A Little Microsoft Excitement, But Nothing Special
With Windows 10 now installed on over 100 million devices, and user feedback generally good, this week’s Microsoft event was an opportunity to provide a platform of wonder to lock people into the new world of Windows 10
Always About the Phone
As with all of these types of launches, the pre-show hype was about new Windows 10 phones. The Cityman and Talkman Phones are priced in the premium price band, and whilst the hardware specs seem positive, with a continuing problem of a lack of apps, and a still under-performing Universal App store, there appears to be little reason for moving from Apple’s iPhone or Google Android.
One feature is I was interested in was Microsoft Continuum. This is the idea of using a dock or wireless technology to turn your phone into a desktop computer. I have already tired this technology with a Windows 10 laptop, and the experience across my home network to my Samsung SmartTV was positive.
So why is Windows Continuum on Phone leaving me cold? It’s a user-ability issue! There will always be at least one application I need which doesn’t have a phone compatible universal app option for me to get things done. In terms of travelling light, by the time I pack the dock, cables, keyboard and mouse to work with a Windows Phone, I might as well carry my 11” laptop. I can see Continuum being of benefit to web browser / Internet and Microsoft Office users, however outside of those groups, I’ll need some convincing.
The launch of the Lumia 550 is an interesting phone for the budget minded consumer, my experience has been at the lower end of the smartphone market, the Windows Phones outperform Google Android’s devices, not what Microsoft will want to hear, as these devices generate very little profit per user. Possibly a good phone for children, teenagers due to Microsoft’s tie-in with Microsoft and the impeding ability to play across different Windows 10 devices from one saved game.
Oh, and they launched a more comfortable fitness band, like all the others!
Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
I was eagerly awaiting news of the Surface Pro 4, however my need for a keyboard and trackpad have started to turn me away from this device. My belief is that currently, if you what a powerful tablet that can convert into a laptop, the Surface Pro range is the best available on the market.
The Surface Book is interesting for power users – all the ports, professional keyboard and power you need. Convertible into a reading slate, it will meet a lot of Window user’s needs. Priced between €1,500 - €2,500, this will be a high-end product, competing with the Apple MacBook.
The Surface Book device is my preference of design for a mobile computing device, but a starting price of €1,500 is hard to justify as a personal device – however it is great that Windows users finally have devices to make the Apple users jealous.
Overall, the leaks made the event seem flat, the pricing is in line with market levels, missing an opportunity to buy a market or to generate an interest in change, and overall, what we have is a version of Windows that is likable along with reference devices that Microsoft OEM’s be inspired by.
Maybe the success of this event will be measured in six months’ time, once the OEM’s launch their own products.