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  • Microsoft: Enabling innovation and opportunity on the Intelligent Edge

    Posted on May 29th, 2019 at 14:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I get hives when I see “Intelligent Edge” capitalized…

    Yesterday Microsoft Corporate VP Nick Parker gave a keynote at Computex in Taipei. It’s a wonderfully jolly pastiche of marketing memes, culminating in this vision of our operating system future (I’m looking at YOU, Windows):

    These new modern PCs and innovative devices the ecosystem will continue to build and bring to market in the future require a modern operating system. An OS  that provides a set of enablers that deliver the foundational experiences customers expect from their devices, and includes a set of delighters that deliver innovative human centric experiences. Enablers include seamless updates – with a modern OS updates are invisibly done in the background; the update experience is deterministic, reliable, and instant with no interruptions! A modern OS, is also secure by default, the state is separated from the operating system; compute is separated from applications; this protects the user from malicious attacks throughout the device lifecycle. Always connected -with a modern OS Wifi, LTE 5G will just work – and users never have to worry about a deadspot. All of a users devices are aware and connected to each other. A modern OS provides sustained performance, from the moment a user picks up their device – everything is ready to go – without having to worry about the next time the PC needs to be charged. These enablers will satisfy customer’s basic needs, but to truly differentiate we must also delight them. A modern OS does this by enabling cloud-connected experiences that use the compute power of the cloud to enhance users experiences on their devices.  These experiences are powered by AI, so a modern OS is aware of what a user is doing tomorrow and helps them get it done, and it enhances applications making them more intelligent. A modern OS is also multi-sense. People can use pen, voice, touch, even gaze – what ever input method a user wants to use works just as well as the keyboard and mouse. Finally, a modern OS provides the ultimate in form factor agility. A modern OS has the right sensor support and posture awareness to enable the breadth of innovative form factors and applications that our partner ecosystem will deliver.

    Brushing aside gaze input, enablers, delighters, an OS that knows what you’re doing tomorrow, and posture awareness — and acknowledging that the human centric stuff is the raison d’être for the mess we’re now in —  I want to ask a serious question.

    How far is ChromeOS from achieving this kind of Nerd Nirvana?

  • Universal Windows Programs (“Metro apps”) aren’t dead yet, but there’s a better alternative on the horizon

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 11:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft just announced that it’s going to start building Progressive Web App support into Edge and Win10.

    Progressive Web Apps aren’t so much Google’s much-better alternative to Win10-only Universal Windows Programs (formerly known as “Metro apps” or “Universal apps” or “Windows Store Apps” or any of a half-dozen other monikers) as they are a genuine attempt to make browser-based applications look and feel more like regular ol’ apps.

    Chances are very good you’ve never seen a PWA in action. But they’re definitely coming. At some point.

    The theoretical benefits of PWAs over UWPs are enormous. Just for starters, UWPs can only run in the stripped-down Win10 environment. PWAs, on the other hand, should be able to run on just about anything that supports a browser — particularly Chrome, or ChromeOS. Yeah, that includes Chromebooks, at least at some point.

    The browser requirement has vanished in the past couple of years, banking on a concept called service worker. Horrible name, but web folks are good at horrible names. Paul Thurrott described service workers months ago:

    Google’s initial take on PWAs wasn’t that compelling: The full resources of Chrome needed to load each time a PWA ran, and there was no minimal user interface or runtime. But when Google introduced the notion of service worker, the technological core of what we now know as PWAs, it was a big differentiator. With service workers, PWAs could work like native apps, offering features like offline support, background processing, and more.

    It now looks to me as if there’s going to be a headlong dash into developing PWAs — and that UWP’s days are numbered. Time will tell.

    UPDATE: Mary Jo Foley has a calendar for future developments in Microsoft’s side of the PWA wars, in her ZDNet blog.

  • Even Chromebooks get the offline blues

    Posted on December 6th, 2017 at 10:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Looks like many – most? – Chromebooks veered offline yesterday, after an update broke existing WiFi connections. You could still log on to a network manually, but if your setup (or company or school) relies on an existing internet connection, your machine turned belly-up.

    Frank Catalano has the story on GeekWire.

    Microsoft-itis. It hit Apple last week. Now ChromeOS.

  • An uber-review of the Google Pixelbook

    Posted on October 26th, 2017 at 12:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Excellent article by JR Raphael in Computerworld:

    The common conclusion with Google’s Pixelbook is that you’d have to be crazy to buy it, but that assessment is based on a flawed and myopic premise.

    I’m thinking my next laptop will be a Pixelbook. In fact, I’m crazy enough to wonder out loud if it’s “good enough” to function as a desktop replacement – just plug it into my big monitor, attach the mechanical keyboard and mighty mouse, plug in the Ethernet cable and maybe bring in the external hard drive.

    My 7-year-old’s school is adding Chromebooks, not iPads and certainly not Windows PCs. Good move, IMHO.

  • Details emerge about ChromeOS

    Posted on January 24th, 2010 at 05:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m beginning to warm up to ChromeOS.

    John Stokes at Ars Technica has an interview with Matthew Papakipos, the ChromeOS engineering director. They cover a lot of ground.

    Clearly, the folks at Google know what they’re doing. Maybe this year we’ll see something substantial come of it.