Tag Archives: Apple

Fun in the sandpit.. or not

Just a few comments (just my thoughts) about the whole ARM version of Windows 8 that won’t allow 3rd part browsers (desktop apps).

In  a way this is not Microsoft’s fault as the underlying architecture (processor) is totally different meaning applications (the actual binaries) need to be written to support this – and that is up to the developers of the app. Then again, Microsoft is creating the operating system which ‘host’ the applications and provide the API’s that the applications should use. It all depends on ‘how’ the applications are written how tightly they are tied to the underlying infrastructure. In an ideal world the OS should provide ‘ALL’ the API’s that any applications might need so they never need to be even aware of the actual hardware they are running on. I’m not sure is that is the case for Firefox or Chrome (they might have their own optimized code to better make use of specific hardware… but I don’t know).

The other problem is that Microsoft is trying to move away from the whole Windows API (at least the i386/Win32 stuff) which is a problem for ‘real’ applications (a I would have called them). Microsoft has been busy for years to try and create a new ‘middleware’ layer they call ‘.Net framework’ that should ‘shield’ applications from hardware details. Unfortunately very few of the larger application providers has ever taken .Net seriously (including some MS departments themselves).

Perhaps a simpler metaphor could explain this ‘issue’ better. Say we see the ‘OS’ as a sandbox (like a real one kids play in…). The applications are the toys. The users are the children playing in/with the sand (and yes, kids sometimes through their toys out the… you know…). Now MS is trying to make a new sandbox with a different type of sand but the toys weren’t made to work with that kind of sand (ye ye its fictional). The guys making the ‘toys’ are now complaining that their ‘toys’ won’t work in that sandbox which mean the kids there won’t be able to play with them. Big deal! So what? Perhaps the toy makers must just make their own damn sandbox (which they already have/or are in the process of making). As things look now there won’t be too many kids in this new sandbox anyway (my opinion) and it will fail miserably (since that other fruit company already has a new BIG and exciting sandpit where all the new ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ kids hang out…

Seems to me there will be a whole lot of toys and sand being thrown around soon with a lot of kids ending up with sand in their faces/mouths so no one is gona be ending on a happy note. Perhaps its time someone clean out their own sandpit of all the ‘bad’ stuff in there already before they think of getting a new one… hehe Jus saying….

The day the world lost Jobs

Today is a sad day for the IT industry (but the whole world as well). One of the great names of the industry has passed away – Steve Jobs. Whether you like or dislike his company or products you have to admit that he had a big influence – mostly positive, even if you are supporting one of his rivals!

This morning I got up an hour too early… thanks to the new Microsoft Windows Phone Mango update that for some reason changed my regional settings to ‘Damascus’ duh! They (the Damascusians) must be on daylight savings time or something since their time is one hour ahead of us (here in good old SA). I got up doing all my usual routine stuff – throwing the dogs out the backdoor hehe no actually just setting up their food and beds outside – I noticed I could still see the stars, which is weird as lately it is getting light the time when I got up, but I didn’t ‘register’ it in my head just yet. Only a few minutes later the wife asks me why the radio clock still says it is 4:50! oops! So there I was an hour too early to go to work. Played a bit more with my Mango when I came across the Twitter entries from people about mr Jobs….

So, thanks (semi sarcastically) to Microsoft to wake me up early this morning just to realize the world has lost ‘Jobs’…

The big wheel of progress

Lots of things follow the big turning wheel of success/failure through time. Sometimes you go up and other times down. Take share prices and/or market share in the IT industry. There was a time (some many moons ago) that Microsoft was soaring high among the clouds but lately it has been skimming the ground and loosing altitude with every flap of their (cripple) wings.

As if being passed by Apple in many market segments aren’t bad enough it now seems another old ally/opponent is passing it by in its way up – The big Blue company – IBM. Reading a post on Ars technica showing a few graphs about share prices over the last decade (or two) it is clear Microsoft is on the downward side of the big wheel of business.
Looking at the graph (below) some interesting events can be seen (like launch of Windows 95/Vista/7). However, the general direction of the ‘Microsoft’ graph is not an ‘upward’ one – oppose to Apple/IBM. It remains to be seen if Microsoft as a company can change this with new products like Windows 8/Phone/Tablet stuff. The perceived position of the company isn’t that of great strength – looking at the management as seen from outside. That doesn’t mean that Microsoft is totally doomed but the shareholders should be starting to worry (if they aren’t already hehe). A lot will ride on Windows 8 as a product and as a new direction for the once monolithic desktop OS company. There is always a chance that history can repeat itself and Microsoft can fight from humble/small beginnings to cover the majority of (a/the) market. Trouble is just that they have more than one powerful adversary this time (not just IBM). This time there are Apple and Google as well. Things certainly are not as simple as in the 80’s…Borrowed from Ars Technica… shamelessly.

 

 

The bad apple

There is an old saying that one bad apple can make the whole fruit basket go bad. Lately the big ‘apple’  has been getting bigger and ‘badder’. Now, I’m not a really a fan of them (Apple) – having a more MS background but I won’t bash them unless it is really necessary. Truth is, they have/had it coming.

In the latest news (just in case you haven’t been keeping up to date) Apple is suing competitors left right and center – this all because of ‘patent’ issues. Again, I’m not an Samsung/Android/Google specific fan but, suing someone because they have a product that looks like yours and you didn’t even invent the original concept (patents were bought from others) just means one thing – you suck at business. The fact that you had to buy a patent for something you want to sell means your only intent is to blackmail/screw others with it. Yes, many companies does it these days (even MS) and personally I think the idea stinks (sucks/blows or whatever way you want to refer to it). As far as I’m concern patents should not be purchasable/sell-able since it destroy the very idea why they were created (giving the creator a chance to do something with the idea before others can. If he/she/it can’t make the idea work the patent should be made null and void). Also, patents should only be applicable to physical working things – machines, gears, guts – in my opinion. The whole ‘software patent’ idea is a bit scaly if you ask me – too many blurry lines…

Perhaps it is time we/someone empty the basket so we can start ‘fresh’ again (picking fruit or something)… hehe

Microsoft vs Apple – stock prices compared over time

I came across some interesting information comparing the history of Microsoft and Apple’s stock prices during the years. It contains a number of dates on a scale with major events or milestones for both companies plus what their stock prices were at the time. Apple might have struggled in the beginning but recently they have been soaring to extreme levels while Microsoft’s has been static for most of the last 10 years – despite some good products that were released in those times (Windows 7, Kinect etc.)

I’m not going to draw conclusions about the information – you can judge for yourself. If you are working from Microsoft then you’d probably be a bit worried though.

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