Facing the Biggest Problem with Windows in 2014
I'm a fan of Thurrott's writing, and I think he puts forward an interesting point here. Read the article first (source link above) then come back ;)
I would extend on this concept and say the biggest trend Microsoft missed is "tech as fashion".
Microsoft has always created practical products, which is likely based on their roots in enterprise and design-by-committee.
The biggest selling point of Microsoft's first foray into "devices", and arguably Windows 8 itself, is that it's "very practical".
Based on my own personal experience, nothing from Apple or Google comes close to how incredibly functional it is to be able to sit on the lounge with a Surface playing games, instantly flip out the keyboard and answer some work email, edit a document and reply to the email, then snap off the keyboard and go back to the game... but it's not "fashionable" to do that. No one has ever picked up by saying "hey look how I can simultaneously Skype my work colleagues and catch up on my Netflix movies at the same time"
If I had to break it down, I'd say Microsoft create solid products that solve problems whilst Apple and Google just make cool stuff.
So what's the secret sauce? I guess that is the theme of the thread.
Microsoft can't just stop being practical. That would alienate their business customers and users like me (who detest tech as fashion).
They could open up their research labs to the public a bit (you know Microsoft has their own version of Google glasses, smart watches and Oculus Rift hidden behind those doors) but I've got no idea how you present something like that without looking like you're constantly failing to deliver.
or maybe it's something else, who knows! I think I've ranted enough :)