From a marketing perspective I think Microsoft does a pretty good job in the enterprise of creating awareness around our products. Most people know about Office, SharePoint, Communicator, Windows Server and what they are capable of. But, when it comes to consumer products there isn’t much info out there. Sure I have seen a couple really good X-box commercials but most of them aren’t even ours. Where are the Apple like commercials for all the Live Services out there? For Smartphone technologies? Media Center? How about bringing it all together?
When I was out in Seattle last summer at an internal Microsoft conference they showed off a consumer video that did just that. It was impressive in that it brought a lot of the consumer facing technologies together in one place for the first time. I wanted to share it with you, Check it out here in Silverlight or here in Flash. Thanks Michael (Synergist) for finding this!
When I stop to think about it, I use a lot of these products on a day to day basis:
- Yes for those that know me I have an iPod Touch. But I’m sorry Steve, I (and my family) listen to too much music to buy every song individually. DRM free subscription plans work.
- My Zune is loaded with almost every Coldplay, Dave Mathews, and U2 album created (both live and album versions) and I only paid my monthly subscription. And the stuff I did buy like Radiohead - The Bends I got cheaper and DRM free.
- I also use it when traveling to watch videos. Feel like catching up on some WPF or Silverlight? Sites like VisitMix.com offer most of the sessions going all the way back to Mix06 online and in Zune format. You can also grab shows off Channel9 and Channel 10 in Zune format.
- But what about all the movies from DVDs I own. My entire collection on the Zune without having to purchase them again? You bet! Check out this Uber coolness.
Live Maps (check out the bird’s eye view)
- Every photo and video I’ve taken of my girls since they were born is viewable on my big screen tv via remote. I can’t tell you how cool it is to show recent events/trips to family on the screen when we get together.
- How about a free program for importing all those images and videos that works a lot better than iPhoto ever will. Kudos to Google for gobbling them up. Check out Picasa here. Easy enough to use even my wife can load pictures on it - lol.
- My entire movie collection is now digital! I have every Disney DVD I own instantly available for viewing and safe from being destroyed by my 4 year old. Not only that all those annoying previews, menus, and nag screens are all gone it starts instantly when I select it. I used Slysoft’s AnyDVD and CloneDVD software to back them up – real easy to use check them out here.
- I also watch Blu-Ray movies on it. Got the HDDVD/Blu-Ray drive here and the player here.
- Besides having all my Work E-mails on it I also get all my Yahoo Mail, access to my Flickr photo albums, and Dilbert comics on it with Yahoo Go!
- Additional geek creds for walking around NYC and Philly with my GPS Enabled Mobile Live Search.
- Web browsing at 3g speeds is a lot of fun too. How about a free browser that works exactly like the iPhones
Amazing User Interface in Windows?
- I always get a chuckle when people talk about the UI of an Operating System being set in stone. An OS to me is about a kernel, frameworks, io, threading, task scheduling, software development experience, and what applications I can run on it. The way it looks should be easily changed and modified to how the user wants. For anyone who has seen me present they know my machines don’t look like your normal window boxes. =)
- This is how I did that:
- Re-skinned the entire windows UI on all my machines thanks to WindowBlinds.
- I unlock the start menu and move it to the right side of the screen (like the old Next workstations)
- Changed the way my logon screens look with LogonStudio.
- That cool “Mac like” dock I use that everyone asks about? That’s Objectdock of course.