I try to keep up with most happens coming from Microsoft, which is quite a task in itself; however I have been noticing lately that while the Microsoft badgering continues without fail, there is a lot brewing for the second half of this year and next year.
On the consumer front by the end of the year, it looks there will be…
- Windows 7 – The brand spanking ‘major’ update that has everyone talking,
- New Zune Hardware
- Updated Zune Software & Marketplace (this goes with the international launch)
- Windows Mobile 6.5
- MyPhone Final release (and possibly integration with Live Services)
- Windows Mobile Marketplace
- Live Mesh Released
- Advertising coming out of every Microsoft orifice
With the consumer ads not actually advertising Windows (except for the last splash frame), they are doing a very good job at getting people to talk not only about Windows but PC’s which great for the entire PC makers community. This with their big push on a Windows Phone and the new WM6.5, which from the betas is turning out to be a pretty nice refresh release and Windows 7 and all it’s goodies, there looks to be quite a nice push to the consumer side of the market where Microsoft has never really done very well in the past (except OS of course 🙂 ).
Also on the consumer side, there is the Xbox Live Marketplace, the Zune Marketplace, the Microsoft Store and the new Windows Mobile Marketplace. I wouldn’t be surprised if suddenly they all became linked (much like Microsoft Points already are between Xbox and Zune, but buy a song on Zune Marketplace and suddenly it is on your Xbox, Zune, Mobile and PC running Zune)
All this in the next 6-8 months… Then in 2010 (not all consumer)…
- Office 2010
- Windows Mobile 7
- Visual Studio 2010
While it might be a partial pipe dream to think all of this is just going to happen by the end of the year and next year, if Microsoft can pull off their plans to get all this new stuff out, it is really going to start falling into place for consumers. The big feature that seems like it will pull it all together for Microsoft is LiveMesh and I guess at a lower level Azure.
It will be an interesting year for all consumer tech companies as we see what everyone can pull out of their hat in the current ‘economic climate’. (I really hate that term – feel free to let me know a better term to use.)
Please note that everything in the above post is all speculation and opinion of myself. I have no mystic contacts in Microsoft (that will tell me anything :P) and I have not yet completed a working time machine that also makes a good cup of coffee.