Posts Tagged 'microsoft'

Is a Windows Phone on your radar?

Microsoft’s recent launch of their updated mobile OS WP7 put the spotlight on their renewed effort into the mobile field. But is it enough to lure consumers away from their iPhones, Blackberry’s, and Android phones? There’s no question there is tons of potential here. If there’s anyone willing to throw money into a development pit, it’s certainly Microsoft. Here are a few things I thought were missing that they could have done better.

Flagship. Every launch needs a flagship product. I didn’t see one. The Samsung phone? The HTC phone? I didn’t see anything that made me want to go out and suddenly own another Microsoft product.

Apps. If mobile developers have learned anything it’s that applications drive consumers to buy your product. Again this is one of those things that has potential when you have a company like Microsoft backing development.

The things that I did like. The OS. It looks very good. Smooth, different but familiar. Perhaps resource heavy? Whatever they got running it must be fairly powerful. MS office integration. If it’s a Microsoft product you gotta have integration of MS Office. That’s one thing it has over other mobile OS’s.

It could take off over the holiday shopping season. Perhaps Steve Balmer has something else up his sleeve?

Future Looks Good

For Apple that is. It has been reported that 300,000 iPads were sold in a single day. Not too shabby for a magical device. By now you may have been one of the lucky ones to see one in the wild, perhaps even touch one. Ooh, goosebumps. Now you’ve got another Apple device to buy those precious little apps for. Even if you already have one for your iPhone or iPod, you NEED to get that app for your iPad. It just seems right. Another $0.99 to line Apple’s pockets. Steve Jobs thanks you very much.

Remember the good old days when Microsoft was the stock market king with $500 billion market cap and Apple was a mere $16 billion? But at middle age both companies seem to be headed in opposite directions. Microsoft is settling in, looking forward to retirement while Apple is just getting warmed up. At least there’s some good news for Microsoft. Windows 7 continues to sell well is on a faster pace than Vista. And people, stop using Windows 2000, 98, and ME.

Chinese hackers call Microsoft ‘hacker’

If you don’t know by now, the majority of pirate/hacking/illegal/software/computer activity comes from Asia. For years this has been a problem while the corrupt Chinese government has turned a blind eye. Microsoft decided to something about it. Recent Windows Genuine Advantage updates have caused annoying black screens to pop up on computers with pirated versions of Microsoft products installed. Not surprisingly, this caused a bit of an uproar with, say … a billion Chinese people? A lawyer even had the gall to call Microsoft “the biggest hacker” in the world. I nearly shat my pants laughing so hard.

*kettle ===> black

First of all just admit you have a pirated copy, like everyone else. If the government had stepped in and cut down on software piracy maybe you wouldn’t have had this problem. I bet right now there are a few million computers at Chinese government offices blinking with black screens (hmm, pirate much?). I’m glad the government is investing in developing their own operating system and planning on switching to Linux. Yeah, good luck with that.

China, you are stealing from Microsoft and you have been for years. That being said you probably house some of the dumbest person in the world (as well as the smartest) if you think you can install a pirated copy of Microsoft XP (Vista,Office, etc) and expect to be “entitled” to ongoing updates. WHY ARE YOU UPDATING DUMBASS? Do you not realize that Windows Genuine Advantage is an anti piracy update? What did you think it was? “Super fantastic porn time?” Let’s see, I can’t afford a BMW so I got buy a Ford, then I go to BMW expecting a free engine upgrade?

As for the “lawyer’s” argument (if he is a REAL lawyer, and not one who printed out a fake degree) Microsoft did not “hack” into computers. Each user has the option to disable automatic updates. When you agree to update your Microsoft product, you are agree to install whatever update Microsoft releases. Don’t get upset because you got caught. Simply back up your data, format and reinstall, and disable updates.

But some poor Chinese gold farmer can’t afford a legit copy of Windows, so why can’t they lower the price? I can’t afford a lot of expensive stuff, just because you want something the manufacturer is not required to lower their price. That’s the cost, if you can’t afford it, then tough. You don’t have a right to benefit from illegal software.

If you’re getting illegal cable, don’t complain to the cable company when your signal goes bad. If you’re selling cocaine and get robbed, don’t file a report with the police. If you’re avoiding government income tax, don’t apply for government rebates. And for God’s sake! If you have a pirated copy of software DO NOT download updates. Updates are legitimate paying customers.

New Zune is great but is it already too late?

Looks like Microsoft has fine tuned the latest Zune (review) offering and has produced a great mp3 player, but is it too late? The MP3 war is over. Apple and SanDisk have been battling for mp3 device dominance for awhile now. The Zune got into the game late but made very little splash. iPods are everywhere. The Zune may be a great device but consumers have already made too many ties to their beloved iPods.

Switching to a Zune would involve buying new accessories (case, car FM tuner, docking station etc), and adjusting to new software to upload music and buy music (itunes has firmly encompassed this market). Also consider your existing library. Are you going to be able to transfer those downloaded tunes?

Apple has put its roots into most consumers and supplanting them is almost impossible. Apple had the right idea. Get your device on the market and into everyone’s hands. Once everyone has it you can be almost guaranteed a revenue stream for life. Just take a look at their plans for the iPhone. Make your product the norm and then count your money.

So yes, it’s too late Microsoft. Nice product but a few years too late.

Quebec getting sued for loving Microsoft too much

I think this is pretty funny. Would you rather the Quebec government shut you down right from the start? or pretend to be give you a chance and let you make a futile attempt to make a competitive bid only to be passed over for Microsoft? It’s their choice. Just because you offer a cheaper open source solution, doesn’t mean that it may be a better fit for their systems.

If Facil wanted to make a name for itself, they definitely did, but not in a good way. (see original post below)

“Quebec’s open-source software association is suing the provincial government, saying it is giving preferential treatment to Microsoft Corp. by buying the company’s products rather than using free alternatives.

The lawsuit by Facil was lodged with the Quebec Superior Court on July 15 and made public on Wednesday. In it, the group says the provincial government has refused to entertain competing bids from all software providers, opting instead to supply public-sector departments with products bought from proprietary vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle Corp.”(link)

Microsoft gaming division slacking off

Some will tell you that PC gaming is dying. Others will tell you it’s never been stronger. Whomever you listen to, though, one thing is clear: the PC gaming industry is in a state of flux, as its key players search for workable business models to keep up with the times. At the forefront of these initiatives is Microsoft, which has for better or for worse attempted some branding and platform-development schemes that, at least to some industry players, hasn’t done a whole lot other than further stagger the PC gaming market.

Microsoft’s Games for Windows initiative and its Windows Live gaming platform are the company’s two apparent answers to the PC gaming problem. Together, these two plans were put into motion to help build a more structured and highly-visible unified “platform”: a face to PC gaming that was more cohesive, more organized, more centralized for the gaming experience. The idea was to make PC gaming more accessible and to provide a place for gamers to unite, to click—the Xbox Live strategy applied to the fragmented PC market. If it weren’t for all that darn piracy, they say. But really, the heart of the problem is the company’s approach. (link)

Microsoft finally fixes 360 DRM bug

There are a few different reasons you might not be playing on the same Xbox 360 system that you originally bought. You might have upgraded to an Elite system for the bigger hard drive and black HDMI. More likely, your original system died and you were forced to have it replaced. Gamers who received new systems were in for an unpleasant surprise when they redownloaded their Arcade games or hooked up their old hard drive: the games they paid for would only work when connected to the Internet. No network connection, and they all reverted to demo versions. Microsoft has just released a tool that allows you to move those licenses over to a new console, but the question remains: what took so long? (link)


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