Tag: Microsoft

  • Dropping the tech giants

    Dropping the tech giants

    No, I’m not doing that. I stopped using Google once, but they ensnared me again. I’m weak, I know. Anyway, this semi-interactive column at the New York Times has been making the rounds, and I find it interesting. It asks the question which of the tech giants you’d stop using first.

    Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable?

    I’d drop them in the following order.

    First, Microsoft. There’s not much they make that I can’t live without, but gaming would be difficult since I have a pretty extensive Steam library and the SteamOS is far from ready for prime time. I’d shed a tear and move on though, that’s what the Switch is for after all.

    Second, Facebook. It’s no secret I find this to be an abhorrent company with questionable motives. That said, I find myself struggling to drop Instagram, and a lot of communication is happening on Facebook itself, and through Messenger. Still, all of that is replaceable to me. Still not panicking.

    Third, Alphabet, which is Google’s parent company. This one would mean I’d have to go back to Fastmail for email as well as cut all the other Google Apps services. But you know what? While that would be a pain, the alternatives are getting there. Outside of email, I think all of Google’s services can be replaced with equally useful tools. In fact, had I done my Fastmail experiment today I probably would’ve been happy without Google still. They do quality services, but the ever watchful eye is as frightening as Facebook’s. And DuckDuckGo is a proper search engine too.

    Fourth, Amazon. Prime isn’t really a thing in Sweden so this one might hurt more for some of you. I’d miss Kindle, my Oasis is my primary reading device, but there are plenty of alternatives. I’d also miss Comixology, where I read graphic novels. Much like the column I’m viewing this as a consumer, so Amazon Web Services (and Microsoft’s Azure, for that matter) are still free to use through the companies that rely on them. Quitting Amazon would hurt.

    Finally, Apple. It’s not just that I’m invested in their ecosystem or that they make the best phones and tablets, no, it’s trust. Apple is the only one of the big five tech companies that appear to be fighting for me, and my privacy. Now if that would change things might be different, but hopefully they’ll continue to stand for the little guy.

  • Open Live Writer

    Microsoft has open sourced its blogging application Windows Live Writer, as Open Live Writer:

    Open Live Writer is an open source application enabling users to author, edit, and publish blog posts. It is based on a fork of the well-loved but not actively developed Windows Live Writer code. Open Live Writer is provided under a MIT license.

    This is what you do when you can’t or won’t support software anymore. Google and Dropbox have a lot to learn about doing the right thing in this regard.

  • Windows 7 is no longer supported (sort of)

    Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. Well, almost, because you’ll still get security updates, just nothing else. In the words of Vox, of all places:

    After 2020, Windows 7 users are expected to be totally on their own. Microsoft won’t provide support even if you want to pay for it. And if hackers find a vulnerability in the software, Microsoft won’t necessarily fix it.

    That’s quite a commitment. Microsoft are nice that way, so give thanks by not swearing too much the next time your computer reboots on you for no reason other than it thinks that you really need to install the latest Windows update…

  • Google and Microsoft just made the iPad a better choice

    Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge, argues that the disappointing Nexus 9 and Microsoft making Office free for iOS has made the iPad an even better choice today than it was a few days ago. It’s both true and silly, if you ask me, but the piece makes a valid point. I especially enjoyed this paragraph:

    The iPad still doesn’t have a clearly defined reason for its existence. Apple never bothered to give it one, focusing instead on the engineering and trusting that users will figure out ways to adapt it to their lives. As Apple design chief Jony Ive puts it, “I don’t have to change myself to fit the product; it fits me.” Time has proven this philosophy correct, as the iPad has risen above its physical limitations and secured itself a niche in hundreds of millions of homes.

  • Dropbox

    Dropbox and Microsoft announce partnership focusing on Office integration. Big news, and surprising since Microsoft’s cloud service OneDrive will definitely take a hit from this. The new Microsoft definitely is more agile in their decisions. All that said, I can’t help but wonder if this is all about getting a Dropbox app for Windows Phone, a possible deal-breaker for some potential customers. Because yes, that’s part of the deal.

  • OneDrive and NSA

    Do you think your OneDrive files are safe from NSA and Prism? Think again. Scary stuff if true, and hopefully something Microsoft will address in the future, although I’m not holding my breath. It seems like Apple is the only cloud player that’s taking a firm stand against these sort of things.

  • Plex released for Xbox One

    Plex is coming to Xbox One, and soon Xbox 360, natively. From the Plex announcement:

    Each of these apps has been crafted to feel right at home on the Xbox, complete with voice and gesture control, and you are going to love them. They’ll be available for free for Plex Pass members on Tuesday Oct 7th for the Xbox One, and shortly after that for the Xbox 360. […] If you don’t have a Plex Pass, you’ll be able to purchase the apps with a one-time fee after the Plex Pass preview period.

    This is great news for Microsoft, because Plex is a great media center alternative, definitely a better option than the built in Windows sharing alternatives. The initial release isn’t complete though, you’ll just get videos for now, but music and photos are around the corner.

    This is something of coming full circle. Plex is a fork of XBMC, another media center alternative, that in turn originally was for the first Xbox. It’s funny how these things go.

  • Windows 10, the non-April Fools version

    Microsoft have announced Windows 10 and released a developer preview, if you’re interested. Yes, the Start menu is back, and yes it involves the not called Metro live tiles. Windows 10 is for all Windows formats, from mobile to tablet, to desktop to whatever. Much like Windows 8.

    I have no opinion on Windows 10 yet, I’ve yet to download and try it. I will, later.


  • Then And Now

    Bill Gates thinks that iPad and Android tablet owners are frustrated. It’s primarily the lack of keyboard and Microsoft Office that’re to blame, the Microsoft chairman thinks. And thus there’s a bright future for the Surface line, because that’s essentially a laptop with tablet form factor, and that’s what consumers really want.

    Bill Gates obviously lives in an alternate reality, in which Windows 8 is a success and people really just want to use Windows with their greasy fingers.

    I’m afraid that’s not the case in the real world. The reboot of Windows 8 should be evidence enough of that.

    Surface Pro, pretty in pink
    The Microsoft Surface Pro, pretty in pink


  • Några tankar om Windows 8

    Microsoft har lyft på skynket för Windows 8, och föga förvånande rör det sig om uppföljaren till Windows 7, som i sin tur ersatte onödigt hånade Windows Vista. Man väljer att introducera Windows 8 med den första i en serie videklipp som ska förklara för oss varför det är värt att uppgradera. (more…)

  • Microsoft köper Skype – lite distans tack

    Allt pekar på att Microsoft köper Skype för en tramsig massa miljarder. Och vad händer då i våra kära sociala nätverk?

    Det kastas skit förstås. Det är ju Microsoft.

    Skämt som Skype Home, Skype Premium, Skype Ultimate etc. är vanliga, och lite småmysiga tycker jag. Minst lika vanligt är att man utbrister “NOOOOO!!!” på värsta Hollywood-vis, och att man nu ska se sig om efter en annan tjänst att använda för nu dog Skype. Slutligen, många tror nu att Skype kommer gå i graven, för när man är köpt av Microsoft är det tydligen slut. (more…)

  • WordPress.com eats Windows Live Spaces for breakfast

    I did not see this one coming, but congratulations to the WordPress.com team, and to Spaces users who can finally migrate to a decent platform. Wow, this is huge.

  • Google sparkar ut Windows, det är något att oroa sig över

    Läser att Google inte vill att sina anställda ska köra Windows längre, säkerheten påstås vara anledningen – detta trots att det stup i kvarten dyker upp rapporter om att Microsofts operativsystem står sig utmärkt i relation till OS X och Linux trots allt. Må så vara hur det vill med det, men vad som förvånar mig mer är att ingen reagerar på det här draget, och varför det är dåligt för merparten av datoranvändarna världen över?

    Hur kan det vara dåligt att Google sparkar ut Windows?

    Jag är ingen Microsoft-kramare, faktum är att jag kör Apples OS X på mina Macar av nödvärn och speldatorn rullar Vista bara för att det är där spelen finns. Helst av allt skulle jag köra open source hela vägen, det finns utmärkta Linux-distributioner idag, men tyvärr är den världen för långt efter i min bransch. (more…)

  • Google hårdpushar verkligen Chrome

    Det är tydligt att Google vill se sin webbläsare Chrome växa ytterligare, om någon tvivlade på det. I flera veckor möts man av det här meddelandet på YouTube när man besöker den med “fel” webbläsare. Lustigt nog så innefattar det såväl Gecko- som Webkit-baserade diton – den sistnämnda motorn används även av Chrome. Man har med andra ord inte bara riktat in sig på Microsofts Internet Explorer, som annars är rätt vanligt online, utan ger sig på allt som inte är Chrome.

    Och folk förundrades över varför Apple funderar på att byta ut Google som standardsökmotor mot Microsoft-alternativet Bing?

    För övrigt är Chrome mitt förstahandsval numera. Den är inte hundraprocentig, saknar vettig bokmärkeshantering (vilket är på väg in, som Chromium-användare noterat), och som vanligt är det en del sajter som helt enkelt inte fungerar som de ska – främst banker, de är alltid några år efter verkar det som – men Chrome är rapp och snabbstartad. Svårslaget för en webbarbetare som undertecknad.

  • Windows 7 är klart – det här vill jag ha

    Jag kör Mac.

    win7ultimatebox.jpgMin arbetsstation är en Mac Pro och skrivdatorn är en Macbook Air. Windows kommer jag i kontakt med när jag behöver browsertesta (virtuell maskin med XP på Mac Pron), i netbooken som extraknäcker som Spotify-maskin (också XP), samt på speldatorn. Den sistnämnda kör Vista och fungerar alldeles utmärkt, bortsett eviga UAC-varningar (stänga av är farligt, bäst vi påpekar det vid varje uppstart…).

    Så jag är ingen affärsanvändare när det gäller Windows, ens proffsdito, det är värt att ha i åtanke när man läser listan på vad jag vill ha av Windows 7, som ju är klart nu. (more…)