It was Microsoft’s turn in the spotlight this morning, and the focus was simple enough: working and playing in three dimensions. Sure there were the usual and expected 3D creative apps, but how about 3D in, say, Powerpoint, or the Edge browser? In fact, loading 3D into many aspects of the Windows experience was a central theme of the presentation, centered around the Windows 10 Creators update.
Check out this Hololens demonstration of pulling an item off a retail web page (chairs were used) and putting them in your home so you can make sure they fit your interior design plans. Pretty slick. And there was much more as Microsoft looks to implement virtual reality, augmented reality, and what they called “mixed reality” into more and more of their products, especially Windows 10 and the HoloLens headsets – a new version of which will cost only $300.
There’s also a new Surface Book laptop, the Surface Book i7, but the big product news was the Surface Studio PC. Featuring an i7 heart, a thin 28-inch high-rez touchscreen, and a new input device, the Surface Dial. It looks pretty impressive and DT is on the scene to get a close-up look at all the new hardware. Go here for all the details.
Google isn’t feeling the Fiber love
It’s tough times over at Google Fiber, the once high-profile wing of the tech giant that was bringing gigabit digital nirvana to the masses one city a time. Now, with competitors stepping up with their own gigabit options and an apparent pivot from wired gigabit service to a wireless buildout, there’s been a shakeup at Fiber. Craig Barratt, who lead the Google division that includes Fiber, is leaving the company, according to Bloomberg.
A wave of layoffs will end about 130 jobs and plans to roll out fiber to eight new cities are now on hold, including LA, Phoenix and Dallas. What’s next for Google Fiber? It’s not very clear but the recent development of tech that can give customers Fiber-type speeds wirelessly might mean a rethink of the expensive infrastructure buildout a wired system would require. The future is wireless, so maybe Google just got the memo.
Apple to debut MacBooks after rare bad report card
After Microsoft had their turn at the mic today, Tim Cook and Apple will be on stage tomorrow to show off new Macs and perhaps some surprises. But the Apple event comes under a bit of a cloud after a negative earnings report that showed slumping sales pretty much across the board for the Cupertino company. Apple is far from poor of course, and beyond the new Macs that are expected, many are wondering what’s next in terms of really new ideas from Apple.
Late CEO Steve Jobs seemed to have a knack for knowing what people wanted before they wanted it – the iPod, the original Mac and iPhone to name just three. But so far, there’s no Apple VR system, the Apple car seems to be struggling and the iPhone 7 series is fantastic – but also somewhat underwhelming. It seems other companies are now pre-empting tech advances we often expect from Apple.
Some analysts that watch Apple’s every move think that this might be the time Tim Cook begins to deploy some of that cash he’s sitting on, estimated by CNBC to be over $230 billion. Could Apple buy Twitter? Sony? Disney? $230 billion is a pretty big bucket to play with. Maybe Tim Cook’s best move is to go company shopping and leave the devices to Jony Ive, who seems to channel Steve Jobs’ instinctual design and product genius. We’ll know more tomorrow.