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All posts tagged "microsoft"


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Is Microsoft a Dying Consumer Brand?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 03:30 PM

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/27/tec.../microsoft_pdc/

"Consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft. A company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets. It has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled with an iron fist."

This is your typical link-bait article in some ways, and I'm complying by linking to it, but I felt it was worth discussing. Windows 7 is selling like gangbusters, and it's the best OS Microsoft has ever released, so it's hard to blindly say that somehow Microsoft is losing in the consumer space...but I think the author has a point that Microsoft has no answer to the next wave of consumer computing: instant-on appliance-like devices. I don't own an iPad, but I understand what that device represents and why it resonates so powerfully with an increasing number of people. Read more...


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 PM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-2...ol;inTheNewsNow

"Ordinarily, the release of a single ultraportable Mac should not be reason for Redmond to quake in its boots, but yesterday's announcements by Apple should give the Windows team plenty of reason to fear. It's not that the product itself will put that much of a further dent in Microsoft's still-massive share of the PC market. However, the product demonstrates some capabilities that the Mac now can offer that Microsoft would seem to have a tough time matching."

My guess is, no, they're probably a bit sorry that they didn't push harder (and sooner) on the SSD concept, but their market share remains overwhelming, so worry, probably not. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There -are- Windows-based laptops that match-up well with the new MacBook Air, when hardware is compared (the Sony Vaio X is mentioned). But, Mac OS X really gets a boost when run on an SSD. The instant-on (from sleep mode) really is instant. When I'm done with Windows, close the lid. Ditto for the Mac. Open the lid, both come back, the Mac almost immediately, Windows needs a bit more time to awaken.

As for building more 'iPad-like' features into the Mac, it's a good idea as long as the 'old ways' continue to work. Windows has had touch capabilities going way back as well, so as operating systems evolve, we can expect the distinctions to blur a bit. Witness BootCamp and virtualization. Admittedly one-way to this point, but maybe the Hackintosh community will succeed (and/or be commercialized).

The concept of an App Store for the Mac is intriguing. Anyone who has ever searched for software for the Mac or Windows (or Linux) knows how iffy the whole process can be. Bad code, Viruses, Spyware, Keystroke Loggers, ad nauseam, are rampant. A "trusted" source is really the Holy Grail of software, so of course Microsoft will follow. Again, who benefits besides Apple and Microsoft? All of us.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 11, 2010: Will There Be a Windows Slate Under My Christmas Tree?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:00 PM

http://www.neowin.net/news/exclusiv...d-on-october-11

"Microsoft is planning to unwrap its slate strategy next Monday at a press event in New York City, Neowin has learned.According to sources familiar with the company's plans, Microsoft will hint at its future Slate plans at the event on October 11. The event's main focus is Windows Phone 7 but Neowin understands that Microsoft officials will speak briefly about the company's future Slate plans."Will Microsoft finally announce a Windows tablet computer? A big New York City event scheduled for Monday, October 11th is expected to concentrate on Windows Phone 7, but slate (tablet) announcements "may" be a part of the program. With the iPad selling in the millions, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab on the horizon, Microsoft certainly is worried seeing a drop in netbook sales, a drop in their share prices, and a drop in their valuation from Goldman Sachs. According to Steve Ballmer, Windows-based slates -will- be available "from this Christmas." Is this too little too late?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Tablets a Possibility?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2018....html?tk=hp_new

"There is a lot of speculation about what the agreement announced last week between chip designer ARM and Microsoft actually means. Some pundits predict that it is a signal that Microsoft intends to deliver Windows or Windows Phone OS tablet and slate devices, while others foresee an overdue overhaul of the Xbox's architecture."

Ah, blogger speculation at its finest! Microsoft announces an agreement with ARM, and the speculation engine revs into overdrive. I think there are a couple of possibilities here, though I'm not sure I place much stock in the idea of this being for putting Windows Phone 7 on a tablet. I really want to believe that Microsoft has figured out that Windows 7 is a poor choice for a touch-based operating system, but they've said things to the contrary on several occasions. I think Windows Phone 7 would be great on a tablet based on what I've seen, but they'd need to re-design that home screen and menu system. It seems to work well on a small screen (boy, do I ever wish I had some hands-on time with such a device) but on a bigger tablet device, I'm not so sure. One thing IS for sure: if Microsoft and their OEM partners want to have any hope of competing with the iPad and Android-based devices, they're going to have to come up with a lightweight OS.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Windows Mobile Lost a 'Whole Generation' Says Ballmer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 05:00 PM

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/0..._table_apology/

"Steve Ballmer has delivered a mea culpa to Microsoft's partners for its slip-ups against Apple and Google on tablets and smart phones. Ballmer told Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows Mobile missed a "whole generation of users" and promised Windows Phone 7 will set things right."

Dear Microsoft,

I generally feel a lot of love for you as a company, but it's sure frustrating watching you miss the boat again and again. Remember when you laughed at the iPhone? Yeah, exactly, no one is laughing now. The hype around the iPad had been building for years - didn't someone in your organization (other than the Courier team) realize that this whole slate computing thing wasn't going to just be empty hype? Read more...


Microsoft Still Pursuing Windows 7 Based Slates

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/07/1...blet-computers/

"No worries, guys, because Microsoft is “hardcore” about tablets. Well, “hardcore” about Windows 7-based slate computers. So said Steve Ballmer at its Worldwide Partners Conference in Seattle. Microsoft says that its big strength here is that it consumers will have a wide variety of choice when it comes to buying a Windows-based tablet. That’s opposed, of course, to a certain other company’s tablet offering that is available in any color, so long as it’s black. You know what I mean."

Quit talking and get something done. I want a slate that is not an iPad and I want it now. Earlier this year I fully expected to have an HP product running Windows 7 in my hands by now, but we all know how that went. At this point, I'm kind of expecting that I'll be owning an Android based slate by the end of the year unless Microsoft and their partner get their butts in gear.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Today is the Last Day for Windows Anytime Upgrade

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Software" @ 06:30 AM

http://www.geek.com/articles/news/l...-week-20100630/

"Saturday, July 3 is the last day Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU) can be used in the U.S. for upgrading Windows 7 on a new PC. WAU gives purchasers of PCs the opportunity to upgrade their version of Windows 7 to a more feature rich edition. This can be done through retail channels, but WAU offers an extra discount."

If you are in the US, today is your last shot. So before you start celebrating the long holiday weekend do yourself a favor and cure any of your computers of Windows 7 Starter.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Microsoft's Sync Strategy: A Bit of a Mess?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 12:00 PM

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/re...tm_campaign=rss

"It's fair to say that Microsoft's product offerings are something of a mess. Windows Live Sync and Live Mesh overlap (the difference being that the former is PC-to-PC, the latter is PC-to-cloud), Live Mesh and My Phone overlap (they're both device-to-cloud), and SkyDrive, Live Mesh, and My Phone all overlap (they all incorporate their own cloud storage)."

This article overstates the case slightly - Live Mesh was always a technology preview, nothing more. Live Sync is the consumer-facing sync product from Windows Live, and the new version is using Mesh on the back-end, so it's easy to see that Microsoft's long term plan was to migrate from the original FolderShare code to Mesh. Now that's not to say that the new version of Live Sync is trouble-free...in fact, I think it's almost a disaster in terms of performance. And the limit of 2 GB on Skydrive sync is puzzling...why not let them use the full 25 GB offered by Skydrive and become a market leader in one fell swoop? Maybe there are concerns of people using their 25 GB for piracy and copyright theft?I expect Mesh to be shut down as a service before the end of the year, and hopefully the Skydrive storage component will get increased over time. I think it makes sense for the phone sync component to stand alone for now - it's based on an acquisition by Microsoft - though I hope it comes into alignment with the other services over the next year. Read more...


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Direction Should Microsoft Take in the Tablet Space?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 03:00 AM

http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2010/06...e-tablet-space/

"Both Forrester Research and IDC analysts are banging the Microsoft tablet drum. They believe Microsoft can compete with the likes of Android, iOS/iPad, WebOS, but they need hardware partners in order to be successful — and there in lies the problem. HP is going full stream with WebOS after their decision to shelve its Windows Slate device (at least for now), Dell has been busy developing their own tablets running Android, and Lenovo has recently shifted to Android for its hybrid tablet/nettops."

In the past, Microsoft hasn't wanted to directly compete with the hardware partners selling their software. But if their normal hardware partners are not going to go after the tablet hardware space using Microsoft software, I think Microsoft should not have any qualms about going it alone. Market it as a consumer entertainment device, perhaps an expansion of the Zune/Xbox experience and grow from there.


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