Showing posts from September, 2013

New Surfaces

Microsoft have announced Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. This is the updated versions of Microsoft's entry into the tablet market. The confusing thing about Surface is that one version of Windows will run normal Windows applications and the other will run only the new 'Metro' style applications with the exception of a special version of Microsoft Office. The Surface Pro 2 is a very expensive 'ultrabook' type of PC that has a 10 inch screen and can be used as a tablet. The Surface 2 is a tablet that can be used as a PC occasionally to do some work with standard Office apps. The Surface Pro 2 product makes a lot of sense. A fully Windows compatible PC. A premium priced product for people who have the money to pay extra for that particular format. For a half gigabyte drive version of Surface Pro 2 you will be paying £1400. That is not the PC most people would buy. A very decent super thin laptop can be purchased for around £900 with a 14 inch screen. Most tablet purchases

Blackberry heads for the exit

This week Blackberry, the company that used to be RIM (Research In Motion), announced 4,500 redundancies and a loss of just slightly less than $1 billion. This is possibly the announcement of the end of a company that once was the premium supplier of secure mobile phones to business. The end has been a long time coming. Blackberry dismissed the iPhone and Android as toys because business needed a real keyboard. In reality the onscreen keyboard would do for most people. The extra screen real estate and touch was what people liked. The extra mis-step was to create a tablet that could not do email unless you paired it with a Blackberry. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time! The Blackberry Playbook ended up heavily discounted and cheaper than no-name Chinese Android devices a year or so after launch. The greatest Blackberry asset is in fact Blackberry Messenger (BBM). This was the IM that defined secure messaging. They could transform to a much smaller software and secure messa

Iphone 5c not iCheap

The new Apple iphone has launched. The iphone 5s is the flagship phone and the 5c is the lower priced version. The rumour was that the 5c was going to be the cheaper version of the iphone to usher in a new period of affordable Apple phones for a younger audience wanting a less conservative designs that can be bought off-contract. In the USA and Europe contract phones are subsidised phones. This means that the price you pay for the phone is just a part of the cost. The monthly fee from the wireless phone company includes a monthly amount to pay for the phone. For the rest of the world you buy a phone. This is referred to as off-contract. In the UK many people now buy last years' smartphone on ebay and then get a sim only contract with 30 days cancellation as a reaction to 24 months contracts. Traditionally phone manufacturers have dealt with off-contract purchases in several ways. Some have sold locked pre-paid phones to try and force customers into paying for minutes on a longer te

Podcast Mystery

The latest figures on Windowsphone show that sales are now up to 9.2% market share in the UK. Now rocketing ahead of Blackberry. So maybe I might have a moderately popular Nokia Lumia 820 by this time next year. In the meantime I got the GDR 2 update this week. GDR stands for 'general distribution release'. Apparently Microsoft are releasing more patches at some point called GDR 3 and then next year the update formerly codenamed 'blue' will become Windowsphone 8.1. With this update the FM radio feature was restored. It was last seen in Windowsphone 7 but disappeared when 8 was released. However I was hoping for podcast support. I used to like listening to downloaded podcasts on my Windowsphone 7 and I was amazed that if was not in Windowsphone 8. Apparently US customers have this feature but the rest of the world doesn't. I can't understand the logic of this. The workaround for Windowsphone owners is bizarre. Basically you download the desktop sync app from Micr

The Long GoodBye

Techies get worked up about having the latest PC, the latest mobile, upgrades and tablets but in the real world a lot of people get by on last years' model. According to recent stats its worse than just last years' tech because some people are still using Windows XP - now 11 years old. Most estimates are showing out of all the copies of Windows currently being used around 37% are XP. However from 9th April 2014 there will be no support for the venerable old OS. The new reality is that users will be vulnerable to new malware, virus and security issues. So the question might be 'What is stopping people from upgrading?' Some people will have made a conscious decision not to upgrade due to a dislike of the current revision of Windows. This can be both a rational and emotional response to change. Others may have applications that depend on XP. Perhaps the largest group of people just bought a PC with Windows XP on it and they see no reason to change and will just wait until