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Microsoft has had a somewhat rough ride of late. Apple’s emergence from near-bankruptcy to tech giant has coincided with tough times at its traditional enemy Microsoft. Bill Gates stepped down as CEO in 2000, handing the role over to his longtime comedy sidekick 5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer 5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer A lot of people really don't like Steve Ballmer. Perhaps because he's Mr. Microsoft, or because he was (for many years) Bill Gates' lickspittle underling. Whatever the reason, he's a figure of fun in a... Read More Steve Ballmer. The years that followed saw some serious missteps being taken by the company.

Microsoft has become known as a pedestrian, traditional, non-innovating tech dinosaur relying on one or two key products to keep itself in business. Whether you believe that to be the case or not, there have been rumblings in recent times of a new Microsoft emerging from this lost decade. A smarter, stealthier, streamlined Microsoft which has learned from its past mistakes. Could a Microsoft resurgence be imminent?

This Week’s Question…

Is Microsoft On The Verge Of Greatness Once More?

Microsoft recently changed its corporate logo to what you see above you now. The addition of the tiles to the left of the name is far from accidental. This is Microsoft actually thinking sensibly about branding for a change. All of its products are going to have the same look and feel to them, from Windows to Xbox, from Office to Outlook.

Aaron recently wrote an engrossing opinion piece 6 Microsoft Products That Have Finally Been "Perfected" [Opinion] 6 Microsoft Products That Have Finally Been "Perfected" [Opinion] Microsoft occupies the majority of the personal computing market, and much of the business market as well. It’s seen its downfalls though, too. There have been many products that it has launched that have only... Read More citing six Microsoft products he feels have finally been perfected. While these products will no doubt continue to evolve over time, his point was that these are now a pleasure to use. That’s the words “Microsoft,” “products,” and “pleasure” used in the same sentence. I know, it’s shocking.

Beyond these products we have Windows 8, which, whether you love it or hate it is certainly adventurous, the next generation of Xbox, Kinect, Surface, and Windows Phone 8. To name just a few. Again, whether these products interest you or not, their presence does suggest Microsoft is climbing from the doldrums once more.

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So, what do you think of Microsoft at present and its future potential? Is it too late for a (don’t call it a) comeback? Or could Apple’s time at the top be severely shortened by a new and improved Microsoft? Do any of the forthcoming Microsoft products interest you? Or is it just more of the same tired old nonsense from a tired old company?

I can already see the people at the back laughing uproariously at this question, but we ask that you take your heads out of your behinds for one moment and at least look at this question with an unbiased, non-judgmental eye. Take the time to do so, considering the facts and figures above all else, and then let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows Read More readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. geo
    September 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Sadly, no. If there's one thing that you can on with Microsoft, it's the ability to screw up success and piss off its customers!

    Microsoft had a rough go of it with Vista, and deservedly so. Everywhere you looked, there were articles claiming that they could not recover from this self-made debacle. And, then, miraculously, they put out an operating system that was not only good, it was great!

    They really got it right with Windows 7! Sure, there are problems here and there, and, let's face it, making fun of Microsoft will never go out of style. All that aside, however, they managed to create an OS that was usuable, stable, and safe. Windows 7 had something for everyone. It even had a name that wasn't moronic!

    WIth that success, what was their next move? To create an OS that uses a sledge hammer to force every device imagineable into one size and shape! They made the decision that all users want to use the same interface on their desktop that they do on their phone.

    Windows Mobile 5 suffered from the problem that the desktop interface, along with its Start Menu, really doesn't work on a mobile platform. Most of use would look at that problem and conclude that the mobile interface needs to be changed. Microsoft looks at that problem and decides that the desktop interface must be expunged from the Earth!

    Microsoft will NEVER acheive greatness as long as it is a company where THAT conclusion can make it all the the way to the OS release without any voice of sanity standing up and yelling, "Uh, guys? This is a really stupid idea!"

  2. John Wilson
    September 28, 2012 at 8:24 am

    No.

    If the new logo with 4 coloured squares instead of 4 square flags waving in the breeze like signal flags at Trafalgar a small change in font and Win8. Well, they do need to do a bit better than a boring, forgettable logo if we want to mention a leap back into greatness. This is taking branding seriously?

    It looks like about 30 dozen other logos I can think of with a slightly different font, different coloured squares either fore or aft or on the beams.

    And guess what? No one cares it all the apps have the same look and feel. At least not all that much since that was what MS Office was supposed to do way back in Win 95 days and 13 years later they're getting to it? Users what the app or collection to be usable. The most common documents produced in CorporateLandia are letters and memos. Poor Word tries so hard do term papers, a minor form of desktop publishing and similar things that the forgotten letter and memo remains one the the hardest documents to format in MS Word yet that's almost all it does. Then there's the spreadsheet jocks and now you've about run out of Office package users regardless of who makes them. That and the employees who are tortured daily by badly designed and used presentation/slide software with collections of unconnected bullet points which either makes employees silently scream as if undergoing water torture or putting them to sleep.

    MS finallty has a phone? In a crowded field dominated by Apple and Android? Based, in some fashion, on Win8? Along with Surface, KInect, alienation of their supply chain and other toe stubs that could turn into broken legs along the way,

    Win8's prerelease press party has ranged from glee from MS fandom to bemused glances at the "start" page from people who aren't going to use it anyway. Think the iMAC and Linux minorites out there. People testing it at my former workplace range from "are you kidding me?" to sighs of resignation that they'll be forced to use it no matter what on the desktop machines everyone but CorporateLandia seem to think are a vanishing species to the "I'm not going to get any sleep for a year!" and "Vista Redux" over in support where I used to work. before escaping that and getting out in front of living, breathing customers instead of answering the same questions endlessly from coworkers who took a form of glee from torturing tech support.

    To be serious now. MS appears to be making some risky decisions and that alone should give some hope that they may be serious about becoming a leader again in the tech sector. That they've alienated large parts of their hardware partnership chain is one indication of that. They have faith that they can overcome that while the enter markets where currently they either don't exist or might just as well not exist.

    But greatness? No. First you have to agree that there was ever a vast amount of greatness there. I'm not prepared to believe there ever was, knowing the company's history, unless you count commercial success based on breaking American and European Anti-Trust Laws as greatness. Getting caught bribing delegates to ISO Standards Boards and so on. So, no, greatness doesn't quite fit.

    Competence does when they played within the bounds of law and morality and they seem to want to return to that. And that's what has me impressed more than anything. MS seems to realize they need to take risks to get back in the game never mind greatness. They need to do what they did best before becoming the DOS supplier to the IBM-PC and the creation of Win95. Back in the days when they were a smallish company specializing in selling BASIC, Do it well and do it competently.

    MS tried us against the world and they lost competency doing it. Now they seem to want it back.

    Greatness? Not yet. Let's shoot for competence first. Win7 was the first serious step in that direction in years. Win8 seems to take several steps back from it, mind, but who knows. People may take a shine to an interface only a tribble could love. Who knows there may be competence behind that desktop interface. People I know and trust have serious doubts but like the rest of Corplandia they get to wait till it's so painful that the execs at their company complain loudly enough to MS that, like Vista that may come tumbling down or MS will simply fix it.
    I'm prepared to give them a SMALL chance.

  3. Diplomat
    September 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I know I'm super late, but how can you measure greatness in an industry so relatively young? Dang it, even the idea and practice of the business of the modern business is relatively young. Especially considering there's been numerous disruptions (revolutions and ages) and social reshapings over the last 100 years. How do we know if Microsoft IS the greatness of which other companies should be compared to? How do we know if they're as good as it gets considering their time in this industry? There isn't a blueprint. We're still drafting it.

  4. ResQBrett
    September 4, 2012 at 3:23 am

    They are coming back and it's due to Windows 7, Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, and the Enterprise. All of these products put together in the enterprise environment made MS relevant once more. Take these products with Office and SP 2013, along with Windows 8, and they leave all others behind. Period. Oh...and I have a Mac at home for personal use.

  5. San Joe
    September 1, 2012 at 4:20 am

    I think the operating system is a bit irrelevant. This is a move by Microsoft to transition to a service company. The move by Microsoft to integrate services into windows RT shows that devices are just channels for Bing, sky drive, office 365 and Xbox live. It is clear that the PC is a great distribution for the services and they will cut off the browser substitutions and other anti monopoly requirements that the dept of justice implemented. Microsoft isn't dead by any stretch. It will be an interesting war over the next two years with Apple, google and Microsoft.

  6. Rich Mc.
    September 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I believe Microsoft is due to hit a homerun if not with the new Windows 8 I believe they will see much success with gaming technology and their new Surface tabs...... I really don not see Windows 8 revolutionizing the world without hardware behind it to push it into the mass public...

  7. Bruce Thomas
    September 1, 2012 at 1:36 am

    When I got my first personal computer, a Compaq 18 lb portable, Microsoft had little name presence other than for DOS. I used Wordstar, Lotus 1-2-3, and dBase II, but the company where i worked didn't trust PC's, so in financial planning I had to use timesharing programs and run things through data centers.

    While working at a Fortune 500 company, I demonstrated how we could do our planning using Lotus 1-2-3 cheaper and faster than using GE's GEISCO. We cut $50k per month from our budget as a result. Meanwhile, Microsoft was developing desktop software, not just programs, but suites of programs. Frankly, I preferred my old programs individually over Microsoft's products, but Microsoft was relentless developing programs that worked together, with more features after every release. They also worked on the connectivity between mainframes and desk tops. Just as IBM PC's became ubiquitous in corporate offices, Microsoft powered the productivity of those computers. Their Office Suite eventually blew away the competition, so now Microsoft Office is standard on most corporate desktops.

    Microsoft is big, maybe too big. They tried to be everything to everybody, and some of their attention was directed away from their bread-and-butter business in corporations, and put into games and gadgets. I'm certainly not criticizing them for going into other computing areas; with all their wealth, who could resist new adventures? However, without the design genius of a Steve Jobs, some of their innovations were novelties, not products. Their focus turned from customers to products, and they lost credibility.

    In the personal computing world, being nimble and adaptive is rewarded, while being stiff and corporate is derided. A reputation of being difficult to work with, whether the customer is a corporate accountant or high school student writing a paper, means trouble. It means if an alternative comes along, it will be considered.

    Microsoft, for whatever reasons, missed the communications, music, PDA, and tablet trends. They were in the neighborhood, but without valuable real estate. Their only hope is to re-integrate their products, and Windows 8 is the response. Microsoft must find a way to get Windows 8 into corporations so they will continue to use Office Suite software. I recently worked for a company that still uses XP because of so many legacy software applications. Every Android or OIS unit sold chips away at Microsoft as an alternative to their lack of customer response.

    In my mind, has corporate Microsoft turned to the customer or the products? As a thirty-year user of Microsoft products, I haven't seen indications of them being customer-centric. I'll be watching. I could use a new computer and a smartphone.

  8. Saturday
    August 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I think it's by a very spoiled opinion that one would say that Microsoft isn't already great. It's a staple in many peoples lives and a company that can't be ignored no matter what one's opinion of them. That's pretty great. I'd say that the fact that so many people get so riled up whenever Microsoft does something is proof of their greatness. Very few people can get outright upset at the changes made by Ubuntu, whenever they release a new desktop version, without looking like laughable obsessive geeks. Why is it more acceptable to be so harsh towards Microsoft? Perhaps because it's accepted that they're successful enough to handle it?

    Maybe their software isn't everyones favorite, maybe their look isn't as clean or artsy as someone might want and maybe they've outright made a few bad moves as a company. That doesn't change what they are or what they have done or what they are still capable of doing. What the heck does it even mean for a company to achieve greatness? There is lots of greatness in the digital world. We shouldn't be scared to let Microsoft have their piece.

    • Graham Richardson
      August 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      I agree with the last comment in that sometimes we do seem to be more critical of them just because they are so big. They are clearly doing something right to be making so much money. The good thing now is that there is much much choice that we are not all so reliant on them getting it right. We dont have to just sit and suffer with whatever version of Winds is current at the time. Long gone are the days when you needed IE. Now I use Chrome and if and when Microsoft issue a new version of IE I will have a go and see if its better. If it is I might change if not then no problem. They can still spring suprises - the new Outlook email is so much better than the old Windows Live mail. Its not quite there to replace GMail yet but its getting close.
      We need a strong Microsoft to compete with a strong Google to compete with a strong Apple to compete with a strong Facebook etc that way we get the best of the best and can pick what we want. Long may it continue like this.

  9. omar elshal
    August 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    The only thing keeps Microsoft alive is video gaming xD..
    the rest is history

  10. Qwerty
    August 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    MS has reached its peak with Windows 7. Not everyone wants their laptop/desktop to look like a tablet, and there are some, like me, who don't even like the touchscreen tablets themselves, and would prefer to use the old-fashioned keyboard and mouse. MS has only shown with Windows 8 that it's once again copying off Apple (even though initially, Apple literally "Xeroxed" off Xerox the idea of a GUI OS).

    I don't want a Windows iPad. I don't even want an Apple iPad. Not everyone does, and I'd shudder to think that M$ will force this new redesign onto people who for maybe 30 years have used the point-and-click interface. One could argue it was the same thing for people who used typewriters for as long as they lived and had to get used to totally new hardware, and people survived.

    But I just don't see the point in this. Whoever said Windows XP was a Fisher-Price OS never forecasted the infantile, Sesame Street stupidity of tablet interfaces and Lucky Charms Web 2.0. The whole UI reeks of Instagram hipsters on Tumblr, Kindergarten coloring books, and nonverbal autistic anime 'tards pushing the Pikachu button to continue. Magically delicious? I think not.

    Why not make Windows 8 the tablet or mobile OS, like Apple does with iOS (separating the cat-named systems for its "regular" computers), and leave the point-and-click interface for "regular" systems? Even Ubuntu does that with an option to install "Classic" Ubuntu and get rid of the Unity interface or make it optional. Or are we doing away with keyboards and mice in the future, what with HP's touchscreen PC and the integration of TVs with the Internet and the remote as the mouse?

    Great, just what the world needs is a Netflix OS that can integrate with social viewing of Jersey Shore and the latest, greatest Justin Bieber app. I am this close to adopting the technology habits of an actual troglodyte. Either way I'd have my tablet covered in pointless hieroglyphics. MS' new slogan ought to be "So easy a caveman could draw it."

  11. Roger
    August 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I think and hope that microsoft is going to be great again, but i think some people don't realize that microsoft is very huge corp that work on so many things not all of them are for the general public like all the huge incredible work microsoft does for developers community like vs,.net, programming languages etc.. which other competitors does nothing about it.
    I think that any technology expert can clearly see that microsoft is already great.
    I mean look at windows 8 , windows phone 8, office 2013, xbox, surface , kinect, visual studio 2012 , windows azure which i think no other company in the world have some thing similar to it.
    I hope microsoft stays great for the benefit of humanity.

  12. Suvrojit
    August 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Windows & Apple will continually clash with each other in market performance but the reality paints a very different picture. Often in old times this debate had came up innumerably but as of now they both co-exist. Now it's not a matter of which to choose. Those who have adopted Lion as their OS have never complained back or about it's lack thereof, because they know they are working in a closed ecosystem. Both will continuously try to develop but only some of their products will be accepted by the masses & therefore for their different products & its uniqueness will be accepted by the masses. It won't be true if I say all the products will be hit for a particular company. Uniqueness & different approach is what makes them apart by poles yet they will co-exist because of their different attitude which are reflected on their products which ultimately is to appeal to the masses. Both have their fare share of pros & cons but taking a step backwards may sometimes mean a huge leap forward. So its clear as day & night Microsoft or Apple isn't going out of business soon...

  13. John Smith
    August 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Are you kidding? Have you used Windows 8? What a load of crap. Nothing has been this bad since Microsoft Bob.

    • Qwerty
      August 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Whoever said XP was a Fisher-Price OS never predicted this.

  14. Fayz
    August 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I do hope they are on the verge of greatness again. As much as I like Apple and their products, the Apple fanboys and fangirls (especially the latter) gets me very irritated using them. If Microsoft as a whole can make a comeback, that'd hopefully shut them fanboys and fangirls for good! c:

  15. Keefe Kingston
    August 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I think Microsoft will rise again after Windows 8 is out, and then the public bombards them with what they do or do not like about the new operating system. Remember how Vista was touted as the newest and greatest Windows yet by Microsoft? They didn't actually rise again until Windows 7 came about, and fixed most of the problems people had with Vista. I think the same thing will probably happen to Windows 8, when a bunch of people complain that their desktop computers have been turned into tablets they can't hold in their hands. Don't get me wrong...Windows 8 will make a great tablet OS...but when it comes to a desktop, or a laptop computer, I'm not upgrading. Microsoft has explain why I should give up an interface I know works with my laptop before I'll switch it over to Windows 8. Also, I am not one who likes to be loosing power over my computer. I like Windows how it is, and how I can put gadgets on my desktop which tell me whats going on with it. I want my computer to be MY WAY...not Microsoft's idea of what my way should be. I like customizing my laptop, installing my own programs on, and just generally doing what I want to. With Window 8, I feel restricted...and so I'll get a Windows 8 tablet, but I have no plans on upgrading my laptop. This is what I think many like me will end up doing. So it looks like Microsoft may get some of the results they expect. However, i don't think they'll do as good as they hope to.

  16. Matt Smith
    August 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    The question is backwards. Microsoft already is experiencing greatness. The company has shat gold the last few years, and that's only been ignored because Apple pumped out a bit more. But basically everything has gone extremely well - Windows 7 is awesome, Xbox 360 is dominant and Office is better than ever.

    Now is a time of risk for Microsoft, where they could either take their greatness to new heights or a lose some ground.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      I believe the question is valid. It's your opinion that MS has shat gold recently, but James has already offered up the opposing argument.

      • Matt Smith
        August 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

        No, Dave, it's not opinion. They have been making tons of money - more than they ever have before. There's no golden era for them to go back to. This is it. This is the golden era.

        That doesn't mean everything they do is awesome. They have had failures. But you can nit-pick Apple to death, too, if that's what you want to do. Won't change the fact both companies are successful.

        • Dave Parrack
          August 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

          I fully understand they're making lots of money, and you're not exactly talking to an Apple fanboy here.

          Whether a company is enjoying a golden era or not goes beyond merely making money though.

          You don't like the question, fair enough. You think what you're saying is fact rather than opinion, fair enough. Thanks for your contribution.

  17. phouston
    August 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Let's examine this objectively, shall we? I mean take off our fanboy glasses for a second and really take a good look.

    Apple is ripe for a backlash – I think a lot of people are tired of the nannying, the price fixing, the arrogance that has been coming our of Cupertino for years. Android's success proves that people are quite happy to jump ship for a cheaper more flexible product if it can provide the same core functionality. But Android has a few problems right now, and these problems could spell a big opportunity for MS.
    First, the recent slap down Apple gave to Samsung. I think this is going to make a lot of phone makers take another look at their mobile OS strategy, and if Windows 8 is at all compelling, you could see a big swing from Android to W8 phones.
    Secondly, Android has not been a huge contender in the Tablet space, mainly because the android tablets are just inferior products compared to the iPad. The market is fragmented, the choices are mostly ugly and clunky, and frankly none of the android tablets have generated any real buzz. Enter the Surface – now here is something there is a LOT of buzz about in the industry right now. This looks fresh, compelling, and (gasp, shocker!) a possibly innovative tablet that if the price rumors are right, could put a serious dent in ipad sales.
    Next Gen Windows. Windows 8 for the desktop and Windows 2012 for the server market – both are really interesting products with compelling feature sets. At the very least they will keep the Corporate Market share steady with these offerings.
    Xbox and Kinect. Popular products – these are very likely to see big improvements in the next generation, and increase market share.
    Of course, this all depends on how well MS execute. There are all sorts of missteps they could take and blow the whole deal. But what I'd argue is that the opportunity for a Phoenix-like rise is there.

  18. Benjamin Glass
    August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Microsoft might be on the verge of a comeback, but I hope not. Macintosh and Linux deserve a far greater share of the market than they are getting.

  19. Axl
    August 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I feel that if the company doesn't falter in its support of current systems, and continues to improve their systems with the end-user in mind we will see the reemergence of Microsoft as the dominant tech giant. After all, giving users a clean, safe, and customizable experience will allow it to compete more competently with Google and Apple.

    I really like what they have to offer, but the one thing they cannot do now is get lazy. They are gaining some serious momentum, and I cannot wait to see where that leads 'em.

  20. Kao Vang
    August 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Still not sold for a Mac.

  21. Nart Barileva
    August 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I really don't know what to say

  22. Adrian
    August 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Um...No.

  23. Bob Zahkia
    August 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Windows 8, with it's new UI has good potential for tablets. But I see no reason to upgrade from 7 on my PC.

    I will wait for windows 9. I get a "Vista 2" feel from 8.

  24. Ruben Marrero
    August 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    MIcrosoft and greatnes can't be used in the same sentence. Microsoft has been and is a follower, they need to start thinking outside the box

  25. Matthias Popiolek
    August 30, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Even so Microsoft has made some right steps lately (buying Yammer, Windows 8, Office 365) there is one huge issue remaining. Unless Microsoft can find a person that is able to create a vision for the company, they will scrape along but not find to old glory.

    Look at all the talent that has left MSFT in the recent years. And where is the visionary leader that creates the next "a PC on every desk" vision. Something the whole company can believe in and strive for. Something that is more than just revenue growth. A join vision will unite the employees and drive creativity. Compared to the culture of internal competitiveness that would make a change to get MSFT to the old glory.

  26. Bob Henson
    August 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Sell your Microsoft shares now. With Windows 8 an impending disaster, and coming too late into the fondleslab market with Surface to make any impact, it's hard to see from whence they will get any new business. Enterprise users won't touch Windows 8 with a bargepole, a few big breakdowns (inevitable) will see off cloud computing, and Office is already too complex (hence won't be upgraded) for most. That leaves mobile phones as their Windows 8 market, and not a lot else. We are heading for a long period of stagnation. Most users will stick with Windows 7 until its expiry now, there will be some upgrades to Windows 7 from XP, but that's about the long and short of it. Ring your Broker - offload the shares.

  27. HannibalCat
    August 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Like everything in human society, companies rise up and have their time in the sun, plateau, then collapse. Empires. Governments. Life is change and no one thing remains inviolate. So, Microsoft ruled the tech world because everyone used a PC and Windows was the only viable operating system. Not because it was the best, just ask Betamax, but because it managed widespread use. Now Microsoft has been a little stuck in a rut for some time - Windows 7 being a step up from Vista rather than a radical new idea - and Apple are the Roman Empire of modern times.
    But look at the signs. I actually use outlook.com for a lot of my emails, unlike hotmail. I like the new cross product design look. Skydrive is also a lot better looking. Some of my desktop programs have started offering updates that fall in with this new aesthetic and they too please the eye. And all of this is leading to Windows 8.
    Was that a punchline?
    I don't know. It could be a huge joke. I certainly have no use for all of its mobile, touch screeniness. I only own a pedestrian desktop PC. But it could work. Mobile is the future. And the Surface tablet does look mighty fine. If Microsoft manage to win over their user base to Windows 8 - and only time will tell - it may well be that they are a monolith resurgent. Not just a barbarian horde besieged, decadent bunch of toga wearers.

  28. thefreshness
    August 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I think win8 is a refreshing change from the few previous os's. its great they are finally thinking more simplicity, i have use windows all my life but ive hated all of their software i would be continuously erasing all traces i could, now im excited about the final release of all of their products, i am using them all more then i ever thought i would (or could). As for greatness i think the idea of learning from croudsourcing will ensure MS stays relevant to consumers needs and wants

  29. muotechguy
    August 30, 2012 at 8:26 am

    *bend over double in the back of the room laughingvoraciously*

    Bing? Lol

    Windows 8? Give it 6 months, see them backtrack and make metro optional.

    Xbox? You mean the Netfllix player, right? I'm excited for the 3d goggles/kinect mashup they are planning in 2014, but it may be too late by then with Oculus Rift launching dev kits soon. Right now, Kinect is just lolworthy too. No one actually uses it to play games, or anything else. Nicely hackable, but not useable. A bit like Android, or Linux (hehe, had to get that cheap shot in there!)

    IE9 is still the biggest joke in the web development community, it fixes many things, and breaks even more.

    Surface tablets? They messed up with the low-power version that doesnt run windows apps, and youre going to see lots of seriously pissed off consumers. The pro version will be mildly successful, but eclipsed by ipad, and new google-branded android tablets. I still regret buying into Windows XP tablets 10 years ago, and I certainly wont be the same sucker again, so let these kiddies snap them up and waste their money this time around.

    Zune is being killed off and replaced by an Xbox Music Pass, which will be just as crap and unsuccessful.

    Their products have been through so many relaunch and rebrandings these last few years I really dont think they have a clue whats going on. It's same underlying flawed products; no amount of paint will turn that brick into a diamond.

    If only they would just stick to gaming...

    No, I think Microsoft will take a backseat, secede the consumer market and focus on enterprise in the long term, with a strong patent portfolio that keeps them in the money no matter which platform rises to glory. They already make a handsome profit on android handsets, I see those kind of deals as their ultimate future now. An R&D company only , perhaps?

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      You and your Oculus Rift... Kinect is already out there and fairly mainstream. And once Kinect 2 is bundled with the Xbox 720 it'll take some stopping.

      Surface has a chance, especially if the price is right.

      Do you not think the current effort to bring all the products under one brand is being better managed than any previous efforts though?

      You may be right in the longterm but that would suggest the next few years are going to be key in determining which way Microsoft takes its business.

    • Vipul Jain
      August 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      when i read your 4th line, i knew it was the apple fanboy's review of MS :p

      • muotechguy
        September 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        About Xbox? Why, everyone says the same. Even MS knows it; thats the reason they declined to appear at most games events this year. Thats the reason their e3 announcement focused on new sports channels, not bloody games.

  30. Ujwal Adhikari
    August 30, 2012 at 8:16 am

    great revolutionary change.i like it

  31. Arthur Mckenzie
    August 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Greatness is too big a word and Microsoft doesn't really come to mind when you think of that word. While it's true that they have managed to survive the ebb-and-flow of things, they've got a long way to go before they can achieve anything "close" to greatness. Let's not give them too much credit. I still see them as being reactive to technology rather than proactive.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      That's a fair point, but it depends how you measure greatness. In many ways MS is as great as Apple is, but for different reasons.

  32. Arun Singh
    August 30, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I think yes windows will rise with upcoming product windows 8. Because windows is working hard to come with fully new type of windows os which supports both desktop and tablet as well as new UI which is another great feature for touch screen pc. faster boot and shutdown time is also decreases.

  33. Koshy George
    August 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Microsoft is not on the verge of greatness but on the verge of complete and utter failure with windows 8.

    • blivitlurad
      August 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Couldn't agree more! But I have to say I kind of have a little faith in Windows Phone 8.

  34. susendeep dutta
    August 30, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Microsoft will rise once again and it needs to for the sake of whole world.If this company becomes bankrupt,then no one is there to replace it.

    Many people criticizes MS but they didn't realize how it has changed their lives.If MS fails and goes down,then there will be another economic depression as many people depends upon the products they develop.No one can match their expertise in software field.

    Their products also has crucial role in their competitor area too.Like for example,MS Office for mac.There's nothing which can replace this fully.Many use Mac OS and Windows simultaneously as they feel need for Windows OS.

    Again,after Blackberry,Windows Phone 8 is a big hope for enterprise users.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      I don't think MS will be going bankrupt anytime soon, but stagnation is just as bad in the world of technology.

  35. Vampie C.
    August 30, 2012 at 6:45 am

    They did their best the last years to be more responsive to the ever and way to fast changing digital world out there.

    I think its not easy for such a big company to simply change the values and working methods they have maybe been using or years.

  36. Tug
    August 30, 2012 at 5:06 am

    If simply for nostalgic purposes, I want Microsoft to succeed. Over the years they've done some incredible things, but have been somewhat stagnant in recent history. Hopefully the emerging competition from companies like Apple and Google will motivate MS to become an innovator once again.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      MS has definitely stagnated. It seems like they're making an increased effort to innovate once again though.

  37. L. Sant
    August 30, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Yes I think Microsoft is really on to something with their Surface tablet and I think Bing will continue to gain market share. Something in my gut tells me Microsoft will be the one to figure the best integration of social within search using Facebook; they'll continue to develop that integration.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      That's an interesting point of view. I like Bing, and I think more people would convert if Google wasn't so pervasive.

  38. Anomaly
    August 30, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Microsoft is not on the verge of greatness. Windows 8 is a joke at best. I think Windows 8 is the best thing for Linux in a long time. There will be many coverts.

  39. Kanibal CamelLip
    August 30, 2012 at 4:29 am

    No way Windows can't have a comeback I'm just getting used to Ubuntu. D: Just kidding I can have both. c;

    • Dave Parrack
      August 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      I think Windows 7 WAS the comeback, but what about Microsoft as a whole?

  40. Vipul Jain
    August 30, 2012 at 4:03 am

    "While these products will no doubt continue to evolve over time"
    lol, even before Windows 8 has been launched, this is how MS treats their Windows 7 users.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows/downloads/personalize/gadgets

    So i wouldn't be surprised if after the actual launch MS just shrug their hands off Win7 completely.
    As for the Logo, its really dumb, i mean its just the old logo presented as squares instead of the curvy way it used to be.
    Windows 8 seems promising though, it might work for MS, but in short,

    MS is far from greatness!

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