Thursday, October 30, 2014

Microsoft Wand is released


Microsoft Wand is released today ending the speculation about a wearable device.

It has aced the other vendors with many notable features:
  • Longer battery life
  • Integration with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android through Bluetooth
  • Health and Fitness targeted
  • Integrated with Cloud
  • Reasonable price - a first for Microsoft
  • Cortana for those who own a Windows Phone
  • Probably more number of sensors than in a comparable wearable
The following are my speculations
  • Integration with Internet of Things (?)
  • CortanaOS and CortanaAndroid siblings in the offing
Probably I will be wearing one soon.
I tried out the MSN/Bing Health and Fitness app and the part I can use with Nokia Icon is cool. Some newer Windows Phones have the Motion Data support and they can measure the full app.

However to go with the Wand Microsoft has released a new app which you can download from the Windows Store, Microsoft Health which has the same logo as the device.


Of course you need to have the band to use this app as you see here:

 
Do not miss this video on my other blog:
 


 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What is driving Microsoft towards ARM for its servers?

It is now widely known that Microsoft may be turning towards ARM architecture for its servers.
http://www.opencompute.org/blog/ocp-summit-v-the-future-is-open/

What is driving it?

First of all it is not just Microsoft, many others have gotten on to the bandwagon according to the following:
http://www.infoworld.com/article/2610272/processors/microsoft-joins-arm-server-effort.html

ARM has proven to be good at being simpler and extremely energy efficient and if all the servers in all the datacenters can be replaced the savings would be enormous. Microsoft has tried ARM in its tablet. However they have not been that popular.
The dwindling PC sales my get a new lease of life with better laptops needing fewer charges.  Having two or three different architectures and couple of versions of OS makes it hard for the customers.

Going forward how is Microsoft going to shape its one platform, Windows 10 for all devices. Will it be x86 or ARM?

Of course, Microsoft has not come out with any news related to ARM being used for its servers.
http://www.eweek.com/servers/microsoft-reportedly-eyeing-arm-based-windows-server-os.html

Monday, October 27, 2014

Whose business strategy is better Apple (USA) or Xiaomi (China)?

SmartPhone market is saturated in US. You have the maxi,the mini, 6", 5", etc.etc. Always new technology, new colors, new rounded features. New models pop-up less than a year apart. What's wrong with this? Nothing, for the customers, but for the manufacturer more stress, more pain.
It was interesting to read this paragraph of how in the hell a 4 year old company in China competes against the Apple giant.

Of course this in not my original but from this interesting source (Well they are Harvard aren't they, they should know better):

http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/xiaomi-not-apple-is-changing-the-smartphone-industry/

"To sell high-quality cell phones at so low a price, Xiaomi keeps each model on the market far longer than Apple does. On average, a new version of a phone is launched every 265 days in the industry – down from 345 days in 2009. But Xiaomi doesn’t renew its product for two years. Then, rather than charge high prices to cover the high cost of state-of-the-art components, Xiaomi prices the phone just a little higher than the total cost of all its components. As component costs drop over the two-year period by more than 90%, Xiaomi maintains its original price, and pockets the difference. So essentially its profit formula is the opposite of Apple’s, which collects its highest profits with the introduction of each model and needs to come up with new model after new model to keep those margins up."

The summary of which is (again from the same source),

"When you consider how much easier it might be to profit from plummeting component prices than from continual new feature development (which sooner or later will likely overshoot the needs of most cell phone customers in any event), the disruptive potential of the model becomes clear."