Microsoft: Yes, We Know Win8’s Difficult!

2020-02-08T17:46:40-07:00June 26th, 2013|

On the tables inside the press room at the Microsoft Build Conference — a room full of computer-savvy tech press and industry analysts — lay printed instructions for how to complete a Wi-Fi connection in Windows 8.

Just Windows 8.

“Enter Desktop Mode by pressing (Windows Key) + D,” the 8.5 x 11 Wi-Fi lesson began. In contrast, the clerk at my hotel handed me — and anyone else with a reservation — a fortune cookie-sized slip of paper that provided nothing more than a SSID and network security key.

The photocopied tutorial serves as a comical exclamation point to what CEO Steve Ballmer tried to drive home during his opening keynote address: that Microsoft gets it. And it’s trying to do something about it.

Read the entire column HERE.

Haswell’s Here: Time to Go Shopping

2020-02-08T17:48:14-07:00June 3rd, 2013|

Since Computex in early June, PC makers have been rolling out  the next generation of ultrabook PCs. These systems are more than just another turn of the screw. They are game-changers with the potential to disrupt the way we interact with our personal electronics.

I’ve written plenty about how Microsoft’s missteps with Windows 8 have hampered OEMs’ ability to sell new PCs for the past year. And about how the timing of the Windows 8.1 release is going to clip the sales potential of this new crop of systems. That’s all still true. The PC OEMs are facing yet another daunting selling season.

Let’s be clear, though: the challenging market climate in no way undermines what this new spate of ultrabooks brings to the table. They sport a host of improvements over the last wave of ultrabooks, impressive as they were from a pure hardware perspective. Instant on, for example, is now becoming a reality. As well, the fourth-generation Intel Core processors inside afford OEMs the opportunity to build sleek, sexy systems that boast up to twice the battery life of last year’s models — without sacrificing performance. If you are in the market for a new laptop, it means you should be able to find an ultrabook that lasts all day on a single charge.

Read the entire column HERE.