Gaming 2019: Console & PC Gaming

Gaming 2019 - console & PC gaming

The traditional picture of a “gamer” is someone using a Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, or a powerful PC, playing one of the AAA blockbuster titles that get all the attention and prestige. The console & PC games industry today is like the movie industry: dominated by a relatively small number of big-budget productions from major studios, primarily sequels in longstanding franchises, each one with a big marketing budget. […] continued

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Google Docs Adding Support For Microsoft Office File Formats

Google & Microsoft try to keep you in their walled gardens

Google is trying to make the grass look greener in its walled garden, hoping to lure businesses that might otherwise stay loyal to Microsoft. The change it has announced sounds innocuous but might have big consequences in the long run.

Google is adding native support to Google Docs for editing, commenting, and collaborating on files in Microsoft Office file formats. […] continued

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How To Live The Simple Life . . . With Microsoft

microsoft_thesimplelife

My new computer is simple and has relatively few confusing bits.

My new computer runs Windows and primarily relies on Microsoft services.

Those two sentences are not normally uttered together! Microsoft’s mish-mash of dueling and overlapping personal and business accounts is anything but simple. I continue to have conversations every day with people who are confused by Microsoft services. […] continued

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Privacy And Trust Part 2: No Escape!

There is no escape from surveillance by big tech companies

A series of articles about privacy and trust in the era of tech overlords.

•  Part 1: Data about you is being gathered by the big tech companies (as well as many other companies) in startling ways. Their ability to analyze that data and predict your behavior is more like magic than technology – and it has the potential to change the world, for better or worse. […] 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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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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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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Microsoft’s Enterprise Products Are Literally Overwhelming

Definition of overwhelm

Overwhelm (verb)  Defeat completely; give too much of a thing to someone; inundate

Microsoft’s roadmap for business apps and services is overwhelming.

Good news! It’s also not for you, my loyal small business readers. I’m going to list a staggering number of upcoming Microsoft products and services to give you an idea what the company is up to, but I give you permission to pay no further attention to any of them. […] continued

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Microsoft Starts To Untangle Microsoft Accounts And Office 365 Business Accounts

Microsoft's tangled knot of personal & business accounts

Background: Understanding Microsoft Work And Personal Accounts

Tip: How To Change The Login For Your Microsoft Account (And Why You Should)

Last week Microsoft candidly acknowledged that it has created a confusing and frustrating tangle with its two identity systems – personal Microsoft accounts and business Office 365 accounts. According to Microsoft, four million people use the same email address to log into their personal Microsoft account and their business Office 365 mailbox. […] continued

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What Are All Those Unfamiliar Tiles In Your Office 365 Menu?

Office 365 menu

In the early 1990s Microsoft was the dominant company in personal computing but its products did not recognize or incorporate the brand new concept of something called the “Internet.” After a famous 1995 memo from CEO Bill Gates, Microsoft embarked on a pivot that led the company to integrate the Internet into everything it produced – one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, and one that ensured the company would continue to dominate personal technology for the next fifteen years. […] continued

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Microsoft, LinkedIn, And Identity Management

microsoft_linkedin

(Warning: this article gets pretty geeky by the end. Feel free to look away. I’ll try to make the next article about a Dancing Kitten app or something.)

Last week Microsoft agreed to pay $26.2 billion cash to acquire LinkedIn. It’s one of the largest technology industry deals in history. It dwarfs Microsoft’s previous big acquisitions of Skype, Nokia and aQuantive. […] continued

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Understanding Microsoft Work And Personal Accounts

Microsoft work and personal accounts - finding your way through the maze

Microsoft has two different types of accounts. Many of you have credentials – an email address and password – for both of them.

Years of marketing and branding blunders have made it very difficult to describe how Microsoft has organized these accounts. Many people are frustrated because they cannot understand what accounts they have or where each one is supposed to be used. […] continued

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Microsoft And The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Microsoft - just wait until next year, things will be better, you'll see

In some ways Microsoft did not have a great year in 2014. Windows 8 deserves better but it can only be called an interesting failure and Microsoft is anxious to put it in the rear view mirror. Windows Phone does not show any sign of gaining momentum.

There is better stuff coming from Microsoft. […] continued

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The Curse Of Downtime: A Story From Real Life

The curse of downtime: a story of a dead server

Servers fail without warning sometimes.

This is what happened in a law office last month when the server failed. Each failure has its own story and the details of your story will be different if you’re ever in this position, but there’s a broad point to be made: unexpected downtime has become hard to tolerate. […] continued

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The Difference Between A Microsoft Account And An Office 365 Account

Microsoft account vs Office 365 account

[June 16, 2016: an updated version of this article can be found here: Understanding Microsoft Work And Personal Accounts.]

Microsoft has taken great strides towards simplifying its products and services. It has discarded products that were overlapping (Live Mesh discarded in favor of Skydrive, Messenger discarded in favor of Skype), it has streamlined its product names (rebranding the Windows Live services, for example), and introduced the consistent interface used on Windows computers, servers, tablets and phones. […] continued

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