Friday, November 30, 2012

MS bungling it again?

Microsoft Introduces ... The Horse & Buggy Era, article.

Admittedly MacObserver can be quite blatantly anti-MS, but there's some point to it. I read recently that a market researcher hung out for two hours in a shopping centre by an Apple store and a Microsoft store. In those two hours, the Apple store sold an impressive eleven iPads, and the MS store sold zero Surface tablets. Zero! That's not a good number, unless you're a mathematician.

Bruce said:
Microsoft has a tough job ahead of them, that's for sure.
One rationale for buying Windows for the home has been, "It's what they use at work." If Microsoft can convince IT departments of big companies to use Windows tablets, then they may have a chance.
All of the stuff that I could care less about on a tablet, like SAMBA and Active Directory, might help Microsoft by making their tablets more attractive to IT departments.

 Eolake said...
Yes, their biggest chance must be to leverage their stronghold, enterprise. I was just thinking that, when reading this article.
Microsoft's nightmare scenario is actually starting to take hold. 

... Although, as they point out, Bring Your Own Device is getting big, so it's not the nineties anymore.

Barclays Bank in the UK just bought over 8,000 iPads, apparently on demand from employees! Not Kansas anymore either.

Thoughts on the newest Chromebook

The Google Chromebook is out in a new version, and the price is only $250, less than an iPad Mini. And David Pogue likes it a lot.
The Chromebook concept takes some getting used to: It’s exclusively for online activities. Web, e-mail, YouTube, and apps like Google Drive (free, online word processor, spreadsheet and slide show programs). The laptop has no moving parts: no fan, no DVD drive, not even a hard drive. It’s silent and fast, as long as you don’t try to do two things at once (video playback and music playback, for example).

I must say, if the keyboard is good, it makes a lot of sense as portable typewriter. It's as light as a Mabook Air, but much cheaper. It holds no data on its own, so that and the price makes it less of a worry re it getting stolen.

And of course, unlike me (I have a trillion email accounts and use an email app), a surprising number of people, even very pro and geeky people, only use Gmail and they use it from the Gmail web site, so this handles that too.

And again, unlike me who needs a computer for web site design and photoshopping, it actually does 95% of what people do these days, email, web, and whap apps (Office etc) can be done in a web browser.

I hate to give Google their due, but Apple has p'd me off by getting a patent on rounded rectangles! :-) (Is this the beginning of a turning tide for Apple?)

A private reviewer on Flickr discussion group for Alphasmart devices writes:
There are many web posts that say the Chromebook is useless without a network connection, but that's not really so. Enable offline documents and you can write on the go without a network connection. You can't log into the Chromebook without a network connection, but you can log in and "sleep" the system. It wakes up still logged in.

That is good. A net connection is still far from ubiquitous or very reliable, and it would be irritating to be totally helpless if you don't have it, and you're inspired to write.

Pogue writes that the keyboard is "carefully modeled on the Macbook Air's", and that's no joke, I would have sworn I was looking at a Macbook Air keyboard. Samsung really has no shame, or they took it literally when Picasso said "great artists steal". One can understand Apple/Jobs' wounded ego re their creations getting ripped off.

Bruce said:

Google has another operating system which is more popular than ChromeOS. It is being put on laptops without Google's help. These laptops are less expensive and can do more than the Chromebook. 
Imagine what could happen if Google put some time and energy into Android netbooks.

Apple patents

Many feel the patent system is out of control. And I can see why. Apple has been granted a patent on the ebook page turn grapic. And apparently also on rectangles with rounded corners. Which is amazing, because way back when the Mac was being developed in the early eighties, one of the ways Steve Jobs convinced his designers that the graphic interface should have rectangles with rounded corners in it, was to take them for a walk and show them that this form was everywhere...

I like this parody. The soft-spoken, yet intense and convincing cadence with which he talks is so ingrained in Apple promotional videos, not the least when Jonathan Ive talks, and I must admit I'm getting a bit sick of it. It feels like they want to convince everybody that every single new product they come out with is not just "insanely great" (in Jobs' famous phrasing), but will change the very foundations of civilization for the better.

I like Apple and I love many of their products, and there's no doubt that they've changed technology, but no single entity should have total power. Too much of a good thing is... well, Liberace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Introducing “Take Control Live: Working with Your iPad”

Introducing “Take Control Live: Working with Your iPad”, article.

Many, many people want to know to what degree they can work with only an iPad, no laptop. But it's a big and complex subject, and changing fast.

TidBITS/Take Control Books have something new: webinars on the subject.
They are not free, but I find that TidBITS delivers. (If not, I'll refund you.)

Barnes & Noble DRM Fails with Expired Credit Card

Barnes & Noble DRM Fails with Expired Credit Card, article.
Yet another reason why DRM is wrong. When a Barnes & Noble customer tried to download a previously paid-for book, an error message appeared, stating that the download had failed because the credit card on file had expired. As the cool kids say, “Epic fail.”

MacObserver starts ebook articles

Everything About eBooks & eReaders, Pt 1: Introduction.

The big Apple-centered web site MacObserver is starting this series covering all the basics of ebooks and ereaders. Seeing as how their bread is probably buttered thicker by postings of iPhone rumors, I think this is an excellent move for them, and I'm personally looking forward to the future articles in the series.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Publisher 'Future' selling $1 million per month in tablet magazine

Publisher 'Future' selling $1 million per month in tablet magazine, article.

“Around 90 percent of our digital edition sales are to new customers and 40 percent are outside our core UK and US markets." [...]
Future digital revenue grew 30 percent in the last year to £20.6 million, 18 percent of the total, which nevertheless declined by three percent. Cost savings and this digital growth have helped return the publisher from an £18 million annual loss to a £1 million profit.

If you look at both the paragraphs above, those are remarkable statements. Nobody has been sure whether anybody would ever really make a good business on publications on ereaders/tablets, but this shows that it's definitely possible.

Ninety percent of sales are to new customers! That's spectacular. This shows that the big promise of the World Wide Web was not an idle one.