NFC VS iBeacons

I’m all for BLE (bluetooth low energy). All but for a few details.

I like to come at tech from average user POV. Before I go into yesterdays iPhone 5S reveal. I want to tell you about 2 encounters I had a week ago. I was making my rounds for work when I encountered someone else with a lumia 920. I asked her how she liked the phone & she “loves it”. I asked her if she uses the wireless charging on it & the answer was an emphatic yes. Then I asked her about NFC. She didn’t know it was in her phone. Mainly because no one told her. Once I explained what it was & how it worked (this all took place in a 5 min conversation) she was in love with it. A similar occurrence happened a few days back between me & an Galaxy S3 owner. She knew her phone had it but other than sharing photos between galaxys’, She rarely used it. Until I showed her how to exchange contact information. Sharing media between windows phone & android is almost impossible via NFC/bluetooth.

Fast forward to yesterdays iPhone keynote. One of the items most talked about in the otherwise Meh event was iBeacons. Sites like GigaOm (http://gigaom.com/2013/09/10/with-ibeacon-apple-is-going-to-dump-on-nfc-and-embrace-the-internet-of-things/) couldn’t help but gush about it. But talking with a handful of people about it (letting them read GigaOms article) & explaining what makes it different from NFC led me to a conclusion. It will fail miserably. I don’t mean “Zune Fail”, I mean “Ping Fail”. There are 3 reasons for this.

1: Most people aren’t techies. BLE will have less traction than almost ubiquitous NFC. Samsung pushes NFC & by the presses measurements it hasn’t really taken off. And Samsung has spent billions of dollars advertising. Never mind that people are creatures of habit. Apple is trying to push a proprietary version of a verdant technology as an alternative to a almost widely used standard that they themselves called an answer in search of a question. Unless they show it working with something other than apple devices, it will fail. Most people don’t care about facetime & iMessage because it only works with other iOS devices. More people use Kik, Voxer, Whatsapp & Skype. Better known as services that are AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE.

2: People may not be very techie in general. But people generally do 2 things. 1 is turn off bluetooth if they don’t have bluetooth headsets or in car bluetooth. And 2 turn off Wifi if they’re not near a hotspot. For iBeacons to work bluetooth & wifi for wifi-direct requires both of those things to be on. Bluetooth has to be on for nfc to work. But NFC takes less power than WiFi.

3: BLE vs NFC for making payments. Lets take it from gigaom: ”
In theory, NFC range is up to 20cm (7.87 inches), but the actual optimal range is less than 4cm (1.57 inches).” “iBeacons range is up to 50 meters.” Apple being Apple couldn’t help but show how easily discoverable devices are on stage. Which do you feel more secure with when making transactions; a device that requires you to be about an inch away to exchange your money or a device that you can send money over the air from within 164 feet? Explaining this to my non-techie friends resuklted in them being in favor of the former of the later. Then there’s the cost to store owners. Again from GigaOms article; “Estimote, a company which just launched to sell beacons, is taking pre-orders at the price of $99 for 3 beacons.” NFC tags cost 0.10 cents. NFC is already available at Wallgreens, Rite-Aid, Duane Reade, most gas stations, I even see them on the subway and advertising. It’s in door locks. It’s in most accessories already. They aren’t going to replace NFC overnight with ble. Besides that banks & mobile carriers are the biggest road blocks to phones as debt card. See Isis. Apple presented no solution to them.

Low Power Bluetooth has a future but not without NFC right next to it. NFC biggest problem is that people don’t know it exists. At best they know it as S-Beam. Contrary to the tech presses assertions. For NFC to take off, Apple doesn’t need to pick it up. Microsoft, Nokia and Google are pushing it now. For NFC to take off it needs Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, spotify, xbox music, evernote, office, skydrive, dropbox & Yammer to adopt it. People don’t make purchases as much as they interact on social. 6Tag the best instagram app on windows phone already does this. if friending people, adding stuff to peoples wall, sharing via social, exchanging music & documents etc was easy to when in proximity to the person you want to share with was made possible between apps regardless of platform. NFC would take off. Apple be damned!

Can the Disingenuous Bastards STFU regarding the Xbox One & Kinect.

For everyone bitching about the $100 price difference between the #Xbox one & the #PS4. The ones saying that Microsoft should make the Kinect optional. I just want to say your a short sighted moron. How much does the Kinect cost? Its not a $100 add on. The (new) Kinect for windows is almost as expensive as the Xbox One. Seeing as how they’re roughly the same hardware. Its safe to say that if it was left off, you wouldn’t be getting a $399 Xbox.

You’re getting the Kinect for free. That’s because Microsoft wants developers to have a target to hit. The same way Apple gives devs the same screen size & doesn’t fragment efforts with resistive & capacitive screens. & the dedicated gaming set top box market is a small market. More & more people game on phones & tablets. Microsoft is trying to attract app developers for non-gaming apps. They’ve hinted at this much. (“if you want to develop apps for the Xbox one, code for windows 8”)

And while I’m on the Kinect. Can we knock off the privacy BULLSHIT? Siri sends your inquiries to a server saves them for 2 years. Google now tracks everything about you. Down to your exact location. & the Moto X is always on & always listening.

This is never pointed out by the tech press that practically jizzes their pants & the thought of an Apple tv that’s almost exactly like the Xbox one in their descriptions. That’s because they’d sooner cut their collective dicks off with the dull end of a rusty blade before they give Microsoft the same leeway they give Apple and Google.

Please formulate new arguments you disingenuous bastards. I’m tired of the same arguments that are either short sighted or blatantly biased against Microsoft. If the Xbox One is too expensive and not enough of a pure gaming system. Please go buy a PlayStation 4 or an Oyah. I like to mind the company I keep. And I don’t want to be lumped together with you.

Zune is dead! Enter Xbox Music.

     Zune is going away. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. So now all’s that’s left is left to do is ask, Will it’s successor Xbox music stack up? if it can’t beat Zune which it replaces, then it doesn’t stand much of a chance against iTunes and the other music services.

 

clip_image004

 

clip_image001So it’s been a few days since the RTM of windows 8 was released. E3 has come and gone & there have been a few videos showing what’s coming as far as Zunes’ successor. Project Woodstock has been revealed along with a lot of other goodies for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. So I’ve decided to throw in my two cents on what information is available so far. That and combined with the Xbox Music app I’m going to compare it against what I feel has been the best desktop media manager as far as I’m concerned. If you know anything about me, then you know I’m not going to compare this against iTunes. I’m going to put Xbox Music up against the Zune desktop (codenamed Dorado). 

 

Xbox Music Promo

 

clip_image002So I’ve made my peace with Zune as a brand going away. It’s not like I had the Zune logo tattooed to me or something. But I loved the little brand that could. I’m still very loyal to it. For me to give it up and move onto this new thing, I need to get at least what I was getting in Zune and or better. Zune was pretty damn good. So Xbox music has to measure up.

 

 

 

 

    

     Song Library: 15 million songs for Zune VS. 30 million songs for Xbox music! Xbox Music when launched will have double the amount of music that Zune’s library currently has which are around 15 million songs. So far, so good. Right out the gate Xbox Music is kicking Zunes ass. This isn’t iTunes 60 million songs. But at 30 million it makes it rarer that you would have to step out of the music app to find a song. As I’ll go into detail later on, it’s important that Microsoft not make you have to step out of their ecosystem. Because if you have to go to iTunes or Amazon for 1 song, you’re probably going to spend more time and money in that ecosystem than Microsoft’s. At 30 million you’re not going to be as regularly frustrated that there’s a song you want but can’t have it as part of your unlimited music pass. Point goes to Xbox Music.

    

     UI! Xbox music has stayed true to Metro (I’m going to keep calling it that regardless of what Microsoft & some store chain in German says about it) UI guidelines. In the consumer preview the music app was pretty much unusable but now it’s linked to your Zune pass & it’s gotten a much needed upgrade. It’s a lot more usable now. But it’s going to take some getting used to. Picks for me & quick play is dearly missed. The beautiful parallax screen saver has changed and not for the better. Rather than give you artist photos in surreal colors, it gives you plain artist photos doing basic ken burns effects. Then going to what looks like the classic Zune mix view. This should never have been altered and I hope that it changes back. I’ve used Zune music on my PC and through my Xbox to entertain guest. This has always been impressive and elegant. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it more than applied here. I do hope they change this back. This is a tie. Point goes to Zune for being beautiful while functional but not touch friendly and point to Xbox music for being Slick and fun but missing aesthetics that drew people to Zune in the 1’st place.

 

 

     Play features: If you like granular control, kiss it good bye in Xbox music. So far there is no Smart Playlist like there is in Zune. I can’t find Smart DJ. There’s no AutoPlaylist either. So specifying that a playlist be explicitly for music that I just downloaded and/or haven’t listened to yet. Or music that I’ve favorited and have listened to more than 10 times is not an option in Xbox music. In an upgrade you expect to get more things. Not loose them. For years I’ve been begging for crossfade and gapless playback in Zune. To lose what we already had, I’m going to put negatives for Xbox music since I expect it to be there by now. Point goes to Zune for functionality.

 

     Discovery: Nothing beats the Zune desktop for discovering new music based on your taste. Picks for you is a brilliant idea. I hope that in the final version of Xbox music it is brought over. Because the only way to discover music in Xbox music is to search for it. Channels has been somewhat deprecated in Zune. It’s not what it used to be. In Xbox music it’s completely gone. So having a premade playlist for the gym that refreshes every now and then is something your going to have to go to spotify for. Back in the Zune forum days, I suggested that Microsoft go to nike, reebok, bally’s, MTV, Motor Trend and various other parties and have them make premium channels for them rather than get rid of them. I suggest Microsoft visit this idea.

Podcast: Microsoft see’s no value in podcast. Rob Greenlee at Microsoft has had to fight tooth and nail from all accounts to have podcast in Zune. There’s no official word about whether it will be in Xbox music. No podcast in the music app for Windows 8? Which makes sense. But where do I get my podcast? I need Microsoft to give me a reason not to open iTunes. Because while I may listen to Zune content and happily pay for it. I listen to podcast 90% of the day. Two of which I pay for. So I’m going to listen to podcast no matter what. I’m not going to use Stitcher because the discovery in that is nothing compared to Zune and iTunes. And Stitcher isn’t available on windows phone anyway. It’s really on Microsoft to keep me from having to leave their ecosystem. I really hate to open iTunes. It’s a bloated app that bogs down my computer. I only open it when I want a podcast and there’s only a iTunes link to get it and no RSS address. If there’s no way to add & discover new podcast the way I can in Zune today. Then I’m just going to get a iPod touch. Because if I’m going to get my podcast from iTunes, it’s more than likely I’m going to get something else from iTunes because their music and video library is a lot bigger than Microsoft’s offering.

Podcast Rant: As you can tell podcast are very important to me. I don’t know how much it cost to have Podcast support but Apple offers it and it’s not hurting them. One would think the more content, the better. But metro has apparently gone wild and in minimalistic madness, an important media option is up for debate. I can’t imagine it costing too much money to have it. So the problem is that Microsoft doesn’t see money to be made in supporting podcast. So here’s my free million dollar idea Microsoft. Make a podcast app for Xbox, Windows phone and Windows 8. This app will play podcast (both from and outside the marketplace) as normal except it acts like Hulu. Where there are commercial points that can’t be skipped. Podcasters can submit their podcast to the marketplace with commercial break points and Microsoft can put the ads in. The podcasters that create the content will get 70% and Microsoft can take 30%. The podcasters will promote Xbox music for free. Problem solved! Podcast are now worth supporting.

So far Xbox music is nice but it’s no Zune. I’m really wanting to love the Zunes’ heir apparent. But there are a lot of questions that simply haven’t been answered yet about Xbox Music.

· Will this be available for windows 7 pcs’? Windows 7 is about to become the new Windows XP. Not everyone is going to upgrade to windows 8. Are you left out in the cold if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 8? Is the old Zune desktop going to be the solution for stragglers?

· Social made an appearance in the E3 debut (look closelclip_image003y at the pic. to the left where it says friends). Why is it not here in the RTM build? Is it the same Zune social or is it also connected to facebook & or twitter? Zune is still better than iTunes Ping but it was never an option for use on windows phone sadly. Is it no longer an option on laptops & tablets too? 

 

 

 

· Will podcast if they’re included in Xbox music be part of the same app or a separate app like Apple is doing? If podcast are included how will syncing to windows phone and Xbox work? Will I still be able to subscribe to podcast not available in the marketplace?

To sum it all up XBox music, as it stands right now is a piss poor replacement for Zune. There’s no Social element that Zune pioneered. No Cross fade & gapless playback. Parallax screen saver seems slow and unresponsive. I almost have to trick it into working. When it does work it seems to be just a cheap ken burns effect with no trippy colors like Zune has today. No picks for me or any music personation. No related artist. Where’s smart DJ? Where’s smart playlist? Where’s channels? Where’s the option to sync to my windows phone? Search my music by genre? Music videos? I know it’s not a video app but music videos? How do i Rate a song or album? Great UI but i plan on sticking with Zune for its functionality. I really thought that the Music purist fan base of Zune meant something to Microsoft as we are the ones that bought Zunes. Microsoft has done it yet again. Remember when we all thought that windows phone would be a better music experience than the Zune HD which was awesome? I miss my Zune HD every time I listen to music on my windows phone as it’s not only a lesser experience than the HD, It’s a lesser experience than an iPod save the tinny sound. lets hope the Zune Desktop app sticks around until Xbox music catches up? Xbox music is visually nice but functionally disappointing.

Side bar: Maybe you can help verify if I’m going crazy.

All around music play: This is less a commentary on Xbox music/Zune and more of a commentary on Windows 8 and Windows 7. Namely on Bluetooth connections. On a Mac I can easily turn Bluetooth on and off. It’s a bit of a clunky experience in Windows 7 but I can turn Bluetooth on and off. I can listen to my stereo Bluetooth headsets on my windows phone and jump to a friends mac or windows 7 with little effort. On windows 8, It’s a painful experience. After I sync my Rocket fish stereo Bluetooth headset to my Windows 8 PC, there’s a noticeable lag in audio when playing video for a few minutes. Stop and go music playing is also painful as windows 8 disconnects from my headset when this happens. So if I listen to a song. Then stop playing music but didn’t disconnect my headset from my pc. But then play a song a minute or two later, the playback hick ups. To the point where you feel something may be wrong with your headset or pc. Then when I jump off to my windows phone (seamless experience) and come back to my PC later on, I can’t listen to anything without uninstalling my headset from the PC and reinstalling it. With no guarantee that it will work. As of the latest build, I can’t sync any stereo Bluetooth headset to my Windows 8 pc. I hate wires! I never listen to music with a wired headset. Except with windows 8 because Bluetooth is broken. BTW, I know how to turn Bluetooth on and off on a Mac and Windows 7. How do I switch it off in Windows 8?

Facebook 2020

What is the future of Facebook? And no it’s not a damn phone.

facebook-phone

     I normally don’t step off my little reservation of everything Microsoft. But for right now Facebook is what’s in the news. From Mark Zuckerberg getting married to Facebook getting IPO’d and not meeting the dreams of analysist/investors and the lawsuits. Welcome to the big leagues. Where everyone has their panties in a twists and you only get forgiveness if you have an Apple logo. What’s got me putting my fingers on the keyboard is the latest rumors of Facebook considering making a phone. These rumors have been around for a while. It’s called the tech press has nothing else to write about and a rumor that seems like it has a 1% chance of becoming reality is a better story than no story at all. Eye balls & ad clicks are eye balls and ad clicks are all the same regardless of how you get them.

     So why would a Facebook centric phone be a bad idea?

  • For all intents and purposes all phones are Facebook phones already. Even cheap feature phones are Facebook phones. You don’t even need an app as you could update your status and send picture via sms and mms. Windows Phones have VERY deep Facebook integration. iPhones that are tied to twitter and even Android phones that are tied to Google + whether you like it our not have some kind of Facebook integration. So you be competing with yourself on other platforms and no one is going to trade in the phones and apps they currently have to use a phone that is really centered around Facebook and Facebook only.
  • App, Apps, Apps! Windows phone is currently struggling to be competitive with Android and iPhone. Facebook may have 1 billion users but it doesn’t have nearly as many developers who want to make apps for Facebook. There’s no stability there. remember Draw Something and Words with Friends? They were hot for 3 weeks and then we all forgot about them. Facebook users have ADD and will easily get bored with an app & move onto the next thing.
  • The mobile market is messy and expensive. if you fail at making a phone, well how do I put this? Richard Branson once said the key to becoming a millionaire is become a billionaire then buy an airline. The fastest way for Facebook to become MySpace or Friendster is to make a phone.
  • Remember the MySpace phone? I don’t think that helped MySpace. This has been done and it has failed miserably. There’s already a Facebook centric phone made by HTC. Looks like a fat, flat Blackberry. How’s that doing?
  • On the same day of writing this I was looking at a friends status on Facebook. His friend died. Before I could post on it I noticed that 3 people “liked” that my friends friend had died. Think on that for a while then ask if you’d like Facebook to make a phone and if you’d buy it?

helio-ocean-2

     Making a phone is a good way to go out of business and don’t even get me started on the rumor of Facebook buying the Opera browser. If this rumor is true then Mark Zuckerberg has never heard of rockmelt. So what is the future of Facebook? Once it gets its act together of course.

Be the definitive ID and Debit card for everyone in the world:

  •      You know what’s the one thing I hate to have on me and I have no choice but to carry it? My wallet! I hate carrying a dead animal pelt sown together to hold dead tree pulp, bits of met and dinosaur remains. It’s inefficient, its cumbersome, it makes my butt look big (that and the pop tarts at ice cream) and I have a tendency to lose it. Facebook and the smartphone eliminated the one piece of my wallet that made it even more cumbersome. That damn flip out folder. Together they can get rid of the wallet all together. Facebook seems to be on this path already. I can show that I’m an organ donor. But why should it stop there. Why not a drivers license? I only need to show proof that I can drive. proof that’s verifiable with the DMV. What if on a Facebook mobile app I can show all the verified ID that I need to drive, vote, or buy alcohol.

license-1

  • As long as facial recognition technology can detect that a photo of you is in fact you or that there’s a default photo of you. We will no longer have to put up with those crappy photos taken at the DMV. No more stupid plastic cards that will get lost and possibly result in identity theft. Remember that in order to have a Facebook account you absolutely be who you say you are. That’s 1 ugly piece of plastic outta the way. lets get rid of some more. It’s time that PayPal had some competition. What if your bank account was tied to Facebook but encrypted? site use Facebook log in for their sites. imagine using Facebook for making purchases online and out in the world. A Facebook challenger to PayPal could use NFC and QR codes. Products, services and stores you “like” can give you instant deals (which could make Facebook the Groupon killer). It would also make lending friends money electronically so much easier.

     thCAFMM19G

  •      Kick it up a notch and replace the passport. I can’t carry my passport with me every where. if I take it over seas and lose it. It’s a pain to replace it and get back. If having my passport is as simple as having it securely stored online and tied to my online identity. Why not do it? It would end so much hassle of having and keeping your passport secure. If Facebook can kill the wallet, their future would be secure. Because in doing so, they would have secured a very large base of users. In doing so they would have secured gov’t and banking contracts. Which also means that they would have a constant flow of income.

     Xbox-Live-and-PSN 

 

  • Be where worlds collide. We live in a world of silos and walled gardens. Locked in by our ecosystems. Facebook is in the perfect place to be a bridge between what keeps us from sharing and comparing. Where people can meet regardless of platform bias. Xbox and PSN meet. Don’t expect to be on an Xbox and play Bio shock against someone on a PlayStation. But it would be nice to compare scores and achievements. Where Photosynth, flicker and interest meet. Very few people are on one photo sharing site service. Imagine your photo album automagically (that is the only time I will use such tripe terminology) with all the photos from the various services you use. Where it doesn’t matter whether you get your music from Xbox music, iTunes or Spotify (you’ll notice that I didn’t mention Google play music. And I probably will never mention it again.) you can listen to each others music and download them depending on what service you use. Microsoft knows how to do 2 things really well that Facebook would be advised to learn from. 1 is make partnerships and 2 be a platform. Be as platform agnostic as possible.

     thCAA9OQSY

  • Speaking of Microsoft, take over as much of it as possible. Microsoft makes great software and excellent hardware. Hotmail while it has more market share than Gmail, could use some help. Gmail has succeeded at being flashy, hip and to some degree functional. It’s UI is almost what I remember it being back when I 1’st signed up for it back in the late 90’s. I love Bing. Its my go to search engine for everything. But Bing can’t survive on people who like it’s aesthetics. Facebook likes end to end control. So work on making Bing the best search engine possible. Don’t even get me started on Skype which as I’ve stated earlier needs a massive over haul. Even Xbox’s’ & Zunes’ (now Xbox music) built in social network can use some work. However people communicate, share and share using every Microsoft branded could use some of Facebook’s engineering magic. work out a way of splitting the profits and work together. For all intents and purposes the parts are all there. Microsoft has done 75% of the work for you. Go in and finish of the job and dominate.

       Facebook doesn’t need a browser or its own branded phone to compete with Google and amazon. It just needs to do what it does best, but on steroids. Be a place where the world comes together. Our online identity. Do that and Facebook can be worth more than Microsoft, Apple and Google combined. I’ll be stepping of the reservation again when I spout my 2 cents on what should become on Microsoft’s So.Cl.

Too small to matter vs. Too big to Screw over.

By: Roman David DeSilva

Edited By: Chris Ashley

Why I believe that the high-end Windows Phones like the Lumia 900 will be updated. The short and sweet is that Microsoft may not have a choice.

HTC_HD2_broken_2

     So there have been big debates over the Blogosphere as to whether the newly released Lumia 900 will get updated to Windows Phone 8, code named Apollo. These rumors came fresh after much of the tech-press decided that the Lumia 900 wasn’t worth buying just prior to the new release. Many of them cited sources close to or in Microsoft and we seemed to have made these statements gospel. The short and sweet of this is that current high end windows phones will get the update. Arguments to the contrary are FUD.

     Never mind that sources can be wrong. The fact is that sources can be anyone. For example: A few months ago I was going to do a small piece on Xbox 720 (Infinity) & the used games discussion. I asked someone in the gaming industry what this meant. My source said banning used games meant that Microsoft was making it so downloaded games from the Marketplace can only be burned to a disk only once. So no more making a bunch of copies of one game & selling them. Who was my source? Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates, a top level Microsoft employee, someone in the Xbox division? Nope, it was a store clerk at GameStop.  Had the person told me not to reveal his identity and I reported it. I could’ve called it an anonymous source. However that’s not really a reliable source. Since this person is not a good source I never ran the piece. The truth is sources can be any idiot that is looking to feel important at their meager jobs more importantly, they can also be wrong.

     Making matters worse, others have just been pulling crap outta their collective asses. Here’s how the line of their reasoning goes. Windows Phone 8 will share the kernel with Windows 8 which means that Windows Phones minimum hardware requirements will be changed and will require dual core (this is not even a minimum spec requirement of Windows 8), 1Gb of ram and the current resolution of current windows phone including the Lumia 900 is simply too low. I want to say before I start debunking the tech press that I’M A DOG WALKER. MY DAY IS SPENT WALKING AROUND NYC WITH A DOG OR 2 IN HAND AND PICKING UP THEIR CRAP. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t post a lot. That’s because I have an exhausting day job & I’m learning how to develop apps. Plus I have a damn life. I shouldn’t know better than people who blog for a living. Please read the minimum requirements for Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Windows Phone 8 Apollo & Windows 8 will share the same kernel.

Minimum specs of any Windows 8 certified tablet.

     Now much of any of this do you really think applies to a phone? No really? Remember what Steve Ballmer said, “We’ve learned our lesson that a phone is not a PC”. Windows Phone 8 may share a kernel & some UI with Windows 8 but after that I doubt anything else. But the main arguments that Lumia 900 like phones won’t be compatible are that the Ram and CPU requirements are getting bumped up. The minimum CPU GHz need for Windows 8 is 1. My old Toshiba Satellite laptop that was $300 at BestBuy sporting a 1 GHz single core Celeron processor runs Windows 8 just fine. Another argument is the Ram requirements of Windows 8 (1 GB) means that the Lumia 900, Titan 1 and Titan 2, HTC HD7, and Samsung Focus S won’t run Windows Phone 8 even though they all have 512 MB of ram & at least a 1GHz CPU power. Let alone the low end phones like the Lumia 710 and the HTC Radar which are in the 256 MB bracket.

Nokia-Lumia-Coffee-Tab-Windows-8-3_png

     This would all make sense if Windows Phone 8 devices could run side by side apps by snapping them on either side of the screen. Or if Windows Phones could have a full desktop under the Metro UI or any of the various other features that Windows 8 will come with. If you believe that Windows Phones will be able to run a full blown version of Microsoft office. Then you’re dumber than the guy that gave George Lucas the rights to Star Wars after the movie was released. Windows Phone currently doesn’t need dual core CPUs or a lot of memory to run in the 1st place. Minimum requirements are 800 MHz single core CPU and minimum 256 Mb of ram. Microsoft has been priding itself on doing more with less. I can believe that 256 may be too low. But 512 is going to be the bare minimum for running Apollo on current devices. Don’t even get me started on the CPU.

     Apollo will have no problem running on Windows phone 7 devices. As for screen resolution, I’ve seen Windows 8 running on the Crapiest of netbooks from the sale bin of my local Wal-Mart. Those screens are not exactly iPad 3s. Those minimum requirements are for tablets, 7 to 8 inches and up. Not phones! You are not going to be able to snap apps next to each other and run them conterminously.

Continue reading

5 Reasons why Steven J. Vaughan-Nicholas is a Horses’ ass & a lousy excuse for a “journalist”.

     Regarding ZDNets article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols who I would be completely surprised if he used Windows 8 prior to reviewing it.

     This article is total BULLSHIT! The author start out with the I hate Microsoft mindset then list total BULLSHIT reasons that are easily shot down. Windows 8 won’t be the next windows Vista which I used and it worked fine for me. BTW: Why do we consider Vista a failure? Vista out sold the Mac by 5x’s. 5x’s more machines with vista sold than Apple & until recently had more market share. Which means that it out sold every desktop build of Linux by a billion. And the last time I checked it’s not like Microsoft lost money on XP.

1. No one needs Windows 8 on the desktop:
 

     I’ve been using Windows 8 since its’ been available. I can’t go back to windows 7. Windows 8 is A LOT faster than Windows 7 which by comparison is painfully slow. Then there’s the fact that I can run tablet apps on my laptop so I don’t have to jump from 1 device to another. If I have my laptop out and I want to check out an app that would be on my tablet I don’t have to switch devices. In metro I can run 2 apps conterminously in full screen. Ex: watch a movie and look at the IMDB app at the same time. Windows 8 is a lot simpler to use and even in it’s incomplete beta build I’ve never had an issue with it. Another thing 8 has over 7 is that I can go to a friends house and log into their computer under my account and it’s like logging into my own computer. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a tech reporter & he didn’t know this? I’m a dog walker and I know this. Please give me his paycheck & job.

2. Metro: An ugly, useless interface.

     Funny! Not only do I disagree with you but I feel the same about Android, Mac and Linux as a whole. I mean really; it’s your choice of static icons or ugly widgets. Live tiles look elegant and give more information. Linux may have the mobile market for now and that’s because it’s free for the OEMs’ who add skins & crap-ware that fragment it then the carriers break it some more. Android is not open when it gets into the hands of the consumer that just wants to run some apps, make calls, browse the web and make the occasional phone call. Most people using android are still using froyo, gingerbread & some honeycomb. think of that like 3 Vistas. I don’t see you bitching about that. and the last time I checked the Mac and Linux on the desktop accounts for around 10% of the entire market. If Windows 8 is the next Vista, it’ll stand hand Mac and Linux their ass. Can I please have this authors paycheck and job.

3. Where are the Windows 8 Applications?

     IT’S NOT DUE TO BE RELEASED TILL OCTOBER. NOT TILL OCTOBER. OCTOBER RELEASE. Where are the apps? are you out of your FUCKING mind? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a disingenuous bastard. Where are the Linux apps. That been on the market for a billion years now and it doesn’t have nearly as many apps as the Mac let alone Windows. Microsoft said their only releasing a few apps for the preview. did you really expect 10,000 apps in a preview that won’t RTM for 7 months? Please give me this guys job and pay check.

4. Vexed Windows developers.

     I’m learning how to develop for the first time ever so I really can’t speak for all developers except to day Apple puts developers through worse. Androids a nightmare to dev for. many developers are slowly but surely leaving Android for windows phone and iOS because of its fragmentation. Windows phone & windows 8 app approval is a lot more transparent than iOS and the Mac app store. And the rules are a lot clearer. Your a horses ass that’s doing little to advocate for you platform of choice.

     With Windows 8 you can make a windows phone 8 then with a change of 4 lines of code & it’s a tablet app. For all intents and purposes if you develop for windows 8 you only have to hit 1 target. regardless of whether its an X86 PC or arm tablet. If Windows 8 is anything like Windows Phone, apps can have more features. So why would developers hate Windows 8? They don’t seem to be beating down the door to be on Linux. But then again no one is as far as the desktop goes.

      BTW, Brandon Watson was the guy who was a Microsoft Developer champion advocate at Microsoft for windows phone. He was 1 of the people that that made windows phone the fastest growing app platform. He left Microsoft, in his own words as heard on windows phone dev podcast, because Amazon WILL BE PAYING HIM A REDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY & A BIG PROMOTION. I’d leave my mother for a ridiculous amount of money. ARE YOU STUPID OR JUST IGNORANT? ZDNet.com please give me this A-Holes job and paycheck.

5. Too little, too late for the smartphone/tablet market

     I don’t know why but I’m sure the same thing was said about the Xbox, the Xbox 360, that Apple should stay out of the smartphone market. That Windows 7 would be a flop. That android wouldn’t go anywhere. I remember another Pompous, arrogant ass saying there’s no point to the mouse and that it has no future. He and many people said the same thing about the iPad. People shouldn’t make big pronouncements like this in this day and age. When words can come back to bite you in the ass. So 1 year from the day that Windows 8 is released I say well all come back to this hit piece. Maybe by then I’ll have this morons job and paycheck.

     I have a rule that I try to live by. If you have to try to destroy someone else’s platform to build up your own, then you really don’t have anything to begin with. @sjvn didn’t even bother reaching for straws. He just pulled shit out of his arrogant ass & called it facts worthy of publishing.

Good night Zune =(

     If you couldn’t already tell I’m a die-hard Microsoft fan. I’m pretty rigid as many of my Mac using friends will tell you. I love Fords and Mopars. I can’t get enough of horror & action movies. And if you think I’ll ever buy and or use anything from Apple or Google, your dumber than you think you are. I love pretty much everything Microsoft makes. I have 2 PCs, 2 Xboxes’, a windows phone, office. About the only Microsoft products I would like to have but I don’t own are the surface (I live in a small studio apartment in the NYC area) and a Ford with Sync/Microsoft car. The only reason I don’t have that is because I don’t have a license. YET! I became a Microsoft fan because of 1 product line Microsoft made. The Zune! I use to be very platform agnostic. I really didn’t care about computer brands. As long as it was cheap and it worked I bought it. I went through a long series of iPods. iTunes made my computers crash. I’m a tech blogger by hobby. My day job is dog walker and computer repair on the side. Both of which require me to travel around NYC A LOT. By bicycle and subway Mostly. Every iPod I ever owned broke. None lasted me more than a few weeks. So a few years ago (2007 to be exact) I stopped buying iPods.

     I bought various mp3 players: Sony, creative, Sansa and Dell. Something was always wrong with them. The software seemed like it was an afterthought. The hardware was impossible to use. They all broke and using Napster and Rhapsody were painful experiences. Then along came Zune. All the software worked and the devices were battle tanks. I didn’t have to treat them like eggs. They took a beating and kept coming back for more. I officially became a Zune devote` when I was riding my bike down 8’th avenue. I was going about 35 MPG when a car stopped in front of me abruptly. I hit the car. Flew over it and hit the hood then the road. The car’s rear bumper was damaged, my bike was totaled and I was pretty banged up. I even had a mild concussion. I gathered myself up and at some point I collected my Zune 30 which had flown from my shirt pocket onto the side of the road. It was still playing as if nothing had happened. I’ve used nothing but Zunes since then.

     I’ve bought Zunes’ for many people. 10 to be exact. I’ve only bought 1 windows phone for someone other than myself but only because the price is a bit more prohibitive. I’ve owned every version of the Zune hardware. I recently gifted my last Zune to someone that needed an MP3 player because his iPod broke. Late last year Microsoft killed of the hardware line of zune. The last model of Zune being the HD 64 GB. They also ended the Zune originals program which took an already beautiful and impressive device and allowed they owners to make it their own. Not to long after that the Zune Insider podcast hosted by Matt Akers & Jessica Zahn of Microsoft abruptly ended. No countdown to good bye. Just a normal episode that closed with this is the last episode. Then Zunes’ customer support was closed down. All this following rumors that Microsoft has plans to box the brand and fold the service into Xbox. Now its time to face the music. Zune is going away.

     Zune was launched in 2007 to compete with the ipod and iTunes. It was initially mocked as a an iPod wanna be. Funny how no one says that about the iPhone even though windows mobile, Blackberry and Palm had been in the mobile phone game for a decade before the iPhone existed. Even odder that the iPad isn’t a Windows tablet wanna be. It was called ugly. Because that very 1’st iPod was a work of art right?

      And it was mocked till it became a meme and a safe joke for tech journalist who aren’t funny to begin with to make. By the second generation the Zune hardware had evolved. So much so that CNet thought that it was better than the iPod.

http://www.cnet.com/av/video/embed/player.swf

The Mini Zunes weren’t bad either

http://www.cnet.com/av/video/embed/player.swf

The Zune HD was a marketplace short of King

http://www.cnet.com/av/video/embed/player.swf

But that didn’t help it anemic sales. At some point Zune was neglected to all but it’s core fans and a few within Microsoft. I never saw an ad for Zune. Living in NYC, the home of Madison Ave and non-stop advertising. You’d think I would’ve seen at least one. I actually had to hunt down Zune ads on youtube. The rest were web ads.

     Zune never got the advertising that Bing, Xbox, Office, Windows, Windows phone of even the Microsoft Kin. Zune was neglected but it survived in spite of Microsoft or even the tech press that seems hell bent on killing it. I had hoped that as windows phone market share goes up so will Zunes presence, saving the brand. Zune has or had a lot of potential. When I showed people all that Zune offers, they wanted it over the iPod & iTunes. I spend much of my time reading other peoples work and doing analysis. When it comes to Zune, the news is positive when there’s word that it might go cross platform.

     Zune has for me just not only been the best music service/media manager. But it has been just a gorgeous exercise in design. Zune has been a great marriage of intelligence and elegance. Everyone at Microsoft must agree with me as Zune is about to the mother of everything Microsoft is about to become.

     Zune is what made me a Microsoft fan. For me it did have a halo effect. After buying and falling in love with my Zune I bought my 1’st Xbox. I then bought a decent computer that could do more than play low power games and surf the web. I even got my 1’st smartphone. At the time a windows mobile device and now I own a Windows Phone. I’m even learning how to make apps.

     I really wish and hope that Zune will not be purged from Microsoft. Zunes’ market share isn’t a weakness. It’s strength! Zune is a scrappy underdog. Killing it won’t solve anything. It would be another scar across Microsoft’s face like the Kin (which I wanted but wasn’t available on my carrier), or Bob. People remember failures & speaking as a blogger. speaking as someone that reads a lot of tech blogs and listens to a lot of tech podcast, it’ll still be thrown in Microsoft’s face. But if it’s given the same level of focus and attention the Xbox, Windows Phone and Bing are given. Zune could have one hell of a comeback story. A Rocky Balboa style comeback. Zune could be that division that people can point to as an example of Microsoft’s strength and intelligence. People love a story of redemption. Microsoft has that story in Zune. If it takes Zune cross-platform, advertises it, gives it the same advertising it gives Bing, Windows, office and gave the Kin. Not simply throwing its hands in the air and saying “It doesn’t sell as well as Windows, office or Xbox so lets kill it”. If Microsoft would offer Zune service in cars the way they offer Bing. Zune could be a force to be reckoned with.

     But as it stands it doesn’t seem like Zune is going to be around. In its stead will be Xbox live music. Where your xbox live gold pass will give you zune like service. In the latest build of Windows 8, theres something that looks like Zune but (it’s an app preview) it’s not quite nor is it called Zune in anyway whatsoever. This I believe will limit it to Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox much like iTunes is limited to iOS, Apple TV and the Desktop. I’ll miss Zune. It may not have set the world on fire but if you are a music purist and cared about how your music sounded and having unfettered access to music. Nothing could touch the Zune.