Category: Microsoft

No more MacPro’s…

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Video pros moving from Mac to Windows for high-end gpus

A very sad post from Daring Fireball, something that Apple-based pro’s have known for a long time, but daren’t say it out loud.

Apple is moving away from the pro market and giving it to Microsoft and their OEM’s.

Thing is it would be so easy for Apple to own this market end to end, they certainly have the cash resources, but they obviously can’t be bothered.

Apple just isn’t an answer for the pro market anymore, the battle isn’t even being fought.

I always thought that Apple would go down fighting, I never thought they’d just give it up.

Within 5 years or so there won’t be any more MacPro’s and there also won’t be Mac professionals either.

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Apple Will Murder Microsoft and Bury It With BlackBerrys Corpse – Rocco Riffs – TheStreet

Have a nice day...

Apple Will Murder Microsoft and Bury It With BlackBerrys Corpse – Rocco Riffs – TheStreet.

This is a significant article.

I’ve written at length for my distrust of Microsoft, representing in my view, a road that personal and business computing should have never gone down.

Microsoft got lucky with DOS – everything else, Windows, Office, Sharepoint, .Net, Exchange – it’s all momentum from that huge mistake that IBM made all those years ago, letting Bill Gates provide a disk operating system he didn’t even own at that point.

It allowed ‘computing for the rest of us’ to be a ridiculed statement made by a company that didn’t understand what ‘business’ needed.

Over the years, Apple has struggled on, sometimes lacking any direction, sometimes having the odd big success, but even that was dismissed as transitory – the mantra being that Apple needs a hit every year or two, otherwise it would just fade away.

Meanwhile Microsoft soldiered on, knowing that their army of IT people whose jobs depended on Microsoft staying in pole position, would keep them healthy.

An almost parasitic dependancy on each other developed, Microsoft need those IT managers to keep fooling company’s into believing there is no alternative, and those IT managers need Microsoft to keep the technology just opaque enough so that their jobs are safe, the rest of us suffered, or worse, carried on, not even knowing there was an alternative.

One thing they didn’t bank on was BYOD – bring your own device. Even in my little corner of the world, away from the US and even London, I’ve seen the effect. More people are choosing ‘anything but Microsoft’ for their personal computer and phone needs.

It’s still early days, and I don’t see a Mac on every desk anytime soon, but the article puts it perfectly:

“These days consumer preference dictates enterprise decisions. If you’re not powerfully out in front with the consumer, you’re going to end up getting hurt in the enterprise. That’s why it was smart for IBM to partner with Apple. Led by Apple, they’ll bury Microsoft in the same grave BlackBerry cluelessly fell into.”

Apple’s joint enterprise with IBM is very significant, as is this article. I’ve never seen any commentator dare even mention this as an option. I’ve also never seen anything like this from Apple either.

The enterprise doesn’t mention Macs, but I can understand that. In the eyes of business, the Mac brand is tainted (even though it’s a world away from the Mac of 1984).

However it doesn’t matter – the juggernaut that is iOS is the Mac OS underneath. Everyone knows that, Microsoft knows that, IBM knows that. What they don’t know is what iOS devices Apple will release in the coming years, which will be automatically part of the agreement.

If you consider that iOS and Mac OS will merge at some point and what the device Apple will merge them on will look like, you can start to see a future where we will all be using devices that run iOS.

Any IT manager still clinging on to Windows will use it in the server room where it belongs – just don’t let any normal person near it.

And I haven’t even mentioned the software services that Apple offers as part of this agreement – why would you choose Office when (an admittedly enhanced) iWork is free?

 

 

The many (alleged) lives of Microsoft’s Office for iOS

Nadella

The many (alleged) lives of Microsoft’s Office for iOS.

I don’t envy the new CEO of Microsoft in the decision to whether or not release the quite clearly ‘finished and ready to go’ Microsoft Office for iPad.

Should Microsoft release it, giving their main competitor in the tablet market and advantage?

The iPad has already done very well thank you in the business sector, without having even a smell of a Microsoft product on it, and releasing it will further give the last few business that are still waiting for Microsoft’s ‘answer’ to tablet computing to come along, even less reason to stop computers with Apple logos on them coming over the threshold.

This is what happens when you try to have your cake and eat it – Microsoft cannot be a software supplier to OEM’s, and also have a hardware line that competes with them.

Apple knows this, and have known it since Steve Jobs came back and pointed it out to them – they’ve exploited this USP ever since. Witness the unfolding ‘in and out’ behaviour of Google – they also cannot be a software supplier to OEM’s, and also have a hardware line that competes with them.

However, the once question that nobody is asking is – how much will it cost?

Way back when Apple first released their selection of apps for the iPhone, the cost was surprisingly minuscule, $2.99 if I remember correctly.

There was much gnashing of teeth from developers at that point, how were they supposed to make money when Apple effectively set the price so low?

Well, the reason is because Apple need to do the opposite to Microsoft – they make money on software and then the OEM’s make little or no money on the hardware, with Apple, it has to be the other way around.

So, how much will it be Microsoft?

Releasing a stripped down Office app for the iPad (it will have to be), and charge anything above $99, and you may as well not bother.

Sell it cheap, to compete with iWork and you won’t be able to make a profit – all your money comes from software.

Make it free with an Office 365 subscription is a none starter – nobody will choose that when there are many ‘just good enough’ Office-compatible apps on the iPad already available.

So, you can see why Ballmer hesitated in releasing it – whatever they do, it will hurt them in some way.

What Nadella does next will be worth watching.

Can’t cut off their air-supply this time…

Aw, doesn't look harmless?

Aw, doesn't look harmless? Big bad Google hurting his itty-bitty software company...

Microsoft accuses Google of unfair business practices – yes you read that right.

“In a blog post entitled ‘Competition Authorities and Search,’ Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner said part of the motivation for Microsoft and Yahoo’s search deal was ‘we are concerned about Google business practices that tend to lock in publishers and advertisers and make it harder for Microsoft to gain search volume,'”

And here’s the killer line:

“according to court documents, Ballmer pledged to ‘f***ing kill Google’ after learning of Google’s plan to hire a key Microsoft engineer in 2005.”

Poor Microsoft are upset that Google isn’t just rolling over and letting them dominate search, just like every other company has let them take over their business-niche before them.

Maybe Microsoft are angry because:

a) they can’t ‘cut off their air supply‘ like they did with Netscape in order to create an abusive monopoly in the internet browser business

b) they can’t blatantly steal code from Google, like they did with Apple’s Quicktime, in order to have a product that got even close to what Apple had

Still, while Microsoft and Google are at loggerheads, it keeps them occupied whilst everyone’s favourite fruit company can stroll past them.

More fun with Gates & Ballmer…

The Zeus Trojan – the God of botnets.

NetWitness found a botnet with control of 74,126 Windows systems spread around 196 countries. These systems are found at medical companies, insurance companies, educational institutions, energy firms, financial companies, Internet providers, and government agencies.

And here:

Prevx came upon a cache with logon credentials for 74,000 FTP accounts. These accounts were for companies such as NASA, Cisco, Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec, Amazon, Bank of America, Oracle, ABC, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg, Disney, Monster, and the Queensland government.

You know, you start to become jaded concerning the security of the most popular OS on planet Earth.

The OS that 90% of the people viewing this blog use.

The OS that your company runs on.

The OS that your government runs on.

The OS your school, college or university runs on.

The OS that your bank probably uses.

The OS that despite being quite clearly not fit for use, somehow continues to be used, because so many people’s lives dependent on it.

What people? Well you, me, the IT department that won’t even let you change your desktop pattern wallpaper at work, your parents, your friends, the guy you overheard talking in the bus queue this morning about how his computer has become unusable again, or the other guy he was talking to who said that all he had to do was:

a) pay for more security software

b) visit this site that tells you how to solve your latest Windows problem in 38 easy steps

c) buy a new computer

d) don’t do anything on your computer to do with online banking or payments of any kind.

And, yes that last group of people who benefit from the crap that Gates & Ballmer peddle every day – the criminals and ne’r-do-wells that use the money they generate from hacking your computer to buy & supply drugs to your kids, fund terrorism, and various other nasties.

Lots of fun for all concerned.

Thank you Mr Gates and Mr Ballmer for all this, and thank you Apple for allowing me to write this blog on a computer that is not affected by any of this.

Sorry for being so jaded, but I don’t see anyone, anytime soon kicking Windows technology out of the door.

Microsoft+OEM is fundamentally flawed…

Trilaware

Miserable user experience continues with Windows 7 via itwriting.com

A recent post on Tim Anderson’s ITWriting, concerning the unbelievably bad computer experience a user had with a ‘free’ Samsung netbook piqued my interest.

The user got the netbook with a contract from Vodafone, and had such a bad experience they actually returned it under the 14 day returns policy.

Now, I’m not dissing Windows 7 here – I’ve never used it, and for all I know it may be a good system. I’m hard-wired to prefer the Mac, but let’s just say it’s not for me.

Microsoft have put a lot of effort into Windows 7, some would say (and I’m amongst them) that this is because of the lead that Apple take – Microsoft cannot simply ignore it, they have to respond.

It’s all the more sad then, that Microsoft still don’t fundamentally understand the user experience, and even if they did understand it, I’m not sure that their business model allows them to do anything about it.

What I mean by the ‘user experience’ from Apple’s perspective, is something that transcends the OS on the screen. It transcends the physical plastic & metal that surrounds it, it even transcends the beautiful packaging that the computer comes in.

It even transcends the Apple Store you bought it in and the well-trained and informative staff who gave you advice on which model suited your needs.

Although every single one of those is vital, there’s one thing that keeps Apple ahead every time – it’s their business model.

Apple do AND CONTROL everything, it’s a case of the end result being greater than the sum of its parts.

Coming back to the article in question, the thing that made the user return the Samsung, wasn’t Windows 7 – they couldn’t even get to the position of having an opinion – it was the added ‘extras’ that every single OEM adds after Microsoft hands over their admittedly well crafted, and beloved Windows 7 OS.

The fundamental way in which the Windows experience works, with Microsoft spending an awful long time in perfecting their OS, but then having to rely on OEM’s to actually deliver the computer to the user makes for the experience outlined in this article.

A blurred, uncontrolled useless computing experience, designed to make every company in the selling chain as much money as possible – user experience be damned.

Now, a lot of Windows users accept this. A lot of Windows use simply take off all this crap and reinstall Windows. And good luck to them if they’re willing to do that, somebody in the comments to the article mentioned just that.

But to your average computer user, and the user that just expects better, why should they have to do that?

They shouldn’t have to. Apple’s computers aren’t like that because Apple want YOU to benefit from using the computer – not anyone else.

More innovation from Microsoft…

Cockroach

Amongst Microsoft’s many, many accomplishments, is this lovely little gem:

Rixstep: There is no patch.

There are bugs that Microsoft patch pretty quickly, there are bugs that take a little more testing and take longer, there are bugs that they take ages to patch for some reason.

And now, from your trustworthy business OS supplier comes a first in long history of innovation – a bug that cannot be patched.

At all.

It can’t be fixed.

Why this isn’t more widely reported is beyond me. Microsoft’s solution is to run IE8 in a restricted mode which seems a band-aid solution to me.

Sure, Vista solves this little hiccup, but just about every Windows box that I can see from my happy little Mac studio, is still running XP.

What galls me the most is that this little feature has been present in every version of Windows up until Vista, they’ve only just discovered it as far as I can tell.

A few years from now, will there be another ‘unpatchable’ flaw in Vista, Windows 7, 8, 9 etc that they discover?

Why do people not question them? Why do they just accept this? Why is the news full of Apple releasing another device that everyone fails to understand, because it just happens to do something different, and not full of Microsoft’s unbelievable, amateurish and downright dangerous coding?

No other web browser on the Windows platform is affected. Does that not say something about this company?

$39.8 Billion…

Via MacDailyNews via Businessweek:

Way back in 1997, Apple was very nearly history.

I remember back then that I seriously thought of getting out of the graphic design business for good, I could not face a career having to use, what was then, Windows 95/NT.

I decided to hold on and hope for the best, but even I never thought that Apple could go this far.

If there’s one thing that defines Apple, since 1997, since Steve Jobs came back, it is that everything they do, and I mean everything they do, MAKES THEM MONEY.

A sh*tload of money.

Profit margins on their hardware that others can only dream of (around 40% for the Mac).

Software – since Steve Jobs returned, Apple makes the best software in their target markets (please Apple, take on Adobe!)

Content – the iTunes store makes profit on music, movies and apps.

Apple Stores – have the best profit per square foot of any retailer.

Next we have the tablet, and with the rumours of more content deals and that huge data centre built for some as yet unannounced reason, we can expect that to rake in even more cash.

But as the MacDailyNews/Businessweek articles states, what is it for?

Apple have spent a little here and there, acquiring one or two businesses that make strategic sense.

But there’s a lot of money left and it’s looking very unlikely that Apple are going to give that money to their shareholders (with a dividend), or it’s users (by reducing that profit margin).

So what’s it for?

Take a look at the graph at the top of the page – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Microsoft’s subtle trick…

The Devil

I remember a Christian once saying to me that the best day’s work that the Devil ever did, was to convince everyone that he didn’t exist.

A similar analogy, is that the socialists have convinced everyone that George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ was about fascism, when actually it’s about the dangers of unrestricted socialism (IngSoc, stands for Engligh Socialism).

These thoughts were piqued when I read a newspaper article in the UK’s DailyMail newspaper, outlining the experience the reporter had when they accidentally clicked on a spammer’s email.

The chaos that ensued, highlighted the dangers of clicking on these sorts of emails, and the article well worth a skim:

Courtesy of the UK’s DailyMail newspaper:

I always like to read articles like this because they show the computer experiences of your average Windows user; and I mean the really average Windows user.

The average Windows user makes up the majority of Microsoft customer base, and this article perfectly illustrates the clever trick that Microsoft has played upon them.

The article in question is basically about someone who received an email that asked for all sorts of personal information. This email was a spam email, but the user dumbly accepted it as legitimate, and duly got conned – malware was installed and all sorts of chaos ensued.

Now you can comment on the ineptness of the user, but this article isn’t about their stupidity, it’s about the person that they ultimately blamed.

It’s a big, long article that goes into great detail about what happened to them, but nowhere and I mean nowhere in the article is the word ‘Windows’ or the word ‘Microsoft’ mentioned. Not once.

Ultimately the person who they blamed was – Yahoo. They blamed the email service for failing to filter out the email.

Not themselves for being so inept, not Microsoft for selling them an OS with security holes, but Yahoo. Poor Yahoo.

From the article:

Finally on Monday, three days later, smooth-sounding Jessica from ‘the Yahoo concierge service’ called to help me get back into my account and reassure me that Yahoo took such violations very seriously.
She would not be drawn on who might be responsible at Yahoo for stopping hackers. I wanted to know why Yahoo’s own filter system hadn’t spotted a bogus email sent in their name and taken it out before I opened it.

And here lies the biggest trick that Microsoft has made – they’ve made themselves invisible.

They’ve subtly altered people’s perception of computing so that they are blameless.
They’ve convinced the average Windows user that security holes are a way of life, and it’s not their fault, but it’s the fault of:
  1. You for not constantly being on your guard to make up for the fact that an email link can allow remote software to be installed.
  2. The ‘bad guys’ who send out these emails and take advantage of the security holes in Microsoft software
  3. The email provider for not filtering out the ‘bad guy’s’ emails.
All this is very depressing, but even more depressing are the 30 or so comments to this article from more ‘average Windows users’.
They all comment on the dangers of email, how they had spam before, and how they ultimately accept it as a way of computing life.
To add insult to injury, a drone from Sophos gives 3 golden rules for online safety – not one of them states to give up Microsoft software and choose Linux or Apple.
I’m fully aware that phishing emails are a malware-vehicle that could be used on these platforms as well, but the security hole that this email exploited was for Windows – as most, if not all of them are.

Microsoft, please carry on…

Courtesy of Rixstep:

Spontaneous Shoplifting @ MSFT Store

Words don’t often fail me, but the sight of a dozen minor-geeks, awkwardly clapping and trying to dance, under the guise of spontaneity… well I don’t know what to say or where to begin.

Microsoft, you’re making a complete fool of yourself. You really don’t know what (hopefully) irreparable damage you are doing to your brand (such that it is) and your public image.

Years from now, when Microsoft are long, long gone, people will look back at the YouTube video and say that this was one of the 10 or so key moments where severe blows were dealt that added to this company’s downfall.

The reason why Microsoft have survived and prospered this far, is because of the army of Windows IT Professionals that have propped up this loose assortment of sloppy hacks and ass-backwards ‘me-too’ and ‘just good enough’ coding.

They have survived because of the mass-ignorance of your average PC-buyer, who needed their hand held whilst buying their computer.

But now things have changed. Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and dozens of others have caught up whilst Microsoft were sleeping, and Microsoft’s customer has changed – they are armed with geek-knowledge and they know how to use it.

Ballmer, like the captain on the Titanic, tried to ignore it, but now, with market-share and mind-share slipping he has to do something.

He calls on his troops, but more and more of these troops are bringing in laptops with Apple logos on them. They have iPods, and iPhones, they use Google instead of Bing, and Office is the last thing on their mind with free alternatives readily available.

So he does something – Vista. A total failure that would have finished most companies – but Microsoft isn’t ‘most’ companies.

He tries ‘new’ and ‘different’ advertising campaigns. They are met with derision, confusion and worst of all – laughter, the ‘at’ kind, not the ‘with’ kind.

Plan B. If you can’t beat them – join them. Or copy them. Copy them in exactly the same way you’ve copied them before, back when that ‘computer for the rest of us’ was first released.

Copy it backwards and upside down. In such a way that although all the pieces are there, they just don’t quite fit together.

What you are seeing in this poor, poor, sad video above, is Microsoft in the raw. When the support from all the IT professionals has gone.

They have to compete. On their own. This is who they really are.

I’ve often thought Microsoft were indestructible and I would be writing this blog to the end of my days with them always there, always copying, always getting it totally wrong.

You know I’m beginning to see, at last, the end of this once never great company.

MobileMe – it could be worse…

thecloud

MobileMe DOA?

Shared via AddThis

I’ve written before about the problems I’ve had with MobileMe, and that it doesn’t seem as rock-solid as we’d like.

I’ve had problems with data syncing, needing to re-set sync data on 2 occasions, and one problem needing to reinstall a combo updater.

Many pundits have written that maybe this is proof-positive that ‘the cloud’ is not and indeed cannot, live up to its promise – a totally reliable, always backed-up, always available media-rich experience.

I’ve decided to give MobileMe the benefit of the doubt and use it ‘carefully’ and with a constant overseeing to make sure that all is well.

I’ve commented in a recent post, that with all the problems Apple had and continues to have with their cloud, maybe we are seeing the limits of their competence and maybe after all, Microsoft with all their expertise, can do it better.

I’m glad to be proved wrong.

Microsoft just doesn’t care…

It’s hard to know where to begin with this. Microsoft bought a company called Danger in early 2008, and basically took a perfectly functioning online service for T-Mobile’s Sidekick users and whilst performing an upgrade, totally screwed it up in the worst way possible.

They actually lost their data. Forever. Gone. No backup.

What’s Microsoft current market cap? $230 Billion?

How is it possible that this could happen?

And more importantly, why do people constantly continue to deal with this loose collection of morons that dare to call themselves a company?

In all my criticisms of MobileMe, I have never lost even one ACSII characters worth of data. It’s been a pain to reset sync, and I’ve invented at least 4 new swearwords when I was troubleshooting Apple’s cloud, but Apple have made sure that I never actually lost anything.

Well done Microsoft for allowing confidence in the cloud to be dented even further than it was. Morons.