Archive for December, 2011

Wither Microsoft?

December 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not quite sure where I am going with this post. It is probably best to file this under “knee jerk reaction”.

So I wanted to do something simple. Really simple. The New Year approaches and I thought I might spruce up my Windows™ 7 desktop. So I start with looking to see what desktop gadgets there are these days. Right click, etc, etc.. Hmm… not much there. Lets try “Get more gadgets online”… click… and what do we find? Thirty, yes only thirty gadgets. Now there used to be a lot more, mainly rubbish it has to be said, but they did exist. It seems that Microsoft™  have decided to torch Windows™ Live™ Gallery as a bad idea and concentrate on Windows™ 8 instead.

Now in the wider scheme of things this is of course small beer but it really annoys me. My over inflated interpretation is that Microsoft™ have devalued support for Windows™ 7 to make it a lesser consumer experience and encourage migration to Windows™ 8. Windows™ 8 let me remind you doesn’t exist at this time. So what I originally paid for I now cannot get. You can argue that this is typical Microsoft™ in action and you would be right.

Cutting through emotion, you have to wonder what Microsoft™ thinks it is doing. Microsoft™ has a problem in the consumer market. Basically two tanks have been parked on its lawn:

  • Touch screens
  • Small Apps

They have a brave but probably irrelevant answer to the former with Windows Phone 7™ and obviously precious little in the latter if they are having to pull support from other current products. How they got themselves is down to corporate complacency and a tried and tested business model. That model is now broken. Windows™ is only good for laptops now. Corporate desktops are being virtualised and consumer desktops are becoming a thing of the past. Touch-pads and smart-phones are also invading the laptop space. The operating systems and environments they use evolve daily – not annually. Microsoft’s™ answer? To make you wait, and remove existing functionality and then make you pay for the privilege of restoring the functionality you once had. However, consumers expectations have changed and with the influence of consumerisation even their corporate customer base is not safe. So their complacency still stands while the consumer boat leaves port. Madness.

ITDullard © 2011

Categories: Microsoft Tags:

Xiaomi Rumours

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Ok, the plot thickens. The rumoured Xiaomi M2 now has a rendering. Pictures of it can be seen here at Gizchina.

Interestingly they seem to be sourced from the official Xiaomi Forum. Unfortunately, Google Translate only gets you so far so the source cannot be confirmed – by me at least. What is clear is Xiaomi is being tight lipped about it for the time being and not responding to commenter’s requests for clarification. There is also some speculation that this might be a spoiling tactic by a competitor to encourage M1 customers to hold off until the M2 is released. This might actually have legs as Chinese New Year is approaching and Lei Jun’s blog yesterday talks about the special offers and ramped up production for the M1 for the holiday period. It is now up to 15000 units a day from what was originally a 1000 units a day when they first started. A new round of online sales are due to start on January 5th. Additionally, the recent announcement that Xiaomi had secured $90 million in venture capital funding from Qualcomm among others may have stirred things up.

So it is still all speculation at this point.

P.S. – Just noticed that the Meizu dual core MX goes on sale on Sunday….


December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

So I didn’t quite get the phone for Christmas (yet!) but I did get a Kindle. Just the standard one. I have to say I am impressed with it. Functionality is simple but it does its job and easy on the eye. Battery life is exceptional even with WIFI left on. Its hard to gauge such things but I guess a good measure is the extent to which you are conscious of the gadget itself rather than the task or content you are doing or looking at. The Kindle really doesn’t get in the way of the reading experience and I was totally immersed in the “book” I was reading. I can’t bring myself to call them “ebooks”. That just seems wrong somehow. I am sure the author didn’t set out to write an “ebook” in the same way a songwriter doesn’t set out to write an mp3.

The associated android app is ok and it works on my HD2. Something that is not always a given.

Categories: HTC HD2, Kindle Tags: ,

The man behind the Xiaomi Phone – Lei Jun

December 26, 2011 3 comments

There is an interesting article in the China Daily today. It covers a speech made by the man behind the Xiaomi Phone – Lei Jun. As I have mentioned in earlier posts this guy has been styled as a latter day Steve Jobs. Now he may not quite live up to that standard but at the age of 43 his CV is impressive and he is certainly charismatic. He was one of the early internet pioneers in China.

Anyway the article is worth a read for some background but more importantly it puts a bit more meat on the bones of some of the recent rumours. For example, Foxconn is taking on the production of the Xiaomi phone in China. This should at some point open up the supply to other markets. The article can be found here.

Intriguingly, there are other Xiaomi devices being  hinted at too – the M2. According to Gizchina the rumoured specification is:

  • 4.6-inch touch screen.
  • 2.5Ghz CPU.
  • 2.5GB RAM.
  • 32GB of storage.
  • 5 mega-pixel front camera.
  • 12 mega-pixel rear camera.
  • Android Ice-cream Sandwich OS.
  • Estimated price of 2499 Remimbi ($394 or £255)!

This is just a rumour however. In the meantime I will be happy to receive my M1 in the next couple of weeks.

Biggest selling smartphone in China?

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Well it was perhaps unsurprisingly the iPhone….. But only just according to MICGadget. Having cleared the backlog (the one that I was in), Xiaomi went back to online sales on December 18th for their MiOne phone . They had an inventory of 100,ooo handsets. It sold out in 3 hours! This compares favourably with what happened when the iPhone 4 and 4S went on sale in China (600,000 units in one day). The level of demand for the Xiaomi phone in China even surprises me. It is a bit of a generalisation but mainland Chinese tend to prefer known brand names over their own domestic ones. Part of this is the perception of the quality of their domestic products. Part of it is just conspicuous consumption.  This is why Apple does so well in a country where in many areas there is no 3G network (although this is changing). Xiaomi isn’t a widely known brand even in China so this level of demand indicates that attitudes may be beginning to change. This may not be good news for Apple in he long term – especially when you can buy two Xiaomi phones for the price of an iPhone.

So while I wait, the HD2 still wants to play

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, so while I wait for my new phone, I haven’t forgotten the HD2. There is life in the old girl yet. As you might know from my earlier posts I use an AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 (yes it is a bit of a mouthful) router. Like all routers it just sits there and does its job. Thing is it does a lot of jobs. It is also a DECT phone base-station and seamlessly integrates land-line and VOIP. There is also an Android app called FRITZ!App Fon. What this does is make your Android phone become a DECT handset allowing you to make or pick up landline or VOIP calls via WIFI. The problem was the app wouldn’t work with y HD2 which was disappointing. The phone would pick up or connect a call but you could hear anything. Not any more! I am not sure if it is because the app is updated or the MIUI ROM is doing something. But whatever its is, it now works perfectly.

The router also acts as a Media Server and there is an app for that as there is for the router’s call register.

SAAB declares bankruptcy

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

So sad to hear the news about SAAB’s bankruptcy. I feel for all the workers at this time.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
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