Microsoft Mobility – I Don’t Think They Get It…STILL: Part I

I’ve quipped on leadership before, but fer cryin’ out loud – I’m DYIN’ over here.

There’s a lot happening over here at Soft32. I’ve been doing deep dives on both Apple and Microsoft operating systems and you should be able to see them on Soft32 shortly. 2012 is definitely the year of the new OS; and Soft32 is committed to keeping you up to date on all of the developments.

As both major personal computing platform players are upgrading their operating systems this year, I’ve had an opportunity to do EXHAUSTIVE deep dives in both the Windows and OS X worlds and what I’m seeing on BOTH sides is both praise worthy and, at times, has me scratching my head.

I’ll tackle Apple later. I want to talk about Microsoft first, as this one is really bothering me.

Over the years, I’ve been a HUGE pro-Microsoft advocate, especially in the world of mobility. I was a huge Windows Mobile pundit, and I know I was NOMINATED at least twice for MS MVP for Windows Mobile. I never got it; but the people who nominated me told me of the nominations after the awards were announced. My point (without all the resume building) is that I was serious about promoting and contributing to the success of the MS mobile platform, so I’m not MS bashing; but after looking at Windows 8 so extensively over the past eight or so months, one thing has become crystal clear to me:

Microsoft USED to have an idea of where they wanted to go with mobility; but currently, don’t have the SLIGHTEST CLUE.

I’m sitting here, writing this and shaking my head. I can’t tell you how disappointed I really am with publically vocalizing that; but it became clear to me when speaking to my colleagues at WUGNET after finishing my deep dive of Windows 8 Release Preview. Microsoft has completely lost its direction, its understanding and its hold on the mobile computing community.

When Microsoft was competing against Palm for control of the PDA space, it had vision and direction. When it was competing against RIM for control of the Push email space, it had vision and direction. Somewhere between 2005 and today, it lost sight of where it was going in mobility and became stagnant…which is one of the reasons why it took them almost 2 years to release the first version of Windows Phone 7 in October of 2010.

I also believe it’s the main reason why Windows 8 is such a freakin’ train wreck. There’s no captain on the mobility train. They better get one quick before the train sinks or the ship derails… Yes, I know I just mixed my metaphors. That’s kinda the point…

Come back next time, and I’ll finish up the analysis.

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HP & WebOS – What does its Loss mean, really?

In a mobile world currently dominated by iOS and Android, does the loss and then open sourcing of WebOS really matter?

I’ve been in mobile devices most of my career. I cut my teeth on them. I’ve watched some devices and operating systems grow up, grow old and die. PalmOS, WindowsCE and Windows Mobile are a few. WinMo was killed for Windows Phone, and its totally different.

WebOS with its cards motif was a big step forward and a huge step away from Palm’s traditional PalmOS. The hardware was ok, the OS was pretty good; but Palm lost their momentum and wasn’t able to turn it around.

Palm mothballed the OS and sold it to HP. HP promised to do something with it, but they couldn’t get it together either. They initially decided to let the OS die, but later decided to revive it and open source it. Its been a number of weeks since that announcement. I can’t help but wonder what the impact of that development means at this time.

In a word or two…not much.

HP’s official development and work with WebOS has ended. They’ve given the software to the development community to tweak and use as they like. Right now, there aren’t any CURRENT devices using the open sourced (or any) version of WebOS. Unless a major hardware manufacturer or OEM decides to go that way, you likely won’t see it, either.

So again, what does that mean? Will it make a difference in an iOS and Android dominated market?

I don’t think so. The iPhone is the iPhone and will continue to grow in popularity all over the world. Android will continue in current and new devices, and be as diverse as the day is long. Windows Phone will continue to chip away at both; and RIM will likely disappear,  regardless of what WebOS does or doesn’t do.

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Keep yourself organized with StickyNote

You see them all over the office…Stickies. Stuck to desktops, underneath keyboards, on the side of cabinets, hanging from overhangs, and of course, on computer monitors. They are literally everywhere, and the guy who invented the glue HAS to be like a bazillionaire (or at least should be).  The only problem that you bump into is the one thing that makes them so wonderful – they’re everywhere, and they can create a huge mess. This is why I like StickyNote from Tenebril Software. It’s a reminder program for Windows.

StickyNote 9.0 is a virtual notes program, and is the only program to offer photo-realistic, 3D notes that look just like stickies you leave on your monitor. Today, you have more information to remember than ever before – passwords, phone numbers, messages, ideas, just to name a few. Managing this information efficiently is important to staying organized. StickyNote provides an easy solution, both at home and at the office.

StickyNote creates photo-realistic 3D notes on your desktop. With a single click, you can attach notes to documents or programs. Important ideas or passwords will never be lost. You can pass notes instantly over the Internet or local network. You can easily make sure phone messages are delivered in the office without ever leaving your chair. The notes pop up right on the recipient’s computer screen.

You can set alarms, set notes to appear at specific times to remind you of important events, and can even set the notes to appear periodically. You can also synchronize your notes with Microsoft Outlook, your Palm handheld or other PDAs.

read full review | download StickyNote

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Palm company is history

After being acquired by HP back in 2010, the smartphone pioneer company has struggled since to survive. On Monday HP decided its time to put an end to the HP Palm brand. They will re-organize it into a new group called the webOS global business unit. The former Palm CEO and webOS leader Jon Rubenstein will be replaced by Stephen DeWitt.

There is no surprise that HP decided to close the Palm brand after a year from its acquisition. Even its first product, The Palm Pre 2 produced under the HP’s guardianship, showed that the company cannot win the trust of the consumers in its newest state. Next products like the Veer and even the next Pre 3 confirmed this situation.

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Kobo Deskop, the ebook client

Kobo Desktop is a free client application similar to iTunes, that offers ebooks for sale from its own database. You can browse and buy books from dozens of catalogues offered by the Kobo service sorted by genre, recent added, and top 50. They also offer a great collection of free ebooks from the classic literature.

Kobo comes with a minimal interface based on a Mac like design with a simple an clean menu on the left. From the menu you can view the content of your library and store, and your account info. Each ebook will be opened in a separate window which features its own menu. This menu is dynamic and can be hidden any time in order not to disturb your reading session. But in case you want to browse the book’s chapters, or view the book’s content, you can bring the command menu in front by a simple click. For the perfect reading experience you can choose the full-screen mode.

read full review download Kobo Desktop

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HP-Palm’s Topaz Tablet with the new 1.2Ghz Processor

It looks like the Topaz (and the Opal, if HP decides to go with the same processor for its smaller model) will come packing a Qualcomm MSM8660 processor clocked to 1.2GHz. In terms of graphics you’re looking at the MSM8660’s integrated Adreno 220 GPU. We also now know that the Topaz will have 512MB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 24WHr battery that’s supposed to be good for up to eight hours.

Read the full article on HP Palm Topaz.

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