QFA380
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Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:14 pm

We read it every day at the top of the non-av forum, and snicker to ourselves how someone (Johan?) could think other people thought Microsoft was a cool company.

It seems these days that every where I look they seem to be starting to live up to that. By no means do I mean that they've become perfect but it seems in a short amount of time they've started lining up their ducks.

Windows 8 has been in the works for a while now, and looks very nice. I'm very excited though I admit I haven't tried the beta. Anyone has have any opinions?
The Kinect they released last year has incredible applications and rather than what you'd expect Microsoft to do, locking it up, they've allowed developers to let their imaginations run wild.
Windows phone is an excellent platform that has a great deal of potential and I'll be considering one for my next phone.
There is Microsofts Smartglass they announced at E3 which looks very cool.
We're hearing rumours of a new Xbox 720 for next year.
The gaming community looks pretty happy with what went down games wise at E3.
Today they announced their new tablet, the Surface which (on first impressions) looks decent and unlikely to end up like the Zune.

The new metro interface has allowed them to reach an unprecedented level of device integration, providing the user a seamless experience on their console, computer, phone and tablet.

All seems like pretty incredible stuff. Anyone have any opinions? Disagreements? Things to add?

BTW, the 'A' word and Klaus are banned from this thread  
 
mham001
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:36 pm

If Bill Gates tried to control half the things Steve Jobs insisted upon controlling, there would be screams to have his head.

Perception is not reality.
 
aloges
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:38 pm

I don't think so. But then again, I don't consider Apple (or IKEA, Google and all others) a cool company either.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Good thing you started the discussion again! After all, this is the big question the NonAv forum was created for, back on April 26, 2000 (who else remembers this?)

In those 12 years we've only discussed the question 4 times, so I think it is time again.

So, Is Microsoft A Cool Company Or Not? (by Christianbothe May 4 2000 in Non Aviation)
Why You Think Microsoft Is A Cool Company? (by TWA Dec 30 2000 in Non Aviation)
Is Microsoft A Cool Company? / Never Buy A Nissan? (by Birdwatching May 24 2006 in Non Aviation)
Why You Think Microsoft Is A Cool Company (by Nighthawk Jan 31 2008 in Non Aviation)

Now there's just one question left...
Why will you never buy a Nissan?

Soren   
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mt99
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting QFA380 (Thread starter):
By no means do I mean that they've become perfect but it seems in a short amount of time they've started lining up their ducks.

It certainly looks like they are trying to combine computers, xbox, tablets, phones into one ecosystem. It looks pretty cool. They whole "ecosystem" concept has a few years head start with the "A" company though.

So we will see, sometimes the second company at something is more successful than the first, and although its a few years late. Microsoft has a huge natural base of users that might make thing easier for them.

As long as Windows 8 does not crash, get slow, get viruses..
Step into my office, baby
 
Rara
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:11 pm

Quoting QFA380 (Thread starter):
I'll be considering one

I think that's where the main problem of Windows Mobile lies.   Everybody "considers one", but I've yet to see an Android or iOS user actually buying it.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 1):
If Bill Gates tried to control half the things Steve Jobs insisted upon controlling, there would be screams to have his head.

Indeed. Standards have certainly gone down since the great "OMG Microsoft is so evil!!1" craze of the 1990s. In many ways, the software giants are now doing what Microsoft was suspected of doing back in the day, but was never able to pull off - either for lack of ability or for lack of evilness.  
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
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kngkyle
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:13 pm

Their Surface tablet looks promising. A tablet that has the full functionality of a laptop, which is the only kind I'd really be interested in. Not enough distinction between my phone and a regular tablet to warrant having both. A tablet that works as a laptop though... that I could find a use for.

[Edited 2012-06-19 08:14:24]
 
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Tugger
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting kngkyle (Reply 6):
Their Surface tablet looks promising. A tablet that has the full functionality of a laptop, which is the only kind I'd really be interested in. Not enough distinction between my phone and a regular tablet to warrant having both. A tablet that works as a laptop though... that I could find a use for.

Well the king maker for the Surface tablet as it currently is presented will be industry and enterprise application. Other tablets have been made use of but really aren't in the same universe (no pun intended, but hey there it is!) as MS and Windows for business. And they are less concerned about a higher price.

I think that many, many businesses will utilize the Surface instead of any other tablet and that will help affirm its place. I also think that beyond what was offered yesterday another version should be created that slots in below the three shown and is fully integrated with the Xbox.

I will be very curious to see what the price points are.

Tugg

P.S. I don't think MS can ever be a "cool company" as long as Steve Ballmer is CEO. I mean just look at him   :

Sorry Steve....

Tugg

[Edited 2012-06-19 09:21:44]
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:41 pm

I have to give them credit with their new tablet; especially the new SmartCover-esque keyboard. If that piece works well, then I'll have to concede that it's fantastic. *shudders*  
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fr8mech
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Quoting kngkyle (Reply 6):
Their Surface tablet looks promising.

They just complicated the birthday gift I fully expect to recieve from my wife in October: iPad 2.

I like the looks of it, and what I've read of it. Of course, the price point they enter at and the technology/features that Microsoft comes up with will have a lot to do with my (wife's) decision.

Anyone see a release date?
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
CaliAtenza
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:10 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 5):

I think that's where the main problem of Windows Mobile lies. Everybody "considers one", but I've yet to see an Android or iOS user actually buying it.

I was an Android user and now i have a Windows Phone  . The Tiles seduced me  
 
Superfly
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:14 pm

Microsoft is cooler than that Cupertino based company named after a fruit.
Bring back the Concorde
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting QFA380 (Thread starter):
Windows 8 has been in the works for a while now, and looks very nice. I'm very excited though I admit I haven't tried the beta.

Windows 8 has a lot of promise. For those of you that haven't seen what Windows 8 is, here's a brief demo from MS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Hq95vtoS28

Quoting QFA380 (Thread starter):
Today they announced their new tablet, the Surface which (on first impressions) looks decent and unlikely to end up like the Zune.

The Zune gets much bashed on tech sites, but it did include a HD radio, which at the time the iPod did not. It was a good device with poor integration into a store like Apple had. Funny how I now listen to FM radio on my iPod when it wasn't even an option when the Zune was released.

Quoting Rara (Reply 5):
I think that's where the main problem of Windows Mobile lies. Everybody "considers one", but I've yet to see an Android or iOS user actually buying it.

The Windows Phone is amazing. Granted I live in Seattle so a number of my friends work at MS and have them, but it is a great phone with a great mobile OS.

So, back on topic. About 5 years ago I started working 3 blocks from the MS Redmond campus. Until then I thought it wasn't a cool company. Probably thought about it something like IBM. But, my bike commute to work took me right through the heart of MS's campus everyday. It's a cool company. They have artificial turf soccer fields for their employees to use during their breaks, they have the absolute best "Bike to Work Day" giveaways in the entire Seattle area, and a fleet of shuttle buses for their employees (not contractors) to use so they don't have to drive. Those are just a few examples.

The Surface tablet may be one of the most important hardware creations to come out of MS since the XBox. If priced right it (as well as Amazon's Kindle Fire) will cut deep into the iPad sales.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
LOWS
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:48 pm

I long distance dated a guy who lived in SEA and works for Microsoft. Even most MS employees use Android or iOS phones...
 
mham001
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:57 pm

Quoting LOWS (Reply 13):

I long distance dated a guy who lived in SEA and works for Microsoft. Even most MS employees use Android or iOS phones...

Why would that surprise you? Windows phones have not been out long.
 
elbandgeek
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:37 pm

Anyone who ever bashed the Zune never used one. I had two and they were better than any iPod I ever had. Now I have a Windows Phone, which essentially counts as my third Zune.

The fact of the matter is it's cool to hate Microsoft because the media has a hardon for Apple. TV writers use Macs so why would Windows EVER be portrayed in a good light?

The last few years Microsoft has come out with some really amazing stuff and people choose not to notice. When Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 launch this fall they will have the single most complete ecosystem of any tech company. Phone, TV (via Xbox), and every screen in between, far beyond what Apple and Google have. Their entire consumer product line will be seamlessly integrated and have all the necessary services in house including games, music/videos, productivity, search, and just about everything anyone would need.

The last step for them is taking their image into their own hands. They rely on 3rd party OEMs in order to handle the volume of PCs there are in the world, but no matter how good Windows 7 is (and 8 will be...I'm using it now and it's REALLY good) people are going to blame them for the shoddy build of their 300 dollar Dell. The Surface, while set to piss off a lot of their OEM partners is a clear message to them that they need to step it up because their ruining Microsoft's reputation. It's the same reason they're investing in retail space, not to "copy" Apple but to actually make sure their products are displayed in the best light since you walk into a Best Buy and there's a table full of junky HPs next to the mini Apple store.

Now as for the Surface itself, I am very impressed. They knew if they were going to enter the tablet market themselves, they needed something to clearly push it beyond the iPad, not just match it (which is really the biggest mistake they made with Zune). They definitely delivered on that with the touch cover. The industrial design actually has a good hint of Zune legacy to it. One of the reasons I originally switched to Zune was because I personally prefer square angles as opposed to Apple's taped edges. It's an entirely superficial thing, but it made the difference for me.
So I'll definitely be getting one, although I'm not sure yet if I'll go for the RT or Pro version. In any case, once I have one and Verizon launches a WP8 Nokia for me to upgrade from my Trophy, I am going to be a very happy person.

[Edited 2012-06-20 11:38:13]
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:20 pm

Windows Phone 8 just announced.. looks awesome!

But I think M$ is letting a lot of their customers down by not being able to offer WP8 to current devices.. I hope for the customers that WP 7.8 will be very very similar to WP8.

Both the Surface tablet and WP8 looks very good! I was thinking about buying a Lumia 900, but now I'd rather wait.

Quoting tugger (Reply 7):
P.S. I don't think MS can ever be a "cool company" as long as Steve Ballmer is CEO. I mean just look at him   :

Well, I think Joe Belfiore seems pretty cool though.. more so than Tim Cook  Wink

[Edited 2012-06-20 13:48:25]
 
elbandgeek
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:43 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 16):
But I think M$ is letting a lot of their customers down by not being able to offer WP8 to current devices.. I hope for the customers that WP 7.8 will be very very similar to WP8.

It's really no different than the asterisks attached to new iOS releases on older devices. If anything, they're just being more honest about it by giving it a different version number. Most of the updates are hardware dependent anyway so the only real loss is natively coded apps, and even then they're encouraging developers not to go that route unless they absolutely have to (like with games, which may not run as well on older hardware anyway). Worst case scenario, older devices are getting updated at all which still beats the Android model of "we'll update it if we feel like"
 
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Tugger
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:50 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 9):
They just complicated the birthday gift I fully expect to recieve from my wife in October:

I think the big unaswered question is what do they mean by "priced similar to other tablets"? THey had better be meaing the iPad and not any of the others as teh iPad is the only one that really matters. With that that means the price should be anywhere from $399 to $829 for the RT version and from ~$1,000 up to $2,100 (the Air's price) for the Pro version.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 12):
The Surface tablet may be one of the most important hardware creations to come out of MS since the XBox. If priced right it (as well as Amazon's Kindle Fire) will cut deep into the iPad sales.

I think it's biggest initial market will be business/enterprise/medical. But if they do it right it could also be big in the consumer market.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 16):
But I think M$ is letting a lot of their customers down by not being able to offer WP8 to current devices.. I hope for the customers that WP 7.8 will be very very similar to WP8.

I can understand why it can't be done (the hardware required is different and the kernel is too). Quite frankly I am impressed that they thought of the current market and created a new and separate update for it. I think it is smart and was very much needed but it wouldn't be the first time a company did neither (smart & needed).

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 16):
Both the Surface tablet and WP8 looks very good! I was thinking about buying a Lumia 900, but now I'd rather wait.

And that is always the problem with these types of announcements.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:52 pm

Quoting elbandgeek (Reply 17):
Worst case scenario, older devices are getting updated at all which still beats the Android model of "we'll update it if we feel like"

True that.. what pissed me off about my Android phones and why I will never own one again.. way too fragmented.. I waited for Android 4.0 for my Galaxy Note, and waited and waited.. I gave up and sold it. I know this may be Samsungs fault, but this doesn't matter to me.. I just want an updated phone no matter who made the Android device.. yes I know you can root the phone and install a custom rom yourself, but I don't really want to go that far and risk bricking a phone... Android is just not my cup of tea.. I like WP much more.. and iOS too for that matter.

And no, I didn't like the Galaxy Nexus.. didn't like the design and the feel of the phone, so not an option..

Quoting tugger (Reply 18):
I can understand why it can't be done (the hardware required is different and the kernel is too). Quite frankly I am impressed that they thought of the current market and created a new and separate update for it. I think it is smart and was very much needed but it wouldn't be the first time a company did neither (smart & needed).

As long as there are not major visual differences between 7.8 and 8.0, then it's okay.

[Edited 2012-06-20 14:00:55]
 
Klaus
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:41 am

The software mothership is starting to fire at its own hardware support fleet in an attempt to escape the changing winds in the computing market. Or at least it has announced upcoming hostilities in MS-typical vapourware style.

Difficult not to be reminded of their "Plays for Sure" platform which they first pushed to be adopted by multiple hardware vendors, before then shooting them down from behind when they embarked on their Zune strategy. I'm certain that none of their PC hardware partners will miss the parallels.

This is a desperate and late attempt and dubious to succeed, with a strategy based on four mutually incompatible OS platforms (Windows 8 on Intel full classic / Intel Metro and Windows RT on ARM rudimentary classic / ARM Metro) crammed into two mutually incompatible hardware platforms that nevertheless pretend to be one and the same and with the users being thrown back and forth between two disjointed user interfaces.

John Gruber has posted his analysis of the announcement and his views on Microsoft's likely reasoning behind it. It's well worth a read:
Surface: Between a Rock and a Hardware Place
 
elbandgeek
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:21 pm

Klaus saying everything Microsoft does is wrong
Shocking
 
Klaus
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:52 pm

Personal comments instead of actual arguments: Same old, same old.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:29 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):

But criticism of all other companies than Apple coming from you is just not very believeable.. Sorry, but you just seem too biased.. No matter how well you argue and how many sources you can back up your statements with, it just has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Before it was a problem that MS didn't provide its own hardware. Now apparently, it is a problem that they are providing their own hardware...?!
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:45 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 20):
John Gruber has posted his analysis of the announcement and his views on Microsoft's likely reasoning behind it. It's well worth a read:

That guy comes off as a serious blowhard. Early on he quotes himself in a past post to say "see, I was right!" even though his quote wasn't really providing any opinion that wasn't shared and stated by others at the time. Then at the end he throws out his prognostication that MS will buy Nokia, again something that's hardly an original thought. I look forward to his "see, I was right!" post.
 
elbandgeek
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:32 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
Personal comments instead of actual arguments: Same old, same old.

I won't the effort of a real argument because you will never listen to it anyway.
What part of "no one here wants to hear your opinion" do you continue to not get.
You are so unbelievably biased that actual arguments fly right past you and you constantly insult anyone who doesn't agree with you because you believe that using Apple and calling everything else is inferior makes you better than other people but everyone here is sick of it. Go ahead and continue to praise everything Apple does in Apple threads but keep your insane fanboy logic out of threads unrelated to them.
 
Klaus
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:47 am

Looks like I'm the only one around here interested in the actual topic and its actual background.

I think the matter of who's indulging in personal attacks and who's not listening to anything that's actually being said to the topic can be left for any readers to judge for themselves.
 
Ken777
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:10 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 3):
Why will you never buy a Nissan?

My wife owned a 75 Datsun 510. Not a bad car IMO.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 9):
They just complicated the birthday gift I fully expect to recieve from my wife in October: iPad 2.

To make it worse, Apple will probably deliver the next generation iPad by then. And an iPhone5.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
Microsoft is cooler than that Cupertino based company named after a fruit.

Bill Gates? Cool?

Monkey Man? Cool?

The company that delivered an OS called "Bob". Cool?

MS has as many failures as they have hits. Even with their tablets they start by reminding people of their excellent hardware history - a mouse and keyboard.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:15 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 26):
Looks like I'm the only one around here interested in the actual topic and its actual background

The blog post you want to discuss is bombastic and lacking any real technical discussion. What topic did you really want to discuss? "Incompatible" OS's?
 
Klaus
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RE: Microsoft Becoming A Cool Company?

Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:02 am

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 28):
The blog post you want to discuss is bombastic and lacking any real technical discussion. What topic did you really want to discuss? "Incompatible" OS's?

The main topic of this thread is Microsoft trying to reinvent itself, in the process resorting to all kinds of hyperbole, which actually isn't entirely misplaced since the stakes for them are extremely high indeed.

The actual video of the Surface presentation event is linked to from his article, and it is well worth watching, not least in context with Gruber's commentary about it, but even separately:
http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/19/30...urface-event-video-live/in/2859835

While the "coolness" of a company is extremely subjective (and dependent on whether you even subscribe to such categories at all), I'd say a translation might be whether Microsoft can manage to regain the initiative in the computing field at large, which they've lost due to a combination of class action suits, the DoJ investigation, the EUC convictions and penalties and finally Apple's takeover of the initiative in the mobile field, particularly with the iPad.

Why an almost pure vapourware presentation at this very moment, even while still standing empty-handed with actual products, having to pile on the hyperbole about marginal details at the expense of any actual presentation of even a prototype? Because now Google is expected to join in soon with a tablet hardware of their own? Just out of old habit? Why?

It is clear what they want to achieve, but particularly the Windows/Metro bipolar system design is a massive gamble, where they're going all in with what they've got to win big.

The question is: Do they actually have the hand to back it up? This is not a game they can actually win by bluffing.

Although I'm not sure Steve Ballmer is actually aware of that.

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