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HoloLens: Abracadabra! Microsoft unveils a great distraction

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | Jan. 29, 2015
Microsoft invited all of us to ooh and ahh at the introduction of HoloLens. But pay no attention to what the company’s other hand is doing with Windows as a Service.

Microsoft unerringly knows where the money is. If you look closely at its last quarterly report, you might see it too. Windows OEM sales continued to decline, this time by 13%. Even Microsoft Office saw a decline of 1%. What grew? Office 365 Home and Personal went up 30%, and "commercial cloud revenue grew 114% driven by Office 365, Azure and Dynamic CRM Online."

Clearly, this is no longer Bill Gates' Microsoft. I see the company changing its business model from selling licenses to becoming a services company based on the cloud and -- oh the irony! -- open-source software.

I might be wrong. Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, for instance, told Computerworld's Preston Gralla that "Windows as a service is about how it's a conduit to customers, about how Microsoft is delivering Windows 10, not the business model." I think it's both.

The one thing I do know for certain is that Windows as a Service, and not 3D hologram-like computing, is what's going to be really important about Windows 10.


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