18th Sep 2012
To us, Windows 8 seems to be one small step for a company, as opposed to the giant leap for computers that Windows 95 was. Ballmer, however, insists that Windows 8 "surpasses" Windows 95 — which, he admits, was the "biggest thing in the last 20 years until now".
As of this writing, it hasn't been made clear whether Ballmer was talking about mystic visions or packaged products when he said Microsoft was "trying to really re-imagine the world from the ground up with Windows 8". The statement is, however, consistent with an old Ballmerism: "I want everyone to share my passion for our products and services". It's a little difficult at this point, but we can try.
Some of us remember 2007, when Microsoft's Surface was such a hot topic that (a) We didn't really understand what it was, but we were amazed anyway; (b) We began using the advanced term "Surface Computing" as an offshoot of Microsoft's latest creation; and (c) Engadget.com ran this headline: "Microsoft Surface: one day your computer will be a big-ass table".
The rough idea we had about The Fantastic Surface was this: Computer tables wouldn't have computers on them any more. To open a slideshow, we'd make flamboyant gestures on a table (any table would do), and everyone would see the images in 4D colour. Instead of using e-mail to send documents, we'd physically pull holograms out of the table using an intuitive (and flamboyant) gesture — and wave at them in the direction of the recipient, etc. Basically, we were sharing the passion for Microsoft® products™ and services®™.
The launch of that would have been epic indeed. A few years later, though, we find that the Surface is a tablet.
Worse, Ballmer mentioned neither holograms nor computing furniture at the interview.
TechTree Blog: 2012 — An Epic Year For Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer says Windows 8 is responsible.
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