Is Microsoft getting its groove back?

The past week has felt a little like bizzarro land as Microsoft released not one, but two products that weren't universally declared as "suck"., which is basically Microsoft Live Search reskinned and tweaked, has almost all but avoided scathing hateful reviews. In fact the majority seem to be somewhere between meh, lukewarm and positive which is a major feat for the usually reviled brand. Here at Bitterwallet we had a round of binging and after our initial hope to roast it evaporated we declared that for once Microsoft has made a search product that "doesn't completely suck". It's not great, it's not revolutionary, and we'll keep using Google out of habit but "not completely sucking" is a new benchmark for Microsoft online.

The second product release that managed to not suck and actually get some hype was the release of Project Natal at E3. The previews promise an experience like the Wii except with no gesture hardware and full-body control. The hype will be meaningless if Microsoft can't actually release a product which works but in the meantime they are actually positioning themselves as a gaming company that is doing interesting things. Interesting and Microsoft are not words that have been in the same sentence for a long time.

Here's the weird thing though... despite Microsoft's horrible past decade they seem to be creeping into the emotional underdog space. We almost feel sorry for their ineptness and inability to stop the Google machine. On the flip side, it seems that in the last year Google has slowly been creeping into the "evil monopoly" role that Microsoft used to play so well. Could it be that our honeymoon emotions for Google have now waned and we're looking for a proper competitor to take them down a notch?

With Windows 7 getting strong reviews, IE 8 making a big step towards being a decent browser, and the XBOX 360 becoming a gaming platform of choice for many, is Microsoft getting its groove back?


  • Andy B.
    Since when did IE 8 take a step towards being a decent browser?
  • Paul N.
    Have you never used IE6?!
  • Will
    With Sony being in a right financial state and Apple being gimps, I hope so.
  • Paul S.
    Andrew Keen may have the appearance of an angry, tired lion, but I think he pretty much sums up Google vs Microsoft (and Palm) here:
  • Luke W.
    I'm better than positive thanks!
  • Tom
    Why all the hate with Microsoft? They have given the world products which have enabled easy use and a common platform for decades. Don't tell me you would want Apple in the same position as Microsoft? A company that seens to have pioneered the word DRM, effective monopoliser (mp3 market), exquisitely good at stopping you doing what you want with your computer. Its made some errors sure (microsoft) but at least we have always had choice. You think the PS3 would have been half as good if the competition from the Xbox360 wasn't there?
  • juankerr
    Couldn't agree more with MS's "creeping into the emotional underdog space". Both Google and Apple now seem to have taken over the controls of the DeathStar, whilst Microsoft is like that nice but uncool uncle trying to body-pop at a wedding (to mix my metaphors).
  • Mistrical
    lol, a bit of a misleading title as microsoft have a product called 'groove' (which was sucky btw). nice article nevertheless. its about time the microsoft hate prejudice was lifted (apple need some serious competition :P ).
  • Paul N.
    "Microsoft is like that nice but uncool uncle trying to body-pop at a wedding" Hilarious :D Love it.
  • HotUKDeals B.
    [...] of which, we’ve been looking closely at Microsoft’s latest exploits elsewhere on the site today so it’s only right that we highlight what seems to be a bit of a [...]
  • Attention B.
    [...] the boss declared that Microsoft’s is something of a triumph, on the grounds that it “doesn’t completely suck”. Hats off to the boss, he likes [...]
  • programmi g.
    Sincerely WII did not make me mad, just because when I'm playing a game I just want to relax. Use my brain is enough. And I for real gamers the only Physical needed to be done is the movement of the fingers. Even we will prefer no movements. Really Great innovation in Gaming could be just play games if the mind, meaning controlling everything with just your thoughts.

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