How many tweets does it take to send Christmas wishes? The Microsoft Twitter stream for the Saks 5th Avenue window display is up to 298,000 messages.
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Born on the Channel Island of Jersey, Simon moved to the UK to attend the University of Bath where he studied electrical and electronic engineering. Since then a varied career has included being part of the team building the world's first solid state 30KW HF radio transmitter, writing electromagnetic modelling software for railguns, and testing the first ADSL equipment in the UK. He also built one the UK's first national ISPs, before spending several years developing architectures for large online services for many major brands. For the last decade he's been a freelance writer, specialising in enterprise technologies and development. He works with his wife and writing partner Mary Branscombe from a small house in south west London, or from anywhere there's a WiFi signal and a place for a laptop.
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.
Every time I sign in to Outlook, I get a credential dialog asking for my password – not for Outlook but for publishing my calendar online. After typing in my Windows Live ID details six times in a row and seeing the dialog reappear I settled for just clicking cancel; after doing that a few dozen times (I don’t restart Outlook very often), I thought I’d see if I could work out why.
We’re all used to applications that are at best frustrating, and at worst infuriating. They just don’t seem to do what we want, when we want it.
Will Bing or Google make it easier to find out? We’re off to New York for some meetings and the annual Strategic News Service predictions event and I’m wondering what to pack: raincoat or down jacket?
Not surprisingly, the Microsoft Stores run on Windows. Over the last few months Apple has been switching from using Windows CE handhelds to modified iPod Touches for its EasyPay system in the Apple Store, where you don't have to walk up to a till to buy something.
Ten years ago I went into a Microsoft Store.It was a wide open modern space, with wooden floors and low tables showcasing Microsoft products.
What's an OS for? Thanks to Rupert Murdoch, Google has spent most of the time it probably wanted to be talking about Chrome discussing the value of paid content on the Web; but that's actually an awful lot of what Chrome is really for.
It’s time to state the plain truth, something that’s being hidden from us by special effects and shiny chrome: Computing as we know it is dead. We’re working with zombie operating systems that lurch in search of fresh cycles on top of the rotting corpse of Moore’s Law.
Microsoft only used the codename Oslo once in the PDC keynotes today, talking about SQL Server Modelling Services with the throwaway reference that "you may have heard this called the Oslo repository ". Is that Oslo disappearing into SQL Server the way WinFS did?
Microsoft is trying to marry SharePoint admin with FAST’s search expertise for manageable search.At the SharePoint conference last month we got more details about the new Fast Search for SharePoint offerings – the first integration of the industry-leading search technology it gained with last year’s acquisition of FAST.
Most of the time, computers sit there waiting for you to ask them to do something. Phones tell you when they have something you care about.
What’s the future of the web?On one side there’s Flash and Silverlight and the rich internet applications world, which is working on ways of taking the web outside the browser and onto the desktop, where it “lights up” applications and plugs them into a connected world of APIs and services.
When I picked up the ultra-thin Sony VAIO X this summer, I actually did a double-take; it was so light I had a momentary impression that local gravity had failed. It was so light, when I went to pick it up I ended up jerking it into the air because I'd expected something twice the weight.
The Arizona supreme court has just decided that the metadata of a document is governed by the same rules as the document. If the metadata is attached to a public record, then the metadata too is a public record; so if, as a police officer disciplined after blowing the whistle on colleagues, you ask for your performance results then you should get metadata like who wrote them and when so you can prove whether they were written before or after you made yourself unpopular.
When VMware’s main competition was a little company called Connectix (100 people to VMware’s 200), the two virtualisation teams were best enemies; staring each other down, going head to head and planning to crush the opposition and own the market.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Windows 10, OneDrive sync and the art of difficult conversations
- 2 Windows 8.1 on a Surface: Making a good device even better
- 3 Handy travel tech: Batteries, wireless charging and USBs
- 4 OneDrive's 1TB cloud storage: The important details
- 5 Hands on with Nokia's Lumia 920, 720 and 520: Which takes the best pictures