When Microsoft launched Windows 8 in the fall of 2012, its poster child was the Surface RT tablet. The thin, meticulously designed slate was supposed to showcase all that was good about the new touch-friendly version of Windows: dynamic live tiles, full-screen apps and lack of “chrome,” like a start button.
The device failed to attract customers, though, and Microsoft ended up losing nearly $1 billion on the tablet due to unsold inventory. A big part of what stymied the Surface was its operating system: a watered-down version of Windows called Windows RT that couldn’t run traditional desktop apps. It was Windows, just without any of the programs you actually wanted to run.
Microsoft just took another big step toward the release of Windows 10 — and revealed it will be free for many current Windows users.
The company unveiled the Windows 10 consumer preview on Wednesday, showcasing many new features in the latest version of the operating system that powers the vast majority of the world’s desktop PCs. It also surprised the tech world with an ambitious take on virtual reality, called Windows Holographic, powered by a new kind of device called the HoloLens.
The developer preview has been available since Microsoft first announced Windows 10 in the fall, but it was buggy, limited in scope and very light on new features
It’s official, Windows 8 is a write-off . Sales for the operating system have been poor and now it is even starting to lose market share to Windows 7. To Microsoft’s credit it has bravely persisted addressing issue after issue. Most notable was the major Windows 8.1 Update 1 patch released in April which makes the OS a genuinely credible platform. Still it remains far from perfect and now Microsoft is prematurely pulling the plug.
In a blog post by Microsoft Senior Marketing Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc, he explains that there will be no more major updates for Windows 8: “despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 ‘Update 2’.”
Welcome to Microsoft, Nokia employees—you’re out of a job.
So came the message on Thursday as Microsoft MSFT announced plans to fire as many as 18,000 people over the next year. The bulk of the layoffs, about 12,500 people, will come from the Nokia NOK devices and services business that Microsoft officially acquired in April. Most of the rest of the firings will affect people with overlapping jobs, furthering new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s pledge to create a leaner, meaner, faster-moving organization. Grrr.
It’s not easy firing this many people—especially when you’re Microsoft, which hardly ever fires anyone, and when you’re dealing with Finland, which also has a thing against firing people. The company did it with two memos and a press release. The first memo came from Nadella, who explained how the layoffs fit into the strategy outlined in his memo from last week. The second came from Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO and now Microsoft executive, who never really managed to revive Nokia’s business, delivered the pride of Finland into the clutches of Microsoft, and must be feeling some measure of guilt about all this. Right? A staggering 40,000 Nokia employees had already lost their jobs over the past few years, as the phonemaker transitioned from global market power to Harvard Business School case study.
Microsoft’s Security Essentials anti-malware tool has mistakenly identified Google Chrome as a password-pilfering trojan — and actually removed the browser from many users’ machines — but a fix for this rather amusing false positive is now available.
My wife and I have an inside joke for unwanted assistance. We say ‘Stop helping like Microsoft’ – Ed.