Microsoft has done a 180. They’ve gone from being perceived as a bludgeoning, corporate, stiff-necked bunch of Scrooglers (thank you, Monsieur Ballmer) to suddenly open, admirable company. Not only is it bridging gaps – putting out a slew of great apps into both Apple and Google’s ecosystems, thrilling users with potentially “free” Windows upgrades – it’s suddenly cool.
1) Apps in the Store
Have you noticed how many applications Microsoft is pumping into the iOS and Android app stores? Not only are these good applications in their own right, and excellent ambassadors for the Microsoft name: they could also be a smart way of collecting data on people using these platforms. That lock screen depicted, for example: that’s a Microsoft app. Microsoft doesn’t need to be making lockscreen apps – but the fact that they are shows a desire to be the place that people go to for quality productivity stuff regardless of whether it’s on desktop or mobile.
2) Get in the news
The public transformation really began with HoloLens and Mojang. One was an acquisition that was very poorly recieved by most of the community; people believed Microsoft would wreck Mojang – just like what happened with Ensemble and Bungie. While it’s too early to see if that’s the case, Microsoft’s brilliance came through when it showed off the HoloLens trailer – with a guy playing Minecraft. That was the true highlight of the demo. It gave hope that not only would Minecraft survive, but it would become even more immersive in the future. Those meant the eyeballs of over a 100 million registered users as well as uncountable Minecraft pirates paid attention. And talked. And talked.
HoloLens also affected how many people viewed Microsoft: it went from being seen as that company that made your OS – almost an essential evil – to being something cool, experimental and very much in that part of the public eye that looks on with eager awe at electric cars and virtual reality.
Of course, Microsoft is still in the news. Now they’re apparently turning email into IMs. They’ve had a Solitaire tournament to celebrate 25 years of Solitaire. They’ve promised “an Xbox One experience” on Windows 10, leading gamers to rejoice and some to wonder why Microsoft would harm its own lineup like that. They’re in the news, alright.
3) Make that smartphone smarter
One of Microsoft’s coolest announcements at the Build conference was Continuum – a demo where they got a smartphone interface to scale up and adapt to large screens and keyboard and mice. For effect, that’s like having a PC in your pocket – plug it into the right peripherals (wirelessly, if you prefer) and you have a full PC experience on your hands, like a superpowered Raspberry Pi. Some speculate that this might let to a new hardware segment where laptops are nothing more that peripherals that can run off a phone that can be hot-swapped in.
If Microsoft can cook up a system where developers can build universal apps that run across both traditional desktops and the Continuum-powered phones, we end up with a true unified OS. That could work wonders.
4) Office, Office everywhere
Time was when Office was something you could only use effectively on a Microsoft platform (or on a Mac). Now it’s everywhere, accessible anytime from almost any device, and it’s growing. More and more Office services are free. Box, the cloud storage service, is now part and parcel of Office. They’re reportedly testing OfficeNow, a productivity app that helps you manage your work schedule and is available across platforms. They’re rolling out Sway, the automatic presentation creation app, for business and educational users. They’re migrating Outlook into Office 365.
Microsoft’s basically realized that platform dominance is no longer guaranteed: now they’re pivoting to make sure that they are the de facto provider of Office stuff regardless of what device you use. To that end, they’re making Office 365 as powerful – and as available – as possible.
5) Acquisitions, because business
Microsoft tried to buy Salesforce ($ 55 billion) It’s rumored that they’re going to try and buy Blackberry. They recently bought Revolution Analytics, N-trig, Sunrise, LiveLoop and Datazen. They’ve acquired six companies from January 2015 to now: they only acquired 9 in 2014 and 7 in 2013. Are they on a Google-esque spree? It’s too early to tell, but that may very well be the case.
4) Give them freebies, bill them later
Of course, we can’t really talk Microsoft without discussing its new pricing strategies. Free Windows? Three years ago that would have been blasphemy. But no, Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade free. It’s evident that Microsoft has gone from selling primarily platforms to selling services, using the pay-as-you-use models so espoused by Amazon and Adobe. Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM – as Fortune noted not too long ago, that strategy’s led to a 30% increase in the number of Office 365 customers alone. And it neatly lets people espouse the platforms of their choice without someone having to play bad guy and lock them in.
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Venture Frontier Lanka is bringing experts in entrepreneurship from around the country to cities throughout Sri Lanka to train local entrepreneurs to think differently about the ventures they will start.
Venture Frontier Lanka is bringing experts in entrepreneurship from around the country to cities throughout Sri Lanka to train local entrepreneurs to think differently about the ventures they will start. A caravan stop consists of different sessions about creating unique ideas for startup ventures and strategies for financing those ideas.
Come join the sessions on the 19th of December, starting with 2 pm at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology.
The event is free of charge! REGISTRATION is mandatory for this event
(Wednesday) 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
SLIIT, New Kandy Road, Malabe
Early Bird till the 16th of Dec: 20% discount Likuid Members: 20% discount Female/Social Entrepreneurs (Locals Only): 50% discount Join for a one day workshop where we unchain the collective wisdom and creativity
Early Bird till the 16th of Dec: 20% discount
Likuid Members: 20% discount
Female/Social Entrepreneurs (Locals Only): 50% discount
Join for a one day workshop where we unchain the collective wisdom and creativity to help each other having a more productive digital nomad new year and build better cooperations for teamwork.
During this peer to peer learning session you can share your experiences to help others and learn from other practitioners. Together, dive into the most painful problems and brainstorm on solutions. It’s for you if you resonate with some of these questions:
How do I integrate work, life and travel?
How do I keep motivated to achieve?
How do I keep engaged with a client?
How do I manage my time and energy?
How do I get clients?
How do I find people to collaborate with?
How to deal with time differences?
How can I make human interactions with slack profiles?
How to set realistic goals in constantly changing environment?
What are the best tools & methods for productivity?
What’s the secret of aligned teams?
What are the best skills for a digital nomad?
ABOUT THE METHOD:
“We create space for meaningful conversations, experimental and peer to peer learning. Nothing frontal, no preaching. But space for your very unique questions.”
+ Full-day mentored learning program
+ Breakfast on the roof
+ BBQ lunch on the roof
+ Goodie bags & Take-home handbooks
+ Post-event networking
ABOUT THE HOST:
Kitti is a digital nomad herself and a marketing consultant for innovative companies and early stage startups. She is a conversation ambassador for tedxdanubia, hosted meaningful conversations on ideas worth spreading. In the past years she worked in self organized teams, practiced facilitation, joined peer to peer networks, decentralized teams and cocreated a collective of freelancers. She is a cofounder of a sustainability startup that just secured its first round of investment. Worked as a mentor for many startups, and in the meantime she visited more than 15 countries.
Are you a Sri Lankan female entrepreneur or a local social business? Reach out for your discounted tickets!
PRICE IN SRI LANKAN RUPEES:
Regular: LKR 5000
Early Bird till 16th of Dec: LKR 4000
Likuid Members: LKR 4000
Female/Social Entrepreneurs (Locals Only): LKR 2500
(Saturday) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
5 Charles Place 00300 Colombo, Sri Lanka
Karthik ( Associate Director, DTCC & Co-organiser of Hyperledger Chennai Meetup) will be here for the 2nd Hyperledger meetup. He will share his experience with Hyperledger and Business application of Blockchain
Karthik ( Associate Director, DTCC & Co-organiser of Hyperledger Chennai Meetup) will be here for the 2nd Hyperledger meetup.
He will share his experience with Hyperledger and Business application of Blockchain technologies.
1. Work with Hyperledger Fabric and Explorer.
2. Business use case with Hyperledger Blockchain Framework
3. Q&A session
This is a Free session. Register here
(Friday) 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Startup X Foundry
07, Charles Place, Colombo 03, Colombo
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