Saturday, 26 February 2011

Google connects to Microsoft Office - finally!

Of course there is 'bait & switch' here: Microsoft's business model is predicated on having fat desktops with far too much functionality/complexity/resource utilisation. Google's business model is for you to stick everything on the web, where it has to be simpler, but also less secure and, yes, more exposed to Google's advertising.

The difference is that Microsoft's web offerings still expect you to use (== purchase) Microsoft desktop technologies (at least the browser, which means the OS too, these days). Google's offerings have no such limitations and are typically free. So why shouldn't they try to connect them to Microsoft's bloatware?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The pace of mobile tech

I heard about the LG Optimus 2x phone at CES in early January. It caught my eye because I have an LG Optimus 1 and it's reasonably good, but fatally flawed by a crap touchscreen (resistive, rather than capacitative). I got it because it was just over 100 GBP unlocked for a fully-fledged Android smartphone. Why unlocked? Because I live in a land where Blackberries are considered smartphones and cost as much.

So I was watching these videos of the Optimus 2x and it struck me: there are now phones that can record HD video, and you can plug into your giant flat TV and watch the HD video. Or play an HD video game. Or browse the internet. Or make video calls. So: screw DVD, blueray and set-top boxes. Screw consoles. Screw video conferencing. Do you remember before the internet, when PCs were natty little workhorses, with the occasional nifty game, like Wolfenstein 3D? Well, that's where they're going again: back to the workplace.

Personal Computers (truly personal) are now cigarette pack-sized touchscreens with optional keyboards and big screens. I don't want an iPad, or any tablet. I want a paper-light 10" touchscreen that I can snugly dock my phone to. And optionally plug a keyboard or mouse into. Finally, the size constraint of the technology is fast becoming the user's physical interactions - our fingers are only so small, and nobody can depend on styli. Touch is just the beginning: it's just a brittle surface and it's already becoming a constraint.

So that's all happened in, what, 5 years? My daughter's 4. What the hell am I going to be buying her when she's 14? The mind boggles..!