The Surface Duo is a phone | ZDNet

Screengrab of Microsoft upcoming Surface Duo “phone” via ZDNet

A blogger that I follow, Jason Ward of Windows Central, has been essentially asking for this type of device for years now, and I have brought attention to it here on my little information speck of the digital universe.

It’s nice to see ZDNet grudgingly come around to that similar conclusion. Granted, this device/phone/tablet/game changer is way out of budget for moi unless the numbers come in from the North Carolina Education Lottery, but my experience with these events is that elements make their way down to most price points over time.

Microsoft has strong reasons for shying away from calling the Surface Duo a phone. But that’s the best way to explain it to customers.

Source: The Surface Duo is a phone | ZDNet

Also, here is another view of the announcement independent from ZDNet and Jason Ward. ⬇

How and why Microsoft should bring a Windows 10X-powered ‘phone’ to market is a certified Warditorial

How and why Microsoft should bring a Windows 10X-powered ‘phone’ to market is a certified Warditorial

Mr. Ward has been consistent in his call for a Windows mobile device for years. It looks like an indirect way of getting there through Android. I expect a migration path to Windows 10 while having choice in devices.


Balls and Strikes from me…

I believe Microsoft is still pursuing its Pocket PC vision with plans to bring a Windows 10X-powered Surface Duo-like device to our pockets in the future. And building developer relationships through Android is key.

In January 2015, I presented an analysis claiming Microsoft would bring an inking focused, telephony-powered pocketable PC to market. I even suggested Microsoft-branded earpieces would be a practical accessory for this device. In 2016 leaks regarding Project Andromeda, a Windows Core OS-powered (or Windows 10X) pocket PC, confirmed this analysis. As information continued to surface, I incorporated those details into my ongoing analysis of Microsoft’s Pocket PC mobile strategy.

Microsoft has sought to converge the power of Windows and the broader Microsoft cloud, apps, hardware, and services ecosystem on a pocketable telephony-enabled mobile device for years. Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and Windows 10 Mobile were all mobile OSes that flirted with Microsoft’s mobile vision but failed to bring the “power” of Windows and the synergy of Microsoft’s ecosystem to a touch-focused mobile experience. Thus, Microsoft designed the modular, lighter and context-conforming Windows 10X, for duo screen PCS like Surface Neo (a versatile tablet) and partner devices from Dell, HP, and Lenovo coming next year. It was even planned to power the now Android-based Surface Duo (a pocketable device), formerly known as Project Andromeda…

Related

Microsoft invited me to its biggest Surface event ever — and it was AWESOME!
Surface Neo and Duo: First Impressions from our hands on

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Microsoft invited Jason Ward to its fall Surface event — and it was AWESOME | a certified Warditorial

Microsoft invited Jason Ward to its fall Surface event — and it was AWESOME | a certified Warditorial

It does help to point out that Mr. Jason Ward has been talking about devices similar to what Microsoft announced this month for many months now. Clearly someone in Redmond was listening as far as this type of hardware is concerned, Jason is the Mary Jo Foley of Surface devices. And that’s a compliment to both, who I follow and listen to.

Last week Microsoft sponsored my wife and me at its biggest Surface event ever, and it was amazing!

On October 2, 2019, Microsoft set the internet ablaze with an event that reflected a refinement and evolution of its successful Surface hardware. The accelerant for this inferno was the addition of bold category-defining devices to the Surface line of first-party products. Microsoft positions these products as reference hardware to guide industry partners as they build Windows, and now with Surface Duo, Android devices.

Surface Pro did this for 2-in-1s, which even now Apple is mimicking. Surface Pro X, Surface Earbuds, Surface Neo, and Surface Duo are meant to encourage OEMs to create current generation products as well as create categories for what Microsoft sees as next-generation computing.

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UPDATE 3/10/2020 Since this story was first published years ago. North & South Carolina continues to avoid Medicaid Expansion

I found another Microsoft focused outlet that not only covered the event (would have loved to get on a plane to Seattle to see it personally, but…) but asked some of the same questions that Jason had for the past months and years since the mobile industry essentially became 2 flavors only. Another view of the Surface Duo can be found here.

WIMAXIT’s 15.6-inch HDR touchscreen monitor review: More screen, more touch | a certified Warditorial

WIMAXIT’s 15.6-inch HDR touchscreen monitor review: More screen, more touch | a certified Warditorial

This is a relatively modern twist on the idea of an external monitor to a computer; in this case a Surface, but can also work on a smartphone or tablet. I don’t like the price of this, especially after spending $$$ on a Surface or equivalent. Unless you are rich, this is a solution surfing for a problem; but Mr. Ward has different ideas, so…

Image Credit: Lemuel Burton Photography

WIMAXIT’s 15.6 portable touch monitor adds valuable screen real estate to the “mobile office” of the laptop-wielding road warrior. The convenience of “more screen” does come with some downsides, however.

Long before switching to the Surface Pro 2017 with its 12.3-inch display, I used a 17-inch HP laptop. Though I’ve always missed the extra inches I sacrificed, the portability convenience of the powerful yet compact Surface Pro more-or-less balanced the scales. I use the Surface Pro to run my business Ward Advocacy, LLC and for writing content for Windows Central. I do both on the go or when at a desk, and often need more screen than the Surfaces’ 12.3-inches comfortably provides.

When setting up at home, my Surface Pro is sometimes connected to my 27-inch Dell monitor to provide extra space for multiple Windows, video, and more. When on the go, I’ve been giving WIMAXIT’s 15.6-inch portable touch monitor (sent to me for review) a spin to do the same. The experience has been great and has genuinely improved my workflow. Still, anyone planning to spend $259 on this monitor must weigh the benefits of extra touchscreen real-estate against their personal workflow needs. There are also a few cons inherent to this device to consider as well as genuine concerns related to how packing an extra device may impact one’s mobile needs.

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Why Surface Go is better for students than iPad (and why it may not be) a certified Warditorial

Microsoft’s 10-inch Surface Go and Apple’s 7.9- and 9.7-inch iPads have students in their crosshairs. Each “mini” device has its advantages. Here’s what you need to know.

Microsoft and Apple bring unique hardware and software strengths to personal computing. Microsoft’s enterprise partnerships, pervasive software presence, and decades-long PC dominance make it synonymous with productivity and personal computing. Apple’s high-end devices, hardware, and software synergy and invaluable “cool factor” make it an industry powerhouse, the standard by which rivals are measured and a consumer and media darling.

In the PC space, Microsoft has crushed Apple’s consumer and business efforts for decades. Conversely, Apple’s iPhone-led charge ultimately resulted in the death of Microsoft’s phone strategy. And the iPad, which dominates the tablet PC market, overshadows Microsoft’s successful Surface 2-in-1, though the two devices exist in distinct product categories.

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Microsoft and Deque make accessibility easy for millions of developers a certified Warditorial

I have to give credit where it’s due. Microsoft has been at the forefront of the a11y movement in the Nadella era. Great for more companies to come along, and thanks for Jason Ward to point this out below. Full disclosure, this blog owner has a disability as well.

There are one billion people, 15-percent of the world’s population, living with some form of disability. People with disabilities comprise the world’s largest minority group. Throughout the ages, disabilities have presented a barrier to an individual’s full participation in the range of opportunities within a society that are often taken for granted by those of us who are not living with a disability.

The altruistic efforts of individuals and groups, the results of activism, the efforts of policy-makers and the empathy of those driven with self-less care of the needs of others has helped to mainstream a range of accommodations that help level the playing field for people with disabilities. Still, there is much work to be done. In this age of technology, much of what we do in life has a digital parallel.

The need for websites, apps and more to be equally accessible to all is just as important as a ramp for those who use a wheelchair, public accommodations for service animals that assist those with blindness or the guarantee of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with special needs. Imagine being unable to complete a purchase online, prevented from participating in social media platforms or being unable to engage in any range of online activity. This is the reality for millions of people living with disabilities because many websites and apps are not fully accessible to them.

As one of the world’s technology leaders Microsoft, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, has embraced inclusive design — building technology from conception to production with all users in mind. This has yielded such products as Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller and Eye Tracking technology that allows users to navigate Windows with their eyes and much more. Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring much of its software efforts are accessible to all would not be possible without the help of Deque, a company that is passionate about accessibility and has enabled Microsoft to do much of what it does to make software accessible. I had a candid discussion with Preety Kumar, the CEO of Deque. We talked about Deque’s mission, its partnership with Microsoft and where the companies are going from here.

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Microsoft’s #InsiderUp isn’t just about being nice — here’s the big picture a certified Warditorial

courtesy of Jason Ward, Windows Central

Looking deeper into Microsoft’s ambitious #InsiderUp program’s goal to make everyone, everywhere a programmer.

 

What you need to know

 

  • Microsoft’s #InsiderUp program is positioned to make everyone a programmer for an increasingly tech-centric world.
  • Due to embedded tech all around us Microsoft’s “Tech Intensity” perspective views all companies as tech companies.
  • Microsoft wants to make all companies part of its ambitious global cloud computing platform.
  • Microsoft’s #InsiderUp is about creating a global human resource to support Microsofts global cloud computing goals.

 

Microsoft’s recently revealed #InsiderUp program utilizes the company’s vast human resource of enthusiastic Insiders combined with a diversity of programs to connect with and train regular people from various walks of life, all over the world, in the art of coding. Microsoft wants to tear down perceived and actual barriers and make everyone (who wants to be) a programmer.

 

Still, Microsoft is a business, with a goal to make its Azure Cloud platform the computing platform for every person and business around the world. Teaching everyone on the planet to code is to ensure individuals that are part of companies that Microsoft is incorporating (or trying to assimilate) into its global cloud platform, will have the necessary skills to fit into Microsoft’s big cloud picture…

 

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Microsoft’s Azure goals ominously echo its past Windows-everywhere strategy | A Certified Warditorial

Shades of “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” from BITD? Let’s hope not!

 

Microsoft is striving to make its Azure cloud platform the world’s dominant computing platform, but in a multi-cloud world is Microsoft too Azure-centric?

 

Before iOS and Android usurped the PC by way of mobile, Microsoft’s Windows operating system ruled computing. As a once Windows-centric world has now embraced iOS, Android and Chrome, Microsoft has positioned Azure as a Super OS that embraces these other platforms.

 

Microsoft envisions Azure as a cloud platform that will run the world’s cross-platform apps, power tens of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, stream content like media and games and power intelligent edge devices. As a cloud provider second only to Amazon (AWS), and a company achieving billions of dollars of growth in its cloud business every year, Microsoft seems well on its way to its goal.

 

Still, Microsoft is trying to seduce the world into its Windows-for-everyone-and-everything like Azure-for-everyone-and-everything strategy. Despite Microsoft’s leadership (second to Amazon) position in a multi-cloud world, AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the preferred cloud services by many. Given this indisputable reality, perhaps Microsoft’s approach to the cloud should be as collaborative as its Windows and other cross-platform efforts have become.

 

 

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How Microsoft Azure affects YOU and is way more exciting than you think | A Certified Warditorial

I am a large but not famous Microsoft fan, but where we are in 2019 proves that Scott McNealy from Sun Microsystems was correct BITD. “The Network is the Computer”. This is why Azure and AWS are leaders in the cloud space, with Google, IBM, and Sun successor Oracle lagging behind.

Microsoft’s Azure Cloud talk seems boring and mundane, but it’s actually where all of the action is.

 

Microsoft’s Azure cloud talk is boring to most phone- and gaming-obsessed tech enthusiasts. For most the cloud is that intangible thing, that does invisible stuff, that we know, like air, is important but isn’t very exciting to talk about, much less read about.

 

But for a world that every tech enthusiast knows is heading toward an increasingly cloud-dependent future – the cloud is literally where nearly all of the action will be. It’s already happening. Many people assume because of Microsoft’s high-profile failure with phones (and other consumer products) that the company lacks insight. Critics often view Microsoft’s cloud commitment as a narrow enterprise-focused distraction which contributed Windows phones downfall. I agree neglecting Windows phones should not have happened, but investing in the cloud is not a mistake.

 

Microsoft is wise to build a scalable Azure cloud computing foundation that will touch everything and virtually everyone on the planet. Microsoft’s Azure is targeting enterprise customers and employees, personal productivity for consumers, gaming, mixed reality, IoT for morning coffee, intelligent cars and much more. With a focus on four platforms: Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Gaming, Microsoft is positioning Azure as the world’s computer. If you think Azure doesn’t matter to you – think again.

 


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Samsung’s Galaxy Fold woes validate Microsoft’s Surface Andromeda caution a Certified Warditorial

The 2019 technology marketplace for platform vendors has evolved, and Microsoft has made headway with it. In the Nadella era, the phrase, “don’t buy anything MS until the 3rd try” is mostly a thing of the past. Could it be that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is counterpunch when others fall, such as Samsung? This is the most recent black eye for the company (remember the Galaxy Note 7?). Not that I could even think of affording one, but for $2000, it better work perfectly. That’s 2 Surface Pros plus a decent phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was hit by early display issues and is now delayed — was Microsoft wise in not playing its foldable pocket PC Surface Andromeda card so soon?

 

Microsoft’s rumored Surface Andromeda pocket foldable PC is the dream device of many a Windows phone enthusiast. But the nightmare Samsung is enduring thanks to the early failures of its $2000 Galaxy Fold proves that some dreams are better deferred.

 

I have been writing about Microsoft’s inking focused pocket PC dreams since 2015. Skeptics, wary of Microsoft’s commitment to mobile initially dismissed this analysis. Over the years various leaks, Microsoft patents, the canceled Microsoft Courier and a leaked internal Microsoft email last year have confirmed not only Microsoft’s interest in pocketable folding mobile technology but its work toward bringing such an innovative device to market that “blurs the lines between mobile and PC.”

 


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How Microsoft is helping other companies hire people with autism | A Certified Warditorial

Just as Microsoft makes its technology available to other companies to help them achieve more, it is doing the same with its model for hiring people with autism.

 

April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects one percent of the world’s population, about 3.5 million, or one out of 59 American births according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Autism Society.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a range of conditions that present challenges with speech, social skills, non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. On the flip side, many people with autism possess unique strengths in other areas that enable them to excel in certain disciplines.

 

Unfortunately, according to Easter Seals, 80% of people with autism are either unemployed or underemployed. Consequently, the skills and contributions that they would bring to many companies and to the products and services those companies offer are lost.

 

To address this untapped resource and to foster a culture of empathy and inclusion, Microsoft — on Autism Awareness Day in 2015 — established its Autism Hiring Program. This year, parallel to its commitment to open sourcing its technologies and tools to create a “Microsoft platform” that companies integrate into their businesses, the company is “democratizing” its Autism Hiring program. The goal is to bring more people with autism to the workforce so that they and the companies they join can achieve more.

 

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Microsoft is pursuing three mobile goals and smartphones isn’t one of them. A certified Warditorial

Microsoft’s smartphone-focused mobile efforts failed, but it’s not done in mobile. Here are three areas where Microsoft is pursuing a mobile presence.

Microsoft’s smartphone efforts failed, but its still pursuing three distinct mobile strategies. Smartphones and mobile, though used synonymously are not the same. Simply put, all smartphones are mobile devices, but not all mobile devices are smartphones. The evolution of the smartphone model including the slate-shaped hardware, app-based ecosystem, carrier-dominated communication, financial and distribution infrastructure and entrenched consumer and developer base lead many to believe this particular manifestation of mobile is immutable and enduring.

The reality, however, is that technology and the social, economic and cultural structures in which it’s intertwined are ever-changing while core things we do with it remain unchanged. For example, communication, entertainment, and simplifying tasks are central to technologies from the telegraph, CD Player and banking that were replaced first by telephones, MP3 players and ATMs and then (to some extent) by smartphones and apps. The technology changed but what we do with it in its evolving forms has not. Technology is the medium, not the focus, by which tasks are accomplished.

Consequently, Microsoft is pursuing three, non-smartphone, areas it hopes will support its mobile presence in the communication-computing space where collaboration, entertainment and getting things done is the focus. Cross-platform apps are the current approach, foldable mobile devices are its post-smartphone investment, and mixed reality is its long-term vision.

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Microsoft plans to focus even more on accessibility in 2019 a certified Warditorial

by Jason Ward, an astute observer of all things Microsoft not named Mary Jo Foley.

 

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is on a mission to make all the company’s products and services accessible to everyone.

 

If it seems like Microsoft’s accessibility efforts are getting almost as much attention as its cloud, Windows and productivity businesses, you’re not mistaken. Since becoming the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella has made “inclusive design” a core part of the company’s business model. It is almost impossible to see a major Microsoft event or hear a significant Microsoft announcement without hearing how accessibility is woven in.

 

Nadella acknowledged that historically companies, including Microsoft, would build products and address an accessibility “checklist” after the fact. This post-design focus on assistive technologies was limiting because it resulted in narrowly designing products for able-bodied people while excluding millions of others with disabilities.

 

from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft. http://bit.ly/2RRYzqy

How Microsoft’s Reward Program could make Bing a better Google competitor | a certified Warditorial

How Microsoft’s Reward Program could make Bing a better Google competitor | a certified Warditorial

Image Credits Windows Central/Jason Ward & Youth Village 

Let’s keep it real here, if Microsoft wasn’t paying you to use bing, would you actually use it? My answer is almost always No. Jason Ward highlights this reality. BTW, it has helped me build my Amazon Gift Card balances to the point where when my mobile carrier introduced a plan with Amazon Plan included, this was a perfect match for me.

Microsoft has a Rewards Program through which it pays ou to use its Bing search engine. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone.

 

Last year I wrote how Microsoft is paying me (and could pay you) to use Bing. I received feedback from individuals outside of “Microsoft’s universe” — non-Microsoft enthusiasts — inquiring if Microsoft’s Rewards Program was the real deal. I assured them that it was.

 

Still, those exchanges highlighted a reality that many Microsoft enthusiasts and perhaps Microsoft itself takes for granted. Not everyone is aware of something simply because it’s part of another product. In other words, the marketing strategy of integrating products within other products hoping for an organic promotion of that product isn’t always sufficient to create its awareness.

 

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Why Microsoft must bring sign language recognition to Windows and Cortana

nadella-ignite-2017

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Picture credit: Windows Central.

Thank you @JLTechword for pointing this out to the broader audience. Also for bringing an example on a competing/cooperative platform that proves it can be done.

Why Microsoft must bring sign language recognition to Windows and Cortana