Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert, has taken a shot at a technology company, saying that "there's nothing [they] can do about [their] long slide toward irrelevance." He also takes a shot about the company redesigning its logo and releasing a tablet computer. Any ideas which company it's making fun of?
If you guessed Microsoft, you're right. If you didn't, you probably need to read TweakTown more often to stay up with the latest. Everything the Dilbert comic said is accurate, well mostly. Microsoft has recently revamped their corporate logo, as well as revamping the Windows logo into something that looks more like Windows.
But sliding towards irrelevance? Hardly. The Xbox 360 has remained the top selling home entertainment console for 20+ months, Windows is still the leader in the desktop operating system market by far, and Office is still one of the most widely used productivity suites around. It's a hard sell, at least right now, that Microsoft is becoming irrelevant.
Microsoft has dominated the PC market for years with its Windows OS, but it's been battling to be the center of attention in your living room with its Xbox 360, its failed Zune and its recently launched Microsoft Surface. But a new job listing may have let the cat out of the bag early for the company for its "Cloud TV" service.
The job listing was posted on Microsoft Careers website looking for a Software Engineer Manager to lead "a team that is building awesome client applications for a new Cloud-based TV platform." The new hire would work with the Microsoft Mediaroom team, who already established an IPTV service that's used with a number of companies such as AT&T's U-Verse.
If I had to guess in order to save my loved ones from a terrible death, then my guess would be Microsoft is planning a more ambitious online video platform using its already impressive library of content on its Zune Marketplace. Seeing how monthly subscriptions for similar services like Netflix and Hulu have been accepted, I think Microsoft will finally give people access to all of the content on its Zune Marketplace through a monthly subscription, rather than being a pay-per-view service.
Disney Epic Mickey 2 is just two weeks away from being released, but if you never played the original game that came out for the Wii in late 2010, then you pretty much have no idea what you should be excited about. Instead of taking a gamble in hopes Disney Epic Mickey 2 is something you'd enjoy, DIsney Interactive has just announced a demo for the game has been released on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
The demo for Disney Epic Mickey 2 will have players controlling Mickey Mouse as he works his way through the game's opening tutorial, to then play through some early levels of the game which includes the memorable magical laboratory of the sorcerer, Yen Sid.
Players will also meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which happens to be the first cartoon Walt Disney ever drew, to experience some of the game's co-op abilities.
Intel don't sleep, and today brings an announcement of a new SSD series from the chipmaker, the SSD DC S3700 Series. Intel's new SSD is built to offer next-generation performance to meet the needs of the growing HPC and cloud-computing apps market.
The DC S3700 Series offers some extreme IOPS performance, mixed up with some very low maximum latencies. We're talking about 4KB random read performance of up to 75,000 IOPS and 4KB write performance of up to 36,000 IOPS. Typical sequential write latency of 65 microseconds and high Quality of Service (QoS) of less than 500 microseconds 99.9% of the time.
Intel's new SSD also sports the company's High Endurance Technology (HET) which provides single-level cell SSD-like endurance in a much more cost-effective multi-level cell (MLC) technology. Thanks to this mix of technology, it provides the DC S3700 Series the ability of achieving 10 full drive writes per day over the drives 5-year life. This is equal to more than 186 years of recording HD video over the life of the drive in its highest capacity, 800GB.
The IDC's latest numbers are here and it is reporting that tablet numbers have increased by 6.7% in the quarter just gone, and 49.5% year-over-year. Apple enjoying shipping just over half of the 27.8 million slates across the world, but they lost a considerable amount of market share.
The iPad maker had 65.5% of the market in Q2, but dropped down to just 50.4% of the market in Q3 - a huge drop. IDC says that this is because people were holding off for the iPad mini - but I don't agree with that. There can't be that many people in the market knowing three months out that there was definitely going to be a new iPad on the market.
Samsung were number two, increasing their market share to 18.4% thanks to their Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1 products, with Amazon and ASUS having a great quarter also. Kindle Fires and Nexus 7's helped them ship around 2.5 million of each.
Ah, Windows Live Messenger. How I've loved thee. But, after more than ten years as an instant messaging client (and over the years, much more than that) it looks as though Microsoft is ready to give the application a much needed sleep and let Skype take over.
The Verge has reported according to multiple sources, that Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger would be retired in the next couple of months, but the technology behind it will continue to beat on. The backend of Messenger will be shuffled over to the Skype client, letting users login to their accounts, see their contacts and more, but from the Skype interface.
Microsoft began the transition months ago and already have around 80% of all IMs sent on Skype reportedly being handled by Messenger. This all started with Skype 6.0, which greeted users with the option to log in using a Microsoft, or Facebook account. The Verge says that Microsoft will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger before the end of the year.
Bloomberg news is reporting that Apple may be toying with the idea of designing its own chips for use in its Mac line of computers. As technology grows increasingly mobile, the x86 platform pioneered and championed by Intel draws just too much power and produces too much heat. In order to unify the experience between this mobile market and desktop component, Apple may opt to use its own chips.
By using chips that feature similar architectures in both mobile devices and desktop and laptop systems, its easier for programmers to unify the experience. Apps will theoretically have no problems running on the Mac laptops and desktops due to the common architecture and Apple will be able to use iOS on desktop systems--not an idea I am fond of.
This change in processor would take a good while to implement. The Apple team will have to craft their own processor, either through licensing agreements with ARM, or by developing their own instruction sets. Even still, Apple will want to repeat the success they have seen with the iPhone 5's processor.
People may want to stay away from the Kinect if they like watching movies on their Xbox 360. Well, at least if Microsoft decides to implement a patent that was just issued to them last week. The patent in question is titled "Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User" and deals with adjusting prices based upon the number of viewers.
The Kinect, or equivalent, sensor could monitor the number of people in a room and adjust the pricing for movie according to how many people are there. The system could even, theoretically, detect when more people walk into the room and pause playback until more money was provided or some people left the room.
Another thought is that this could be used to control the owner of content so that the person who purchased the video must be present. This patent could also tie in with one Microsoft received last September, called "Parental Control Settings Based on Body Dimensions," which uses various body shapes and ratios to estimate a user's age.
Ever since I purchased my iPhone 5, the Lightning cable that came with the phone has been attached to me as much as the phone itself seeing as all of my previous charging cables are completely useless. Buying additional cables has been a challenge for me as I don't have an Apple Store in close proximity to me and buying additional cables online is nearly impossible. But my worries will soon be over as Belkin has announced it will be the first third-party company to have Lightning accessories available for purchase.
Belkin announced today it will release two accessories that support the iPhone 5 and 4th Generation iPad's Lightning connector: the Belkin Car Charger for Lightning and Belkin Charge + Sync Dock. Both accessories will retail for $29.99 and will be made available in mid-November.
The Belkin Car Charger is exactly what it sounds like: a car charger with a Lightning adapter attached to the end of it. It'll be MFI certified, will have over-voltage protection and will be made available in black.
Regardless if the majority of people were less than impressed with the new iPad mini and 4th generation iPad, the rule of thumb has always been if there's an Apple logo on it, it'll sell millions. That's exactly what happened this weekend as Apple has announced it has sold 3 million iPads this past weekend.
Friday was the official release date of both the iPad mini and 4th generation iPad around the world and marks the first time Apple has launched two new products on the same day, not counting new releases made available through the Apple Store.
As of now, Apple has yet to release sales data for individual sales of the iPad mini and 4th Generation iPad which we're sure to hear about in an upcoming Apple Event with nothing but praise coming from the company.