And the take-home message is… Buy Microsoft? Photo: Austen Allred
Microsoft showed off a few neat concepts at yesterday’s Windows 10 conference. But while looking at the stage showed a company secure about its place in the tech world, turning around and facing the audience revealed a very different picture: a room full to bursting with MacBook-wielding journos.
Grasswire co-founder Austen Allred tweeted the above image taken at the event, adding the pithy understatement “A couple MacBooks at the Windows 10 Unveiling…”
If one were needed, it’s yet another reminder for longtime tech followers about just who won the PC war in the long run, despite Microsoft’s dominance during the 1990s. We can’t say we’re brokenhearted about it, either.
Microsoft just unveiled the future of Windows 10 today in Redmond. Along with some crazy holographic goggles that take on Google Glass and Oculus, company executives revealed the ambitious plan to make the next generation of Windows the first truly universal platform for desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and more.
The 2.5 hour keynote was packed with new features coming to Windows 10 devices and the Xbox, but eagle-eyed Apple fanboys have already noticed a few ways Microsoft was influenced by some of Apple’s best features.
Here are 5 plays Microsoft stole from Apple’s playbook:
With HoloLens, Microsoft enters the age of holographic computing. Photo: Microsoft
Forget about spreadsheets and Word docs — Microsoft thinks the world is ready for holograms.
“We’re dreaming about holograms,” said Microsoft’s Alex Kipman as he introduced Windows Holographic and HoloLens, the company’s new wearable holographic computer. He showed off the device, which is strapped to the head and includes see-through lenses and an array of built-in sensors designed to bring high-def holograms into the real world.
If you’re a long time Mac fan like I am, you probably remember a time in the 90’s when you would have paid anything to watch then Microsoft CEO eat shit and die.
Of course, since leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates has become quite the humanitarian… one who is especially concerned with the problem of getting clean drinking water to the rest of the world. So these days, I have no interest in seeing him eat shit and die.
YubiKey can make online security easy — if it gains widespread adoption. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Nobody wants to get hacked like Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud account. Everyone, including Apple, is pushing two-factor authentication in the wake of the high-profile hack that exposed dozens of celebrities nude selfies, but verifying an account login with a code sent to your phone is a total pain.
In the not-so-distant future, we might all be storing two-factor authentication on our keychains.
Yubico is already providing eight out of 10 Silicon Valley companies with a tiny USB dongle called YubiKey that securely verifies an employee’s online identity. You just plug it into a computer and tap it when it’s time to log in. Now that Gmail has started supporting YubiKey on the front end, anyone can use it as the second verification step for getting into their inbox.
Internet Explorer could be killed off in Windows 10. Photo: Microsoft
It’s come a long way in recent years, but even so, Internet Explorer may be Microsoft’s most reviled product: a web browser so bad it held web standards back for years. From a Mac fan’s perspective, the best that can be said about Internet Explorer is that, for the most part, you never have to use it at all: the most up-to-date versions only run on Windows.
But that could soon change. A new report suggests that Microsoft could be rebranding Internet Explorer while giving it a radical overhaul… while simultaneously releasing it on non-Windows systems like Mac and iOS.
Microsoft’s Xin is already one of the best ways to share photos between devices, even if you’re on Android or iPhone, but it’s getting even better today for iPhone users with a new update that adds Apple TV support, plus a ton of other set top boxes.
Chomecast, Fire TV, Xbox One and web browsers are all getting support for the simple photo sharing app meaning you can now toss pictures to pretty much any smartphone or TV screen in the world.
See how Xim works with Apple TV in the video below:
Even school kids can see the potential. Photo: Skype/Microsoft
Star Trek Captains Picard and Kirk could talk to any alien, no matter how different it was from humanity, thanks to the universal translator, a magical sci-fi device that explained away why strange civilizations in far-away solar systems all spoke English.
That future just got a little less far-fetched, thanks to Skype Translator, a new preview service that uses technology from Microsoft Research to translate two different languages back and forth in real time.
This is heady stuff, as school kids in Seattle and Mexico City seem to instantly recognize when they chat back and forth in English and Spanish via the Skype service in the video below.
Leaked promotional shot for the canned McLaren phone, Microsoft’s flagship Lumia that was supposed to come out in time for the holidays. Photo: Baidu
If you needed any more confirmation that Windows Phone is dead in the water, two of its most high profile supporters have abandoned it for the iPhone.
Veteran Microsoft journalists Ed Bott and Tom Warren both published essays this week in which they criticized Windows Phone for its shortcomings and announced that they’ve stopped using Windows Phones personally. Citing a lack of carrier and third-party app support, both agreed that Windows Phone has missed its shot at being a real competitor in the smartphone market.