Thurrott Daily: February 29

Thurrott Daily: February 29

A few tidbits, coming at you this time from Redmond, WA.

2/29/2016 11:37:58 AM

Final reminder: Windows Weekly meet-up is tonight in Redmond

If you’re in the Redmond, WA area, please come to the Windows Weekly meet-up at Postdoc Brewing on Monday, February 29, 2016 from 5 to 8 pm. You can sign-up at our Eventbright page.

It’s been too long since we’ve visited Redmond. Come meetup/tweet up/drink up with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley — plus other Windows Weekly watchers — at PostDoc Brewing in Redmond. 5-8 pm. And join us virtually, too, this week (March 1-3).

See you in tonight!

Microsoft kicks off a new Windows 10 ad campaign … Which is also an new anti-Mac campaign

Timed for the Academy Awards for some reason, Microsoft hasunveiled a new ad campaign called “Windows 10 PCs do more, just like you.”

Highlighting features like Cortana, Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, Ink and more, the ads show how Windows 10 can help you be more productive, with the fastest and most versatile PCs, including Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

Best of all, the campaign is accompanied by a range of special offers for incredible Windows 10 PCs, including up to $200 off select PCs from top partners like HP, Dell and Lenovo.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the first TV ad is that it contains a dig at the Mac, since when you reverse the phrase “Windows 10 PCs do more, just like you,” you get “Macs do less.” I’m curious if this theme continues.

Microsoft improves its Bing election experience

If only they could fix the quality of the actual candidates, geesh. Here’s the word from the Bing Blogs:

Bing Predicts has crunched the data, and forecasts Donald Trump winning all but one of the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, and Hillary Clinton seizing the momentum from her recent victory in South Carolina to winning all but one of the of Democratic primaries.

In anticipation of this big day, we also are enriching the Bing Elections experience with the launch of our new [Search Wave](to give you a comprehensive look at the 2016 race.) feature, which lets you take a deep dive into search volume for each candidate. This experience joins our other interactive tools … to give you a comprehensive look at the 2016 race.

Apple is utilizing a “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” strategy

I know some people are going to see this as a bizarre form of anti-Apple silliness, but a post at BGR—about how the “best feature” of the coming 4-inch iPhone SE “might not be the phone itself”—touched off a thought: It seems like Apple is a bit desperate these days.

The premise of the BGR post is nothing special, because it’s just speculative: The iPhone SE will be a new iPhone that will allegedly occupy the only-in-Appleland-is-this-a-low-price pricing slot of $400 to $500, which is currently held by the three-year-old iPhone 5S. And that’s where the desperate bit comes into play: None of the new Apple products in the Tim Cook-era have been blockbuster successes, and as each sort of lilts in the market, it seems like Apple is just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. And none of it sticks.

So we get the lackluster Apple Watch, which comes in 1171 different versions from what I can tell. The iPad Pro, which moved the needle not at all on Apple’s falling iPad sales. The “new” MacBook, which has a terrible keyboard and trackpad and no expansion ports. Within the confines of Apple’s biggest successes—the iPod and iPad—none have really taken off. So they’re going to keep trying. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro is rumored. The tiny iPhone SE, which is apparently still required despite all the success of the big 6-era devices. An updated Apple Watch. Blah blah blah.

Ultimately, Apple is just doing what Microsoft did in its own heyday: Emulating its biggest success (iPhone, for Apple; Windows, for Microsoft) and watching nothing else measure up. And it just keeps happening.

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