Business continuity is typically an add-on sale for partners, a way to garner some extra revenue on top of their main solution. Done properly, it's good protection for the customer's business and good money for the partner. Done poorly, it's a, well, disaster.
Many partners focus on the technical questions comparing one solution to another. But properly setting up a customer for a solid business continuity solution requires that the partner engage in important non-technical discussions with the customer, as well.
What follows are four key, non-technical questions to spark important discussions between partners and their customers:
1. What Files Are Most Important to Your Business?
This is a deceptively simple question. The answers will start with the obvious back-end systems such as the order database, the customer relationship management (CRM) system or the Exchange file store. As you get deeper into the discussion, secondary systems invariably emerge as customers think through the actual implications of not having them for a day or a week.
Then there's the whole issue of granularity. While servers don't go out all that often, how frequently does the boss accidentally delete a critical e-mail and need it restored? How much time does the internal or external IT department spend on those issues? This conversation is the foundation of any business-continuity plan. Before talking about potential solutions in any way, the conversation has to cover the business realities.
2. What Physical Systems Are Most Important?
This discussion can be divided into a few buckets. First, there's the question of which servers need to be backed up and at what priority. But there's also the question of whether desktops and even mobile devices need to be included in the business-continuity plan. The answer depends entirely on the business. Some companies have employees who store critical information only on their C drives. Maybe those companies should implement policies that require everyone to back up their local ﬁles to a server and rely on that server only for business continuity. Yet that kind of requirement can be unrealistic in the sense that it sounds good in theory, but the users won't actually change their behavior. In some cases a device-by-device backup process will be business-critical.
3. Is There Data in a Cloud Service that Needs To Be Copied Locally?
There are a lot of things that appeal to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) about contracting with a cloud services provider for some critical business function, such as e-mail or CRM. One business driver is offloading responsibility for backup and recovery of those critical systems to the cloud services provider, who presumably is going to handle that technical task far better than an SMB customer ever could with their limited or nonexistent IT staff. In some cases, though, it's prudent to consider whether the customer should be keeping a local copy of the cloud data just to be on the safe side.
4. How Often?
This is one of the most fundamental questions, and again, it's not really a technical consideration. What's the daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly cycle for that business? Does a particular application need a huge string of point-in-time snapshots to allow recovery from a failure at any moment, or is a less-comprehensive schedule entirely sufficient?
Posted by Scott Bekker on June 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
The June issue of RCP featured a detailed gallery of interesting new Windows 8 PCs. We highlighted the Acer Aspire R7, P3 and V Series; the Dell XPS 18; the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon and ThinkPad S431; the Sony VAIO Fit; HP 400 ProBook and 200 series; the ASUS VivoBook S500; the VIZIO Thin +Light Touch and All-in-One Touch PC; and the Toshiba KIRAbook.
The reason for running the gallery in this latest issue is that with Windows 8 passing the six-month mark, PC OEMs seemed to be doubling down with a raft of new systems built to exploit the platform. The wave of new systems announced through early May also supported some Microsoft executives' recent statements about how many touch-enabled systems were starting to become available for Windows 8, a necessary precursor to spurring sales.
Predictably, though, the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, this week demands an update to that gallery. Computex is annually one of the most important hardware showcases in the industry and this year was no exception. Several of the devices announced in Taipei this week deserve a mention in any discussion of the current Windows PC ecosystem.
Acer Iconia W3
The biggest Windows device news out of Computex, as reported by Kurt Mackie
, by far was the demonstration of the Acer Iconia W3. It's one of the smaller Windows 8 form factors that Microsoft publicly confirmed a few months ago. Its most important spec is the 8.1-inch screen that puts the Iconia squarely in the mini-tablet category. The tablet weighs 1.19 pounds, is 0.45 inches thick, has a battery rated at eight hours and sports front and rear cameras. An optional keyboard dwarfs the tablet, giving users a larger surface to type on. The device is scheduled to ship later this month. Acer also unveiled a handful of other Windows 8 systems.
Sony VAIO Pro
Sony substantially upgraded its line of VAIO PC notebooks for Windows 8. The company unveiled the VAIO Pro 11 and VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabooks. They come in black or silver and will be available next week for $1,149 for the 11-inch-screen model and $1,249 for the 13-inch version. Sony also updated the Duo line -- the hybrid with the screen that slides down into a tablet mode. The new Duo 13 will retail for $1,399 next week.
ASUS Zenbook Infinity
ASUS announced several new devices. The most visually arresting is the Zenbook Infinity, which sports a new type of Gorilla Glass, among other features. Pricing, specifications and availability will be announced later. Other new ASUS models include 27-inch and 23-inch all-in-ones.
Dell XPS 11
Dell also used Computex to launch a new convertible Ultrabook -- the Dell XPS 11. It's a tight-looking little laptop with a screen that rotates 360-degrees to a tablet, with just a 15-mm thickness and a weight of 2.5 pounds. More details will come later in 2013. Meanwhile, Dell has also redone its "flip hinge" Dell XPS 12 to boost performance and battery life and add Near Field Communications and location awareness.
Posted by Scott Bekker on June 06, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
- Read the first part of reader reactions here.
A few more readers are weighing in on my column "Is the 'Peak PC' Period Over for Microsoft."
One thinks I'm a clown for even asking whether we're at peak PC or PC pause:
"Peak PC." A joke right? And a poorly thought out one, at that.
Most small businesses have consistently upgraded on a 5- to 7-year cycle in economic good times and SMBs still haven't seen a recovery. (Statistically, small businesses of 25 or fewer employees employ half of America; 26 to 100 employees another 25 percent; and 15 percent government.)
Median business upgrade of XP was around 2005 and median for Windows 7 was around 2011. (So median for Windows 8 will be around 2017?)
Note, in the hoopla about XP: The fact that Server 2003 will continue a few more years (i.e., NT5.2 codebase updates will continue) lessens the urgency, a fact that "ID10T" people at Gartner, IDC, et al. aren't smart enough to figure out.
Also consider that Vista/Server 2008 was NT6.0 codebase; Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 was NT6.1 codebase; and Windows 8/Server 2012 is NT6.2 codebase -- not an appealing argument for upgrade. If you have "partner" access to Microsoft's knowledgebase, you will note that XP bugs "to be fixed in 6.1" are still present in Windows 8 (NT6.2 codebase). So Windows 8.1 will be NT6.3 codebase or NT6.21. Either way, most of us will wait for a true code refresh from Microsoft before considering upgrades.
Not just Windows: Note that Linux fanboys also wait for kernel updates before upgrading.
And what is the installed base of SBS? Most of our Small Biz customers have upgraded SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 Standard recently or are going without a Microsoft server. Office 365 is not a substitute for "Exchange Lite." (And Exchange drives Outlook drives Microsoft Office sales.)
Meanwhile, Ian argues for a third way and coins his own law:
Sorry if I'm coming late to the party, but the answer is, "Neither." We're at "PC Morph"! The PC has morphed from desktop to something more portable. The "something more portable" as we have it now handles some new use cases very poorly...and the tablet is the response. But the tablet hasn't really defined itself yet. Is it a super-smartphone, a dumbed-down PC or a portable media portal (or something else, they were only "forinstances")?
[Ian's] Law No. 2 (I'm feeling arrogant this morning) has just been defined and says, "Devices consolidate to meet the maximum number of use cases achievable at a given price point." I suspect for a while there will still be a hunger for distinct business and consumer devices, but that eventually there will be a single consolidated "something else."
Posted by Scott Bekker on June 06, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
- Read Scott's original column here.
There was a lot of response to my column, posted yesterday, posing the question of whether the precipitous declines in PC shipments mean we've passed Peak PC or we're at some sort of PC Pause.
Check out the article itself for some insightful commentary in the discussion session at the bottom. I've also gotten a few thoughtful e-mails. From the mailbag, Bill argues for option 2:
We are at "PC Pause."
Tablets and phones just do not have enough power or screen real-estate to get my tasks done.
Maybe my grandma would be happy with only a tablet.
When I am at home, or at work, I simply need LOTS more power and disk space than any tablet can give.
Reader "W.T.W." argues the Peak PC case:
Four things make me think that we are at -- or already beyond -- "Peak PC."
1. People who just played Solitaire on their PC and used the Web for e-mail: These users were a huge portion of the build-up of the PC (and Windows) customer base beyond businesses, when Macs were more expensive and had little advantage in those areas. PCs and Windows are now much less attractive (more cumbersome, more expensive) in these environments than tablets and smartphones.
2. Applications that are moving to other platforms and form factors from PCs, as those platforms become more powerful (home accounting, photos, etc.): Beyond those users in #1, the main reason most people bought PCs was because of the breadth of applications available for it, from Quicken/QuickBooks to Photoshop to Word. With the Apple and Android app stores, the requirement to use PCs for these applications no longer exists. This has been due to Microsoft alienating huge swaths of developers as much as the growing ubiquity of those other platforms. Outside of .NET, Microsoft has failed to modernize its OS APIs; and then .NET evolution seemed to splinter into more and more obtuse and abstruse directions, negatively impacting performance and developer adoption. And then the Windows 8 freeze/abandonment of .NET/C# debacle hit. Developers moved on. Most people I know no longer use MS Word or Quicken.
3. Microsoft's ongoing effort to turn Windows and PCs into "consumer" items, and failing miserably: In the tradition of Microsoft Bob, continuing through Vista/Windows 7, and now fully realized with Windows 8, many of Windows' most obnoxious traits are due to Microsoft trying to make Windows into "systems for dummies" rather than productivity tools, and never getting it right. Where, despite the hassles of using Macs, Apple was able to maintain an aura of things "just working," Microsoft never has. Everything from the form factors to the interface designs to the computing power required argue that "consumer" and "productivity" arenas are disparate scenarios with very different requirements. And mistakes such as limited Windows Phone functionality/programmability and the flat Metro/Modern (actually, retro 1920s-1950s-era sparse/minimalist) design -- with that design philosophy taking precedence over usability and functionality -- haven't helped.
4. Local storage is no longer necessary for holding your files, photos, even videos. The ongoing adoption of cloud-based storage means users don't have to have a local hard drive to hold all that stuff -- and therefore don't need a PC on a desk to hold or access it. The increased use of OTT video over the Internet -- which now just about dominates TV viewing, vs. over-the-air or even direct cable -- means that the PC is not only no longer needed for these uses, but its use becomes awkward in these contexts.
In short, I think Microsoft has grossly misjudged its market, and the market for PCs in general -- not only in terms of numbers but in its very nature. Its emphasis on maintaining a "dumb consumer" as a Windows customer -- when that is a hopeless task, given market conditions today -- is also costing it its real (potential) market in the areas of increased productivity, whether in the home or in business. And that means that usage of PCs, and Windows, will NOT continue to grow, but will start to shrink, as other options take up the slack that Microsoft itself has created.
Richard goes with more of a "Pause" argument, and makes things political:
Having been in this industry since well BM (Before Microsoft), I have seen a lot of trends. Most are actually driven by politics, strange though it may seem. Your point about the additional devices (tablets and phones) is interesting, but in my opinion they will simply provide additional points of access to the data rather than replacing the PC. I now use laptops, as well as an iPhone and iPad. But I keep my laptop with me even when I travel!
Sales cycles in this industry follow perceived economic trends. Businesses buy when the economy is going up or going down. They do not buy when the economy is stagnant (either at the top or at the bottom). Business will prepare for the boom or the bust but when they cannot determine what is happening, they will pause.
This also applies to that period from June to November every four years when we elect a new president and, to a lesser, extent during the Congressional elections in between. Businesses halt investments, waiting to see who is elected. Generally (with some recent exceptions), no matter who is elected, after the election, business increases.
The current period happens to be one of those exceptional times when businesses are now waiting to find out how many employees they will need to terminate to be able to afford "Affordable Health Care." To a business, survival of the business is the primary focus, not the employment of the masses.
Microsoft is, in my opinion, protecting their presence by pushing businesses to "The Cloud." This new push into an old paradigm is simply repeating an old paradigm (yes, before PCs there were remote servers shared by many firms, like SaaS providers) designed to make it easier for small businesses to get entangled in the Microsoft solution stack. But that's OK. We still need a portal device, and the PC -- with it's tactile keyboard and separate mouse and monitor -- is still the leader.
As for the PC, since the inception of computers, businesses needed access to their data. Since the advent of the desktop system, that system has been the leading port (replacing paper reports from mainframes). Again, iPads and iPhones provide additional portals but I do not see them replacing the PC. I do, however, believe the PC will continue getting stronger and smaller at the same time.
P.S. My first desktop system cost $2,500 retail and contained 32 K of RAM and two floppy disks. We have come a long way so far.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
The worldwide server market suffered another ugly quarter, according to reports issued this week by IDC and Gartner.
IDC's report, released Wednesday, was the grimmer of the two. The Framingham, Mass.-based research firm found server revenues fell by 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. In all, server sales amounted to $10.9 billion, down from $11.8 billion. IDC also reported that server unit shipments fell by nearly 4 percent to 1.9 million units.
Leading the way down were market leaders HP and IBM, with revenue declines of 14.8 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively.
Gartner's findings, released a day earlier, were that revenues dropped 5 percent to $11.8 billion from $12.4 billion and shipments fell a little less than 1 percent to 2.3 million units. Gartner's reckoning has IBM, rather than HP, as the market revenue leader, although the Stamford, Conn.-based market research firm reported nearly the same revenue declines for both server makers as IDC reported.
The hardest-hit company in percentage terms was Oracle with a revenue drop of either 26 percent (IDC) or 27 percent (Gartner).
Some vendors managed to execute well despite the brutal market. Relative server-market newcomer Cisco enjoyed soaring revenues with growth of 35 percent to $450 million for the quarter, according to IDC. That was good for a three-way tie for fourth place in the global server market with Fujitsu and the fast-dropping Oracle.
Also growing in the quarter was Dell, which saw revenues increase 10 percent, according to IDC, and 14 percent, according to Gartner. Both analyst firms put Dell's market share at 18 percent. The gain for the No. 3 worldwide server vendor, combined with the sizable drops by IBM and HP, put Dell in a much closer third place than it was a year ago. It will be interesting to see if Dell can continue to execute amid the corporate ownership turmoil of the second quarter.
The Windows end of the server market largely held steady for the quarter. IDC estimated that Windows server hardware revenue declined 4 percent to $5.7 billion. But even with that drop the platform picked up 1.9 points of market share to reach 52.2 percent.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
For partners with practices in more than one country, Microsoft is making a significant change to its partner program qualifications.
Called "Country Qualification," the central idea is that for every country that a partner wants to brand itself as having a Microsoft Competency, the partner organization must meet all Competency requirements in that country.
So, say for example, a partner wants a Business Intelligence Gold Competency practice in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The partner would need to have full Competency infrastructure, such as Microsoft Certified Professionals, in both countries.
"If you have practices in more than one country, your organization is most likely impacted by this change. Please ensure you are ready to meet the Competency requirements in each Country where you want to market yourself as a branded Microsoft Competency partner," Microsoft Partner Network General Manager Julie Bennani wrote in a blog post this month.
Some smaller countries are grouped together, meaning partners with practices in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa may be able to operate in several countries on a single Competency infrastructure.
The change goes into effect in October of this year.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
Enterprise IT management vendor SolarWinds on Tuesday announced plans to acquire MSP vendor N-Able Technologies for $120 million.
Executives for Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds said they expected the deal would close by the end of the month.
Kevin Thompson, president and CEO of SolarWinds, said that Ottawa, Canada-based N-Able's business would open the "S" in SMB to SolarWinds for the first time. Thompson estimated the size of that market as $2 billion in the United States and $2 billion internationally.
Praising N-Able's cloud-based and lightweight approach, Thompson said SolarWinds would be able to disrupt the market of remote monitoring and management (RMM) vendors. "The market really is served by a fragmented set of companies. For the most part, a number of small companies are serving that market. What we've seen with N-Able over the past 24 months or last 36 months is that they have emerged as that leader," Thompson said on a conference call about the deal.
The disruption will extend to N-Able's 2,600 current MSP customers, who will need to shift entirely to selling a subscription model. N-Able currently sells both perpetual and subscription licenses. Subscribers will still be able to choose between running N-Able's products in the cloud or installing them on-premises.
Thompson did say SolarWinds will continue to sell N-Able products through MSPs. "We don't see any need or reason to change that go-to-market approach. We think it's the right one," he said.
SolarWinds is bringing on all 180 N-Able employees. The SolarWinds executives praised N-Able CEO Gavin Garbutt's approach, although Garbutt was not on the call to discuss the deal. SolarWinds has about 700 employees.
SolarWinds had about $200 million in annual revenues in 2011. N-Able's revenues were $24 million in 2012, according to executives on the call.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
Microsoft honored several hundred partners for business excellence today with the announcement of the 2013 Partner of the Year Award Winners and Finalists.
There were 139 category winners from 44 global award categories and 95 Country Partner of the Year awards. For those, Microsoft received more than 3,000 nominations.
In a blog post about the winners, Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill said, "From the five cloud technology award categories to the brand new Pre-Sales Technical Specialist category, the winners not only met the needs of our customers, but they helped them meet their business potential."
Roskill called out the appearance of some born-in-the-cloud and other cloud partners. Some of the cloud category winners included Solidsoft (U.K.) for Cloud, Object Consulting (Australia) for Cloud-Enterprise Customers, TechQuarters (U.K.) for Cloud-SMB, eSavvy (Australia) for Microsoft Dynamics Cloud, SkyKick (U.S.) for Start-Up Cloud-Developed Markets, and ISA Technologies (Malaysia) for Start-Up Cloud-Emerging Markets.
There were more non-cloud than cloud categories. Roskill highlighted a few non-cloud winners in his blog:
- The Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year Award, which went to NC4 and 6th Street Consulting for working together on the SAFECOP application for the Tampa Police Department for the 2012 Republican National Convention.
- Public Sector: Health Partner of the Year Award, which went to IN2 from Croatia for the eWaiting and eOrders solution now installed in more than half of the hospitals in that country.
- Learning Partner of the Year Award, which went to Global Knowledge for an application that provides a joint learning experience for in-class and remote students.
The complete list of awards is available here.
Microsoft will hand out the awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston this July.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
New smartphone market share numbers from IDC for the first quarter of 2013 show Windows Phone at No. 3, well behind Android and iOS but boasting strong growth.
"Windows Phone claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia," Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a statement. IDC noted that Nokia accounted for 79 percent of all Windows Phone shipments in the quarter.
"Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alternative to Android or iOS," Restivo said.
Android is the undisputed volume king with 162 million units shipped and 75 percent market share. Apple is next with 37 million units and 17 percent share. Those two platforms account for 92 percent of the market.
Leading the rest was Windows Phone with 7 million units shipped for 3.2 percent market share. The growth of Windows Phone compared to the first quarter of 2012 was the best in percentage terms at 133 percent. That looks promising against Apple's 6.6 percent growth, but it is daunting in the face of Android's pace. Even starting from a huge base, Android market share increased by 80 percent.
Holding onto third place will be a challenge for Windows Phone. BlackBerry may have seen a 35 percent drop in shipments to 6.3 percent share, but the original smartphone powerhouse company pumped out a million units of its new BB10 platform in its first quarter of availability.
IDC's market share findings are slightly different from those published a few days earlier by Gartner. Analysts at Gartner put Windows Phone shipments at a little less than 6 million. That 1 million device difference leads to a much different story about Windows Phone in Gartner's analysis. With those numbers, Windows Phone trails BlackBerry for third place -- by 0.1 percentage points of share -- and seems stagnant.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
Microsoft is offering partner advisor incentives of up to 38 percent on Office 365 for the next few weeks.
The promotion, called Cloud Easy, is part of the annual revenue sprint to the finish for Microsoft's fiscal year. "This is our maximum time of focus and energy," Cindy Bates, vice president of U.S. SMB and Distribution at Microsoft, said in an interview. Microsoft's fiscal year is over at the end of June.
The partner advisor fee is a percentage that Microsoft pays out to the Partner of Record on Office 365 sales. Microsoft recently streamlined the payment tiers. Now partners who sell up to 150 seats total across all their customers get 12 percent of the fees customers pay Microsoft the first year and 4 percent thereafter, for a total of 16 percent in the first year.
Partners who sell more than 150 seats get an additional 7 percent in the first year for a 23 percent first-year payment.
The Cloud Easy program adds 15 percent to the first-year payment. Partners with fewer than 150 seats will get 31 percent and partners with more than 150 seats will get 38 percent. The offer lasts through May, Bates said.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
I'm about to tell a whiny story about storage on my Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone. Before you judge me, understand that I have two noble goals here. One is to save others from the annoyance, bafflement, research and dead ends I endured to work around the problem. The other goal is to encourage (read, pressure) Microsoft to hurry up with a permanent fix.
What this post is not is a general bash of Windows Phone 8. We have Apple iDevices aplenty in our household and use iTunes enough to know that Apple has made many of its own questionable decisions at that awkward intersection of engineering, interface design, bandwidth and user psychology. I've seen friends struggle with their Androids at that crossroads, too. So enough already about how this particular problem proves one platform is better than another. It doesn't.
That bit of business behind us, let's delve into the particulars.
Over the last few weeks, I've been bumping up against storage limits on my Lumia 822. I found it odd given that it had 16 GB of internal storage and I'd recently added a 16 GB microSD card to boost capacity for music. I'd availed myself of the useful options to have all new photos and music routed to the microSD card.
Yet, the phone's internal storage kept filling relentlessly like a James Bond villain's drowning contraption.
The phone's Settings interface allows you to drill into the specific uses of your storage. In my case, music and videos took up 4.74 GB, pictures took up 1.73 GB, apps took up 829 MB and system took up 1.91 GB. A mysterious entry called "other" gobbled 7.36 GB. This partition seemed to have a mind of its own and there was no obvious way to reduce it.
With free space down to a scant 25 MB, many app downloads were blocked and the phone was even starting to have trouble syncing e-mail.
Various Google searches and Windows Phone Store searches turned up two apps that try to fix the problem by filling up the phone's storage in an effort to shock the OS into freeing some space in the "other" partition. Various Internet posters and app reviewers of Shrink Storage and Phone Storage Cleanup claimed success from the apps, but in my case they only succeeded in shaking loose a combined 11 additional megabytes of free space. That's megabytes with an "m"; what I needed here was gigabytes with a "g."
A little more Internet research helped me find a source of the problem -- my enthusiastic embrace of Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service. As it's gotten warmer and the family's been doing more outdoors, there's been more to photograph than at any point since I got the phone in December. My SkyDrive Camera Roll had about 250 photos in it, and another folder called Pictures had a few hundred more.
What I learned in a helpful article at Pocketnow.com is that when you save photos on SkyDrive in order to free up memory on your phone, you're not actually freeing up memory on your phone. Even though you delete the photos after they're synced, they turn right around and sync back onto your phone in the "other" area.
Apparently this is so if you ever want to see this photo again -- this photo which you've specifically removed from the phone and put in SkyDrive so it's not taking up space on your phone -- it will be available to you immediately so you don't have to wait for it to download.
As I understand it, Microsoft has chosen to make it impossible for users to have the power to decide which photos to store on their phone and which to store in the cloud.
The solution is to move all the photos off of SkyDrive so that they don't get automagically synced to the phone. By removing all the photos from SkyDrive, I won back 2.75 GB. (I think Facebook photos may also be taking up "other" space, but the prospect of addressing that problem gives me a headache.)
Here's the problem with this SkyDrive workaround: The point of SkyDrive is so you can store all your stuff in one place and access it from every device you have. Now, in order to keep my phone from idiotically filling itself with stuff that I want stored in the cloud for occasional access, not hogging storage on my phone, I've got to move that stuff clean out of the cloud. Meanwhile, because that stuff has been moved off of SkyDrive, it's no longer available at all to my phone or any of my other SkyDrive-connected devices.
I'm sure this isn't Microsoft's cloud vision. Hopefully the Windows Phone team can make the necessary tweaks so the promise of the better-together marketing story actually works out here in meatspace.
OK, that's my whiny story. Maybe I did just want to complain after all.
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments
Verizon Wireless will release a new flagship Windows Phone 8 device on its LTE network later this month.
The Nokia Lumia 928 will be available starting May 16 for the cost of a two-year contract and $150, which can be knocked down $50 by sending in a rebate. Verizon is sweetening the pot for Lumia 928 buyers with a limited-time offer of a $25 credit for Windows Phone apps and games from the Windows Phone Store.
The 928 joins the Nokia Lumia 822, the HTC 8X and the Samsung ATIV Odyssey in Verizon's Windows 8 lineup on its 4G network.
Prior to Verizon's announcement, AT&T was the only carrier with Nokia's flagship-class 92x phones. AT&T has been selling the Lumia 920 since November.
Here are the specs for the 928 from Nokia's press release Friday:
- Display: 4.5 inch WXGA HD OLED; Resolution 1280 x 768, Aspect Ratio 15:9, Pixel Density 334 ppi; ClearBlack display, Sunlight Readability Enhancement (SRE), High Brightness Mode (HBM); Luminance 300 nits (nominal max), 500 nits (High Brightness Mode); Color depth 24 bit, 16M colors, refresh rate 60Hz; Super-sensitive capacitive touch enables interacting with the display with gloves and long fingernails; Display active area: 58.37 mm x 97.28 mm; 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2
- Battery: Integrated 2000mAh battery, Li-po, BV 4-NW
- Processor:1.5GHz dual core, Qualcomm MSM8960+WTR
- Main Camera: PureView 8.7MP Auto Focus with Carl Zeiss Tessar f/2.0, 26mm True 16:9 optics, 1.4 sensor; Optical Image stabilization; Xenon Flash for Still Images, 1.4 sensor; Optical Image stabilization; Xenon Flash for Still Images; LED for Video; HD 1080p Video Capture @ 30 fps
- Front facing camera: 720p HD video and 1.2MP still images
- Memory: 1 GB RAM; 32GB internal memory (formatted capacity is less); 7GB free in SkyDrive with additional storage via subscription
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM0 comments