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

To the cloud! Or not...

The notion that iCloud wants to displace the centre of gravity computing from full-fat personal computers (AKA smart clients) to lightweight personal devices that are always connected and significantly locked down in various ways (once known as dumb terminals and thin clients, now in sexy cases and with physical advantages derived in part from the benefits of lock down) may well be right. That doesn't mean it will work.

June 8, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Staffing up for the cloud future

The last paragraph of my last blog post glossed over perhaps the most important part of the change in Microsoft's data centre strategy - the fact that it's hiring a new cadre of cloud data centre engineers with internet scale experience, bringing in staff who've been at companies that were built at cloud scale from the start; from Amazon, from Google, and from Facebook.

June 6, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Windows 8 will run Windows apps, even on ARM (kind of)

Windows has to be all things to all people, and that causes fights. The fights that the Windows 8 demos shown this week are about old versus new, thin versus rich, touch versus mouse, innovation versus legacy investment - and they're pretty much all missing the point.

June 2, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Ride ‘em hot and fast

The high deserts of Oregon and Washington may have inspired many a cowboy movie, but they’re finding a new role in the fast growing world of high capacity data centres.

May 31, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Worrying too much about privacy? (or not enough?)

I'm privacy minded. Perhaps a little obsessively; after all, I have very distinctive hair and I regularly hand out business cards with my address, email address and phone number on and our office number is in lots of journalist contact databases available commercially - yet I use a JavaScript obfuscator to stop spambots scraping my email address from our Web site and never publish photos showing the inside of our office.

May 26, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe

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Chromebooks for business: more details

If you've read what Google's Rajen Sheth had to say about Chromebooks for business, you may be interested in some extra details he gave us about how the monthly subscription scheme will work - and some colourful ways he found of explaining what Google sees as the advantage of a Chromebook.What would happen if a business wanted to cancel the three year contract?

May 24, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


AppFabric, tailoring the Cloud.

We’ve spent the last week at Microsoft’s TechEd 2011 conference. Like previous years this wasn’t an event for big news stories, more a week-long university, full of deep dives into existing technologies, and a chance to see how tools and technologies from all parts of the Redmond giant fit and work together.

May 20, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


What Chromebooks really mean for Windows

For businesses, Chromebooks aren't about what you get - they're about what's left out. The knee jerk response is 'the operating system' (it's Linux underneath but you'll never see it) but the omission that appealed to most of the businesses talking up Chromebooks at Google IO is complexity.

May 16, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe


Democratising machine learning; ask the right questions

Big data - turning masses of data into useful information - is by definition too big to handle individually. You don't care what speed five drivers are doing around the M25 - you care what speed 5,000 drivers are travelling at and whether the 5,000 travellers who drove the same route yesterday and the same day last week and the same day last month went faster or slower so you know if there's something unusual about the traffic.

May 11, 2011 by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe