used with Win 10 as well. I have found IE 11 to be much more compatible and as fsat as any other browser. I do not know the differences with IE 12, but do look forward to using it when it is finally released.

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The new browser to replace IE is Spartan if I'm not mistaken. As well read the article I just posted about the MS Apps showing up on lots of iPhones and Androids. I agree that with a replacement start menu app, those who didn't like the new start menu on a page, could see the idea of it. But the new developments in Nadella's new MS are coming hard and fast and will improve I all directions.

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We will see how many further changes take place. If MS changes the default Start Menu to include the option to show the CP as a drop down menu I would probably not bother with a replacement app. For me the CP as a Menu is easier to use than other configurations. There is very little else I would miss with the default Start Menu in Win 10.


It would also be nice to have more of a choice with WU. For now updates are pushed automatically with very little choice by the end user. I believe the only choices are auto install or choosing the time of the install, but not choosing whether to download the updates at all. Getting to WU would be easier for me if I could pin it to the Start Menu as well.


I find myself still using in 8.1 more for now. I seem to have less time to explore Win 10, but I do want to explore it more.

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Your new MacBook may be useful in "evaluating" new (and old) MS releases. Buy Parallels Software and start running Virtual MS version(s) on your Mac. It's also a great way to save on software.

Thanks for the tip and link... I'll check that out! They charged my account yesterday, so as I understand it that means they have started the build process. Expect it late next week. Have had my old iPad for it seems forever. The DW has the iPhone 5S now, and we usually stay leapfrog her iPhone model remaining one model back each time we replace it. I have an older Droid RAZR M. So looking forward to getting more familiar with the in's and out's of the Apple MAC software world!!


Still liking what I see about MS10, and more important - what I perceive as culture change in attitude in MS in general. They remain a potent company, with heavy install base - now, can they leverage that into taking things to the next level, remains the question.


I'm thinking at the next attractive buy in point, I'll park some funds for the ride...


Best to you, and all,


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Watching this all unfold has made me wonder if part of the change has not come about because of the changes in management? It seems that they may have a major philosophical change of directions.

I don't have any doubts about that, personally. MS stock almost doubled in value the day Ballmer announced his impending retirement. That, all by itself, spoke volumes. Ballmer was a disaster for MS with virtually every effort to get into a new product line ending in failure. Nadella can hardly do worse and, at least so far, seems to be doing better.


Gates wasn't much of a visionary ("the Internet is a fad") and Ballmer ("Let's buy Nokia") was even less of a visionary.


We won't know about Nadella for a while yet.



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He (Nadella) seems to be a believer in working with others outside Microsoft, sharing security research and fixes, working to make MS stuff compatible with other stuff. Long term that is going to prove to be a winning strategy, even bigger a winner if MS can step up and develop products consumers want.


Avoiding a Nokia Ballmer like meltdown is going to be important too, many other companies saw what happened to Nokia and are digging out their longest spoons before sitting down to dinner with Microsoft. Gates pulled the same sort of deals but at least not with the flagship industry of a small nation!

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I agree about the turn around Stan, it is already making a big difference. As far as Nokia, bad management had already marked them for doom. Nokia had what? 50 % of the cell phone market pre iPhone and other smart phones,. When the global banking crisis hit their management just froze up and watched it go. It is a bit of a stretch to pin that one on MS or any of their personnel. If you want to blame anyone it was Jobs.


From the BBC news:




"Back in the 1990s there weren't these other big brands," says Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight.


"Nokia were so dominant. People didn't talk about what brand, it was just about the number, 3210, or whatever you had. They took users on a journey."


Era of complacency

So far, so good - but then one presentation changed everything.


"Complacency had kicked in," Mr Wood continues, "they felt they could do no wrong.


"Then all of a sudden, in January 2007, Steve Jobs walked on to a stage and pulled an iPhone out of his pocket and changed the world forever."


The fall was swift. According to figures from analyst firm Gartner, Nokia's smartphone market share in 2007 was a dominant 49.4%. In subsequent years, it was 43.7%, then 41.1%, then 34.2%.


In the first half of this year, it had plummeted to just 3%.


Many blame this decline, at least in the initial stages, on Symbian, the firm's mobile operating system. It was, to paraphrase a welter of expert opinion, simply not up to the job.


"They missed the importance of software," Mr Wood says.


"Nokia make great phones, they still do. They went through this incredible decade of innovation in hardware, but what Apple saw was that all you needed was a rectangle with a screen, and the rest was all about the software."


Windows gamble

It took just a few years for Nokia phones to go from being the must-have handset in your pocket, to being the long-forgotten handset, nestled in that eternal graveyard of the mobile phone - the kitchen drawer.


So why would Microsoft spend £4.6bn on a business that looks like it's on the way out?


To use a romantic analogy: they were the only two left at the party who hadn't paired up with anyone."


That article in full is here: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23947212


MS did not go in and destroy a viable company. Nokia was all but dead in the market. They were for sale because they lost the war. MS tried. Now they are going to use the brand Lumia and are coming out with a flagship phone this year as well as the bottom priced market from what I hear. Nokia went down the tubes all by themselves then were up for a fire sale when MS picked them up, and IMO spent way too much for them. They still have the core key folks for the Lumia line and perhaps they are the cream that made Nokia vibrant before 2007.


One more thought. The key phrase in the above BBC article was "They missed the importance of software," Mr Wood says." It just so happens MS has software, and Win 10 will be on it soon. I have a Windows phone. Now on Denim 8.1. Still needs a few things that are promised in 10 for phones. I can't wait!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made a few calls to professionals I used to network with often before retirement. (UTX, Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed, etc.). A few of these Fortune 100 companies still have plants running on MS XP. With XP no longer being supported, two of them said this years budget included funding for jumps to MS10. A few were saying they'd wait and do it in 2016, to let things simmer.


But 2015 or 2016, at least in the Aerospace community, that's a pretty good indication that MS10 will spread into Corporate America. Many companies, provide group discount prices for employees to upgrade home PC's to match the at work software. (We did at Rohr and Goodrich. It greatly accelerated the employee learning curve by doing so.)


Now, we'll just need to wait to see what happens with the non PC segments of MS10, not quite as easy (Well, except for 'notebooks & pads' - as they many companies have thousands of these too.) to barge into this consumer segment. Cell phones will probably be the hardest area to make inroads with.


I did put some funds into MS when they dipped with Intel's lower $1B forecast for 2015, which I felt matched my info on much of Corporate America was pushing out lease replacements on PC's until MS10 has been out for a bit.


Best to all,


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Sorry but I was unclear on your comment:


"Now, we'll just need to wait to see what happens with the non PC segments of MS10, not quite as easy (Well, except for 'notebooks & pads' - as they many companies have thousands of these too.) to barge into this consumer segment. Cell phones will probably be the hardest area to make inroads with."


My notebook is also a tablet. And my tablets are also PCs, and my phone is Windows 8.1 denim about to be 10. I am not sure what you are saying and have no arguments just wanted a clarification.

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I also liked last weeks co-release from MS and Samsung that Samsung Tablets would be available with different levels of MS on it. (Was not clear if it was MS10, but suspect that would be so when it is released mid summer.) Especially after the feedback I received from some large companies IT guys, the part about also including the full Professional as one the three MS options is right in line with what they've been waiting for.


So if the Cell Phone portion of Samsung also signs on to sell some phones with MS10 onboard, that is a powerful player in the Droid world.


The announcement also talks about the ongoing race for Cloud based revenue. Offering as I recall two years of up to 100GB free storage. Locking customers in for the long haul with such free start ups, that then 'could' (Could, because a customer could always decide not to stay where they are.) roll into a good income stream for storage charging cloud usage.


Should be an interesting run to 2020 and beyond. iDrive, iCloud, MS Cloud, Other's - all shooting it out in the Cloud Storage coral (We just left Tombstone. So OK Coral is on my mind:)!).


Fun ahead... Hope corporate profits follow, and us little stock holders receive the trickle down:)!


Best to all,


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