Over to the not so Dark Side

So yes, I have ordered an iPhone. Lets get this out of the way, in the past I have referred to Apple products as “toys” and “entertainment devices” and always considered Microsoft as the leader in business software and productivity platforms. And they still are. But they have made a change in strategy with Windows 10  mobile that leaves its current users in a holding pattern while they “re-trench” and attempt to leap frog Apple and Android by envisioning a future where your phone IS LITERALLY a PC (check out this video to see what I mean  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCJ9pYuxDNc).  That’s cool but its a few years off. My months with the Windows 10 Lumia 950 XL has shown this device to be a prototype. I mean it works its just not stable enough right now to be a daily driver. I am responsible for a business that needs productivity and stability today.

Fortunately Microsoft has also shifted in this regard and many of the products I used on its mobile platform will be there when I move to the iPhone. Office, OneDrive, Office Lens, One Note, Bing, Cortana, Skype for Business, Sway, MS Health (still connects to the Microsoft Band), Translator, Channel 9 are all there. I can still even connect to my Xbox and play Halo Spartan Assault (when I am home of course!). This wasn’t true 2 years ago. Under new leadership Microsoft has embraced the present by developing more aggressively for Apple and Android (Apple makes me less nervous than Goggle regarding data security) while seeing if they can get a jump on the future of mobile where you plug your phone into a monitor and its also your PC. They have also started to integrate these other OS’ into the Microsoft infrastructure so these devices can be secured and managed by our networks. So the tide has changed and in this case its a good thing; at least for right now. I’ll be using and playing with the Windows 10 Lumia in the background and seeing what develops. Could this be a use case for clinicians in the future? Carrying a device is such an issue in the clinical setting BUT if that device were the size of a phone and we provided docks they plugged into for a full screen experience when needed, yeah I could see that working. We will see.

But for now, I’m getting an iPhone.

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Honey, I’m home…

Some of you may recognize my borrowing of that line from Kubrick’s The Shining. I didn’t particularly like the movie but Jack Nicholson does crazy, scary like no one else. So here I am back trying to stick to a blog I haven’t updated in over a year. Crazy scary. Suffice it to say life hasn’t been normal during that time. No intent to be secretive, my 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with cancer last year so nothing has felt normal in some time. Crazy scary. We have at least entered in to some sort of routine and while the specter of cancer still looms, the mind longs for some routine and distraction. That’s why we work and have hobbies and sometimes we are blessed that both are the same. It takes us out of the inward focus and channels it into something bigger than us. My faith is a core element for addressing life’s hard realities. To that end God gave me an interest and vocation in tech to pour my energies into. So I will pray, I will work and I will write.

Recently I got to attend Microsoft’s first “Ignite” conference in Chicago. This is a collapsing of their TechNet conferences and a few other gatherings into one event. It was like going to a Microsoft buffet. You try and gorge on everything you can but in the end its too much. The saving grace is Channel 9. This is Microsoft’s YouTube for developers and enthusiasts. Every session at Ignite can be found at channel9.msdn.com. Or on Windows 8.1 and Windows phone 8 you can download the Channel 9 app. That’s over 800 presentations that can tell you all about whats coming at Microsoft over the next several months.
And then there is E3. Microsoft just did its keynote at the US’s largest entertainment expo yesterday and talked about the future of its entertainment and gaming platform. You can see it at www.xbox.com/en-us/e3. Yes the focus was on games but I think Microsoft has a vision much bigger than games for its Xbox and other platforms. Just as with Hololens, while the is a focus on gaming and entertainment now, the enterprise and business aspects of these tools will soon emerge. How about Xbox as a center for home automation and security or for home medical device connectivity? If they bring the grail of the unified Windows 10 platform why not?
We have a lot to consider but I’ll keep these blogs short for both the reader and the writer in hopes we don’t get gorged and want to keep returning to the table for more.
Thanks for visiting!

The father of a youngster considers the Xbox One

Xbox-One

So, lately I’ve seen a lot of intense, partisan and finicky arguments around the Xbox one and its relative merits against the PS4, PC and Wii U (mostly against the PS4). But for me, as a new father who in turn has a good relationship with my own father, the whole thing is a non-issue. There’s only one clear cut winner here, and I want to walk the rest of you down this road with me. Continue reading