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Surface RT: One Billion in the Hole
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Jul 19, 2013, 01:17 PM
 
http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57594475-75/microsofts-$900m-surface-rt-write-down-what-happened/

Oopsie.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 01:18 PM
 
It's so bad, the hamster doesn't even want to auto-link it.

Microsoft's $900M Surface RT write-down: What happened? | Microsoft - CNET News
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 01:29 PM
 
Newsposter had something similar to this yesterday. My response is the same.

Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Windows RT tablets were just premature.

As Windows 8 grows in use and popularity, primarily by people upgrading and students buying new machines when the school year starts, we'll see more Metro apps. Metro apps are what makes Windows RT a viable mobile OS.

The Nintendo 3DS didn't sell for shit the first year it was on the market, because there were no good games for it. The Wii U is suffering right now for the same reason. If there aren't compelling apps for a mobile device, the only people buying that device are geeks and early adopters. It's just a matter of time before there are enough good Metro apps to prompt people to buy an RT tablet.
Microsoft makes enough money that they can afford to take a hit like this while they work out remaining kinks. Windows 8 RT has a lot of potential. So did WebOS. The benefit Microsoft has that HP did not is that they have put in place a development framework that allows devs to make a single application that runs on both mobile devices and traditional computers.

I think Microsoft missed by releasing Office 2013 as a non-Metro app. If they can get their shit together and release a new version of Office that provides both a desktop and a mobile experience in a single Metro app, they'll have a killer suite on their hands.

For instance: an Outlook interface that is clean and touch-friendly, but can convert to your standard Outlook UI (e.g. 2013 style) by docking your Windows 8 RT tablet into a keyboard/mouse/monitor dock. One piece of hardware, multiple scenarios, and only one place to worry about storing your data.

I just put Windows 8 on my laptop this week after replacing my hard drive with an SSD. Metro has a lot of potential but, unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of killer apps yet. Google has so far refused to make any Metro-native apps, it would seem, so that's a big part of it. The other problem is that Metro Mail kinda sucks with Gmail and Outlook has yet to be turned Metro.

We shall see.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 01:40 PM
 
What's interesting is MS is famous for their creative bookkeeping. Normally, they'd spread this out over a few quarters. It's a surprise they just dropped a lump sum like that.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 02:15 PM
 
Folks don't want their tablets to act like a PC, they want them to act like mobile devices (iOS and/or Android). Also, Win8 is still too bloated and physical HW restrictions keep it from running very smoothly.
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Jul 19, 2013, 03:40 PM
 
Honestly I think the biggest problem is the fact that it's a SHIT tablet and a SHIT laptop.

It's too thick and annoying to use compared to an iPad, and the screen flops over without a special stand so you can't use it like a laptop. It's just some marketing wetdream of feature creep and buzzwords that wasn't thought out in terms of how people actually want to use something.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 04:04 PM
 
The Surface RT is a pretty crappy tablet. IIRC Microsoft was pretty open about it being a proof-of-concept product. Windows RT tablets from other manufacturers (like Samsung) are significantly sexier and more functional all-around.

I rather like the idea of software that can adapt between tablet paradigm and desktop/laptop paradigm seamlessly.

So far I am liking Windows 8 quite a bit. My biggest complaint is the sidebar stuff on the left and right, but 8.1 apparently fixes that.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 08:14 PM
 
ProTip: don't make extra, proof-of-concept, crappeh tablets to the tune of one billion dollars.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 09:07 PM
 
Also note, even if the apps arrive, it's not going to make the Surface from stop sucking.

Key difference between it and the 3DS.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 09:09 PM
 
Someone needs to put a crown of thorns around the Windows logo and write "Pray" underneath.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 09:15 PM
 
I honestly think its time to cut their losses on Windows as a desktop client and concentrate on Office (in particular for iOS). Being able to dock your iPhone with a display, keyboard and mouse and run desktop class versions of Word, Excel and Outlook would sell like crazy.
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Jul 19, 2013, 09:35 PM
 
FWIW, Office already earns more for them than Windows.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Also note, even if the apps arrive, it's not going to make the Surface from stop sucking.

Key difference between it and the 3DS.
Microsoft isn't really a hardware manufacturer, though, aside from the xbox and xbox 360, and those are an entirely different line of business in the company.

There are other Windows 8 RT tablets out there that are much more compelling than the Surface on the hardware side. The missing piece are really great Metro apps.

For instance: looked for a Metro SSH client app just to see what was out there to replace Putty. Not a single thing, except for a few non-free apps.

Windows RT won't be viable until real apps are ported to Metro.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I honestly think its time to cut their losses on Windows as a desktop client and concentrate on Office (in particular for iOS). Being able to dock your iPhone with a display, keyboard and mouse and run desktop class versions of Word, Excel and Outlook would sell like crazy.
I've been pointing this out for months now.

A single device that docks and turns into a desktop environment. Undock, and it turns into a mobile environment. No need for the cloud if you don't want it, only one license required for an application, and a seamless experience. It's just that I don't think Apple's going to be the one to do this - especially not if they're intent on keeping OS X and iOS on different playgrounds entirely.

The point of the Metro SDK is that it allows this scenario to be possible - one app, multiple scenarios.

Also: WRT "cutting their losses" and discontinuing Windows:

OS X is not a viable enterprise operating system. Period. Its integration with Active Directory, which just about every business on the freaking planet uses now, is pretty dismal. No business, large or small, wants to return to where we were in the early 90s, with Novell NetWare, Active Directory, and other offshoots trying to compete. We have a standard. It would cost millions or more for a large business to migrate away from that environment.

And, as smart card use ramps up (it's happening, and not just in the federal government in the US), OS X has made itself irrelevant by completely removing support for native smart card authentication.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 10:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Microsoft isn't really a hardware manufacturer, though, aside from the xbox and xbox 360, and those are an entirely different line of business in the company.

There are other Windows 8 RT tablets out there that are much more compelling than the Surface on the hardware side. The missing piece are really great Metro apps.

For instance: looked for a Metro SSH client app just to see what was out there to replace Putty. Not a single thing, except for a few non-free apps.

Windows RT won't be viable until real apps are ported to Metro.
Maybe you should have told them that. You know, before they pissed away a billion dollars.
     
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Jul 19, 2013, 10:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
OS X is not a viable enterprise operating system.
This is like saying a salad fork makes a shitty chainsaw.

It's not trying to be an enterprise operating system.
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 08:50 AM
 
People talk about Enterprise operating systems but what does it actually mean? In the vast majority of cases, most Enterprise users are just MS Office jockeys. Some people have other apps, specialist or custom built but those aren't part of the OS. The only bit the Enterprise OS really does is share files and printers and apply restrictions to users. iOS is pretty good at applying restrictions now. I'll concede the weak point is its limited access to filesystems, shared or otherwise but for many small businesses and big, big sections of enterprise class networks, iOS plus Office is not far away from a pretty good solution.
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Jul 20, 2013, 10:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post
Honestly I think the biggest problem is the fact that it's a SHIT tablet and a SHIT laptop.
You have no idea how right this is. I got a surface pro to test out the digitizer for drawing (it has potential). The entire experience is a cluster **** and everyone, I mean EVERYONE that interacts with it wants to throw it out the window. I can't tell if it's the hardware or Win8 that sucks worse.

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Jul 20, 2013, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
You have no idea how right this is. I got a surface pro to test out the digitizer for drawing (it has potential). The entire experience is a cluster **** and everyone, I mean EVERYONE that interacts with it wants to throw it out the window. I can't tell if it's the hardware or Win8 that sucks worse.
Could you elaborate?
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 12:50 PM
 
I ordered one (a Surface Pro) to play with, because I love tablet tech, and it's already sitting on the gadget pile in the closet.

They're going to end up like the HP Touchpads, sold for almost nothing just to get rid of them, only they won't be as cool because they can't run Android.
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Jul 20, 2013, 01:10 PM
 
Win 8 is being avoided like the plague by big business. I reckon it'll get the Vista treatment and get skipped by most people (read Joe Public).
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
People talk about Enterprise operating systems but what does it actually mean? In the vast majority of cases, most Enterprise users are just MS Office jockeys. Some people have other apps, specialist or custom built but those aren't part of the OS. The only bit the Enterprise OS really does is share files and printers and apply restrictions to users. iOS is pretty good at applying restrictions now. I'll concede the weak point is its limited access to filesystems, shared or otherwise but for many small businesses and big, big sections of enterprise class networks, iOS plus Office is not far away from a pretty good solution.
You'd be surprised by the number of people that have to support a desktop operating system in big business. In my team (Web, Middleware, Databases) we have 80 products to verify whenever MS patches Win 7.
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
For instance: looked for a Metro SSH client app just to see what was out there to replace Putty. Not a single thing, except for a few non-free apps.
Not a single thing, except for the multiple things?
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 02:49 PM
 
Yeah, I phrased that weird.

I'm not paying $7.99 for a Metro SSH app when Putty does everything I need it to do.
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
You'd be surprised by the number of people that have to support a desktop operating system in big business. In my team (Web, Middleware, Databases) we have 80 products to verify whenever MS patches Win 7.
There's also the simple fact that because Windows has been the de facto business OS for the past 20+ years, there are millions of custom apps that only run in Windows.

It's not going anywhere, as much as people want to think it will.

Originally Posted by pooka View Post
You have no idea how right this is. I got a surface pro to test out the digitizer for drawing (it has potential). The entire experience is a cluster **** and everyone, I mean EVERYONE that interacts with it wants to throw it out the window. I can't tell if it's the hardware or Win8 that sucks worse.
My guess is it's something with the hardware or drivers.

I have Win 8 Enterprise on a Lenovo ThinkCentre touchscreen AIO, and it's ballin'. The interface is very easy to use with a touchscreen, and it's pretty fluid and intuitive IMO...
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 03:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I have Win 8 Enterprise on a Lenovo ThinkCentre touchscreen AIO, and it's ballin'. The interface is very easy to use with a touchscreen, and it's pretty fluid and intuitive IMO...
Eh, you're comparing apples to hummus there. In what way is a simple touch-screen capable iMac-like device even remotely comparable to a surface pro? They both have i5s? My brief summary of the issues and experience is that it's a hodgepodge of crap and doesn't excel at anything. The screen is too small, desktop mode (which is required for ANYTHING on a professional level) is unusable without a mouse/keyboard which somewhat defeats the purpose of the whole tablet concept. Seriously, disconnect the keyboard and mouse from your AIO and let me know how ballin' your experience is in Illustrator CS6 or Photoshop. Hell, let me know how saving a document in Word works out for you. That, and perhaps it's my ignorance, but how in the **** does the Metro/8/whatever experience make any sense? Oh, I'll install Dropbox from the Windows app store. Cool! Looks great. Oh, let me go work in Sketch Book Pro in desktop. Awesome! Palm rejection eats dick, but that's ok. This illustration is cool. Let me save it in Dropbox. WUT... it's sandboxed? So I have to install desktop AND metro/8 versions?? Granted, a lot of this has to do with app makers and whatnot, but it's akin to Apple literally grafting iOS onto of Mountain Lion and telling users "figure it out".

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Jul 20, 2013, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
You'd be surprised by the number of people that have to support a desktop operating system in big business. In my team (Web, Middleware, Databases) we have 80 products to verify whenever MS patches Win 7.
I know plenty of people are using it in enterprise environments, I'm asking how many of them really need to be. This sounds more like a reason not to run Windows.

Databases are a good example of something where you could leave the complicated bits as they are running on Windows Server (Or *nix) and just create an iOS, Android or web client to access the DB with. I don't see Windows Server going anywhere for a while, but Windows as a desktop OS is becoming less and less compelling by the day. Has been for years now.
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Jul 20, 2013, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
There's also the simple fact that because Windows has been the de facto business OS for the past 20+ years, there are millions of custom apps that only run in Windows.

It's not going anywhere, as much as people want to think it will.
The only reason Microsoft cares about 3rd party apps is if it has to continue supporting them with future versions of Windows. If M$ decided to ditch Windows as a desktop, they wouldn't have to care about the 3rd party apps.

Users would continue to maintain old Windows machines as long as possible while they plan a transition, write their own apps on a new platform of choice, or wait for developers to do that for them.
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Jul 20, 2013, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
OS X is not a viable enterprise operating system.
Apple's point of entry for the enterprise is not OS X, it's iOS. I can't tell you how common iPhones, iPod touches and iPads have become in businesses. In Japan, for instance, they are used in plenty of restaurants to manage orders, in regular shops to check whether particular items are in stock and iPads function as menus. iPhones have replaced Blackberries in many companies (even business majors start moving away from them now ).

Surface RT on the other hand does not integrate well with the enterprise, for instance. The weight of the Surface RT makes it a much better tablet than the Pro, so it's very unfortunate that the RT is positioned as a non-enterprise device.
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Jul 20, 2013, 07:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
The screen is too small, desktop mode (which is required for ANYTHING on a professional level) is unusable without a mouse/keyboard which somewhat defeats the purpose of the whole tablet concept. Seriously, disconnect the keyboard and mouse from your AIO and let me know how ballin' your experience is in Illustrator CS6 or Photoshop. Hell, let me know how saving a document in Word works out for you.
This has been discussed elsewhere on 'NN recently, but here's the thing.

It's not touch or keyboard/mouse. It's and. You have both and can move seamlessly between them depending on your needs. Touch for lightweight stuff, when riding the bus, etc. Keyboard and mouse for heavy-duty office work, document creation, spreadsheet stuff, etc.

That's what's compelling. One device with mobile and desktop capabilities.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Apple's point of entry for the enterprise is not OS X, it's iOS. I can't tell you how common iPhones, iPod touches and iPads have become in businesses. In Japan, for instance, they are used in plenty of restaurants to manage orders, in regular shops to check whether particular items are in stock and iPads function as menus. iPhones have replaced Blackberries in many companies (even business majors start moving away from them now ).

Surface RT on the other hand does not integrate well with the enterprise, for instance. The weight of the Surface RT makes it a much better tablet than the Pro, so it's very unfortunate that the RT is positioned as a non-enterprise device.
This isn't necessarily untrue, and it's more because of RIM becoming irrelevant than it is Apple making a really enterprise-oriented mobile device. iOS still doesn't come close to matching BlackBerry OS in centralized device and software management. The BES blows the panties off anything else out there, and has for a long time.

There are rumors going around at the moment that RIM is going to start including Android and iOS management capabilities with BES. This would be a godsend for businesses who have already spent money on BES infrastructure but want to expand their options to other devices.

BF has an iPad for work, and it SUCKS. He can't do shit with it, beyond reading his email. Writing email is a giant PITA because of the lack of a physical keyboard (which makes a big difference when you can touch-type like a boss). It's basically a toy that was used as an excuse to use up remaining budget money for the year.

Hell, he works for one of the biggest corporations in the country with over 350,000 employees, and they have exactly ONE Mac support guy. The only reason I can think of that they even started supporting iOS devices was because whiny executives wanted to look cool. It's the only reason the agency I supported as a federal contractor started an iPhone pilot.

Things like having to manually update your Exchange password every time it changes don't work when you're talking about a large-scale deployment to hundreds of users, many of whom are too stupid to understand what "Exchange password" even means.
     
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Jul 20, 2013, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
This has been discussed elsewhere on 'NN recently, but here's the thing.
That's what's compelling. One device with mobile and desktop capabilities.
In theory, perhaps? I get the point, but the ACTUAL product, as in what I've been trying to use sucks at everything. It's a shitty laptop replacement (you can only use it on a flat surface with the keyboard mouse) and it's damn near unusable as a power-tablet. Why do you think I bought? Curiosity to see if it lived up to the hype. It doesn't. It ****ing sucks and it is frustrating to use. I'd rather have two separate damn devices.

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Jul 21, 2013, 07:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Things like having to manually update your Exchange password every time it changes don't work when you're talking about a large-scale deployment to hundreds of users, many of whom are too stupid to understand what "Exchange password" even means.
How else would you update a password that has changed? Surely if it updates automatically there would be no point in changing it?

BES is horrible. I set one up once and it was a PITA from start to finish and it was only supporting 4 devices.
The Blackberry was always going to die. It only got popular because it was the mechanism by which CEOs discovered they could get email on their phones. One CEO took it to the golf course, then all his other CEO buddies got jealous and demanded them when they got back to the office. Those guys don't really give a shit about the security or features, they switch off completely between the parts of the conversation that starts with "I want one" and ends with a yes or a no from the sys admin. Email on your phone could be done on much simpler old Nokia or Motorola non-smartphones or with the Nokia Communicators but they never caught on like the Blackberry did because they didn't have that 'golf course executive jealousy vector'©

Its like when everyone was getting Skype because you could make free calls to anyone else who had Skype. ICQ, AOL, MSN and iChat had been doing it for years, but Skype was how the word spread (albeit because it was tied into the phone system, but most consumers never realised or understood that).

BB started to suffer when it got to smaller businesses. If you didn't have Exchange already, and you wanted a BB, you had to spend thousands on new servers, software licenses and doubling your IT dept in order to set it all up, often just so one guy could avoid being embarrassed next time he played golf. When that guy showed up with an iPhone (that supported every worthwhile email standard) that made the BB handset look like an antique, that was the first nail in the coffin. RIM decided to absolutely nothing about it (that anyone noticed) until it was way too late and thus their fate was sealed.
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Jul 21, 2013, 01:04 PM
 
I phone type like a boss.

Every post from me over the last two years has been made with my thumb and an iPhone.
     
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Jul 21, 2013, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I phone type like a boss.

Every post from me over the last two years has been made with my thumb and an iPhone.
I call shenanigans, if that were the case your thumb would have fallen off by now.
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Jul 21, 2013, 04:11 PM
 
I guess I more "nub-type" rather than "thumb-type".
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 05:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
BF has an iPad for work, and it SUCKS. He can't do shit with it, beyond reading his email. Writing email is a giant PITA because of the lack of a physical keyboard (which makes a big difference when you can touch-type like a boss). It's basically a toy that was used as an excuse to use up remaining budget money for the year.
That's a very weird usage scenario for an iPad. Typically they are used for things where they work better than a laptop, e. g. in hospitals to review X-rays, CTs and MRIs or for all sort of inventory management.
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
The only reason I can think of that they even started supporting iOS devices was because whiny executives wanted to look cool. It's the only reason the agency I supported as a federal contractor started an iPhone pilot.
I don't think iOS devices are toys for whiny executives. They're just easier to use and tremendously more powerful than Blackberrys on the client side. Yes, in many cases, executives used their leverage to force the IT departments to start supporting iOS, but they've become the smartphone of choice in many companies.
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Jul 22, 2013, 06:15 AM
 
I personally believe that the iPhone needs to grow in size to be 4.2''-4.3'' to be more of a serious contender for businesses or for the other countries. The width of the phone is too narrow for people with fat fingers, and combine that with a case which protrudes ever so slightly over the edge of the phone, makes it more difficult. Different countries also use different input methods which would greatly benefit from a slightly larger screen in width. Hope the new iPhone can have a bigger screen (or at least multiple models with varying screen sizes).
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Jul 22, 2013, 06:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't think iOS devices are toys for whiny executives. They're just easier to use and tremendously more powerful than Blackberrys on the client side. Yes, in many cases, executives used their leverage to force the IT departments to start supporting iOS, but they've become the smartphone of choice in many companies.
I had a "whiny executive" customer who bought an iPhone some time around 2009 or '10. He was lobbying his IT to get off BlackBerry, and one of the things he showed me was a PDF in his email inbox. Due to the old-school security concept, everything was stored and rendered sever-side. So he'd open the PDF attachment, and wait for it to render and the render to be transferred. Then he'd flip a page, and wait for it to render and the render to be transferred. Then he'd zoom in, three stops, each of which would get rendered on the server and then be transferred to his phone. It was *agonizing*.

Add to that the joystick-and-function-button interface that smartphones had before the iPhone came around, which just seemed really arcane and...weird, by then...

This probably changed at some point, but by then, this guy, and all the other "whiny executives", really no longer cared.

From what I gather, it's basically taken Blackberry until this spring to catch up with 2007. The rest of us have been living in the future for years.
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 07:06 AM
 
Reminds me of my old law firm where I was at some fancy lunch with my colleagues and someone remarked how come I didn't know one famous singer. Everyone then pulled out their blackberries to google it (or whatever search engine in 2007) and 5 minutes later, someone (one out of 5) found a very small and grainy image to show me. Blackberry, before Webkit, was aggravating.
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I had a "whiny executive" customer who bought an iPhone some time around 2009 or '10. He was lobbying his IT to get off BlackBerry, and one of the things he showed me was a PDF in his email inbox. Due to the old-school security concept, everything was stored and rendered sever-side. So he'd open the PDF attachment, and wait for it to render and the render to be transferred. Then he'd flip a page, and wait for it to render and the render to be transferred. Then he'd zoom in, three stops, each of which would get rendered on the server and then be transferred to his phone. It was *agonizing*.
The perception that it was the top brass with iPhones who forced the IT department to change their policies is partly accurate. Lower-level employees also would have liked to replace their Blackberries with iPhones, but they had zero pull with the IT department who'd just tell them they won't support iPhones (or in many cases, Macs). Higher-level employees can pull rank and just tell them to do it (»sudo make me a sandwhich.« – »Okay.«). Back in 2011 many larger companies (e. g. in the financial sector) I'm familiar with have started phasing out all Blackberries and switched to iPhones.

When it comes to iPads, it really depends on what you do, but there are definitely quite a few cases where companies find new and interesting uses. I heard that at BMW Motorwelt here in Munich, if you pick up your BMW there, many aspects of the showroom are controlled via an iPad. They are also used very often as (sometimes interactive) displays just like in Apple Stores. I've also read that many airlines (and the US Airforce) use iPads for nav charts and documentation. But I haven't heard of many cases where companies try to replace regular notebooks with iPads having regular notebook-like tasks in mind (as in the case of shif's boyfriend).
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Jul 22, 2013, 07:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
I personally believe that the iPhone needs to grow in size to be 4.2''-4.3'' to be more of a serious contender for businesses or for the other countries.
I would prefer if Apple gave us the choice: I'm very, very happy with the current size, but I can see the point of going for one or two additional sizes. Let's say, give me the choice between 4" and 5". Just as in the case of laptops, bigger is not necessarily better, for some people it's the opposite.
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Jul 22, 2013, 08:11 AM
 
When I was still in sales, iPads were starting to replace laptops for sales reps and PowerPoint-based consultants.
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 02:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Reminds me of my old law firm where I was at some fancy lunch with my colleagues and someone remarked how come I didn't know one famous singer. Everyone then pulled out their blackberries to google it (or whatever search engine in 2007) and 5 minutes later, someone (one out of 5) found a very small and grainy image to show me. Blackberry, before Webkit, was aggravating.
BBs suck as social devices for web and media. They still beat the pants off anything for corporate email, though, because of the BES and its integration with corporate mail servers.

I have yet to find a single mobile device, including my own Android phone, with a keyboard that compares to the one on the Bold line.

The 9900/9960's keyboard is AMAZING. I can nail out paragraphs of text on one of those things without a single typo.
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
How else would you update a password that has changed? Surely if it updates automatically there would be no point in changing it?
Security policy on the phone enforces a device password. BES gets email directly from Exchange rather than via a client device username and password. That's how.

BES is horrible. I set one up once and it was a PITA from start to finish and it was only supporting 4 devices.
The Blackberry was always going to die. It only got popular because it was the mechanism by which CEOs discovered they could get email on their phones. One CEO took it to the golf course, then all his other CEO buddies got jealous and demanded them when they got back to the office. Those guys don't really give a shit about the security or features, they switch off completely between the parts of the conversation that starts with "I want one" and ends with a yes or a no from the sys admin. Email on your phone could be done on much simpler old Nokia or Motorola non-smartphones or with the Nokia Communicators but they never caught on like the Blackberry did because they didn't have that 'golf course executive jealousy vector'©
I'll have to disagree on BES sucking.

When my handful of customers piloting the iPhone and iPad forgot their device passwords (which happens frequently with executives), I had to tell them "sorry, bro, only option is to wipe and reactivate the device". On the other hand, when a BB customer forgot their password, we could reset it over the phone, provided it had a network connection (obviously), and thirty seconds later the new password was pushed to the device.

Not only that, but with things like activation logs on the BES, we were able to track down users of loaner devices (we had an inventory of devices with international service for people who had to travel short-term) who were abusing the service and racking up thousands of dollars in data fees.

There's also that you can run reports on the BES to gain useful statistical information like who's using their phone, who needs an upgrade (even if Verizon claims they don't), how many devices were activated in a given month, etc.

I love the BES. I'm sorry you had such a shitty experience with it, but that isn't the only representation of the product.
     
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Jul 22, 2013, 04:19 PM
 
Its not the feature set I took issue with, it was more the UI. The whole thing felt like something that Microsoft designed.

I had the free version of the BES so I went through the process of getting a license key for it (which involved jumping through one or two more hoops than I wanted to but OK). I went through the install process, something went wrong. I tried again, it would no longer allow the use of my free key because it had been used (during the failed installation). I think I even tried rebuilding the server since there was nothing else on it and still I had to go back and jump through those hoops again to get a new key. Same problem but this time I worked out what was going wrong. On my third run through the stupid system to get a new key, I asked for 10 even though I only wanted one. I think I went through four of those before it installed properly and would work.

Once it was up and running, it just had that MS feel of a product that was designed so that whoever wanted to use it had to spend a few thousand on a course to learn where they had put all the simplest essential commands and functions because nothing was intuitive.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 24, 2013, 09:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I'll have to disagree on BES sucking.
There is the obvious missing feature that could have helped Blackberry avoid the death spiral they're in now: that's support for other platforms, most notably iOS, but also Android.
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Jul 24, 2013, 10:32 AM
 
I tried out a new BlackBerry with v 10 a few weeks ago, and it wasn't half bad. Would have made a real difference in 2008 or 2009.

Now, the only reason the guy bought it was because it cost him nothing over the contract he needed to get for his assistant (for whom he also got the phone).
     
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Jul 25, 2013, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
There is the obvious missing feature that could have helped Blackberry avoid the death spiral they're in now: that's support for other platforms, most notably iOS, but also Android.
You mean this?

BES extends MDM to Android and iPhones

They're way ahead of you.
     
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Jul 25, 2013, 06:51 PM
 
I don't think the word "ahead" means what you think it means.
     
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Jul 26, 2013, 02:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
You mean this?

BES extends MDM to Android and iPhones

They're way ahead of you.
Even though I didn't know that they've added this functionality in June 2013, I wouldn't say they're way ahead of me. I wrote that this feature could have (past tense) avoided the death spiral they're in -- if they had had it ~4 years ago. I don't think it'll do them much good now.
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Jul 26, 2013, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Someone needs to put a crown of thorns around the Windows logo and write "Pray" underneath.
Heheh. Somebody has:



I like how it's all jagged. Nice touch, if unintentional.
     
 
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