Yes, I DO need to report a problem. His name is Merlin Mann and, do to his incessant Jean Grey conversation on B2W and Comic Shack, I’m now hemorrhaging cash in Marvel’s direction.
I do not take responsibility for this problem, nor the fact that, until two days ago, it has been 18 years since I last bought a comic. And they were all DC then.
John Roderick: My problem, in this instance, was you called, and I was looking at something else, and I reached for my headphones and I grabbed my coffee cup instead. And I almost poured it on top of my head. I almost put my coffee cup on my head like it was my headphones.
Merlin Mann: I don’t wanna go meta but could we please have a little bit of fan art of that? Maybe as a small animated GIF?
This just won everything.
My God. So great.
For all of Douglas’ critics, I wonder what their hair looked like at 16? When I was Douglas’ age, my mother was still giving me home perms. I’m lucky to still have a scalp.
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Douglas’ extraordinary Olympic moment was completely undermined by the criticism of hair, the social media blowhards have certainly distracted attention from Douglas’ triumph.
Somebody said this speech should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Somebody else. Wish I’d said that….
On the New Microsoft Surface
Last week Microsoft, in a rather Apple-like way, unveiled their new tablet PC calledSurface. It will be in two versions, the Intel “Pro” and the Arm “RT” versions.
But we really do not know that for sure because, outside of the demo units on stage, no reporter held and used a live, working unit. Some got to play with the fancy new keyboard (of which there are two versions, a touch-sensitive version and a mechanical version that actually depresses), others got to hold the unit itself, though it was powered off.
Due to this fact, there is a wave of Internet bloggers crying foul whenever a news or gadget website claims to have a “hands on” review of the Surface.
Paul Thurrott, WinSuperSite.com
I have a whole list of analysis for you to check out about the product, but first I would like you to read the most cynical piece on Microsoft from a pro-Microsoft tech blogger, Paul Thurrott, on his WinSuperSite.com website, which came a few days before the event launched.
First, Paul Thurrott in his Microsoft’s Mystery Miracle article:
What, exactly, is Microsoft going to announce today in Los Angeles?
Honestly, whatever Microsoft announces, it’s not going to change anything. If it’s a Microsoft- or Xbox-branded tablet, as many expect, it will probably make as much of a dent in that market as the Zune did in the MP3 player market. Ditto if it’s an Xbox entertainment services announcement, as I first expected, given the location of the invitation: Zune Marketplace and Music Pass never threatened iTunes for a second.
What I’m more interested in here is why this announcement has generated so much interest. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Then you find Paul Thurrott on one of my favorite podcasts, Windows Weekly (WW Episode 266) on the TWiT Network, saying that this was the most important news week for Microsoft of all time, probably more important than even the Windows 95 launch.
Nick Wingfield, NewYorkTimes.com
Nick Wingfield, with the New York Times, states that Microsoft was fed up with its hardwar partners not innovating enough in their devices, which makes Windows software on PCs, tablets, and phones seem subpar when compared to Apple products, who designs both the hardware and the software. Read the full article With Tablet, Microsoft Takes Aim at Hardware Missteps:
The incident was one of many over the last several years that gradually pushed Microsoft to create its own tablet computer, unveiled last week. The move was the most striking evidence yet of the friction between Microsoft and its partners on the hardware side of the PC business. It is the first time in Microsoft’s almost four-decade history that the company will sell its own computer hardware, competing directly with the PC makers that are the biggest customers for the Windows operating system.
Guy English, KickingBear.com
Why did this announcement seem so rushed? Guy English, in his The Frame Game article, points out the Apple WWDC announced both hardware and software updates two weeks ago (iOS 6, Retina MacBook Pro, etc.), and the Google I/O conference is coming up next week, so Microsoft needed to force itself into the conversation.
To me it’s no surprise that Microsoft didn’t release details of their battery life or price point — the goal wasn’t to pitch a product. The goal was to be part of the conversation.
I think they’ll succeed there. Not in the circles that are likely to read this piece, but with the larger and less tuned in audience. The people who buy a lot of things and read CNN and the BBC.
John Gruber, DaringFireball.net
John Gruber posts to his DaringFireball.net blog, Surface: Microsoft between a Rock and a Hardware Place, claiming that Microsoft, due to shifting PCs sales going to the tablet market (aka, the iPad market), Microsoft risked loosing a ton of revenue due to its hardware players not playing at Apple’s level. Their hands were forced and they had to release their own hardware.
Microsoft this week showed itself willing to do what was once unthinkable: design and sell its own PC hardware. This is a profound change of direction for Microsoft and the entire PC industry. The iPad, however, has been out for so long and has been so successful that no one seemed shocked by Microsoft’s announcement. But make no mistake: for better or for worse, Surface marks a watershed moment in PC industry history.
Horace Dediu, Asymco.com
Lastly, the numbers game that Horace Dediu does so well, is presented in his article on Asymco.com, Who Will Be Microsoft’s Tim Cook?
However, if Microsoft can sell a $400 (on average) device bundled with its software, and is able to get 20% margins then Microsoft is back to its $80 profit per device sold. This, I believe, is a large part of the practical motivation behind the Surface product.
The challenge for Microsoft therefore becomes to build hundreds of millions of these devices. Every year. Sounds like they need a Tim Cook to run it.