I still wish Microsoft had shipped the Courier; it may not have sold well and it’s a guarantee the main complaint would’ve involved not having a dedicated e-mail client, but it would’ve been this new creative tool. I also look forward to Windows 8. Metro is a UI that is looking at the future of computing; it also feels like a response with thought behind it. Lately I think maybe Microsoft should have merged the to concepts into one.
Imagine the Courier being built on top of the WinRT platform; it would have given it the ability to run on ARM with improved battery life and make it affordable to have two screens. Think about a Windows 8 start screen with Smart Agenda; you could read mail or tweets without having to open an application. Think about a Windows 8 device with a Live Journal application that brought a better way to create content on a touch device. Just think of a proper Windows device built by Microsoft with the same care and attention as an Apple device.
That’s the Microsoft I want
I want a Microsoft that thinks about bridging the work of Microsoft Research into products people use. I want a Microsoft that creates a platform that brings together its products. I want to see a Microsoft that embraces design and better Out of the Box experiences. I want to see a Microsoft that takes more of a hand in how its products perform with hardware. In fact I’d love them to sit their OEMs down and say that if they keep putting our software in discarded Android hardware we will gladly take over PC hardware.
I want to see Microsoft come out with a Surface 3 that sits on desk and comes equipped with Kinect cameras and sensors inside and cost the same as an iMac. I want to see Microsoft push Metro as an interface; I want to see them create new experiences with it on the desktop.
Frankly I wasn’t there for the days of DOS or Windows 95. I liked the Zune and Bing. Microsoft needs to be focused on the next thing, pushing computing, reimagining the corps products, and expanding the user base. So if it means Microsoft stores then bring it. If it means breaking compatibility, its past time.
I look at what could’ve happen with Microsoft if J Allard (Courier) and Steven Sinofsky (Windows8) had come together on Microsoft tablet and kind of weep. Microsoft needed and still needs both creative types and people who know how to ship. It needs to learn the competition is in Cupertino, Mountain View, and Seattle not on the Microsoft campus
One thing is certain; the thinking and methodology that came before no longer apply or are wanted now.
images from Gizmodo and Microsoft respectively