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Microsoft’s On{x}

 landingPage So, Microsoft, seemingly out of the blue, released On{x} for, of all things, Android phones.  Why not windows Phone?  Who knows, probably a compatibility issue.  It works out for me since I have and prefer android.  But what is it?  It’s basically a simple way to automate tasks on your phone via Java.  The example recipies are things like “Text my spouse when I leave work”, or “show me the weather if it’s going to be cold”.

The possibilities here are pretty cool, even with just the recipes.  For example, the sample recipes exactly is: “Text my wife "I’m on my way" when I leave work”.  Each of the underlined sections are variables which can be modified.  So, as an example, I could change “My Wife” to something else, my mother, my kids, Twitter’s SMS number.  “I’m on my Way” could also become something else, “I’m coming home”, “I’m at work”, “I’m at the school”.

Leave is interchangeable with Arrive, and the destination can be changed as well, based on GPS coordinates (I’m assuming it works off of approximations).

So, if i picked up my kids after school, I could set this up to text my kids “I’m waiting outside the school”, when I arrive at the school to pick them up.  If I want to be really clever, I could set it up to post to Twitter when I do various things.

Which is what I may attempt to do.  I like things like Foursquare or GetGlue, but I kind of hate being spammish so I don’t use them as much as I could.  What i like is tracking things for my own future use.  I’ve been considering for a while, setting up a “dumping ground” Twitter for this sort of thing.  Every Foursquare, Raptr, GetGlue, update.  I’m sure there is a way to push Last.fm to Twitter.  I’m sure there is a way to get this on{X} to tweet when I get to work, when I get home, every time i visit Wal-Mart or Target on a toy hunt, etc.

This sort of data no one really cares about, except myself.

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Seriously. Seven Patties of meat? That is seriously gross. It’s also exclusive to Japan, which doesn’t strike me as a place that’s big on “gratuitous cow burgers”.

I’m not real sure who thought this was a good idea. On the other hand, there’s not much special about the burger so it’s not like ti costs BK a whole ton of extra to produce it. Offer only good for 7 days though, so you’ll have till the 29th to get your massive Windows 7 Wopper.

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Microsoft On the Subject of Piracy

Link to Video (can’t embed)

This is similar to what I’ve been saying for a while regarding music and video game piracy. In general, people are honest and WANT to be honest. Occasionally there are time when people have a need, and the desire to feed that need, or maybe even a requirement to fill that need, so they fill it, even if that means resorting to piracy.

If you let a person turn to “open” or “free” alternatives, they won’t come back to your pay model. If you let them leach for a bit, they’ll keep up their desire for your product, then eventually, they will be able to afford to pay again.

No, you’re not going to get all of them back, but you’ll likely get most of them back. However going around being a bunch of Nazis about it and slapping people with outrageous fines that don’t fit the crime isn’t a way to “Win back the hearts of the people”.

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Here’s the background…

Now here’s a sample of one of these “Laptop Hunters” ads.

Note: The part in question in this particular ad appears at 20 seconds in when Lauren enters the Apple store and is disappointed that she can’t get the laptop she needs for $1000. This sort of scenes appears in every one of these ads, many of which take place in a Best Buy store. The person searching for a bargain on their laptop checks out the Apple products and comment that they are “too expensive” and “are small” or “lack features”. Every person of course walks away with a PC (Presumably running Windows).

Apple is of course upset by these ads. Shame on Microsoft for pointing out truths behind Apple products int hat they are in fact”Expensive” and tend to “Lack Features” compared to similarly priced PCs.

Now, let’s look at a typical Apple ad, also commonly known as “Mac vs PC”.

PC is going in for surgery to get upgraded to Vista. This is of course a “voluntary surgery” as the upgrade is not something that a PC users has to do. Nor is upgrading all that crap unless your PC is 5 years old. Did I mention that you more or less couldn’t upgrade a MAC if you wanted to and if you do it’ll likely cost more of the parts than all of PC’s new upgrade parts combined?

Also there is a vague remark at the end about peripherals, then an image of the Mac which has everything built in. The only thing I can draw from this is that the Mac “doesn’t have peripherals”. Like it’s necessarily a bad thing to use an external har drive or a Printer or a headset, all things that Mac users can and likely do use.

Anyway, I’m not pushing this to say Macs are “bad”, I’m pushing this to say that Mac ads blatantly negatively sterotype PC (often falsely or out of context) while the PC ads point otu the obvious fact that “Macs Cost More”. The idea that Apple had any right or ground to sue Microsoft on the issue is ludicrous.

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The Windows Success Cycle

I predict, right now, without any experience using it, that Windows 7 will be a big hit with most everybody.  Why?  Because it follows properly into the previous cycle of Windows Success.

This mostly concerns the home and office market for Windows and works very well.  You see, back in the day, there was Windows 3.0.  It was alright and it was the first version to really take off.  soon after we got Windows 3.11, which was very similar to Windows 3.0 except it was much more polished and generally was superior.  It was the “one to get”.

Next Microsoft released Windows 95.  This added several new features, most notable, the task bar, and greatly improved over Windows 3.11.  It was easier to use and generally nicer.  But it wasn’t great.  A few years later we got Windows 98, which, like it’s previous success story Windows 3.11, was a much improved but very similar version to it’s predecessor.  Windows 98 was “the one” for a decent period of time.

Once again, a few years later, we got Windows ME.  Windows Me was the first real flop of an OS for Microsoft.  It did however introduce several UI changes and new elements that made it pretty significantly different than Windows 98.  And once again, these improvements were polished and released again with Windows XP.

Which brings us to today.  Windows Vista is released.  It’s quite a bit different than Windows XP all around but it’s flawed and imperfect.  Soon we’ll get Windows 7, which will be, more or less the same but in a more polished form as Vista.

Notice the trend?  We get a so so flop that is largely different than the previous version, then we get a polished released that is a huge hit.

This is the Cycle and it’s why I’m calling it for Windows 7.

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