R.I.P. Microsoft Retail Stores

After 11 years in existence, Microsoft has decided to close all of its retail stores.  Modeled in a very similar fashion to the wildly successful retail stores of its rival and counterpart Apple, I felt that it was a decent way to showcase all of what Microsoft brings to the table as it relates to personal computing and gaming.  Unfortunately for them, they never generated the type of excitement among consumers that they had hoped for.

Interesting enough, they ended up serving as a great benefit to those needing immediate hardware servicing of their devices along with fulfilling some SMB requests.

Askwoody.com has a great post going into great detail about how Microsoft’s stores may have had grand visions upon its inception and opening but evolved into a niche player in serving their customers specialized needs.  Check out the full story here and let me know what you think!

Apple CPU Announcement

So no one’s suprise, Apple will now use their own processors in Macs.  This completes their much anticipated transition away from Intel CPUs for all their computing devices.  It doesn’t seem long ago when Apple’s Steve Jobs presented Intel’s then-CEO with a “partnership” award championing the fruitfulness of their relationship.  I guess the only thing guaranteed in tech is that nothing is guaranteed.

Check out Apple’s announcement in full here.

This doesn’t make sense: Edge for Win7

 

Yes, you read it right.  Microsoft will now be “forcing” the installation of the new Chromium Edge browser onto an operating system that has officially reached end of life status and doesn’t even receive the extended security updates for free…

Don’t believe me?  Click on the link here for yourself and get back to me…strange times indeed.

M365 > O365

You may remember my previous post here discussing how Microsoft was going to shift all relevant branding to Microsoft 365 as much as possible.

As this updated article from Gregg Keizer at Computerworld states:

For Microsoft, it’s a case of out with the old, in with the new.  For users, it’s a recipe for confusion.

Even though it may be a change that’s better in the long run, there will be growing pains as Microsoft’s “stakeholders” adjust to the strategy.

Check out the full article here for more details and examples of just how much things have changes in Microsoft’s Office 365…oh wait, I screwed up! lol…I meant to say Microsoft’s 365 ecosystem (sigh for the confusion).

Virtual vs In-Person Conferences

A few years back, I remember reading an article discussing how the trouble of attending a tech conference in-person far outweighs the benefits that could come from it.  Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced practically all well known tech conferences to shift to a virtual format at least for the remainder of this year.  Ironically enough, the organization that runs CES (shown in the featured image) plans to hold the show as scheduled in early January 2021 while adopting physical distancing and cleanliness measures.

As the pandemic has continued keeping me work from home since March, one bright side of this is that almost all the companies that throw these huge (and expensive) conferences have shifted to a virtual format that’s free for attendees and others like myself who would not have been able to attend.  Still, despite the great advances in technology that have made virtual conferences possible, the social interaction that us humans need is something only that an in-person conference can bring.

Kurt Mackie has written an article that gives his perspective on attending in-person conferences and makes no apologies about what his preference is; I have to say that I mostly agree with him.  Check out his article here and here’s to hoping that at this time next year, in-person conference will be back and safe to attend.

Google Docs vs Microsoft Word

In the words of someone who I’m sure was famous at some point in time, “winning the individual battles is key to winning the overall war”.

Case in point, Google Docs has become very competitive with the ultra popular mainstay Microsoft Word especially when it comes to performance in the enterprise environment.

Preston Galla at Computerworld has done the latest assessment between the two in his latest article here…and at the end of the day, the conclusion he reaches is not surprising when assessing all pros and cons.  Hint: collaboration is key!