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  (Source: Bloomberg)
Microsoft CEO defends cross platform approach, jump into tablet market

"Surface is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business," commented Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer in a recent interview with TechRadar.

The embattled CEO has suffered recent shareholder unrest as Microsoft has struggled in the smartphone and tablet markets.  But Mr. Ballmer is convinced that Microsoft's new unified approach -- which will culminate in the late summer 2013 launch of Windows/Windows Phone "Blue" -- is a solid route to market domination.

He explains, "Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time. [Having] the same look and feel shortens the learning curve and creates a more seamless user experience."

Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Surface Phone, a device designed to encourage third party OEMs to step up their game.  When it comes to the Surface tablet, Mr. Ballmer says it showed OEMs what could be done with a Windows 8 tablet.  He comments, "I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important—and not just for Microsoft but for the entire Windows ecosystem—to see integrated hardware and software."

Surface RT ($499) has been criticized for its poor resolution (1366x768), while Surface Pro ($899 USD 64 GB; $999 USD 128 GB) has been criticized for offering too little free space to the user. Still, both tablets are very popular for their slick looks and solid hardware; the Surface Pro is currently sold out.

The CEO claims that Microsoft understands very well what consumers wants, but sometimes is just a bit lacking in execution.
He remarks, "So is there a lack of understanding, or in some cases do I wish our execution had been better? I would say the latter. In cases where we’ve embraced end-user needs and really sort of dived in, like the things that we’ve done with Kinect and the Xbox, I think we’ve done a heck of a job."

While no official announcements have been made Microsoft has come under fire for reportedly locking out used games from its next generation gaming console, the Xbox 720.  The console, which is expected to launch later this year, is also criticized as being harder to develop for and less popular than Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) upcoming PlayStation 4, according to industry sources who've worked with early dev kits.

Source: TechRadar



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What is everyone talking about?
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 2:27:10 PM , Rating: 1
First off, I’ve seen many people griping about the storage space on the surface pro. 1. The iPad only has 128GB at its top most model. I don’t know how much of that is used/available but I do know the iPad also uses a recovery system. 2. Who actually stores high definition movies on their actual tablet? My tablet has 32GB, runs windows 8 and has about 16GB left now. My movies are kept on a central shared drive on my main computer. A 1TB external drive if I want to take it with me for some reason, but the number 1 way I watch movies on my tablet is Netflix/Streaming/Remote Access. All of these take ZERO storage capacity. Anything over 80GB is more than enough for a tablet in today’s world unless you’re trying to use it as your only computing device, which you shouldn’t be. Also, unlike your iPad, I can easily pull my tablet apart and change the hard disk to something more roomy.

Secondly, the Xbox: I hope they do kill the used game market. I despise the used game market because it’s one of the reasons new games are so expensive. It’s also one of the big reasons the PC game market has gone south, because companies like GameStop quit pushing them as there’s no used market for PC games for them to rape again and again, and there hasn’t been for a while. Consoles aren’t killing the used market; they’re catching up to the PC and doing what should have been done a long time ago, killing GameStop. GameStop preys on children who want new games but have crappy allowances and can’t buy online without their parent’s help, so they buy the kid’s old games and a complete steal (5 to 10 bucks if you’re lucky) and then mark them up to 20-30 bucks and resell them. I’d rather just buy a new game for 40 bucks, but you can’t because the used game market squelches so many potential sales that the new game market has to raise their prices to compensate. As a developer and a consumer… screw that!

As far as developing for the Xbox, what are these crack heads talking about. Visual studio express (free) plus Microsoft XNA game studio (also free) and you can officially develop for the Xbox. I don’t see why the “720” would change this especially with Microsoft’s current direction of “unify the platforms”. C# + XNA + .Net is EASY. If you can’t figure out how to code for that then you don’t get to call yourself a coder. And no, you aren’t screwed into using C# as far as I know. Direct3D works with C++ just fine and you can use that too. Now to be clear, to develop professionally you'll want the Microsoft Xbox SDK (probably not free) and the full version of Visual Studio 2010 (probably 2012 for the 720). While I do have the professional Visual Studio 2010, I do not possess the Xbox sdk. I can say that it would be very odd if the SDK was that much harder to code for than any traditional DirectX programming (since that's what Xbox uses) and would be very surprised if it were much different at all.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2971507/tools-e...

If I had to take a stab at it I'd say the coding for the Xbox “720” will probably use languages and tools *similar* to that of Windows 8 UI (Metro) development. As that seems to be the direction Microsoft is going with everything, in which case it's even easier. There's an adjustment period but the code is very easy to work with.




RE: What is everyone talking about?
By tng on 2/20/2013 5:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope they do kill the used game market. I despise the used game market because it’s one of the reasons new games are so expensive
You might get your wish, but new games will not come down in price as you might hope. Chances are that new will continue to increase in price since with no used games, there is no competition.


RE: What is everyone talking about?
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 8:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Because new games don't compete with... each other? Between morons who buy into angry birds appstore games and believe all games should cost 99 cents to the everything should be free or ad supported crowd the future of gaming looks rather bleak, honestly. If games increase in price it will be because of inflation or our ever increasing demands for gaming graphical perfections and ideas like "amazing gameplay", "story", and "substance" will continue to get kicked to the way side to placate us with pretty graphics and nice special effects. This drives up game purchase costs because it drives up game development costs. Between that and proprietary formats and the idea that everything delivered must come from some god awful appstore there's no room for the traditional model that made gaming great in the first place. Every game comes with it's own crappy app store on windows, because we *want* to install a different app store every time we purchase a game from GameStop... pfft.


RE: What is everyone talking about?
By jnemesh on 2/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: What is everyone talking about?
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 8:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously have not reading comprehension skills. fist is NEVER said games are "expensive" in a general sense. I said games could likely be made cheaper if companies sold more original copies than if the used market stole 3 of every 4 sales. In the PC land used games have been all but dead for a long time. The consoles are just following in their foot steps.

second, I NEVER said used games "diminish the success of a good game", I doubt very seriously they diminish the success of a bad game. I simply said again, that a game could be potentially cheaper in the new form if the used form went away, and I stand by that.

Lastly, if you read my post you'll understand why your last sentence is retarded. I never said XNA would be used for the next generation, stop putting words in my mouth. I said XNA WAS used this generation and that Microsoft would likely push the Windows 8 UI style development into the 720 because Microsoft has been on a "unify the platforms kick lately". At any rate the Xbox has used coding technology that is very similar to windows development thus far and I don't see them changing that anytime soon. Therefore, it is unlikely that the Xbox will be "difficult", per say, to code for.


RE: What is everyone talking about?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/20/2013 8:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Secondly, the Xbox: I hope they do kill the used game market. I despise the used game market because it’s one of the reasons new games are so expensive. It’s also one of the big reasons the PC game market has gone south, because companies like GameStop quit pushing them as there’s no used market for PC games for them to rape again and again, and there hasn’t been for a while. Consoles aren’t killing the used market; they’re catching up to the PC and doing what should have been done a long time ago, killing GameStop. GameStop preys on children who want new games but have crappy allowances and can’t buy online without their parent’s help, so they buy the kid’s old games and a complete steal (5 to 10 bucks if you’re lucky) and then mark them up to 20-30 bucks and resell them. I’d rather just buy a new game for 40 bucks, but you can’t because the used game market squelches so many potential sales that the new game market has to raise their prices to compensate. As a developer and a consumer… screw that!


So like...are you just trying to sound like a complete dumbass or does it come natural?


RE: What is everyone talking about?
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 10:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
So like... are you going to offer a rebuttal or are you going to resort to childish name calling like a little school girl?


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