How Microsoft became the MVP of the world of technology in 2018


While the ground around Facebook has burned (and continues to shine), Apple has been criticized for ramping up device prices and innovating at a slower pace, and social platforms have made radical moves to counter fake news and its creators like Alex Jones , a technology company has shot to the top relatively unscathed with victory after victory.

This company was Microsoft.

The Windows company, created by Bill Gates and mismanaged by Steve Ballmer, flourished under the command of CEO Satya Nadella after he took over in 2014.

Microsoft's rise was not the result of the Windows 10 domain. With Nadella in charge, Microsoft diversified its portfolio beyond its operating system, expanding into less-than-sexy but increasingly lucrative and crucial regions to connect our lives like the cloud and cutting-edge computing.

Doubling the company and services were not the only things that made Microsoft's year so successful. In 365 days, Microsoft's Surface computers were catapulted to become the class-leading devices they were ever meant to be; embraced the iOS and Android platforms; The Xbox has extended beyond its hardcore gaming base to become more accessible; the open source community was well received; and much more.

With so many wins this year, it's no wonder that Microsoft has become, for a short time, the most valuable company in the world.

Business transitions are always challenging, but this year Microsoft's rise really stood out. Where once lacked a clear identity – stuck between the Windows legacy and the late and unsuccessful attempt to hack into the mobile device – now it is. If I were to summarize, I would say that Microsoft masterfully blended the best of Apple and Google into one. Their main DNA is hardware and software and the connectivity that unites them.

A future beyond Windows

Windows is just one of many pillars of Microsoft.

Windows is just one of many pillars of Microsoft.

Image: thousands goscha / mashable

Ballmer may have pressed Windows to force force into as many devices as possible, but Nadella clearly does not see things the same way.

Nadella may not be the charismatic visionary Steve Jobs was, or as geeky as Bill Gates, or as skilled as Tim Cook, but he knows how to skate to where the record will be.

"The world is a computer," said Nadella at this year's Microsoft Developer Builders Conference.

With this strong awareness that computing is shifting from a local box to a smart service that users need to access from anywhere, Microsoft has invested heavily in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and connectivity.

Windows 10 is a great product and will probably always be a big selling point for Microsoft, but Azure, chatbots, Microsoft 365 and "Intelligent Edge" (or just edge computing), where computing is done in nodes distributed in a network, are the places where things are going, and Nadella knows that.

Not being anchored in Windows has allowed Microsoft to narrow its focus on certain areas and use its strengths to create and deliver its services to where users are, such as iOS and Android. Old Microsoft would have stubbornly resisted defeat and refused to take its services to other platforms. But the new Microsoft has given us great native apps for competing platforms, such as the fantastic Outlook iOS application.

Surface to top

Microsoft's Surface devices kicked off this year.

Microsoft's Surface devices kicked off this year.

Image: raymon d wong / mashable

Microsoft launched Surface in 2012 as a vessel for the ill-fated Windows RT. The following year, Surface Pro made its debut with full Windows 8. Unfortunately, the operating system was so bad, but it sank the device.

The hybrid 2-in-1 tablet-laptop vision was ahead of its time, hampered by precarious execution. It would not be until Surface Pro 3 and 4 that the form factor really started wait way as a viable laptop replacement, mainly thanks to Windows 10.

Microsoft said it was serious about developing the Surface brand in a family of powerful computers last year when it unloaded Surface Pro (2017), Surface Laptop, Surface Book 2 and Surface Studio. They were good devices, but they fell short of greatness.

Not so this year.

Microsoft left swinging Difficult. The Surface Laptop 2 is our choice for the best laptop of the year. Surface Pro 6 is unparalleled as a 2-in-1 laptop replacement. Surface Studio 2 is an impressive and much more powerful desktop for creative professionals if you can tolerate the price.

The programming is the best launched by Microsoft. Legalists can even find the new Cortana-equipped surface headphones.

The only failure is Surface Go, which is insufficiently weak in my opinion. However, portability or LTE is more important than energy, it is reasonably acceptable.

Microsoft has never been the strongest hardware manufacturer. But this year, the Surface family surpassed even Apple, Google and the best of HP.

It has apparently taken forever, but surfaces are finally products that everyone should take seriously.

Xbox Expansion

The Xbox is more than just a console now.

The Xbox is more than just a console now.


Microsoft is still rebuilding the Xbox brand for years after hitting the Xbox One with a misplaced release aimed at positioning the console as a home entertainment system rather than a solid gaming console.

The consoles wars are fascinating to watch, because each generation is in dispute by any of the big three (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft). Instead of trying to fight the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft opened the box to a wider audience.

He applied his knowledge of the PC world to give the Xbox new legs to stand on. The console has received official keyboard and mouse support. Microsoft has even created a special Xbox Adaptive Controller for people with disabilities, making the platform more inclusive for everyone.

You may regret the exclusive games that Xbox compared to PlayStation 4, but the Xbox has made great strides forward for everyone this year.

More friendly developer

Buying GitHub was a way of courting developers.

Buying GitHub was a way of courting developers.

In a bygone era, Microsoft was stuck in the tunnel vision. It was Windows everywhere or nothing.

By the time Nadella took over, he made it clear that Windows was not the only future for the company. He reorganized Microsoft to make it more open, more developer-friendly. Attracting developers to build applications and experiences across platforms, instead of putting them in Windows, was a priority.

The purchase of GitHub, the world's largest repository for open source code and projects for $ 7.5 billion, allowed Microsoft to repair weak developer relationships for failed raids in areas such as mobile and the disaster that was Windows 8.

"Microsoft is a company that develops first and, by joining forces with GitHub, we strengthen our commitment to the freedom, openness and innovation of developers," said Nadella when Microsoft announced the acquisition of GitHub.

Above all, the acquisition of GitHub reflected a new Microsoft willing to adopt strategies before taboos and move and fail quickly – similar to how Google works.

About the offense in 2019

Panos Panay surface boss probably has more greatness up his sleeve in 2019.

Panos Panay surface boss probably has more greatness up his sleeve in 2019.

The time that Microsoft created in 2018 does not appear to slow down in 2019. At the most, Surface devices will only get better (and perhaps even more affordable) and Microsoft's commitment to the cloud and Azure's online services will deepen . Office is ready to be redesigned with the Fluent design language.

We have seen some of these movements recently. In a somewhat surprising announcement, Microsoft announced that its Edge browser would change its own Web rendering engine to Chromium, the same underlying technology as Google Chrome, "next year." provide improved compatibility for everyone, and create a simpler test array for Web developers. "

While some experts fear the loss of competition by allowing Chromium's monopoly in the Web browser market to expand further, the move will allow Microsoft to bring Edge to currently unsupported platforms such as MacOS and Chrome OS. And this is a win for all.

Even Microsoft's HoloLens looks like it's going to have a new life in the new year. While HoloLens has disappointed as a mixed-reality headset for consumers, it seems that Microsoft will reposition it for the company just as Google did for Google Glass 2.0. His $ 480 million contract with the US Army to deploy 100,000 HoloLens earphones for training also suggests this.

And rumors have already started for the next Xbox with the possibility of Microsoft launching an Xbox with no disc cheaper by the end of 2019 and successors for Xbox One S and One X in time for the launch of the holiday of 2020. Not to mention , Project xCloud, a service similar to Netflix for streaming Xbox games to any supported device, is due to be released in 2019.

The seeds that Nadella has planted since he jumped into the chief executive's seat have bloomed completely this year. Looking ahead, Microsoft's future looks bright as long as it does not drop the ball.

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