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Open Compute EU Summit speakers announced

Open Compute EU Summit speakers announced | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The summit will take place on Thursday, October 30th and Friday, October 31, 2014 at École Polytechnique in Paris, France and will feature Mark Shuttleworth along with speakers from Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Open Compute Europe lineup is starting to be very interesting. Goldman Sachs and Fidelity CIO will participate along with Qualcomm's SVP Strategy and 700+ others. Excited to meet Canonical/Ubuntu 's Mark Shuttleworth (first "space tourist")

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Linux-on-the-desktop pioneer City of Munich now considering a switch back to Windows

The world is still waiting for the year of Linux on the desktop, but in 2003 it looked as if that goal was within reach. Back then, the city of Munich announced plans to switch from Microsoft technology to Linux on 14,000 PCs belonging to the city's municipal government. While the schemesuffered delays, it was completed in December 2013. There's only been one small problem: users aren't happy with the software, and the government isn't happy with the price.

The switch was motivated by a desire to reduce licensing costs and end the city's dependence on a single company. City of Munich PCs were running Windows NT 4, and the end of support for that operating system meant that it was going to incur significant licensing costs to upgrade. In response, the plan was to migrate to OpenOffice and Debian Linux. Later, the plan was updated to use LibreOffice and Ubuntu.

German media is reporting that the city is now considering a switch back to Microsoft in response to these complaints. The city is putting together an independent expert group to look at the problem, and if that group recommends using Microsoft software, Deputy Mayor Josef Schmid of the CSU party says that a switch back isn't impossible.

Schmid describes two major problems. The first is the issue of compatibility; users in the rest of Germany that use other (Microsoft) software have had trouble with the files generated by Munich's open source applications. The second is price, with Schmid saying that the city now has the impression that "Linux is very expensive" due to custom programming. Schmid also appears to be an Outlook fan, bemoaning the loss of a single application to crosslink mail, contacts, and appointments.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting spark in the neverending debate between acquisition, maintenance and usage costs.

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How Microsoft Created A Virtual Assistant That Could Blow Siri Away

How Microsoft Created A Virtual Assistant That Could Blow Siri Away | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Microsoft explains how Cortana was created and what makes her so different from Google Now and Android

.../...

"We focus a little bit more on contextual triggers that we think people will actually understand. We always talk about 3 triggers—we talk about time, we talk about location and we talk about people. Those are the triggers people get. Let’s just focus on a set of things that are going to be of high utility and limit the number of triggers so that people can understand what the system is capable of.

 

For us is a notion of personality. When we look at Google, they’ve made some pretty clear decisions. It’s about getting you quickly and efficiently to Google’s services. It’s not about personality. There’s just something really delightful that makes people smile about having an anthropomorphic personality inside this assistant. We studied this a lot and looked at people’s reaction in labs; it just makes people smile. It also opens up this type of trust relationship we talk a lot about.

 

Google has got a decision to make around how they’re going to create a personality"

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

It's seems to be all about context and personality... Wait : what are Apple, Google and Microsoft personalities ?

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Apple's Impressive Market Share Gains In The U.S.

Apple's Impressive Market Share Gains In The U.S. | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

If there's one negative thing you've heard about the iPhone in past few years, it's that it's getting walloped in market share battle with Android. 

Around the world, that's certainly true, but in the U.S., the iPhone is doing pretty well. As you can see in this chart from Statista based on data from comScore, Android is actually falling while the iPhone continues to take share.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Who remembers Palm ? Symbian ? BlackBerry ? Welcome to the two horse race (US only)

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Facebook's Open Compute guru Frank Frankovsky leaves to build optical storage startup

Facebook's Open Compute guru Frank Frankovsky leaves to build optical storage startup | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s vice president of hardware design and supply chain optimization, who helped oversee the development and growth of the company’s custom server effort, has left the social networking company to form his own as-yet-unnamed startup that will focus on building optical storage for the enterprise.

In an interview, Frankovsky said he had resigned from Facebook last week to pursue this idea. Meanwhile, Jason Taylor, Facebook’s director of infrastructure, has assumed responsibility for the hardware design and supply chain teams at Facebook and will continue working with the Open Compute Project on Facebook’s behalf.

Taylor has been overseeing much of that work for the last year, according to Facebook, and he will also be joining the Open Compute Foundation board along with Bill Laing, corporate VP of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft. This brings the OCP Foundation board from five to seven participants. Frankovsky, who will remain chairman and president of the OCP board, will stay as an independent member.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Hardware is not dead. It is just evolving #OCP

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Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q4 2013 | Janrain

Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q4 2013 | Janrain | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

During the past five years, the ability to register and log in on websites with a social network or email identity has become increasingly prevalent. In fact, 90% of people have encountered social login before, and more than half of people use it. Because it makes the account creation and login process so much faster and easier and eliminates the need to remember yet another username and password, it’s no surprise that social login has become so popular.

 

But which networks are people most likely to choose? How do these preferences differ based on the type of sites people visit? We all use multiple social networks for different purposes. Facebook is generally where we interact with our close friends and family. LinkedIn is where we maintain our professional persona. Google+ lets us do both, by letting us organize our social graph and content we share into circles. We use Twitter to follow influencers, share opinions, and read about topics of interest. And Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft are our primary means of privately communicating with others via email.

 

For four years, Janrain has published quarterly reports to shed light on consumer preferences for social login, with data aggregated from the websites that use Janrain. The key takeaway, above all else, is that people want choice. In other words, there is not a single identity provider to rule them all.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interestingly, the real "camembert" does not match what I thought it would look like. My techdom bias would have led me to expect to a smaller G+ and a quite larger Twitter & LinkedIn share...

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Here are the parts of Nokia that Microsoft ISN’T buying

Here are the parts of Nokia that Microsoft ISN’T buying | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

In essence, after the transaction is closed, Nokia will be transformed into a technology and IP licensing company and shed its manufacturer role. Microsoft will take over the baton and become the OEM for its own Windows Phone devices.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

What strikes me in the value shift : Nokia paid almost 1 Bn more in 2007 to acquire Navteq (A few years later Waze would create 1 Bn$ value with no need to purchase any map)

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Larry's comment, September 3, 2013 4:37 AM
I was dreaming to get Nokia hardware quality with Android... Microsoft crashed it.
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The PC Industry Implodes Before Our Eyes

The PC Industry Implodes Before Our Eyes | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

It's ugly out there for the traditional PC makers. IDC says PC sales fell 14 percent in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis. That's worse than its forecast of a 7.7 percent drop. 

This is the worst quarter for PC industry since 1994 when IDC started tracking sales. So, that pretty much makes it the worst quarter in history. 

IDC blames Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system for alienating consumers. The new tile-based interface is too weird for consumers, says IDC. 

Instead of buying new laptops or desktops, people are buying tablets and smartphones which serve as good-enough alternatives.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

More than a paradigm shift...

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Larry's comment, April 11, 2013 3:00 AM
Microsoft is the main culprit !
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Samsung spends approx.15x more than Apple in marketing

Samsung spends approx.15x more than Apple in marketing | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

According to Asymco's Horace Dediu, Samsung is blowing all the companies away in advertising.

 

But advertising isn't Samsung's only marketing expense. It also has big, crazy launch parties and promotional discounts.

 

If you look at Samsung's full marketing expenses, you get a better idea about the incredible amount it cost Samsung to become the world's biggest smartphone company.

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Peixin hu's comment, August 17, 2013 5:03 AM
I think the reason why Samsung's success in recent years partly because they establish a good brand image. First of all, Samsung have Stylish appearance compare with other brands also attracting the attention of young people. Second, we can see Samsung show up in a variety of activities, newspapers even all kinds of ball games, so that the different age’s group and different interests of the people can concern them.
Min Li's comment, August 22, 2013 3:58 AM
From this chart, we could see that the tendency of Samsung’s budget increases greatly year by year, now Samsung has been the largest company of investing in marketing advertising. Despite its successful advertising, Samsung also spend a lot of money on promotional campaign to attract customers. As for Samsung, it is an admirable company, its products are popular in Asia and Europe countries. In my personal opinion, advertising is like a dialogue between the company and the consumers, and it can be a good method for communicating the features of a product or service in a way that will motivate customers to purchase it. In the intensely competitive market, to be closer to the consumers to figure out their desires and interests are critical for the smartphone company. This is one of the reasons for Samsung’s big success. Thanks.
Abbey 's curator insight, April 7, 5:36 PM

As shown in the digram Samsung's Marketing expenses are far, far higher than any of the of the other brands shown. Considering Samsung is one of the largest smart phone companies in the world, large marketing campaigns and promotional parties etc contribute immensely to the success and impression of the brand received by consumers. Considering Coca Cola is such a huge brand and marketed hugely worldwide, yet is still way behind what Samsung is spending, really shows in comparison to other developed brands how huge Samsung's Marketing really is. 

 

I am quite surprised at how large the gap is between Apple and Samsung as i always considered them reasonably close competitors in the smart phone industry. 

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Apple Has Almost Completely Eliminated The Windows Platform Advantage

Apple Has Almost Completely Eliminated The Windows Platform Advantage | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The ratio of Windows PCs sold compared to Macs steadily increased throughout the second half of the 1990s and during the first few years of the 2000s, thanks in part to the success of Windows 95. But as we reported recently, analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco crunched some numbers and found that this ratio has been declining for the past eight years thanks to Apple's resurgence.


According to Dediu, the ratio of Windows PCs to Macs sold dropped to below 20 in 2011, its lowest level since before Windows 95 was launched. But that only tells part of the story.


In a new post, Dediu compares the ratio of Windows units sold to all Apple devices, not just Macs. When you factor in iPhones and iPads, the ratio of Windows units to Apple devices sold has dropped to less than two.


"Seen this way, Post-PC devices wiped out of leverage faster than it was originally built," Dediu writes. "They not only reversed the advantage but cancelled it altogether."

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Nobody Can Win The Cloud Pricing Wars

Nobody Can Win The Cloud Pricing Wars | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Earlier this week, Google lowered prices 10 percent across the board on their Google Compute Engine cloud platform . The cost is getting so low, it’s almost trivial for anyone to absorb the costs of running infrastructure in the cloud, but you have to wonder as the cloud pricing wars continue, how low can they go and if it’s a war anyone can win.

 

The end game is obviously zero, but these companies have overhead and while the Big Three cloud computing companies –Google, Amazon and Microsoft –run their Infrastructure as a Service as a side business, chances are their stock holders don’t want to see them giving it away for nothing, a point we seem to be approaching quickly.

 

Just this week, Oracle shocked the world (or at least me) when it announced it would lower its Database as a Service pricing to match Amazon’s. This is Oracle we’re talking about, a company known for its high prices joining the pricing wars. It’s one thing for the Big Three to engage in this type of activity, but for a traditional enterprise software (and hardware) company used to high profits, it’s startling.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Time to (re)assess the real value of sovereignty ?

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Microsoft Delivers Slight Miss on Q2 earnings, and a strong boom in Cloud Revenues

Microsoft Delivers Slight Miss on Q2 earnings, and a strong boom in Cloud Revenues | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

It was a miss on EPS, which Microsoft says is due to the Nokia acquisition. Microsoft says the Nokia acquisition accounted for a $0.08 per share loss. When Microsoft gave guidance last quarter, it didn't account for the Nokia acquisition.

Bing search ad revenue is up 40%, and Microsoft says it now has 19.2% of the U.S. search market share.

Microsoft added 1 million consumer subscribers to Office 365, its subscription Office service, last quarter. It now has more than 5.6 million subscribers.

Big number: Cloud revenue is booming. It's up 147% and it's on an annualized run rate of more than $4.4 billion. This includes all of Microsoft's cloud businesses like Office 365, Azure, etc.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

As for Apple quarterly results, the stock kept flat. Interestingly, with it's strong commitment to OpenCompute, Microsoft looks well positioned to continue growing in the cloud...

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Open Compute, un Investissement d'Avenir pour le Cloud Souverain et l'industrie française

Open Compute, un Investissement d'Avenir pour le Cloud Souverain et l'industrie française | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

La prochaine révolution informatique à grande échelle a démarré à partir du projet OCP (Open Compute Project), démarré en 2011 par Facebook avec le soutien notamment de Microsoft et Goldman Sachs (saviez-vous que cette banque dispose de sa propre équipe d'ingénieurs en charge de concevoir leurs serveurs?) qui ont pour objectif d’être au matériel ce que l’open source est au logiciel. Il s’agit de repartir des besoins des clients finaux et de désintermédier les fabricants (OEM) de serveurs comme HP, Dell ou Lenovo en certifiant directement des configurations matérielles adaptées au client et à ses objectifs de coûts.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Comme le dit Cole Crawford, Directeur Executif de la Fondation Open Compute, "Splitted Desktop is in a critically unique position within Europe.  They have led the charge in driving Open Compute technologies into the region. We will be relying heavily on Jean Marie and his team to produce and promote the world's most efficient computing environments".

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Microsoft Joins Amazon and Google in Cloud Price War

Microsoft Joins Amazon and Google in Cloud Price War | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Microsoft slashed prices on several of its cloud computing services the company announced on Monday, following through on a standing promise to match Amazon Web Services, which made similar cuts last week.

The software giant made the announcement in a blog post by Windows Azure general manager Steven Martin, saying it will slash prices on various services by 27 percent to 65 percent. “We recognize that economics are a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud, and stand by our commitment to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance,” Martin wrote. The move coincided with Microsoft’s Build conference taking place this week in San Francisco.

It’s the latest move in what’s turning out to be a brisk price war for cloud computing services. Last week, Amazon announced a broad-based price cut on many portions of its Amazon Web Services by 36 percent to 65 percent. That came a day after Google slashed prices for its Google Cloud Platform from 32 percent to 85 percent.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This is still very foggy : would this mean they have been "overcharging customers from Day 1" as DigitalOcean complains ?

Inbetween, one clear spot in the sky is the confirmed rise of OpenStack. It may soon be followed by an industrial, hardware based revolution with Open Compute yet this is another story... yet.

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Emmanuel HAVET's curator insight, April 2, 3:52 AM

I agree with Philippe Dewost :

" one clear spot in the sky is the confirmed rise of OpenStack. It may soon be followed by an industrial, hardware based revolution with Open Compute yet this is another story... yet."

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Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows

Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Of Microsoft’s many challenges in mobile, none loom larger than the app deficit: it only takes a popular new title like Flappy Bird to highlight what the company is missing out on. Windows 8 apps are also few and far between, and Microsoft is stuck in a position where it’s struggling to generate developer interest in its latest style of apps across phones and tablets. Some argue Microsoft should dump Windows Phone and create its own "forked" version of Android — not unlike what Amazon has done with its Kindle Fire tablets — while others claim that’s an unreasonably difficult task. With a new, mobile- and cloud-focused CEO in place, Nokia's decision to build an Android phone, and rumors of Android apps coming to Windows, could we finally see Microsoft experimenting with Google’s forbidden fruit?

 

Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone. While planning is ongoing and it's still early, we’re told that some inside Microsoft favor the idea of simply enabling Android apps inside its Windows and Windows Phone Stores, while others believe it could lead to the death of the Windows platform altogether. The mixed (and strong) feelings internally highlight that Microsoft will need to be careful with any radical move.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Apparently Nokia has it already done

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Microsoft's Biggest Problem In One Chart

Microsoft's Biggest Problem In One Chart | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

This chart from BI Intelligence shows that Android now has 60% of all computing platforms. Microsoft's Windows, on the other hand, is at 24%. Apple is at 14%.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Computing Platform War : Microsoft shrinks from 70% to 24% in just 4 years while Android inflates from 0 to 60%

 

Two comments : 1/ other have just vanished 2/ how does Android fragmentation weigh in ?

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History Of The Tablet : a lot had been tried since 1987 and before Jobs "picked" the idea

History Of The Tablet : a lot had been tried since 1987 and before Jobs "picked" the idea | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Tablets have killed the netbook market and are fast transforming the traditional PC.

 

Apple's iPad gets most of the credit for that, but the tablet computer was not Steve Jobs' idea. Tablets actually began decades before the iPad was launched in 2010.

 

Look at all the previous attemps including the Newton, the Palm Pilot, ...

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting history, that misses a few iconic devices such as IBM's Simon, Eo's Personal Communicator, or the General Magic / Sony's Magic Pad...

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Mary Francia's comment, June 3, 2013 1:02 PM
They also missed Philips Nino in 1999 and the home tablet and the medical tablet..... we certainly helped a lot on working out the bugs and getting the market read
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Microsoft balks at Apple’s 30% fee, leaving SkyDrive and apps that integrate with it in the lurch on iOS

Microsoft balks at Apple’s 30% fee, leaving SkyDrive and apps that integrate with it in the lurch on iOS | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Microsoft and Apple are currently locked in something of a Cold War over the future of SkyDrive in the iOS App Store.

Sources close to Microsoft have detailed to TNW a difficult, and perhaps unresolvable situation between the two companies that underscores the difficulty with certain Apple rules concerning its app marketplace, and how far the company is willing to go to protect its vaunted 30% cut of in-app revenues.

The difficulty began when Microsoft rolled out the ability for SkyDrive users to purchase more storage space on the service. From that point, the company was not permitted to update its application in the iOS App Store.

The reason? It doesn’t pay Apple a 30% cut of subscription revenue generated by the application through the paid, additional storage. Microsoft, TNW has learned, has a new version of the application ready to go, including a key bug fix that would rectify a crashing bug, but cannot get it through.

Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account.

Therefore, if a user signed up for a few additional gigabytes on their iOS device, and then moved to Android or Windows Phone or not phone at all, for the length of their account, Apple would collect 30% of their fee for storage. This hasn’t sat well with Microsoft.

Microsoft has persisted in trying to work out a compromise with Apple, but has thus far failed to come to an agreement. The company offered to remove all subscription options from its application, leaving it a non-revenue generating experience on iOS. The offer was rebuffed.

If a service has a subscription option, it seems, and it is not listed in the iOS store, the application cannot, and will not be allowed. That is, unless you are small enough that Apple doesn’t bothers to check. I assume that smaller companies could slip under the radar.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This is getting somewhat ugly

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That 1984 New York Times Article About Windows Was Completely Right

That 1984 New York Times Article About Windows Was Completely Right | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
In 1984, the New York Times ran an article slamming the concept of windows-based operating systems.

Nicholas Carlson just pointed it out as an example of why you shouldn't listen to gadget reviewers. He's right about that as far as it goes: You shouldn't listen to gadget reviewers. It only leads to heartbreak.

But the New York Times article is actually amazingly prescient, if you think about the future of computing today.
What's magnificent about Apple's iPad and Microsoft's new Surface? They let you focus on a single task, by design.
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Larry's comment, November 24, 2012 2:56 PM
Ambiguous writing. We cannot do 2 things well simultaneously, but we have to switch between tasks and we prefer when it is fast and we don't lose our thoughts path.
Tiki® was invented for just that, on any screen size...
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Microsoft's Research Scientists Finally Solved Why Scammers Say They're From Nigeria

Microsoft's Research Scientists Finally Solved Why Scammers Say They're From Nigeria | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Because, basically, only stupid people will fall for it.
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