back to article Will Microsoft's nerd goggles soar like an Eagle, or flop like a turkey?

Stone the crows! Rather than copying the early market leaders - as it has traditionally done - the modern era Microsoft is showing signs of calling trends correctly well in advance. Only last week we were congratulating Microsoft on being the only platform provider to correctly call the wearables trend. That allowed it to …

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What term can we come up with to destroy this?

I mean, the media single handedly destroyed google glass with the term glassholes, something they seems mighty proud about, conveniently ignoring the damage they did for legitimate uses for Google glass (for example assisting accessibility for disabled).

I'm sure you will treat Microsoft privacy invading goggles in the same manner.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

Mighty Google unseated by mockery...what arrant nonsense.

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Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

Next he'll be saying Samsung phones are not catching fire!

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Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

@Planty

Google Glass was designed to worn in public spaces.

Microsoft's AR goggles are designed to be worn in private studios, offices, construction sites, workshops etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

"Warning, probably contains spyware."

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Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

Hololens meant to be used in Private

So?

For the Youffffff of today, nothing is private. It all has to be shared on Facebork etc.

This way Hololens wearers can look like dicks to the world.

THe question remains though, will this be enough to kill it stone dead.

Perhaps the inevitable, 'Please wait while your system installs important (to Microsoft) updates' messages will do the job without any outside help.

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Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

Microsoft's AR goggles are designed to be worn in private

It would certainly seem likely that a lot of initial sales have been to the San Fernando Valley.

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Re: What term can we come up with to destroy this?

>THe question remains though, will this be enough to kill it stone dead.

Are you hard of thinking?

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Regarding...

"That depends on the execution. Windows 3.x won not because it was better, or because anyone particularly liked it, but because it looked inevitable. Inevitability is something Microsoft was good at. As soon as businesses lashed up a quick and dirty Windows front end, and execs started to paste the results into Excel, Window was off and running. Looking back now, the winner of the ancient “OS wars” 25 years ago was never in doubt - the press kept up the fantasy just to make things more interesting."

I don't think that's quite right. I'd go with a) licensing agreements on MS's part with manufactures so it was dumped it on any box you purchased, b) Petzold, because he gave an easy and very, (going to add another 'very'), coherent explanation of it's API. Thus allowing the prole developers, (i.e me), to just get on with stuff with something to refer back too.

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Facepalm

Microsoft Nerd Goggles?

Microsoft Fan Navel Gazers more like.

Someone get a freebie for this Advert?

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Re: Microsoft Nerd Goggles?

Really? It seemed like a sober discussion of MS's product strategy to me. The article did contain a link to another article in which the experience of using the Hololens was described in positive terms, but then most people would expect several thousand quid's worth of sensors and custom silicon to work fairly well, regardless of who made it.

I'm not MS's biggest fan - and I assume you aren't, either - but I've looked at a list of their current software partners, some of whom make some very good software indeed. If you were in any of the target sectors, you would know that. If you are not, I don't know of what value your inferred opinion is.

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Not significantly any different that Google glass.

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It's very different to Google Glass. The Hololens is the price it is because of the sensors and silicon in it, which allow it to:

- 3D-map the room in near real time

- Track your eyeballs so your gaze acts as a cursor

Google Glass only presented visual information to one eye (to-do lists, simple graphics like maps etc), wheras the Hololens projects slightly different images to both eyes so that virtual 3D objects appear to be a part of your real environment.

You might as well say that tablet computer is no different to a pocket calculator.

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Completely different to google glass. Maybe you want to take a look at it some point.

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The other large difference is that hololens is attached to a honking great lump of computing power right there with you and under your control (as much as is possible with Windows these days). Glass shipped everything you see off to the cloud for Google to analyse. Everything seen on glass was kept in the cloud so it could be scraped by Google. I can't imagine NASA or Audi being happy with their proprietary data all getting sent up the pipe.

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The band

My guess is that there were too many warranty returns on it. Typical things I had seen were people getting the wristband replaced under warranty at least 2-3 times. Since the wristband was integral to the functionality of the HT sensor, it couldn't be replaced by an ordinary watch wristband. Also, there were several reports of the battery dieing prematurely.

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Looked Inevitable?

"Windows 3.x won not because it was better, or because anyone particularly liked it, but because it looked inevitable."

IIRC the reason Windows 3.X won:

MSDOS + Windows = $160

Apple = $750

MS-DOS compiler = $100

Apple compiler = $500

The biggest business mistake Apple ever made was the pricing for the basic OS and tools in the mid to late 80's. They lost the PC war because of it.

AAC

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

Did apple lose?

Apple is not the low margin end of the market they are all about the high profit margin end of the market. So while they are not leading with market share they have a good amount of the profits.

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@snowy

I wouldn't say that Apple lost but it is true that at one point Microsoft donated (or loaned) a heavy amount of cash to Apple in order to help it survive. This happened in 1997, check out this article on the Wired. Lost maybe a big word but if the two were to compete then Microsoft would have ended up on top.

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

> Did apple lose?

I contend that they did. Back in those days, Apple was a sliver of a sliver of the market. In fact, Microsoft kept them afloat in at least one instance, because they were a good hedge for them, and keeping them in business was part of a strategy to allow Microsoft to appear less monopolistic.

Regardless of the situation now, I think that the poster you're replying to was regarding THAT battle that Apple lost. Obviously they're doing okay today despite that.

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Did apple lose?

Perhaps not long term, but at one point they survived largely because Microsoft bailed them out. At the time Microsoft were trying to claim they didn't have a monopoly on PC operating systems. Having Apple around was kind of necessary, being as the 'year of Linux on the desktop' still hadn't arrived.

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

>Did apple lose?

Last I looked making about 2 to 3x the profits a quarter Microsoft is.

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Gimp

Re: Did apple lose?

Depends if you are talking phones+ tablets or PCs.

MS bailed out Apple.

The iPod and iPhone saved them. Not workstations / laptops, Apple even ditched "Computer" from name.

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

I think the problem was that Apple looked at the price of workstation 68k OS and tools and priced below them, not realising that x86 would become the new workstation. The 68020/030 looked superior to Intel's offerings of the period; they had no idea just how hard Intel would fight - until Apple, after a foray into PPC, became an x86 vendor too.

For me, the interesting thing about this Microsoft product is - does even Microsoft have the resources to take it forward? Things are so competitive nowadays that it takes companies like Apple and Samsung just to come up with leading edge phones, and Microsoft having failed in the phone business may simply find VR/AVR/whatever is beyond them at the volume level - especially as we seem to be headed into a global slowdown/new Cold War in which consumer goodies may come under a lot of price pressure.

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

Yes, Apple lost - they make blinged up toys for people with more money than sense, while Microsoft is embedded in pretty much every enterprise, and power half the cloud.

Full disclosure: I work for one of the organisations being discussed :-)

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Re: Looked Inevitable?

Pretty sure again Tim Cook could simply say scoreboard (financials) b*tch. Microsoft hardware have a very mixed track record.

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Boffin

Re: Looked Inevitable?

I think the problem was that Apple looked at the price of workstation 68k OS and tools and priced below them, not realising that x86 would become the new workstation. The 68020/030 looked superior to Intel's offerings of the period; they had no idea just how hard Intel would fight - until Apple, after a foray into PPC, became an x86 vendor too.

It wasn't that obvious back then. Remember that back in the 80s, most Personal Computers (when PC didn't mean IBM PC compatible) were based on the Apple II. The most popular platform was the C-64, or the Sinclair in the UK. It wasn't until the early 90s that the IBM PC started taking over the whole desktop PC market. Had Apple priced their Macintosh computers at more competitive price points, they might've won that war.

Also, for some time during the 90s, the universal platform that was expected to become the dominant one was the PowerPC one. Intel was the ugly duckling that happened to win because MS-DOS and Windows were cheaper, and craptel x86 was also cheaper than the competition.

Basically, the crappiest OS+Hardware combo won, all the better ones died off. Some of that hardware still lives, like PPC, MIPS and ARM; others are long dead (Alpha, PA-RISC).

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FAIL

@Champ: Re: Looked Inevitable?

Champ,

err what matey?

Err what matey, it could be that some folk prefer Apple kit (I bought an MBP 6 months ago) to Wintel.

I don't give a rat's derriere about MS powering half of anything, I looked at a Surface thingy around the time I got the MBP, oh the Surface[e] are sh!t and they haven't finished developing them properly yet...

And irony of ironies my MBP runs Win 7/VS very nicely thank you, much better than the Lenovo that preceded it...

I have always had much better service support (when needed) from Apple than I have had from Gateway 2000/Sony/Toshiba/Lenovo.

Also the residual values on Apple kit is generally much better than Wintel comparables

YMDV.

Jay

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Not sure what to think, Behringer's Deepmind12 has a nice go at it

To me as an amateur musician this looks very promising:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/10/05/behringer-deepmind-12-brings-augmented-reality-to-synthesizers/

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N2

£4,529 ?

What muppet would part with that for an MS product?

They're aving a larf

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Re: £4,529 ?

>What muppet would part with that for an MS product?

NASA, JPL, D'Assault Systemes, Autodesk, Volvo, Saab, amongst others. I know who they are - who the hell are you?

CAD hardware used to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range, if not more. The software was typically a tenth of that. Companies would pay it if it payed for itself, and then some. And it did. FFS, a few thousand quid is only the cost of a professional graphics card a few years ago.

You've betrayed your ignorance of this sector, N2, so I'm confused as to what it is you feel you can add to this topic.

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Fact Check?

Stone the crows! Rather than copying the early market leaders - as it has traditionally done - the modern era Microsoft is showing signs of calling trends correctly well in advance.

Funny, I remember using a Samsung BlackJack with Microsoft mobile OS on it far before the iPhone came out. It had a GPS, apps, and all sorts of useful features.

Also, didn't MS come up with the tablet design years before Apple?

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Re: Fact Check?

>Also, didn't MS come up with the tablet design years before Apple?

Arguably the production designers of 2001: Space Oddessy came up with the iPad design before MS or Apple even existed - though it carried an 'IBM' badge. As shown in the film, it is only used for watching telvision news ('content consumption'); 'real' computer work was done by speaking to the computer directly, or else ripping out its daughter boards. There may be earlier prior art in film or Science Fiction illustration - in literature, casual references by the likes of Asimov to 'pocket computers' are too vague.

MS had Win XP: Tablet Edition for years, but the devices were usually heavy and didn't last long on battery. Sony had some unusual WinXP.TE devices with keys on either side of a 9" screen - but hey, Sony did the colour CLIE running PalmOS, too.

Psion had the original NetBook - I can't remember it being touch screen, but it was an 'ultrabook' form factor long before its time.

The idea of a tablet has been around for ages, but Apple did it well - they even released a phone a few years beforehand in order to teach their users how to use it. They used ARM instead of Intel, and of course had control of both the OS and the silicon. Rewind further, and we have the Newton - which gave us ARM - though the Newton wasn't the first Newton-like device.

The Microsoft Courier was an interesting device - a dual-touchscreen clamshell device focused on collating and annotating content like a scrapbook. Since then, Sony released a spilt-screen clamshell Android tablet, but since it was sub-optimal for watching movies nobody bought it (I miss you, crazy Sony!)

Speaking purely as a consumer, it doesn't matter to me who did what first. It just matters who did what well. Doing something well usually involves judiciously balancing compromises.

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Re: Fact Check?

>the modern era Microsoft is showing signs of calling trends correctly well in advance.

Maybe yeah, but a large part of the Hololens is the Kinect technology that MS invested in after seeing the commercial success of the Nintendo Wii. That sort of thing happens all the time - had Apple computers not had FireWire, they wouldn't have made the first generation iPod. Apple only had FireWire because high-res scanners needed something like it, and Apple survived the nineties in DTP and later video. Apples were used in DTP because their user-friendly GUI originally required greater graphical power than was the norm, and software grew around it. The Motorola architecture and consistent FireWire implementation of Macs at one point meant they were favoured by musicians after their Atari STs died, and so the first iPhone was made with Wireless MIDI and sub 10ms latency baked into the operating system. Having your product adopted by high profile musicians doesn't hurt.

The point is, sometimes you develop a technology for one reason, but end profiting from your investment for another.

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Re: Fact Check?

"Rewind further, and we have the Newton - which gave us ARM "

Didn't Acorn give us ARM?

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Go

Re: Fact Check?

Indeed, Acorn gave birth to ARM. But Apple's Newton made ARM get spinned off into a separate entity from Acorn, which ensured it would outlive Acorn Computers itself.

I like to see ARM as the ghost of Acorn, rising up from the grave, taking over the mobile world and exacting revenge on Intel. :)

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Re: Fact Check?

"Funny, I remember using a Samsung BlackJack with Microsoft mobile OS on it far before the iPhone came out. It had a GPS, apps, and all sorts of useful features.

Also, didn't MS come up with the tablet design years before Apple?"

This old chestnut again. The company that is most successful is not necessarily the one that gestates the idea, it's the one that brings it to maturity. Apple brought the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad to maturity - regardless of who conceived it.

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Microsoft correctly calling trends

Or did they try to do a smartwatch, but the project was a failure and killed internally because it didn't fit their vision of One True Interface For All Devices?

Since Microsoft is abandoning smartphones, does that mean they are correctly calling the trend that no one will be using smartphones in a few years? If that's the case, we better get cracking on whatever is going to replace them ASAP!

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Only £4,529?

Cheap as chips. Probably use them as promotional incentives.

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Joke

Microsoft correctly call wearables trend

Do you mean Microsoft has innovated a method of following a trend from the future.

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Meh

Pricing...

I paid £600 for a 2x SCSI CD writer (I couldn't afford the £1000 they were six months before that).

Discs were £20 a go.

Now look at them.

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Wrong Call

Microsoft didn't call the smartwatch trend dead ... it only call its useless MS-infested crap deader than Windows Phone. It's more of a matter that Microsoft-branded anything will usually go unloved, ignored, and eventually dead unless it's Windows or Xbox (and the latter is also stagnating as of this generation).

While wearables might not be that loved right now, it doesn't mean there's no use for them. 25 years ago, we were using CASIO Data Bank watches. Remember those? They worked as a calculator and had the ability to store 50 or 100 phone records. Those needs haven't really gone away; we might carry phones everywhere right now, but many times, we just don't want to whip out the whole phone to check the time, weather or check something real quick. A wearable allows you to do that. It's just that the devices are still too expensive to buy on their own; the same was true for smartphones merely 15 years ago. Prices will come down, and wearables will gain traction. Just not the MS branded ones. :)

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