So here's my prediction: within a year you're going to see an extension controller for the Kinect that allows the user to have some handheld buttons -- essentially reducing the Kinect to the equivalent of a Wii.
You heard it here first.
Kinect Sports works pretty well. The problem is that there's no standard for a button-less interface.
Moving beyong the Microsoft Monoculture
For the last 15 years we have been living in a Microsoft monoculture, which has had very real knock-on consequences for everyone online -- not just for users of its products. Today, though, that monoculture is fading away, to be replaced by something much more complex.
(An article in The H Open by Glyn Moody. No real surprises in this article, but it's a nice summary.
One of my friends just bought a new laptop to replace his previous one (his kids got a hold of his old one... destroyed it).
The first words out of his mouth to me after buying the new one were "Yeah, you're putting Ubuntu on this for me... I hate windows.". It came preloaded with Win7Pro. The first time he booted it up, there were 41 updates and he couldn't get rid of the bloatware/crapware they put on the stupid machine (norton security, aol bullshit, ... the list goes on).
He hadn't even unboxed it yet and he told me to get my Ubuntu installation ready for him lol.
Goes to show, even audio production professionals prefer Ubuntu over Win7.
This is one large reason why Linux desktop market share is actually closer to 10% than the 1% touted by detractors. Most of our desktops show up in the official counts as Windows machines because it's so hard to avoid being forced to take a copy of Windows with a retail computer sale.
System76 et al are great but you end up paying more for a bare computer than you would for a big-brand machine that comes with that unused copy of 'doze.
well, the '7 licenese of this notebook wasn't even bootet once, and i'll sell it...
refunding is a little to much fuss.
last weekend I spent an hour on my fathers '7 box... its such a horror. gave up after an hour to convert some f'n mp3 to a wav to add a nice sound to his thunderbird/iceowl reminder so he takes his pills (which he fails to currently :-( )
even finding the god damn right place to put icedove to so it autostarts, _and_ being allowed to write to it took me ten minutes. fucking peace of crap.
much to intuitive for me.
Unfortunately it's probably already been activated and reselling would trip the WGA box of doom.
Today I read an interesting comparison.
Anyone who's been in the computer biz for more than a decade or so knows the sad story of how Novell got their asses kicked by Microsoft, who offered a product that was cheaper, easier to install, and more integrated, even though it was of substantially lower quality.
That having been the case, chew on this:
VMware could very well be the Novell Netware of today. They've got a great product -- but they're expensive, their software can sometimes be quite byzantine to work with in large installations, and what they do is rapidly heading towards commodity status.
What happens next remains to be seen. Hyper-V is a piece of crap, but that won't stop a lot of pure-Microsoft shops from deploying it, especially if they're already entrenched in Microsoft licensing. And the open source offerings are quite good, at an early enough stage to make a difference.
If the folks at VMware are smart, they will position themselves as a software management company rather than a virtualization company. Already there is some noise about vCenter being able to manage other hypervisors (other than ESX/ESXi) in the not too distant future. That would be a good move for them -- give away the hypervisor under *all* situations (currently ESXi is only free if it's unmanaged) and charge for a hypervisor-agnostic management platform.
So much for the Linux and Mac clients working properly anymore. I wonder if third-party clients will emerge?
Microsoft won't shut off Mac and Linux on day 1, of course. They'll simply let those clients go unmaintained, and then one day there will be a message "Your version of the Microsoft(R) Skype(TM) Client is too old; please upgrade to the latest version to enjoy all of our Innovative(TM) new features!" but the new version will only be available for Windoze.
I'm sure there will be an X-Box version too, using one of the cameras in the Kinect for video.
In the meantime, I suppose it'll be Google Chat for the rest of us. I was delighted to discover that my instant messenger client (Pidgin) already has support for video in Google Chat.
well, they're going to port everything to c-carpet so it runs on the vistafon. thanks to our beloved miguel it won't be that hard to maintain a working linux version... (just get the filenames right without driveletters)
but the client is going to become slooouuwww and suck cpu till it burns.
Subject: Arnie ist bald da...
Haven't been impressed with the Linux Skype client, anyhow...it was always lagging in features and functionality behind the Windows and Mac versions, and crashed more often than not.
Microsoft seems to be realizing that everyone hates the Office "Ribbon" so they're completely redesigning the user interface for Office *again*.
And this time around they're basing it on the allegedly "hugely popular" Metro UI from Phone 7, which uses gigantic fonts that wrap all over the page.
Yeesh. The problem here is that office automation software is DONE. Microsoft can't think of any useful new features to add to it, so instead of just stopping, they keep throwing more and more crap into it, otherwise people get upset that they're spending $500 for not much more than bugfixes.
Microsoft's board, and in particular, Bill Gates, do not seem to agree.
I'm happy to see this. I agree with Einhorn: the last ten years have been largely stagnant under Ballmer's leadership. And I'm cool with that, of course, because it is in everyone's best interest for Microsoft to continue to decline.
(Sometimes you've got to wonder what color the sky is in some people's worlds --- I actually saw one tech pundit claim that "Microsoft built the platform from which Apple and Google launched their own successes")
The story now seems to be morphing from "Ballmer should be kicked out" to "Gates should be brought back."
If this happens, it will be the realization of something I have predicted for a long time: they are planning to add "the triumphant return of the original CEO" to the long list of things they copied from Apple.
You heard it here first.