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Showing posts from February 19, 2017

Microsoft's Continuum Clone Increases Impact of Windows Phone Failure

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Remember when Continuum was first trailed by Microsoft? Joe Belfiore gave a sneak preview in an early developers meeting and for a while Windows on phones seemed like something that was going to happen.
That was when Windows Phone was flying high, having passed iOS for second place in the mobile market in some territories and was delivering pretty good growth elsewhere, especially in Europe.
Since then Microsoft has knifed its own platform in the back, written off, sold off or sacked off its whole investment in Nokia. All that remains is the straggling rump, waiting to die.
The failure in mobile has the potential to damage much more than mobile market though. The focus on Continuum proves Microsoft knows it.
Samsung has had the ability to mimic a desktop for a while now. The Note 2 had a desktop dock specifically designed to give it access to a keyboard, mouse and external display. It didn't push the boundaries but it was surprisingly capable.

DisplayLink has subsequently added …

To Recover Its Position In Mobile, Microsoft Needs To Do The Fosbury Flop

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Yesterday news broke that Panasonic was releasing a new Windows 10 Mobile phone. That's interesting only because the generally accepted position is that Windows Mobile is a dead platform and if / when Microsoft releases the Surface Phone it will be running a version of Windows 10.
Windows Mobile sales have all but disappeared and with it any reason for developers to continue to support the platform. Other than the Panasonic the only other reasonably up to date phones are other niche devices from Alcatel and HP.
Microsoft's defeat in mobile has been comprehensive and expensive. Yet it cannot afford to lie bloodied on the battlefield. Mobile is where the world is at today. A lack of a mobile platform puts Microsoft's future in the hands of Apple and Google.
That represents a significant long-term risk.
So Microsoft needs to get back into the mobile game and it can't do it by incrementally improving what it has done before, nor by refining what is already available from …

Netflix Needs Apple, The Reverse Isn't Necessarily True

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Talk of Apple buying Netflix is in vogue once more. The general consensus being Apple desperately needs to turn Apple TV into something that boosts both its hardware and services income.

I believe Apple will make significant moves in the media / entertainment arena this year but not necessarily mean by acquisition and probably not by purchasing Netflix.
Netflix has a bigger problem right now and as a result the company needs the backing of a company of the scale and integration of Apple. 
Apple has made big money applications in the past, most obviously Beats.  The acquisition of Netflix would be a whole magnitude larger and not obviously better than growing Apple Music into film and TV.

So why do I think Netflix has a problem that can only be resolved by selling out to a big player? Amazon. Amazon Prime in particular.

Amazon is playing a really long game with its Prime service. The ultimate goal is to get customers signed up to the service to gain the benefit of free delivery. Free …

Newspapers And Journalism In A Disrupted Market

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It has been interesting to watch the increasingly desperate attempts by newspaper publishers to save their industry. Different methods have been employed - from asking readers to disable ad blockers through pay-walls and even pleading for donations.
Thing is, nobody seems to have it worked out. Not if they want to report actual news rather than chase viral page views with garbage articles like the Daily Mail or Buzz Feed.

The only model that seemed to briefly work for publishers was ad-supported, where they were able to convert large numbers of page views into an income stream.

As we all know, the quality and intrusion of advertising was not kept in check, giving rise to the ad-blocking Godzilla, which has stomped all over Fleet Street's online city.
The inability to derive revenue has destroyed the hoped for migration of the newspaper empires to the web. News sources are everywhere and in the main they don't have the weight of a legacy organisation to support.

As a result th…

Apple Playing Identification Catch-up, Buys RealFace

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Having been ahead of the game with the launch of TouchID on the iPhone 5S, Apple has been somewhat guilty of resting on its laurels. Others have caught and surpassed the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone and biometric authentication is available on just one Mac - the MBP with TouchBar.
In contrast Microsoft and its partners have been making all sorts of leaps ahead with biometric authentication. Windows laptops support fingerprint and facial recognition technology, Windows Mobiles use retinal scanning for authentication and Samsung and HP have both released devices with both fingerprint and retinal scanners.
The recent legal judgements that a defendant can be compelled to give up their fingerprint in order to unlock a device has raised the profile of the risks inherent in the technology. It may be more convenient and more likely to be used than a pass code, but the possibility of being forced to unlock a device (by law enforcement officers or worse) does reduce the inherent security o…

My iPad Is An Ornament

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Yes, the industrial design of the iPad Air 2 is really very good, however nerdy-geeky as I am even I wouldn't suggest using technology for purely decorative purposes in the home. Nevertheless, that is the only role that my iPad plays right now.
My iPad usage has never been great, in fact having tried and failed to get on with the iPad 2 a few years back, buying a replacement in the shape of the iPad Air 2 was a a mistake in retrospect. 
After a brief honeymoon period I found that all the shortcomings that frustrated me with my previous iPad still existed.  In essence the iPad is only as good as the apps you use and my experience of iPad versions of the things I use has been poor.
That's not to say that great iPad apps don't exist, they do in abundance, but generally they are edge use case items - things that you don't normally do unless you are a) appearing in an Apple iPad advert or b) trying to show off your iPad to your friends.
Safari on the iPad doesn't deliv…