Simon Bisson

Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.

Mary Branscombe

Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.

Latest Posts

Welcome to the IT service ER

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with Jeff Cobb, SVP, Strategy, at CAworld to talk about the company’s approach to what it calls "service assurance", focusing on how large organisations own and operate IT.As the conversation went on I began to get an image of the modern service desk as the IT equivalent of an ER department at a busy hospital, with teams of staff handling triage, stabilising patients and then passing them on to specialised departments or releasing them.

November 15, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


From Chore to Core

IT isn’t a glamour career. To be honest, most IT professionals spend their time keeping business systems running, fixing problems and doing what's essentially grunt work – instead of working on enhancements to core business systems, pioneering new technologies, and giving their employers the business advantages they need to win in what's one of the worst business climates in living memory.

November 13, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Mobile Flash ISN'T dead

To be honest, Adobe's announcement that its future mobile strategy was going to be focused on HTML5 and on AIR wasn't a surprise. Much of the new strategy had been telegraphed a month or so ago at its MAX conference, where mobile AIR applications got top billing alongside the company's purchase of PhoneGap developers Nitobi.

November 9, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Two ways to be big in smartphones: promos and patents

Samsung may be the current leader in global phone sales but both Microsoft and Huawei are gunning for a leading spot and both companies spent yesterday trying to get big in phones - Microsoft with fun and Huawei by hinting it could pledge patents to Android.Microsoft went big with Mango - literally, and with the charm and whimsy that's fast becoming the hallmark of Windows Phone; by building a giant phone in a New York park with large video screens for the Start screen tiles.

November 7, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


How Siri and Windows Phone voice recognition differ

There's a slightly weird, slightly sad video for the TellMe service that Microsoft bought, merged into its own voice recognition offerings and used for the voice recognition, control and search on Windows Phone. It shows a Siri-style service that fast-forwards a couple of gal pals through planning and celebrating a wedding - only with the kind of really long-term interactions you need to accomplish anything more complex than a Web search or putting an appointment in the diary.

November 4, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Courier was designed for me; and I didn't believe in it

Knowing what Microsoft cares about, I worked out what had killed Courier a few months ago and I was fascinated to see it confirmed by Cnet's story about the secret history of the project.Chatting about a (completely different, non-Microsoft) single-purpose business tablet device, one of the developers bemoaned the way users of their prototype loved the way it did the one thing it did so well - and then asked if they could read their email on it.

November 1, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Nokia Lumia is pitch perfect for 20 somethings

The fact that Nokia has delivered exactly what it needs to in order to succeed in selling lots of Windows Phone handsets everywhere except the US) and - apart from an intriguing hint about contextual services - not a ringtone more isn't a bad thing. In fact it's a very smart business decision; investing in overly complicated, overly expensive handsets isn't the way to make money or gain market share - just attention in gadget blogs.

October 27, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe

1 Comment

Windows isn't the only OS that cares about pens

But it might be the only OS with the patent to do pens the right way…One of the highlights of Adobe's MAX developer conference this year was Photoshop Touch; a tablet application, initially for Android but coming soon for iPad, that's a real application with powerful features. Equally interesting was the device Adobe was demonstrating it on - a prototype Samsung Galaxy Tab with the kind of pressure-sensitive Wacom pen that's been in Tablet PCs for years.

October 17, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe