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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2645 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Tablet boom quiets down a bit as growth slows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Looks like we are seeing slowdowns across the board...

What do you expect since the Federal Reserve reduced the rate at which it was printing money?

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French software developers are all beautiful women

Charlie Clark
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Slow news day?

The shots included on Delafargue's website do make the whole thing look a bit like a lad's mag. In which case I think the whole brochure is doomed to failure as totally off the mark. I suspect most people wouldn't care if the brochure was full of pictures of the usual beautiful people as long as it made the right kind of claims about productivity and world domination in "three easy steps".

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T-Mobile US added more subscribers in last quarter than top three competitors combined

Charlie Clark
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ARPU still around $50

Means there is still plenty of scope for further price cuts!

(ARPU in Europe is < € 20 / $ 25)

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Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Re: I know it is his personal Twitter account

He is speaking very much on behalf of the company and knows it. But, seriously, "shit" is considered a problem?

Maybe the moral minority should organise a boycott and switch to ATT or Verizon. They can press for self-censoring phones that automatically cut out any possibly offensive words!

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Call me cynical...

It's pretty easy to read log files to see whether DNT has been set or not. As with most browser settings it requires a lot of energy to find, understand and set. And, it only sets a header. It doesn't get the browser to enforce any kind of white or blacklist so isn't much use anyway. So, I suspect that most people don't set it.

Much better to use something like Ghostery that does as much as possible to enforce my preference not too be tracked across the interwebs.

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Microsoft: You know we said NO MORE XP PATCHES? Well ...

Charlie Clark
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Luckily unaffected

I've just stuck Windows 7 on a friend's machine because we both decided that Windows 8 was undesirable but she felt (understandably) queasy about sticking with Windows XP. Good news is that because there is no hardware acceleration for the shitty SiS graphics, IE is borked! :-)

Had a go installing Kubuntu on a second partition but it, too, seemed to struggle with the graphics. Might have another with that or Mint or PC-BSD tomorrow.

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Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

Charlie Clark
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Easier not just not eating

I remember going without food for a couple of weeks (I drank juice and tea) and still being able to cycle 7 miles two and from university and attend classes without any problems. Once the initial hunger is over it was pretty easy and I think most of us could do this for about a month without any problems. The body just uses up all the energy stored as fat.

Going on a crash diet of reduced calories confuses the body as it doesn't know what to do. This often leads to the body trying to store the energy from the food consumed and leads to weight loss. The body needs some time to adjust to the new regime.

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

Charlie Clark
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Good infographics can be really good additions to a story and I'm a fan of them in general. http://gapminder.org has some great examples.

Of course, like the currency cat, they can also be completely crap.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Populism and the Licence

Why have public service broadcasting? Because it is the only place you can really try hard to have something that is independent of both government and commercial interests.

Their liberal metropolitan attitudes are alien to about 95% of people.

I doubt that very much. It's probably true to say that not all of their attitudes are shared by a majority of the population. But that is actually fine if there is space for other reasonably held views - it's a mistake to think that giving equal time to everyone's point of view is balanced. Focussing more on professional journalism and less on fluff would automatically redress the balance.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: ignored because the preoccupations of the BBC

News on German public TV isn't too bad to be honest and it get's very local: from 19:00 to 20:15 I have regional, local and national news. I know my mum would love the 30 minutes given over to local news.

Channel 4 News is still a good attempt and informing and educating. Yes, the presenters still have obligatory Twitter handles but the fluff stops there.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tabloid

Fucking Greg Dyke is to blame for dumbing the news down in order to try and get more audience. And hasn't that worked well?

Good journalism will always find an audience.™

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: What is Windows Phone market?

As opposed to Google, who have an abysmal history with privacy and dodgy dealings?

So Microsoft is currently the champion of our rights? When did that happen because I must have missed it. Secure boot, DRM, etc. And, of course, Bing, Maps, etc. don't phone home to tell Microsoft what the users are doing,

Besides if you don't like the security settings on Android, stick on Cyanogenmod which allows you to manage permissions per app including disabling them by default.

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Charlie Clark
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Usual pinch of salt

IDC are still keeping their monthly market share figures (based on shipments) behind a a paywall but they have been consistently below Kantar's finger in the wind numbers. I posted the figures for Germany from February which had Windows Phone below 5 %. Based on anecdotal evidence when I'm out and about I'd go for 2 - 3 % as I can still keep a count in my head of the people with Lumias.

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Twitter investors squawk as user growth, income disappoint again

Charlie Clark
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#WhoCares

Except, I'm sure my bank or pension fund probably managed to sink some money into this turkey.

On the positive side: my Twitter-bot, inactive the last three years, still has some 300 followers.

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Voice-babble-over-Wi-Fi lands in Europe – take that, mobe masties

Charlie Clark
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Blah, blah, blah

This has to be one of the worst written articles I've read for a while. Breathless, stream of consciousness style doesn't work very well for analysis.

Wifi is indeed pretty widespread in the Netherlands including free to use on most trains. But that still doesn't make it universally available.

Meanwhile, elsewhere the telcos are finally implementing real cuts in roaming charges. For example, it's now free for me to receive calls anywhere in the EU and other charges are approaching the same as when in Germany. Interestingly, these changes were introduced before the start of the holidays.

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AMD adds ARM security core to new, low-cost x86 mobile processors

Charlie Clark
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Getting more done with less

The integration of GPU and ARM with an x86 is the way to go. You need less silicon and less power to get things done. Cheaper to make and run.

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Apple patents Wi-Fi access point location lookup

Charlie Clark
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Re: Good that Google didn't illegally map all private Wifi access points in the EU.

Plenty of companies map access points and provide the data on a commercial data to Google and Apple… who've been busy improving their own databases thanks to their users. Not sure how the commercial providers will react to this silly landgrab. But whoever okayed the patent needs a good talking to!

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Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer – advice from US, UK, EU

Charlie Clark
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Active X is the root of all evil

At least if I read this correctly and the only way the exploit can work across all versions. Unbelievable really that, despite all the good work put into developing IE 9 and beyond, Microsoft has still left the abscess that is Active X essentially untouched. A bit like how they've resurrected the Silverlight walled garden as Metroland.

They really ought to be sued for not taking Active X out back and replacing it with a proper sandbox system.

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No longer a 'hobby', Apple TV rakes in ONE BEEELLION DOLLARS

Charlie Clark
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Who's making the money?

So, in stark contrast to most Apple products, Apple TV is sold at slightly above cost to encourage people to buy content from the store. It fits in neatly to an existing Apple ecosystem and, even if it ignores standard NAS (DNLA), people are generally happy with it providing a better interface than most builtins.

But of that USD 1 billion sold via the Apple store, how much is Apple raking in? 33 % isn't bad but there's still a lot of infrastructure to pay for (whereas as content owners can just count the cash) and the recent noises from the FCC about dropping net neutrality is as likely to hurt Apple as much as Netflix. What Netflix, and Amazon and to a lesser extent Google have, are increasing amounts of their own content. That might be decisive over the next couple of years.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Instead

There's nothing wrong with Chromecast, it's a similar approach to a different problem. If it gains traction, and this is likely because it's a damn sight easier to use than most SmartTV interfaces, then it's likely to be able to offer the same kind of content that Apple TV does.

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Microsoft beats cloud drum as revenues remain solid but flat

Charlie Clark
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With margins like that…

… you can see why they've still changed so little and are still resistant to any real change.

There's a chance of an inflexion point if someone comes up with an alternative to Windows that is so popular with OEMs that they drop volume licensing deals (cheaper but you pay for a licence on every machine). Can't see anything like that just yet but who knows what may be round the corner?

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OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork

Charlie Clark
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Re: Right, so ...

@Chris Wareham - you're right, of course. Thanks for the correction. The underlying point stands: forking is part and parcel of open source.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Right, so ...

Forking is perfectly legitimate especially if you want to change large parts of the code as seems to be the case. OpenBSD itself started life as a fork of FreeBSD and the two continue to profit from each other's different focus.

Taking the existing code as a functional specification and removing as much code as possible will allow the developers to make a reference implementation that will hopefully be a more secure. Like OpenSSH (from OpenBSD) it should then be pretty straightforward for others to use the library and I suspect other developers will be happy to join in.

Meanwhile the existing code will continue to "work" and can even benefit from backporting any changes.

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Bevy of tech behemoths aim to plug the next Heartbleed with DOLLARS

Charlie Clark
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Talking shop

Only code counts. NFT

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Apple's strong iPhone sales crush Wall Street moneymen's tepid expectations

Charlie Clark
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I'm inclined not to agree (here in Germany tablets are being bundled with internet access plans) with you but whatever the reason it's not really good news for Apple's growth-based business model.

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Charlie Clark
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The iPhone and especially the iPad remain excellent products at the top end of the market. I think they don't really have an edge in phones any more except in marketing, but the iPad is just so slick.

If that's the case, then why are I-Phone sales so strong and I-Pad ones weakening?

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Charlie Clark
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Re. Microsoft and Disney

For the sake of avoiding disruption they have clung to the OOXML file format, which utilises highly normalised data…

WTF? I can assure that OOXML is not particularly highly normalised but the file format is not really relevant when you are working within the application. Microsoft rushed the format out and because it got ECMA stamped on it, is kind of stuck with it. It's a shit format in most cases but not because of it's NF which basically bizarre: viz. SharedStrings allows duplication and embedded styling.

Disney has, like many companies, crises. The fact that it's still going is down to no small part to Pixar and buying Marvel: it spent a good while actively discouraging innovation within Disney and Eisner was an idiot.

Retroactively justifying Apple's successes is dangerous because it is selective and ignores the failures. Under Steve Jobs Apple managed the difficult transition of OSes and expanded extremely successfully into consumer electronics. The ship hasn't sunk under Cook: sales and profits are up and the devices are available around the world but where are the new products? Why is the I-Pad losing market share where the competition is still so weak?

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Charlie Clark
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Silly article

Rather than crowing about how the analysts got it wrong the article could have spent more time on the drop in sales of the I-Pad. As Don Jefe points out, the I-Phone is a cash cow with great margins selling in more countries. But what's gone wrong the with I-Pad?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Returning money to shareholders

No, share buybacks are more tax efficient in many countries than dividends.

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No longer Square: Pear-shaped payments biz seeks buyer - report

Charlie Clark
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Re: I would disagree

When square launched a chip and pin card reader for mobile didnt exist… er, yes it did. Just maybe not where you live.

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Charlie Clark
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Move along, please. Nothing to see here.

Still no chip and pin? Even in the US the writing is on the wall for swiping: end of 2015.

Almost everywhere in the US already has terminals for reading credit cards (high transaction costs) and the debit card terminals in Europe have much lower transaction fees. The only market for Square was niche and ad hoc (conferences, concerts and the like). It now has to compete with the Bitcoin hype for the hipsters' attention

The comparison with Paypal is flawed because Paypal could exploit the lack of countrywide banking services in the US which have hampered the kind of EFT (electronic funds transfers) that are standard elsewhere. Paypal makes little or no financial sense in Europe, especially since SEPA except for those markets that don't understand how much easier it is just to use standard banking services for money transfer and international trades of where the SWIFT charges are higher than Paypal's.

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Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

Charlie Clark
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Good luck with that, then

Consumers need wooing by advertising. It's almost part of the definition. Samsung didn't the sales by word of mouth but by years of sponsoring and more recently advertising. Can't be long before we see some sports team or competition emblazoned with Huawei's logo.

…Windows Phone’s rapid rise (in Europe) perhaps supports that case…

Sales-based numbers please. Kantar is still boosting Windows phone at 7.5 %, comScore however puts it at less than 5% and from what I've seen I think even that's a bit high.

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Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: please, not the start menu

@h4m0ny

The other is the pinning of Metro apps to the taskbar. I don't like this because it blurs the boundaries between two separate contexts that shouldn't mix.

Nail, on head, hit. I think you've pointed out the biggest problem with Windows 8: it seems constantly to mix the Metro and Windows 7 aesthetics and feels disturbingly schizophrenic as a result. Oh, you were trying to use this to justify Windows 8? Massive fail.

I also don't buy your pro-choice arguments. There are plenty of UI choices out there with the phones providing more choice than we've had on MS desktops for years.

Better stick to networking code! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: please, not the start menu

@h4rm0ny

the screen certainly looks like a fake. This doesn't alter the fact that the Start Screen is entirely inappropriate for desktop computers and one of Microsoft's bigger mistakes.

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EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Utter crap

One of the major reasons that the industrial revolution happened in Britain, was because we had well-developed markets to allocate capital to innovation…

Yes, the bubbles and crashes (from the tulip bubble onwards) have been so much fun.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Usual crap from Worstall

HFT just appears to increase liquidity. Whenever there is a real demand for funds it dries up just like all the other instruments of "financial engineering" have done in the past. And it isn't really about bits of code but about being able to sting trades by acting faster than the trades can. This has as much to with laying optical cables in straight lines between exchanges than anything else.

Banning it would only encourage workarounds, taxing it into uselessness makes more sense.

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Fixing OpenSSL's Heartbleed flaw will take MONTHS, warns Secunia

Charlie Clark
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Solutionism

Bitcoin and co. are examples of "solutionism": where technological solutions to non-technological problems are posed. Unsurprisingly, this is really popular with the tech invest lobby. Equally unsurprisingly, the solutions rarely solve the problems they are supposed to.

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AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014

Charlie Clark
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re. Specint2006

ARM has done well despite miserable Specint performance partly because the chips are small, cheap and have tiny power requirements (not least because of they're poorer performance); and partly because Specint performance doesn't reflect typical workload.

The problem with the x86 architecture is that excels in certain general purpose computing areas, for which the Specint provides a good proxy, but is much less good in other areas (encryption, parallel processing, etc.). This is why, while x86 is better at parsing and manipulating the DOM of a website there is a move to displaying it using hardware (non-x86) hardware. ARM can come with hardware acceleration for encryption, etc.) and now AMD can is offering GPUs for parallel processing. With the right compilers and schedulers this may make some workloads magnitudes more efficient on such chips. If it doesn't it may succeed by making the market competitive again.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "The industry's first at 28nm"

Looks like a typo to me both ARM and x86 have been <= 28nm for a while now.

However, more impressive than the geometry is AMD's ability to integrate x86, ARM and GPU cores. If this works well then they will have very desirable products.

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Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update

Charlie Clark
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I'm confused

I thought 8.1 was going to be installed on the new phones that will be available this month. Will this also be the Preview Release?

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Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Hanging's too good for 'em!

NFT

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Oracle's NoSQL nightmare MongoDB goes to version 2.6

Charlie Clark
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Scoffing

Why either or? Postgres has recently merged support for binary JSON which means you can have all the flexibility you want with the added goodness, speed and reliability of indices based on relational algebra.

Can we have less coverage of industry PR and more DBA meat, please?

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Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Charlie Clark
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Re: Remarks

@big_D don't know whereabouts in Germany you are but I can't remember the last time I saw one of the new Nokias on the tram or S-Bahn.

I agree that more and more people are on pre-paid with bundles with ARPU <= € 20. As I get a free SIM with 500MB a month from Unitymedia I'm helping to keep the ARPU down. Pity the idiots still haven't worked out how to port numbers yet.

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Charlie Clark
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Remarks

Numbers - I thought the IDC report had scotched the notion that Nokia was anywhere near 10 % in Europe. Apparently not. To recap: the 10 % comes from Kantar's survey of people on the streets, IDC counts real shipments/sails.

There is no doubt that Nokia is still producing some fantastic hardware but you've hit the nail on the head about the "app gap". A colleague is a proud owner of the "one with the good camera" - I can never remember Nokia's numbering schemes - but even she is disappointed by the lack of apps. And to add insult to injury the power socket is broken. Getting away from the anecdote - it's difficult to see how any kind of universal API makes Windows Phone more attractive as Windows Phone. In fact, it makes me thinks: what would things look like if Nokia stuck Android on the high-end phones? That certainly would give Samsung food for thought.

Regarding pricing: does anyone in Europe who doesn't have Apple's latest and greatest pay £ 40 a month for a phone + services? Due to the lack of effective competition things are different stateside but Nokia has never really been an established brand there. Not even in its heyday.

Meanwhile the trend worldwide is towards ever cheaper phones with ever thinner margins: Wiko, ZTE, et al. are moving in. As you note Android 4.4 offers better performance than previous versions, but as hardware continues to improve, that point is possibly moot.

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Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Charlie Clark
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El Reg's continues to fail to corroborate sources…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Lots of last-minuters out there.

I suspect you're not alone but what will people be upgrading to?

You can still get Windows 7 for "professional" machines - HP is selling them. Large companies are mainly already on 7 or are getting extended support for XP. Consumers, I think, are likely to continue replacing their PCs and notebooks with the media consumption devices they've always wanted.

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Samsung's thumb-achingly ENORMO Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Charlie Clark
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Happy

Re: re. use in portrait orientation

Buying a windows tablet with one note built in would be half the price. (Never thought I'd be saying something like that, I need a shower.)

You can't get a Windows tablet that size for that price. In any case, Samsung's devotion to the high-end has created its own niche: people know what to expect from the Pro / Note devices whereas Windows 8 has just created confusion. The magazine UI is more than a tip of the hat to Microsoft but it is application specific rather than being force-fed it for everything.

Devices like this, especially if they get docking stations, are going to sell well. I personally like a smaller 8"-9" which is very good to go.

Well done Samsung and others for working hard at usable form factors and thoughtful additions. This is how competition is supposed to work.

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Microsoft spells out new rules for exiling .EXEs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Translation: Coming soon, no side-loading.

Yes, the certification stuff is supposed to make people play nice.

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Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

Charlie Clark
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Coffee/keyboard

Enterprise

It's astonishing that Windows Phone has made the strides it has in enterprise …

What strides are those exactly? All I can hear on that front are the crickets chirping. Microsoft has a huge advantage here given the number of companies who've chained themselves to Exchange and Office.

Some of the GUI changes sound like they could soon be the subject of litigation. We know what Apple thinks of the sincerest form of flattery but some of the Android cribs could give Google some interesting ammo should they choose to follow that path.

Not charging for licences is an old strategy for Microsoft trying to break into new markets. While relevant, the support for more diverse hardware (Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, TI, etc.) is probably more important to manufacturers. Did you hear anything on that front? Or just the crickets again?

Manufacturers of Android handsets routinely get lambasted for the slowness with which they rollout updates, even when it often really doesn't make a great deal of difference (my tablet is 4.1, one of my phones 4.2). Yet with Windows Phone where Microsoft has dictated the hardware from the start, you're still looking at 3 month plus update times. How come Apple manages it so much faster?

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Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

Charlie Clark
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Joke

Re: I should think

Speaking English they can hardly understand because of the strong Hindi accent! ;-)

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