A few users noticed that Google is testing a new interface for its popular Gmail service. Good people from Geek.com have snagged a few screenshots from the test phase of the new website, and have shared them with the public.
Despite there being no clear reason to do so it looks like Microsoft is going to go ahead and push out a smaller version of their Windows 8/RT tablets. The information was leaked accidentally today by Acer Finland. The new product is going to be called the Iconia W3-810. When the rumor about an 8-inch Windows RT device first hit opinions varied as to if this was going help or hurt Microsoft and Windows RT. After a lukewarm launch sales of Windows RT and then Windows 8 devices immediately started to decline. Some blamed the radical redesign of the UI while other felt it was the locked down OS that kept people away. No matter what the cause Window 8 and RT sales were and are continuing to fall which is worrisome for Microsoft.
Apple has its own Game Center, and Google does not really have something similar. That is, at the moment no, but according to the Android Police in application My Glass, which comes with Google Glass there are calls and a list of options related to a future version of Google's network game service that would be a counterpart to Apple's Game Center.
Google wants to force all new users upgrade to the new (well, now is not so new) message editor in Gmail. For those who have not (willingly) switched to the new editor, in the next few days they will be moved to a new editor force, if they have not already. During that transfer Gmail will walk them through a short course where they explain where they can found all the things they use.
The General Manager of Microsoft's applications for large companies, Julia White, told the New York Times that Google has not yet proven that it is really serious with their business applications. According to her words, Google is still mainly an advertising company and that 96% of its revenue comes from ads, while only 4% comes from services to business users.
When I first heard that Instagram now had the right to sell user photographs to third parties I was not surprised or shocked. This was not the case with many news outlets or with many Instagram users apparently. What we find funny is that Instagram is owned by Facebook… you remember them, the same company that did this with their own users’ pictures (Actual profile pictures of their users) without permission and just settled a lawsuit over it.
Well we had a feeling that we would be seeing Microsoft’s newest versions of Office for both the “desktop” and for the cloud. The thing is that both of them are still geared toward the cloud. So far looking at the live announcements and the “reviews” of the consumer preview that a select group of web sites had access to we are both impressed and disappointed in Microsoft’s next productivity suite. At the top of the list of praises is a lack of “bloat”. Now it is true that Office is a large application install, but speaking as someone that actually uses the applications for more than their basic functions much of that is add-ons to make it more flexible you can chose not to install about ½ of that if you do not need it.
*** Update - All of the "preview" links for Office 2013 are actually for Office 365; Microsoft's cloud based version of Office. Although you do get the Office Applications you are also signing up to put your documents in their hands and also adding yourself to their mailing lists. ***
We have recently be criticized for making the statement that Microsoft is attempting to force the use of cloud applications on people with their latest operating system. In Windows 8 we have seen a startling shift from the PC as a stand-alone work unit to making it more like a dumb terminal that just pulls data and software from services at Microsoft. Now, as we have mentioned before, we have built and designed cloud services and know the corporate mentality behind them.
After the leak (and subsequent removal) of an alleged set of documents showing Microsoft’s plans for the next generation of Xbox (the Xbox 720?) complete with a 2013 launch timeframe we have started to try and piece together what is going on and if there is any credibility to the original posting. The original presentation appears to have been prepared in 2010 (again if they are real) and outline some very interesting inclusions for the gaming console. Some of these have actually appeared recently (like Smart Glass) while others are things we already know Microsoft to be working on. We should probably start off by saying that we do think the posted documents are real, but that they represent a direction that Microsoft has probably changed since these were produced.
Microsoft has recognized a flaw in their plan for Windows 8. This is the enterprise space. Apparently they might have thought that because the majority of business and enterprises use Windows based networks and systems they were going to just get those sales again with Windows 8. Sadly most of the IT people I have spoken with (and that is a lot) do not want it in their shops. They view Windows 8 as a mistake that will eclipse Windows ME and Windows Vista together.