DigitalOutbox Episode 123
DigitalOutbox Episode 123 – Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone 8 and NeverSeconds
0:47 – Microsoft Surface
- Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, unveiled two new tablet PCs at a closely guarded press event in Los Angeles.
- He said the new devices – called Surface – were part of a “whole new family of devices” the company is developing. The devices will run versions of Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, a system the company hopes will allow it to make up ground in mobile computing lost to Apple and Google’s Android.
- “We want to give Windows 8 its own companion hardware innovations,” Ballmer said.
- The 9.3mm thick device has a magnesium case, features a 10.6-inch HD widescreen display, an integrated kickstand and weighs less than a kilo (1.5lbs). The device comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad that attach magnetically to the tablet.
- At the presentation, Ballmer and Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft’s Windows division, stressed Surface’s computing power.
- Sinofsky called the device a “tablet that’s a great PC – a PC that’s a great tablet”.
- Strange – called Surface a PC…but it’s clearly a tablet
- Count iPad as PC’s and Apple dominate
- Oop’s – crashes on demo
- No price, no release date, no battery life
- Business tablet? Certainly seems so. I’m quite taken with the design…but I was with the courier and it was vapour
- Confusing – arm and intel, Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows Pro
- Constantly talk about pc’s and tablets
- Enterprise empathised – TPM chip support. Does feel like a true pc in a tablet is the pitch
- If your a partner, how do you feel today? Microsoft believe only they can deliver a Windows device that truly matched their vision for Windows 8? Or that tablets up to know have been lacklustre? Partners seemingly didn’t really know about it.
- Is this a rush preview prior to Google I/O? Should Google have been doing it’s own hardware all along? Or is it Apple envy? Is it a fresh start – a new chapter as some has called it for Microsoft?
- Whole keynote was a bit odd – rushed, nervous presenters, hardware failing. But EVERYONE is talking about Microsoft
13:44 – Windows Phone 8
- NFC, dual- and quad-core support are all set, and Microsoft has shifted over to the NT kernel for Windows Phone 8 to make it even easier for developers to code for its mobile and desktop ecosystems. There’s a new Wallet hub, deeper integration of Skype, and an updated Start Screen interface with support for small tiles.
- Despite the improvements and hardware support, Microsoft will not release this particular update to existing devices. Instead, the company plans to rollout a Windows Phone 7.8 update separately that will bring some of Windows Phone 8’s user interface changes to existing devices, but many of the other improvements will require new hardware.
- Wow – so buy a Lumia right now and you won’t get Windows Phone 8. Rubbish.
- Launches this fall
- Shared core with Windows 8
- Manufacturers will be able to re-use the same hardware drivers they build for Windows 8 on Windows Phone 8.
- Multi core support, up to 720p screen size, micro SD support
- Outperforming all other phones on SunSpider test
- Mobile Wallet
- if the phone has NFC and a “secure SIM” from your carrier, you can make payments. Thats what carriers want, thats why they remove google wallet. allegedly
- Windows Phone 8 will include Nokia’s mapping technology – It will use NAVTEQ data, offline map support, map control for developers, and turn-by-turn directions.
- WP8 will support encryption (he mentions BitLocker), secure boot, LOB App deployment, Device Management, and Office.
- New start screen – Large “double-wide,” standard medium, and small. – a lot more content on the screen
- Lots of developer stuff – shared code etc.
- Deeply integrated VoIP.
- A Skype call feels just like a regular cell call — Skype can be fully integrated and feel like a phone call. The Caller ID even looks the same.
- Microsoft is hoping to do Siri one better by letting developers integrate speech response and recognition directly into apps for Windows Phone 8. APIs will be available for building in standard speech controls, which can then be run from the main search function. In a demo of Audible, which Microsoft partnered with for the voice features, the app was able to recognize a search for “Game of Thrones,” then pause it or skip to the next chapter based on voice prompts.
19:12 – Nokia to cut another 10000 jobs by end 2013
- Nokia will lay off 10,000 jobs globally and close plants by the end of 2013 in a further drive to cut costs, the company said on Thursday.
- The cuts mean that it will close some research and development projects, including in Ulm in Germany and Burnaby in Canada.
- The Finnish phone-maker said it would also close the manufacturing plant in Salo, but would keep its research and development operations there.
- Last year, Nokia announced more than 10,000 layoffs, aimed at cutting operating expenses by €1bn (£800m) by 2013.
20:06 – Amazon appstore launches in the UK
- the company has just announced that it is now taking submissions for apps to be distributed in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, with more countries to be added “in the near future.” Amazon already had a retail presence in all these countries, but this marks the first time an Appstore has opened outside the United States.
- The obvious question this raises is whether this is the first step to international distribution of the Kindle Fire, which relies heavily on Appstore content. For now, the Appstore provides an alternative to the Play Store for any Android users abroad. In time with the launch, Amazon is also tweaking its distribution agreement, giving developers 70 percent of list price rather than either 70 percent of the app’s sales price or 20 percent of list price.
21:48 – Online snooping scheme to costs Â£1.8 billion
- The government’s “online snooping” scheme to track email, Facebook, Twitter and other web use comes with an official pricetag of at least £1.8bn and an official warning that the figure may well prove to be an underestimate, the Home Office has revealed.
- Ministers have already agreed to pay all the costs of the scheme, which will require phone and internet companies to collect and store for 12 months the records of internet and mobile phone use in Britain for access by police and intelligence services.
- The Bill extends the range of data telecoms firms will have to store for up to 12 months
It will include for the first time details of messages sent on social media, webmail, voice calls over the internet and gaming in addition to emails and phone calls
The data includes the time, duration, originator and recipient of a communication and the location of the device from which it is made
It does not include the content of messages – what is being said. Officers will need a warrant to see that
But they will not need the permission of a judge to see details of the time and place of messages provided they are investigating a crime or protecting national security
Four bodies will have access to data: Police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs
Local authorities will face restrictions on the kinds of data they will be able to access
- Rachel Robinson, policy officer for Liberty, said: “It’s good that local councils won’t be able to watch the entire population but even law enforcement should be targeting suspects – not all citizens.
26:02 – Neverseconds is banned…then reprieved
- Martha Payne started a blog – a photo of each days school dinners
- Got lots of traction quickly – many were shocked at the quality of the food
- Support from Jamie Oliver, Nick Nairn etc
- Visits from local councillors and food seemed to improve – also told they could have unlimited fruit and veg
- Photo’s from around the world of other school dinners – Martha would post her lunch, rate it for health and taste and also a hair count
- Wednesday – photo in the papers of her and Nick Nairn – Time to fire the dinner ladies – a joke title as there was a pic of martha, nicj nairn and flames as she was cooking
- Thursday – headmistress calls Martha and says she can no longer take pics of her lunches – sad post on blog from Martha and her father. She’d raised £2000 for Marys Kitchen with the aim to raise £7000 and had just over 2 million hits
- Friday – picked up by media outlets, twitter and Facebook – outrage at banning a 9 year old.
- Lunchtime Friday – council leader overturns decision – Martha can blog again
- By Sunday, 5.5 million hits and over £75,000 raised for Marys kitchen
- Great blog – well done Martha
31:34 – Louise Mensch launches rival to Twitter
- Tory MP Louise Mensch has made her debut as an internetentrepreneur, with the launch of a new social network hoping to win over Twitter addicts “who find Twitter frustrating”.
Mensch launched the US-only social network, the almost eponymousMenshn.com, on Tuesday as a topic-based site allowing people to debate by subject rather than monitor a stream of often divergent tweets.
Mensch told the Guardian that the site was not named after her. “It’s a play on the word mention,” she said. “We like it and think it will work fine on a chat site”.
- Mensch added: “This is an idea that I’ve had since Christmas. I’ve been a passionate user of social media since the days of AOL chatrooms, and that was the inspiration really.” The parliamentarian launched the site in collaboration with Luke Bozier, a former Labour political adviser.
- Bozier told the Guardian: “We were both frustrated at the way Twitter doesn’t focus on topics. We both love Twitter, but if you want to focus on the election there’s no obvious place to do that online. Twitter is just too random. We wanted to encourage people to have conversations rather than broadcast their thoughts.”
- However, British fans of the high-profile MP for Corby must wait until later this summer to defect to Menshn, which is presently focused only on this year’s US election.
Mensch and Bozier have incorporated a private company, MenschBozier Ltd, for the fledgling website in which they are the only shareholders and own an equal stake.
- The Tory MP told TechCrunch that the site has attracted early interest from venture capitalists, although Bozier told the Guardian there are no plans to introduce advertising to the site or for it to be party political.
- Initially, Menshn will only host three strands for discussion: the US election, the Barack Obama campaign, and the Mitt Romney campaign. Users of the forum can join chats and subscribe or block others on the site.
- Popular posts will be displayed prominently on the site and new users automatically follow 100 people who Menshn defines as highly-rated. Not limited to 140 characters but 180
- This seems a dud already – surely it’s just forums? And forums where the topics are locked and limited
33:19 – BBC lets you rewind and restart live tv
- The BBC has unveiled a new feature for its iPlayer video on demand service that ensures you’ll never miss the beginning of a show again. Called Live Restart, the feature does just what its name implies — it lets you restart and rewind live TV shows. You don’t need to have been previously watching or recording the show in order to use the feature, and it goes back as far as two hours. “So, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or delayed on the tube and miss the critical start of your favourite BBC programme when you get in, with one click you can skip back to the beginning of that live programme,” explains Henry Webster, the BBC’s executive product manager in media services. The new feature is launching today on the PC, while the BBC says that the mobile, tablet, and smart TV versions of iPlayer will receive the functionality later on this year.
36:04 – Facebook buys Face.com
- After about a month of speculation, Facebook has finallyannounced its acquisition of Israeli facial recognition technologyFace.com.
- We’ve heard from multiple sources that the acquisition price was around $100m, with others reporting that the price was between $80m-$100m. This is absolutely not an acqui-hire, as Facebook will be taking full advantage of the company’s technology and the advancements it’s made on mobile — perhaps to finally include mobile tagging options for photos.
- As Face.com’s speciality is mobile facial recogition, it could potentially allow you to upload a photo to Facebook while on the go, instantly receive suggestions of whom to tag, and confirm the tags with one click.
37:07 – Worlds first tax on IE7
- The Australian online retailer Kogan.com has introduced the world’s first “tax” on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser.
- Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm’s site.
- Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in “rendering the website into a antique browser”.
- The charge is set to 6.8% – 0.1% for every month since the IE7 launch.
- Mr Kogan said it was unlikely that anyone would actually pay the charges. His goal is to encourage users to download a more up-to-date version of Internet Explorer or a different browser.
- Mr Kogan told the BBC his customers were very happy and he had received a lot of praise for his efforts.