Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The XP flaw that the Google engineer found last month has finally been exploited by the bad guys are it is spreading across the Internet now. Make sure to keep your system patched and your anti-virus current!
reported Wednesday that it has now logged more than 10,000 attacks. “At first, we only saw legitimate researchers testing innocuous proof-of-concepts. Then, early on June 15th, the first real public exploits emerged,” Microsoft said in a blog posting. “Those initial exploits were targeted and fairly limited. In the past week, however, attacks have picked up.”
Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows Phone has just surpassed 100,000 applications. Not bad at all considering that a year ago they had just hit 10,000. Well done Microsoft and all the WP developers. In my eyes, this shows a commitment to the platform from Microsoft and from the developer community.
Apple dominates project starts, and Android is a strong second, but Microsoft is emerging from the noise level. Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for Flurry, blogged that Windows Phone project starts went from 1 percent last year to about 6 percent in June. BlackBerry project starts, for comparison, have stayed around 1 percent for the duration.
Betanews has a list of 11 new year resolutions Microsoft should make this year. I have to say I agree with all of them. I’ve been saying the same things for years. Microsoft needs to get back out there and be a company that people are excited about again. Remember Windows 95 and the lines of people just to be the first to buy it? They need that excitement again. Even the suggestion of bringing Bill Gates back in as a marketing tool would be great. Come on, Microsoft, you need to bring back the gold that you once had!
Unlike past years’ advice — eh, resolutions — this list is more thematic. Microsoft has a huge perception problem, and as I’ve so many times asserted: In business perception is everything. The people with the loudest voices, such as analysts, bloggers, journalists, marketers and software developers are pining for companies like Apple or Google. This translates directly to Microsoft’s share price, which is moribund and undervalued. In November I asked: “Why won’t Wall Street give Microsoft a break?” Perception is a major part of the answer.
Microsoft has a busy year ahead of them, from new products to supporting old ones. A former Microsoft employee has written a list of things Microsoft should do in 2012. They all ring true. But, two of them really stuck out.
The first is about treating your employees right. This has been brought up to me from several Microsoft employees, and say that it is perhaps the #1 limiting factor at Microsoft. The scores that are under a quota. This limits your employees big time. You can lose some very talented people this way. It just doesn’t make sense, and you are not only losing talent, you are losing the respect of your employees. They will go on to be very successful at Google, Apple or other competitors.
Perhaps bigger than all the other things combined. Microsoft’s motto is ‘Your Potential, Our Passion’. They should apply this to their staff. There are lots and lots of great things about being a Microsoft employee, but the one thing that negates them all and that ruins the experience is the horrible review system, and the consequences of how it works. Like many things in Microsoft, it looks great on paper. Every employee is given a score from 1 to 5, with 1 being good. Your pay, bonus, stock grant, and career trajectory hinge on it.
Second, support your products. Yes, once they get past being successful in the marketplace, DON’T STOP! Keep marketing them, keep updating and supporting them. Don’t just drop them and shrink the team down to nil. Once you burn enough bridges, people will stop wanting to cross them. After the loss of the Kin phone, even the carriers were scared to take on another Microsoft phone – what about the consumers? The Zune? Don’t get me started on that one.
This goes beyond developer APIs of course. When Microsoft starts up something new, it’s done with full steam ahead gusto (Silverlight as a prime example), but once it’s launched, and once it’s successful, sustaining it doesn’t seem to be a priority. Hello IIS. Hello Zune. Hello *. Heck, I just read an article that MS may be stepping away from the ‘decision engine’ branding for Bing that it spent goodness knows how many dollars to get out there…
This is somewhat unsettling. A problem with the way Windows handles older applications is still an issue with Windows 7. Sad part is that it’s been an issue since 1993. Come on, Microsoft, get this fixed ASAP! It may have been a problem before, but now that it’s getting more attention, its sure to be exploited a lot more!
“Microsoft isn’t having an easy time of it these days,” said the Heise article. “In addition to the unpatched hole in Internet Explorer, a now published hole in Windows allows users with restricted access to escalate their privileges to system level
2 Million downloads for the Office 2010 beta? This sounds like Windows 7 all over again! Like the article says, Microsoft Office is an industry standard. Sure, there are alternatives, but there are also a lot of downsides. The alternatives are good for a beginning user, a high school student doing basic word processing or spreadsheet work. But, if you do much more, you’re almost out of luck with VBA and other Microsoft Office features. Time will tell if the alternatives will catch up. I’ve checked out some of the others, and they have some VBA compatibility, but not 100%. Not to mention the other 1000 features that MS Office has that the others don’t (I just threw that number out there. It may be closer to 6).
As one person replied to the question on
Our friends over at Into Windows have posted a nice collection of gadgets made for Windows 7. I have to agree with 19 of the 20. I really don’t like the Alarm Clock. I don’t like it going off when I’m on vacation and forget to turn it off!
As you all know, Gadget feature was introduced with Vista and has been improved in Windows 7.
Android tablets are somewhat flakey when it comes to performance and sales. Sure, there are some great ones out there (Zoom, for example), but there are a lot of duds, as well. With the release of Windows 8, tablet vendors are set to change their alliances from the Google Android based operating system to a tablet focused Windows 8 powered by Intel processors. How this will end? I’m betting that a Windows based tablet will be a lot better than an Android one.
Why? Because Android is open source and it can be customized to the hilt (my phone is completely custom using Android as it’s base) and Windows is closed source. With the OS being stable and closed, it will run on the hardware with the same performance and stability of Windows PC’s and Windows phone. A lot of the issues surrounding the Android tablets are that they are customized for the hardware being used, software applications specific to that model, etc..
Only time will tell, but I see the Windows 8 powered tablet using Intel hardware the next logical step to compete with Apple’s iPad (which is also a closed system). Apple has the tablet market cornered, and Microsoft may be the one to take some market share from the mighty Apple. Of course, I doubt that they will completely steal the tablet market, but innovation comes from the competition. Maybe the next iPad will have more than just a few extra MB’s…
Intel and Microsoft are jointly touting a new Wintel-based platform for tablet PCs, raising hopes among non-iPad tablet PC vendors that they may be able to compete more effectively with Apple in the segment in 2012 with models other than ARM/Android-based products, according to industry sources.
Microsoft has released the long awaited 250 GB hard drive for the XBox 360, with a generous price tag to boot: $129. This brings the price per GB down to 52 cents from the previous amount of $1 per GB for the 120 GB hard drive (which was the lowered price!). I’m still running the paltry 20 GB drive, and I’m really seeing limits on it as far as demo downloads, and don’t have enough room to rip most, if not all, XBox games to the hard drive.
Not only is the price surprising, but the fact that Microsoft previously stated that it wouldn
I’m a Microsoft guy. I always have been after my C-64 and we went to MS-DOS and upward from there. I needed a new tablet as my Nook Color wasn’t powerful enough for tablet needs. I was using modded e-reader to be an Android tablet – works great, but hardware limitations suck. I needed a larger screen. I had a few suggestions, but the iPad was the biggest one. Not being an Apple guy, I was reluctant. But, I went for it. 16 GB New iPad Wi-Fi. Will I regret it? Not so far. Check out my thoughts after one day.