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Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Apparently it is expected, and quite typical, for the work laptops to experience the blue screen of death. I just had my second, in as many months. Crazily, a shift reboot seems to cure all (at least on the surface). This time round, though, I got this message when I logged back on again.

Microsoft has me by my balls

Pray, where do I click to check online?

Bear in mind that I am currently online posting this, and Windows aint checking for no online solution *snap snap snap*

April fool?

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I love these :)

I was happily working in Visio, and did the unthinkable … yes, I tried to … wait for it .. copy and paste a shape from one page to another.

Gasp!  Shock! How could I! Should have known better!

Visio dies quickly; and then this error pops up:

MicroSoft killed Microsoft?

Obviously, I need to click the link to MicroSoft Update, as so strongly encouraged by this message. So, yes, I click the link.

Guess what:

Words fail me

April fool!

Deep sigh.

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Err … these ads are embarrassingly bad. And offensive (in my mind) esp when seinfeld declared they need to get in touch with the common man. Gheesh!

All I can say is: Go Mac!

Oh, need I say that MS has dropped this campaign, but will be using Jerry elsewhere?

(question: does shoe circus exist? did their sales go up after this? is that where common america shops for shoes?)

And

For news stories on this go here and here.

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Interestingly enough, I got directed to perhaps the weirdest page in Microsoft’s help and support site I’ve ever seen. The title of the page? “Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music.” The first line of the article reads:

During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play “Fur Elise” or “It’s a Small, Small World” seemingly at random.

The reasoning behind it is sound enough, but it’s still top of the insanity for the day.

[Link: Microsoft help and support - Computer randomly plays classical music]

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A CNN Technology article tries to explain why Apple fans are so loyal to the brand despite a flurry of problems with the iPod and iPhone. Their reasoning: the iPod brought Apple into the mainstream along with an incredible cool factor that is so great, people will refuse to abandon the brand despite all the problems. They say had a company like Microsoft had similar problems, their users would have bailed already.

So what do you think guys? Agree or disagree?

I’d like to hear with Sharon and Sameer have to say about this. Sameer is dead-set on getting the iPhone but I’ve been hearing about lots of software glitches and problems with connectivity. Will he still go with the iPhone or will he turn to their competitor, Blackberry?

ps: On that article page, there’s a pic of the entrance to the Apple building in New York – check it out, it’s awesome! We saw it when we were there and couldn’t figure out if it was modern art or something practical. That is until we saw people ascending out of the floor!

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Wild Tangent CE, Alex St John, predicted in a talk in Seattle that gaming consoles as a physical box will be extinct by 2020. He substantiates his claim by saying:

shareholders of Sony and Microsoft will no longer tolerate the massive, billion dollar investments that it takes to create proprietary video game consoles.

He further goes on to say that:

Even though Nintendo’s Wii console has met with success in the market, [...] the only thing that makes it different are the proprietary controllers. That’s the same thing that happened to the arcade video game business years ago, which had to design new controllers and devices to try to compete with the home consoles that had equal or better graphics and game play.

There are several holes in his argument, and because he’s no analyst, I reckon his words should be taken with a pinch of salt. I’m not analyst either, but I refute his argument, and present the following counter arguments:

- Sony and Microsoft are happy to invest the billions now for future heavy returns–a console doesn’t start making money until the third or fourth year of its life span when the components start getting cheaper. In fact, if you look at the model of the PlayStation 2, it started off making a loss as well, but it’s now almost ten years old, and it’s been a profitmaker for Sony since at least the slimline version. To date, in fact, it’s sold over 140 million units. I don’t think Sony’s going to turn its back on that sort of success. Furthermore, Sony and Microsoft HAVE the billions to invest because consoles aren’t their primary, or only, market.

- Nintendo’s Wii is more than just “innovative controls”. Nobody expected to Wii to do well, because, to everyone except Nintendo, the idea sounds batsh!+ crazy on paper. But it works because I don’t think many people took into account the social aspect of the Wii, and that’s where Alex’s argument falls flat on its face again. Friends trumps innovative controls–I’ve never had more fun in my life than sitting and competing with a bunch of friends over a video game.

- Alex has obviously not played any of the current generation consoles: I can think of, off the top of my head and without breaking a sweat, games for current gen systems that feature microtransactions, free-to-play advertising models, and the ability to sell games digitally (so what the heck are the Playstation Store, the Wii Shop, and Live, Alex???)

- PC games are losing audiences and developers for a couple of very good reasons:
-> PC games are more prone to piracy than console games, and this is a quotable, verifiable fact
-> PC games require constant PC upgrades, at least every year if you want to be able to play the latest and greatest games, so the cost outlay is far far more. By contrast, once you’ve bought a console, you seldom need to upgrade it to play the latest and greatest (note I say seldom–I’m calling peripherals such as microphones, balance boards, and buzzers “upgrades”).
-> PC games require a larger investment of time than console games do. Furthermore, the attraction of console games is the “switch on, plug in, and play” capability. The one thing I hated about PC games is the fact that I have to have my system perfectly configured just to play one game. Console games, you just put the disc in and play. No lengthy wait times for booting (I’m looking at you, Windows!). Unfortunately, with current gen games, load times are comparable to PC games.

Sorry, Alex, but I don’t think you’ve thought your argument all the way through. Well, I may not have either, but I’m not going to make such wild predictions about the next 12 years!

[Link: Seattlepi.com via El33tOnline]

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There’s a very interesting article at The Long Tail that says that a certain amount of piracy is necessary and should, in fact, be tolerated to a certain degree. Not that the article is advocating piracy; after all, theft is theft and it’s a crime either way. According to the article:

…efficient software and entertainment markets should exhibit just enough piracy to suggest that the industry has got the balance of control about right: not too loose and not too tight. That number is not zero percent (which requires protection methods so invasive they kill demand), and it’s not 100% (which kills the business). It’s somewhere in-between.

The second reason the quest for zero-piracy is a mistake is an economic one: piracy can actually let you raise your prices.

I find that very interesting. The article then goes on to give an example from Microsoft of this in practice. Another reason why piracy, to a small degree, should be tolerated, is that it also raises awareness about your product. In Microsoft’s case within piracy-rife countries such as India and China, pirate software made Microsoft products the de facto standard there. Meaning that Microsoft has a bigger foot in the door than you’d think.

So what is the optimum level of piracy? The article has that answer too:

When all these effects are considered, …[the] right level would vary from industry to industry. Today the estimated piracy rates are 33% for CDs and 15% for DVDs. The industries say that’s too high, but most anti-copying technologies they’ve brought in to lower that figure have proven unpopular. Would even tighter lock-downs help? Probably not. Maybe 15%-30% is simply the market saying that this is the optimal rate of piracy for those industries, and any effort to lower that significantly would either choke demand or push even more people to the dark side.

[Link: The Long Tail]

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