We aren’t the only ones making New Year’s resolutions as we enter into 2013. In October of this year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company, largely known in the past for its software creation, will become a devices and services company.
“This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves—as a devices and new services company.” Ballmer wrote in a letter to shareholders. He claims it will effect how they run the company from how they develop new technology to how they market their newest innovations.
It goes without saying that this puts Microsoft even more at odds with Apple, who is the current undeniable giant of the devices and services industry with regard to personal technology. Even though Apple does seem to have Microsoft outgunned in the tablet and mobile phone departments, Microsoft still has the massively popular Xbox series and the Microsoft Office products, which are generally favored by Mac and PC users alike.
Therefore, what are a few projects and announcements we can expect to see from Microsoft in the coming year?
1. Xbox Next. Some are calling the newest development in the Xbox gaming console series The Xbox Next. It’s hard to believe that the last Xbox came out over seven years ago and continues to outsell new products. Microsoft would do well to blow us out of the water with a new console.
2. Microsoft bought Skype in 2011. Skype is a verb commonly used in lieu of ‘video-conferencing’ for obvious reasons. As a result, Microsoft is expected to integrate Skype into all of its devices. Starting next year, Skype will replace Windows Live Messenger as the instant messenger system of Microsoft.
3. A competitive mobile device. Microsoft technology is running on less than 3% of all smartphones in the world. That is a wide open market for the tech giant to make an impression. They have yet to make an announcement but considering the iPhone is central to Apple’s devices lineup, it would be strange for Microsoft not to follow suit.
4. Windows 8 Tablets. Starting in January, Microsoft Surface tablets will be sold with the new Windows 8 Operating system. Whether or not this impresses consumers will be the first thing assessed in the new year.