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Microsoft

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

7 Areas of Microsoft Focus Post-Ballmer

August 23, 2013

Steve Ballmer has just announced he will be stepping down from Microsoft in the next twelve months and for his many critics, this is triumphant news. The happiest critic will likely be the author of the Mini-Microsoft blog I first reported on in 2005. The author, a Microsoft Employee was never a fan of the management and in a post today outlined the challenges regarding the timing of this announcement – it follows a restructuring which may have to be restructured yet again under another CEO. Moreover he goes on to suggest the next leader actually have programming experience.

Why Google is Getting Hammered on Twitter for being Evil

August 16, 2013

Google is being called out by Microsoft for being "evil" and pursuing anti-competitive practices

Last May Google blocked a Microsoft YouTube app from running on its mobile platform Windows Phone causing Microsoft to rewrite it to Google’s specifications. This week the app was blocked once again and Microsoft’s David Howard explains why in a letter titled The limits of Google’s openness.

Howard explains that his company’s goal is to satisfy customers:

We know that this has been frustrating, to say the least, for our customers. We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users.

The Apple Board is Complaining About Apple's Lack of Innovation

August 9, 2013

Apple, We Need a Larger iPhone as I have asked for since 2010



It’s getting to be laughable – the phone choices in the Android camp are literally becoming infinite from Samsung alone – let alone when you throw in Google, HTC and others. Apple popularized the mouse, the GUI, fonts, desktop publishing and so many things yet they eventually got killed in the late eighties and nineties because of the competition and their lack of correct response to it.

In other words the price/performance curve got so out of whack that when PCs became commoditized and Apple lost its software ecosystem advantage, it didn’t make financial sense to buy an Apple product.

In 2010 I predicted this would happen to Apple in the smartphone market when I saw the gloriously huge Motorola Droid X. At the time I said the following (bold added for emphasis):

And this gets us to the headline of this entry...

Why Apple Dropped its App Store Name Fight With Amazon

July 10, 2013

In January 2011, I wrote about my belief that an app store is an app store and both the terms app and store are generic meaning together they become yet another generic term. Certainly the nuances of the legal system make my assertion a bit basic but having lived through a similar lawsuit which was eventually settled based on the fact the plaintiff must have realized the terms they were suing over were generic as well.

At the time, the post I penned was about Microsoft being sued by Apple for using the term app store – then more recently I wrote about Apple suing Amazon over their use of the same term for their store.

My feeling was the case would settle with Apple using “Apple App Store” & Amazon using “Amazon App Store.” Seems the case “settled” without the need for this to happen as the parties agreed to walk away from the suit which is really a smart move on Apple’s part because it is really difficult to prove app store is not generic when going up against Amazon’s virtually unlimited legal funds.

HP Proves That Samsung, Apple and Google Will Win in Hardware

July 1, 2013

At one point in time HP had the best combination of mobile devices anywhere. They owned their own line of PDAs and also purchased Compaq who made the IPAQ – a game-changing device if there ever was one. The thing I liked about the IPAQ versus the Palm 7 which was a competitive device released around the same time was that COMPAQ decided to forego battery life for a bright color screen. In many ways the iPhone 5 reminds me of the first IPAQ device – especially when it prematurely runs out of battery power.



A Billion WebRTC Endpoints Force Voice and Data Players to Adapt or Die

June 5, 2013


From an evolutionary standpoint regardless of whether we talk about nature or business, adaptation is a key to success in changing environments. During the industrial revolution in London a species of moth with a white color blended in with the bark of the local trees until soot from the nearby factories turned the trees black. Some darker moths were now camouflaged in the dark trees and eventually the species adapted and became black. When air quality improved, the moths over successive generations changed color again.

With Tablets and Smartphones Eating the PC, What Can Microsoft Do?

April 11, 2013


These are very dark days for people who work for many divisions of Microsoft as tablets and smartphones have absolutely decimated the PC market as evidenced by a decline of 14% in sales of PCs last quarter. This news comes on the heels of the Windows 8 launch, the new OS which fuses the best of the tablet and Windows experience in one platform. The only problem is the new OS with all its marketing and slick new form factors isn’t cutting it, as consumers gravitate towards smaller screen devices.

Expect many calls for Steve Ballmer to be fired and when you consider how many markets Redmond has squandered since 2000 you could make a solid case for pushing him out.

IDC: PC Sales Decline Substantially

April 10, 2013

According to IDC, PC sales are in a tailspin with 76.3 million units sold in the first quarter of 2013. This number represents a decline of 13.9% compared to the forecast decline of 7.7%. These are the worst numbers since IDC started tracking in 1994 and it is the fourth quarter of year-on-year shipment declines.

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