According to a new survey from Strategy Analytics, Windows Phone development is expected to ramp up significantly in 2014. Of the 1,600 interviewed devs, 32 percent plan to support the tiled smartphone operating system next year, a number that is twice as large compared to the current statistics for 2013. Android and iOS continue to rank as the top two picks, followed by HTML5 in third place and Windows Phone in fourth.
This is certainly good news for both Microsoft and Windows Phone users. The platform should receive more quality apps, an area where it is sorely lacking in numbers, and, as a result, gain more followers in the coming years. The third ecosystem dream, as Strategy Analytics says, is becoming real. The only thing that stands in the way is the developers' commitment.
While I love Linux, quality magazines about the kernel are few and far between. Over the years, my favorite has been Linux Format. I was attracted to the magazine by the quality articles and interesting content. However, the price of the magazine was particularly high in the USA, which often deterred my purchase (it is printed in the UK). After all, Linux is free but the magazine cost about $13/month at Barnes and Noble -- a tough sell. Not to mention, with the explosion of tablets, reading paper magazines feels a bit outdated (I still enjoy a hard-copy of Reader's Digest on my toilet tank though).
Apparently, it is not all roses at Linux Format as many of the employees have jumped ship due to creative differences and are trying to form a new magazine called Linux Voice. Of course, to get the project off the ground, the former-employees have turned to crowd-funding to turn their dream into a reality. The question becomes, is there a need for another magazine?
The need for more secure communication services has certainly spiked in the wake of the NSA spying revelations, with providers placing a higher emphasis on keeping their users' personal and work information safe from unwanted access. After all, those users expect (and demand) them to do so. As a result, it is not out of the ordinary to see the word "secure" being used as one of the many buzzwords that describe such services nowadays. The question is whether the presentation matches the behind-the-scenes reality.
Among the slew of services that promise secure communications is Perzo, which launched as a beta in late-August 2013. Perzo was founded by David Gurle, who is best known for his former roles as head of the Windows Messenger development and general manager and vice president of Skype for Business in the early 2000s. The service piqued my attention, and I chatted with the man to find out what sort of features and security options Perzo can bring to the table as a newcomer in the "secure communications application" market.
Cloud, cloud, cloud. This is a word that is prevalent when describing modern services, and one that we hear all too often nowadays. The premise is simple: move stuff somewhere you cannot control and leave it to someone (or some company) to do the backend work for you. For CRM software this approach appears to be ideal, as both the developing companies and their clients seem to embrace it.
CRM software used to be associated with on-premise solutions, but this approach has failed to integrate well into the new computing landscape where mobile devices are used increasingly around the office and on the go. A mobile-friendly philosophy is key. I chatted with Pipedrive, a company that makes cloud-based CRM software, about how it leverages the cloud and what the benefits are for its 30,000 users.
If you are a Windows Phone and/or Windows 8/RT user who loves RSS feed reader apps then I am sure the name Nextgen Reader rings a bell. It is one of the best-rated and most popular pieces of software currently available on Microsoft's latest consumer operating systems, and probably one of the best built mobile apps that smartphone and tablet users can get today.
To learn more about Nextgen Reader and Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT development, I chatted with the person responsible for all the code behind the app, Gaurav Kalra. The man, alongside his brother Sorabh, is the co-founder of Next Matters, the company that develops Nextgen Reader.
The FUZE is a new programable computer and electronics workstation based around the Raspberry Pi. It's built in the UK and its designers believe it will appeal to the education sector as well as home electronics enthusiasts.
We hope to get some hands-on experience with one soon but in the meantime we spoke to Jon Silvera the managing director of Binary Distribution, the company behind the FUZE, to find out more about it.
Being a tech-savvy Windows user can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, you can fix whatever software issues arise on your own, without calling for help when you need it the most but, at the same time, friends, family, coworkers, neighbors or even people that you don't even know directly ask you to "come over" to mend their "broken" PC. And, there is a very good chance that no compensation is involved for all those hours spent in front of someone else's computer (hence why some of us tell the other person we're busy for the whole year, and always working or on vacation -- I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture).
Jumpshot is a company that promises to fix this perennial problem for both sides, through an automated tool which is designed to be used by tech-savvy users and beginners alike. How? Well, I chatted with the company's CTO and co-founder Pedram Amini to find out how it works, what it can do for you and, most importantly, whether it can solve the "tech support" issue that users have been dealing with since malware (or grime, as Jumpshot likes to call it) first hit Windows PCs.
Internet Explorer’s tight integration into Windows 8, coupled with the fact that IE10 is actually pretty good, means the veteran browser is enjoying something of a resurgence these days. Humorous advertising poking fun at the browser’s past (while distancing itself from it) has also encouraged many ex-users to take a fresh look.
I chatted with Internet Explorer’s Marketing Manager Rebecca Wolff about the "Browser you loved to hate" campaign, asked her what major changes we can expect to see in IE11, and found out why embracing web standards is now a major priority for Microsoft.
May 9 was a big day for Flipboard. The personal news app launched a new version on Android, bringing feature parity with iOS, and the Financial Times debuted as a content provider. FT is unique among magazine news publications, by making people pay. Free rides are short lived; the newspaper lets registered users view a limited number of stories per month. More than that, requires a subscription.
Many people look at Flipboard as a pretty news aggregator -- a smorgasbord of valuable content served up for free; eat as much as you like. Financial Times brings the pay model with it. You still need a FT account. Registered users are limited to blogs and video, while subscribers get access to everything. I wonder if personal paper apps like Flipboard aren't the future news, with some -- even more -- content behind the paywall.
I’ve been using Bing as my primary search engine for nearly two months now, and I like it. While I personally think it still lags behind Google in some areas, it’s definitely improving. It delivers decent results, offers some great features and does an excellent job of integrating social sources like Facebook and Twitter.
I chatted with Bill Hankes, a director at Bing, to find out more about the service and the division's future plans, and also asked him about that divisive Scroogled campaign...
ServicePower -- a mobile workforce management software provider -- is seeing more and more companies turning to a workforce model that relies on a mix of full-time employees, third-party contractors, and independent technicians being brought together and managed seamlessly in one place using the power of the cloud.
I chatted with Mark Duffin, CEO and president of ServicePower, about the changes he’s seen recently, the data his firm collects, and why cloud deployment has become so important to his company and its clients.
On Tuesday, Vonage introduced free video calling into its mobile app for iPhone and Android, rounding out a suite which already offers features like free app-to-app calls, texts, photo and location sharing, as well as international calling.
I chatted to Nick Lazzaro, Vonage’s SVP Product Development, Information Technology and Managing Director Mobile Services, about the new addition, the company’s plans for the future, and what he thinks is next for the mobile industry.
I’m a huge fan of Raspberry Pi, the super-affordable ARM GNU/Linux computer that’s bringing programming back into schools (and beyond). In one year alone, more than a million Pis have been sold globally, which is a phenomenal achievement, and demand for the uncased credit card-sized device shows no signs of abating.
I chatted to Liz Upton, Head of Communications at Raspberry Pi Foundation (and wife of the foundation’s Executive Director Eben), about their eventful first year, and plans for the future.
I've been a user, and a fan, of Soluto since the Tel Aviv-based PC management service launched back in 2010. It helped me reduce my boot time by a few seconds, but more importantly it halved the boot time of my in-laws' PC. A move to the cloud means the service now lets me remotely solve issues on several PCs belonging to less tech-savvy friends and family, and I'd definitely recommend it.
Soluto offers various useful features -- it can cut boot times and de-clutter browsers; it will let you remotely manage system security, and even add a Start menu to Windows 8. By collecting anonymous user data, Soluto also offers a fascinating insight into PC use around the globe. Did you know, for example, that in Vietnam the average PC takes a minute less to boot up than PCs in the US and UK? I chatted to Tomer Dvir, Co-founder and CEO of Soluto, about the service, and he told me how it's evolved and how the Soluto community is actively working to find solutions to the system and software crashes that plague PC users everywhere.
The US Federal Trade Commission decision to close the Google "search bias" investigation is absolutely in the best interest of consumers. On that point, I agree with agency Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who announced the findings during a January 3 press conference. The result isn't what many Google critics or competitors hoped for, or even what some in the news media expected. Journalists repeatedly probed on the investigation's closing during yesterday's Q&A. Many people view Google to be a monopoly, perhaps dangerous one, while others regard the search giant increasingly as gatekeeper to the Internet.
In response to journalist questions, Leibowitz said that anyone in his position wants to take on the career-making case, which inference is clear: Google isn't it. "The Commission exhaustively investigated allegations that Google unfairly manipulated its search engine results to harm its competitors, a practice known as search bias", he said yesterday. "The Commission has closed this investigation by a 5-0 vote", which is unanimous, by the way. The decision fits long-standing US legal principles about competition and protecting consumers. Perhaps the government learned lessons from its monopoly case against Microsoft, which, as I previously asserted, failed to achieve its goals.