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Blog Index
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Thursday
May092013

Can Blue Stop PC Users From Seeing Red?

After more than a month of silently watching the blogosphere dissect early builds of Window Blue that were leaked on the internet, Microsoft this week has confirmed that Blue, the code name for Microsoft's follow-on to Windows 8, does in fact exist.

As of yet, Microsoft hasn't acknowledged any of the details that bloggers have uncovered. Representatives say only that Windows Blue is a response to what  their customers have had to say about Windows 8. Hopefully, they have been listening, because an awful lot is riding on Windows Blue.

With all the hype and glitz surrounding smartphones and tablets, it's easy to lose sight of how critical a role the PC still plays in many of our lives. No, it's not the same role it played last year, or the year before. But for many of us -- certainly for most of us in IT -- a Windows PC is still a go-to device in our quiver of electronics tools. And because of the pace of change in the enterprise segment, Windows is guaranteed to play a central role for several more years at least.

In that sense, Microsoft isn't just gambling its own fortunes. It's messing with how many of us get things done every day.

That's why the anger over Windows 8 has been so palpable, and why fixing it has become so important. Forcing us to take longer, more circuitous routes to what we do every day feels like starting breakfast one morning only to find that your roommate has rearranged the kitchen. The more you reach for a fork in what's become the towel drawer, the angrier you get.

Can Windows Blue really stop PC users from seeing red? Read the entire column HERE.

Monday
May062013

Are Two Heads Better Than One at Intel?

When Brian Krzanich and Renee James, the newly appointed CEO and President of Intel, respectively, take over for the retiring Paul Otellini in two weeks, they won't have to look far for things that need tending. Indeed, they will have to hit the ground running to lead Intel through what is arguably the most treacherous patch the company has encountered in its 45-year history.

Read the entire column HERE.

Friday
Mar292013

Pining for All-Day Battery Life

I dug out an old cellphone for a friend to use in a pinch. It was an LG Shine, a circa 2007 slider that was one of the glitzier feature phones in its day, albeit nothing to write home about in 2013.

Or so I thought. With all that's packed into our smartphones today, it's difficult to imagine the Shine as anything more than a quaint relic, an artifact harkening back to the days when consumers stole music but paid for 15-second ringtones of the same songs. But my friend was thrilled because the Shine lasted all day on a single charge. Many of us haven't seen that since, well, 2007.

As it turned out, 2007 was in fact the year that the market began downplaying battery life in exchange for performance, features and flexibility. Of course, the catalyst for the shift was not the LG Shine, but Apple's iPhone -- the device that ushered in the modern-day smartphone era.

Could 2013 be the year that the tide turns, and battery life becomes more important again?

Read the entire column HERE.

Thursday
Mar212013

Signs that Microsoft Finally Gets It

The Windows 8 go-to-market plan last year played out like a Greek tragedy: the wounds that Microsoft endured were almost entirely self-inflicted. Like when the company violated the trust of hardware partners by disclosing at the 11th hour that it was planning to build its own-branded tablets. Or by introducing Windows 8 in late October instead of midyear, when the first systems built for the new OS were coming available. Or by taking away the Start button and forcing users to contend with the Start screen, but not doing enough to court developers so that the go-to tablet apps were available for the so-called Modern UI at launch.

I bring this up not to pile on, but to point out some encouraging signs that Microsoft may - finally - comprehend the mess it's gotten itself into and is taking steps to right the ship. It had better. Because every quarter that passes with Windows 8 flapping in the breeze is another quarter that Android and iOS tablets become more entrenched in consumer usage patterns.

Read the entire column HERE.

Friday
Mar082013

Seeking Answers to the Mobile Data Crunch

How ironic that for much of the middle two days of the four-day Congress -- the industry's flagship venue for showcasing the world's latest mobile devices, apps and transmission technology -- that the network in the convention center was so taxed attendees were unable to make calls or check email for hours at a time. Playing with any of the cool new apps was out of the question. Heck, calling someone to tell them you'd be late to a meeting was a roll of the dice.

Indeed, the only reliable means of communication was going old school with it on the 160-character Dino-Net.

The paucity of bandwidth at the mobile industry's own show underscores the urgency of the looming capacity crunch. I went to MWC, you may recall, in search of answers to a problem that, left unchecked, threatens to spoil the seemingly boundless explosion in mobile.

Read about what I learned HERE.