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D:Conference: Windows 7 First Look. Bill Gates Finally Funny

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It didn’t quite have the sentimental feeling of the Steve Jobs & Bill Gates talk from last year, but it was interesting to see the dynamic of Steve Ballmer & Bill Gates. I think it was great to see Bill step back and let Steve enjoy the limelight, and not take himself too seriously. I think instead of writing about the whole conversation, I am going to share this tiny bit I captured on video that shows how relaxed Gates is feeling these days, now that he has shifted all responsibilities to Ballmer.

Bill was very candid about Vista and its problems. “We never ship a product that I am satisfied with 100 percent” he said. “There is always improvement. Vista gave us lot of opportunities for improvement.” Funny… anyway

What I did find strangely amusing: the Microsoft duo has a tough time using the phrase “Google” and constantly referred to them as the other guys. I really wish I could ask the duo about why they are so obsessed with Online Advertising? Are they acknowledging that all innovation and growth opportunities in applications and operating systems are done? Why not obsess about being the world’s best on-demand software company? Anyway that’s for another day. I picked up some great notes for my post about Search and the competitive landscape.

Now moving on to Windows 7. The company showed off a nice demo of the multi touch features of Windows 7 and how you could paint with your fingers, or open applications and use maps in the new version of Microsoft’s operating system that comes to market sometime in 2009. (More details and videos here.)

I think if you have used iPod Touch, iPhone and Coverflow, you are not going to be as wow-ed by multi-touch, but I have to admit, that even in its rudimentary form, it looked pretty darn good. I have a feeling Apple is going to bring this to market much before Microsoft. Stacey joked about the new features pointing out that the smudging caused by multi-touch would surely make money for companies like 3M.

Anyway more on the conference tomorrow!

Original Post

I have just arrived at the D6 Conference organized by Kara Swisher & Walt Mossberg. I will have an update in an hour or so. Our good friends at D tell us that Bill Gates is going to show off an early version of Windows 7. Now that is something to look forward to and dig into. I have my trusted Sanyo Xaacti in the tow and I will be doing some video updates from here. Given the noise at the conferences, don’t expect stellar quality but hey, it sure beats nothing.

10 Responses to “D:Conference: Windows 7 First Look. Bill Gates Finally Funny”

  1. ronald

    Ok, as usual I don’t get it.
    Let’s take a step back and see what’s going on, and see if I can explain it in a few sentences.

    Is the brain good at processing patterns or following rules?
    If you agree on processing patterns, read on. Otherwise, good luck.

    If they brain is good at processing patterns what makes us think, we store rules in a program fashioned for a rule based engine (CPU)?

    Or how come we can learn “all” for Apples and can immediately apply it to Oranges.
    Well it’s because the brain actually creates different “models” for the same view, rules in general are abstract models.

    This is also the case for something less abstract like say, Google’s big table. Guessing here based on the little we know about. Not that Google even realizes how to put it into a bigger picture.

    I use the term model to link to the good old MVC (Model View Controller) abstraction. The problem I see with Microsoft is that they use one model and slap different views and controllers on it. And a multi-touch requires a different view then a mouse, keyboard driven application. Hence it will get really confusing really fast, as usual for Microsoft applications.

    Why does it work on the IPhone or why does touch work on my in-car navigation system? No keyboard, no mouse, one model (really dumb system). Which makes it simple and easy to use.

    So who is better at it, Google or Apple? My guess is Apple, looks to me like Google got lucky one time. While somebody at Apple seems to understand it intuitively. Microsoft just stumbles along, without getting lucky or understanding the basics of things they are copying.

    BTW I use Linux, because good old Unix got a lot of things right, right from the start.

  2. I wonder if the multi-touch thing is in part to make us assume there isn’t much innovative in Windows 7…when they could potentially wheel out the big guns and surprise us all next year.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt multi-touch will be the biggest innovation in Windows 7. I bet there is a lot more they aren’t telling us. No harm in telling us about multi-touch because it’s already in other products.

  3. Another superb article Om,

    I found it AMAZING that so many people missed one of the most important statements of the day! It was made at the reception before the ‘big show,’ when Bill Gates made it clear what his goals are, regarding the search business. I blogged it this morning at TheTechNewsBlog.Com

    When Microsoft announced their plans to attack Google’s market dominance using ‘cash back,’ I thought they had closed the door on innovation. It now seems I was wrong – at least I hope I am.

    Jim Connolly

  4. Microsoft is always trying to beat Apple (Flop_Zune), Google (Dematerialized_Yahoo), but always falls head down and Window 7 – My personal feeling is that will wipe out MS from the market.