2796 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
Re: HOW MUCH?!
To be fair, the article notes this is the same premium that Apple charges for the same feature. Not sure how clever it is to do this. Having the same price point with LTE as the I-Pad without allows more competitive advertising. But it seems that Microsoft hasn't given up on positioning the device as an equal competitor to the I-Pad and in some ways it is (the hardware is top notch and for all the complaints the bundled software is impressive, storage - OS is still an issue). This won't matter to some people (who will find the device is exactly what they want) but is hardly the way to sell in volume.
Re: Begs the question....
As it's unlikely that the relevant OEM didn't already have the SoC you've got software (device driver) and regulatory (FCC) approval to contend with. If it was the software then it doesn't bode well for the future of the Windows-RT platform.
The margins on TV hardware are low and going lower. 4K might sell where 3D so obviously wouldn't, assuming content providers come up with the goods. Interesting to see Amazon trying to get in early there.
The hardware Apple TV is still a hobby for for Apple. It's cheap enough to sell and fits in nicely with the emerging eco-system of streaming to it from other devices (disintermediating by removing the remote control) but it's still niche. Apple desperately wants to be able to brand something to make a premium product out of it. This is more difficult with mass media than it is with high volume but still marginal hardware products.
It might be tempting to get into content production - say joint venture with Disney or buy HBO - but the history of such conglomerates has not been good (Sony, et al.). But some kind of OTT Apple premium service is conceivable.
Where does that come from? I've never heard that before. Are Hangouts, Search, Docs, etc. in running on the same server?
From personal experience I'd say that the barrel connectors were too susceptible to physical damage both of the plug being bent and more serious of the socket.
My personal preference would be for a connector that supports abrupt movement without damage (connection breaks rather than a component) such as the old Ericsson connectors or the mag-safe stuff from Apple. Connectors should be either reversible (mini euro) or obviously usable in one orientation (British mains plug).
Re: Suck it, Apple.
So every laptop charger, no matter how small the laptop, should come with a charger capable of charging the largest, power hungry laptop?
Why not? Every wall has a standard socket for you to plug your device in? More seriously, what is most important is electro-mechanical compatibility. One of the reasons why PCs were successful was the use of ISA (industry standard architecture) including the plug. The plug in the back of portable radios is also standardised. Why can't this be possible for notebooks et al.? So that you could drive a big 17" notebook from your netbook's charger? This would still allow bigger dedicated power bricks (for faster charging or gaming, say) but keeping cables common would reduce costs.
Re: Perhaps missing the point?
Have to scroll to page three to find someone who actually takes issue with the core claim? Wow, that is bad even for El Reg.
The headline did its work as clickbait it would seem and nearly everyone was happy to jump in and have flame wars about OSes.
The trend over the last few years is not between "desktop" OSes but the move to mobile browsing, which can only be a proxy for installed OSes. El Reg will know this from its own statistics and could have improved the article considerably by using them to give additional context. Sigh.
As for all those remarks re. script/ad-blockers: it is relatively easy to see how much these are in used by carefully comparing server logs with script generated traffic. My understanding is that the proportion of users using them is still small, although large enough in some countries like Germany for some companies (United Internet) to try and take action against users. In any case it can be controlled for and reflected in the statistics.
A greater problem with these statistics is how they are obtained and particularly which sites use them. Sites such as The Register don't, for example. Again, it would have made sense to compare El Reg's statistics with those of StatCounter and NetApplications.
Re: All bullshit
While I agree with the main thrust of your argument, it isn't that simple. Of course, the CBI wants to be able to employ Elbonians at a pittance to do the job and will argue with the skills shortage in order to get this. Wonder what solution UKIP will come up with?
Nevertheless, it is also true that labour markets are not entirely elastic: you can't just move people around with higher/lower wages (families, assets, etc. add inertia) or train them to do XYZ. If there is an aggregate demand that exceeds easily available resources then raising the price will not help much. The net result might be to force companies in the sector out of business - this might be because they are uncompetitive (for various reasons) in the area - not wanting to get into a debate about that simply to highlight that it's not always that straightforward.
Business is perfectly right to lobby for its interest but also able to dust off some of the old style cooperations with colleges that used to work well and still appears* to work reasonably well in places like Germany.
* apprenticeships routinely go in and out of fashion depending upon other macroeconomic factors. 10 years ago school leavers couldn't get an apprenticeship for love nor money, now even though competition at university is higher than it used to be, companies can't find enough apprentices. In 1990s it became fashionable to farm off older employers for early retirement…
Although I generally use LibreOffice I think MS Office for Mac is a reasonable product. The Mac team at Microsoft has a history of overdelivering in detail (yes, I know there's stuff it can't or doesn't do).
Though compatibility has come on leaps and bounds there are still things where MS Office excels. I know that quite a few people prefer Powerpoint to Keynote - personally I find Keynote much better - and a lot of people seem to love Outlook.
It's looking good that, over time, Microsoft will have to support ODF properly. This could lead to a genuine competition about tools. Plenty of people would be happy to pay, presumably somewhat less than they currently do, for an MS product that guaranteed interoperability in documents but provided an edge when working with them. Who knows, maybe they'll give up the monster that is OOXML and embrace ODF for their own stuff. I'm sure their own programmers would thank them and they could retire the army of unproductive bods associated with the standardisation. Well, one can dream they might, anyway! ;-)
Same law across the EU for everyone and the European Commission with enough powers to enforce. The national governments won't try and dilute this much further. But there will be attempts to do so via the secretive TTIP,
Re: As if this will make people happy!
WIMP GUIs have always been designed to provide neophytes a way to discover functionality for themselves and learn the keyboard shortcuts as they do so.
So, we should be using vi for everything then?
Windows 8' schizophrenia is so disorientating that it makes me wonder whether anyone at Microsoft is actually using the shit on a daily basis!
Re: I'll wait until Windows 9 before considering an up/down grade from win7
Vista didn't really hurt MS - they carried on selling XP and then they had massive uptake on W7 afterwards
Complete bollocks. Vista really and persistently damaged the image that Microsoft had carefully cultivated with XP (the merger of the DOS bastards and NT). It had huge hardware demands and, although intrinsically more secure, it managed to have application permissions so confusing that most people looked for the "Michael Rimmer" switch to disable it!
Vista was supposed to completely replace XP but, once PC makers found that they couldn't sell it, Microsoft extended XP's lifetime so that they could at least sell that. It put corporate customers off upgrades they might otherwise well have done and entrenched Microsoft's reputation as a purveyor of shoddy browsers with a synthetic restriction on which OSes get which browser.
Because they make so much money from Office and the volume licensing that they have the damage to the bottom line didn't show up immediately. But Vista killed Silverlight and a host of other technologies that Microsoft was hoping to force down the world's throat.
Windows 7 is a fine OS in the XP tradition - I primarily use MacOS and am not a huge fan of Windows - but everyone I know is reasonably happy with 7: it's stable, has all the apps and drivers you could ever want and you know where things are.
Windows 8 was a clownish attempt to tell the market what it wanted. It proved to be both Sinofsky's and Ballmer's (and who knows who else's?) exit pass. And it still doesn't work. Now that the PC/tablet inflexion point has been passed, Microsoft's bottom line is much more susceptible. It's managed to come up with a strategy that satisfies neither touch nor desktop users. Microsoft has massive traction in the installed base and is still managing to lose market share.
Pity it's not permanent
Page turning to save power
Well, maybe but primarily because it's because the media is paged anyway and useful for the TOC and index and also because the eye copes much better with page turning than it does with scrolling. We only suffer with on web browsers because too few manufacturers have got round to implementing paged media extensions and have been pissing around with things like CSS regions instead!
Re: Look to wifi and mobile data for power saving
Disabling GPS when you're not using it is another good way to save power.
CL Tools update as well
Looks like some of the "goodness" requires an update of the toolchain. Version 5.1 of "Command Line Developer Tools" has also been released.
Re: A fridge that can order you milk when it notices you are getting low
As for asking the Germans to do the engineering, well with all the IT successes…
I dunno, we've had our fair share of expensive IT balls up here as well, you know. The motorway toll collection system has to go down as one of the most expensive failures. Course, they kept throwing money at it till it worked and then renewed the contract without putting it out to tender.
Re: Roll those eyes
Yep, just as Mr O. points out: local services stand to benefit from improvements in yields and productivity. 'bout time to when consider how extraordinarily inefficient the current internet-based purchasing model is.
This is why
it's good to pay for research out of the public purse.
Re: Piss poor data?
Yep, but when has a Reg journo let something like facts get in the way of an eyeball-grabbing headline?
I mean, El Reg could actually run a comparison of different aggregators (Net Applications, StatCounter, Akamai, et al.) But that would be work and require thinking.
As is noted on this Hacker News thread, alternative security libraries such as OpenSSL are available and packages can be compiled against OpenSSL rather than GnuTLS. However, as a result of license incompatibilities, plenty of packages default to GnuTLS.
Of course, if the FSF could get of its high horse then we could all work together to avoid bugs like this being around for so long.
As it stands I've just updated my ports and got the new version of the library. Thanks to those who spotted, fixed it and pushed the changes to the various repositories.
Re: Rent a managed server ..
Inasmuch as they are effectively buying managed servers my guess is that it is not cheaper. I doubt very much whether one person can provide 24/7 support all year round. Then there are the licences and software rollout costs.
Re: I'm game
"Pint of stout, Sinbad, and no egg in it!"
Re: 20g of "processed meat"
Fresh meat - straight from the carcass is usually fine. And, if you can overcome your inhibitions damn tasty (the palate is hard-wired to respond positively to raw protein). There are exceptions, of course, but in general you can eat anything freshly killed.
Our propensity for cooking stuff has as much to do with using fossil fuels to do some of the work of digestion as any safety considerations. Boiling water is another matter.
Re: What are we waiting for?
It would be okay if the hardware restrictions were less draconian. I have a MacMini as a backup machine and although it's Intel (Core 2 Duo) it's not able to use anything more recent than Lion.
Snow Leopard itself was a bit of a brown bag release with the most important fixes pushed into Lion.
Re: So let me ask this then....
I too am a little sceptical of this working in the real world, or at least working well enough to be useful.
We've probably still got quite a bit more to squeeze out of compression and even finer spectrum and time slicing.
Re: I'll stick with sh & vi, thank you.
The choice of editor is a very personal thing. Personally, I've never got on with vi's way of doing things but I know people who love it because of the way it works. Great if it works for you.
Losses of less than $ 50 million a quarter? No wonder no one's really interested in buying T-Mobile. Twitter, Groupon et al are able to do much better than that!
And the ARPU is still over $ 50? I'm sure there are many telco CEOs in Europe who'd be more than happy with less than half that! Shows you just how far there is to go in the US market.
It's a terrible number but, given the numbers sold in 2012, it can have some great spin put on it: something thine 1000000 % growth!
There is some sweet irony in that Microsoft Germany is based closed to Munich!
Re: Power law
Maybe per Watt per dollar? Intel keeps on going on about performance mainly for the reason of cost. Even Atoms and ARMs are converging around performance per Watt, you can still get an ARMful of ARMs for the price of one Atom. That means more memory, networking, etc. or even margin for the system developer.
Re: Skype is doing thef for ages... what's new?
Technologically the WhatsApp deal is not interesting. Skype's been out there for a while, I find the voice / video in Google Hangout's very good, which has the added "bonus" of already working with WebRTC, and there are now even open source solutions out there. However, scaling VOIP up and providing a reliable service for hundreds of millions isn't for the faint-hearted. As many have pointed out: the networks can easily play nastily unless the get cut in.
The money isn't real money - it's mainly a stock deal albeit plus a handsome pay-off for the VCs. Not sure if any of them are on Facebook's board. If so there might be a conflict of interest, except you can't have one for a private company so it would be down to shareholders getting off their butts and taking action (not going to happen as presumably the big ones are in on the pay-off).
No, the deal for Facebook was always about closing down the competition: there shall be one social network and Facebook is its name. Here, money doesn't matter and costs are usually offset against tax anyway (investors will accept lower profits in exchange for higher shareprices because of the favourable treatment of capital gains) and the long term expectation that market domination will lead to monetisation. Personally, I think Rakuten's valuation of Viber was probably close to the money.
Microsoft still thinks it's going to make money from Skype/Lync in the corporate world. One of my clients is big on Microsoft but they're currently rolling out Cisco kit which links into Lync and BBM still dominates the messaging space. But, who knows? Maybe corporates will get worried about the future of BlackBerry and turn to Microsoft.
No, Samsung is differentiating.
There is a market for whatever bling Apple produces (I don't believe anyone is buying the Iphone 5s because it's 64-bit) just as there is a market for the biggest screen around, the loudest phone or the bestest (sic) camera. The S5 is more of a gradual improvement on the S4 than anything revolutionary but comes with all kinds of goodies (waterproofing is important to a lot of people) to encourage existing S3 and S2 owners to go for it (or, presumably the mini version when it becomes available).
When it comes to 64-bit wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung and others release a phone once a 64-bit version of Android is available, but as I said above, it's hardly what the market is crying out for.
It ticks all the boxes: app, internet, chat, social, emerging markets, growth. Got to be valued at around $20 - $30bn and IPO accordingly!
The gateway drug
And this will help them sell Windows Phone because…?
I guess you must have missed that Windows Phone is at over 10% market share in a number of countries now including the UK…
No, we didn't. We called the Kantar figures bullshit at the time and IDC backed us up.
Re: This all boils down to:
It should actually be pretty easy for Microsoft to use ODF keep a dominant position in the market by making the best software around. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are okay for many things but I have more crashes with either of them than I ever have with MS Office.
Going ODF would mean Microsoft could drop the army of people associated with maintaining and implementing its own very unwieldy (yes, I've worked with it) standard. They've sort of shown they can do this with the more recent versions of Internet Explorer but you can just see how they still haven't understood that providing tools and services are more important than sabotaging data formats.
Re: So what's the solution?
Two wrongs don't make a right: software can always have bugs. Open source has the advantage of peer review and the chance to learn from each other's mistakes.
Apple already makes extensive use of open source software in the stack but it doesn't really embrace it. No, this doesn't mean that they should suddenly open source all their stuff immediately but that they can contribute more actively to making key libraries better for everyone. Doing this properly would mean Apple developers could spend time reinventing and retesting the wheel.
Currently, if you buy a Mac your POSIX stack will stay frozen until Apple release a new version of the OS (Apple's openssl on my machine seems to be 0.9.8y, MacPorts is on 1.0.1f). It would be a cinch for them to adopt any of the ports projects and integrate into the OS and lever their own sophisticated QA so that we all get better components.
All of this has nothing to do with a caffeine-infused development culture which I think is irrelevant here. Companies still focus on features over quality. Someone took a decision here not to implement code review, static code analysis, pen-testing, etc and all likelihood that wasn't some kid hunched over a keyboard a 3 in the morning.
Race to the bottom?
Is this an admission that Microsoft has lost the high-end. high-margin game and is now preparing to slug it out with a free OS at the bottom just to get some good sales numbers? This might have been a strategy a couple of years ago before the Chinese nonames got their teeth into Android but now it feels like too little too late, especially since Google has started optimising Android for smaller machines. Though, Mr Orlowski contends that Windows Phone has always been better on shittier hardware.
Also note on the sales figures: which ones are being quoted? I thought IDC poured some pretty cold water on Windows Phones sales in 2013.
Re: Losses why?
At first I thought you were trying to be ironic but then I realised that you really don't seems to get it. Explains some of your other posts perhaps.
Groupon's model is because its business model involves encouraging the customers of its customers to be disloyal. It's hardly surprising that this makes it hard to keep customers which means it needs continually new customers which is acquires not from the internet but from a good old-fashioned sales force. It's closer to Tupperware or Avon than it is to an internet-based service or even classic voucher services which seek to spread the cost of promotion between manufacturers and retailers. It doesn't scale well which is why its expansion has just led to higher costs. This might be okay if it had a business model that wasn't so parasitic. Other businesses with similar requirements (people on the ground) are doing better either because they cover new markets (AirBnB) or improve yields (Opentable). Maybe the "pull" approach as has legs.
Calm down! calm down!
Some of the restrictions or charges have some justification: Skype uses more bandwidth than an equivalent voice call; roaming does incur some charges (billing mainly) and does require telcos in the land visited to invest in sufficient infrastructure to cope with visitors: think of popular holiday destinations - a surcharge of some kind might be reasonable.
Ten years ago both the EC and the European Parliament proposed abandoning roaming altogether but the the national governments wouldn't have it but did accept the phasing out over time that we're seeing. The telcos resistance to change and shows how important their massive short-term profits are too them. They could have killed OTT services by simply reducing prices but preferred to charge more and complain. If international calls only cost, say, 25 % more than national ones, Skype would never have had a chance. Ditto texts and WhatsApp - SMS used to be free because billing it was more expensive than the cost of transmission…
The big bang is yet to come when you get to choose your roaming partner. This will be too fiddly for most consumers but should revolutionise the whole market (both roaming and national) within a couple of years.
Re: Once again the EU makes a good call.
The media and the government need a whipping boy and the civil service and bureaucracy of the European Commission make excellent ones.
Anything that is unpopular is blamed on them, whereas anything that turns out to be popular is usually spun as hard-won by the government. Business always finds a way to defend gouging as necessary for investment (the Ryanair twat about compensation payments, the telcos about roaming, etc.) The Commission is always on the defensive in such situations and most of the "journalists" covering the issue spend more time drinking with Farage and his buddies than they do reading the, admittedly often tedious, documents related to the single market.
Now, if only the UK would get on with unbundling the UK's energy markets as the EU requires…
Re: It's not phone calls, it's data
There has been a cap of € 50 per month for roaming charges in the EU for some years now that you have to explicitly ask to be remove. So, if anyone is being hit wit hundreds then it's most likely their own fault.
So what does Kantar say now?
IDC says Windows Phone managed very small growth in 2013 to about 3 %. Kantar has for months been banging on about Windows Phone gaining 10 % and more in key markets. Hm, who to believe?
The daftness of the quote underlines the daftness of the conclusion: you can't have a sum of the parts being more than the whole.
Sure, Apple and Samsung are profiting most from the business but that does not mean everyone else is making a loss.
Re: Old Neelie is good for a laugh!
downvotes from those immune to truth and rational thought
Have we got ourselves a new Eadon?
Re: Excuse me but is this Torygraph?
electorate's reason for voting boils down to which pair of loons they prefer as PM and Chancellor.
The constituency system actually is not about that at all. Maybe if the rule suggested were brought back in it would mean MPs standing up more for their voters rather than their party.
That's a side issue. On democratic accountability the EC remains considerably more so than many of the appointed members of cabinet (is Warsi still in it?) and especially of th QUANGOs governments love to circumvent parliamentary accountability. Hand's length has its place, of course but since the 1980s the QUANGO has been the vehicle of choice for enforcing, or not as in the case of most of the regulators (OFGEN, OFCOM, OFGAS, …), the laws passed by parliament.
Excuse me but is this Torygraph?
unelected digital czar
What's with the sensationalism? All the members of the European Commission are bureaucrats, though they're technically more accountable than say members of the British civil service and are as elected as say the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to his position. They are chosen, albeit in a bout of severe horse-trading by the elected heads of government of the member states and approved by the elected members of the European parliament. The process is due to change for the next commission with the parliament getting more power over individual members.
Not that I'm holding out my breath for a significantly better commission. Only if we can reduce the horse-trading by having fewer ex-politicians and more proper technocrats will we really get anywhere.
But, hey, facts are boring, right?
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