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* Posts by John P

223 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007

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Microsoft discovers long-lost phone division down back of sofa

John P

No Microsoft, No. Don't for the love of <deity/> put your name on it. Lumia is a good brand and it would've served them well to keep using it and keep their name off of those devices.

I say that as a very happy Lumia 1020 owner and Windows 8 user, but you'd have to be stupid to not be aware that Microsoft's name doesn't necessarily have the best reputation amongst consumers these days.

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Satya Nadella's $84.3m pay packet: Did he use the 'female superpower' to get it?

John P

Couldn't agree more.

What he said last week was terribly phrased, no denying that, but it must take a massive act of wilful ignorance to not be able to clearly see what he was *trying* (very badly) to say.

MS CEO gets paid a s**tload of money, not exactly a headline story there El Reg. So far Nadella has made one cock-up, and seems to be receiving a disproportionate amount of attacks for it.

The MS hate seems to overriding proportionality and reason even more than usual.

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WOMEN, your 'SUPERPOWER' is ... NOT asking for a RAISE: Satya Nadella

John P

I see where he was going with it, but he did say it very badly.

I think what he was trying to say is that you shouldn't need to ask for a raise, but the company you work for should reward you for your hard work, regardless of whether you are male or female.

In my current job, I was going to ask for a raise at my last appraisal but my boss beat me to it and gave me a raise before I had to ask.

I realise this isn't how things work in the vast majority of companies, but it is really how it should be which I thing is what he was trying to get at.

As it is, it just sounded like "don't ask for a raise dear, you'll get one when your boss thinks you're worth it", which has a much more sinister tone to it!

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Lumia rebrand begins: Nokia's new UK web home is Microsoft.com

John P

Microsoft Lumia XXX with Windows.

It wouldn't surprise me. Microsoft, like myself, should never be allowed to name things EVER.

That being said, as long as the phones are decent, I don't care whose name is on them. But Microsoft isn't a name that most people will want on their expensive shiny shiny. If I were them, I'd just use Lumia and not put the word "Microsoft" anywhere on any of their devices, their sales will thank them for it...

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Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't

John P

MS have been warning for years that this would be removed, admitting that it was a stupid idea to add the setting in the first place. Plenty of warning has been given and no one in their right minds should have this set to false anyway.

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We give Panasonic's new 5-inch Toughpad phablets a kicking

John P

"rapid technology cadence "

as a Windows Phone user I'd have to take issue with that, while the rest of MS has moved to a faster cadence, the phone division seems to have gone the opposite direction, the current 8.1 update being the first in a while.

Is this a sign of future change or just marketing fud?

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Redmond in rapid rebuild after sysadmin request STUNNER

John P

Re: Well

Apparently the alien is called the Failien and was originally a placeholder for when errors occurred, but they seem to have adopted it as their mascot. I don't see any harm in it as long as it doesn't get in my way.

I'm not a fan of the new portal either. I can see how, when all services are over there and you can use resource groups to group individual services by application, that it *might* be useful from a "DevOps" perspective which is where they are aiming it, but in terms of just doing something to a particular service, I think the existing portal is far superior for that purpose. Sometimes you don't need to see the whole application, you just want to work with the website or the database without having everything else in your face.

Also, it keeps forgetting every change I make to it which kind of defeats the point of it being customisable.

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US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'

John P

It would appear it is not just the UK government who are completely useless at IT projects.

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

John P

Re: One size fits none

You can tell it was designed for touch because it works really well on both phones and tablets. Most of the niggles I have about using it on a desktop disappear once I'm on a tablet although the integration on transformers like the Lenovo Helix is a little rough.

It's being reannounced because they screwed it up.

Win8 was supposed to facilitate write once-run anywhere, due to internal politics it failed miserably at this, ending up with APIs for Win8 on Intel, Win8 on Arm, and WinPho which were very similar but different enough to be incompatible.

Here's hoping MS can get it right second time, the fact that they seem to be teaming up with Xamarin on the mobile side makes me optimistic.

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NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14

John P

Re: D(HE)LL?

I think the purpose of self-host is to support scenarios where you want every Kb or memory available to your application. IIS is a lot lighter than it used to be but for simple scenarios it is probably overkill.

Also, vNext is supported on Mac and Linux where there is no IIS, so they need to fill the gap there.

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John P

Re: Refactoring...

I don't know what their excuse is for not doing it up this point. From various interviews and blog posts, I get the impression that the old compilers were bears to work with so maybe that had something to do with it and they have spent the best part of the last 5 years on Roslyn.

I'm only saying why they probably haven't added more in VS14 given all the other work they are doing.

At least now with Roslyn, if they don't do it, it will be a lot easier for someone else to.

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John P

Re: Refactoring...

I'm sure they'll get to it. In fairness, they have rewritten the compilers and are heavily altering the entire framework and rewriting MVC/WebForms/WebApi from scratch, I'd say they've got their hands full.

Now that it is easier with Roslyn, you'll probably see a whole load of Resharper-wannabes popping up.

Also, keep in mind this is still just a preview, I suspect there will be more by RTM.

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Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes

John P

Re: Cloud first

I think this is the point of what they've realised.

So many people have realised that they don't need a PC for browsing the internet and playing games, a cheap Android tablet or shiny iThing will do for that. Every individual who comes to this conclusion is lost revenue, so they need to ensure their products work on other platforms or the browsing and playing consumer market will continue to move over to Android and Apple.

This is evident from the next version of .net officially supporting Mono. They need to get out on to other platforms and stop restricting themselves to Windows. Every product will now have to survive on it's own merits, not just keep going because it is dependent on or depended on by another product (ie Needing Windows to run virtually every MS product). As these products become cross-platform, Windows will have to stand on it's own 2 feet or die.

The only worrier is the comment about their services being best on a Windows device. If this just means added features and integrations that's fine. But given MS' form, it probably means they will be horribly crippled.

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John P

Re: Call Scooby and the gang!

It seems pretty astonishing that Satya is saying that MS experiences should be available on any platform, all in the same week they reveal that they're shutting down Nokia X, the only part of the Nokia business that ships any decent volume.

Unless there are some major profitability issues with Nokia X that we don't know about, the ability to keep them as an "on-ramp" in to the MS and WinPho ecosystem would've been the best thing they got out of the Nokia acquisition.

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Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!

John P

Re: So, let me get this straight...

We are very small (<25 staff) and we don't have a dedicated sysadmin nor do we have the space or time to support running in-house infrastructure. The developers do the maintenance and I can tell you that running our web applications on Azure requires a fraction of the management time required when we were running on a rented server in a data center and on an in-house server before that.

We are not alone in not having a dedicated sysadmin, it seems be a pretty common thing among small businesses, hence why the maths works out in Azure's favour for us.

If you've already got the infrastructure and the admins, that will undoubtedly be cheaper than any cloud offering.

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John P

Re: So, let me get this straight...

On 4, we are an SMB and using Azure allows us to do things that we could not otherwise do. I did the sums before we started using Azure and once you factor in power consumption, time to market, and the wages of someone to look after it all, Azure won easily from a cost perspective. If you're just comparing the cost of renting servers against the cost of buying them, on-premise will look more attractive but you're not getting the full picture.

5. Couldn't agree more, I cringe every time I see the Windows 8/WinPho adverts, they're just so bad and don't convey any information whatsoever.Suggesting that people need to be brave to use your products is Ratner-esque.

@Steve Davies 3

"There are lots of highly skilled people at Microsoft. It is a shame all your political infighting at the top is getting in the way of some fairly decent products. Just look at the number of people who leave MS and startup their own company..."

Agreed, if you look at what the .net and Azure guys are doing currently, they're coming up with some really nice products and embracing open source as something that will help them build better products and make more people WANT to use their platform, the future looks bright for .net developers. Microsoft needs more of that kind of thinking in the rest of the company.

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PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

John P

This is the second El Reg review that has referred to Tiles as deprecated, is that actually the case? They are no longer the only notification method but that does not equal deprecation. Given how MS are pushing tiles generally, I find it unlikely that they would deprecate them on the phone which is actually where they work the best.

I know some have had issues with 8.1 but it is not completely broken, I have had no issues with it whatsoever, not one.

"Microsoft gave up on integrating social media deeply into the OS" - I would personally say that is in 8.1's favour.

Overall I would say I have lost nothing through the 8.1 update and gained Notifications and (eventually) Cortana which sounds like it will be useful, but given I only got my 1020 a couple of weeks before signing up to the Dev Preview, it's possible I never got as far as using some of the features that have gone backwards.

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

John P

It's great that they've bought this back for the people who want it. I just hope they give us the option of sticking with the current start screen as I personally prefer it to the start menu.

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'The writing is TOO SMALL': MPs row over Parliamentary move to Office 365

John P

Re: Show me the data!

Dublin most likely.

Not that that will stop the NSA giving MS a court order + gag order if they ever want anything. NSA think they can do what they want and they'll get away with it because, in their opinion, USA is the leader of the free** world.

**Their ever changing definition of free.

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Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

John P

Re: HONESTLY?

I HATE any advert with that tune with a passion.

If pink slips are being handed out, the marketing department should be the first to go and whoever (if anyone) outside of the marketing department approved those bloody adverts.

Microsoft's products have improved IMHO but their appalling marketing is one of their biggest problems at the moment.

Apple stole the Nokia camera guy, they should steal some Apple marketing execs as, despite refusing to own an iDevice, I actually quite like the Apple adverts.

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Microsoft: Give us three MORE WEEKS, folks – our StorSimple Cloud is coming

John P

I'll give you point one, although I would hasten to add that AWS wasn't a great deal better at this point in it's life. Their numbers of failures were less, but they tended to be a lot bigger.

No cloud provider has stable pricing, If they had stable pricing, they'd be priced out of the market within 3 months as everyone else continue to drop their prices.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

John P

Re: My biggest peeve

Here's a quick way to get the shortcut.

On the start screen, search for the application you want, right click > open file location. This will take you to that application's location within the Start Menu file heirarchy, then you can just copy and paste the shortcut to the desktop.

It's not quick by any means but certainly quicker than trawling around the file system. Would be nice if they added "Pin to Desktop" in the right click menu alongside Start and Taskbar...

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Down-with-the-kidz Apple stuffs up with wild 'funness' claims

John P

funness?

Will someone please tell the yoof to stop making up stupid words?

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WD adds Miracast support to feed-slinging tellybox gizmo

John P

I've had one of these for a couple of years now, but successive updates have rendered it unable to reliably connect to the shares on my NAS and it is now getting replaced by a Raspberry Pi running XBMC. Shame really, as it was a great little box initially.

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

John P

Complete Bastards

That is all.

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

John P

I think these idiots are probably a minority. If they bought in to the platform in order to get things they hadn't heard of and expected to have some sort of exclusivity of all WP features, then I've no sympathy with them as they are clearly not the most intelligent of people.

I've got a WP and the possibility of Cortana ending up on IOS and Android has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. Come to think of it, it can only be a good thing as more users = more development. If Cortana turns out to be a good technology, then the more people who want it and can get it, the better.

I look forward to getting it myself (damn US-only Beta!)

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UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: THE TRUTH

John P

Re: I'm against it at this time. here's why...

"would have to be 100% reliable fully automated travel on our roads"

It doesn't have to be 100% reliable, just more reliable than the standard meatbag-controlled vehicles...

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TrueCrypt hooked to life support in Switzerland: 'It must not die' say pair

John P

What difference does the XP EOL make to the code quality of TrueCrypt?

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Microsoft Cortana EULA contains the Greatest Disclaimer of ALL TIME

John P

Has anyone taken a look at the Siri and GoogleNow Terms to see if they contain a similar clause? This seems like the kind of standard arse-covering legalese that the lawyers would apply regardless of the company's faith in the product.

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Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

John P

Re: Camera button

MS have relaxed the rules recently, this and allowing an absence of hard nav buttons were two of the bigger changes. They also made WinPho free for phones below a certain size.

The only gripe I have with that review is that the Live Tiles haven't been deprecated, they're just no longer the only way to get information to the user. These two things are not the same. In certain scenarios, Live Tiles work better than the Notification pulldown and vice versa, so having both is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

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Brit named HP chief of staff to CEO Whitman

John P

Seems more like a demotion, Head of PC and Printers to Secretary? Bet it pays well though...

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Virtually yours: Microsoft unveils Windows-as-a-service

John P

Re: Three new offerings from MS

It's actually based on Server 2012 (not 2008 as the article suggested) and from the demo at TechEd, you don't see any of the OS, just the app itself, so the OS is not even a factor here I think.

It looks interesting, I'll wait to hear how much it costs before getting too excited...

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Nokia Camera guru: I'm finished being Finnish, and off to 'the company you're thinking of'

John P

I just got one a few weeks ago and it is excellent, best phone I have ever had, with or without the camera.

"developed by Partinen and others" - there's still hope...

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King's stocks are candy-crushed as its top toy suffers splurge slump

John P

Probably not a great deal for Joe Public but probably resulted in some games developers leaving, although they probably account for a relatively small portion of Candy Crush's user base anyway.

King's fortunes will continue to slide as long as they are a one trick pony. All of their games are just cheap re-skins of Candy Crush, that cow isn't going to be milkable for ever...

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Microsoft hints at smaller Surface

John P

Re: Its the interface

My work have both a Surface Pro and a Lenovo Helix and the experience is pretty good, Windows 8 is at it's best on a touch device (no surprise there).

I agree with both of your niggles, the All Apps views is an appalling UI IMHO and I avoid it whenever I can, the improved search on Windows 8 facilitates that nicely. Keyboard is a pain, I wouldn't have thought it would be that hard to add a setting to suppress the on-screen keyboard when a physical keyboard is present, seems like a no-brainer to me as it is surely the most suitable option for most people.

It's a shame the Surface is so highly priced because it is a fantastic piece of hardware, but the high price means it gets excluded pretty early on when put up against cheaper equivalents with a more traditional laptop form-factor.

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Early! Do! Not! Track! Adopter! Yahoo! Says! It's! Rubbish, Bins! It!

John P

So one browser maker does what is probably in the best interests of the consumer, and everyone who stands to make a loss from that runs in the opposite direction.

The elephant in the room is, of course, that as long as DNT is off by default, it's unlikely to cause any major harm. As soon as it's on by default, revenue goes down so it is no longer a usable standard from their perspective.

When a service is free, you're the product.

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Microsoft's Azure cloud goes a bit wobbly in West Europe

John P

Re: I wonder if it's down to their love of complexity

"If you use their site, it needs JScript. If you use hotmail it uses an utter ton of JS"

As is the case with about 99% of sites on the internet, what's your point?

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Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

John P

I hope the Services division takes some advice from the Azure guys here. They make a point of ensuring that Azure SDKs for non-MS languages are at feature parity with (and sometimes ahead of) the .net SDKs. The thinking is exactly that they want people to use Azure,let them do it in whatever language they want.

If they go the same way with the X models, it could work out very well for them. As stated in the article, it shouldn't matter what device people use, they should all be able to access MS services if they want to. Being cross-platform gets people dependent on and familiar with your services on their current platform, making them more likely to think of MS when their next upgrade comes along.

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It's a done deal! Microsoft-Nokia merger to close on Friday

John P

Re: Elops Job

The Trojan Horse theory, while vaguely plausible, I still believe to be far less likely than the two simplest and most obvious explanations.

1. Rightly or wrongly, he liked Windows Phone and thought it was a good way to differentiate from all the Android makers out there.

2. He was promoted above his ability and, faced with not having a clue what to do, did what most people do when that happens: He went running back to what was familiar, in this case Microsoft and Windows Phone.

One day I will want to update my 1020. If Nokia can keep producing phones of that quality, they'll have me for as long as the platform and the devices serve my purpose.

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John P

I just got myself a Lumia 1020 this weekend and can honestly say it is the best phone I have ever owned, including my previous Android phones, both HTCs - the Desire and the One X. Mainly purchased for the camera which does not disappoint.

As long as Nokia keep making phones like the 1020, I don't care who owns them.

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

John P

It's really disappointing to see that after the 8.1 update was so easy and smooth, that they release update 1 as 5 separately installed Windows updates. It's ridiculous. In some ways, Update 1 is a bigger update than 8.1 so would've been deserving of 8.2 in my opinion. Deliver it via the store and you've got an easy upgrade experience. If you really need to use Windows Update, do it as 1 or at most 2 updates, not 5.

Dropping support for Windows 8.1 if you don't go to update 1 is also crazy. According to the lifecycle page, Windows 8.1 has the same lifecycle as Windows 8, but then they come out and say you won't get updates on a Windows version that is barely 6 months old if you don't install the Service Pack.

I like Windows 8.1, I like the Start screen, I ignore TIFKAM same as most people. Where I think companies or individuals are being criticised unfairly, I will defend them, but good god Microsoft you do some damn indefensible things sometimes!

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Microsoft, Oracle FINALLY get a room: Now they're ready to take on Amazon cloud

John P

Re: Windows?

My former employer, a college, run their students records system off Oracle DB running on Windows. It works very well. Tweak a couple of minor settings and it practically looks after itself.

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Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

John P

Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

Sometimes you have to make big changes in your product that necessitate a more involved migration process.

Microsoft's failure is in not going to the effort to make the migration path smoother. You can go from XP -> 7, but not XP -> 8, but you can go 7 -> 8. MS would be in fewer admin's bad books if they automated these processes so even if it is 2 separate steps, you do it in the background thus making the choice of migrate or not that much easier.

Having said that, I don't think not migrating because it is hard is sufficient excuse. Have a go at MS for making it difficult by all means, they deserve it. That, however, doesn't stop it needing doing, even if it is harder than you would like.

You shouldn't be running 12 year old PCs, so why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

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John P

Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

You could say this for almost every software product in existence.

The software industry is built on incremental improvements to an existing code base until supporting that legacy becomes too much, at which point you get yourself on to a new more modern one. No one rewrites the product on every version, nor should they.

If you're coming from XP, I would say 7/8 is a significantly new OS in terms of features and architecture. Going from 7 to 8, it is more of an incremental change.

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John P

Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

The writing was on the wall for XP regardless of whether or not Windows 8 was a success.

The double standard here is that no one seems expect any other company to support a 12 year old operating system, it's only MS who must have some devious master plan behind dropping support for XP, other than it being 12 years old of course.

It's not reasonable to expect any company to support a product that is more than a decade old when they have released 3 major versions in the meantime. Exclude Vista for a moment as it is pants, and even if you don't like Windows 8, Windows 7 is far superior to XP.

No one seems to expect to be able to buy a phone with Cupcake on it, why on earth are they so attached to XP? I liked XP in the day but Windows 7 is far better.

The end of life for XP isn't news and MS have given everyone plenty of time to move over.

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

John P

Re: What the hell did they expect?

Desktop software is no harder to find or use in Windows 8 than it has been in any previous iteration of Windows. If anything, the fact that Windows 8's search is better than previous versions makes it easier to find applications, regardless of whether or not they are Metro apps.

I never used search before 8 because I always found that I could find what I wanted quicker manually, that is no longer the case and for anything that is not pinned to my start screen, I almost exclusively use search to find it where as I used to just open an explorer window and go spelunking in program files.

The whole Metro thing is open to debate, but the claim that Desktop apps are any harder to use than they have been previously is simply false.

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It's Satya! Microsoft VP Nadella named CEO as Bill Gates steps down

John P

This is a good move.

Server 2012 aka "The Cloud OS" delivers some great features both for Azure and Private data centers but you get all the goodies even if you are just running one or two servers in your company, and it doesn't force you in to using any of them if you don't want to. This is what Windows 8 should have done, innovate but don't force people in to it.

Get it right and they will come. Satya is perfectly capable of getting it right when left to get on with it, he has proved that.

The only big question now is whether or not he will be left to manage Microsoft how he wants to and how Microsoft needs him to, or if Gates and Ballmer will be controlling him from behind the curtain, stopping him from making real progress.

At this point, I am cautiously optimistic.

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Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

John P

It's just typical of Microsoft that when they do do something really good, they don't tell anyone about it. Infopath was/is an absolutely excellent idea well implemented, one of the hidden gems of Office.

Here's hoping they don't f**k up it's successor.

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Microsoft loses grip on Christmas shoppers... despite XBox boost

John P

Re: "Windows phone = loser"?

Never happen. Picking someone else's OS over their own would be complete suicide for Microsoft, it's like the CEO of Ford driving around in a Fiat 500.

I'll be going for the 1020 on my next upgrade, or the functional equivalent at the time as I am thoroughly sick of Android. Every update reduces my battery life, the last update means I can barely get a full day out of a full charge while not touching it all day. It came loaded up with crapware (both from Google and HTC) that I am simply not permitted to remove AND this crapware keeps starting itself somehow. I've never used Twitter and have no use for it, but every time I go to the task manager. the Twitter app is there sucking my battery and CPU, and that is just one example of this.

I've no guarantee that WinPho will be any better, but it's either that or iOS and Apple are even worse than Google.

This is really the wrong place for an anti-Android rant, but MS articles are normally filled with pro-Linux rants so being off topic isn't unprecedented.

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Army spaffed MILLIONS up the wall on flawed Capita online recruiting system - report

John P

Why, why, why do these companies keep getting contracts? It beggars belief, there can only be a healthy amount of backhanders going on to explain this?

Minister: But why should I give you the contract, you've fucked up every one you have ever had.

Capita: I'll quote you half of whatever everyone else has quoted and here's 10% of the extra 500% I intend to charge the government in 'overruns' before failing to deliver anything useful.

Minister: You've got a deal!

Or is there a lesson here? Never attribute to corruption what can more easily be attributed to our Government being run by a bunch of f**king idiots!

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