Microsoft has long since preferred to simply focus on software and let others build the hardware, and while it worked in the era of the desktop, it’s not working out so well for them these days. Wintel machine vendors don’t have the incentive to take the sort of design leaps and risks that Apple does, only being too happy to bump their machines’ specs slightly year after year and to increasingly take their design cues from Apple (witness the “ultrabook” trend, an admission by the industry that netbooks suck). Their recent Surface announcement is a signal that Microsoft realizes that with a disruptive technology like tablets, if you want something right, you have to do it yourself, which is the point that Dixon makes in his post.
Taming the Mobile Beast
Taming the Mobile Beast was a presentation made at O’Reilly’s Velocity 2012 conference by Google’s Patrick Meenan and Matt Welsh. on developing mobile sites. Velocity 2012’s catchphrase is “Building a faster and stronger web” and it’s a conference focused on building scalable, reliable and fast web sites. While we’ve gotten pretty good at building sites for desktop browsers, we’re still just getting started building the mobile web. Taming the Mobile Beast shows some good ideas for building mobile web sites — make sure you borrow at least a few of them!
A snapshot of Techmeme today at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Click to see the snapshot on Techmeme.
As I write this (Monday, June 11th, 2012, 2:30 p.m. EDT), the WWDC 2012 keynote’s still going and it’s eating up the first two or three screenfuls of Techmeme. Wait until the keynote’s over and the pundits have had time to digest, editorialize and post full-length review articles!
With all the fuss about Apple’s WWDC, which starts today, and Google I/O at the end of the month, Microsoft’s big TechEd North America conference, which is aimed at both developers and sysadmin (or IT Pros, in Microsoft parlance), seems to have faded into the background. TechEd, being based in the Eastern time zone (it’s in Orlando this year), has been in full swing for a few hours already, and not a single report has found its way to Techmeme as of this writing; it’s a safe bet that this will not be the case for WWDC after it’s been in full swing for a few minutes.
People actually lining up to try the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone.
Against the hubbub of rumoured announcements iOS 6, an Apple TV SDK, new Macs, and Apple’s answer to Google Maps, as well as rumours of a new version of Android, TechEd, with no ground-shaking announcements to make and a straight-up tutorial approach feels more like an excuse for people who work at places using Microsoft technologies to take a break from work on the company dime without sacrificing precious vacation days. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who are excited to be there or that they’re not doing useful stuff (we probably owe the fact that we can pick up detergent and TV sets at Walmart to people running and maintaining MS Tech); it’s just that from an outside perspective, they seem like Twilight fans: a force to be reckoned with, but when you look at what they’re into, you’re tempted to ask “Really? That’s what you spend all that time and effort on?”
I think the most telling thing about TechEd was a Channel 9 live broadcast I just saw, during which my friend and former co-worker Joey Snow was interviewing the guy who created PowerShell, the shell-scripting system for Windows. He talked about a guy who was considering learning Scala and wondered aloud why anyone would want to do that. He said that five years down the line, PowerShell would be the more valuable line item on your resume than something like Scala (he said that resume scanning software would put you in the delete bin). This “Not Invented Here”, short-term community-college-style, old-school FUD, resume-padding-uber-alles, death-of-intellectual-curiosity, lack-of-imagination-and-learning-different-things mode of thinking that has worked its way through many parts of The Empire like a brain cancer and is only speeding up the IBMification of Microsoft.
What you’ll see if you visit Apple’s online store right now.
As I write this, Apple has placed the traditional “We’ll be back” message on their online store, signalling the announcement of new products at WWDC 2012. At 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific), Apple CEO Tim Cook (and presumably marketing chief Phil Schiller and iOS kahuna Scott Forstall) will take the stage and deliver the WWDC keynote. You can follow all the action on the following liveblogs:
The banners seen at Moscone Center, WWDC’s venue, confirm that they’ll be announcing iOS 6. You’ve probably heard that one of the biggest changes will be Apple’s own 3D maps, which will replace Google Maps, as well as Siri being made available on more devices than just the iPhone 4S. There are also rumours that AppleTV will get an SDK, enabling iOS developers to truly take over the living room.
iOS 5 captured approximately 75% of all iOS users in the same amount of time it took Gingerbread to get 4% of all Android users. Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age.