Tag Archives : office

Kinect is Just Over 1 Year Old

I’m a big fan of the Kinect technology.  I’ve written before that I think there is more business use to Kinect than entertainment and the release of a non commercial use SDK by Microsoft has resulted in a number of interesting concepts being developed.  Microsoft promise a commercial SDK early next year.

We are still very early into this technology life cycle.  I anticipate MS will attempt to embed Kinect into some of their products slated for a 2012 release such as Office, Sharepoint, Lync, Windows8 and Exchange but these are likely to be further early stage concepts rather than deeply embedded features within the product.

I would anticipate incremental development with Windows8 and a major push to embed Kinect into their post 2012 release of Office products which would be around 2014/2015.  This should give enough time for three important factors to mature which are not available today:

  • The sensor technology must improve (and I’m sure it will).  At the moment we all put up with the limitations because we are excited by the potential.  Mass adoption will not be so forgiving.  The technology must work first time, especially if it is to be deployed to business
  • A wider developer base will be available so business can exploit Kinect’s potential by hiring developers and service providers to deploy into their specific business environment
  • The camera must be smaller and built into laptops/slates.
I believe all three of the above will combine over the next 3 – 4 years.  In the meantime it gives us all time to understand how this technology can be applied in the real world and change for the better.

Microsoft’s iPad Strategy Summarised: Operation Ostridge? 2

Microsoft employ far too many smart people for me to accept that their 10 slide Partner briefing on the iPad is real.  Surely it is a massive bluff to lure Apple into believing that Microsoft has absolutely no clue on how to combat the iPad in the enterprise?  Once Apple are sufficiently bluffed they will release their real non Ostridge based strategy?

Just in case they aren’t bluffing I’ll suggest an alternative.  Microsoft need to ride the Apple bandwagon.  I’m willing to be that 80% of Fortune 500 CEOs have or want an iPad and I bet they want their MS Office software on iOS.  Stop flogging the dead Windows 7 slate horse.  Go sell lots of Office software and possibly when the CEO finally realises that iPad isn’t so great for their daily work Windows 8 will have been released and the landscape will have changed again.

OneNote Available on iOS

In a further sign of Microsoft spreading into iOS they have today released OneNote integrated with the MS Skydrive sign in that maintains the notes in the Microsoft cloud.  The application is currently free but only available in via a US account as far as I can tell.

I’d love to see this strategy widely adopted by Microsoft.  Don’t compete with Apple.  Use them as a another sales channel for Microsoft software and cloud services.  Then make Windows 8 a really great mobile and desktop system.  Apple is a great company but their profits today ($6billion on sales of $26billion) highlight a premium that could be attacked if Microsoft make the right decisions and execute over the next 18 months.

Microsoft invest further in camera technology

Further evidence that Microsoft continue to invest in gesture based systems in the proposed purchase of Canesta which was reported by the New York Times last Friday.

While this may be a defensive play to protect from competitors imitating Kinect it seems a good bet that Microsoft will utilise the technology to enhance their Office products, especially as Canesta already supply the major laptop manufactures.

Kinect in the Enterprise?

I didn’t quite believe Kinect could be put to use within the Enterprise but then I found a Gizmodo article on MS’s plans for Windows 8 from June this year that seems to suggest there may be a link between Kinect technology and their Enterprise software.  We are still a long way off MS providing any real details on their entire Wave 15 roadmap so lets put this in the pure speculation category at the moment.

Gizmodo article here

Some leaked documents out of Redmond show a whole bevy of new features headed to the next version of Microsoft’s OS, including some very Kinect-like features.

Those features involve a camera being able to detect you via facial recognition when you sit down and sign you in automatically. When you get up and leave, it can go to sleep automatically as well. Additionally, if someone else shows up, it can quickly switch between user accounts based on who it sees in front of the computer.