As we head into the fall, the software publishers are lining up their annual updated versions of the core Windows programs for businesses. Here are some of the ones that have come up on my radar screen.
Previously: Walled Gardens, Part 1: Apple
Next: Walled Gardens, Part 3: Microsoft
Far more Android phones have been sold than iPhones. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2011, while Apple was riding that tidal wave of iPhone 4S sales (with all the attendant publicity), consumers were quietly buying more than twice as many Android phones.
Although that’s a remarkable statistic, it hasn’t built much customer loyalty for Android. Very few people have purchased Android tablets; there’s no perception of the kind of synergy that Apple delivers with its devices.
This year Google intends to raise the walls on its garden and try to convince you that all of your devices should be Android devices. […] continued
Most casual photos are taken with a smartphone now. There is something to be learned from a quick comparison of the process of getting photos from a phone to a computer on an iPhone and an Android phone.
It’s a good way to understand why Apple is the most valuable company in the world.
Many people instinctively protect their privacy. In their minds, it’s not anybody else’s business where they shop, who they visit, what they talk about, or what movies they watch.
The divide is getting wider between naturally private people and the rapidly growing number of people who simply do not have that instinct and are living their lives in public with no reluctance and little regret. Facebook is the obvious source of much of the information being made public but it is only one of many ways to put your life online. Between Facebook posts and photos and location-based phone apps and activities tracked by advertisers, almost everyone is able to be followed online to some degree, voluntarily or not. […] continued
The new service announced by Apple for syncing photos among different devices is one of the most interesting parts of the iCloud package, both for what it does and for what it leaves out.
The idea is simple: each photo you take with your iPhone or iPad will automatically be sent online and then synced with your other Apple devices and your computers running iTunes.
That’s a brilliant (and obvious) solution to the photo problem: once you take a picture, how do you get it to the device where you want to display it? It’s not difficult but it’s not automatic, either. […] continued
Apple’s announcement of a collection of services sharing the name “iCloud” has generated endless articles about what it all means. I’ll talk about some of the details in the next few days but let’s step back and look at the bigger picture, because it encapsulates so many things that are happening right before your eyes.
Almost overnight it has become a truism that we are in a “post-PC” world. Instead of a single computer that holds all of our digital files, each of us is surrounded by a multitude of devices that we want to use as interchangeably as possible – computers at home and computers in the office and notebooks in the briefcase, smartphones everywhere, and iPads and other tablets on the coffee table. […] continued
The little box in the picture to the left measures eight inches across and just over three inches tall. It’s quiet and inexpensive. In this difficult world of technology, the best I can tell you is that it might be just what you’re looking for.
The Dell Inspiron Zino HD is a compact little computer that is best used for a single purpose: to bring your photos, music, and videos to the big screen TV in your living room. There are more details about the Zino in this review.
The Zino runs Windows 7 and has sufficient processing and video power to decode most video formats. […] continued
Not everything works with everything else.
Your expectations have changed so quickly that you might not have noticed. It wasn’t long ago that most people used a single PC at a single location and were content to leave the data on that computer behind when they left that desk. When you closed Outlook on the office computer, you didn’t expect to open up the same mailbox at home. If you had files to work on at home, you’d burn them to a CD or copy them to a USB drive or email them to your home email address. You might have gotten a notebook if you expected to be mobile but the data on it was still mostly separate from your other computers and devices. […] continued
Dropbox is high on the list of essential utilities. It has been in an extended testing period but a few days ago the official ultra-stable Version 1.0 was released.
I’ve written about Dropbox frequently. The basic concept is easy: Dropbox is a free program to sync files among each of your computers and mobile devices. Dropbox accomplishes that with style and elegance and – most important – simplicity. It works so reliably that many people opt for one of the paid subscriptions that offers generous amounts of space to store thousands of files online, making it a kind of de facto backup service. […] continued
The good news is that Microsoft has released Windows Live Essentials 2011, an updated collection of free programs that are well designed and useful additions to Vista and Windows 7.
The bad news is that you almost certainly don’t want all of them, and Microsoft has released them in a way that makes it more likely that you’ll install them all by accident, with some side effects that you won’t like.
The programs included in Windows Live Essentials 2011 have been shifting for the last couple of years – programs have been added and dropped, features have appeared and disappeared, and names have changed around endlessly. […] continued