OPINION: Our reporter in the United States takes time out from pounding 4th July BBQs to mull this week’s happenings in the world of tech. Chris Smith looks at Microsoft’s decision to stagger the Windows 10 launch and how car and watch makers are fighting back against tech’s big hitters.
Windows 10 can’t fail, so Microsoft is right to be cautious with rollout
Many folks eager to get their paws on Windows 10 will be waiting a bit longer than the official July 29 release date. That’s because Microsoft is planning a staggered launch, which is somewhat unusual for a major OS.
I’m more than OK with this decision. In fact it seems like a very good idea.
Microsoft, above all else, must ensure a smooth, drama-free launch for Windows 10. The company has come too far since the Windows 8 debacle for any day-one issue to set a negative tone and damage the perception of its crucial new platform.
By rolling out to users to Insiders first, Microsoft has a built-in, sympathetic community that’s used to dealing with bugs and flaws. With a small sample size Redmond can, in its own words, “refine the experience,” before sending Windows 10 out to more and more people. Quality control is everything here.
This tactic will, of course, mean Microsoft is surrendering the chance to make headlines with record download numbers and high early adoption rates, but these are secondary concerns.
What matters is the long-term health of the platform. As a company, Microsoft will go as far as Windows 10 can take it. Failure is not an option.
However small the likelihood of download, installation and early usage issues, it’s just not worth taking the chance of undoing all of the great work it has done to get to this point.
Perhaps in the bombastic Steve Ballmer’s era, the firm would have thrown caution to the wind, but this is a more considered thoughtful Microsoft; one that looks beyond the end of its nose and at the bigger picture.
Windows 10 is here for the long haul. What’s a few couple more weeks to make sure it’s as perfect as perfect can be when it hits consumers?
Casio is going to make a(nother) smartwatch.
Casio is entering the smartwatch game next year, but we should really say re-entering it! The Japanese firm has been making smartwatches since Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak were piddling around with circuit boards in a California garage.
The 1974 Casiotron was the first watch to have an automated calendar function, while the C-80 Calculator Watch remains an icon to this very day! 30 years ago the firm released the Databank series which enabled wearers to store phone numbers and five years later the company rocked out the BM-100WJ, which was able to predict the weather thanks to the barometer. Casio has also been busting out Bluetooth-enabled watches enabling music controls from iOS and Android since 2011.
I’m excited to see whether the firm can adapt to the new era and reclaim some of its territory from tech’s marauding big hitters. It certainly shouldn’t sit back and let Apple, Google, Samsung and co. take food from its plate.
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Chevy gets savvy and smart cars are doing fine without Apple and Google
Speaking of tech giants muscling in on other people’s territory, this is a time when car manufactures really have to be on their toes isn’t it?
I loved this week’s news from Chevrolet of an in-car cooling and wireless charging solution for its 2016 models. The system is being built to tackle over-heating caused by processor-intensive activities like music streaming, navigation and hands-free calling via Bluetooth.
That’s exactly the kind of innovation that’ll keep the likes of Chevy out in front of consumer needs before the likes of Apple and Google bring all of their UX nous to four wheels. If I were in charge of a major auto maker I’d be bringing on board as much as Silicon Valley’s top talent as I could get my hands on.
“Free at last, free at last, 0800 is free at last”
When the focus is on such break-neck progress all of the time some of the little things tend to get left behind. Like paying for 0800 and 0808 numbers when calling from our mobile phones for example. What was all that about?
Thankfully, that ridiculous oversight was fixed this week thanks to Ofcom, in what has been a good couple of weeks for mobile fees. Last week roaming fees across the EU were wiped out for good. Sometimes it takes a while with these things, but it’s good to know we get there eventually.