Posts Tagged Auckland
I sent my dad shopping for a new laptop the other day and discovered something that I didn’t expect. We are less than two months away from the launch of Windows 8, despite this there are no notebooks currently on offer that give a Windows 8 specific hardware experience. The local computer store stocked a large range of notebooks of all sizes and capabilities, however the only mention of Windows 8 was the discounted upgrade on offer if you purchased a Windows 7 equipped machine today.
His previous notebook was an Acer Ultra-Portable, a 14″ machine with an optical drive, it was light and portable. The obvious replacement would have to be a Ultrabook of some description. After some time looking through the range of Ultrabooks available from the usual suspects; Acer, Sony, Samsung etc it wasn’t surprising that he ended up in the price range of Apple MacBooks. The purchase became obvious and dad became the proud owner of his first Mac. Having been a Windows user for years and not being one for change I went ahead and installed Boot Camp using the default Apple Boot Camp installer. The process was painless and a short while later he was up and running with Windows 7 just as he was with his old notebook. With one important difference…. the trackpad, it was awesome! The feel and accuracy of the track pad, coupled with the drivers supplied by Apple made the experience vastly improved over any other trackpad I had used in the past.
And then came the realisation, with Windows 8 on the horizon there is yet to be a defining hardware experience for the use of what was known as “Metro”, the tiled interface of Windows 8. Did Apple just fill that void? With the multi-touch trackpad giving accuracy and a high quality experience with Windows 7…. the Windows 8 experience stands to be one of the best, lending itself to a gesture based interaction, and a plus… without the awkward touch interaction of a screen that is at 45 degrees or so to your keyboard… the trackpad on the MacBook could be the best Windows 8 experience so far!
Upon its release I will be introducing dad to Windows 8, he already uses an iPad and is used to the app-centric world of iOS, Windows 8 may well be a step in the right direction for him.
Today it was announced by Microsoft that they are to drop the price of the Office 365 products to new and renewing customers. The price drop is around 20% on all subscriptions listed on their site. This doesn’t come as a surprise, not long after the launch of the predecessor to Office 365 (BPOS) Business Productivity Online Suite, the price was cut in half. The explanation for the reduction in price is quoted by Microsoft to come from the increase in efficiency within the systems that run the platform, but its simpler than that…
Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that Google Apps is a target for their Office 365 offering and price is usually one of the biggest talking points when the two are compared. Even with a large customer spending many millions of dollars on IT infrastructure every year a dollar makes a difference. The price conversation just got a whole lot easier for Microsoft, throw in the total cost of deployment and you will find that there is little between the two.
The message is clear, Microsoft are in the cloud game for keeps and the longer they remain there the better they will get at it. The support is second to none, I have been working through a few customer issues recently and think that it could put a lot of IT firms with SLAs to shame. The interface in Office 365 is slick and will only get better.
With Windows 8 and the next version of Office on the horizon the cloud strategy held by Microsoft becomes even more relevant, the integration with the desktop will become tighter and sooner or later cloud will become the way you work…