Windows 8 Update: Ballmer redefines the PC

By , Network World |  Consumerization of IT, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer

A: We haven't announced pricing. I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective. ...

I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a superexpensive device. ... [When] people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they're chintzier, they're cheaper.

If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle [Kindle Fire, $199] to do their homework? The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product. It doesn't mean you might not read a book on it. ...

If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That's the sweet spot.

The price is the ballpark range that people pay for an iPad but without a keyboard. It's a different price bracket than that occupied by Amazon's Kindle fire, and the Surface itself has a broader set of capabilities.

Windows 8 for games

Microsoft has teamed up with the cloud-based gaming company Agawi in order to stream games to users of Windows 8 devices, the companies say.

The games would be based in Microsoft's Azure cloud and be streamed to whatever Windows 8 device the customer had -- tablet, laptop, PC.

The goal of the partnership is to make it easier for developers to create games that scale without having to worry about how that will be accomplished. That will be taken care of by the Agawi/Microsoft back end, they say.

Agawi demoed some of the games at Cloud Gaming USA this week.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also plans to open an interactive entertainment studio in London this November that will focus on using Windows 8 devices as the underlying technology.

The goal is to build a business that focuses on entertainment-as-a-service that can be sold to users of Windows 8 tablets such as the Surface devices Microsoft is making itself to best show off the new operating system.

The new studio "will allow Microsoft Studios to explore the many creative and business opportunities that developing new games and entertainment experiences on Windows 8 tablet devices and platforms will afford," says Lee Schuneman, who will head up the studio. So far the studio hasn't been named.

Free Surface tablets for Microsoft workers

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised at the annual company gathering that all 90,000 full-time Microsoft employees will get free Surface tablets, a Windows 8 PC and a Windows Phone 8 phone.

Employees get to use the tablets and phones for whatever they want, but the PCs are for work only, according to posts on Twitter.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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