* Posts by MarketingTechnoDude

23 posts • joined 15 May 2013

Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

MarketingTechnoDude

Wrong branding ...

Another point often overlooked is the decision to name the product Windows. The last thing most consumers wanted was a phone running Windows. You have just spent all your working days experiencing windows crashing on all the pcs you have owned and cursing it! Why would you want the same experience on your own personal mobile phone?

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

MarketingTechnoDude

Reminds me of my first real programming task back in the early 80's. Fortran IV on a PDP-11 (LSI11-73) with lots and lots of Macro-11 assembler. My supervisor Norman introduced me into the discipline of programming the hardware of the machine as libraries of macro-11 assembler which had the ability at assembly time to check the args passed down to each segment of assembler code. So I could write with maximum code efficiency but also benefit from calling a sequence of these code segments in a way that looked like a high level language. These also had to deal with fun things such as overlays where memory regions were swapped in within the 64k address range. I didn't have to resort to using self modifying code techniques to save on memory usage though which wise old Norman had to resort to on earlier PDP-8 machines. I don't really see what is so difficult about this project of programming using Fortran IV and assembler. It was an absolute fun time back then, being in total control of the machine hardware, counting cycles, understanding what the CPU is doing, dealing with interrupts, dma's, overlays, in/out ports, passing arguments between Fortran IV and the macro-11 libraries of assembler code routines I wrote. Oh and writing all of the user interface in Fortran IV to run on a VT-11 VDU. Ended up writing every line of the code myself in a period of 6 months and it was all done as my year in industry on the third year of my degree course. 3 years prior to this period I had no clue whatsoever about how computers worked at all and I was more interested in petantonic blues scales on a guitar playing in a rock band! The gig at NASA sounds like a fun gig!

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VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

MarketingTechnoDude

Back in the the 80's

My Ford RS Turbo had an interesting factory fitted switch under the bonnet. It was curious as there was no engine bay light. Well I by chance found myself on an off site training course and happened to be sat next to the chap who designed the ECU. Apparently the purpose of the switch was to inform the ECU that the car is in an emissions or approvals test as the bonett was raised. It set everything to be as clean as possible in this mode. When the bonnet was down, it changed the parameters to be more performance orientated with less emphasis upon emissions.

Nothing much has really changed in 30 years other than the ability of the ECU to autodetect it is under emissions testing.

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Dutch companies try warming homes with cloud servers

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: Nothing to see here, ...

This was suggested at inmos in about 1990 as a method of providing compute networks of transputers and get rid of the heat as a replacement for home radiators.

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Drooping smartphone sales mean hard times ahead for Brit chipmaker

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: saturated market

Also ...

Will such devices need the enormous processing capabilities which have been developed and deployed for smartphones (Modem, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPU(s), CPU(s), GPS, Audio, Video, NFC, Camera(s), etc...)?

Users interact with their smartphones on a very regular basis and are therefore very aware of benefits in speed, interactivity and the captivation of the applications (and by implication the processing resources they use - although they typically don't equate this). If there is a new killer app that runs like a dog on their existing smartphone, then they will be tempted to upgrade. Many just upgrade anyway due to the particular contract finance model that perpetuates the ongoing upgrade process.

What would an Internet of things device offer to be as captivating as a smartphone or tablet? The only devices that need heavy duty graphics/video processing in the mass market are: 1) The PC/Laptop, 2) The Smartphone, 3) The Tablet/Fondleslab, 4) The games console, 5) The SmartTV, 6) The Smart STB/PVR/Dongle, 7) In Car infomatics/entertainment

More likely is that Internet of things silicon devices will merely contain lower cost silicon chip devices which include Low power CPU, Wifi (or other digital modem), Sensor processing (could be image and/or Audio or other environmental sensors), device control (e.g lighting, motors, compressors, actuators, ..)

They will be unlikely to be in any way as captivating as a smartphone or tablet. Remember also, the smartphone is in effect the modern day equivalent of slapping down a set of executive car keys on the bar at the pub! ... i.e. a visible status symbol which drives growth (latest greatest model)...

So the industry is going to be looking for the next golden goose. Before the smartphone, many silicon vendors were focussed on picking up crumbs from Intels Table (i.e. the PC such as graphics processors, media processors, mixed signal devices ...). The smartphone has enabled stellar growth for Silicon IP vendors who had the right technology/biz model/engagement at the right time (ARM CPU, Imagination GPU... ) ... Just how much more graphics (and CPU cores) do we need in a smartphone that will be so compelling to drive the future massive customer upgrade cycles?

The CPU, by its very nature, is extremely generic and can be deployed in many markets and can leverage the tools and o/s utilised in the mass market smartphone environment. Less so for the GPU unless it is used more as a SIMD/MIMD style data processor for sensor processing. It will probably be much less efficient than a dedicated hardware (old school ASIC) approach, but time to market pressures and vast swathes of cheap silicon real estate will make it economically viable and offer fast time to market (so long as the softies don't screw it up).

So in this decade we will increasingly see IP vendors picking up crumbs from ARM's table and having to focus upon fragmented smaller emerging markets. Devices in the new emerging Internet of things will have a much longer in market utilisation time by the user than we have seen in the smartphone/tablet market. An internet fridge is not exactly a status symbol and not something that you are going to upgrade every 12-24 months!

Interesting times ahead.... Thinking caps on silicon jockeys!

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Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

MarketingTechnoDude

I had a great uncle who picked up an open Cobalt 60 source in a shipyard

Many years ago when we used to manufacture objects called Steel Hulled Ships ( which ironically were invented in the UK ), my great uncle who was head foreman welder at a shipyard in the North East of England mistakenly picked up a pot containing a Cobolt 60 source (used for X Ray inspection of welds) - bit of a new concept back then. Some clown doing the XRay had forgot to reseal the lid of the source and left it open over the weekend.

My Uncle only briefly picked up the source to move it out of the way of some welding he had to do.

He was off work for 6 months with radiation burns on his left arm.

Ironically he lived into his 90's.

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Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: Yeah I don't buy it

Yes ... but they did have to move the MAC product line from what were to all intensive purposes proprietary PowerPC processors to commodity Intel processors. The volumes they were shipping were not commensurate with the wafer pricing they needed or were the ongoing development costs for the PowerPC processors to compete with the Intel x86 processors.

They have managed to sidestep this issue to some extent in the iPhone market, by introducing the IPad sector which essentially leverage the technology/devices developed for the iPhone... But guess what, the competition have also followed suit (plus a plethora of new low cost entrants) in the Android Tablet market.

The dominant costs will be the main processor system-on-chip (SOC) and the screen in these devices. The cost paid to the silicon foundry for the manufacturing of the SOC device is one thing, the cost of developing the proprietary chip must also be recovered. It is hideously expensive to develop/design deep sub-micron SOC devices! Also if there is a screw up in the next generation design which necessitates either several respins or a major redesign, then they can find themselves one generation behind in technology/performance, which could leave them very vulnerable.

It will become increasingly hard to keep ahead of the competition who leverage high volume low cost commoditised SOC devices. They need to be able to develop a commodity sector to utilise their own silicon to achieve low cost wafer prices to match the competition whilst not damaging the value of the Apple brand.

Maybe they simply need to run IOS (one generation behind) on a commodity SOC and sell/license it to second/third tier handset manufacturers?

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MarketingTechnoDude

Don't forget the chips ...

I read several comments saying it is OK to focus on the high end in technology. Well ... there is a problem with such a strategy and it all revolves around silicon chip wafer pricing. If you develop your own proprietary chip set for your product, then you need to achieve two major milestones in the project.

1) Buy enough wafers, to ensure that the silicon foundry is comfortable setting up the production and test equipment to warrant it's production time slot.

2) Have a wafer volume throughput that matches your competition in the market to ensure that your bill of materials for your device is not disproportionately more expensive so that either you are unable to match price or live with the inflated wafer costs even operating at higher margin product selling price.

The costs of designing the SOC (System On Chip) are in the 10's or millions of dollars, plus IP (Intellectual Property) licensing costs, verification (lots of!), cost per seat of EDA tools, software development, product testing, compliance tests etc.

So the big issue that Apple will have, is trying to recoup all the SOC and product development costs on a total volume of product sales much less than the competition who will have a reduced development cost by several vendors sharing the same SOC device. In time, as the market matures, a semiconductor company (usually fabless) will produce a device product family which will satisfy the volume segment of the market. Manufacturers using a standard OS (e.g. Android) on a commodity chip set from a fabless semiconductor company will represent the largest volume share of the market and will be able to operate on thinner R&D margins, focussing their spend on deals with operators and consumer marketing/promotions. It may not happen this year or next, but within the next 5 years it probably will as the smartphone market matures.

The only way this will not happen, is if there is either some breakthrough new patent protected feature on the high end products which renew customer demand to such an extent that the users feel compelled to upgrade from today's smartphone to some ultrasmartphone. (akin to moving from a feature phone to a smartphone). What could the killer new feature be though? It is getting harder each time for the product designers/app developers to bring out an absolutely must have new feature. Thinner/Bendy/Bigger Screen? Faster Processor? Killer App? .... ????

Ultimately the market will saturate just like what we are seeing in the laptop PC market. When technology is good enough and it lasts long enough, there will be a temptation not to bother upgrading unless there is a financial benefit in doing so. Certainly there will be a large hand-me-down sector (to younger siblings or parents/grandparents etc.) which will erode demand for new phones for new customers. The only big Ace up the sleeve of the phone tech vendors, is that the phone has become synonymous as a fashion accessory which is almost like the pedestrian version of the Executive car. Years ago, certain types would lob their BMW/Audi/Merc/Jag keyfob on the bar when ordering drinks. Now they just pull out the latest greatest smartphone to make the same statement.

So Apple should ideally maintain their Exec car status versus the Ford/GM competitors along with their ecosystem (app store and apple stores etc) and also find ways to create more wafer volume for the custom chips they develop. So another brand which is lower end, but essentially uses the same core SOC devices (which could be speed reduced or feature inhibited), would allow them to enjoy lowest possible wafer pricing whilst still enjoying high margins on Apple branded products. Rather than creating their own brand, they would be better off licensing the chip(s) to a commodity sector companies operating in an emerging market Apple wishes to develop. So for instance they could bundle the previous generation of IOS with the chip so that Apple are always one step ahead on the latest and greatest. They SHOULD never offer a low cost Apple phone as it would destroy brand value. Overtime it may transpire that 50% of their revenues would actually come from licensing their older technology to the commodity sector. That way they keep their shareholders happy, the fanbois have the latest greatest, the wafer foundries are happy (more wafers in the fab(s)), new markets are developed ....

Will they do this? Hmmm maybe not ... arrogance usually follows success and failure usually follows arrogance. When you are at the top of the mountain you tend to spend a disproportionate amount of effort throwing boiling oil down the mountain side, rather than building another mountain away in the distance.

Back in the days of CRT TV, Sony were busy throwing boiling oil at anyone attempting to ascend mount Trinitron, whilst meanwhile Samsung were building a new mountain in the distance call LCD TV.

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Samsung DENIES benchmark CHEATING, despite evidence

MarketingTechnoDude

Benchmark awareness

This subject reminds me of ...

Many years ago, I was working on a graphics driver for a PC. I noticed that the benchmark at the time seemed to be drawing the exact same line in the exact same colour 256 times in horizontal and vertical positions.

So ... adding in some assembler code which did ... If this command is identical to previous command .. skip to next command. i.e. Only the first line of a sequence of 256 lines was actually processed by the graphics processor. The Benchmark performance, not unexpectedly went up through the roof!... Didn't include it obviously, but the overhead for the test was negligible and would not have made any detrimental performance to the system. One could however argue it is a legitimate feature to include in the driver which optimises out inefficient high level software mistakes by the application.

Just goes to show you that sometimes, it is just stupidly written bench marks that are the real culprits.

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: padding the numbers with Freeview

Kind of interesting this, as it was myself who first mooted (at a conference set up by the government), the idea of broadcasting the Digital Radio channels on Freeview when there were only 50k DAB receivers in the market and Freeview had access to 1.25M OnDigital receivers. The DAB guy making the presentation about lack of DAB receivers in the market was very dismissive of my suggestion at the time!

It was not a surprise to me however that a few months later after my suggestion, hey presto Freeview was broadcasting digital radio channels on DVB-T with a much higher bitrate than DAB. Freeview since then always has had the best quality digital radio reception (some say better than FM).

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One of last few iPhone 5Ss STOLEN from within MASSIVE POLICE CORDON at Apple Store

MarketingTechnoDude

Gold, Silver, Bronze or ... Silver versus low rent?

Interesting ...

In classical product marketing, you create a high end, high priced product (pardon the pun .. Gold Model) and also offer a more affordable version (Silver Model) of the same product which typically offers 70-90% of the Gold Model. Normally you expect the Gold Model sets the aspirational bar, with the expectation that the Silver Model will actually account for 70-80% of sales as it seems to offer really good value for the money whilst the Gold Model sells in much lower volumes. In car sales this has worked well for many years. In old Ford money ... L, XL, GXL... Most of the volume was XL..

Apple seem to have changed this, in that the 5S may sell more than the 5C. So why might this be?

Either ...

1) They have changed the product perception model for Apple products

or

2) There is no need for a Gold Model as the Gold model is perceived to be the Apple Brand in general ... which means that ... The 5S is the Silver Model and the 5C is perceived as the Bronze Model (low rent version). Nobody wants a Bronze Model... especially when the product is a personal fashion status symbol as opposed to just being a utilitarian piece of equipment.

If 2 is true, then the 5C is therefore expected to sell in low numbers because it is deliberately low rented to persuade the purchaser to buy the 5S (spend more money) so as not to appear as a cheapskate. The Gold Model is perceived to be the Apple Brand and it's future expected product ... the iPhone 6 and that is currently unattainable by anyone, because it is not available/developed/marketed yet.

Having said the above, I think this may NOT have been what they intended. The 5C was probably just a reaction to loosing market percentage points, and pressure from the city and analysts to make sure they compete in the this sector rather than holding onto their principles (expecting to command a 20% type market share with much higher ARPU than the competition in the 80% of the market).

Perception is the reality ...

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Furious Frenchies tell Apple to bubble off: Bling iPhone isn't 'champagne'

MarketingTechnoDude

Geographical indications and also Colours.

Several instances listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_indications_and_traditional_specialities_in_the_European_Union

Interesting Newcastle Brown Ale was specific to Newcastle brewed ale. When they moved to Gateshead, they had to apply to have the restriction removed.

Interestingly, usually one of the most powerful things you can do in marketing is actually encourage your competitors (or in this case a different segment altogether) to use your category name .. it means that all the advertising, PR etc actually promotes just as much your category as it does their own.

I guess the argument here is that the original intention was to discourage other countries making what they considered to be inferior versions of the drink and therefore degrading the appeal of the product as time goes by. However, this one could argue, has slightly backfired, in that it prevents luxury brands in other sectors using the name as a description or even product line range.

Maybe this is all intentional for a fruity company to get lots of free PR and implicit association even if they loose in the end. By which time they will no doubt have a new model line up and will have moved on to a deep (shade of) Purple or something ... (Hmmm anyone making an "iWayStar" personal communicator? :-)

Kind of interesting though. Consumer electronics always reverts to safe colours ... Black to White to Silver to Black ... and every now and again just for a short while.. a range of colours or Gold's in between before reverting back to Black to White to Silver to Black... when they figure out that consumers prefer Black or White or Silver best. One wonders what on earth the PC industry was thinking with Beige coloured boxes in the 80/90's?

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Google chap reverse engineers Sinclair Scientific Calculator

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: $400 for the competition??

I remember the Commodore calculator as well. Dad bought one for his building business.

Made in the UK at a factory at Egglescliff in the North East of England.

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Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

MarketingTechnoDude

recording prevention tabs etc.

Those break off plastic tabs to let you prevent a tape from being re-recorded.

Ramming the holes full of cardboard so I could re-record them (or record over some pre-recorded unwanted x-mas present).

Also ...

Sticking a my little finger inside the cassette player to push up the little prong (meant for for the recording prevention tab detection) and pressing record/play so that the input from the 3.5mm microphone input connected to my guitar would be amplified and turn my radio cassette unit into a portable guitar amplifier with no tape inserted.

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Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

MarketingTechnoDude

Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....

Yes but a small business buyer just wants to walk into PC World or log onto Amazon or wherever and buy a new desktop or laptop with Windows 7 on it. Right now they have to buy a Windows 8 machine, buy a copy of Windows 7 and then faff about replacing Windows 8 with Windows 7! Probably going to cost them at least a day of their time or an employees time to do that. And then if it doesn't go smoothly, back to have an argument with the customer support personnel at the retailer/online supplier....

Not every business runs corporate apps... they just want 1 or 2 PCs that run Office, Internet, SKYPE and probably some accounting package plus attach to printers/scanners/cameras etc. and that is it! They certainly don't want all the Metro stuff and have to guess how it works Windows 8'ness and are exasperated about having to buy another OS and waste valuable time installing it!

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Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

MarketingTechnoDude

It's complicated both technically and commercially

There seems to be an assumption that the manufacturer has access to every line of code in these Set Top Boxes ... Well this is rarely the case. Quite often, middleware components such as the "DVB Stack" may come from one supplier, the "MHEG Engine" from another and key hardware device drivers from the silicon (SOC / Demodulator) /Tuner) vendor(s) . Guess what? ... most of these chunks of code are supplied in Object Binary format (a bit like a Windows SDK or DDK).

I agree the software should be tolerant of the error (and also the caller of these functions should have put some watchdog timer protection around them to recover from errant middleware).

Most of these boxes are NOT connected to the Net (even if they are capable .. most users DO NOT BOTHER to connect them). So when the broadcaster makes changes that cause previously working boxes to crash or lock up etc there is the added problem about updating the boxes using a very expensive Over the Air Download service or hoping that users will get a USB stick to download the update from the net. Most instances should be resolved (and checked) at the broadcaster end though!

These instances have happened several times in the past (ITV Teletext bricked many boxes several years ago, changes to the NIT table structure was another case)...

It will not be the last time this kind of thing happens unfortunately...

It is also totally impossible to build such a complex software system that is tolerant to every possible error condition with so many factors outside of the control of the manufacturer (and indeed middleware vendors).

So perhaps in this instance Sony were merely a victim of broadcast stream errors and lack of defensive programming techniques in the middleware?

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Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares

MarketingTechnoDude

efficiency of word

I did observe many years ago when writing a graphics device driver for a PC, that WORD seemed to be traversing the full file every time an extra character was added to the document by the user. Oh and why did the entire document need to be loaded into RAM? No wonder we have such slow bloatware these days...

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

MarketingTechnoDude

Amstrad etc.

First of all I agree that the Apprentice does give a very delusional impression of business life. ...

Regarding Amstrad, You have to give Lord Sugar credit for recognising a gap in the market for a low cost office computer designed primarily for regular office tasks such as word processing and spreadsheets etc. He got the feature set right along with affordable pricing. However, it didn't scale from there..and there was a reason for that.

The Amstrad brand was tarnished with being a low quality hi-fi / music centre brand ... so he used the wrong branding on the product. If it was called some other (good sounding new brand), then so long as the quality was there, it could have been scaled and made global. Now that would have been real success. Instead, seems to have dipped into several other markets rather than remaining focussed on being a major computer vendor/brand (set top boxes, weird feature phones, advertising screens ... ). Yes it all made him probably lots of money, but he never seems to stay in there too long. Maybe that is the secret of being mega rich.. dip in and out quickly...still what if alternativebrandnametoamstradcomputersINC had been the DELL or Compaq it could have become? Viglen was probably an attempt to try get back into the computer segment but the brand wasn't nice sounding and it was too little too late... Compaq and Dell were in front... Real shame the Brits didn't capitalise on the head start in personal computers.. but then very rarely does the leader in the first category become the leader in the follow on category.

Business and innovation is about good relationships with customers/suppliers and hiring the right people to get the job done .. oh and finance (investment and management of cash). Companies built from infighting ego-centric's usually fall apart, unless there is one cosmic overload whose rule is law and everyone hunkers down and obeys...

On a positive note, it does give out a message that people can be entrepreneurial and create new businesses...

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

MarketingTechnoDude

Also ... All DEC had to do in the early 80's was to offe the LSI-11/73 as an "OFFICE COMPUTER"

DEC could have won a major battle with IBM/Microsoft by simply deploying the PDP-LSI 11/73 (like the Falcon board they had at the time) in a Personal Computer form factor and marketing it as an OFFICE COMPUTER. They had a mountain of PDP-11 software to support it. RT-11 would have been an excellent choice to start with. Simple and easy to learn. They could have also offered RSX for their "AT" model. After all most IBM PCs at the time were actually board for offices and research departments. Real personal computers of that time were 6502/Z80 based machines..

Price match IBM and move coorporate customers to the VAX range from PDP.

Then eventually roll out microvax as the "386" range....

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MarketingTechnoDude

Re: I did Macro-11...

I learnt to program in Macro-11 on an LSI-23 (and 73) running RT-11 whilst working on an ultrasonic inspection system for material inspection back in the 1983 as a student (sandwich placement). The documentation was excellent, so you could just teach yourself most stuff. I had a superb supervisor (Norman!) who new just about everything there was to know about PDPs. With Macro-11 you could use the assembler to check the args passed to erradicate a huge amount of sillies as assembly time for constant values. So if the calling program passed a value that was outside the expected range (constant), it would error at link time.

I used overlays as well to swap in code required for each particular phase of the program (e.g signal anaysis routines I wrote). Created Macro-11 libraries for each flavour of hardware so we could eliminate the need to change the high level Fortran application (which I also wrote the initial applications for)... Also had to write code to verify the memories in the graphics controller (group designed) for displaying ultrasound scans. It was like VGA performance (actucally better) but about 5 years before VGA was invented...

That system was ROCK solid... Never crashed and just did its job over and over again flawlessly.

Apparently for PDP-8s you had to resort to self modifying code to squeeze more code into the system (e..g. use same loop structure for a count up sequence for a count down sequence)... fun stuff!

The first program I ever wrote was on a 6502 in machine code at college... hex key pad to type it in .. no disk/tape to save it... it took me all weekend to write out on foolscap paper working out all the jumps etc in my head... machine code NOT assembler!...took my 1 hour to type it into the computer by hand on hex key pad... worked first time no errors.. (task was to print out on a dot matrix 7 pin head thermal printer a page of a book ... sw had to pulse the stepper motor correctly and energise the 7 pin head relays....and work out CRs etc..and cope with upper and lower case characters and numbers/punctuation... I had to design my own character set as well on paper over that weekend as well....

We did amazing things back then on very limited hardware ... but you could keep for most part the whole application in your brain and understand what it was all doing... You can't really do that any more...

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Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

MarketingTechnoDude
Holmes

Words have a meaning .. don't mess with them!

The word "Windows" in a computing context means to most of us the concept of multiple overlapping/side-by-side rectangular regions on the display screen which can be freely moved around/positioned/overlapped/resized/minimised/maximised by the user to interact with programs and data/graphics so we can perform work functions or be entertained in some way...

This understanding of what Windows means has been commonplace since the early 90's (Windows 3.x, 9x, X11, Mac OSX, Linux xxx, OS/2, XP, vista, 7 ...)

Windows 8 is a classic marketing error of line extension. You take a well known brand (or sub brand) and you slap it onto something new and expect everyone to buy the new thing on the strength of the brand recognition!

Unfortunately The Metro/App touchscreen interface is widely at odds with our perception of what we perceive to be a "Windowing" system. You don't get windows side by side/overlapping which can be freely moved/resized etc on the same display screen.

Classic example of a marketing leader in one category failing to recognize the appearance of a new product category and then when it is too late, flailing around in a damage limitation exercise.

Trying to create a product which merges two distinct usage methods of interaction together is a fundamental mistake as well. They were (and still are) the leader in Windowing systems. Even if it is a declining market in the total computing sector (including the new entrants of smart phones and tablets), they still have a massive market and installed base. They need to recognize Windows 8.0 as a Cherry Coke and get back to delivering the real deal of a proper windowed system and moving their metro stuff to dedicated tablets if they want to also operate in that sector (also ran to apple IOS and Google Android)..

Really it was a very simple thing they had to do. Just keep nudging Windows along to take better advantage of hardware developments (memory, SSD, Mulitple CPU cores, Graphics GPUs etc) and make it the best (and please for christsake reliable/stable/crashproof) desktop in the market....

However the Windows 8 debacle has opened the gates for alternative Windowed based systems to enter or increase market share in the desktop/laptop sectors of the market place (Linux x, Chrome, Chromes, OSX).

It is however to be expected, the leader of an existing category in any market rarely becomes the leader of the emerging new market category. Hence we have seen Microsoft fail time and time again to bring out anything new outside of their main sector of computer OS and Office Applications. In someways you could say that the Office Suite is a key part of the core software of the desktop computer operating system which has been unbundled from the OS. So in essence Windows/Office is what we generally perceive to be a Microsoft Product (the PC). Anything that is not a PC branded as Microsoft is therefore just a line extension of the Microsoft brand (which typically ends in failure...).

So if Bill is still on the ball(mer), he should focus all efforts on focusing the company on the desktop/laptop/Office sectors and probably also companion infrastructure products (i.e. server/cloud)...

GizaJob..i could runs rings around the marketing numpties responsible for the Win 8 debacle!

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