Microsoft Build 2017 is right around the corner, with keynotes streaming live in about 24 hours !
This is my reading of the Windows ecosystem, and what i would like to see announced… My new thinking is that an operating system is just a management thing, the APIs are all similar now… there is no reason i should be choosing my OS based on the apps available but rather how i want to manage it. Oh, and the web with PWA apps is going to kill it all…
The big messages are :
- Make Windows shine as a managed platform.
- Every Windows device should be an Android device ++. We need the apps.
- Every desktop-laptop Windows device should be a Linux device ++, this will bring in the entire academic and scientific public to Windows.
- Make Windows cloud first, mobile first. Make it sync my life. Make it replace my phone. force a eSIM in every device and provide the service. Help us get ride of our telcos with take our money and offer zero innovation.
Here is the detailed list…
- Win32 Apps can now be on the store, and run everywhere windows can (desktop, laptop, tablets with ARM and Intel), you require a traditional Windows license to run Win32 outside of the store.
- UWP for redstone3 is the new API to build professional apps. The API surface will be augmented so that it is years ahead of any other API we have to build apps. It is 3d ready, mobile ready, cloud ready, sync ready… Works everywhere like RPI, desktop, laptop, tablets, phones, xbox, smart tvs.
- Xamarin is the way to build cross platform stuff using Microsoft technologies. These apps will shine on Windows and Xamarin will provide some sort of universal platform service API to compete against the Google PLAY specific APIs.
- Android apps can be downloaded from the Windows Store on any platform and things just work. Developers only need to submit their APK to the Windows Store. If you can’t beat them, join them. Microsoft has to differentiate itself by offering a better management platform and THE API to develop professional apps. An Android page exists in the settings app to manage the interoperability.
- A single shell that adapts to every device seamlessly (CSHELL), extend Continuum.
- An interface that doesn’t make me jealous of iphones (NEO).
- The development pace for EDGE will augment and will now be distributed in the store so that PWA is fully supported by redstone3. Also web sites will be deeply integrated into the OS and will not feel any different than UWP apps.
- EDGE will be enhanced to become the premier note taking and research tool. Complete integration with OneNote.
- Skype for UWP actually made usable and will integrate functionality for Skype for business.
- Skype will offer SkypeIn to everybody on earth so that i can answer the phone from my phone, laptop… With good rates on roaming and data. All Windows tablets should be eSIM compatible.
- Office will get it’s act together and put in the store great apps, current mobile office apps will remain as readers and light editors for the road.
- LXSS (linux subsystem for windows) will become official (not just a developper feature) in Windows PRO and have a it’s own page in the settings app.
- When you launch a feature, launch it globally
- Make Cortana able to have conversations, enhance it with bots.
- Indirect displays (Display link based USB monitors) will be made super efficient (this is a pet peeve since the new driver architecture)
On the hardware side…
- Come out with a small dongle that costs 50$, feels like a Roku with a remote like the Roku, and supports miracast, dlna – upnp, EDGE browsing with the wireless air mouse remote, continuum and UWP apps. Call it the YBOX or something. Make it do everything the XBOX can (minus heavy gaming) for 50$. The YBOX is even integrated in monitors and TVs.
- Come out with a surface phone that is the center of my life. It has an accessory called Surface which is basically a tablet (8, 10 or 12 inches) and a pen which is basically a second screen for my phone. Requires a Surface Phone to work otherwise you are limited to browsing the web with EDGE via WIFI. Can display any app that my phone is running (win32, UWP, android, PWA) via some Continuum technology. Can extend to my other Windows devices in seamless way.
For example I turn on my laptop and see Visual Studio in my task bar (running on my laptop) as well as Facebook (an android app running on my phone but being broadcast to my laptop) as well as Twitter (running on my laptop but state being pushed from phone because the apps are both UWP and can sync state).
- Keep the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and Surface Studio lineup as is…
On the media side…
- Support live tv and radio by region for a base streaming fee (5-6$ per month), allow plugins for cable providers (i.e. Videotron, Bell or even Netflix)
- Support magasines and newspapers as well as ebooks in the store, have an all you can read package for 10-15$ per month).
- Google gobbled up Songza… get your hands on DI.FM, evolve it a bit and offer it everywhere for a base streaming fee (3-4$ per month).