Search results for "microsoft bob"

Albatross Face-Off: Microsoft Bob vs. the Apple Cube

I promise we’ll stop commemorating the 15th anniversary of Microsoft Bob after today–and today is the anniversary of the app’s formal release–but bear with me for one last item. Bob’s great significance isn’t as a piece of software–it’s as an albatross around Microsoft’s corporate neck. Just about everyone who wants to take a swipe at […]

A Guided Tour of Microsoft Bob

When Microsoft Bob officially hit store shelves on March 31st, 1995, it wasn’t synonymous with “tech-product flop of monumental proportions.” Even pundits who weren’t so sure about it tended to buy into the notion that it was a sneak peek at where interfaces were going. And almost nobody would have guessed that Microsoft would kill […]

Bob and Beyond: A Microsoft Insider Remembers

(Tandy Trower spent 28 years at Microsoft, working on everything from Microsoft BASIC to Windows 1.0 to user interfaces to robotics. In this article–part of our commemoration of Microsoft Bob’s fifteenth anniversary–he recalls his initial reaction to Bob and the Bob-like Office Assistant, and his spearheading of Microsoft Agent, a later attempt to build a […]

Windows Oddities: 25 Years of Microsoftian Weirdness

Contrary to popular belief, Windows is far from boring. Dig below the surface, and you’ll discover a stranger side to the world’s most popular operating system. It’s filled with twisted homages, forgotten platforms, and dead ends. In a word, it’s full of oddities. On the eve of Windows’ 25th birthday–version 1.0 shipped on November 20th, […]

Microsoft Cancels 1 vs. 100, Xbox Live's First Game Show

One of Xbox Live’s most innovative features, the online game show 1 vs. 100, won’t return for another season. If you missed it, 1 vs. 100 was a trivia show in which one contestant would try to outlast a “mob” of 100 others, each of whom face elimination with wrong answers. Players who weren’t competing […]

Forget Bob–Let’s Talk About Packard Bell Navigator

Thinking back to my youth, my dad suffered from deal myopia. He was always looking for one, and couldn’t pass up buying whatever appeared to be the best value for our family. Sometimes those deals turned into ordeals– like the time when he purchased a PC that was preloaded with Packard Bell’s Microsoft Bob-like front […]

Windows XP: A Free Copy of Bob in Every Box?

I didn’t include this in my history of Microsoft Bob, but maybe I should have–and it’s too fascinating not to share. In 2008, in Microsoft’s own TechNet magazine, Windows team member Raymond Chen reported that the Windows XP CD included some dummy data as part of an anti-piracy scheme, and that the person who implemented […]

The Bob Chronicles

What’s the most efficient way to deride a technology product as a stinker and/or a flop? Easy: Compare it to Microsoft Bob. Bring up the infamous Windows 3.1 front-end for computing newbies–officially released fifteen years ago this week, on March 31st, 1995–and you need say no more. Everything from OS X to Twitter to Google […]

Microsoft Promotes Top Windows Exec

Steven Sinofsky, the no-nonsense head of Windows and Windows Live Engineering, has been promoted to president at Microsoft. With Sinosky’s hands further up the reins, I expect that the company will not soon repeat mistakes that delayed Windows Vista, and ship future versions of Windows on a more predictable schedule. Sinofsky has been the company’ […]

Microsoft Discovers, Belatedly, That Vomiting May Offend Customers

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft has pulled the online ad for Internet Explorer that showed a woman puking after viewing her husband’s apparently-disgustingly-pornographic browser history. The Journal quotes a Microsoft spokeswoman as saying that “While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found […]