As a Microsoft fan bordering on fanboy it is extremely depressing to look at what the company has done and imagine what they can do.
Zune HD is a wonderfully designed hardware proving they can make beautiful and functional hardware even as a software company. The Xbox 360 is a commercial success and while it does not show off their hardware chops thanks to some missteps (I am looking at you RROD) it still shows that Microsoft is still wonderful at software because one of the biggest reasons Xbox 360 tops other (in my opinion) is the easy to use and functional UI along with an excellent web experience in Xbox Live. Courier represents Microsoft’s ability to think outside the box and create unique experiences that are also functional. However Courier also represents Microsoft’s amazing ability to not see where the market is heading and being able to lead the market rather than play catch up. Microsoft still does not have a decent tablet option, which is just depressing especially considering they have tried for so long to do so. Microsoft has a great service with Zune and Zune Pass but the hardware is old but looking at the Zune HD could be something amazing. Microsoft only now has a decent mobile OS in Windows Phone 7 but again they are playing catch up in that market. Xbox 360 is perhaps their biggest success which they have been able to do some of the things that they have failed at so miserably integrating their vast services and software. Windows Phone 7 shows that they notice this and are integrating services there as well. However when you see things like Microsoft Surface which offers amazing multi touch technology plus courier which offers a unique pen based UI that is functional and stylish added with the complete lack of a competent and competitive tablet from Microsoft you go HUH. If Microsoft wants to be recognized like Apple is for innovation and usefulness they have all the tools they need. Get Surface technology into a tablet that offers great multi touch and also a Courier style application that provides a unique and stylish pen input with WP7 OS along with the services like Zune and Xbox Live and you have created a drool worthy tablet that would be lusted after by gadget nerds and will capture a wide demographic. But as a Microsoft fan what I want to happen will undoubtedly be way different from what the minds at Microsoft come up with. If only Microsoft could become better at integrating all their great ideas into fantastic hardware and recognize when they have great ideas that are lusted after. On a final side note perhaps the Zune HD2 could come out with a little more Xbox flare especially when you think about the fact that one of the biggest pushes for WP7 right now is Xbox Live on the go.