May 05, 2013

Ceasefire ...

I'm working on some new things. And I've started to feel the need for a new online identity. And to try to find some collaborators with similar interests to join me in this next project. That's something I'm going to talk about more, on my other blog, very soon.

But I can't keep opening up new fronts. There's a balancing / decluttering that's needed too.
I just shut my Facebook account. That was for other reasons, but it's also going to clear some space and time. And it's pushed me towards thinking about further changes.
Therefore I've decided that I'm going to close Platform Wars. Permanently.
It's possibly my most popular blog. But I've basically finished with it. I have nothing more interesting to say on the matter. I'm done with fantasizing about running other people's companies. It's time to worry about running my own virtual career.

PS :  If anyone is interested in taking over Platform Wars, then leave me a comment. We may be able to arrange something. I'll be honest, I'm proud of (most of) the body of ideas and writing here so I want to leave the archive up as a record of what I thought. If I do pass it on, I'm going to be selective. I'm definitely not going to hand it over to a link-spammer or someone I don't trust. But if you really like the principle of this blog, think it has potential, and that you may be the person to take it forward, then we may be able to work something out. 

April 28, 2013

Yahoo and Alibaba

So now you know the truth: The reason Yahoo is valuable to its investors has nothing to do with it being a consumer Internet company or its display advertising business.

It's a tracking stock for Alibaba. This puts Marissa Mayer in a wonderful position. 
The only way Yahoo can return to growth is to invest lots of money in building or buying new, disruptive products and businesses ... That means Mayer has time to implode Yahoo's core business and spend a lot of money growing something else in its place.

April 04, 2013

Google Forks WebKit

This is disturbing.

Sure, there are probably good technical reasons. But forking WebKit means that the capabilities of Apple and Google's browsers are almost certainly going to diverge. Is this a subtle push-back by Apple and Google (owners of iOS / Android respectively) against HTML5 as a successful platform that cuts across mobile operating systems?

March 04, 2013

Facebook's Newsfeed

Good analysis by Josh Constine.

Microsoft Office on iPad

ZDNet asks how it will work.

The Windows Crapware Ecosystem

An interesting analysis from a MicroISV throws light on one of the problems that Windows suffers from not controlling its ecosystem. THIS is why Apple has done so well with its app-stores.

February 15, 2013

Dan Bricklin on Surface Pro

Dan Brickin comments  that Microsoft Surface Pro is really an Excel machine.

I think that's a good way of thinking. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that Microsoft ought to be releasing an "Excel Appliance". Much as Google's ChromeBooks are basically browser appliances, Microsoft could have released an "Office Appliance" that booted straight into Office, ignoring the rest of the paraphernalia of an OS and storing / sharing documents in the cloud. It could have created an app-store of Excel plugins. Included Skype and email as part of the mix.

I'd have called it "Surface Excel" and buried the toxic W****** brand for once and for all.

February 08, 2013

Windows Phone 8

Another non-event.

To keep banging on with a very tiresome and repetitive theme, "Windows" as a brand stands for "we wish we were back in the glory days when we just owned stuff by default".

That's not an idea which inspires me as a customer. What does it even mean? A "Windows phone"?

There is just - barely, but just - time for Microsoft to pivot to using Skype as a brand for a cool mobile device / operating system. Skype already is a well recognised phone and communication brand. There would have to be some cosmetic changes to differentiate it from what people have already seen as "Windows Phone 8". But there is an opportunity. (Another year or two like this and M$ will have destroyed the Skype brand so badly that that it won't work.)

Bonus link : my original post on Microsoft's Skype opportunity.

February 06, 2013

January 29, 2013

The End of Windows?

This is basically the end for Microsoft. Or, at least, for Windows.

Or let's put it this way. Microsoft threw away technical compatibility. Windows 8 on Arm won't run old Windows software. Microsoft threw away UI continuity - pushing people towards a new tile based interface for touch.

Microsoft kept the brand name "Windows" and the principle that this is the one OS that must run everywhere.

And that didn't pay off.

They must, must, surely see that that is a failed strategy. There is no brand-loyalty to "Windows".  There is no way to lever domination of the enterprise desktop to domination of the personal pocket device. Or casual web-surfing device. The Windows legacy is now just the albatross around the M$ neck.