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Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

Jason Earl Re:Not news (147 comments)

Actually, this is a huge part of Microsoft's current problem. 10 years ago "getting work done," meant using Microsoft software. These days, not so much. Even when people do buy a machine to run Microsoft software they aren't buying $1000 pieces of kit.

about 5 months ago

Early Surface Sales Pitiful

Jason Earl Re:Marketing expenses (251 comments)

Yes, and how is that working for them? At this point it is hard to tell whether Surface of Windows 8 was the bigger fiasco.

1 year,20 days

Greek Government Abruptly Shuts Down State Broadcaster

Jason Earl Re:Night night liberty (230 comments)

I am pretty sure that John Adams was not talking about television or radio.

about a year ago

By the Numbers: How Google Compute Engine Stacks Up To Amazon EC2

Jason Earl Re:A non techy benefit of Amazon (76 comments)

Clearly you are not a Postini customer.

about a year and a half ago

State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

Jason Earl Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

This sketch from Studio C applies: Going Green

about a year and a half ago

Nokia To Release Lumia Case Design Files For 3D Printers

Jason Earl Good thinking! (129 comments)

Nokia has sold so few Lumias that the market size for people with 3D printers seems big.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

Jason Earl Re:failure round 2 incoming (375 comments)

I agree. People don't care about Windows, they care about apps, and Microsoft definitely has the inside track when it comes to apps that people actually use.

However, Microsoft is several years late to this particular party, and it is not entirely clear that they can deliver. A tablet with a four hour battery life is not going to be acceptable in most workplace situations where tablets would be a nice fit. Windows RT does a much better job of this, but it does so essentially by sacrificing compatibility with Windows software. Enterprises are already deploying tablets, and in many cases they are already developing the software that they need to switch to tablets completely. The fact of the matter is that large businesses have been switching away from deploying applications on Windows for almost a decade now. Even in most Windows shops new applications get delivered in a web browser these days.

My original point is that Microsoft has gotten itself into a very precarious situation. There are millions of iPad users that now use the iPad as their primary computing device. They don't really want an expensive new tablet that runs their employer's CRM software (or whatever), but that doesn't run the iPad applications that they have come to know and love. What they really want are replacements for the last few pieces of Windows software that they are forced to use on a PC.

Worse, thanks to competition from Google Microsoft can't even fall back on its usual tactic of providing something almost as good as the market leader at a deep discount. Google scooped up that position in mobile several years ago.

Microsoft is in a tough spot, and it is going to take more than a me-too tablet that just happens to run Windows software to turn that around. I don't think that a $900 tablet with a four hour battery life has a chance in the market, even if it does run Windows programs. Obviously you disagree. On the bright side we will find out who is right in a month or so.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

Jason Earl Re:failure round 2 incoming (375 comments)

If they buy two of the Surface Pros then they will even have enough battery life for a standard workday (barely). That's bound to be good for Surface sales.

The reason that people are asking for iPad versions of software is that they have reached the tipping point where they use their iPad more than any other device. Instead of using the iPad for just a few things they now use it for *most* things, and they really want to be rid of Windows forever. A tablet version of Windows doesn't really help them, especially a tablet version of Windows that is missing most of the new tablet applications that they actually use now.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

Jason Earl Re:FAIL ! (521 comments)

Microsoft used to be really good at price wars. I remember when MS Office wasn't king, and it definitely won on price. You could get the entire office suite for what it cost for either WordPerfect or Lotus 123. Windows Server also gained all of its marketshare on price.

of course, it is much harder to compete on price if you can't get your hardware partners to take a gamble making your hardware.

about 2 years ago

Dish Network Announces Prime Time TV With No Ads

Jason Earl Re:I work in the advertising industry (283 comments)

There are plenty of sites that are happy to use boobs to sell you stuff. Part of the reason that I don't turn of the ads at slashdot is that I don't need boobs to be interested in the things that tend to get advertised here.

more than 2 years ago

FCC Maps the 3G Wasteland Of the Western US

Jason Earl Re:...and nothing of value was lost (173 comments)

I live in Utah, and when I go to the mountains, I *expect* my cell phone to stop working. Heck, I count on it.

more than 2 years ago

Man Who Downloaded Bomb Recipes Jailed For 2 Years

Jason Earl Re:"Could have led to..." (741 comments)

When was the last time someone killed someone with a "shopping list" of weapons, ammo, and combat gear?

If the Brits are fine with this sort of thing, that's all right with me. It's their country. However, I take at least some satisfaction in the thought that in the U.S. this guy would not be in trouble until the police actually tricked him into actually buying some of this stuff from one of their covert operatives.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

Jason Earl Re:Unprofessionalism at its finest (316 comments)

Both solutions are going to require custom programming. One of them chucks the existing (mostly working) solution, the other builds on the solution. That is a fairly substantial difference.

Heck, I could understand if the developers wanted to simply chuck MySQL and replace it with MS SQL Server (which apparently also works with Drupal). I personally would probably use the existing Drupal solution with PostgreSQL, but if the developers feel more comfortable with MS SQL Server I could see that being considered.

However, the developers aren't talking about moving to SQL Server to get them the database functions they need. They are talking about throwing away the existing solution completely and rewriting in DotNetNuke and MS SQL Server. That's just plain crazy unless the existing solution is worse than nothing at all, and the developers on staff have a spotless track record for delivering on time and under budget.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

Jason Earl Re:Unprofessionalism at its finest (316 comments)

He's got a solution that works, but that is less than ideal. His developers, like developers everywhere, want to chuck the existing software and start from scratch in a different language, using a completely different platform. Even worse, switching to the new platform will require a substantial upfront investment in licensing that can not be recouped if the project fails.

Heck, the new platform isn't even removing Free Software fromt he equation as DotNetNuke is not commercial software. So the new platform will still rely on the whims of a Free Software development team. The only difference is that Drupal is at least an order of magnitude more popular than DotNetNuke.

As clueless as the original poster seems to be--PostgreSQL + PostGIS seems like an obvious answer if what you want is a Free Software database that works with Drupal and supports spatial functions--he is clearly at least twice as qualified to make these decisions as the clowns he has working for him.

more than 2 years ago

Windows Phone Homebrew Hits a Snag

Jason Earl Re:How much does MS pay you? (185 comments)

Actually, Microsoft's XBox strategy so far has been lose billions and after ~10 years it is cash flow positive and a distant also ran. Heck, you could probably argue that the XBox beat the PS3, but just barely, and that is clearly damning with faint praise. What's more the console is clearly waning in importance. The growth market for games right now is handhelds and phones, and Microsoft isn't even an also ran in that category.

I am sure that if you asked *Nokia* what the Window's phone goals should be it would definitely argue that it expects Microsoft to be able to compete with both Android and iPhone. Nokia doesn't have five years and billions of dollars to waste screwing around. If they thought it was going to take Microsoft half a decade to become competitive then it would have probably thrown its hat into the Android ring. In fact, I would assure you that Microsoft's investors feel the same way. The last thing that they want is another XBox debacle where billions of their dollars are invested in a project that is unlikely to ever pay dividends.

Even now, it is hard for analysts and investors to take Microsoft's phone strategy seriously. The fact that Microsoft was able to trick Nokia into jumping on the WinPhone bandwagon is the only thing that is keeping the Windows Phone dream alive. People are waiting to see what comes of Nokia's big gamble. Right now it is beginning to look like a colossal failure, at which point the investors at both Nokia and Microsoft are going to be pushing hard for a change of course. There is almost no chance that this is going to turn into a 5 year train wreck.

more than 2 years ago

Go Daddy Reverses Course On SOPA

Jason Earl Re:Too Late. You've shown us your heart. (330 comments)

Sometimes the best way for an industry to learn a lesson is for one of the competitors to make a bonehead move and get run out of business. In this particular case I am quite sure that the lesson has been learned. Hosting companies and registrars aren't going to want to have even the slightest exposure to SOPA. What's more, the sharper ones are probably firing up marketing campaigns designed specifically to appeal to GoDaddy customers that are uneasy about SOPA. After all, GoDaddy's repentance might well just be skin deep.

GoDaddy has plenty of money and influence, and a whole pile of talented employees. If the company is *truly* committed to its new course surely it can find a way to demonstrate their commitment that is more tangible than just a web page. If it can't come up with a way to show its newfound wisdom, or if it wants to sit on the fence for a bit then its customers should continue to jump ship. That will *certainly* get the message across.

"Voting with your dollars" implies running companies out of business. That's the whole point.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Vs. Closed-Source For a Start-Up

Jason Earl Re:No need to help your competitors (325 comments)

There is a little company called Red Hat, perhaps you have heard of them. Their competitors have had a distinct habit of taking their Free Software and adding a few pieces of proprietary code. These additions generally made the competition nicer to use than Red Hat, but for whatever reason the competitors never were able to gain any significant market share.

Caldera, SuSE, Novell, and most recently Oracle have all taken a crack at Red Hat using software that was largely based on Red Hat's own distribution. So far this strategy has produced nothing but failure.

more than 2 years ago


Jason Earl hasn't submitted any stories.


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