_Everything else_

Change sucks… for Google not Microsoft?

by Sam Barillaro. 0 Comments

At the core of this is one simple axiom: People really don’t like change.

What most vendors seem not to grasp is that change sucks. Getting someone to move from a tool they are familiar with to a new tool is very difficult.

People need the equivalent of a cattle prod to move to something new and different, even if it might be better.

Now that we’re all clear that people don’t like change, Rob Enderle goes on to tell us how Office 365 will completely dominate Google Apps. Apparently people aren’t willing to change unless it’s for a Microsoft product.

He’s also kind enough to tell us that Google+ will fail to convert users from Facebook. Maybe it will, but there’s evidence this is not always the case.

The first Chromebook

by Calvin Chong. 0 Comments

The New York Times’ David Pogue on the first Chromebook to go on sale, the Samsung Series 5:

The first assumption is that you’re online everywhere you go. That’s rather critical, because when it’s not online, a Chromebook can’t do much of anything. You can’t peruse your e-mail, read documents or books or listen to music. With very few exceptions, when the Chromebook isn’t online, it’s a 3.3-pound paperweight.

The entire piece is not so much a review of the machine itself, but rather the practicality of Google’s Chromebook concept. The verdict? Not very. At least not at this time and at that price.

Microsoft takes a step forward, but in what direction?

by Sam Barillaro. 0 Comments

Note: This article was written prior to Apple’s WWDC event.

Microsoft have announced Windows 8 and to be honest, I’m impressed. I’m impressed because I didn’t think Microsoft had it in them. I didn’t think they would be able to throw caution to the wind and really come up with something different. I’m impressed, but I’m not entirely convinced.

If you take a look at the first video below, you can’t help but be impressed by what Windows 8 may be able to offer tablets and other touch devices. It looks slick, it’s full of clever ideas, it’s… not what we would traditionally expect from Windows. So why am I not entirely convinced?

As a touch OS Windows 8 is promising. The fluidity of the UI and the well thought out menu placements are just the beginning. The tiles representing apps are much more useful than a traditional icon. Being able to snap multiple apps on the screen at once is really handy. The keyboard that splits into two halves, providing access to all the keys under your thumbs is clever.

Some questions arise however, which I think Microsoft have successfully avoided thus far despite their claims of Windows 8 being able to adapt to all different kinds of devices.

I am yet to see a demo of Windows 8 in portrait mode on a tablet. I personally use my iPad in portrait mode 90% of the time. This is something that will differ from one user to another, but I fear Windows 8 may not give you the option. You see, PC’s and laptops don’t have a portrait mode. In the Computex demo, you’ll see that if a tablet device doesn’t have a 16:9 display, functionality is limited (ie. no more snap function), which doesn’t give much hope to there being a portrait mode.

How powerful would a tablet need to be to run Windows 8? With all the talk of Windows 8 adapting to a range of different devices, does it mean the minimum requirements will be the same across all of these. My guess, it’s not going to be cheap (or pretty).

Which brings me to my final point, and it’s one you’ve surely heard by now. I have no doubt Windows 8 will be able to adapt to a large number of devices, but as mentioned above, there are already limitations that arise from this strategy. Navigating the new environment using the page up/down buttons just doesn’t seem right. The need for Microsoft to still have the option of reverting to a traditional Windows environment reinforces this. Which is the difficulty Microsoft will inevitably face. Windows has been ingrained into so many people that a drastic change could cause chaos. Though credit is due in their attempt to break the shackles and take a step forward. We’ll find out soon enough in which direction.

Building “Windows 8” – Video #1

Computex Demo

On Windows 8 vs. Mac OS X Lion

by Calvin Chong. 0 Comments

These two different approaches are microcosms of Apple and Microsoft’s very different approaches generally. Apple envisions what they want the future to be for their company (based both on what’s optimal for them and what they see as the best solution for users), and figures out how they’re going to get there from where they are now. This may mean sacrificing existing products, or radically changing them—everything is up for consideration. Microsoft, though, is responding to market trends (touch as a means of input) while attempting to protect their existing business (Windows and its existing applications).

— Kyle Baxter

The best writeup yet on the topic.

HP out of Touchpad

by Sam Barillaro. 0 Comments

“…in the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”
Eric Cador

Yadda, yadda, yadda…

Addressing rivalries among hardware manufacturers such as Apple, Google and BlackBerry Mr Cador also said that “only one company plays in both the consumer and business and world…”

So only one of those companies plays in both the consumer and business markets?! I think you’ll find they all do, and Apple are getting better at it. Lucky they have a good product to… oh wait, HP don’t play in any market yet when it comes to tablets.