Category Archives: Social

These are social media related posts.

Microsoft’s Woes are Far From Over

It’s not much of a secret that Microsoft has been going through a tough patch lately. The once thought untouchable technology company is on a slippery slope. Much of their ventures have been failing. Bing, which as much as they try to push with national campaigns, hasn’t gained much popularity. They promote it as a decision engine, whatever that even means. I will add that I’ve never actually used the site and don’t intend to because I’ve very satisfied with Google.

Every quarter Bing has been bleeding millions without much to show for it. Google still holds most of the search market share. However, Bing isn’t the only problem facing Microsoft. They’re late in the game with Surface as their iPad competitor. Their Windows phones aren’t attracting many consumers which discourages developers from creating apps for their phones.

Then yesterday came the news that Microsoft was charging off $6.2 billion from the acquisition of aQuantative which is an Internet advertising firm. They acquired aQuantative because they wanted to beef up their online advertising efforts and expected growth to accelerate which it didn’t live up to.

It’s also not a secret that the department at Microsoft making the most money is the licensing of Microsoft Office and all of their operating systems, including XP, Vista, and Windows 7 which brings in billions each year. But for how long can you sustain trying to build all of these other products and services on the back of their licensing? Is it Microsoft’s plan to just throw as much crap at the wall and see what sticks and turns a profit? It sure seems like it.

All of these things point to bad management decisions but it wasn’t only under current CEO Steve Ballmer’s watch it also happened under Bill Gates. It’s no secret that Microsoft’s corporate culture is horrible. I recently spoke with someone at a tech festival who described working for Microsoft as Social Darwinism. It’s survival of the fittest where only those who stand out of the bunch make it. You can see how that would make working in groups difficult because everyone is trying to stand out individually instead of working together.

Today Vanity Fair posted a preview to an article in their August issue titled Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant. As the title suggests, the author Kurt Eichenwald has dozens of interviews and internal records. He goes on to state that the last decade of Microsoft could serve as a business school case study which resonates with me because I’ve done several of these recently in school and I could see how many of their problems ultimately point to bad management.

I understand the need to diversify. I understand the need to create the Surface as tablets and PCs become more interconnected. But there’s a problem with spreading yourself too thin. Microsoft is a great software company so maybe they should focus on creating great software. I’d prefer to have a business that is great at a few things than being mediocre at a lot of things. I just wish Microsoft would’ve realized this sooner. Microsoft is launching Windows 8 soon which they have priced very competitively at $39.99 for people who already have XP, Vista, or Windows 7. I haven’t tried the beta but from what I hear it’s very light weight and could be a viable competitor for OS X.

I said in my previous post and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but I really like when companies are competing because it makes them more innovative and in the end we all win. I’m rooting for Microsoft because for a long time I was a Windows guy. I hope they’re able to overcome all these setbacks in recent years and get back to being the leading company they once were. I can’t wait to see the final Windows 8 OS. I can’t wait to read Eichenwald’s article. Look out for it in the August issue of Vanity Fair. What are your thoughts on all their recent news? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

What The Google I/O?

First, I’d like to take the time to mention that June 18th was the 1 year anniversary of my blog. I don’t have much to show for that year since haven’t posted as often as I’d like but it’s pretty cool to celebrate my first year!

Anyway, did you guys kept up with the Google I/O news last week? I woke up early tuesday morning to watch the launch of the event live because I wanted to know all the news as it happened. First they announced new features for Google+, which I haven’t used at all lately, and these features all look amazing. Check out all the new G+ features here. The party mode feature alone is amazing.

I recall talking to a friend awhile ago wishing there was an app or place where people can all share photos or messages about an event they were all attending. With Google+ events this is finally possible. Even people who didn’t attend the event could check out the photos and everyone’s thoughts about the event and sort of get a feel for how it was. You can have all these amazing features but if no one is using your service then they’re pretty much useless. This is Google’s problem as they try to influence people to begin using Google+.

Facebook’s Events are stuck in the past. They’re focused on who’s going and who isn’t. Once you RSVP, there’s no reason to go to the Event page again. I think they should take a page out of Google’s book and add more features to Event pages. Maybe add people’s statuses to the page

I think with the right branding they can make Google+ seen as more than just a social network for tech people if they focus on simplicity. A lot of people, including myself, when we have to make lists. Or as Google calls them, Circles. I just post to the Public because I don’t really care as much on my Google+ profile but if I were to continue using it and more friends join I could want to share more intimate details about my life and those would be with close personal friends. I think that the more people use and like a service, the more time they’re willing to invest in building their profile and presence on the service.

I wouldn’t call myself an Apple fanboy but lately I’ve been greatly pleased with my iPhone and never really had any experience with Andriod. However, watching all the cool things you can do and how Google is implementing Google Play into the OS I’m really interested in trying the Google Nexus Galaxy which has pretty cool innovative features like facial recognition to unlock your phone. I don’t want to commit to any OS particularly because I think it’s good that they’re both competing. I think that having competitive drives innovation and keeps companies from being stagnant so in the end us, the consumers, win. I need a phone bad because my iPhone 4’s screen is cracked but I’m waiting for fall to see what next iPhone Apple unveils before deciding what my next phone is.

Google also unveiled Google Glasses which is cool. They did a whole stunt to show how the camera works. However, I wasn’t sold. The only functionality they demonstrated was a camera which shows me that this isn’t anywhere near finished. They are shipping meta prototypes to developers but at $1,500 it’s a tough sale.

The last thing they unveiled was the Google Q which is like Sonos only for Andriod devices. It’s for streaming music from your Google Play account. To me it just seems like another device that you don’t need. It’s social features like being able to dj with your friends and anyone with an Andriod device being able to add music to the queue is pretty cool but other than that it seems to lack features. I think this is cool added to Google TV but as a stand alone box it’s pretty pointless. Read more about these products on engdgt.

Tell me what you think about this and everything else Google unveiled at Google I/O in the comments!

Remove YouTube, Facebook, and Other Annoying Ads

Is it just me or are those YouTube video commercials they play before a video super long and annoying? Some are 5 minutes long and the actual video I’m trying to see is only 3 minutes. Trying to see that new music video on Vevo and have to sit through some dumb irrelevant commercial? It’s annoying and I set out to block them.

Fear no longer! I’ve found the solution. Introducing, adblock plus! It’s a plugin for Google Chrome and it’s also available for other popular browsers like Firefox. As the name would suggest, it’s meant to block ads. It gathers a list of all the URLs websites use to display ads and blocks them from being loads by the browser which means you will never see ads online again! I’ll spare you all the technical details just now that it works perfectly! It even blocks that Sponsored section on Facebook.

My first thought when people complain about the new ads on Facebook is “There’s ads on facebook?” I never see them so I have to keep reminding myself that there is. 😉 It even blocks those annoying popups when visiting shady websites. So go to and download the plugin now. It’s 2012, you shouldn’t be bothered with ads online!