Troubled times are here for Microsoft; truly troubled times.
I’m not referring to their first reported decline in quarterly earnings, and I’m not even talking about the repeated extension of the cut-off date for selling XP.
Paul Thurott of the SuperSite for Windows blog says:
we were briefed about a secret Microsoft technology that [...] would ship in final form simultaneously with the final version of Windows 7 [...] dubbedÂ Windows XP Mode (XPM, formerly Virtual Windows XP or Virtual XP, VXP)….
So Windows 7′s killer new feature is that it runs an older version of Windows.
I get Paul’s point that this truly provides an opportunity for Microsoft to finally start making the sort of aggressive, much needed, and â€” frankly â€” long-overdue changes to Window’s central architecture, while delivering (most of) the compatibility requirements its enterprise customers have. I even agree that this is, in fact, a wise choice.
But there’s a reason Microsoft has kept this under embargo until now; it really says something about the state of their flagship product… something it seems they didn’t want to have to say.
Microsoft has recently announced that they will be entering the retail space with their own stores. Clearly they feel a need to compete with Apple’s success in their retail endeavors. But, in a seeming effort to remain depressingly consistent, they’re once again stealing from the surface and ignoring the treasures below.
AppleInsider published a piece covering the story, and included a couple of photos taken in a private 20,000 square foot mock-up retail store constructed on Microsoft’s campus.
The piece includes this wonderful photo, showing a customer that we can only assume is a PC, pushing a shopping cart around the store:
We can infer immediately from this photo that the people designing this customer experience seem to think that shoppers will actually be pushing a shopping cart around the store.
Think about that. Read more…