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Discussion: If you think of Microsoft as big, sleepy and dull, their current R&D is certainly trying to prove otherwise.  Building on the success of the Xbox Kinect system, which racked up 8 million in sales in its first 60 days, Microsoft is developing natural user interfaces, a shift from the old graphical user interface.  “The computer is more like us – it sees, it listens, it speaks, it understands, it even seeks to do things on our behalf,” says Craig Mundie, Microsoft research chief.  Convinced that long-term research investment and a mastery of underlying technologies is a strategy that will prevail, Microsoft is hoping that the coming years will produce more Kinects and fewer tablet PCs.

Source: BBC News

Date: February 27, 2011

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12570045

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the financial risk of developing expensive technologies for the future versus focusing on the customer experience now (perhaps one of the main differences between Microsoft and Apple in terms of strategy)?
  • Is Microsoft putting too much stock in video game technology or will this new kind of user experience appeal to the masses?

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