business

Prepare Yourself (And Your Budget) For Subscription Fatigue

2019 will be the year of subscription fatigue

You’re going to be so fed up with subscriptions by the end of next year that you will want to scream.

Want to play a game? Before you read further, think about your recurring monthly expenses for digital services, devices, and subscription boxes. Write down a quick estimate of how much you spend each month. […] continued

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The Password Lecture

The password lecture - you know you need it

We have to talk about passwords.

We’re going to start exactly where you expect: with a lecture about your sloppy habits, as if you’re a kid who’s about to be sent to the corner. I can’t avoid giving this lecture. It’s my job as a parent. You know you need it. […] continued

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The Microsoft Ecosystem: Evolution And Extinction

Microsoft ecosystem - dead as a dodo for consumers

Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.

It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continued

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The Amazon Ecosystem: The Company That Wants To Sell Everything To Everyone

Amazon - the company that wants to sell everything to everyone

Amazon seeks to be the middleman in every financial transaction on the planet. Its incentives are all tied to making customers happy in every context where Amazon can take a small fee as money moves from one place to another.

Since the beginning, Amazon’s mission statement has been: “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” In the most recent SEC filings, however, that is shortened; now it refers only to “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” without restricting it to sales from the Amazon website. […] continued

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Itsy Bitsy Teensy Weensy PCs

Itsy bitsy teensy weensy PCs

Your next business desktop tower computer might be tiny. At least you should be open to the idea.

Old habits die hard. It has taken me far too long to realize that something fundamental is changing. It’s going to sound obvious when I describe it, but if it’s so obvious, why didn’t you think of it, huh, smart guy? […] continued

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Could Microsoft Have Kept Windows Relevant?

Could Microsoft have chosen a different path?

We have arrived at a point where Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. To a generation of computer users, Windows was the product that defined Microsoft and defined our own relationship to technology. Now that defining product is a legacy, used by many but beloved by few.

In this article: Could Microsoft have done anything differently? […] continued

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Microsoft Acknowledges The Inevitable: Windows Is Sailing Into The Sunset

Windows is sailing into the sunset

Microsoft announced an internal reorganization last week and raised the profile of its cloud, artificial intelligence, and enterprise teams.

This would not normally be an important event for us. Microsoft frequently reshuffles its employees. This reorganization, though, has major repercussions for every computer user.

Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. […] continued

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Tech Giants And World Domination

Five companies dominate the Internet

Five companies – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft – dominate everything that happens in technology. They arguably wield more power than many governments and they have an outsized influence on the global economy.

These dominant platforms have created barriers for competitors. We haven’t had a major new technology company emerge in more than ten years. […] continued

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Around The World In 80 Taps: Google Pay, Apple Pay, And Contactless Payments

NFC mobile phone payment

I never used a credit card in Australia. I bought coffee and sandwiches and souvenirs and dinners and clothing, but I never pulled out my wallet. I never used cash, either.

I tapped.

You should tap.

Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continued

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Think Black Friday Is A Big Deal? China REALLY Knows How To Shop!

China Singles' Day online sales

Ever since Richard Nixon, American presidential candidates have railed against China, promising to crack down on human rights abuses or trade policy or some other hot button issue. I’ve always assumed that very serious advisers sit down with each newly elected president and explain the facts of economic life to them about China, because invariably each new president immediately dials back the rhetoric and starts treating China as a valued if sometimes frustrating partner. […] continued

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Microsoft Is Moving Past Windows

Microsoft stock price 2017

If you’re an individual or small business Windows user, you might have the wrong idea about how Microsoft is doing.

We all tend to generalize from our own experiences. You can be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft’s future is dim when Outlook has just crashed or you’re paralyzed by an unexpected and unwelcome Windows update. […] continued

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Quicken 2018 Is Available – Now With New Annual Subscription Fees!

Quicken 2018 - household budget

Quicken 2018 is now available for Windows and Mac computers. The most notable new feature is the price: Quicken has become a subscription product with an annual fee. You might want to buy it but you should know what you’re getting into (and you should wait a few months while Quicken works out the typical new-version bugs). […] continued

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The Latest Microsoft Branding Failures

How Microsoft chooses brand names

Every month at Microsoft, a team of highly paid professionals writes words on slips of paper. They always include “Microsoft,” “Windows,” “Office,” “365,” “Pro,” “Home,” “Business,” “Enterprise,” “Azure,” “Surface,” and “Online.” They put the slips of paper into a hat and jumble them around. Then they randomly pick out three or four and lay them on a table. […] continued

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It’s Time To Improve Your Passwords! Scary Stories About The Bad Guys

password-petname

The bad guys aren’t kidding around. They’re after you. Some day soon you will be walking down the street and a 400 pound hacker will galumph out and make a scary face and shout, “Give me all the passwords in your wallet!” and stomp off cackling and steal all your money from his couch. […] continued

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Amazon’s Secret Weapon Is Of Prime Importance

Amazon Prime

You’re an Amazon Prime member, right? If not, goodness, get over there and sign up. Give Amazon $99 for the privilege of shopping there. You’ll feel that it’s money well spent. It does not work by trickery. It works because you are convinced that you are getting great value from it – and Amazon keeps making it better and better. […] continued

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