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Should Office for iPad be free?

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft’s pricing strategy is when they release Office on the iPad soon. Already talk of the release has positively affected their share price, so it’s all down to their release strategy – will they charge for it, will they require an Office 365 subscription, or will it perhaps, be free?

I’m dreading Microsoft forcing users into having an Office 365, not because I’m against a subscription (I personally have tons of monthly subscriptions for all the tools I use), but rather because it will significantly decrease the appeal down to already existing Office 365 users. Microsoft can either see the iPad release as:

A way to drive Microsoft usage, […]

OneNote for Mac

I’m gonna take back something I said in a recent post about Microsoft’s OneNote strategy. In that post I said I reckon hardly anyone would use OneNote for Mac. But I’m rethinking that today, after trying the new OneNote for Mac release. Here’s why:

Not the Free part (although that is good), but the availability. With Microsoft putting in the effort to make OneNote available on every device, they’ve removed the biggest hurdle I had to embracing their stuff: fear of future unavailability. With that clear device coverage I know I can confidently use OneNote and not have any issues when/if I change my OS in the future. Currently I’m on Mac and iOS devices, but […]


Mozilla’s announcement last week that they are mothballing their Metro-specific version of Firefox for Windows 8 is pretty much a non-event in my mind. Although people will try to read into it all kinds of things (just take a look at the comments), surely it’s just an example of good resource allocation based on data. The data said this particular implementation wasn’t being used. So instead they’ll focus their resources on other areas. Seems wise to me. If only more companies/product departments/teams did this!

However, that’s not to say the announcement isn’t interesting for other reasons. The main thing for me is it shows just how attached everyone still is to the term ‘Metro’ – […]

Microsoft Office and non-Windows platforms

Good to hear that Microsoft is supposably releasing an updated version of Office for Mac later this year. When I switched to Mac a little over a year ago, I thought I’d spend most of my time running Windows (eg on Parallels), but I actually found myself surprisingly content with the Mac OS. Pretty much everything I do now runs in the browser, with the exception of a few programs: Word and Excel being the main ones.

No matter how much I turn to Google, Apple and a bunch of other vendors for my main tools (and frankly most of my life runs on something Google related now), Microsoft still remains there, kept in by […]

Windows 8.1 Free Edition experiments

A free version of Windows 8.1? Perhaps. Gotta say that I think the idea of Microsoft experimenting with vastly different pricing models is a good idea. Experiment away. Some good thoughts here.

The issue of course will be setting the balance between forcing apps and Bing bars and other shite on users, as opposed to just letting them get used to (and hopefully liking) the stigma-ridden version that Windows 8 has become. Penetration is a key metric of course, but user love is far more important. Challenging times, but I’ve got faith in Satya.

Microsoft, Community Engagement and Being an Underdog

Here’s a good example of what Microsoft should be doing more of – constructively engaging with the ‘haters’ on a prominent The Verge post about the recent Bing for Schools initiative. Watch and learn from Matt Wallaert as he skilfully changes the whole tone of the comment stream from what could have turned into the usual MS hate-fest.

Read the story, and then read the comments. If you’re like me, then perhaps your first thought was that Microsoft, by giving away Surface RTs to schools (or, more correctly, allowing schools to ‘earn’ them), had found a neat way to hide even more Surface RT losses – just pop them in the Bing ‘promotions expense’ bucket. I mean, Bing […]

Social Intent

Back in 1971 Herbert A Simon noted the rising abundance of information and, in turn, the scarcity of attention:
…in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
His views are likely the foundation of what we refer to now as the attention economy.

If we agree with the notion (and I do) that attention is one of our scarcest resources, then it […]

Bing It On

Definitely one for this year’s ‘the horse has bolted’ award – Microsoft in their wisdom decided to run a Search Engine taste test. The so-called BingItOn campaign looks like it’s finished now (BingItOn links all redirect back to Bing – with 302s no less) but not before Microsoft managed to announce the amazing result that people prefer Bing results 2 to 1 over Google. I was hoping for some further updates, but the (perhaps ironically named) Search Quality blog is yet to deliver…

It’s a sad day when Bing wastes money like this, especially when Michael Kordahi did the same thing so much better back in 2009, and RustyBrick did a similar thing back in […]

Microsoft Announces new language: Db.NET

In a perhaps unsurprising move, Microsoft has chosen this Sunday to announce their latest .NET language: Db.NET
The release comes a day prior to the conference commencing in Seattle on Monday.

Dubbed as vNext.NET the language features a number of key enhancements including the new Ostinato Framework,  Morendo Garbage Collection systems and Cantando Installer.


Read more about Db on the Next Language site, including the overview, tools and history of it’s development.

Insight into how Microsoft do daily stand-ups (Scrum meetings)

It’s always interesting to see how other people do things. Which is why I really like this video of the Microsoft TFS Agile team doing a daily stand-up.

Adam Cogan was able to shoot a quick video with the team whilst visiting them recently. There’s a short version and a long version (embedded below) based on his rules about daily stand-ups. It’s worth watching the full 12 minute long version. The interesting stuff starts around 1:46 (skip the guff with Adam at the start – he won’t like me saying that, but hey, he’s a good friend so I can get away with).

It’ll be interesting to see how people respond to this. Inevitably there […]

By |February 24th, 2012|Microsoft, TFS|2 Comments