Wednesday, July 21, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Windows 11 Announced

Panos Panay (Hacker News):

We’ve simplified the design and user experience to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity. It’s modern, fresh, clean and beautiful. From the new Start button and taskbar to each sound, font and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. We put Start at the center and made it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device.

Windows has always been about helping you work how you want, by offering flexibility of multiple windows and the ability to snap apps side by side. New in Windows 11, we’re introducing Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organize your windows and optimize your screen real estate so you can see what you need just the way you want in a layout that’s visually clean. You can also create separate Desktops for each part of your life and customize them to your liking – imagine having a Desktop for work, gaming or school.

John Gruber:

Microsoft is doing something very interesting with app icons — they’re using different shapes for each of them, rather than forcing them all into the exact same roundsquare shape. That’s an idea Apple should copy.

Nick Heer:

On the surface, it is more of an iterative update than any new version of Windows for a long time; it seems like, with Windows 10, Microsoft established a good foundation that does not require radical changes. At the time, Microsoft even went so far as to claim that Windows 10 would be the “last version of Windows”. Things change.

Ben Thompson:

Of course Windows remains essential software, with a billion-plus userbase of its own, and a critical part of the enterprise landscape in particular (although, as the company highlighted in the presentation, COVID re-established the importance of the PC for consumers as well). What gives Microsoft more freedom-of-movement, though, is that Windows is no longer the core of its business. This remains CEO Satya Nadella’s biggest triumph; I recounted how he shifted the company away from its Windows-centricity in 2018’s The End of Windows[…]

[…]

Microsoft, like Apple, is responding by doing what they do best, but, because it’s Microsoft, it’s the exact opposite of Apple: instead of more deeply integrating and doing everything themselves in an attempt to appeal to consumers, they are opening up and removing limitations in an attempt to appeal to developers, and by extension consumers who don’t want to be bound into Apple’s ecosystem.

Nilay Patel (via John Gruber):

We’ve got a special episode of Decoder today — I’m talking to Satya Nadella, the CEO and chairman of Microsoft.

Nick Heer:

Officially, Windows 11 is incompatible with processors in computers released starting just a few years ago, but even more recent models are going to be stuck on Windows 10.

Jack Wellborn:

As successful as Apple has been, they aren’t an immediate threat to Microsoft. Fundamentally, one is primarily a consumer technology company and the other is a business technology company. While each has tried to drink the other’s milkshake, neither has meaningfully succeeded. The biggest and most immediate threat to Windows is not anything made by Apple. It’s Chromebooks.

[…]

These aren’t features to lure Mac or iPad users to Windows. They are to keep Windows customers, consumers and businesses alike, from switching to Google.

Previously:

7 Comments

>rather than forcing them all into the exact same roundsquare shape. That’s an idea Apple should copy.

That is a strange take because OSX used to be like that. Apps that hasn't updated to the new design guidelines, like Transmission, VLC, TextMate all do not have the round square share.

I thought the Round Square Share idea absolutely make sense on a touch screen devices as it send sort of a signal of a button and many user are new to computing. On Mac it make much less.

>The biggest and most immediate threat to Windows is not anything made by Apple. It’s Chromebooks.

That used to be the case. Things are little different when Apple switched to ARM. With Apple Silicon, Apple now has the BOM cost advantage and be able to have a smaller variant $799 MacBook Air, the same price as an 11" iPad Pro. Along with an even lower Mac mini pricing. This is going to enter into slightly above median Windows machine selling price. And substanitally increase the total addressable market. In business, enterprise, education, and personal computer.

Kevin Schumacher

> That is a strange take because OSX used to be like that.

I read that as subtle sarcasm, especially when combined with some of his other pieces lately about Apple losing its way on HID.

@ Kevin Oh that clicked for me. Yes. Thanks. I was wondering I didn't notice that when I first read it.

>Microsoft, like Apple, is responding by doing what they do best, but, because it’s Microsoft, it’s the exact opposite of Apple: instead of more deeply integrating and doing everything themselves in an attempt to appeal to consumers, they are opening up and removing limitations in an attempt to appeal to developers, and by extension consumers who don’t want to be bound into Apple’s ecosystem.

Yes, but also no.

We can see rather clearly from the history of the Windows Store that they did try with a far more closed model, like Apple's App Store. It's just that the Windows Store was quite unsuccessful, so they've been opening it up to attract more developers.

> With Apple Silicon, Apple now has the BOM cost advantage and be able to have a smaller variant $799 MacBook Air, the same price as an 11" iPad Pro. Along with an even lower Mac mini pricing. This is going to enter into slightly above median Windows machine selling price.

They could. But frankly, they also could before if they really wanted to — Intel Celeron and Pentium do exist as low-cost options.

I wouldn't be surprised if they go with the Cook strategy we've seen with the iPhone: make the current M1 MacBook Air $799 once the M2 MacBook Air is out. But I don't think they're going to change the pricing of current-gen Macs (and so far they clearly aren't — not with the Air, nor with the mini).

They've probably run the numbers and figured that a _slight_ price reduction won't come with a significant increase in sales, so it doesn't really solve a problem they have. And a _major_ price reduction doesn't seem to be a market they're interested in. (Maybe they'll give a low-cost education laptop another shot, but it seems they'd rather sell the low-end iPad for that.)

>These aren’t features to lure Mac or iPad users to Windows. They are to keep Windows customers, consumers and businesses alike, from switching to Google.

I'd say Microsoft is aiming directly at Mac and iPad users. Windows is being billed as an open system that gives its users, developers and creatives the freedom to do as they want. Except in gaming.

If they win over more developers and creatives at the least they are gaining mindshare. After all this was the space that Apple occupied pre-iPhone success. One that Apple steadily abandoned since then.

Do Chromebooks have that big of a foothold in business / productivity ? Its very much a toss of the coin in choosing between Windows and Macs in this area. Arguably the greater choice and price points puts Microsoft ahead.

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