Thursday, September 12, 2013

Microsoft is doing to much too late

Companies who fail to adapt to new market realities are often accused of doing "too little, too late". However, in the case of Microsoft I think they may be a case of doing  "too much, too late".

Until recently Microsoft had a virtual monopoly in the market for operating systems and productivity software that ran on Desktop PCs. People who were technology aware tended to favour either a MacOS desktop (which its fans claimed as being so much better that it justified the extra cost) or Linux (which is available for free but is rarely offered pre-installed on new PCs). However, there was (and indeed still is) a market for people who don't want new features and would prefer if the interface stayed the same as the one that they fist learned to use over a decade ago. In order to defend their monopoly position Microsoft made minimal changes to their software and put a top priority on backward compatibility which ensured that they appealed to people who did not want to learn any new interface.

In the last 5 years or so it became clear to Microsoft executives and anyone else observing the computer industry, that the desktop is becoming less important. In order to appeal to this new market Microsoft developed Windows mobile and then Windows v8. This was a brave move because, although these interfaces have received good reviews from people who have put the effort into learning them - the interfaces are very different from earlier versions of Windows and hence they force Windows users to learn something new.

I personally know only one person who has a Microsoft windows based phone - although he tells me that he grew to love it once he invested in learning the unconventional interface. The only thing I hear about Windows 8 based desktops is enquiries from people who are technical laggards asking if there is any way to downgrade from the version of windows 8 which came with their new PC.

I applaud Microsoft for their bravery to experiment. However, they have already lost their fans among the technical elite because of their slowness to innovate. With Windows 8 coming out I feel that they might also be set to lose their fans among the sizeable portion of the public who don't want to learn new technology.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Monitoring my Heart

I recently acquired a blood pressure monitor from Lidl. I find that the readings vary considerably depending upon when I measure it. This encouraged me to dust off my Polar Bluetooth heart rate monitor which allows me to monitor how my pulse varies as I take part in various activities.

I find that when I go running my pulse goes up to 145-150 BMP and stays there for ~4 minutes before falling back to 120 BPM for the remainder of the run.  When I use the cross trainer, my pulse climbs to roughly 170-180 BPM and stays there.

Interestingly when I meditate, my pulse stays level around 85-90 BPM. I think this is an indication that I am not very good at meditation, because this is higher than my normal resting heart rate of 75-80 BPM. If I were a Zen guru, I should be able to bring my pulse down very low while meditating.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The SPAM comments are back again :-(

I had a problem with SPAM comments some time ago. After trying a few defence mechanisms I finally settled on forcing people to log in. Recently I saw a revival of the SPAM comments. Of course this time I know the identity of the people leaving the stupid comments. I would threaten to leave junk comments upon their blogs - but this would not deter them (they might welcome the extra traffic).

 At the moment I am deleting the SPAM comments shortly after they are left, but if the problem doesn't go away I might be forced to introduce comment moderation.

 As they say It is an ill wind that blows no good. While I was deleting the SPAM comments I noticed that my home weather station has been off line since 14th of August. Hopefully I will be bringing it back on line again soon.