Microsoft Highlights Major Product Releases From FY19 Q3

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft with 25 Comments

As part of its earnings announcement today, Microsoft has also documented the major product releases it made in the quarter. This isn’t the first time it’s done so, I’m told, but it’s the first time I’ve noticed it. And it’s an interesting rundown of how Microsoft, as it puts it, is “accelerating innovation across [its] businesses while expanding [its] market opportunities.”

You can check out the Microsoft document, called Microsoft Quarterly Highlights, Product Releases, and Enhancements Q3 FY19, on the Microsoft earnings website. Here, I’d like to quickly document the releases that impact consumers and individuals only, since I know that Microsoft’s abandoning of the consumer market is such a big theme these days.

Office 365. Microsoft is highlighting the addition of Office to the Mac App Store, which is indeed a big story, plus two very specific Office app features: Insert data from a picture into Excel and 3D embedded animations on Mac.

Microsoft Teams. Microsoft’s most successful recent Office application received a number of new features in the quarter, including a more customizable experience on mobile, new Firstline worker capabilities, Office 365 ProPlus availability, Data Loss Prevention, and more.

Windows. Nothing specifically for consumers, but Microsoft did finally roll out the new revenue share model for developers in the Microsoft Store, which could result in more and better Windows 10 apps.

Gaming. Microsoft launched Crackdown 3, added new games to Xbox Game Pass, introduced Xbox Game Studios, launched the Mixer Embers virtual currency, and announced the Xbox Live SDK for Android and iOS.

Bing. Bing’s text-to-speech, speech-to-text, visual search, and intelligent answers capabilities were all improved in the quarter.

And … that’s it. By comparison, Microsoft also launched dozens of features across Windows, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, LinkedIn, Azure, AI, IoT, and even Quantum Computing in the quarter. There were dozens of Azure announcements alone.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Microsoft Highlights Major Product Releases From FY19 Q3”

  1. skane2600

    It doesn't sound like there's anything new for any Windows customer, consumer or business.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to skane2600:

      Surface Hub 2 and Hololens 2 are two new items formally launched.

      • skane2600

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        I was talking about Windows, not new hardware although I might not have been clear. My point was why would Paul say that within the Windows category there was nothing new specifically for consumers when he didn't identify anything that applied to business users either.


        I have to say though that I'm not entirely on board with the designation of non-enterprise customers as "consumers". I don't consider a standard PC or laptop a consumer device even it it is used at home.

        • rmlounsbury

          In reply to skane2600:

          Well, in general at this point of the year you wouldn't see hardware anyways. But it is noteable that Microsoft did change the revenue sharing model for the app store which if they are giving developers a bigger cut is another of many carrots to try and get developers to build for the Microsoft App Store.


          It is relevant even if it isn't exciting.

          • skane2600

            In reply to rmlounsbury:

            But the revenue sharing change isn't about new Windows features which is what I was talking about. I think the revenue sharing change is too little, too late. MS should actually consider paying small developers to create apps to compensate for the lack of a market for them.

  2. jchampeau

    I don't know any consumers or individuals who use Teams. Just business users who use it for work. I especially don't know any who use DLP in it. Maybe there's a family out there who REALLY doesn't want grandma's famous chocolate chip recipe getting out.

  3. dontbe evil

    but but nobody wants windows, office, surface, xbox, azure, bing ... /s

  4. Jorge Garcia

    For the upcoming generation, they really need to make a dumbed down SKU of Windows that does not include a traditional desktop, but more of a mobile-like home screen. No "double click" at all, only "long-press". Nor should there be any really tiny mouse targets. You might think that I'm describing Windows 8...but that would only be -partially- true. Windows 8 was ahead of its time in my opinion, and I think parts of it need to be resurrected in a new flavor of Windows. Also, the update process would need to be overhauled to match the painless-ness of current Android phones. Let the down-voting begin.

    • skane2600

      In reply to JG1170:

      I don't see why you believe the "upcoming generation" (whatever that means) need a dumbed-down Windows. My teenagers had no problem using Windows when they were kids through today. It's funny you mention "tiny targets". I only encounter them when browsing on a smartphone. But many sophisticated programs if "tabletized" would require multiple pages to access all the functionality if using only bear-paw sized targets.

      • Jorge Garcia

        In reply to skane2600:

        I don't think they should get rid of the "traditional" windows...it is really close to flawless in many ways, just that they should have a more simplistic option to compete with iOS and android...BOTH of which are coming to laptops soon. They shouldn't even call it Windows (to avoid the RT fiasco) they should call it SurfaceOS. Your kids, if they are fine with traditional Windows, will have an advantage over others, but I think they will soon be the exception. I just think MS should also have a mobile-like SKU for people who aren't interested in the ultra precision of windows. If they choose to "upgrade" their skills later, they can migrate to "real" windows. I am in my 40's but I deal with a lot of kids in the 9-15 year old range - of a wide socioeconomic range - and I base my opinions on what I observe daily...they are basically computer illiterate away from their mobile devices.

        • skane2600

          In reply to JG1170:

          That iOS and android are coming to laptops is still just speculation, but unless they make major changes they'll just be mobile OS's on a bigger screen which seems to miss the point.


          Sure kids who have used mobile devices exclusively aren't going to know how to use a PC just as a kids who used a PC exclusively aren't going to know how to use a smartphone. With the possible exception of simple touch, all computer action idioms are learned, not intuitive whether double-clicking or swiping.

          • Jorge Garcia

            In reply to skane2600:

            I agree that they are learned...but I've personally observed a generational impatience with the entire concept of double-click...it's not that they can't figure it out...it's that it feels "stupid" and/or "broken" to them. They have grown up with one-click app execution and on Windows a single click only "selects" the item. It takes a very well timed double click to actually execute the app or open the fie you want. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that in my opinion the next generations are not going to have the same brain wiring we do when it comes to computers....even though they clearly have far better motor skills and reaction time as witnessed by their incredible abilities to precisely manipulate a video game controllers with 16+ buttons. As for iOS on laptops...I think that is already a clunky (but quite happy) reality for many...and while Android probably never will make that jump to the desktop (beyond the DeX incarnation)...Google seems bent on making project Fuchsia a multi-platform OS...and you can bet that any Fuchsia laptop or desktop will run Android apps out of the box, as un-optimized as they may be for that form factor. I personally use plenty of horribly un-optimized android apps in near-laptop configurations...and for many tasks, they still get the job done in less time than it would take to fire up my Windows machine and wait for it to become "ready" enough to run the "correctly optimized" version of an app.

            • skane2600

              In reply to JG1170:

              Collectively your statements don't add up. Kids with no PC experience might not be accustomed to a double-click but would be minimally challenged by it if they have superior motor skills as you suggest. Adults were never "wired" to handle double-clicks, they just learned how to perform them and kids can easily learn them too. Of course it's a bit of a red herring since you can set up Windows to open a file or run a program with a single click if you want to operate that way.


              I think we are getting ahead of ourselves with regard to Fuchsia. It isn't even a released product yet so it's too early to know what sort of programs or apps will be supported.


              As far as firing up Windows is concerned, those of us who use PCs don't keep them turned off until we want to run a specific program as I imagine you don't keep your Android smartphone turned off until you want to run a specific Android app.


      • solomonrex

        In reply to skane2600:
        The thing is, it's going to be dumbed down by MS itself. The cloud is going to grow in usage, MS is pushing it, and necessarily that will reduce the interactions the users have with 'advanced features'. Windows S and Windows ARM will inevitably have fewer features, and that will trickle up in time - the systems are too complex, from the dueling control panels to the file system quirks.


        • skane2600

          In reply to solomonrex:

          I think a more probable prediction would be "Windows S and Windows ARM will inevitably have fewer users". I don't know why a system that has been used by millions for years successfully is "too complex". Too complex for who?


          Ironically the dueling control panels problem was created by MS in an attempt to simplify things in Windows 8.

  5. mattemt294

    Lol Microsoft’s slow trudge to the end of life as a consumer company

    • rmlounsbury

      In reply to mattemt294:

      I would disagree that Microsoft is moving completely away from being a consumer company. They are still in the consumer space and will always be there so long as Windows is relevant as a desktop OS and Microsoft Office is still the premiere productivity suite.


      They are moving away from exciting whiz-bang consumer products for sure. But the move to becoming a productivity focused company is smart. Especially given that Apple and Google won the mobile wars and Microsoft has nothing to put out in that space.


      Oddly enough, despite Microsoft publicly noting they are a productivity centric company hasn't stopped them from releasing decidely consumer oriented products. The prime example here are Surface Headphones and the rumored Surface Buds. I know Microsoft is spinning them as office devices but they are still a pretty consumer facing product.


      I'd say Microsoft still is and will continue to be a consumer company. They are just more focused on productivity and prosumer devices and services and I think everyone is better off because of it.

  6. warren

    Kind of surprised they didn't mention that Windows 10 passed 800 million devices.

  7. locust infested orchard inc

    As Microsoft aggressively indulges at the forefront of tomorrow's computing, Apple retreats from its past computing tech heritage, preferring to launch a MasterCard and some services that others have long been doing (Apple News, Apple TV, Apple Arcade).


    It's undoubtedly clear who the real technology company is.

  8. richfrantz

    They rolled out Teams where I work. Team is not using Teams, still using Outlook.

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