Windows 10, Spartan Browser Mark New Starts for Microsoft in 2015

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-01-09
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Windows 10, Spartan Browser Mark New Starts for Microsoft in 2015
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    Windows 10, Spartan Browser Mark New Starts for Microsoft in 2015

    By Don Reisinger
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    Will Spartan Browser Supersede Internet Explorer?
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    Will Spartan Browser Supersede Internet Explorer?

    Microsoft's Internet Explorer could be discontinued in 2015, or at least marginalized, if a recent report is to be believed. Microsoft's developers are reportedly working on a new browser, code-named Spartan, that will be lighter and faster than Internet Explorer with a look and feel resembling Chrome and Firefox in some respects. Few solid facts are known about the browser so far, but reports suggest it could be coming to Windows 10.
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    Microsoft Takes a Big Leap With Windows 10
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    Microsoft Takes a Big Leap With Windows 10

    Speaking of Windows 10, it should be noted that the operating system will be launching in 2015. Microsoft has yet to give the software an official launch date, but given the failure of Windows 8 and the fact that Microsoft is in desperate need of a boost in the operating system industry, it only makes sense that Windows 10 will come out this year. Look for the operating system to fix the mistakes Microsoft made in Windows 8.
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    A Boost in Windows Phone Support
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    A Boost in Windows Phone Support

    Just about every recent market research report says that Windows Phone's market share will improve in 2015. That's due in large part to the expectation that mobile vendors will want to expand their product lines and to include support for the Windows Phone mobile OS. You can be sure Microsoft will provide plenty of encouragement to do just that. Windows Phone is a key component in Satya Nadella's strategy, and it should be more popular in 2015.
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    Office Will Get a Much-Needed Improvement
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    Office Will Get a Much-Needed Improvement

    If one were to examine Microsoft's financials, it's quickly apparent that Office, the company's productivity suite, is a major revenue and profit driver. To make sure it stays that way, Microsoft could give Office some more touch-friendly enhancements in the Windows ecosystem. On the Mac side, Office is likely to get an overhaul sooner rather than later. Reports suggest offline Office apps will be improved, as will Microsoft's online solutions, in 2015. Let's hope so.
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    Microsoft Will Talk About Its Cloud Services
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    Microsoft Will Talk About Its Cloud Services

    Expect the cloud to play a major role in Microsoft's presentations and strategy in 2015. The company has indicated that the cloud will be a crucial component in its plans going forward, and it is making good on that promise. Microsoft spent plenty of time in 2014 talking up its Azure Cloud services. In 2015, however, Microsoft may be preparing to introduce even more cloud services and platforms. There are only rumors for now, but it seems highly probable that the cloud will be Microsoft's most important growth platform going forward.
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    Satya Nadella Will Fully Implement His Business Strategy
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    Satya Nadella Will Fully Implement His Business Strategy

    Satya Nadella is poised to have a big 2015. He has spent the months since his appointment as Microsoft CEO last February espousing his vision for what his company needs to do to succeed. This will be the year when he has the chance to fully execute his business strategy and prove his vision is right. Of course, if he ends up being wrong, all kinds of trouble could erupt.
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    A New Surface Seems a Guarantee
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    A New Surface Seems a Guarantee

    Microsoft is showing no signs of giving up on its Surface tablet. The Surface, which has attracted some buyers, isn't quite on the same level as devices like Samsung's Galaxy Note or Apple's iPad, but it's a worthwhile option for companies seeking a Windows-based tablet experience. Considering Surface has been updated each year, it's no stretch to say it'll happen again in 2015. But expect the new version to be running something new: Windows 10.
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    Microsoft Will Get Serious About Smartphone Hardware
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    Microsoft Will Get Serious About Smartphone Hardware

    Microsoft all but killed off the Nokia mobile phone brand and replaced it with its own corporate logo in 2014. In 2015, nearly all reports suggest that the company is planning to launch new hardware that ranges from flagship iPhone competitors to mid- and low-range devices under its own brand. One of Nadella's tent poles for 2014 and beyond is mobile devices, services and apps. Look for Microsoft-branded smartphones to help the CEO achieve his vision in 2015.
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    Microsoft Makes a Significant Move to the Internet of Things
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    Microsoft Makes a Significant Move to the Internet of Things

    Microsoft recently posted a blog to its site detailing what it believes will be major trends in 2015. Interestingly, the company notes that the Internet of things will be one of those trends it will be paying particular attention to. The Internet of things involves connecting devices ranging from refrigerators to thermostats to washing machines to the Web. While Microsoft has dabbled in the space, it hasn't jumped in with both feet just yet. Is the inclusion of the Internet of things in its trends post an indication that the software company will make a play for the space in 2015? We will see.
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    Less Obsession With What Google Is Doing
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    Less Obsession With What Google Is Doing

    One of the smart things Nadella did in 2014 was reduce some of his company's obsession with Google as a competitor and adversary. Instead, he has refocused Microsoft on the things that matter most—mobile and the cloud. The reason it's a smart move to stop obsessing about Google is because it's hard to believe that the search giant will be able to overtake Microsoft in operating systems, office productivity or even enterprise-focused cloud services anytime soon. Microsoft needs to focus on its own customers and products instead of worrying that it must play catch-up with a company that, in many ways, it's still leading.
 

Overall, it's hard to say that 2014 was a great year or a bad year for Microsoft. The company brought on a new chief executive, Satya Nadella, who has tried to change Microsoft's business strategy and its way of doing business. But it has also had to watch while Windows 8 continued to limp along in the PC market while companies such as Google and Apple run circles around it in the mobile space. Luckily for Microsoft, however, a new year is well under way with new opportunities. If all goes well in 2015, it could mark the start of a new period of growth for the company. But if some of its most important initiatives, such as Windows 10, fail to develop as hoped, Microsoft could suffer a serious blow to its business performance for some time to come. The start of the new year is a good time to look ahead at what Microsoft is likely to do in the coming months to try to reassert itself in the marketplace. The effort won't be easy, of course, and many obstacles are standing in the way of Microsoft's success. This slide show takes a look at the various products and business plans that Microsoft is counting on to carry it to success in 2015.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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