I must confess I feel a bit overwhelmed with the sea of information of upcoming products and technologies (not only from Microsoft). Good thing I’ve had a bit of time to catch up a bit with the never ending stream of goodies that the IT industry produces J
Lots and lots of conversations both internally with Microsoft colleagues and externally with friends; my verdict? Bing is definitively a step in the right direction; instead of trying to tackle google head to head with yet another plain vanilla page with blue links Bing is different, more user friendly, more like a guide that takes user by the hand and helps them discover more information. Remember the AI movie’s Dr. Know? Well… decision engines aren’t far from it… as for interactivity, well look at Natal.
I was soooo happy and excited to see Natal surfacing to the public. A bit of an insider story, I actually had the chance to see Natal a couple of years (yes years) back while it was still a prototype. I helped my manager at the time to prepare a CRM4 demonstration for BillG for one of his famous “review weeks”. A bunch of other Microsoft products were being reviewed by Bill and Ray Ozzie; among those products was Natal (didn’t know the codename at the time). I had a quick glimpse of the device watching Bill and Ray have a box fight on the Xbox with nothing more than their hands… I knew something big was cooking and I was right.
While I absolutely believe that Natal will help bring interactivity (not just for gaming) to a whole new level I don’t think it will be suited for every application. Take for example the car racing game? Isn’t part of the trill to feel the wheel in your hands (e.g. force feedback) ? Isn’t that why so many Wii accessories out there wrap the wiimote into something more “real”? Good thing that the strategy seems to be to complement the controller (and other peripherals) rather than replacing it… I don’t think controllers will go away anytime soon.
(btw, I have my Wii along with my thousand controllers and wheels sitting on the back of a closet disconnected for months now… so much for Mario and Co J ).
Windows 7 (and Office++)
So I’ve been running Win 7 RC and the CTP release of Office 2010…. I’m impressed. I won’t elaborate on Windows & because there are enough raving reviews out there… I’ll just say, “kudos to the Win 7 team”. As for Office 2010…you know I used to be one of those guys that believed that Office was “good enough” but time and again I’ve been proven wrong; can’t share any details but you won’t have to wait too long… the public preview will be available soon.
Some analysts have called Wave a “tsunami” for the internet; it might be. When a colleague of mine told me about this new thing called Wave I thought for a minute of something along the lines of google apps/mail/talk which haven’t been tremendously successful (yet). Then I watched the public video of the keynote where they presented Wave… I was impressed quite honestly. To an extent is a very simple idea at its core… a service that hosts rich conversations (waves) that people and services can plug into. Yet all the surrounding parts, ability to playback waves, ability to plug wave clients into blogs, social sites, multiple devices, multiple interaction mechanism (synch and asynch), can have a tremendous viral effect.
As far as waves being a replacement for email….mmmm I don’t think so just because of the simple fact that not all emails are conversations; some are just discrete events that don’t require the capabilities/overhead that a wave would impose. Now, promoting selected emails into waves (or even better, inferring which should become waves) that would be VERY interesting.
And there is also all matters related with privacy, security, reliability, accountability that email products have faced and solved in one way or another that would also need to be addressed by Wave.
Anyhow, something to definitively keep an eye on.
Aha… you must be thinking “come on, tell me more about CRM5” (because I know all my readers are raving fans of CRM). But I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you… all I can say is that you should stay tuned for this year’s PDC J.