Skip to main content

Goodbye Wifi Sense, Another Great Microsoft Idea Killed By Poor Implementation

When Windows 8 arrived, bringing Wifi Sense with it you could hear the howls of complaint far and wide - and with good reason. The basic concept of an easy way of sharing your Wifi with people you know is not bad, the way in which Microsoft implemented it was.
Like most people your various contact groups contain people that you know at different levels, some family, some friends and some acquaintances. Some you'd trust with access to your Wifi, others you most certainly wouldn't.
The problems with Wifi Sense was that you had no granular control over who was given access to your networks. All Facebook friends, all Skype contacts or all Outlook contacts.
It was even close to being an appropriate level of control.
All three services allow you to group your contacts in some method, and if Microsoft had used this capability to allow Windows users to define who did and who didn't get access to your Wifi I suspect the reception would have been completely difference.
I mean its not like Microsoft hasn't had plenty of experience with group based permissions, pretty much every enterprise authentication system is based on Windows Directory Services (AKA Active Directory) and groups are a key element in enabling role based access controls in this service.
Now, thanks to low usage, no doubt because of the dire - and mostly valid - warnings that Wifi Sense has been shrouded in since it first launched, Microsoft will be killing the service - already has done for Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring.
Another good idea bites the dust, not from any inherent failing but rather from a lack of care in its implementation. In the past it has been a defining difference between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft has to make sure that it doesn't define its future too.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…