There's no time like anytime

This Christmas I added a Windows server to our home network because my kids were finding some favorite programs were unplayable over their RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) thin clients. So I bought a very inexpensive Windows 7 desktop and for $89 at Walmart added Microsoft’s Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional, which is needed to support remote RDP desktops.  No luck with the RDP deployment so far, though, because MICROSOFT’S ANYTIME UPGRADE WEB SITE HAS BEEN DOWN FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS.

This is no way to run a business, Microsoft.  My kids want their FusionFall.

I would have understood had the site really been down for maintenance as it says, but two days isn’t maintenance.

It would […]

By |December 29th, 2011|2011|86 Comments

Like shooting ducks in a barrel

Fourteen years ago I gave a speech to the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries at their annual meeting, held that year in Minneapolis. They gave me a hand-carved wooden duck decoy that’s on my bookshelf today. My topic was this thing called the Internet and what it would mean to state lotteries and organized gambling in general. I told them it would rock their world. And it has. But thanks to a ruling last week from the U.S. Department of Justice, the lotteries may finally be in a position to fight back.

What amazed me back in 1998 was that the lottery folks weren’t Las Vegas-type gambling executives but more like the people down […]

By |December 27th, 2011|2011|56 Comments

Why big companies can't change

There’s a very good TED Talk by Simon Sinek about how great leaders inspire companies by asking why?  I think it also goes a long way toward explaining why big companies don’t handle change well.  It’s not that they can’t ask why?, it’s that the answer doesn’t make sense at their scale, though it should.

The Dow 30 Industrials that make up that all-important stock average began in 1896 as the Dow 12 and of those original 12 only General Electric survives on the list today. None of the other 11 are on today’s list even under different names, though some of the companies do survive. Many of those former industry titans, though — […]

By |December 20th, 2011|2011|94 Comments

For Mobile OS's, Three's a Crowd

I was speaking recently at a software company very interested in mobile apps. One of their concerns had to do with which operating systems to support.  Should they do them all?  Just a couple? My advice was that three’s a crowd.

Technical markets tend to divide like bettors at the racetrack where five percent win, 10 percent break even while 85 percent lose. Turning these numbers on their head and applying them to mobile OS revenue, IOS (iPhone, iPad, iGizmo to be named later) will generate 85 percent, Android 10 percent (because it is Open Source and free) leaving only five percent max for mobile OS number three, which could be Blackberry or Windows Phone 7 […]

By |December 20th, 2011|2011|93 Comments

The once and future WebOS

WebOS, first from Palm and then from Hewlett Packard, came and went so fast most mobile software developers never even got a chance to play with it. Now HP has declared WebOS to be Open Source, placing the project (it’s really not a product anymore) under CEO Meg Whitman to show they haven’t totally given up on the mobile OS. But what is WebOS, really, in this new incarnation? Its potential is enormous — far greater than most people realize — but I simply don’t see HP and Whitman as being able to execute on the plan, if there really is one.

WebOS and its Enyo application framework are clever and elegant and have one important […]

By |December 14th, 2011|2011|55 Comments