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2016 Year-End Review: A Watershed Moment for Microsoft

2016 was huge for Microsoft. Countless major decisions were made, and the computing giant, took a huge leap away from its traditional roots to embrace newer, and hopefully better things to come.

The Acquisition of LinkedIn

One of Microsoft’s biggest moves in 2016, was the acquisition of LinkedIn. We don’t know if this move was the right one, but acquiring LinkedIn, was a significant business move because its customer base and data, could be used when Microsoft expands into Cloud technology in the coming future. However, whether it was worth US$26.2 billion, is something that we are still not too sure about.

Transformation

This is Microsoft’s word of the year. Consumer tech is great, but cloud-based technology will be Microsoft’s way into the future. All these things you hear about artificial intelligence, bots, machine learning and cognitive systems are just but a few things Microsoft is working on, and pretty successfully we hear.

Windows 10

Good or bad? We have heard mixed reviews. The Upgradegate strategy was a little too aggressive for most and Microsoft had to admit (embarrassingly) that it isn’t going to be able to meet its goal of 1 billion active users across all of its devices in 2-3 years. The Anniversary Update, was a bit of a joke too.

It wasn’t all bad though. There are now more than 400 million users utilising the software in just 15 months of launching. Windows 10 was tied in with Xbox to supercharge the latter’s gaming platform. Your stupid crapware in your PC is now more easily removed as well.

After years of being unable to compete in Mobile, it finally pulled the plug and decided to bring Windows 10 to PCs using ARM chipsets, which could mean a huge change for the PC market in the coming years (for the better). We haven’t seen the fruits of these works, but we hope to see it soon next year.

HoloLens

Well, it seems to be a collosal failure in my opinion. This piece of tech never even made it out of its prototype and even though there’s news on how its partners are going to try building less expensive holographic devices to compete in the VR/AR arena, we find it pretty meh.

Surface

Surface Hub was amazing and definitely more successful than most people could have expected. The rapid sales shocked and awed everyone as Surface Hub remained sold out throughout the entire 2016, even backorders extend forward for months.

Despite having some issues with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Microsoft had a comeback when it released the Surface Studio in the last half of 2016. This well-received device placed a bad spotlight on Apple, which had a rather mediocre year.

Xbox

The Xbox One S, was remarkable, the expansion into Project Scorpio with full 4K capabilities was the bomb. The epic cross-platform Xbox Play Anywhere initiative that really blurs the lines between PCs and consoles. The future of Xbox is bright as hell at the moment.

Office

Back to more software, Office remains a strong suit of Microsoft’s. It’s stranglehold and dominance in the field of software productivity is insane. The efforts in Office’s mobile field is something unseen throughout the rest of Microsoft and should be something the rest seek to emulate. OneNote and Outlook made remarkable transitions as Microsoft shifts to the Cloud and OneDrive, which was a disaster in 2015, came back with full force in 2016.

The “Losses”

There are still a couple of flaws I would like to mention. Trying to update Windows 7 and 8.1 still seems like a nightmare at the moment, and Microsoft Band was pretty much a colossal failure as well. Cortana and Microsoft Edge was actually rather good, but it remains underused today. No one really knows how to fix that either. At the same time, Skype seems to be dying off despite being the Gold Standard of video communication in the past.

All in All

Microsoft did well in 2016 though, I do like the company despite what others might say about it. It isn’t like Apple, isolating its customers in its own bubble of 1-percenters, it doesn’t use advertising to reach everywhere like Google, it just does things and it does them rather well. 2016 was good, but I hope to see a better 2017.


About the Autv-modahor

A Dentist-To-Be Dabbling in Tech Journalism:

Zayne is a writer who reports for VR-Zone, Stuff Singapore and The New Paper on all things tech-related. Follow this geek on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

 

Zayne Seah
A tech geek going beyond specs.

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