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post #1 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Microsoft to reorganize and lay off 18,000

Microsoft on Thursday said it was eliminating up to 18,000 jobs, amounting to 14% of its work force. Last week, CEO Satya Nadella hinted at the organizational changes to come in a long memo. Here is the full text of his email on the job cuts, posted to Microsoft’s MSFT +2.16% website.

From: Satya Nadella

To: All Employees

Date: July 17, 2014 at 5:00 a.m. PT

Subject: Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture

Last week in my email to you I synthesized our strategic direction as a productivity and platform company. Having a clear focus is the start of the journey, not the end. The more difficult steps are creating the organization and culture to bring our ambitions to life. Today I’ll share more on how we’re moving forward. On July 22, during our public earnings call, I’ll share further specifics on where we are focusing our innovation investments.

The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months. It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we are adding roles in certain other strategic areas. My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible. We will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition help in many locations, and everyone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company.

Later today your Senior Leadership Team member will share more on what to expect in your organization. Our workforce reductions are mainly driven by two outcomes: work simplification as well as Nokia Devices and Services integration synergies and strategic alignment.

First, we will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster. As part of modernizing our engineering processes the expectations we have from each of our disciplines will change. In addition, we plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers. In addition, our business processes and support models will be more lean and efficient with greater trust between teams. The overall result of these changes will be more productive, impactful teams across Microsoft. These changes will affect both the Microsoft workforce and our vendor staff. Each organization is starting at different points and moving at different paces.

Second, we are working to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. We will realize the synergies to which we committed when we announced the acquisition last September. The first-party phone portfolio will align to Microsoft’s strategic direction. To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences. In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.

Making these decisions to change are difficult, but necessary. I want to invite you to my monthly Q&A event tomorrow. I hope you can join, and I hope you will ask any question that’s on your mind. Thank you for your support as we start to take steps forward in evolving our organization and culture.

Satya
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 08:14 AM
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post #3 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 10:24 AM
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Just another reason not to live in the Seattle area. Microsoft and Boeing account for a huge percentage of the workforce in the region. Redmond is actually about 20 miles north of Seattle and Boeing has plants from Kent in the south up to Everett in the north, and probably quite a few more scattered about that I'm not aware of. Anytime there's a downturn in the economy, a lot of people end up on unemployment there. This layoff is a result of Microsoft acquiring Nokia and having an overlap of some 12,500 positions between the two companies. I think the other 5,500 layoffs are just another one of their periodic purges.
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 02:09 PM
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what does any of this have to do with this forum? Did microsoft lay off 18,000 people working on the next iteration of WMC?
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post #5 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
what does any of this have to do with this forum? Did microsoft lay off 18,000 people working on the next iteration of WMC?
It's related because this is a material change to the company that supplies the guide data for my HTPC!
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoJames View Post
It's related because this is a material change to the company that supplies the guide data for my HTPC!

I think a 3rd party company supplies the guide info.


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post #7 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
I think a 3rd party company supplies the guide info.


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Yes and no. A 3rd party company supplies the data to Microsoft, Microsoft then sends it to WMC users. The guide date does come from Microsoft, they just get it somewhere else beforehand. But you don't get it directly from the 3rd party (Rovi). If Microsoft decided to go with a different provider, our guide updates would be coming from the same place (Microsoft).

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post #8 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
what does any of this have to do with this forum
If you are going to respond like that to this particular thread you should in fairness go ahead and do it for all other loosely-htpc-tangent threads

There's not always much new going on strictly-htpc related, so as always feel free to ignore the thread
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post #9 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 PM
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I would make a pro-Apple comment and say that Apple is responsible for Microsoft's woes, but the truth is that sales on all traditional PCs overall are not doing great. Microsoft lost over a billion dollars on the first Surface launch, which most observers point to as one of the leading causes that compelled Steve Ballmer to step down. And Apple's sales are not doing great at the moment, either.

Since I own both Macs and Windows PCs, I try to remain neutral in this war and I generally just use whatever OS will get the job done in the most efficient way. I gotta say, there's a hole in Apple's product line that a Home Theater Mac (HTM?) could fill, and it's doable if somebody wanted to roll up their sleeves and do the development on it. I have a couple of Mac Minis out there as music servers, and I can watch ripped DVDs and Blu-rays on them to a point, but not nearly with the sophistication of the best HTPC's. Not yet, anyway.

I still lament that Apple TV doesn't record. This would've been a perfect chance for Apple to make a self-contained Tivo-like device that you could watch on your phone, on your iPad, whatever, and still record off-air, off-cable, and off-satellite programming. But they seemed determined to make users pay every time they watch a TV show or film, which rubs me the wrong way. Streaming is no problem, though Apple has many internal wars with Amazon, Google, and other competitors. It'd be nice to have a single device that could access iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Google, and everybody else, yet also record without restrictions. Don't quite got it yet.
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post #10 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
If you are going to respond like that to this particular thread you should in fairness go ahead and do it for all other loosely-htpc-tangent threads

There's not always much new going on strictly-htpc related, so as always feel free to ignore the thread
meh i was bored and felt like busting balls. no other reason. microsoft is full of managers, they needed a trimming anyway
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post #11 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 09:44 PM
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what does any of this have to do with this forum? Did microsoft lay off 18,000 people working on the next iteration of WMC?
XBMC was all Microsoft at the start, and that is good enough to post this information here! Just think if XBMC had not been made free, it would have died a death faster than windows home server!! And i can't make it thru the day with out my XBMC!
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post #12 of 31 Old 07-17-2014, 11:23 PM
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Wow...another 18,000 shown the door- and I can assure you they're not all middle-management. If I had a penny for every one I've read about over the last 8 years.

Over-lapping? Sure, in part. But you can be guaranteed that it will be more of a case of less doing more while some of the 20k fall on their feet and more fall on their face.

Not a rant or trying to be remotely political, but as I get older and "grow up", people losing their jobs- their livelihoods- makes me feel like crap because I know how freaking tough it is in the modern world for good people to put it back together.

18,000 is a small town.

Just sucks is all.

James
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post #13 of 31 Old 07-18-2014, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
Did microsoft lay off 18,000 people working on the next iteration of WMC?
It's funny that you thought people were working on WMC still even before this layoff.
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post #14 of 31 Old 07-18-2014, 08:12 AM
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It's funny that you thought people were working on WMC still even before this layoff.
maybe they are, you dont know! maybe Satya is reading this thread and this forum right now and can see what a tremendous market opportunity this could be if they were to present a solution.
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post #15 of 31 Old 07-18-2014, 07:15 PM
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maybe they are, you dont know! maybe Satya is reading this thread and this forum right now and can see what a tremendous market opportunity this could be if they were to present a solution.
Where??

The total number of HTPC users in the entire world is probably less than 1-2% of the number of Xbox consoles, Microsoft sells. If you were the CEO, what would you focus on?
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post #16 of 31 Old 07-18-2014, 11:04 PM
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Just another reason not to live in the Seattle area. Microsoft and Boeing account for a huge percentage of the workforce in the region. Redmond is actually about 20 miles north of Seattle and Boeing has plants from Kent in the south up to Everett in the north, and probably quite a few more scattered about that I'm not aware of. Anytime there's a downturn in the economy, a lot of people end up on unemployment there. This layoff is a result of Microsoft acquiring Nokia and having an overlap of some 12,500 positions between the two companies. I think the other 5,500 layoffs are just another one of their periodic purges.
Redmond is about 8 miles EAST of Seattle. Everett, where ONE of the Boeing plants sits is 20 miles NORTH.

Seattle area headquarters Amazon, Weyerhauser, Alaska Airlines, several large military bases, one of the largest shipping ports on the West Coast, Nintendo of America, Tmobile, etc... I can go on. We learned our lesson in the 70's that being a one horse town was a bad idea.

The Seattle area is ranked as having the #5 metropolitan economy in the country for a combination of it's economic growth and diversity.

The 1300 MS jobs in the Seattle area that are going away right now won't even be a blip on the morning commute. I'm sure that many of those employees will end up and Google, who just announced plans to expand in the area. Finding jobs in tech here isn't that difficult, most people I know get pitched fairly regularly.

I can think of a lot of reasons not to live here, but the regional economy certainly isn't one of them.
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post #17 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 05:44 AM
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Redmond is about 8 miles EAST of Seattle. Everett, where ONE of the Boeing plants sits is 20 miles NORTH.

Seattle area headquarters Amazon, Weyerhauser, Alaska Airlines, several large military bases, one of the largest shipping ports on the West Coast, Nintendo of America, Tmobile, etc... I can go on. We learned our lesson in the 70's that being a one horse town was a bad idea.

The Seattle area is ranked as having the #5 metropolitan economy in the country for a combination of it's economic growth and diversity.

The 1300 MS jobs in the Seattle area that are going away right now won't even be a blip on the morning commute. I'm sure that many of those employees will end up and Google, who just announced plans to expand in the area. Finding jobs in tech here isn't that difficult, most people I know get pitched fairly regularly.

I can think of a lot of reasons not to live here, but the regional economy certainly isn't one of them.
Actually, Redmond is north east of Seattle by a fair amount (about 15 miles, give or take, IIRC). I've made many trips to Seattle on business over the past 35 years and I've been to most of the Boeing plants and facilities as well as a few other companies. I've also been to Redmond, but never visited the Microsoft campus. Some of the guys I worked with drove through there and they say it's like a huge country club.

To be fair, I believe the original article stated that there were a lot of overlaps in job positions when Microsoft acquired Nokia. The people being laid off may not even be in the Seattle area. The layoffs at Boeing are a regular occurrence with the ebb and flow of the economy. They are one of the larget employers in the area and have multiple facilities, both commercial and military. The vast majority of folks that get hit by layoffs at Boeing are union members so it is unlikely that they'd go look for work elsewhere unless the union can place them in a new position. More than likely they'll sit srounf waiting for a call to come back rather than go elsewhere. Seniority is of huge importance to these folks.

Seattle has a higher than average population of homeless people. I understand that they do look out for them, though. The country there is extremely rugged, but also quite beautiful. If you like the outdoors, Seattle is a great place to live. The amount of culture and diversity is quite impressive.

Last time I heard, Alaska Airlines was either going to be acquired by someone else or they were about to go under.

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post #18 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 05:45 AM
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post #19 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
Actually, Redmond is north east of Seattle by a fair amount (about 15 miles, give or take, IIRC). I've made many trips to Seattle on business over the past 35 years and I've been to most of the Boeing plants and facilities as well as a few other companies. I've also been to Redmond, but never visited the Microsoft campus. Some of the guys I worked with drove through there and they say it's like a huge country club.

To be fair, I believe the original article stated that there were a lot of overlaps in job positions when Microsoft acquired Nokia. The people being laid off may not even be in the Seattle area. The layoffs at Boeing are a regular occurrence with the ebb and flow of the economy. They are one of the larget employers in the area and have multiple facilities, both commercial and military. The vast majority of folks that get hit by layoffs at Boeing are union members so it is unlikely that they'd go look for work elsewhere unless the union can place them in a new position. More than likely they'll sit srounf waiting for a call to come back rather than go elsewhere. Seniority is of huge importance to these folks.

Seattle has a higher than average population of homeless people. I understand that they do look out for them, though. The country there is extremely rugged, but also quite beautiful. If you like the outdoors, Seattle is a great place to live. The amount of culture and diversity is quite impressive.

Last time I heard, Alaska Airlines was either going to be acquired by someone else or they were about to go under.

I've lived in the Seattle area most of my life, from 1998 to 2003 I lived IN Seattle and work IN Redmond, Redmond is east. There are essentially three routes to Redmond from Seattle depending on where you live. None of them involve driving 15 miles north of Seattle, all of them involve driving east.



Seattle's north boundary stops at Shoreline. The Southern boundary is White Center, and the bodies of water provide the East/West boundaries.

MS is only laying off 1300 people in Seattle. which is less than their previous layoffs in 2009 I think it was.

Boeing layoffs at this point are actually more dependent on the development cycle of their planes than the economy, the last round of layoffs was engineers which are unionized, but it was development not production where the layoffs were. IIRC the current backlog has grown from 3700 planes to over 5000 since 2010. Manufacturing has at least 7 years of constant production with the current backlog.

We do have a lot of homeless, not as many as some other large cities, but it's because of two things. The weather, and quite honestly we make it very easy to be homeless here.

Alaska Airlines consistently has one of the highest profit margins in the industry and won't be going under any time soon, the merger you're hearing about is with Delta which quite honestly I hope doesn't happen.

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post #20 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 09:15 AM
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LOL. I guess I should have consulted a map before telling a native where things are located. I usually stayed near South Center or slightly further south when out there on business. I forgot where the center of Seattle was located with respect to my hotel's location. I just recall that I had to travel a good ways north to get to where I needed to go. I suppose when I traveled east I thought I was still heading in a northerly direction. I used to take the back roads around the east side of Lake Sammamish in the morning to avoid the traffic on the 405, which was usually bumper to bumper with nobody in the HOV lane. You'd think more people would wise up and car pool out there.

Back in the 70's and early 80's I'd visit a Boeing facility located only a few blocks from Pike Street Market. I'd park in the Kingdome parking lot and take the ride free bus downtown. It was great because we were within a short walking distance of so many great restaurants when we went out for lunch. I love the city, but I'm not sure I could deal with the gloomy weather all winter. I recall one visit when the weather changed overnight like someone flipped a switch and the weather was gloomy every day afterward for the rest of the season. The great thing was when there was a clear day the surrounding scenery was absolutely spectacular. You could see Mt. Rainier looming massively in the distance and the Cascades on the other side of Puget Sound. You wouldn't know either of them were there on a cloudy day.

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post #21 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 09:18 AM
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same to me,The great thing was when there was a clear day the surrounding scenery was absolutely spectacular. You could see Mt. Rainier looming massively in the distance and the Cascades on the other side of Puget Sound.[IMG]http://*******/Ffva1z[/IMG] You wouldn't know either of them were there on a cloudy day.thanks
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post #22 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 02:27 PM
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Where??

The total number of HTPC users in the entire world is probably less than 1-2% of the number of Xbox consoles, Microsoft sells. If you were the CEO, what would you focus on?
that's where innovation comes in, doesnt it?

If microsoft bought up Silicondust, Plex, and released a nuc-like box running windows 8 with a completely integrated WMC solution like the ones we've built, and marketed it like Steve Jobs used to, you dont think that wouldnt create a brand new market with intense demand?
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post #23 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 02:31 PM
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You have to think someone at M$ suggested building DVR functionality into the Xbox One. The 500gb hard drive isn't much to shake a stick at, but imagine a rebadged usb tuner from one of the three manufacturers sold separately or in the box of a special Media Edition console. They have the live tv functionality in the thing, this would just integrate it properly.

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post #24 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 02:50 PM
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that's where innovation comes in, doesnt it?

If microsoft bought up Silicondust, Plex, and released a nuc-like box running windows 8 with a completely integrated WMC solution like the ones we've built, and marketed it like Steve Jobs used to, you dont think that wouldnt create a brand new market with intense demand?
You're not thinking like a CEO. You're thinking like a consumer. That's the difference.

Nadella <thinking> : Hmm...now this guy "Ou8thisSN" over on AVS says, I should buy SD and Plex and do something with TV. Now, I can buy these two companies for pocket change (make that forgotten pennies under the sofa), but what does that get me? A piece of hardware that seems to be popular with a miniscule number of users and a streaming solution for various devices. Hmm...

- The tuner hardware is interesting, but we could easily design it ourselves if need be. Or if SD is not too greedy, we'll give them a fair price for the company. No issues there.
- Plex - Hmm, a streaming solution that trancodes things on the fly to deliver to Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and even some smart TVs. That's really neat...but, what does it get us? We'll just be making it easier for consumers to buy those OTHER devices, since we don't control that market, other than a small piece. Hmm...not a good thing.
- Ou8thisSN says we should design a small NUC/Apple TV like box that integrates all this and market it like a device, just like APPLE! But wait...we're not Apple. Can we really pull it off?? Doesn't seem likely. People seem to like devices from the fruit company better than us, and to market it properly, we'll have to setup a huge supply chain, marketing dollars, advertising dollars, customer service...hmmm..

Wait a second. We sell the Xbox that can easily consume content over the Internet. Why don't we tie up with the content owners and just deliver the content over the Internet, straight to the Xbox?? Brilliant!

<topic closed>.

Nadella to his minions - Go write some code!
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post #25 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 03:53 PM
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To further expand on what @kapone said, it's not enough to say Company X should create/sell Product Y.

Heck, there's lots of money in selling filtered municipal water, and selling it probably wouldn't benefit Microsot's direct competitors in any meaningful way, but they still aren't likely to bother with it unless it is going to help them with Z. Z is the missing part of the equation that we as outsiders can only really speculate about. Z is the broader goal. Z is the direction they are headed. Z is the master plan, if you will.

So unless you know Product Y will directly help with Plan Z, Company X probably isn't interested, no matter how great of an idea it is.

A couple of years ago, I actually looked into the feasibility of putting a similar device together. I went so far as to talk to some engineering firms to create a custom board to run the device, and some manufacturing firms overseas to look at building. What I found was that guaranteeing supply for off the shelf components was going to be very difficult, and engineering a custom solution was going to be expensive enough that even ignoring R&D costs it was going to be very difficult to build the device at a price point that would make it interesting to the average joe.

You know who could benefit from something like that though? Ceton/SiliconDust. And interestingly enough, a few months after I had given up, Ceton announced the "Q" which made sense since they would have access to one of the most expensive parts of the system at their cost instead of mine. Turns out it never came to fruition either.

Point being if something like that is going to happen, don't expect Microsoft to be the one to do it unless they decide to steer the entire Microsoft ship in another direction.

If anyone cares, the system I was looking at putting together was a little more elaborate than the Q but the idea was to make something that was a cablebox replacement that was dead-easy to install, and also had WMC capabilities. To make setup easy and "cable like" everything was going to be MoCa enabled. That included a custom router that had a built in cable modem and Moca Support. So.. plug in power, and plug in coax, and you've got data everywhere. (Ethernet would be available too for those already wired) The Media Center device was going to be running Win7 Embedded with a few custom plugins including bluray as well as some guide improvements and something along the lines of Media Browser or My Movies. As far as connectivity it would include MoCa, Ethernet HDMI, eSata (with multiplier support) and a cablecard slot. (6 tuners) And finally Extenders would be diskless, with just HDMI, Moca and Ethernet. I wasn't aiming to have a solution that would necessarily make all of the enthusiast happy, but I was looking to make something that just about anyone could use and install. Turns out that is a pretty tall order in most cases.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #26 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 04:51 PM
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i just find it funny that all these clowns on the tech blogs are still waiting for apple to launch new markets in tv and wearables and none of them have ever mentioned WMC, and how brilliant it is.

I only wish microsoft would launch an video app store for WMC so it would rival the current apple tv home screen but have the ability to play and record livetv.
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post #27 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ou8thisSN View Post
i just find it funny that all these clowns on the tech blogs are still waiting for apple to launch new markets in tv and wearables and none of them have ever mentioned WMC, and how brilliant it is.

I only wish microsoft would launch an video app store for WMC so it would rival the current apple tv home screen but have the ability to play and record livetv.
Plenty of tech blogs have talked about how brilliant WMC is. They did it about 5 years ago. In the years since then they've said about everything that can be said about it. What is new in WMC that they should be talking about?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #28 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 05:52 PM
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Plenty of tech blogs have talked about how brilliant WMC is. They did it about 5 years ago. In the years since then they've said about everything that can be said about it. What is new in WMC that they should be talking about?
Bingo. And THAT's where I see the potential.

A separate Windows SKU that is a cut down, minimal, CE like version, with embedded WMC. And change WMC to become "app" friendly. ANd hook it up to the Windows App store so that developers can actually write stuff for it.

Oh, and revamp the entire API, because it sucks, and some better documentation.

Wait...that's an Apple TV minus the hardware...
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post #29 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 06:24 PM
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I only wish microsoft would launch an video app store for WMC so it would rival the current apple tv home screen but have the ability to play and record livetv.
Apple and Microsoft share similar stupidities in some areas, and this is a big one. They're both terrified of giving people the ability to record on a computer, which is ludicrous and silly.

I'm still baffled as to why Apple won't embrace Blu-ray and find a way to make it work. I think because Steve Jobs was in bed with Disney (billions of dollars in stock when he sold Pixar to them), he became convinced that forcing users to watch via paid downloads and streaming was necessary in order to protect the studios' interests. In that respect, I believe Apple is every bit as evil and user-unfriendly as Microsoft. Neither are on the side of users, especially with WMC and Apple TV.
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post #30 of 31 Old 07-19-2014, 06:51 PM
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Cue... T0rrent downloads.

Stupidity is not an excuse. The consumer always finds a way. One way or another.
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