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Microsoft's Mission To Reignite the PC Sector (nytimes.com) 265

HughPickens.com writes: Sales of personal computers have been declining for so long — 14 consecutive quarters — that it's hard remember a time when PCs ruled the tech world. Now Nick Wingfield writes in the NY Times that Microsoft is leading the way on a mission to re-ignite the PC market by taking the once-unthinkable step of competing with its hardware partners. This week, Microsoft dived even further into the business with a laptop device, the Surface Book. The stated reason that Microsoft got into the PC hardware business three years ago, with the original Surface, was not to put PC companies out of business — but to better illustrate the capabilities of its software, providing devices that would inspire PC makers to be more innovative.

One of the most remarkable things about Microsoft's growing presence in the hardware business is that it has not led to open revolt among its partners. Initially, many of them were not happy about Microsoft's moves, complaining in private. "It's positioned as a laptop, very squarely against the MacBook Pro as an example. But that could also be extended to a Dell XPS 13, or an HP x360," says Patrick Moorhead. One reason there hasn't been more pushback from OEMs is that Microsoft's Surface business is still relatively small. Another is that the money Microsoft has poured into marketing Surface has raised the broader profile of Windows PCs. While Microsoft obviously risks alienating its partners, it's doing so with a much bigger fight in mind. "Right now Microsoft really believes that it has to have a combined hardware, software, and services play to go up against the likes of Apple," says Moorhead. "That's why it's doing this. That's why it's taking such an aggressive stance now, moving to laptops."

Comment You most certainly can be verbally abused (Score 1) 927

Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can do more permanent damage. Stockholm syndrome, being groomed, being broken down and molded, these are all this that can be achieved by words alone. Maybe Sarah took these things to heart and was incompatible with that environment, and it's healthy for her to express that. Nobody is expecting everything to change over one individual but she is not out of line in speaking her mind.

Comment Good thing we have choices! (Score 4, Insightful) 135

Well the great part is now we have choice! Customers concerned with driver screening and safety can take taxis. Customers who are not can throw caution to the wind. What I don't get is people who *want* a monopoly either way. Of rather have competition and choice, so even if I never use Uber or Lyft, I'm glad they exist.

Comment Re:First projects should be celebrated even if min (Score 1) 662

Exactly, as a kid some of my "inventions" were quite similar. But it gave me experience and encouragement and the *desire* to do something bigger and better. I was just learning how things worked. Taking something apart and transplanting it, without breaking it in the process, lets you observe all the parts inside that you need to make it work. Then you start learning about those parts, maybe replacing them with others to see what happens, taking the parts off and making them work individually, putting them together to make something else... This is all part of the learning process and some people learn more visually and more hands-on than with theory. Your first project ever as a kid won't be the most amazing thing that's for sure.

Comment Only for straight males? (Score 1) 371

"What a ridiculous job, why reduce women to only be valued by their looks and to assist males"

Are they only hiring female cheerleaders, and only to help straight male programmers, and by "cheering" they mean flaunting their body? I guess China doesn't have any laws that deal with sexuality or discrimination in the workplace...

Comment Re:Could Xiaomi take over? (Score 1) 209

Sure, but integrating it into their ecosystem could make everything else they do more profitable by making it a gateway, and just making it easily interoperable with their other devices and services would give people a reason to become loyal to the brand. Xiaomi is doing well wherever they have a presence.

Comment No, that's Machinima Inc. (Score 1) 156

"Machinima Inc" is the one they're talking about, not Machinima in general, which is the creation of cinema using virtual machines, mostly games that let you control or script characters. Everywhere I see this story, the editorial never mentions that it is a particular company called "Machinima Inc". Please don't forget the "Inc" part of the name as this distinguishes it from the concept of Machinima itself.

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