Posts for Tag: microsoft

Polish versus Raw Power - iPhone and Android

So this was announced today...

Over the weekend, I saw a bunch of ads for the Droid phone from Verizon. It seems their main selling point was how more powerful the phone was and they are correct. It will always be the case that Android phones will always have the latest and greatest hardware, just like with most Windows laptops. Apple will never make devices with the fastest processors, the most RAM, the hardware latest innovations. What Apple has made a very calculated decision on is they would rather have a more polished product than one with the best specs. They weren't the first with a front facing camera but I bet mobile video chat will explode because of their implementation and not any one else's that came first. Same thing with multi-tasking. Not the first, but a more smooth integration.

For a long time there was this pseudo arms race in the tech industry of who could cram the most transistors on a chip or the most pixels on a screen or crank up a few more Mhz from a CPU. I think we've gotten to a point where the vast majority of us have way too much horsepower in our devices. Now the question is who will use that horsepower in a way that appeals to us. Apple seems to be leading in that sense... for the time being.

Blind devotion helps no company...

Nearly 10,000 iPhone users were accessing the Microsoft employee email system last year...

A Wall Street Journal article is making the rounds re: iPhone usage by Microsoft employees. The debate that's going around is whether MS employees should openly flaunt their iPhones or be more discreet. I can't really answer that since I'm not a Microsoft employee but my guy reaction is to say they shouldn't be sheepish about using a rival phone. If nothing else, this should be a wake-up call to Redmond to make a better phone so their employees wouldn't have to use iPhones.

I remember being a consultant to Apple back in the mid-90's and the team we were contracted by insisted that all work submitted to them be created on Macs. That was an excruciating experience since the Macs of the time were horrible - slow, buggy, and prone to crashes every couple of hours. It took a huge change in philosophy/management/vision for Apple to pull itself from that nightmare. Let's hope that Microsoft has the cojones to do the same. As much as I like the iPhone, I also think competition in the marketplace improves products for everyone.

I don't blame Microsoft. I blame the hardware manufacturers.

Ever since my unfortunate incident, I’ve been working on a Lenovo R60e spare laptop we have in the office.  It’s a huge adjustment to make going from an Macbook to a plastic feeling laptop.  But it’s a hardware adjustment and not a software one.  For the record, I actually really like Windows XP Professional.  It’s stable, easy to use, and very effective for most work related tasks.  Office 2007 has its issues but it’s no biggie.  I actually prefer Office 2003 but maybe that’s because I’m just more used to it.  Vista and Windows 7, however are garbage but I’ve already discussed that before.

Though this is an older laptop (probably circa 2006), I haven’t really seen a huge leap in usability/comfort/innovation from PC laptop manufacturers.  Either they build really expensive machines with a bunch of useless features (Sony VAIOs or Lenovos for instance) or they err on the side of cost effectiveness and build cheap laptops that make CFO’s happy but are lackluster from a usability standpoint (Dell, HP, etc).  Yes, I can buy a Dell Vostro for under $500 but it’s heavy, bulky, and feels cheap.  The really sad part is that in about 6 months, the value of that machine is basically halved by a combination of its cheapness and the fact that Dell builds its computers to be relaced within 2 years.  When I bought my Macbook Air in early 2008 for about $1600 (got a sweet deal).  I sold it over a year and a half later for about $1200.  It held 75% of its value 18 months after I bought it!  When was the last time you could say that about any computer technology?

With rumblings of an update to the Macbook Pro line coming soon, I’ll hold off on getting another Macbook until then.  I’ll probably just pick up the version just before the latest one and save a few bucks.

Google Tablet? Eh...

TechCrunch posted an article and the video below about a concept Google Tablet OS based on Chrome. My reaction? Eh...

To be honest, I haven't been very impressed with any of the products that Google has released besides the dominating trifecta of Search, Maps, and GMail. Pretty much every other product that Google has released is pretty ho-hum. I'm not counting services that Google has bought like YouTube, Picasa, Blogger, GrandCentral (Google Voice) etc. which are great products. To name a few in no particular order:

* Orkut
* Android
* Google Shopping
* Google Checkout
* Google Finance

The telling one here is Android. I have used an Android phone (not the new Nexus One, but the Droid) and found it to be supremely disappointing versus the iPhone. Supposedly, the Nexus One is supposed to be better but from all the online demos I've seen of the Nexus One, it's incrementally better than the Droid but not by leaps and bounds. Unlike Microsoft, I don't see Apple getting complacent about their product development and Google has a lot of ground to make up.

Windows 7 sucks ... not as bad as Vista but still sucks

We just bought some new PCs at Best Buy for some incoming employees and I've been getting nice and cozy with Windows 7. It's not the train wreck that Vista was but it's far from good. I'll be "downgrading" these PCs to Windows XP pretty soon, which by the way, was a superb OS. Why can't Microsoft just make an OS with the good UI elements of XP minus all the underlying crap that made it unsecure and unstable? Or maybe Microsoft should just build a theme in Windows 7 for us XP fans...