Yeah, the title doesn't really work, but it expresses nicely what I'm feeling about Microsoft at the moment. Let's get to it;
This is the most exciting piece of technology that I won't be able to see for a couple years. The Microsoft HoloLens is getting a ton of hype from their unbelivable demos. All of it is coming nowhere outside of the USA for the foreseeable future. Demos are taking place around the States for the rest of this year, and development units are opening to pre-orders early next year for $3,000 each (again, only in North America).
My keenness about the HoloLens stems from my skepticism. When Windows 8 was released, the metro interface was told to be not just an overlay of the traditional Windows desktop, but a complete replacement. It turned out just to be a cheap overlay. Windows Edge was marketed as a completely new browser, completely replacing any resemblance of the decrepit Internet Explorer. I now assume this was all just a joke that I didn't get at the time, since the User Agent reads Edge/12.10136, nicely proceeding Internet Explorer 11. Also the brand new logo feels like it's laughing in my face.
I can't completely trust Microsoft marketing, which is why I'm so keen to see how the HoloLens works for myself. It has amazing potential. If the hype comes to any kind of maturity, I'd be very excited to create new and exciting applications for the HoloLens.
I can't get my head around if I like the Surface or not. Our CTO has one; it never looks natural when he's using it (sorry Raul).
The Surface Book was recently annoused. I'm not going to argue if I'm given one, but I'd never buy one myself. You see, hardware is a new avenue for Microsoft. Even with the previous models of the Surface, they've never tried to compete with Apple directly, until now. Their egotistic 'The Ultimate Laptop' isn't a good aggressive stance against Apple's 'Simply Brilliant' design standards. As for the Surface Book itself, I still stand strong in saying touchscreens are a waste on Windows devices. The Windows 8 Metro interface was a major push in touch-centric computer control, but it failed. Windows 10 doesn't bring any innovations in the area. The rest of the device is still very shiney shiney which I'm a fan of, although I'd probably get a Macbook before I get a Surface Book.
Our resident hardcore Microsoft fanboy has a good differing opinion to mine. Being the official laptop of Microsoft, it'll Just Work, and will likely be supported for time to come as the flagship Windows laptop.
I'm involved in migrating Ve Interactive's data centres to Azure. Before I was leaning towards being an AWS fan, but oh my god Azure is awesome. We have a bunch of machines in each of our region's data centres, amounting to about ~1TB Memory and ~100 cores (very rough estimates). When we did the migration of our first region, we booted up all our machines in the space of an hour. Azure didn't flinch, it just accommodated with ease.
I'm not saying AWS doesn't have the same abilities. It's the products like WebApps, ARM, dedicated SaaS, Application Insights (love it), and so much more.... It all just tickles me the right way. I'm eager to start using Azure for my big IoT project which will rock the world that I'm yet to think up.
...they bought Minecraft.... and I thought I was a big fan.
Buying Skype is an interesting way to mope about MSN being stamped to death. It didn't make sense until I saw Lync was rebranded to Skype for Business.
I only just got used to Windows 8. Cisco VPN client doesn't support 10 yet, so it'll be a while until I can get it installed on my work laptop.
I don't think it's a competitor. If you're the person who must have everything Microsoft, then good news, they just dropped the launch price. That can only be a good thing. Let me know how it goes.