Satya Nadella’s closing Windows 11 remarks were a direct shot across Apple’s bow


The Verge 24 June, 2021 - 01:29pm 46 views

Will Windows 11 be a free update?

Microsoft has today confirmed that the new Windows 11 operating system will be available as a free upgrade for existing, licensed Windows 10 users. That means if you have an activated version of Microsoft's current OS de jour, and a PC that can handle it, you're already in line to get your hands on the new version. PC GamerMicrosoft confirms Windows 11 will be a free update for licensed Windows 10 users

Will Windows 10 users get Windows 11 upgrade?

You'll be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free if you're already a Windows 10 user. Windows 11 will be free to download for Windows 10 users. ... So long as your PC meets the minimum requirements, you'll be able to update to Windows 11 the same way you usually update to new versions of Windows 10. CNETWindows 11 will be free to download for existing Windows 10 users

When will Windows 11 roll out?

Upgrades to Windows 11 will begin to roll out late in 2021 and continue into 2022. microsoft.comUpgrade to the New Windows 11 OS

‘Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers’

Nadella’s speech was almost entirely about building a case that Windows would be a better platform for creators than either macOS or (especially) iOS. He argued that “there is no personal computing without personal agency,” insisting that users should be more in control of their computers.

Nadella called out the changes Microsoft is making to its app store rules, allowing more types of apps, Android apps, and — most importantly — allowing apps to use their own payment systems if they so choose. He said, “A platform can only serve society if its rules allow for this foundational innovation and category creation.” That rhetoric sounds vaguely nice and inspiring out of context, but in the specific context of the current debates, lawsuits, and legislation over app store rules, it’s a sharp and direct critique.

More than anything, though, Nadella and Microsoft are putting their finger on an emerging trend in the debate about app store policies: how they affect individual creators. Alluding to Ben Thompson’s recent article about “sovereign writers,” Nadella says, “Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers.” Microsoft even went so far as to build a direct tipping feature for creators into Windows 11.

It’s fair to call this critique opportunistic. After all, Microsoft itself tried to build an app store ecosystem for Windows that utterly failed to match the level of success we’ve seen for the iPhone (or Android, for that matter). It’s a truism that, in tech, the underdog always calls for openness until they’re the top dog — and Microsoft’s app store is definitely the underdog. But just because a critique is opportunistic doesn’t mean it’s not correct.

Nadella ends by alluding to this quote from Arthur Schopenhauer (without naming him, likely because he was very problematic):

Authors can be divided into meteors, planets and fixed stars. The meteors produce a loud momentary effect; we look up, shout ‘see there!’ and then they are gone for ever. The planets and comets last for a much longer time. ... The fixed stars alone are constant and unalterable; their position in the firmament is fixed; they have their own light and are at all times active, because they do not alter their appearance through a change in our standpoint, for they have no parallax. Unlike the others, they do not belong to one system (nation) alone, but to the world. But just because they are situated so high, their light usually requires many years before it becomes visible to the inhabitants of earth.

That’s a long way of pointing out that despite the short-term incentives, Nadella is playing a very long game with Windows 11. Just as Google and Apple build their companies around their business models, so does Microsoft. But Microsoft’s business model has nothing to do with selling Windows or even getting a cut of app sales anymore. It’s about Microsoft 365, Azure, and enterprise services.

When Nadella says Windows is “a platform for platform creators,” Microsoft’s other services are some of those other platforms — that happen to work well on Windows. For the time being, Nadella’s argument is that Windows 11 is big enough and broad enough to make room for others, too — and that other platforms are not.

Nadella’s full remarks are below. And just as this story was published, Nadella himself tweeted the core part of his speech:

Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers, and with Windows 11 we have a renewed sense of Windows’ role in the world.

I’m really excited to be here with you all. Today marks a major milestone in the history of Windows. It’s the beginning of a new generation. I’m excited by what we have shown you today and how we are reimagining everything from the operating system itself to the browser to the store and the feed.

And I want to reflect briefly on how we got here. Throughout its history, Windows has been a democratizing force for the world. Windows has created entirely new categories for both consumers and businesses. It’s led to many of the world’s most successful software categories, from communications and productivity to design and business applications, each of which has created their own ecosystems. The web itself was born and grew up on Windows. It’s driven silicon innovation device innovation. It’s enabled so many people — including hobbyists, developers, and entrepreneurs — to all dream big; turn their ideas into reality; and monetize their creation.

Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers.

With Windows, you can consume apps and build apps. You can play games and design games. You can buy a PC and build a PC. You can join your community and create your community. You can buy from a business and start your own business. With Windows 11, we have a renewed sense of Windows’ role in the world. As I look ahead, I see three clear opportunities.

First, Windows recognizes that there is no personal computing without personal agency. Personal computing requires choice, and we need to nurture and grow our own agency over computing itself. We want to remove the barriers that too often exist today and provide real choice and connection.

We need to be empowered to choose the applications we run, the content we consume, the people we connect to, and even how we allocate our own attention. Operating systems and devices should mold to our needs, not the other way around. That’s why we are making it easier for you to connect with the people you want, the content you want, the apps you want across all devices you want.

Second, Windows is the stage for the world’s creation. As a creator, every time you pick up a Windows device, it becomes a stage for your inspiration, so you can dream big and create something profound and lasting. Creation is going through a sea change as the balance between consumption and creation changes.

With this new generation of Windows, we are unleashing the innovation and ingenuity inherent in each of us. We want to foster these virtuous loops between content, consumption, and commerce — driven by communities for everyone. These cycles should flow freely, giving people frictionless access to apps, files, games, movies, shows, content, and communities that matter to them. We want to empower you to produce and inspire you to create. It’s why we’re introducing a complete new user experience in helping you be more productive.

And finally, Windows isn’t just an operating system; it’s a platform for platform creators. It allows for the broadest of design spaces, enabling people to build their own businesses and communities.

Today, the world needs a more open platform, one that allows apps to become platforms in their own right. Windows is a platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born, like the web. That’s our aspiration with Windows 11, to be the platform for the next web, the next transformational software category, the next personalized content business.

A platform can only serve society if its rules allow for this foundational innovation and category creation. It’s why we’re introducing new store commerce models and policies, and creating new opportunities for local publishers, and supporting even more apps with Android apps on Windows.

This is the first version of a new era of Windows. We’re building for the next decade and beyond. And when I reflect on those chapters to come, I’m reminded of an analogy from a 19th century philosopher who compared creators to objects in our Solar System. He wrote about meteors that flash but fade away. Planets that burned longer, but whose energy is confined to their own orbit — and compared them to stars that are constant and light the path of their own.

That’s our ambition with Windows: to help other stars and entire constellations to be born and thrive. I am incredibly proud of what Windows has achieved and how it is fostered lasting opportunity for others. And I look forward to seeing what you achieve with Windows 11 and how it’ll unlock enduring opportunity for people in the world.

Thank you all very, very much.

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Microsoft challenges Apple's business model with new Windows 11 operating system

Yahoo Finance 24 June, 2021 - 06:07am

(Reuters) -Microsoft Corp on Thursday showed Windows 11, its first major operating system revamp since 2015 with new changes that take direct aim at Apple Inc's lucrative App Store business model. 

Windows 11, which will hit the market by the end of this year, will include a new Windows Store that will let software developers use their own in-app payment systems and pay no commissions to Microsoft. It will also let users both find and run Android mobile applications on their laptops and PCs, thanks to technology assistance from both and Intel Corp. 

The moves stand in contrast to Apple's "walled garden" approach, in which the iPhone maker only lets users download software from the App Store and imposes controls on software developers, including a requirement to use Apple's in-app payment systems and pay commissions of up to 30%. 

The changes amount to a clash of visions between Microsoft, whose market capitalization recently topped $2 trillion, and Apple, the only other U.S.-listed company to hit a $2 trillion valuation. It also challenges Alphabet Inc's Google Play Store, which also charges developers commissions. 

"Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers," Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive officer, said during an event announcing the new operating system. 

The software that turned Microsoft into a household name and dominated personal computers for years has been overtaken in popularity by devices using Apple and Google software, but it is still core to Microsoft's strength in the corporate market. 

Windows 11 will include many features aimed at these users, such as the ability to more seamlessly undock a computer connected to an external monitor to take a call in a quieter room and then return to the docking station afterward. 

The company also said it will integrate its Teams chat software directly into the operating system, a move that could cause conflict with Slack Technologies Inc, Microsoft's top rival in the workplace chat sector. Slack, which is being purchased by Inc for $27.7 billion, has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the European Union. 

Microsoft's upgraded operating system may also appeal to individuals, with new features for gamers such as an Xbox app and better gaming performance. 

But the biggest shift appears to be to Microsoft's pitch to developers, content creators and others seeking to make money from the world's 1.3 billion Windows users, which is nearly as many as Apple's total installed device base of 1.65 billion users but less than half of Alphabet's 3 billion Android users. 

Microsoft said on Thursday that it will include new tools for tipping content creators - including local news outlets - directly in the Windows 11 operating system. The company recently cut commissions on games sold through the store to 12%, lower than the 15% it takes on regular apps, and has been a vocal critic of Apple's App Store. 

Windows powered Microsoft's rise in the 1990s as PCs became a fixture among businesses and consumers. But the operating system took a back seat to Apple's iOS and Alphabet's Google as mobile phones displaced PCs as the primary computing device for billions of users. 

Windows remains one of the biggest platforms in the technology world, with Microsoft's personal computing segment, which includes Windows revenue from businesses and consumers, accounting for $48.2 billion of its $143 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. 

Among PCs and laptops, Windows lost some market share in 2020 to Google's Chromebooks as schools opted for cheaper devices for online learning but still retained greater than 80% market share, according to data firm IDC. 

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Henderson, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jonathan Oatis) 

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