Tag Archives: Microsoft

Why I’ve lost faith in Android as a platform

This is a blog post a long time coming as over the last month I have struggled with my Android phone. I am going to start off saying if your just going to respond with “Just click X,Y, and Z and your issue is solved” at this point then stop reading now cause my whole argument is going to be ignored by you.

I had an Android phone for about 9 months. Over the course of those 9 months I spent all 9 of them trying to make my phone something better. I was using a Samsung Fascinate which is by no means a weak phone or in any ways should be a problem. The Galaxy S was the top line from Samsung who is not a bad phone manufacturer. Actually the hardware is great the phone has survived many drops with no signs of damage the thing that truely cripples the phone is it’s OS.

When I first got my Fascinate my first thought was “yay I can tweak the hell out of this thing” at the start. I spent a few weeks trying to use the default of this “amazing OS” I even tried all the different launchers and none of them fixed the fundamental flaw that was created by the buggyness and slowness of the OS provided by Samsung. So I started my journey of playing with ROM’s constantly on this phone. Now all I can say is that this lead to a phone only slightly more usable then before with just as many bugs. Even after Samsung finally got Froyo on the phone (6 months after promised) we merely got more bugs. Now this could be both Samsung’s and Verizon’s fault who knows which caused more bugs. Verizon’s attempts to replace Google with Bing couldn’t have made it any more stable.

Now all of this trouble comes from the fact that Android is too open. It doesn’t matter if your OS is really good if 90% of the users are given phones that slowly get buggier over time. We like to think of technology as advancing but Android devices I have used seem to only get more bugs as more versions of software is release look at the Droid X for even more examples. This is the key failing of the Android platform. People said there was going to be no consitancy to Android well I can tell you there is one constant  it’s that phone makes can keep making bad phones that will just confuse normal users. I don’t care if you can fix it by restarting or pressing a key combo or turning off the defaulted to on GPS. None of these matter as normal users should never have to deal with this stuff. Fine it will work for tweakers and you guys can have your phones but there is no need for tweaker phones to be forced on the population as a really usable phone. I think Android as a platform is in a race to the bottom of devices. In an attempt to make devices cheaper and cheaper the quality goes out the window. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure the Nexus phones will be good for techies and the Kindle Fire will be perfect for normal users but neither of those will be the majority of devices.

Now most readers will probably ask, “Well then what platform do you have faith in?” The saddest thing is I actually have to say there are two platforms that have it right. Windows Phone and iPhone. Yep Windows Phone . It’s not only more usable but as a user its less confusing. Instead of allowing you to bite yourself with 50 apps in the background Microsoft has seen what Apple did. Sure you can use your one app and the rest can run but in limited states to prevent the slowdown and freezing that became normal on my android. At the end I was rebooting almost daily wait no that wasn’t even me it would reboot ON ITS OWN!  I think Microsoft will win the race to the bottom as they have a more intuative and simple user interface will most likely hit the right price points.

So there is my outlook. Windows Phone and iPhone on top with Android stuck with Blackberry in nitch markets. Sure the Android phones will have the latest tech but seriously does anyone really need NFC at this point? Or even LTE? Yay, I get instant downloads oh wait I need to plug in again. Apple and Microsoft are both smart about technology these days and know its worth waiting till its been proven. This will be the key to their success just watch!


Why is the EU lawsuit getting press again suddenly?

So once again we got a big media group talking about the EU lawsuit by Opera. The real question is why does this keep getting released? Or even better what standing does this have? In the past it has been ok for Microsoft to have their browser installed by default and somehow with this HORRIBLE situation Firefox is still at what 25+% of the browser market? Wow I am so worried about Windows 7 bundling IE8 I mean people might actually get a decent and secure browser with their OS unlike XP which means some might not install Firefox? Um, sorry Firefox but if people switch that easily I am doubtful you were going to keep them anyways. Of course I am sure Mozilla would love for Microsoft to bundle IE6 I mean they are ACTUALLY better then that browser but suddenly they might have competition and it seems Mozilla has joined Opera in its if you cannot beat them in the market beat them in the court room tactic. By the way if anyone thinks this can really help Opera lets think about the end result with what Opera wants. Basically Opera wants to have a screen pop up that lets you choose an alternative browser. So lets see when you get to this screen it will probably just show the top 3 right? So we get IE8, Firefox, and Chrome ouch Opera you would still lose even if you won.


Windows 7 RC released today to the public

Today is the big day for Redmond. They finally are allowing the public access to the Windows 7 RC. This means go and get your CD key and try it out. Of course remember that this is not the final version and that Microsoft doesn’t officially have to support this release. This release though will be usable till March of 2010 which means that you have quite a bit of time to buy Windows 7. The real question is “Is Microsoft using the Windows 7 RC as a kind of unofficial trial?” I think the answer to this question is yes. I think the RC is being used by Microsoft to win over all the naysayers of Windows Vista to regrow the Windows brand. Is this really a bad thing? I don’t think so I mean it means I don’t have to buy a copy of Windows 7 the day it comes out. Anyways linked below are the announcement from the Windows Blog and Paul Thurrott’s review of the RC which goes over the changes between the Beta and RC. I may or may not post a review of the RC in the coming weeks I haven’t decided yet.


Windows 7 RC works for over a year

The Windows 7 RC is supposedly going to work without problems for 13 months. What exactly is Microsoft doing? Well to put it simple. Microsoft is dumping a version of Windows 7 on the market to wet peoples appetites. Sure it works for a year and about 6 months in you realize hey I should buy this. If you don’t do this well eventually it will just stop working. Of course the real question is what kind of updates will Microsoft be supplying to the Windows 7 RC and will they stop after it becomes available through normal means. I am betting Microsoft will just drop support on release. So really this is just an extended trial. Enjoy it while it lasts.


Another look at Windows being on ARM

OSNews brought up once again the idea of Microsoft making a version of Windows for the ARM architecture. In the past I have pointed out that if Microsoft doesn’t that they will eventually fall behind in the netbook market. This is caused by the fact that ARM netbooks are looking like they will not only be smaller then the atom netbooks but also may even allow for even more battery life while at the same time providing better video playback by having a graphics chip with some power to it (the 945 from intel is ancient now by todays standards). Of course OSNews points out one thing that so far many overlook. Unlike Linux which has been on ARM for awhile and so it has apps ported to ARM when you look at Windows they have NO ARM apps besides the stuff made for Windwos Mobile. Of course in theory using .net they could get a few apps but how many major apps that you use in your everyday life are .net based? I can bet its a small number. Of course I don’t think Microsoft really expects the users that buy netbooks to buy Office. I think that Microsoft is making the web based Office 14 exactly for netbooks as a way to prevent the huge amount of space office would take up and also the fact that most people still use a disc to install Office (no small feat when you have no DVD drive). In the end I think I agree with OSNews. Microsoft will probably not make an ARM version of Windows it’s just not in it or its partners interests to maintain two platforms. The real question here is will this kill ARM netbooks?


Windows 7 release date accedentally announced

Today a Acer executive let slip that Windows 7 release date. By the way its October 23rd according to this executive. Of course this is a bit later then some of us were expecting. Also supposedly he said the upgrade deal would only be starting 30 days before release which is contrary to earlier statements that that would be started in July which would lead us to believe in a August release. In the end do we really know the release date? Who knows until Microsoft announces it technically it can change at any time.


btw: The date conflict makes me not trust this.

Microsoft Releases Office 2007 SP2

Today Microsoft finally released their second service pack for Office 2007. This actually adds some very interesting features that many normal users will probably overlook. The first major feature is Microsoft has now added .xps and .pdf support by default in Office 2007. This is great thing to finally have this feature by default. Hopefully with this some people will realize that they don’t need Adobe Acrobat in order to make a pdf document from a Word doc. The second major feature is Open Document Format(ODF) support. This is an amazing step in the right direction for Microsoft. This is a sign that Microsoft is willing to accept Open Standards when companies want them to. I have not yet got to try using the ODF support so I don’t know how well it works but hopefully it works really well (I would hope so since Microsoft has had a lot of time to work on it). The final feature that I think people will probably miss is they made it so you can extend the file formats further. This means that you can create a plug-in now that will add a file format that can be used like any other file format. Hopefully this means that Office will eventually support all the needed file formats. This looks like like a great update for Office 2007 and I hope it works as well as it sounds like it should.


More Windows 7 info

Paul Thurrott has found some more interesting things with Windows 7. First, DVD playback will not be included in Home Basic and Starter versions. This makes since with them being designed to be so low end and nothing running Starter should really be playing DVDs (netbooks have no optical drive). Second, when it comes to 64-bit versions of Windows 7 the maximum ram numbers increase with the high versions. Of course this only limits the netbook version to a “lousy” 8 gigs of ram. These numbers seem like they are probably good for the Windows 7 lifecycle and I highly doubt anyone will actually hit them (the people with more then 16 gigs of ram will most likely be using Professional anyways). The last two are both about networking. All versions support 20 smb connections and Remote Media Experience (RME) is not available on the Home Basic and Starter versions. For the connections I doubt home users will care. The media ones are interesting limitations but they make for a reason to upgrade. Overall an interesting find.


Microsoft Offically announces Windows 7 RC and its “big” new feature

Microsoft announced Windows 7 RC’s and finally announced this thing called XP mode. First off lets look at the RC. The official date it will be available to the public is May 5th Microsoft has finally admitted that. Ok so we can move on to the real meat of the announcement.

Microsoft announced this amazing new feature that is going to change the way we use Windows 7. Oh wait sorry that wasn’t really what they announced. They announced what is being called Windows XP Mode. Wait it gets better. Windows XP Mode is the awesome feature where you can run Windows XP programs in a virtual machine. Sounds great right? I mean this is what we were all wanting to see Microsoft add right? Sorry to burst your bubble but even in this department Windows XP Mode falls flat.

Windows XP Mode is a Virtual Machine but it is not hidden like we all wanted to see when a Virtual Machine is being used by the OS for compatibility. Instead its a new version of Virtual PC with which you can run programs in it from Windows 7. Sounds good right? Well the problem here is you still have to INSTALL XP into this Virtual Machine. Yes, you still need to provide a password and configure updates. It is more simple then a normal XP install but it’s not a simple as what everyone was hoping for. Now I understand that this will most likely be used by many in the Enterprise in order to keep running old legacy applications that can only run in XP. Seriously though Microsoft I doubt this is really that big of a deal. I mean Virtual PC isn’t that hard to use and IT departments have been using Virtulization more and more these days. What this does allow is for XP applications stay in the normal workplace. So its useful but its not a major new thing.The other problem with this way of doing things is security. This now doubles the surface of Windows at times and will add tons of holes to a Windows 7 system. I know that things aren’t supposed to leak through VM’s easy but that isn’t even what I mean. XP is generally used to run the essential legacy apps. I mean if it really needs this extra OS install it must be important. Will Microsoft be providing a Virus Scanner in Windows XP Mode? Or will a company need to now install two virus scanners on each computer. One for Windows 7 and one for Windows XP. This seems to only keep Windows XP’s problems just now within Windows 7 instead of standalone on a separate computer where it can run its chaos.

Don’t get me wrong this is a nice thing to have. Its as if you get a free copy of XP in every version of Windows 7 that is pro and higher. I just don’t get why this required Apple level secrecy for so long. Why try and do this attempt at a surprise announcement.


Microsoft paying for open-source NFSv4 for Windows

Microsoft is showing its desire to work more for real interoperability between Unix/Linux and Windows with its funding of a the development a implementation of NFSv4 for Windows. In the past it seems as though Microsoft’s main focus for interoperability was more trying to force Unix/Linux distributors to support smb via samba better but this would finally allow for Microsoft to go the other way and work with already existing NFS setups that are using v4. Microsoft does have NFSv3 in its current Windows versions but its rather old. The real question is how important will this really be to Microsoft? Will it just be forgotten in a few months like NFSv3? I am betting so but who knows maybe Microsoft has had a change of heart.