The days of considering Microsoft Corp. purely as a corporate-intense entity are drawing to an end. The U.S. software giant made sure to impress consumers last week with the brilliant showcasing of its Surface Studio. This gorgeous machine flaunts a brilliant 28-inch monitor which can be set to any convenient angle and levels as a digital drafting table. It is expected to rake in sales and dig deeply into the Apple-dominated creative PC space.
The unveiling of the Surface Studio came after an exciting three-month earnings report. Microsoft inspired confidence in investors due to a repeated climb in its cloud and office services. Revenue from the firm’s Azure cloud solution climbed 5% in the last quarter while Office 365 rose by 51%. Overall, the quarter showed an 8% rise in revenues over the quarter ended in September.
Also in the works for Microsoft Corp. are plans to dominate the gaming segment with leading innovations in augmented and virtual reality. Couple this with alluring and high-performing hardware, and you get a company that is set to knock creative and entertainment leaders in the tech industry out of place. Positioning itself for a major comeback, the Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella could revolutionize modern computing as well.
Microsoft zeros in on virtual reality
Technology giants are swarming onto virtual reality, racing to become leaders in what will inevitably the next big consumer trend. Making headway right now are the likes of Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive. Both are praised as the best VR headsets currently on the market. However, they cost an awful lot and need powerful machines in order to take advantage of them.
Consumers are growing more cautious of their spending. A large portion of those who admire VR devices are unlikely to be able get their hands on them.
Microsoft Corp.’s approach to will offer greater access to virtual reality. In 2017, the company plans to launch a free update to its already widely accessed and flagship WIndows 10 operating system. It is called the Creators Update and, among other features, will allow enable VR headsets to be plugged and used on Windows. The compatible headsets will be made by reputable partners like Asus, Lenovo, Dell. Better yet, they will be relativley cheap, starting at a reported $299.
Compared to the premium $599 Oculus Rift, the headsets offered by Microsoft and its partners will come as much-wanted discount in VR tech. The Creators Update also partially does away with the need for expensive and powerful PCs that are compatible with the market’s premium headsets. Tech fans point out that the headsets will offer “free range of motion without and an external camera tracking you.”
Greater access to VR products
Points can’t be taken away from VR products like the Rift and Vive though. The premium technology will still offer better quality performances and graphics. Microsoft’s approach only offers a lot more access with a simple update. However, the company’s Alex Kipman, head of the HoloLens assures buyers that the best possible quality will be offered at lowered prices.
Virtual reality is still in its beginning phases but is bound to erupt in the coming years. Producing affordable VR products that are easy to set up will place the Windows OS as well as Microsoft hardware in high demand.
2017 will see Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. The console will outdo its gaming rivals in terms of graphics and speed. Even Sony’s PS4 Pro won’t be able to match the native 4K resolution that Project Scorpio will offer. The Pro launches in several days.
Clearly, Microsoft Corp. is putting itself in a position that will allow it to provide leading corporate and entertainment services.