Talking at Recode's oddly-named code conference, former Microsoft CEO expressed one big regret from his time at the company: that they didn't get into hardware soon enough.
"I was too slow to recognize the need for new capability, and particularly in hardware," he told Kara Swisher. "I wish we'd built the capability to be a world-class hardware company."
The desire to get into hardware was motivated by two things. First, because even as a software company, Ballmer said that "one of the new expressions of software is essentially hardware." This is a theme that's been alluded to by Microsoft's Surface division on many occasions: Surface hardware is designed in tandem with, and to be a reflection of, Windows software, with each part showcasing the other. After early stumbles, the Surface team has produced a number of products that have been well-received and it appears to be carving out a decent niche for itself.
Microsoft has just released a couple of new Windows Insider builds for people on the fast ring, one for PC and one for mobile. The builds are surprisingly divergent.
For PC, the build is numbered 16176; it's another Redstone 3 build, though as with the first Redstone 3 build, it doesn't change a whole lot. It adds access to serial ports from the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which will help with remote device debugging. The build also fixes some minor bugs while introducing a new, less minor bug.
Specifically, if you use a Centennial application built using the Desktop Bridge—Microsoft's semi-virtualized technology for putting existing Win32 applications in the Windows Store—your system will crash. This will cause a Green Screen of Death—green, because a few builds back, Microsoft changed the screen color for Insider system crashes. At a glance, then, you can see the difference between a crashing machine on the stable Windows branch (as these remain blue) and a crashing machine on the developer branch.