My name is Bill, I am a recent graduate in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University and this is a place for me to post or give my 2 cents on the fascinating world of technology. I am now working for a pretty big technology related company whose name I will leave out just to avoid any possible complications, however far-fetched them happening may be. Music gets included from time to time as well.

November 28, 2012 10:07 pm

Still Waiting for a PRO: An Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

    A little over 5 months ago, you made an announcement that made me more excited than any human should be for an inanimate object.  With the Surface came the possibility of what I had been waiting at least a year for.  While others have come to love these glorified transitional products we call tablets, I maintain my position as a stubborn bastard and will settle for nothing less than a fully-realized PC/laptop replacement.  I dream of the day that I can drive down the road to the local coffee shop, order a green tea and sit down not to merely watch youtube and peruse the internet in the presence of the public hoping some cute girl will walk by and against all odds comment on my excellent taste that she would have never noticed on my tragically not-quite-large-enough phone screen, but to do actual work.  I want to put together that spreadsheet I couldn’t finish at the office, go through my project plan as I sip on my hot beverage, make a half-hearted attempt at designing an android app on the side.  I believe it is time that we have both the portability of a tablet with the FULL functionality of the clunky laptop my company so foolishly entrusted to my care.

     To give some more background, a little about myself.  I am a budding IT professional 2 years removed from college.  By no means do I so much as entertain the idea that I’m any kind of technical wizard (professionally the most technical task I have completed is writing a script that creates a CSV file with the sizes of all files in a directory) but I don’t think it would be narcissistic of me to assume that I understand more about technology than the average user.  I do a fair amount of research and know how to apply these tools to what I need to get done.  As such a user, I was immensely excited to read about the Surface tablet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I was fully aware of the difference between the Surface and the Surface Pro.  I even knew that the plan from the beginning was for the Surface Pro to debut 3 months after the Surface.  While it bugged me that I would have to spend an extra 90 days with the bruised and battered soldier of a PC I am currently typing this on, I was fully expecting the wait to pay off.  Sadly I can no longer say I maintain such expectations, and you seem to be doing nothing to convince me otherwise.

     Last weekend, I made my way down to the one regional mall containing a Microsoft store.  This is made more impressive by the fact that I live closer to 3 other major shopping malls.  As I said, I have been fully aware of the differences between the Surface and the Surface Pro, but this also meant that I was aware of how good of a preview the Surface would give me.  Now don’t get me wrong, as promised the Surface is a beautiful piece of technology.  I felt like a child again playing with the magnetic simplicities of the snap-on keyboard and awesome stand.  Unlike many I actually love the interface of Windows 8 and by extension Windows RT.  However, it became more obvious by the minute that a device of this size, this rigidity and this keyboard could never become the object of all of my computing needs.  If I am to believe everything I have found going through the tech blogs for the past 5 months all of these features will be the exact same on the Pro model.  Perhaps my biggest annoyance however was the lack of knowledge by the staff.  This certainly isn’t there fault, it’s yours for not informing them enough to handle those that have so patiently waited.

     I am now at an impasse.  I see many hybrid tablets and superlight touchscreen ultrabooks with all the capabilities I am looking for available.  While I was prepared to wait just a little longer to see this baby fully-realized, I was also expecting to know quite a bit more about it at this point.  At the very least I would have liked to know the price of the device I have seeked out every detail about by this point.  While the size is admittedly another dealbreaker, should I be able to buy the Surface Pro in a slightly larger size and a price under $900, I would more than gladly wait through this holiday season to make my ultimate acquisition.  Honestly, I might even drop the size issue if the price were to be as low as the rumors have some believing.  Unfortunately, not even your store staff can give me assurance on these issues and as such may be driving me to another device by a different company.  While I am probably not the most average of consumers, chances are most of those waiting specifically for the Surface Pro are thinking similarly to me. 

     The purpose of this letter is not so much to criticize your product as much as how you have campaigned it.  I am loving my brief interactions with Windows 8 and most of my qualms with Surface RT are personal preference rather than critical issues.  But like the english language, Windows is the choice of business.  I believe part of the reason you have taken such a drastic change with your strategy as of late is to make sure your company continues to see growth.  If you do not keep current and future leaders such as myself in the loop, this will not be your result.



September 12, 2012 12:52 am May 24, 2012 1:26 pm
Facebook IPO Post Mortem – Killer – but not for the reasons you think ! « blog maverick

Mark Cuban may be a self-absorbed jerk, but the man certainly understands what he is doing. For me, the key issue he listed was number 4.

Mobile is going to crush Facebook. The logic for Facebook’s price decline is that they have a problem in mobile. They can’t offer all the games they can in a browser. They can’t offer the same ads or branding opportunities. All true.

From the Wall Street Journal : ‘As more people gravitate to smartphones and tablets, they’re increasingly forgoing the desktop to the access the Web. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of U.S. adults who accessed the Internet from PCs daily grew to 62% from 54%. In the same period, the percentage of daily mobile Internet users rocketed to 26% from 4%, according to Forrester Research.

‘People see this modality of consumption shifting from the PC to mobile,’ said Matt Murphy, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. ‘On top of that, mobile feels like it’s much more the kind of wide open that anybody can win kind of arena.’

All true as well.

However the same is absolutely true for every ad driven internet site. They face limitations in what they can offer on mobile vs what they can offer through a PC brower. Look at the Google search results on mobile. No where near the number of results. Thats fewer click and CPM opportunities and ZERO display ad opportunities. Of course Google has Android, but that still isn’t generating much , if any revenue for them and it isnt currently designed to.

And then lets not forget Youtube. Everyone is supposed to be dumping TV and heading to video right ? Well how can that be if most online consumption is headed to mobile ? With so few mobile users having unlimited data plans, and that number most likely declining, then what is Youtube going to do when users start complaining and going nuts over the fact that they are having to pay for the data they use to watch Youtube mobile ads ? How many youtube ads have you seen on a mobile device lately ?

Which leads to a much broader question. Just what percentage of PC Online usage will mobile displace ? Is it feasible that people will ‘cut the broadband cord’ and live exclusively off of their mobile internet access ? Why not use your mobile as an in home hotspot rather than paying for 2 internet connections ? If you avoid streaming video and downloads its easy to stay within your caps. Do you know anyone that has cut their broadband access to go exclusively mobile internet ?

Bottom line, if you think mobile will displace online usage from PCs then you should immediately short Google and other ad plays and buy TV stations and networks. If you can’t buy an ad effectively on mobile and no one is using a PC to connect to the internet any more, then the only way to reach an audience is going to be via good old tv. And all that over the top video noise, forgettabout it.

I wonder what Netflix thinks about mobile vs pc online consumption ?”

May 18, 2012 12:09 pm
Facebook's IPO and the new tech bubble | Michael Wolff | Comment is free |

I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone discuss the positive aspects of a bubble before. It kind of makes sense as a lot of these social media companies are starting to develop tools that fit in more with the definition of web 3.0.