What I'm Reading - 5/10/2018
Three to five links every weekday - afternoon delight edition.
Microsoft first acknowledged at Build last year that its new mobile strategy is to make iOS and Android devices work better with Windows 10 PCs. While the Windows-related news at this year’s Build developer conference has been light, Microsoft has revealed it’s working on a new “Your Phone” app that further bridges the gap between PCs and phones. The app will bring text messages, notifications, and photos from a phone directly to a Windows 10 PC, and it’s designed to make it easier to transition between the two.
I sat down with Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and Shilpa Ranganathan at Build this week to get a better understanding of the company’s cross-device efforts for Windows 10 and the future of Windows itself. Ranganathan is responsible for the Microsoft Launcher and cross-device efforts, and Belfiore has long worked on Windows and is in charge of the user experience for Windows 10.
This is technology’s second philosophy, and it is very much in opposition to the other: the expectation is not that the computer does your work for you, but rather that the computer enables you to do your work better and more efficiently. And, with this philosophy, comes a different take on responsibility. Pichai, in the opening of Google’s keynote, acknowledged that “we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right”, but inherent in that statement is the centrality of Google generally and the direct culpability of its managers. Nadella, on the other hand, insists that responsibility lies with the tech industry collectively, and all of us who seek to leverage it individually.
In today’s hyper-connected world, we have a powerful computing interface, the smartphone, which helps us access immersive experiences on the internet. However, the immersiveness is limited to the rectangular frame of the smartphone. A mixed reality interface combines varying degrees of real and virtual elements on the same display to create immersive experiences, and the device is hyper aware of it’s real-world surroundings. This means mixed reality has the potential to replace our smartphones, computers, TVs, and other common computer interfaces.
If you look at the industry life cycle, while the smartphone application market is maturing, mixed reality is in the ‘introduction’ phase with the growth of several successful prototypes of smart glasses. The timing is perfect for investors to take advantage of this new digital environment as the hardware develops and meaningful applications are built along with improving internet connectivity.