Thursday February 02, 2017

Microsoft Tells Computer Makers How to Make PCs Cool Again

I know what you’re thinkingآ—when you hear the word "cool," Microsoft probably isn’t the first company that comes to mind. But you must admit, with the Surface devices comprising some of the best hardware out there, maybe their putting manufacturers to task is totally justified. Unfortunately, what Microsoft has proposed here for 2017 is weak at best, as they try to rally device partners with radical concepts like "cool" designs (e.g., 2-in-1s) and mind-blowing features such as Windows Hello, which lets you sign into your OS using your face or fingerprints. The real story here seems to be that Microsoft is desperately trying to reach a billion Windows 10 users by 2018, and some of the latest reports would suggest that they are making some decent progress on that.

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Microsoft officials told these vendors that while there are more than 400 million Windows 10 devices in the market (as of September 2016), its goal remains to have "one billion people loving Windows 10 every single day." Microsoft acknowledged last year it's behind its own self-imposed goal of reaching 1 billion by mid-2018, but it's not clear by how much. The way Microsoft believes it can get to this goal is to encourage partners to make a "few big bets" together with the Redmond company. These bets are familiar ones: The Universal Windows Platform, which enables developers to write apps, drivers, and services that can scale across Microsoft's complete Windows portfolio (PC, tablet, phones, Xbox, embedded devices); a constantly updated version of Windows; and "incredible modern devices" that will replace the more than 600 million Windows devices currently in market that are more than four years old.