November, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    How do you make the worlds best webcam?


    You get a bunch of smart people together and tell them to go do what they do. This short video shows you some of the folks behind the Microsoft LifeCam Studio. Is it the world’s best webcam? Well that’s for you to decide but I think it’s an outstanding product – beautifully engineered and it delivers stunning hi-def 1080p video quality. What’s more, I love the attention to detail in the design and the subtlety of the design. I bet if you took the Microsoft name off it, you’d think it was made by some other company who gets a ton of design plaudits. But it’s not…it’s made by these folks and it’s a fine blend of hardware and software as it integrates our TrueColor technology that gives you great video in almost any lighting condition. I think I’m going to use my LifeCam to record a few interviews over the coming weeks.

    Tyler Gleghorn appears in the video a few times and he’s one of my favorite dudes at Microsoft – he operates our anechoic chamber and worked on all kinds of stuff. I’ve got more coming on the chamber and Tyler soon. I think you’ll like it.

  • Steve Clayton




    I’ve been trying to get a sense lately of the demographic of visitors to this blog (or feed) and in particular trying to understand who portion of my audience is made up for Microsoft employees. I’ve created a quick poll to get some indicative data and would appreciate it if you could spend 10 seconds to let me know which category of two you fit in to – softie or not softie!



  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft lines up


    I left the Bellevue mall at 11am and still there were HUGE lines to get in to the Microsoft Store that opened 90 minutes earlier. Impressive stuff.

    There were a ton of Microsoft staff around – I bumped in to quite a few old friends and a lot of our exec team were watching KT and Steve open the 7th store – this one in our “back yard” as Steve called it. The good news is most of the staff I saw were there merely to spectate and the lines were filled with real customers, some of whom had camped out overnight to win tickets to the Miley Cyrus gig on Saturday. Honestly, I have no real clue who Miley is but she’s clearly a popular gal. The sense I got was that Microsofties were there out of pride – with Windows Phone, Kinect, Windows 7, Office 365 and Azure, it’s been a bumper year and there is a lot of new found pride around the place. People were there out of pride I suspect – as well as a keenness to see just what the store looked like.

    The store itself? It looks good…big, clean and colorful. Just like the one I saw down in Mission Viejo last year, perhaps even bigger. It stands in stark contrast to the Apple Store that is just a few doors down. I love Apple Stores for their beautiful design but as I walked away today, I couldn’t help thinking that our store looked just a little more inviting…a little less elite. Time will tell if that pays off in sales – but I can say it feels great to have a place right here, close to the mothership where people can come touch and see our products in action.

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft’s latest social experiment


    Does Microsoft “get” social? Many would have you believe we don’t but I’d challenge that. Xbox Live, Messenger and all of the recent work between our Office and Bing teams with the folks down at Facebook. Perhaps no team gets social more than FUSE Labs….after all their name is an acronym for Future Social Experiences. They’re the folks behind Twitter maps on Bing, and other projects with names like Spindex and Emporia. At Web 2.0 this week, they showed another of their project – Montage.

    Montage enables you to build a custom page of your own content mashed up from tweets and blog posts. It takes less than a minute to do so and the result looks something like my first attempt shown above – sort of a magazine of Banksy content.


    I've been thinking a lot about how my startpage on the web should look and Montage just gave me the tool to start building what I think I need. We shall see…

    Meantime, go take a look for yourself

  • Steve Clayton

    Lync day at Microsoft


    I’m sat in Building 34 on Microsoft Campus in Redmond and just caught the end of the webcast from our Lync launch today in NYC. I missed the part with BillG but a fun moment to see him back “on stage” with ChrisCap. They have that famous moment together of course…

    It’s been a crazy month of launches around here – Windows Phone 7, Kinect, Lync….the hits just keep on coming and I hope Wall Street is watching. There’s energy around Microsoft that I’ve not felt in a while. We’re back in the game in a number of places, creating some new games, and leading in others (IMHO).

    As for Lync…I couldn’t live without it. I use it for everything from chatting with my boss in the UK, talking to my co-workers in San Francisco, pinging my friends back home in the UK and talking to my family at the weekend. It’s become part of the fabric of how I work and live…so much so that I almost forget about it.

    The infographic and the list below pretty much covers why I dig Lync

    1. Unified experience. Go from an instant message, to a voice call, to a video call, to a meeting, to a shared whiteboard session – all within the same Lync 2010 experience.
    2. One-click web conference.  Use Outlook to set up a web conference with one-click of the mouse.
    3. Connect with family. While you’re travelling, use Lync to start a high-definition voice and video conversation with any Windows Live Messenger user around the world.
    4. Hush that annoying meeting participant.   When someone has poor audio on a conference call or lots of background noise, Lync will identify which phone to mute to improve quality – and productivity.
    5. Device switching. Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call with device switching.  Use that same head-set to make a phone call using WiFi on an airplane.
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