Tag Archives: Microsoft

Slow tablet sales send Microsoft skyhigh

Microsoft CEO threatens to punch anyone who says his tablet is inferior to an iPad.
Microsoft CEO threatens to punch anyone who says his tablet is inferior to an iPad.

Microsoft’s surface tablets have performed a lot worse than expected. This sentence is definitely true in regards to sales, and probably true when it comes to the user experience for people who bought one.

However, that’s not the main point here. The main point is that the company have already built way more of them that they look likely to sell any time soon. Six million too many of the little beggars, to be precise.

Figures like these always have journalists talking about companies ‘stockpiling’ and ‘sitting on a massive surplus’ of the thing in question.

It works – it’s good, active language, where Microsoft is doing something to the object in question.

Analysing the sentences with a little bit of maths can make for a bit of fun.

Take the idea of Microsoft sitting on the tablets, for example.

The tablets come in two types that are 0.53 and 0.37 inches thick, respectively. Assuming we’ve got the exact same number of each, you have six million tablets that are 0,45 inches thick, giving you 2.7 million inches of tablet. Let’s convert that to metric units (because inches and feet are stupid): 1 inch = 0.0254 metres means that Microsoft are sitting on 68580 metres of tablets, placing it solidly in the middle of Earth’s Mesosphere.

The air temperature in the Mesosphere can drop below -100 Celsius, but hey, at least the view is good – and they got there before Apple….

Windows 8 tastes like New Coke

Microsoft have a proud history of launching products before they’re completely ready and then releasing a string of updates. An example is the string of ‘service packs’ they have released over the years. If a ‘service pack’ is bigger than 300Mb, then I would say that that is an indication that something hasn’t been completely right with your original product….actually it’s an indication that Microsoft has sold you the software equivalent of a three-legged chair and promised to mail you the fourth leg later on.

This doesn’t seem to be the case with the new Microsoft Windows 8. No, to me Windows 8 is more like selling a chair without legs. And big nails sticking through the seat.

apparently, I’m far from alone in not liking Windows 8.

According to this article, Windows 8 looks likely to be Microsoft’s answer to Coca Cola’s disastrous New Coke.

Google adds third city to Fiber – gets paid $1.7 million to do so

The city of Provo in Utah has become the third city to go Google Fiber .

The city’s council recently decided to sell its own network, the iProvo fiber-optic internet, to the search engine (and by now so much more) giant.

Google Fiber uses fiber-optic networks to supply users with up- and download speeds of one gigabit – about 100 times faster than most Americans have – meaning that things like live streaming of TV is easy-peasy.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the city of Provo will end up paying Google about $1.7 million to take control of the iProvo network, which was facing financial difficulties (read: costing the city and arm and a leg).

Now I personally think they should have gone with another name. One that wouldn’t have been like a red flag for Google.

I mean, they might as well have named the thing MicroProvo….

Microsoft hot on the heels of Apple and Google with wearable tech?

According to the Wall Street Journal, computer giant Microsoft are working on a touch-enabled watch device.

it’s unclear what capabilities the watch will have, and if it will ever get to market, but the story underlines the recent push by the Titans of the industry towards wearable tech.

Google recently showcased its much hyped Google Glass glasses while Apple are said to be working on a watch-like product.

Interestingly enough, it’s not the first time that Microsoft have dabbled in watch-like computers.

Back in 2004, the company released the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), which broadcast the MSN service package through the FM radio band in 100 metropolitan areas.

Basically, the MSN service package at the time included news and sports headlines and weather information that was broadcast to SPOT units. Companies who invested in the technology included watch makers Swatch and Tissot and, strangely enough, coffee machine maker Melitta. Why people would want to use their coffee machine as a browser? Yes, I was asking myself that exact question myself.

It looked like this:

442px-Melitta_ME1MSB_Smart_Mill_and_Brew_with_SPOT

Time will tell what services the new Microsoft watch will include.

Personally, I’m hoping for the Office Package – imagine walking down the street and seeing people desperately slapping their wrists, trying to update documents and spreadsheets….

Top game maker on move towards Linux: ‘ I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe’

Gabe Newell might not be well known outside the gaming industry, but ask anyone in the know, and the answer is likely to come back that Gabe is a bit of a guru.

Having created Valve, one of the very biggest distribution platforms in gaming, his voice is one to listen to, when he makes his rare public appearances. Like he recently did at Casual Connect.

Speaking on various subjects, including the future of gaming, open vs. closed platforms and the evolution of the touch screens, Gabe Newell also weighed in on his old company, Microsoft and their latest incarnation of Windows – Windows 8 – and what lay behind Valve’s recent move towards Linux.

“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” he said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

Ouch, Microsoft.

Is the US Government hacking Microsoft from within?

A recent news story in PC Pro details the theory that the US Government might have been infiltrating Microsoft, planting moles within the IT-giant with the aim of helping the country’s cyber-espionage programme.

PC Pro have asked IT security expert Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, for his opinion in the wake of the recent Flame virus that infected computers in the Middle East. Flame used confidential Microsoft certificates to gain access to the computers. That, along with other facts, has made Hypponen convinced that the virus was planted by a US government branch like the NSA and that they would have to have an insider at Microsoft to gain access to the certificates.

“That must make Microsoft mad as hell that its most critical system, used by 900 million of its customers, was breached by fellow Americans,” he said to PC Pro.

“It’s plausible that if there is an operation under way and being run by a US intelligence agency it would make perfect sense for them to plant moles inside Microsoft to assist in pulling it off, just as they would in any other undercover operation,” he said