… has been a rollercoaster ride of new beta opportunities in a wide variety of software products. Not one product but the complete line, ecosystem if you like, was going through a huge make-over. Within Microsoft there was finally the decision to align all products and make sure each product is complementing the other.
This was something I personally favored for a long time. Instead of having all these products doing their own thing let’s have all the tools and applications in one big bowl and make sure everything looks similar and one product ads to the other. One and One is Three!
I was lucky to be able to beta test a lot of the software that is about to get released soon. This, for me is an important part of my work and just fun to do as a hobby. The software wasn’t publicly available, but I was most certainly not the only one outside Microsoft working with it. Thousands of others with me provided input and recommendations that we thought were important to implement. Obviously to say that not all of our recommendations will make it into the product but I’m sure that a large part of the feedback was adopted making the products even better.
While working on the beta software, next to our daily lives and coping with professional issues at work along with doing your stuff at home not all the things we worked on could be discussed in public was not ready to be blogged about. So that created somewhat of a gap in my blog history.
Let’s see if we can change that. A lot of exciting things is about to happen over the next few weeks and months and I’m sure that with your holiday season at the end of the year, only a few months from now, you just don’t know where to start acquiring all the new stuff and get your wannahaves.
Years ago, and I -mean- yeeeeeaaaars ago, there was this vision of one solution on multiple screens. You would be able to run the things you needed to run on all devices. Going from mobile (Windows Mobile Phones), palmtop (remember the ‘small’ iPaq devices), laptop, desktop to server machines.
Reality was however that it never was a real tight fit. Windows Mobile Phones were just clumsy and hard to handle synchronizing using a wire. Same thing with the palmtops, internally running an embedded OS lacking the wireless connection (you could go wireless but that needed a sleeve to put around the device that was even bigger than the device itself).
The laptop and the desktop integration was a bit better, it ran the same operating system but servers, (How many server types can you name, from Windows Home Server to Data Center?) was, again, another complete different story. And the cloud was not even there yet!
Improvement was needed
As you can see, if you overlook all these things, it was quite a mess. Sure the tools if you each view them in their own context often were great tools. From the start they accomplished a huge boost in productivity. Let’s be real. A lot of’em I still use every day for my personal use, professional life or just as a hobby and I love working with it.
It is however time to change. All products have been re-evaluated, been looked at, and it was decided how the product will fit in scope of all the other products. Are there duplicates? Is there something missing?
The new world of software
With all of that, a complete range of products were developed that covered all devices. Some products are new others are existing but had a complete makeover. Going from small devices (phones) to handhelds (tablets), traveller machines (ultrabook), mobile workstations (notebooks), desktops, servers and all the way to the cloud.
All devices will get the same Windows 8 style UI interface and each tailored to the way it will fit on the device. Integration will take place between your mobile devices, your desktop workspace and The Cloud. A lot of work has been put into the scenario to access all your data wherever and whenever you need.
Some of it is already in a position ready for release other parts are about to be released to manufacturer and another set of parts will be on the release schedule very soon.
If you haven’t already done so, go over to the locations I added below and start exploring some of it. Go slow, there is lots and lots of it where that came from and a lot to learn!
And what better way to conclude this blog item for today with the other great event that just happened. Today the Curiosity Rover (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_rover) landed on Mars to explore the things we don’t know. Exciting time to live in and looking forward to see what Curiosity discovers …
The new Software
Windows 8 Release Preview
Office 2013 and Office365 Customer Preview
Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate