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Posts tagged Microsoft

Web IM aggregator imo.im decides to stop supporting other IM services
March 2, 2014 | 1:23 pm

imoWell, that’s remarkably stupid. I just received an email today from imo.im, an instant message web/mobile app that I’ve used on my desktop computer, my iOS devices, and my Android devices. The point of the service was to aggregate multiple accounts—AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.—together in one web window so you could access all your IM services from anywhere you were. Or so I thought, at least. But apparently the good people running imo don’t see it that way. To provide the best and most reliable service for our users, we need...

Inkshares: Just another hybrid model or a new way forward?
February 28, 2014 | 4:44 pm

inksharesWith writers and publishing pundits of all kinds advocating mix-and-match pick-the-best approaches to getting your work published, another new hybrid platform may - or may not - offer interest and potential to authors, and lessons to traditional publishers. Inkshares, which claims that "we're building a new publishing ecosystem that connects authors and readers," works with a simple model, which it demonstrates through some smart pieces of layout: "Authors pitch, the crowd funds, we publish." "Inkshares is a crowd-driven publisher," the site's blurb continues. "Our goal is to connect writers with readers and provide a flexible set of developmental and marketing resources....

New Nielsen report shows smartphones changing lives
February 26, 2014 | 6:47 pm

A timely new analysis from Nielsen provides some context that justifies all the smartphone releases around Mobile World Congress 2014. Because, it seems, "smartphones are beginning to transform how we engage in our everyday lives." Based on data collected "from markets including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Japan, and around the globe," via Nielsen's opt-in phone monitoring meters, the report concludes that "not only is smartphone penetration growing, with over two-thirds (67%) of mobile subscribers in the U.S. owning smartphones in Q4 2013, but consumer usage of phones is rapidly shifting toward increased screen time with entertainment and social media." Also, critically, "time spent using...

Nokia gets assimilated to Android: Resistance is futile
February 24, 2014 | 12:00 pm

One of the most interesting single pieces of news to come out of the Mobile World Congress 2014is the announcement that Nokia has thrown itself under the wheels of the Android juggernaut by rolling out its own line of Android-powered smartphones in the form of Nokia X, "a family of smartphones that run Android(TM) apps, Microsoft services and signature Nokia experiences," just before new acquirer Microsoft is due to pick it up. Announced under the somewhat disingenuous headline "Nokia connects the next billion with affordable smartphones," Nokia's announcement details both the individual phones to be brought to market under the new...

Does the death of the PC herald a closed-device future?
November 17, 2013 | 10:30 pm

GEDC1556Oh noes! They’re killing the PC! Mass computing devices face the dark future of tablets with restricted operating systems that limit what you can do and what apps you can install! We must all run about in panic! Except…no, I don’t think that’s right. The article I linked above on ZDNet notes: Here's what I see happening: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all want us to buy appliances, not PCs. An appliance is a closed box. It can only run the operating system they stick you with. It will only run the applications they approve for it. Apple and Microsoft are particularly strict...

Ballmer balks at the Google monopoly bogey
September 23, 2013 | 2:45 pm

Steve Ballmer, the soon-to-be-ex Microsoft CEO, has been garnering quite a bit of press from his declaration before an audience of analysts that Google is a monopoly and that Microsoft is the only David left standing up to this Goliath. '"They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with," he remarked, and added that Microsoft had already reported the issue to U.S. competition authorities. In the area of search, he's probably correct, at least in the U.S. But why was Microsoft in search in the first place?...

‘Temporary’ Surface Pro Price Cut of $100 Now Permanent
September 1, 2013 | 1:48 pm

Surface ProI called it earlier this month when I wrote about the temporary price cut on the Surface Pro tablets. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if the cut became permanent, and now it has. Check out the All Things D article on the price cut. Their choice of image is priceless. They are also reporting that the cut, which previously had been available only to customers in the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Canada, is now available in all markets where the Pro is sold. They are also offering a $40 discount on Touch Covers and a $50 discount on Surface RT bundles. In...

Vision of the future, Microsoft style
August 10, 2013 | 3:00 pm

windows-home-serverI'm in the market for a new laptop, come Christmas, and a recent reconnaissance to Canada's only Microsoft retail store, which happens to be 10 minutes from my home, was illuminating. I wanted something small, light and portable. And option abounded for it—but the battery life for the small and cute things averaged about 3 hours. That is subpar for my needs. The Surface is as portable as my iPad and, I reluctantly admit, more robust. But I could go all day on a single iPad charge... As for storage, I was worrying about where I would out my...

Is the Smartwatch Trend Heralding a New Type of E-Reader?
July 18, 2013 | 11:45 am

smartwatchExcitement over the new trend toward smartwatches seems to be reaching a crescendo, with Apple’s rumored iWatch supposedly due to debut in 2014, while Sony brings out the latest generation of its less-than-rhapsodically-received Android SmartWatch series, startup Pebble retails its own customizable e-paper watch, and almost every device vendor from Microsoft and Samsung on down is supposedly working on touch-sensitive wearable devices. But could you read a book on one? Hardware shouldn't be much of a barrier, in principle. Memory, battery life, display technology, and touchscreen interactivity have long ago converged at the point where something at least as capable as a...

David Carr bashes Amazon, bucks for Witchfinder General vacancy
July 16, 2013 | 2:33 pm

David CarrThe latest in a long series of analyses of the Penguin Random House merger, the Apple price fixing verdict, and the difficulties of Barnes & Noble as all chapters in some great "Lord Of The Rings"-style epic struggle against the encroaching forces of darkness in the shape of Amazon, with its regiments of marching Kindles, comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from the pen of New York Times columnist David Carr. Carr has an illustrious track record as an Amazon-basher, so it's not unusual to see more of the same on display here. Still, savor these gems: "So far, what has been bad for the...

William Lynch Steps Down as B&N CEO: What does it mean for the future of Nook Media?
July 9, 2013 | 12:14 pm

Considering William Lynch's history with the company, this news probably doesn't come as a huge surprise. Lynch oversaw the entire Nook line, including the E Ink Nook readers and the tablet line. Considering that B&N is abandoning tablet development and focusing just on the Nook line, Lynch's legacy with the company can hardly be said to be successful. I did a bit of research on Lynch, and, according to Wikipedia, From 2000-2004, Lynch was Vice President and General Manager, eCommerce, for Palm Inc., where he oversaw Palm’s Web properties, including: Palm.com, the Palm Online Store, the Palm Software Connection and the Palm.Net wireless...

Xbox One Update: Microsoft Backs Down!
June 20, 2013 | 5:17 pm

Xbox OneI wrote earlier this month about the upcoming Xbox One from Microsoft, the successor to the company's popular Xbox console. Its release was controversial because it was to come built-in with some of the most onerous DRM features I'd ever seen: an 'always on' connection that required you to 'phone home' to Microsoft every 24 hours in order to keep playing your games, and restrictions on loaning or borrowing games. The Toronto Star, however, is reporting that after two weeks of complaints by online gamers, Microsoft has cavedand removed the most onerous of the restrictions: "An internet connection will not be required to play offline...

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