For what they are claimed to be, the new Lumias sure carry aggressive prices. It will be interesting to see exactly which continents see these Lumias on sale.
And Microsoft extends its reach of Office everywhere.
122 posts • joined 12 Jan 2010
For what they are claimed to be, the new Lumias sure carry aggressive prices. It will be interesting to see exactly which continents see these Lumias on sale.
And Microsoft extends its reach of Office everywhere.
In lieu of better stats, two bean counters both see a small uptick in the use of XP on the internet. Well, never mind the statistical significance of the uptick. The real story here is that Windows XP is not going away, despite every attempt by Microsoft to kill it dead. I had a couple of people ask to buy XP systems last month, so I sold them. Why not? It remains wildly popular.
After HP's last acquisition disaster, one must wonder whether the Aruba buy will work out OK, or if it's another pig in a poke. HP's track record with acquistions is not exactly sparkling since the days of Carly. But maybe they've learned and can make this one work.
PhillipJ, Wait a minute! Brand-name Windows 7 systems ship with a genuine Microsoft sticker that has a product key on it. Yes, you can reinstall a clean version of Windows 7 from scratch and activate it with said product key.
I have yet to see a brand-name system with a Windows 8(!) sticker (and product key) affixed to it, so how on earth can your average person reinstall a CLEAN OEM version of Windows 8 on such a system? All you normally get with a brand-name Win 8 system is a system recovery partition, which reinstalls the software back to original factory condition including all the SuperFish or Pokki or whatever other bloatware was installed at the factory.
OK, Reg, now for your follow-on article: Which models of Lenovo laptops were afflicted with SuperFish? One would think that Lenovo would be 100% cooperative to reveal this information. It speaks to their credibility with corporate and enterprise buyers. Other accounts about Lenovo and SuperFish imply that this slimeware was installed only on "consumer" laptops. If so, does this mean consumer MODELS of laptops or does it mean those without a Windows Professsional sticker.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Just like other companies, Lenovo makes some really good kit, and some not so good. Among the latter are any of the Lenovo consumer systems. Most ANY computer designed and made for consumers has some issues, usually cheap design and materials, often substandard electronics.
So I stand by the T- and X-series Thinkpads. Well made and durable. The W-series, unfamiliar to me but bearing a strong resemblance to the T's, is probably just fine, too.
When I get a Lenovo laptop, I generally reload Windows from scratch. No more bloatware. No more crapware.
But this is a goddam embarrassment for Lenovo. Never should have happened, whatever incentives came from the Crapfish company. Superfish needs to be blockaded and sanctioned, just like a third world dictator. They have no business messing with security certificates, and need to disappear from the internet.
Typical CIO response: IoT looks promising. If implemented well, we can save big bucks. Now tell me about security. Please!
Once, Acer made very nice cases, Pentium II motherboards and other pretty basic hardware. Then, they tried to get into the crowded (HP, IBM, etc) system business, but never understood what it takes to provide a respectable level of post-sales support, like spares, repair manuals, user manuals not written in Chinglish, a useful web site, and on and on. They piled it on, buying Gateway, eMachines and the remains of Packard Bell, then trying consumer grade laptops, a VERY crowded arena. Nothing they did ever stood out as something you'd want to buy, except for cheap price and often cheap quality.
If your Acers work well, be thankful. When they break or need repair, replace with another brand.
As far as I am concerned, the people who bought the latest stock offering had no clue what they were doing. I do not see long term prospects for Acer, no matter what they say their new and confused vision is.
My experiences with NAV for consumers and small businesses is that the software is ponderous, bloated and intrusive. The AV business worldwide has not yet consolidated, so NAV has competitors from all over the globe. No surprise that it is not doing well. Poor Peter Norton probably does not get as much in royalty payments for use of his name. Maybe he should sue Symantec for defamation of character, using his good name on their not-so-hot AV product. They sure screwed up Ghost, too. Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to Ghost, some free and open-source.
A warranty on a drive does not cover down time, time to replace a drive, time and expense to send it back for another (which, in Seagate's case is a "recertified" drive). I'll take reliability over warranty any day. Reliability comes from the track record of models of drives built earlier than the drives one is buying right.
The experience of BackBlaze squares with my own less formal experience. Seagate drives are the least reliable in the 3.5" world. Toshiba gets the laurels for unreliable 2.5" drives, IMHO.
If the lifeblood and guts of your company are in an Oracle database, you need to make damned sure that everything works perfectly before moving to ANY other database. Unfortunately, very few enterprises probably adhere to sound development practices like strict separation of database manipulation logic from presentation, so you can't just replace the back end. And a lot of Oracle databases are legacy ones and the designers and developers are long gone, leaving few traces of documentation behind.
Oracle will be a tough nut to crack and replace. Now, if somebody came up with a mapping layer to transform SQL calls into whatever NoSQL uses (not even sure if feasible), and with performance comparable to Oracle, then Oracle and Larry would be sailing around in deep doo-doo.
So we cut through the clutter how? With another operating system, maybe.
For his next trick, Gates needs to finance an endeavor to turn Windows 8 into potable drinking water. Or at least turn it into something it is not.
Hard drives as decorative furniture! Well, you gotta admit this is unique. Also a costly paperweight after the drive goes tits up.
Not happy with Seagate drives. They have about the same reliability as Toshiba, namely not high enough.
Seagate bought Samsung's hard drive unit, and any Seagate-badged drive of Samsung design is OK by me. How do you find them, though, sorting them out from the Seagate-designed dross? Samsung drives have always been pretty good after some initial fits and starts back in the early IDE days.
"Flighting"? That's a new one. Enough for one to flight or flee from Azure Cloud, IMHO. Better to use a professionally run cloud.
"13 year-old OS"???? Windows Server first shipped on April 24, 2003. By my reckoning, it is now 11 years and nearly 8 months old. When someone doing incorrect arithmetic told me recently that he was not a math major, I said I wasn't either. This is arithmetic that a 10-year old could do. No excuses!
Hey, Microsoft are the ones who "designed", i.e. cobbled together, the most complicated software ecosystem ever. They have been hoisted on their own petard.
Security is now one of the company's strengths." I would laugh a lot at the folly of this assertion except for the fact that I have to troubleshoot botched Microsoft security updates. I think I have the one described here on my hands right now. In any event, I ran the latest security updates on a system here today. Now instead of booting cleanly, it boots and then the screen goes dark.
Why on earth would I ever sell Office 365 at break-even, let alone at a loss? Man needs to put food on table, and shoes on children.
Gateway advertised several models of 486 systems as "Pentium Ready", because Intel had designed a Pentium "Overdrive" CPU with a Socket 3 pinout, a superset of the pin signals used by a plain old 486. Lo and behold, Micronics built oodles of motherboards for Gateway and somehow missed out an an important design detail. These Socket 3 Pentium OverDrives would work well only in a motherboard that had a write-through external cache, but the processor itself had a more aggressive and less stable internal write-back cache. This was back in the day when CPUs did not have much built-in cache memory, and motherboards were populated with cache chips manually inserted into sockets. So put a Pentium OverDrive into a Micronics/Gateway motherboard, and the system would turn into a slug. Back in these early days, bus-mastering controllers like SCSI host adapters would not work well with a write-back cache either.
So a lot of people bought these Pentium OverDrive CPUs, installed them, and then the complaints began. It mushroomed into a class action lawsuit presided over and encouraged by some Philadelphia lawyers. Well, the lawyers got rich and members of the class action lawsuit got $50 discount coupons to buy the Pentium OverDrive that did not work. The judge who approved this settlement must have been about as ignorant of computers as can be possible.
This was really Intel's fault. Motherboard manufacturers received Pentium Overdrive prototype chips with the more sensible write-through cache, so that's what drove the motherboard designs. Some bright bulb at Intel changed the design to use the marginally faster (we're talking <1%) write-back cache.
Fixing the write-back cache problem was simple. Intel made an "interposer", a thin circuit board inserted between the socket and the CPU. The job of the interposer was to force the CPU to boot up and run with a write-through cache. So they say. In my years of dealing with 486's, Pentium OverDrives and 486-workalikes from AMD and Cyrix, I never saw an actual interposer. I sold a few hundred kits with very fast AMD 486-like chips to disgruntled Gateway customers.
If the members of the lastest Apple class action lawsuit are lucky, the settlement may be a generous one like a discount coupon for last year's iPhones sitting in an Apple warehouse unsold.
Rhodes is going to have a helluva time convincing all the financial institutions to rearchitect their legacy COBOL applications running with modern front ends. Good luck there!
Not exactly something to attract customers like bees to flowers. They are screwing themselves, because the hike will lose loyal resellers and customers, both... Ben Myers
As someone who services computers, it irks me no end when somebody brings me a laptop that is not completely shut down. Wastes my time.
As for "fast start", I do not know why years ago Windows simply did not write out a hibernation image to be used to restart the computer again when powered up. And then, if the hardware has somehow changed, Windows could simply poll the added hardware installing drivers along the way. But, then, my thinking is way too simplistic for the Redmond geniuses. Whatever they could do to complicate Windows on the inside, they have done. And it finally caught up with them with the dreadful Windows 8.
Same reporting zig-zag line that Microsoft had when Gates stepped down or sideways.
A two-headed CEO monster. It will be just like Hurding Catz. Look how well the co-CEOs worked out for the Market Basket supermarket chain! Well, it worked out well for the co-CEOs, who locked into contracts paying them megabucks no matter what.
Microsoft has built a large intertwined software ecosystem that works best (and ONLY!) with Windows. Not only is there Office (in all of its flavors), but also SharePoint and all the little bits of software that lock you into the Microsoft way. All that Active X, DOT NET and Sliverlight stuff gets the unwitting company who uses it tied very tightly to the rest of the Microsoft products and their corrupted version of a web browser.
Then you get to the bizarre restrictions about running older apps on newer operating systems, and newer apps on older operating systems.
Stir in the unceremoniously dropped XP (except for "point of sale" and banking ATMs), and one can easily conclude that Microsoft is jerking all of us around.
I'm a reseller of computer gear. So now we'll have all those wonderful things on the internet. Help me sell security of the IoT. Is somebody going to hack my refrigerator and force it to defrost, spoiling the contents? Can hackers get into my Android-controlled home heating system and goose the termperature in the house up to 90 F or 32 C, depending on your side of the pond. I'm scared scheytless, because nobody is talking about security for all this stuff, only how wonderful our lives will be. Bullshit! ... Ben Myers
Geez, and probably few of them are running Windows! But we really need these IoT things. So they tell us.
Many years ago, legendary blowhard computer columnist and pundit John Dvorak had some words of wisdom about what to computerize and what not to computerize. The quickest summary is to say why use Quicken if you only write two checks a month. Why use a computer when something else really simple will do just fine. Seems to me his thinking applies to IoT, too. As we are all seeing with our computers and tablets, care and feeding of these devices takes a lot of time to download all the Microsoft updates (and reboot, and update again), backing up files to the cloud, applying the latest anti-virus updates and so forth. And where is the time left to actually be productive?
Now these dolts selling us IoT things want us to believe that they will make our lives so much easier, turning on the air conditioner 12 hrs before we arrive home from vacation, emailing an order to the milkman when we are low on milk, unlocking the front door to the house with app while still in the car because it is raining cats and dogs, and taking over many of the other mundane and simple tasks that fill our lives. All we need is to have someone hack our IoT things, get the temperature in the house down to 5 degrees C on a 30 C day, unlock the front door and loot the house. Betcha IoT things will be sold just like Windows with a loud disclaimer absolving the sellers of any responsibility just in case something goes awry. This is something I do not need, and you probably don't either.
Microsoft product managers are called evangelists. They do their work just like the religious evangelists, preaching the true Microsoft way, and seeking money. So is Nadella the chief evangelist? Guess so. I pay the same amount of attention to evangelists of any type: zero. Until they tread on my turf. Then they get tossed from my property for trespassing. What a pile of stinking horse manure!
The Intel Pro 2500 is NEWER and it has a BIGGER NUMBER, so it must be way better. Wasn't that intuitively obvious?
What about the price? Anybody talk about that?
Just how open is OpenXML? Well, it's open when Microsoft decides to change it.
Maybe they or a 3rd party will do the Word plugins for ODF, but I am not holding my breath waiting. Expect a lot of the EU govts to follow suit with an ODF standard, if they have not done so already.
Microsoft has made history and made money co-opting software. They did not want to cut a licensing deal with Adobe about Postscript, so they went and bought Postscript clone Bauer and turned it into TrueType. They couldn't stand Sun controlling Java, so they cobbled up their own version, got hammered in the courts for violating their license with Sun, and were forced to exclude Java from IE and Windows. And on and on it goes.
I had similar experiences working for a once-a-hardware-company that wanted to integrate more closely with the early, early Windows, either 2 or 3, later on for a once-thick paper every-two-weeks magazine. Both times, it was the Microsoft way or the highway.
I also went to one of the first Microsoft Windows 1.03 seminars, where the Microsofties droned on and one about their wonderful Windows APIs. The Stevie B himself did a Q&A with the audience of software developers. I had the stones to say that the API was really impressive for what it could do, but where are the programs that generate user interface code, rather than hand-coding it all. Steve blew off the question, saying that this was up to 3rd party developers. In other words, Microsofties hadn't thought of it yet, so it was not worth doing. What an arrogant SOB!
Then they all wonder why no one shows them the love. The high-handed business tactics that made them oodles of cash are now catching up with them.
Seems like the answer to the question "Whither Microsoft" is to wither Microsoft. Or is it whittle?
Apple and IBM need each other right now. Apple needs IBM for the iPhone and iPad to become the corporate go-to devices. Exeunt Blackberry stage left. Apple is attractive to IBM because it has been obsessive about controlling just what software goes onto its fondleslabs, which, like all things Mac, don't have as many security gaping security holes as Windows and Android devices. And IBM needs Apple because IBM is not longer in the low-end commodity hardware biz of any kind. Gee, what else is there to say?
What Apple does is no different than did the multinational where I was employed 30 years ago. Same result, too. Move the profits to the jurisdiction that taxes the least. And you can bet that it is in Apple's best interests to employ international tax experts to help out. Only difference is that the turnover was only $US4B where I worked. Apple is a much bigger target.
If the Microsoft PR team in UK is clueless, why not contact the Microsoft US PR team? Most they can say is to wait for the UK PR team to get a clue.
Not really. It's an advert delivery vehicle.
The implicit idea here is to have an Intel ARM-killer.
But as others have noted, will the Chinese now be able to fab their own Intel knock-off chips? Yeah, I know, an Atom is not a Xeon or an i7 or even an i3, but is still a damned powerful chip, especially quad core.
Right, Microsoft is your corner drug dealer giving away a little taste here or there to get you hooked. Of course, Apple has had discount deals for educational institutions for a long time... Ben Myers
Yep, ClassicShell relieves stress. I've installed it a number of times for people who then feel a lot better about using a computer with a more familiar user interface.
But Windows 8.1 and your privacy? Hah! Do a Windows 8.1 upgrade, and while you are finishing up, it asks you to set some settings. You have a choice, Express or no. I picked no, walked through the settings and imagined my blood pressure sky-rocketing as I saw Microsoft ask for various settings to be "On". Like monitoring your location? And other choice tidbits that could be shared with anyone. Read the Win 8.1 license agreement, which Microsoft can change at any time, and you are giving away your privacy in return for what? Direct monitoring by the NSA or MI6?
Or is Microsoft simply telling all of us what they have been doing all along? Very unsettling, this privacy thing. Enough for me to think that Windows 7 will be my own very last Microsoft operating system.
As a good friend of mine observed today, think about the frog placed in a pot of water. A happy frog? A content frog, right? Sure. Now turn on the heat to bring the water to a boil. The poor frog remains clueless while being boiled to death. Well, our personal privacy is being eroded away, same as the poor frog's life.
I wonder when Windows will have a flight data recorder? Windows event logs are useless collections of crypto-crap, undecipherable by humans.
All it took was a gaping well-publicized bug to wake these companies up to the fact that their reputations depend on open source code down in the plumbing of the internet, And the money spigots opened up.
It may be a shrinking package at his age, but $78m buys a lot of viagra.
The phone calls from scammers telling you your Windows XP system is infected have begun again, too. I got a call today from a bogus caller ID and a voice with South Asian accented English. The connection was poor, but he addressed me by name (no surprise, my name and number are in public records) and launched into a Windows spiel. I told him to speak up because the connection was poor and he hung up.
This is the same sort of one-sided biased rumor-mongering peddled 24/7 by Rupert Murdoch in his real-world "Tomorrow Never Dies." And why in hell should I even think about what HP thinks about Lenovo's buy of the IBM server biz?
All this talk about technology that will continue to make our lives easier neglects one key point. All that technology is dependent on fossil fuels, which will only become more and more expensive unless we can figure out how to transmit and use that energy more efficiently. I would propose that fossil fuel may do for our use of gadgets what Malthus theorized about food supply and population growth.
The most serious and real problem here is that the Microsoft ecosystem is betwixt and between enterprise/corporation/office and consumer/gaming/leisure. That's why their products waffle back and forth. First you have Vista which tarts up XP, then you have Windows 7, which makes Vista palatable (and Windows 7 probably should have been a free Vista Service Pack 3, except that Microsoft would then have to forego billions in revenue. Next, we have the leisure-time Metro of Windows 8, followed by (OOPS!) we-gotta-win-back-those-office-folks Windows 8.1. There's no real consistency, because Microsoft lacks that vision thing and a coherent software architecture. Now you add the mad scramble of everyone (Microsoft, Amazon, Google) to offer web services across all manner of devices, and you have a multiplicity of hardware/software that flies in the face of the strategy Microsoft held onto for too long, namely Wintel system. Now Microsoft has to adapt to the rapidly changing interconnected world without sacrificing their Office cash cow. How to turn the Queen Mary, or the Microsoft borg, is the challenge here.
From Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. What's next? Microsoft Teal? Microsoft Red? What is so special about azure? It's part of the atmosphere. Do I store stuff in the atmosphere or in a cloud? This is akin to lipstick on a pig. I guess they are so embarrassed by Windows 8 that it no longer provides the name-branding so important in selling other products and services.
And, oh. Microsoft Azure is already here!
Oh the excitement of it all! My heart is racing!
I bet they spent a $500,000 on all the development and testing to change the name, and the content can still be examined by the NSA and the Chinese equivalent.
The Metro interface and its bright and shiny apps are not for people doing real work. Microsoft was misguided by its own hubris, arrogance and imagined invincibility into designing something that has been largely rejected by the business world. They actually thought that people would run right out and buy a lot of Windows 8 computers. Even with a touch screen, which 90+% of the computers in the world lack, I am not how how productive one could be trying to do real work with Win 8. Microsoft was able to recover from the earlier debacles of Windows ME and Windows Vista, largely because the world of computing was a little smaller back then and because tablets, smartphones and other fondleslabs had not yet made serious inroads into our mindshare. I have real trouble even imagining how (and if?) Microsoft will recover from this self-inflicted wound of Windows 8. Probably in a way that Malcolm Gladwell did not imagine when he wrote the book, Win 8 might be the tipping point for Microsoft. Of course, the large amount of ill will felt toward Microsoft by all manner of folk does not help the Redmond borg either.
I wonder what OS the ATM's in the US of A are using? Anybody have an idea? Makes me feel better about walking into the bank with checks to cash and walking out again with cash in hand. A little bit old school, but effective.