Amazon WorkMail

During the last few minutes of yesterday’s recording of the Agnostic Tech Podcast I went on a little rant about Microsoft missing the big picture.  I have said this so many times over the last few years, and in that time Microsoft has changed directions, pivoted, started and stopped strategies, etc to the point where they keep putting themselves behind the eight ball in their most important place.  That place is their devices running Windows in the hands of users.

Twenty years ago you did not go into many server rooms and see many machines running Windows Server (Workgroups or NT).  That started to change in time largely due to Microsoft’s dominant desktop operating system that was living on every desk in every office.  Over time many corporations and small businesses changed over to Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL server, and so on.  Now from a device standpoint, including mobile, Windows is no longer a dominant force in the front office.  This is leaving the door open for competitors to steal Microsoft’s core money making business.

Google for Work (Google Apps) got a lot of press, but Google is looked at as a consumer company by many, so while Apps got some traction in education and small business their impact in the enterprise was minimal.  In steps Amazon, a company that is doing incredibly well with Amazon Web Services, with WorkMail.  This is a direct competitor to Microsoft’s cloud offering of hosted Exchange, but more importantly gives companies another place to go when they start to look to move their mail off site.  If most of their users aren’t using Windows, why should they stick with Microsoft on the back end?

Amazon Changes The Game Again–AWS Introduces WorkMail via Forbes

Why Joe, Why?

Joe Belfiore took to Twitter today to clear up some questions regarding Windows 10.

First he confirmed that the task bar is there to stay in tablet mode.  I can’t imagine that anyone thinks that you want a task bar on an 8 inch tablet. (Paul Thurrott has some good images over at thurrott.com)

 It gets worse.  He then confirmed that any device over 8 inches will include the desktop and win32 app support.  I can’t tell you the amount of people I see everyday using their iPad with a keyboard, and slowly more and more of the Samsung Note Pro devices.  They could have full computers for that price, but they don’t for a reason.  Now we have confirmation that Microsoft does not want to compete in that market.  Microsoft is under the false assumption that price alone will draw people to the PC.  Many users like that their iPad just does what it does.  It doesn’t run legacy apps, which means it does not have legacy issues.  Microsoft has a version of Windows that could do the same, but alas they decided to throw in the white towel.

Maybe I’m An Outlier

I understand that Windows 8 at launch had issues.  However, by the time we got Windows 8 Update 1, I was thrilled where the OS had gone.  Now I have been using the Windows 10 technical preview for a few months, including the latest big release that was put out yesterday.  I want my 8.1 back! The way the new start menu goes full screen is a step backwards, and how the start screen looks in full mode is hideous.  The task bar on the bottom is a non starter.

I get that this is an ongoing process, and Microsoft has done a great job of responding so far to users feedback.  I will continue to test, and provide my own thoughts.  I just can’t help but think that Windows 8.1 + Spartan + a touch version of Office + Cortana would have made a great OS.

The Windows 10 Event is Over, Ask Yourself This Question…

As more and more people make their computing decisions from mobile on up, did Microsoft say anything today that gives you confidence that their mobile strategy is about to pay off?

It started with the phones, then came the tablets, and now looking at the latest sales numbers the computers are moving in.  These items of course are non-Microsoft PC’s in places that were traditional Windows strongholds.  Microsoft still is doing well in the IT closet, but as more and more of that gets pushed into the cloud that customer will also be up for grabs.  Some customers will stay with Microsoft’s cloud offerings, and others can easily go elsewhere.

I am looking forward to trying out the new preview on my laptop and Windows Phone in the weeks to come.  I will come back to this after some usage time.  Microsoft does have the right idea when they say they want people to use Windows because they love it, not because they have to. That task is a lot easier said than done.

All the Windows

So today Microsoft is revealing more about Windows 10.  A few months ago they released the first preview that was geared toward enterprise, but today we are supposed to hear more about their consumer offerings including mobile.

It is pretty evident where Microsoft is going on the PC.  My interest is to see what they say on mobile.  There are a number of features I am interested in, but I am going to judge this on something else.  They need to sell me and a lot of other people that they are all in on their own mobile operating system.  I know they are all in on mobile because a nice modern touch version of Office runs well on my iPad and Nexus 7, but it is time to hear what they are doing on the Windows side.

What do you want to hear from Windows team in Redmond?

The “Fallout” From Selma

It seems that a lot of people are upset about the movie Selma.  They seem to be upset by a few things.

  • Complaints that certain groups weren’t represented in the eventual march that took place.
  • Others are pointing out that MLK had extra marital affairs.
  • The relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and President Johnson.  Some are saying that the movie gave King more credit than he deserved, and did not give Johnson enough credit for helping pass the Voting Rights Amendment.

Let’s clear a few things up.  The movie was based on a central theme of what happened in Selma, Alabama.  It is about the lead up to the eventual march from Selma to Montgomery including the “Bloody Sunday” event that took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  The same march where Congressman John Lewis had his skull fractured.  The same march that network TV showed live to a stunned nation.  The same march that was covered by journalists from around the country.  There is no doubt what happened on that bridge, we have the tape.  So it does not surprise me that people want to pick around the edges to try and discredit this film.

About MLK having an affair or multiple affairs?  Well we know he did.  You know why? The US government tapped his phone, they wired his house, and they watched every move as they treated MLK and his followers as enemies of the state.  That is why you know he had an affair.  Let me also note that this changes nothing about what happened on that bridge, so keep trying.

There is a reason that people are harping on the Johnson part of this movie.  There are white people all around who want Lyndon Johnson to be the lone hero of this story.  They don’t want to live in a world where a black leader, and more important black people themselves, changed their lives and changed our nation’s history.  These people don’t like the idea of African Americans having any kind of self determination.  They would much rather live in a world where only white heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson can give the “negros” some rights.  They want to believe that black people became free, were able to ride the bus, and now vote because the white man let them.

One last thing.  Here is the holiday calendar listed on the state of Alabama’s government website today.  You might notice a few things.

Screenshot 2015-01-18 20.57.28

 

In case you miss it.  Tomorrow when the rest of the country is celebrating the federal holiday of Martin Luther King day, the state of Alabama is also celebrating Robert E. Lee day.  They also celebrate Jefferson Davis’ birthday on July 1st.  That is right they are celebrating the Confederacy.  Let that sink in.

 

 

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The West Wing Is Back

….for about two minutes.  The Obama White House is having a “Big Block of Cheese Day” online next week.  Those of you that were West Wing fans will remember that episode.  The video is well done, and brings back some of the characters from the show to sell the idea.  One thing became clear to me, there are many people working in this White House who like me are West Wing junkies.

Supreme Court Takes On Gay Marriage

So the Supreme Court agreed to take on the gay marriage issue this term.  Since I am sure they are very busy with other cases as well, I thought I would just give them some help.  Just look back to 1967 when a couple was fighting with the state of Virginia because interracial marriage was illegal.  Take that decision, change a few words, and you are done. Everyone can get married. Now get back to the work of screwing over the people by allowing our corporate overlords to buy and run the country.

Screenshot 2015-01-16 15.59.20

You’re Welcome!

Read the Loving vs. Virginia decision here