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Comment Re:Overrated (Score 2) 200

I could not disagree more. Oliver is adept at something that geeks are not: Appealing to the masses. He and his writers have great skill in making dry subjects such as PRISM and net neutrality entertaining and thus impactful to non-geeks (read: mostly everybody). Impact is REQUIRED to get the momentum you need to enact change. You can spin your wheels all you want trying to take the high road and "educate" non-geeks on why they should be outraged. In fact, NSA and Comcast prefer we do this because THEY WILL WIN.

I say carry on, Mr Oliver. I prefer results.

Comment QuickBase (Score 1) 144

I always use and recommend QuickBase for ad-hoc tracking solutions. It is both simple and powerful. It is not free but has a free trial for you to try. It is web-based / SaaS but honestly I would not go any other way in your case. This greatly simplifies management and support, and generally supports any platform (windows, ipad, etc) that has a modern web browser. I have also heard good things about Base Camp, another web-based solution.

Comment Re:Throw "Freedom" On It (Score 1) 550

I disagree completely! I would contest our political system has mutated to a something that is NOT, as Lincoln said, "a government of the people, by the people, for the people". Somehow I doubt our electorate is any more gullible, irresponsible, and/or swayed by the media compared to any other in the world. The slime balls have found a way to game the system. The system needs to change.

Comment Re:Too Late (Ask Zune) (Score 1) 445

It's never too late for a company the size and quality of msft to break into the phone market

I guess I have less faith. The XBox (360 that is) is the last thing MS that I can remember breaking into a market...and that was largely in spite of themselves (as proven so far by the One). I just don't see MS as an innovator. Maybe new leadership will change this.

It's also impossible for a software platform vendor to ignore mobile

Doesn't mean they are very good at it, or go about it very intelligently. Anyone can say "Hey we should get into this market". Its the execution that matters.

Zune, on the other hand, was bound to be eclipsed by more inclusive devices (think about the long dead ipod).

Again: Execution. Apple saw this, and basically took its existing iphone and ripped out the wireless radio. Bam, there's your iPod and at negligible manufacturing and R&D cost. MS on the other hand developed Zune and Phone completely separately. Not only is this a massive waste, it is a huge reflection of MS's silo'd corporate culture in general.

Finally, I can't think of one competitive advantage Apple or Google has that would constitute a moat protecting their current lock on the market

I think prior purchases (apps, vids, music, hardware) and apples vertical integration of their products are a couple significant obstacles. You have to come up with something special for users to ditch all of these ancillary purchases that "just work" and start fresh on a new platform. Maybe a more innovative and agile company can acheive this, but I don't think MS has it in them

Comment Re:Too Late (Ask Zune) (Score 1) 445

I guess I was thinking in the context of WP7, which was MS's first modern generation of app-centric, internet- focused, touchscreen phones; Released around the same time as iPhone 4, but with the feature set of iPhone 1. Android was quicker to adapt to this market and thus is very successful in it.

Comment Too Late (Ask Zune) (Score 4, Interesting) 445

When the final iteration of the Zune rolled out, it was largely considered a terrific product. However, the summary of that particular review is a chilling reminder of MS's tendency to arrive late to the party:

If this thing came out in a parallel universe where the iPod didn’t exist, it would be hailed as a god. No, the problem is the iPod’s head start — its catalog of music, movies, apps and accessories are ridiculously superior to the Zune’s

The Zune was cancelled shortly thereafter. The product finally became good, but it was too late. I smell the same fate for windows phone.

Comment Utilities (Score 4, Interesting) 210

I've always wondered why manufacturers reinvent the wheel when it comes to bundled utilities. Why does Lenovo develop its own power controls, wireless manager, driver updater, display management, etc when there are standard OS utilities to handle these things? Isn't it sort of a waste of their time? It's always fun when the 3rd party utils start fighting with the native OS tools for control.

Comment De-Fragmentation (Score 1) 570

One motivation for this may be to address their fragmentation issue. My guess is MS is tired of supporting multiple versions of OS concurrently, and multiple concurrent versions of software that run on those concurrent OS's. Think of the costs associated with trying to manage/test/support all this compatibility (not that they have been great at this in recent years).

So maybe they are taking an Apple approach and de-fragmenting their own walled garden, reducing products, cutting costs, and hopefully providing a more uniform experience for its customers.

But really I am just dreaming of the day I can stop developing for IE6 compatibility in websites :-)

Comment Just use the IP (Score 1) 388

To use TFA's illustration: "The address is removed from the phone book" ... Yes but the store is still there and open for business. Those who really want the content will obtain the IP address and bookmark that....or put it in their hosts file. or publish an app that does this for non power users automatically. If the content is there, it will be found.

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