February 26, 2014, 11:05 AM — The end of Windows Phone?
ZDNet thinks that Microsoft's purchase of Nokia may indicate an embrace of Android and the possible end of Windows Phone.
Within Microsoft what I see happening is that the company will start backing off Windows Phone. Kendrick's right, you see. It is too much to ask Microsoft to support two mobile operating systems, so I think they'll slowly and quietly drop the least-profitable of them: Windows Phone.
I still can't see Microsoft producing MS-Linux—although I wouldn't count it out either—but I can see Microsoft retiring Windows Phone. Supporting Android with their own app suite simply makes too much financial sense to do otherwise.
Image credit: ZDNet
I wouldn't blame Microsoft if they dumped Windows Phone altogether, it still doesn't seem to have any momentum in the mobile market. At some point the company has to put its resources and focus into something that serves its bottom line, and Windows Phone just doesn't seem to be it.
But I'm skeptical that Microsoft is really ready to terminate Windows Phone. Obviously they are aware of Nokia's Android phones, but Microsoft seems to regard Nokia's Android as something to leverage to get emerging market users onto Windows Phone devices.
The plan seems to be that Microsoft will replace Google's services with its own on the Nokia Android phones. Then, once hooked on Microsoft software, the emerging market users will transition later to Windows Phone devices. I'm not sure that Microsoft's software provides anywhere near enough value these days for this to actually happen.
In fact, I think that all of this indicates that Microsoft is still trapped in the past. The days of Microsoft's operating systems and other software being indispensable are over, and they aren't coming back. The mobile revolution changed all of that by building new platforms that weren't dependent on Microsoft.
The psychology of mobile users is also quite different than what it was in the past. One of the company's biggest mistakes was not getting Microsoft Office onto iOS and Android much sooner. It opened the door for users to get used to not having Microsoft Office available, and it made them realize that they really didn't need Microsoft's software.
So I don't see any hope for Android users to transition to Windows Phone just because some of Microsoft's software is available to them. I wonder if the Nokia Android users will really even care about any of it? I think it's much more likely that the Nokia Android phones will bomb in the emerging market countries, and that Android phones by Samsung, Google and others will beat them handily.
Microsoft will still cling to Windows Phone desperately, however. The company still has not evolved beyond its ancient "Windows-first" mentality, so I expect them to soldier on, hoping desperately for something to change so Windows Phone can finally get significant market share.
Dream on, Microsoft.
Can a Chromebook be your only computer?
Maximum PC goes Chromebook-only for a week to see if Chromebooks can replace desktops and laptops.
While the Chromebook is very fast and functional, it lacks power-user apps like Photoshop, or triple-A gaming titles. We see the device great for college students looking to get a computing device that they can get 8-9 hours out of while taking notes and browsing the web. Chrome OS can also stream the major video services, as we watched Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, and Netflix with no problems. You’re ultimately getting a document, web browsing, and streaming machine.
There have been more hybrid Windows 8.1 devices sporting X86 Intel Atom processors with fast 32GB or 64GB SSDs. These inexpensive Windows machines should challenge Chromebooks in the upcoming months and will make Chrome OS devices harder and harder to sell. We’ve already seen some tablet-laptops that are $350-$400 like the ASUS T100, which gives users Windows 8.1 in a portable form factor with a battery life that is comparable to the C720. We’d personally stick with an X86 Windows PC because it does a lot more than Chrome OS, giving us access to a never-ending abundance of apps and tools that Google’s browser OS just can’t rival at the moment.
Image credit: Maximum PC
The author seems to have a very Windows-centric perspective, and I think that may have affected his perceptions of the Chromebook. It also usually takes longer than a week for most people to transition successfully from one operating system to another.
Chromebooks certainly aren't for everybody, but given the price I think they provide a lot of value to some users. It's also quite early in the development and growth of Chrome OS, Windows has been around a heck of a lot longer so of course there will be more applications available for it.
Linux jobs pay higher salaries
Computerworld has some interesting information about pay rates and the overall Linux job market.
If paychecks are any kind of a measure, then people with Linux skills are doing better than most.
The national median annual IT salary is $91,050, or $43.77 per hour, while the national medium annual salary for Linux-certified information technology professionals is $96,750, or $46.51 an hour, according to Yoh Services, a staffing firm that produces its own wage index. The indexes generally focus on temporary wages.
Image credit: Techrights
I covered the Linux Jobs report for 2014 in another article recently, and it's clear that the Linux job market is really hot right now. Here are some resources if you're looking to get into Linux as a career.
Linux books on Amazon:
Linux job listings:
Be sure to customize the job listings on each site with your area code or state so you can see local Linux job listings.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.