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Microsoft

Apple Chooses Qi for iPhone 8 and iPhone X Charging

September 12, 2017

Whatever wireless charging tech Apple decided to use would spark a trillion-dollar upgrade cycle in cars, gym equipment such as treadmills, office furniture, night-tables (especially in hotels), coffee-shop furniture and basically all flat surfaces.

Just to stay competitive, Dunkin' Donuts will upgrade all its tables to keep pace with Starbucks and there may not be a restaurant that can afford to ignore the trend.

We are talking world-wide here - over a trillion dollars will easily be spent. Some of the upgrades would have happened anyway but do not underestimate the power of Apple to force companies to piggy-back on their success.

Apple could have gone with its own standard and taken a piece of this new trillion-dollar space through licensing but instead they decided to use Qi, the standard we first talked about in 2013 when we were a bit thinner.



Because Apple went the open route, and decided not to make money from their newfound wireless charging dominance, the industry as a whole will flourish.

There will be no Apple-tax and subsequently all vendors have a new standard to focus on. Expect Microsoft laptops to benefit as well because they soon will have to embrace Qi. Ditto for Chromebooks and all Android devices. We saw Qi powering an electric kettle four years ago so it will likely be able to handle the charging of much of our electronics - not servers but at least much of what we put in our laptop bags.

Expect dirt-cheap Chinese Qi-power mats.













Watch out Slack, Here Comes Flock

September 2, 2017

There is no shortage of competition for the enterprise messaging customer. Slack is the acknowledged leader but Cisco, Microsoft and everyone seems to want to get in on the market. The latest is Flock, a cloud-based team collaboration service, which has attracted 25,000 enterprise users and customers including Tim Hortons, Whirlpool and Princeton University.

According to Bloomberg: 
A teenage entrepreneur who became a millionaire by 20 before sharing a billion-dollar fortune at 36, Bhavin Turakhia isn’t afraid to think big. Now he’s putting $45 million of his own money into building a rival to Slack and other office messaging platforms.

The bottom line is the price Flock will charge is more than $3 per user less than Slack.


Don't Judge the Microsoft Surface Pro by its Reviews

June 15, 2017


Disclosure: we use an iPad Pro and iPhone and a Microsoft Surface Book on a daily basis so you can see we really have no bias. Still, we were offended when we saw the headline today from Todd Haselton at CNBC: Microsoft's Surface Pro is a good tablet, but it's way too expensive for most people.

The concern we had was why the value judgement in the headline? Who is this guy, we thought to tell us what is too expensive for us?

As it turns out his review is spot on - great job Todd (no, we don't believe we know or have met him.)

His main concerns are that a fully configured device with a Core i7 will run you $2,200 without a keyboard or pen!

You can get one for as little as $799 which is likely good enough for most people but it comes with a Core m3.

Microsoft touts photos like this to hawk the Surface Pro but how many of us have a table at the beach? More than likely we have a chair meaning the kickstand will dig into our legs


What we've learned from experience is that if you want to use this device as a laptop on your lap as opposed to a desk, the kickstand can dig into your leg after a while and can be uncomfortable.













Cybersecurity Fail: Microsoft Responds to WannaCrypt Outbreak

May 13, 2017

Three years ago Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP but this doesn't mean people stopped using the OS. Sadly, it is embedded in many systems from military to healthcare among many others. One of the challenges for companies running these older systems is exploits which can attack newer operating systems also affect XP - but since Microsoft doesn't patch the OS anymore, these systems become sitting ducks for attackers who learn about the exploits via public system patches.

This past week, a slew of ransomware attacks took place across the globe thanks to leaked information from US intelligence on how to take advantage of security holes in various Microsoft operating systems.

These attacks targeted healthcare and telecom among other industries and could cost lives. Over 57,000 computers have been targeted and the attacks have hit over 99 countries!

Microsoft responded by patching Windows XP - an unprecedented step which acknowledges that the hackers are winning the war against our technology. 





It's NEVER too Late to Start Digital Transformation

April 8, 2017

Is it ever too late for your company to start a digital transformation process? Let me answer that with another question. Are you ever too old to run a marathon? Interestingly, in 2011, a 100-year-old did run one and finish in over eight-hours.

Bill Gates Thinks Robots that Steal Jobs Should be Taxed

February 18, 2017


In a recent interview with Quartz, Bill Gates said that a robot tax could finance jobs taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools, for which needs are unmet and to which humans are particularly well suited. He argues that governments must oversee such programs rather than relying on businesses, in order to redirect the jobs to help people with lower incomes.

“You ought to be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed” of automation, Gates argues.

This is an absolutely shocking sentiment from someone who founded Microsoft, one of the major forces driving automation forward in the world.

Should we have taxed computer operating systems and productivity suites because they made companies more efficient - allowing companies to hire less people? Moreover could it be argued that each copy of Microsoft Office put at least one accountant and secretary out of work and should be retroactively taxed $100,000 as a result?

Exactly which countries will be taxing robots? Wouldn't it be economic suicide to slow your country's move to robotic manufacturing if other countries have no restrictions?

Wouldn't it be better to have robotic factories in a country, as opposed to no factories?

Obviously Bill Gates has been extremely successful in his career and is the envy of many (including us) but this idea he espouses seems shocking from a person who played a huge part for the technology revolution we've been living in for many decades.












Surprising 2017 Tech Searches

February 13, 2017

We spent some time compiling what the community of tech buyers is searching for on TMCnet this year and were a bit surprised. The top result was Orange - the U.K based carrier followed by the largest tech company in China - Huawei and then the FCC and Verizon. Why Orange, we wondered? Nortel was a bit of a surprise to us as well because they no longer exist.

Trump, Obama and Other Topics I heard at ITEXPO

February 10, 2017



ITEXPO

is filled with leading-edge tech visionaries and people who travel a great deal so I figured it's worth passing along a few things I learned in Fort Lauderdale this past week.

  1. A few people were denied entry to the country to come to the show and I queried my team if it was related to our new President, Trump. The answer was shocking, the people were from the middle east and the Obama administration was in charge when they were denied entry. No one was denied under Trump, as far as I know. Of course, he hasn't been president for a long time so this could change but...
  2. A few people I spoke with this week, who frequently come to the U.S.


Cloud and Debt did Avaya in

January 24, 2017


8x8 has seen its stock triple in the past five years as they move upmarket and take share from telecom hardware players. Interestingly, this increment is the exact same amount of time its been since ShoreTel acquired M5 to provide cloud solutions to customers.

This is what we said at the time:
Cisco may now be forced to buy 8x8 and Avaya will likely make a move as well. This move could even push Vonage to go after the SMB space. Mitel is an interesting question - they have leading edge tech but a troubled stock to use as currency.



Broadsoft UCaaS Leader - See Them Live @ITEXPO

January 23, 2017

IHS Markit has named Broadsoft the global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform leader, with 38% of the total worldwide UCaaS seats running on its platforms, as of the second quarter of 2016.  According to the IHS study, the BroadSoft UCaaS global market leadership position places it ahead of its closest competitors.

“The UCaaS market today is comprised of pure-plays, network operators, cable MSOs, ISPs, system integrators, and traditional premises-based vendors. With a multitude of options, things can be confusing for businesses trying to find the right provider and service to fit their needs,” said Diane Myers, senior research director of VoIP, UC, and IMS for IHS Markit and author of the fourth quarter 2016 Analyst Insight report.

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