26 Sep

Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting

Microsoft may have shown signs of significant problems with company morale after reports from the company’s annual general meeting began surfacing in the past few days. The event, held as usual at Safeco Field in Seattle, saw "droves" of people leaving, according to well-known company insider Mini-Microsoft, even while CEO Steve Ballmer was speaking. Others pointed to unexciting demos and an obsession with Windows 8 tablets that didn’t reflect core businesses.

via Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting. Microsoft is looking worse and worse every day.

17 Sep

MSDN Blogs – Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5

For the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web.

Running Metro style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers. Plug-ins were important early on in the web’s history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI.

via MSDN Blogs – Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5. Microsoft gets on the Flash is a dead end train.

10 Sep

SiliconFilter – Bing: What’s More Evil Than Satan Himself? 10^100

Besides the new definition for “hiybbprqag,” Arnt also found that Bing now defines the search for “more evil than satan himself” as 10^100 – a Googol, the word the Google founders used as the basis of their company’s name.

via SiliconFilter – Bing: What’s More Evil Than Satan Himself? 10^100. Stay classy Microsoft.

13 Jul

WSJ.com – Amazon Plans iPad Rival

Amazon plans to release a tablet computer by October, people familiar with the matter said, intensifying its rivalry with Apple’s iPad.

Amazon’s tablet will have a roughly nine-inch screen and will run on Google’s Android platform, said people familiar with the device. Unlike the iPad, it won’t have a camera, one of these people said. While the pricing and distribution of the device is unclear, the online retailer won’t design the initial tablet itself. It also is outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer, the people said.

One of the people said the company is working on another model, of its own design, that could be released next year.

The introduction of a tablet poses a conundrum for Amazon on how to keep from cannibalizing sales of its popular Kindle. Amazon has long said the Kindle is its best-selling device, though it has declined to disclose sales.

A person familiar with Amazon’s thinking said it still figuring out how to market the tablet computer. One issue is whether customers will want to buy both the tablet and Kindle, which is viewed as a dedicated-reading device for bookworms.

Amazon plans to introduce two updated versions of its black-and-white Kindle in this year’s third quarter, people familiar with the matter said. One of the new Kindles will have a touch screen, which current models don’t have.

WSJ.com – Amazon Plans iPad Rival. An Amazon tablet I’ll probably pass on, in so much as at the moment I’ll pass on the iPad. I’m not sure where a tablet fits into how I consume/create content. A new Kindle though I’ve been waiting for that, defiantly pick up one of those puppies.

01 May

carpeaqua – We’ll Fix Our Platform In Post

Apple has a year head start on their competition in tablets, and the slow rate of updates coming from their competition does not make me believe the lead shrink in the future. Releasing software is hard, but Apple seems to be the only one that can release half a dozen updates over the course of a year that both fix bugs and add functionality to users existing tablets and phones. Microsoft continues to release major updates as giant service packs that seemingly will come out twice a year. Google’s not saying much about their Honeycomb improvements and how or if they will even be distributed to existing tablet owners. If anything, RIM’s eighteen CEO’s keep it interesting by promising everything they can dream up.

To make a dent in Apple’s market lead, Google, Microsoft, Blackberry and HP (eventually) need to focus less on the hardware specs or openness of their platform, and more on getting software updates to their existing user base on a regular basis. Hardware specs are porn for the gadget blogs, but software and apps are what sell tablets and phones to regular users. iOS is not without flaws, but I can’t think of any gaping holes in the platform that make it hard to justify an iPad or iPhone to someone. I would run out of fingers if I had to list all the holes in the Xoom or Playbook.

via carpeaqua – We’ll Fix Our Platform In Post. It’s one thing to come out with a product half finished, it’s another to come out and say you’ll finish the product and never do. The biggest thing that Apple tends to get right is nothing comes out feeling unpolished, there may be things missing from the product that people desire (copy and paste and an SDK for iOS is a good example) but the product itself doesn’t feel incomplete without those pieces. This work by RIM and Microsoft in particular not only is the product itself lacking but the companies keep promising the sky and delivering very little.

14 Apr

Groklaw – The Google Microsoft Fight About FISMA Certification

If you were as puzzled as I was by the blog fight, as Geekwire calls it, between Google and Microsoft over whether or not Google was FISMA certified, then you will be glad to know I gathered up some of the documents from the case, Google et al v. USA, and they cause the mists to clear. I’ll show you what I found, but here’s the funny part — it turns out it’s Microsoft whose cloud services for government aren’t FISMA certified. And yet, the Department of the Interior chose Microsoft for its email and messaging cloud solution, instead of Google’s offering even though Google today explains that in actually its offering actually is. It calls Microsoft’s FUD "irresponsible".

The case is being heard in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Google filed what is called a bid protest. The context is that the Department of the Interior wished to procure a cloud solution to unify and streamline its email and other messaging systems "while simultaneously reducing its risk of data security breaches".

That’s the amazing part. If it wanted to reduce the risk of data security breaches, why would it choose Microsoft?

Google has accused Microsoft and the Department of the Interior of colluding to give Microsoft the contract, even though Google was walked through the paces of applying and strung along to believe it actually was being considered. The accusation is that it was all a pretense, that the decision to go with Microsoft was made long before anyone else made a bid and that the Department of the Interior folks carefully crafted its list of requirements so that no one but Microsoft *could* qualify.

What does that have to do with FISMA certification? Because, since it turns out Microsoft’s offering was not FISMA certified when it was chosen, and still isn’t, and Google says its competing email solution was, it’s claiming the choice violates procurement policies. I’ll show you the document where I found that detail that explains it all. I don’t know who is right, by the way, for sure in this dispute, although I think you’ll be able to discern which direction the truth-o-meter seems to be pointing to, so at this point I’m just explaining what I found, so you can at least know what it’s all been about.

via Groklaw – The Google Microsoft Fight About FISMA Certification. This is a fun story.

26 Mar

The League of Paul – I’m Regretting Going WP7

You could be forgiven for thinking I’m enjoying WP7, given now I have one app on the market, another submitted for certification and working on another two. But at the same time, you could be forgiven for thinking I hate it given the very rocky start the experience has been for me.

In truth, I usually fall somewhere in between – the pros generally outweighing the cons, but as of late Microsoft seems to be going out of their way to make it a miserable experience.

via The League of Paul – I’m Regretting Going WP7. Windows Phone 7 right now looks like a big ball of hurt for app developers.

10 Mar

PhobosLab – The State of HTML5 Audio

When I started to work on my JavaScript Game Engine back in October 2009, the biggest problems I encountered were with the new HTML5 Audio Element. The Canvas Element already worked nicely in all browsers that supported it at the time, albeit some were a little slow.

Now, in 2011, the rendering performance for Canvas has been improved dramatically, audio however is still broken in large parts. I think it is time for a change in tone. Be warned, there’s some profanity ahead because HTML5 Audio is still that fucked up.

via PhobosLab – The State of HTML5 Audio. I especially enjoy the specific complaints directed at Apple and Microsoft for only supporting MP3.

24 Feb

BBC News – Microsoft says phone update failed 1 in 10 users

Microsoft has revealed that 1 in 10 users who tried to install a software update on their Windows mobile experienced problems.

The company had previously said that only a "small number" of handsets were affected.

Owners have reported a range of issues following the download, from phones crashing, to becoming completely unusable.

Microsoft pulled the update soon after the problem came to light.

via BBC News – Microsoft says phone update failed 1 in 10 users. That’s pretty poor.