Tag: Windows 10

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Measuring Apple’s Laptop Sales Success

Through the U.S. consumer retail channel, Macs notebooks reached rather shocking milestone during first half 2015, according to data that NPD provided to me today. You can consider this a first, and from lower volume shipments. By operating system: OS X, 49.7 percent; Windows, 48.3 percent; Chrome OS, 1.9 percent. That compares to the same time period in 2014: OS X, 44.8 percent; Windows, 53.1 percent; Chrome OS, 2.1 percent. The data is for U.S. consumer laptops.

While data junkie journalists or analysts often focus on unit shipments, revenues, and subsequently profits, matter much more. Looked at another way, Mac laptop revenues rose by 10.9 percent during the first six months of 2015, year over year, while Windows PCs fell by 9 percent, and Chromebooks contracted by 9.5 percent. 

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Shopping for a Windows 10 PC

My brother-in-law’s Dell laptop, so old it shipped with, and still had, 1GB RAM, died last week. He emailed asking my buying advice about a Windows 7 replacement. Reasoning: He would move up from XP. But his dad stepped in, offered to pay, and I, acting as agent (being the more knowledgable about computers), suggested $400 budget. By coincidence, shopping day coincided with Windows 10’s launch.

Timing couldn’t be better, with the rush of new 10s, discounts to clear out old inventory, and typical back-to-school season sales. I expected to grab good gear. Choosing for my brother-in-law is quite different than for myself. I prefer something smaller and lighter, with high-resolution screen. He wanted a larger screen (we agreed on 15.6 inches), full-size keyboard, DVD player, and WiFi. Meaning: Roomy and backward-compatible with what he has already. I confidently looked for something within budget. 

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Whither Windows Death?

Over at BetaNews I pose question “Will you upgrade to Windows 10?” and provide readers a poll to answer the question. Timing coincides with the official launch of the platform tomorrow. To be brutally honest, I seriously considered using headline: “Will you upgrade to Windows Death?”

Because: if Windows 10 doesn’t succeed it will be the last viable version, given the success of Android or iOS; shipments of both mobile platforms either match or exceed Windows computers; and Microsoft’s advancing cloud strategy signals the end of Windows as we have come to know it, as the operating system evolves and updates in a manner more like Chrome OS than the big release delivered every few years. Then there is the criticism, much of it among beta testers, that makes upgrading to Windows 10 seem like Death. 

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Microsoft ‘Continuum’: Lucky Timing, Right Context

They say in business that timing is everything. Before Microsoft shown a spotlight on new Windows technology “Continuum”, earlier today, Gartner released a disturbing forecast strangely validating the concept.

The analyst firm predicts that currency devaluation will compel major computer manufacturers to raise prices as much as 10 percent—particularly across Europe and in Japan. Higher prices mean more consumers will do with leaner configurations, and many businesses will push back upgrades. All the while, PC makers will give customers less for more money by cutting back features to preserve margins and shifting sales priorities to markets where currencies are more buoyant. 

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Windows Free May Be the Best Way to Get Microsoft Software Pirates to Pay

Confusing and nebulous describe Microsoft plans to let software pirates upgrade free to Windows 10. In the three days or so since the policy became public knowledge, there are more questions than answers. This is certain: Even hinting at such a liberal policy is a dramatic turnabout for the company under CEO Satya Nadella compared to predecessor Steve Ballmer.

By measure of the Ballmer worldview, letting pirates upgrade robs revenue from the platform’s cradle, hands them sacred possessions at the door, and gives them the house keys—oh, and asks them to lock up after taking the tellie, silver, and jewelry. I contend: The strategy is brilliant and too long coming, assuming nothing changes before Windows 10’s summer release or Microsoft clarifies licensing rules to mean something different. Without even stressing a single synapse I can conjure up more good reasons for the upgrade plan than the fingers on my hands. But I’ll keep the list a bit shorter for this post. 

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So Much for a ‘Classical Education’

I wanted to attend St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., after graduating high school. But my admission application was rejected, and attendance costs would have been too high, regardless. But I tried. Mine is a “don’t give up” attitude, until there is no other choice. The school specializes in a classical education in the truest sense: Learning from and thinking like dead Greeks or Renaissance-era Europeans, among others.

“Through close engagement with the works of some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers—from Homer, Plato, and Euclid to Nietzsche, Einstein, and Woolf—students at St. John’s College grapple with fundamental questions that confront us as human beings”, the school’s website explains. “As they participate in lively discussions and throw themselves into the activity of translating, writing, demonstrating, conducting experiments, and analyzing musical compositions, St. John’s students learn to speak articulately, read attentively, reason effectively, and think creatively”.

Maybe attending the school would have prevented thinking myself so clever today—only to be rightly, and smartly, corrected later on. Live and learn, eh?