In the best sense of what is fair, I have bashed Windows Phones for more than 5 years. They just don’t have a solid strategy for what should come next. Recently Microsoft announced a more integrated platform basically finally truly have a phone running windows. While that is interesting, it isn’t the answer to the problem. I am asked constantly on Quora and other forums why Microsoft still tries in the phone space. I answer the questions very carefully. In part because I understand not wanting to let go of a market you once owned. But, add a phone to the pile with clippie and Bob. Time to move on Microsoft.
The other side of that equation is the reality of office. Today, I can use and operate office applications on either my Android Tablet or my iOS device. And frankly, I do, almost every day! The need for a phone that is more connected has gone. I can connect my iPhone to my windows 10 desktop in less than a minute. I can run iTunes and operate as if my phone and my computer were from the same company. It doesn’t matter anymore.
What does matter though is the integration with future tech devices? In particular, the integration upcoming in the next version of windows with Hololens. And the intelligent way the Microsoft team has actually built a fully integrated platform for VR.
Oculus Rift runs so cleanly on Windows 10 it is amazing. Microsoft has pushed once more to the edges of what could be done. Between Oculus and Hololens the future is pretty bright for windows 10 in the home.
I keep wandering back to Hololens. I use it every day on conference calls because it lets me see my computer screen, interact with other people on the call and at the same time look things up without ever leaving the conference call window. I sit on a lot of calls with presentations and people talking about what we need to do. It is nice to be able to type in a search when someone asks a question and have the answer quickly. Just that one use case, improving conference calls, makes Hololens valuable for me. Expanding that use case allows you to include functionality for developers (while coding, you can look things up quickly, without leaving Visual Studio. Teachers can interact with students while being able to quickly verify information. The use case of Hololens as a research tool is a huge one.
Hololens also offers another use case, that of a tech fixing or repairing machines. Walking in with the knowledge of the 10 most common problems with specific equipment reduces the overall time required for any one fix. Being able to look directly into the machine and see next that what it is supposed to look like is another huge value.
Now this moves into and beyond the reality of augmented reality (AR) and into the creation of a new reality (VR) that can be consumed and considered. Hololens is a toll with a growing number of use cases that are impactful and interesting.
With the next major release of windows 10, Microsoft is promising more and more integration between the windows 10 computer and the HoloLens. With its already delivered tighter integration between iOS devices and android devices I wonder again aloud if Windows Phone is needed.
It doesn’t matter anymore Microsoft. Windows phone is dead. Your innovations, however, Flow, Hololens and others are growing and frankly, those are the images that will drive tomorrow! Flow is amazing (search Microsoft Flow and sign up – it is the best tool for simple task automation I have seen in a long time). The Hololens is expensive, but it can replace a number of other tools very quickly. The integration of Oculus Rift and the Windows 10 platform is beyond amazing.
The future is virtual and windows is ready.
Good job Microsoft!
Images today courtesy of Dr. Hans O Andersen’s digital collection.