Comment 2SWB Re: Ballmer


Microsoft staff cuts extend to Silicon Valley research lab


Ballmer (Score: 2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-24 13:43 (#2SW7)

perhaps should have been yelling "R&D! R&D! R&D! R&D!"

What is the deal with huge companies having great lab projects that just never get "monetized" until the idea is picked up by someone else?

From Xerox PARC to Bell Labs to MS... They turned their tabletop "Surface" research into overpriced underwhelming touchscreen laptops, and their interesting "Courier" pad never saw the light of day. Now others are building touch tabletops and whiteboards, and of course iOS and Android own mobile touch computing. Some of their software projects (I recall a photo stitching effort) also reside in obscurity.

So of course now they start dumping one of the few areas of the company that really is an engine of innovation (contrary to all massive lip service applied to that "i" word by them and everyone else). Sigh.

Re: Ballmer (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-24 15:21 (#2SW9)

AC, you should really log in because that was a good comment. I had forgotten about Courier, but now I remember how disappointed I was when they canned it. Chasing quarterly numbers makes a lot of these good, early-stage projects die on the vine.

Re: Ballmer (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-24 16:33 (#2SWA)

Thank you very much. I still don't have an account here although I frequently comment. I'm pretty sure you can upvote ACs if you wish.

I'm a little surprised one of the Android manufacturers, or even accessory providers, hasn't come up with a Courier workalike. All you'd really need is an accessory screen and a video extender kludge/applet. (Some case manufacturers are producing really nice stuff.) Maybe 200 bucks should do it, retail. Tricky part of course is video bandwidth. As with most things, the rigidly uniform Apple product line means it would be the first practical target for such a thing. I've no idea about extending iOS video though...

Re: Ballmer (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-24 17:17 (#2SWB)

A product doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to offer better value. A dual-screen Courier style tablet could work even if it's not as slick as the original Microsoft design. Just give me one surface mainly for handwriting and the other mainly for viewing documents/video/apps. No need to worry about lefties, as they can just rotate it 180 degrees.

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