Do we believe MSNerd? Reddit AMAA

Last night, noted and self proclaimed Microsoft “leaker” MSNerd (@MSNerd on Twitter) set up a Reddit AMAA (Ask Me About Anything) that is getting a bit of attention this morning, with some “revelations” about Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 (and 9).  We’ve seen some information coming through MSNerd that has proven to have been accurate, but some has been less so, so we advise taking what he/she says with a grain of salt.

As to the identity of MSNerd, he/she gives a bit of a self description in the Reddit post:

I do not work for Microsoft, any of it partners or contractors.

I receive no payment for what I write under the pseudonym ‘MS nerd’.

I am not interested in generating an income through this activity. I did consider it when I received job offers from a few different media outlets, but chose not to take them up in the end.

I do this stuff because: 1. I like following this company & its competitors as well as other CE & health technology news. 2. I’m running a ‘social experiment’ of sorts.

A question asking “If you don’t have any direct relationship with Microsoft, how are you able to get access all this info? From a family member, maybe?” and another, “Do you think you are harming or helping MS by leaking this info (?)” remain unanswered.

Accurate info or not, MSNerd seems to be quite well versed in all things Microsoft, and had some interesting things to say in the exchange, among them:

  • Windows 8 introduces WinRT which further progresses many, but not all, of the best things about Silverlight & provides developers with a choice of managed & unmanaged languages to use going forward. WinRT will continue to evolve beyond RTM of Windows 8. A subset of the WinRT will be implemented on Windows Phone 8 and Xbox "loop", as well as Xbox Next.
    Windows Phone 8 will continue to support almost all WP7.x apps without significant modification. It will also allow most 3rd-party devs to write apps with unmanaged languages. Xbox "loop" & Next do the same, but it continues to be a more closely curated platform.
    It is expected that in future releases, both WP8 & the Xbox platform will drop support for Silverlight in the current sense. However, this timing is currently unclear and depends, in the main, upon when WinRT is considered sufficiently capable to do so.
  • Nope. Internet Explorer will be Windows-only for the foreseeable future. (re: a question about mobile IE for other platforms)
  • all current Windows Phones will receive a subset of Apollo. The carriers are the primary obstacle in the US. I hear Microsoft is pushing hard for a Mango-like delivery schedule, as are Nokia & HTC.
    Some Apollo features will be exclusive to the 3rd-gen devices expected to be released this fall on the MSM8960 platform.
  • Consumer robotics & "environmental computing" software (a sort of OS for "smart" rooms).  (re: what’s the “next big thing” for Microsoft)

… and probably the most interesting piece of “information”:

My understanding is that we’ll see a Xbox device in late 2013 which does Arcade-style games & all the current & future media apps with Kinect (with near-mode). It will be an ARM-based platform price-competitive with the Apple TV (if you own a Kinect already).

At some point after that, we’ll see a Xbox Next, a true successor to the 360. Details about it are very hazy, except that, like the 360, it will do games for core-audiences & the same media apps as the other device, also with Kinect.

Somewhat later, Kinect itself will likely receive a camera update for the video camera first. Around 2015-ish I expect a generational update, to add a better depth camera, processor & inter-connect.

We’ve speculated on some kind of Xbox Lite / set-top box with built in Kinect before, although we were hoping for it this upcoming holiday season and not next, but that doesn’t appear to be happening, as Microsoft recently announced that there would be no new hardware shown at this year’s E3.

So what do you think about MSNerd?  Much of the “information” he passes on is already public knowledge (see Craig Mundie’s connected rooms, for example), but there’s enough here to at least keep an eye on it.