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Microsoft's SmartGlass For Android Reviewed 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released their much anticipated SmartGlass application for Android, allowing the Linux-based mobile OS to act as an input device for their Xbox 360 game console. While the app has its share of annoying problems, it does offer a glimpse into a possible future where consumer electronics are no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system."
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Microsoft's SmartGlass For Android Reviewed

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  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:00PM (#41799013) Homepage Journal
    the Wii U tablet-based controller?
  • by galoise (977950) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:39PM (#41799251)
    Does anybody know if there's a similar thing for Linux? I've been looking for something that would allow the pen-digitizer in my thinkpad tablet work as input for my linux box, but so far have failed at finding anything in that vein.
  • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday October 28, 2012 @05:28PM (#41799569) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, why did Nintendo announce the Wii U so early?

    It's called defensive publication [wikipedia.org]. For any feature Nintendo announces, someone else can't get a patent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @06:23PM (#41799857)

    Well I can tell you for a fact that MS not only intended, but relished stealing Nintendo's thunder on this one.

    I was talking to an MS employee working on the project (while still secret, but I guess my NDA is expired now) and he said they had actually planned their 2012 E3 keynote to introduce it the day before Nintendo's keynote formally announcing the Wii U. The basic pitch was "why go buy an expensive proprietary controller that does one thing when you can use any smartphone or tablet from any manufacturer?"

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday October 28, 2012 @06:42PM (#41799995) Homepage Journal

    Bear with me why I provide a little background to the question in the subject:

    I worked for IBM for better than a decade, from the late 90s to just a couple of years ago. During that time, the general sentiment inside of IBM was that trying to lock customers in was a bad idea, that in the long term what was good for business was open, cross-platform widely-compatible solutions. That's not to say that none of IBM's product divisions ever tried to lock customers in, but it was the exception, and a fairly rare exception, and most of the rest of the company thought they were being stupid.

    Obviously, the IBM I worked for was radically different in that respect from the IBM of the 60s, 70s and early 80s, when interoperability was a dirty word and IBM was able to gouge customers for obscene profits by locking them into "pure Blue" solutions. The anti-trust lawsuit and resulting consent decree was the start of the transformation, but the bigger force, IMO, was the fact that customers started distrusting IBM. In the late 90s when I started working for IBM Global Services, it was fairly standard practice in the consulting arm to actively *avoid* recommending IBM products unless they were clearly and undeniably the best solution available. A few years later practice shifted to pushing "blue" solutions more... but by then all of the solutions themselves had become not only interoperability-enabled, but most of them were entirely about interoperability, as IBM made the shift to a middleware and services company.

    The fact is that open architectures and interoperable solutions really are better business in the long run. In the short term, lock-in allows the extraction of monopoly rents, but you don't build strong customer relationships that way, and good relations with your customers is how you continue raking in the bucks year after year, decade after decade. This is especially true for companies like IBM whose primary clients are businesses, but it's also true for companies that straddle the business and consumer markets, like Microsoft.

    A number of things that have happened over the last few years make me think that Microsoft, even though they didn't get slapped around by the government the way IBM did, and really haven't ever gone through the sort of bloodletting that IBM did, has begun to turn the corner, to lose its institutional arrogance and its startup mentality of total domination at all costs, and matured into a company that understands you don't have to win everything to be successful, and that cooperation is sometimes more effective than competition.

    I'd have said they'd never make that change while Ballmer is in charge, but maybe I was too pessimistic.

    I'll reserve judgment for a few more years and see where they go. But I'm beginning to have hope that a new, less-evil Microsoft is emerging. They may need another serious failure or three to get all the way there, though. A major Windows 8 flop would probably be good for therm (culturally).

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