Microsoft: Actually doing something interesting?

Check out their new Surface Computing! Alas, only for businesses and such for the moment, but they hope it will come down in price until common folk like you and I can afford one.

They’ve also released betas of Messenger, Writer, and Mail. Prepend all those with “Windows Live” to get their full names. Writer is a pretty decent piece of software for blog posting, and it integrates with all the major blog providers, not just Live Spaces, which is a welcome relief. I’ve been using it for a while and it’s an excellent tool.

The Messenger update seems mostly cosmetic though, so it’s hard to see where they’re going with it.

I’ve also been invited to try out Popfly, which is a way of building Web 2.0 mashups without writing any code. My first impression is that while you can build something that displays the last 10 Twitter posts on a map based on where they came from, it’s hard to do anything too complex.

8 thoughts on “Microsoft: Actually doing something interesting?

  1. re Surface Computing, I was going to say “yeah, okay, but I’m not sure how it’d be used in the home”. Then I saw the video, and I dont care, I want it – that is deeply cool. I hope they can do the whole “put devices on the table to access them” thing.

    Didnt someone else show a video of this a while back though? I can’t remember if that was a microsoft project…

  2. re Surface Computing, I was going to say “yeah, okay, but I’m not sure how it’d be used in the home”. Then I saw the video, and I dont care, I want it – that is deeply cool. I hope they can do the whole “put devices on the table to access them” thing.

    Didnt someone else show a video of this a while back though? I can’t remember if that was a microsoft project…

  3. Hmm, that Writer thing looks kinda interesting, if only in a ‘look, a shiny new web gadget!’ kind of way. Something to investigate at a future date!

    But I will, as normal, resist downloading any new Messenger before I absolutely have to… call me stuck-in-a-rut but I don’t like aesthetics upgrades for the sake of it, especially if the change is a change for the worst. Yes, I do still use the Windows 98-style taskbar..

  4. Hmm, that Writer thing looks kinda interesting, if only in a ‘look, a shiny new web gadget!’ kind of way. Something to investigate at a future date!

    But I will, as normal, resist downloading any new Messenger before I absolutely have to… call me stuck-in-a-rut but I don’t like aesthetics upgrades for the sake of it, especially if the change is a change for the worst. Yes, I do still use the Windows 98-style taskbar..

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