Xbox 720 to the rescue
As an observer of tech industry and market trends, it seems pretty clear that Windows 8, Windows RT, WP8 do not have the momentum that Microsoft was hoping they would at this point. While the app situation is improving, they have not gained any real traction with developers yet.
I would like to raise the possibility that the current slowdown can be attributed to the Xbox 720. There is likely a significant amount of news related to Windows 8, Windows RT, and WP8 that Microsoft can't/won't share until they announce the new Xbox (in April). In fact, it would not surprise me at all if Microsoft has been quietly pushing developers to Windows Blue, so that when they announce the new Xbox, they can announce some major apps that will run on all Windows Blue devices. I suspect that Microsoft will pull some big apps out of their pocket when they announce the new Xbox.
This plan seems kind of crazy to me, and seems like a long time to wait, but I think the momentum will pick up significantly upon the new Xbox announcement. Microsoft likes less frequent, major announcements, and as frustrating as it is for us, I think that is what is happening here.
Some major announcements that would probably wait for the next Xbox reveal event:
- A major SmartGlass upgrade. I expect SmartGlass to be a major part of Microsoft's plans going forward.
- Skype redesigned and on all devices (including Xbox). People are going to go crazy when Microsoft shows Skype video chat with Kinect that can distinguish who is talking and where they are to focus on them in the living room. Imagine a whole family chatting through their Xbox and the Kinect smartly focusing on the person or group who is talking. (I just thought that up in 30 seconds, surely Microsoft did long ago)
- Upgraded Xbox Video and Xbox Music.
- Instagram? Spotify? Other major apps? I don't know what, but I know Microsoft is going to make a big app push with the new Xbox. Surely they are going to feature some big names at the reveal event.