Friday, 26 September 2014


How much???? Are you nuts????

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! What’s happening? It’s always good to see you! Good news if you are interested into making music as I have the latest Magix Music Maker software coming soon! And if you want to create 3D animations then standby for the Synapse Circuit iClone 5 competition! Whoohoo!

What’s up with Microsoft, huh?

#Microsoft #Surface #Digitalworkshop #Reallusion #Magix #Roxio #Incomedia #Roxio #Android

Sadly, for the consumer, Microsoft and Apple have a warlike attitude towards emerging technologies such as Google for example. Apple, as we all know, has taken great strides into mobile device technology out of reinventing the MP3 player, mobile phone and tablet computer. Apple’s mobile devices have overshadowed its computers for a good while and now that mobile device windstorm has petered out the consumer can see more clearly.

For a long, long while Microsoft has been trailing behind Apple’s iPod and who can forget the Zune? Oooh, it died a death! However, if the truth be known one could get great MP3 playing devices that didn’t need the iTunes ecosystem. Because the Windows PC was and still is commonplace its users could enjoy the countless free and commercial MP3 creation software. PC users could determine the quality of the MP3 from the original recording on vinyl or CD. I know... By today’s standards a generation has spawned without the warmth of vinyl or the CD... I used to love vinyl (singles, LPs & albums) but as a collector with a small abode it became impractical. I warmed to the CD especially due to the extra information / media that could be had from a collector’s edition Enhanced CD that contained a multimedia presentation not unlike a PowerPoint presentation complete with a video or two of much loved singles, interview, etc. This got replaced by the DVD. The point I am making is that Apple and its bloody iTunes killed off the music industry. I mean... bad must the industry be if you can’t even give away an album? Because Apple were great at publicity it made people want to buy into its products and right from the start I could see through it!

Microsoft felt that it had to come up with an alternative to the iPod when it was impractical due to the fact that most of us PC users were happy to go out and buy the music in a retail outlet: Virgin, Our Price Records, Tower Records and HMV! Oh, not forgetting the various independent music shops in London’s West End! We were happy to go out there buy the music, convert it to MP3 and place it on our MP3 players or the mobile phones that could handle the format. We PC users didn’t care for iTunes at all! We never needed it and still don’t! I thought the iPod was a load of crap – I still do think that! I thought the Archos media players were so much better!

Microsoft started to fall down the Apple rabbit hole.

When the first Android handset hit the market in the form of a HTC designed flip-out QWERTY keyboard it looked very raw and most importantly it was perceived by many as a fad that wouldn’t go the distance as the iPhone was all the rage! But we all know the story of Android... As Android started to take off with the HTC Hero and the Samsung Galaxy S I started to hear rumours of Microsoft working on its own handset. Can anyone remember when it made its debut? I can’t and that’s the point with Microsoft – it can’t do anything beyond the operating system and Office!

Sadly... I say “sadly” because Microsoft didn’t take – in my opinion – enough time to study the marketplace to make educated anticipations upon where Apple would end up... Microsoft was so busy lashing out to preserve this fallacy of a technological giant when all it really did was to give the IBM compatible PC a visual user interface. Okay, I shouldn’t appear ungrateful because Windows is GREAT and it is was and still is a LIBERATOR! Without Windows we would never have gotten a myriad of wonderful software houses such as:-


There were many, many more but they fell by the wayside as they were not able to keep up with the innovation and take initiative in a different approach to things we do on a PC! The software houses mentioned above not only showed MAC users that great things can be achieved on the PC such as DTP via Serif PagePlus, PhotoPlus and DrawPlus; Music Composition from Magix Music Maker and Music Studio; Video Editing through Serif MoviePlus and Magix Movie Edit Pro; Web Design from Incomedia WebSite X5, Magix Web Designer and Serif WebPlus and so on! Once upon a time there was a widely held view that in order to do the above well one had to:-

A. Own a MAC.
B. Own Adobe software (for the MAC).

Sure, one could own a PC and use the same Adobe software but that was very, very costly! The aforementioned software houses have done so much to empower ordinary users with extraordinary ideas! The above software houses made and still make their products cost effective to the point of mocking Adobe and MAC users that think little of the PC and non-Adobe software. For a good, good while it was a pain in the ass to take PC produced documents to be printed at MAC based print bureaus. To be honest with you a lot of MAC based designers were too far up themselves to recognize what a PC and non-Adobe software can do! The one good thing that Adobe gave us was the PDF format which helped to take the befuddlement out of the printing game! THANK GOODNESS!!!

What Apple did for its computers was very, very, very smart! Apple recognized that PC users were benefitting from these wonderful inexpensive software and decent PC set-ups that it created cheaper MAC computers with a set of bundled software to get the user going: iWork. Adobe also recognized what was happening and released consumer versions of its professional software i.e. Photoshop Elements but what Adobe failed and still fail to understand is that its direct competition, Serif, released fully professional software that produced documents that a professional printer can understand i.e. CMYK files such as TIF, PDF and JPEG. Today, CMYK isn’t much of an issue as many print bureaus have large scale domestic printers that will do the job of producing your flyers, newsletters, etc. The big music software creators such as Cakewalk, Steinberg, etc did the same thing and produced cut down versions of their respective software titles but such efforts weren’t enough to stop Magix, Synapse Audio (Orion Studio) and lately Cockos (REAPER) from producing music composition software that delivered!

At that point Microsoft could have easily gotten into PC hardware production – especially as there quite often hardware that conflicted with the various versions of Windows. Microsoft could have standardised the PC and worked with the aforementioned software houses provide a bundle of great software to match iWork. It would have made the PC even more ubiquitous than it already is and helped to make the software houses (and products) even better known than they are today!

What did Microsoft do instead? In a nutshell they went so far up its backend that it weakened its position. What do I mean?

1. Microsoft concentrated on its Internet Explorer web browser so that it dominated the competition at the time i.e. Netscape! Not only that, Internet Explorer played by its own rules and did not adhere to the current web standards: W3C

2. Produced a potentially good WYSIWYG web design software, FrontPage. The trouble with FrontPage produced websites was that they would only look good and function with Internet Explorer. What if the user viewed the website on a MAC? How about another browser such as Netscape Navigator? DISASTER! By the time Microsoft realized the error of its ways it lost the web design software market just as fast as they started it.

What a waste! As a result I do not use Internet Explorer! Internet Explorer is the Internet equivalent of faecal matter! Microsoft continued to make the imperfect operating system releases expensive. How many times have you bought a legitimate Windows operating system and you get a message to say that what you have is an illegal copy? That’s bloody annoying! Rather than perfect releases of Windows Microsoft kept releasing product that had to be fixed by these constant Service Packs that could sometimes mess up a PC even more! Grrrrrr! What? A Windows phone??? £*@% OFF!!! That’s how I feel about anything Windows and that’s Microsoft’s doing!

Above: As you can see, Windows Phone 8. Below: The screenshot of an Android handset using a Windows style launcher. 

Had Microsoft taken the time to be analytical it could have foreseen that the iPad would clash with the Macbook. What business model can survive a yearly complete hardware overhaul? This is why the MAC computer and PC aren’t going away anytime soon as much as the tech media loves to report the drop in PC sales!

Analysis would have led to the understanding that Android handsets and tablets can complement both Windows and MAC computers. The Android tablet is phenomenal not only due to its cost effectiveness but its longevity! And as I have stated before, many of the productivity applications are fully functional in its own right and / or can act as a sketchpad for PC and MAC set-ups in that one can produce Office compatible documents; MIDI for music; MP4 video and so on. I would rather take out a 7” Android tablet that can, incidentally, make and accept phone calls! Why on Earth would I want an iPad? And why on Earth would I or anyone else want a Surface tablet???

Look at how much Microsoft has lost on the ill-fated Surface Windows RT tablets; $1.2 BILLION!!!! Just how much more does Microsoft has to lose before it realizes that the Surface is not going to fly???

Because of this ‘us against them’ attitude Microsoft, like Apple, does not think of unification and harmonizing with new, exciting emerging technologies. They (Microsoft and Apple) want our custom and will – if they had their way – litigate the competition out of business. Look how that’s turned out for Apple? It is ugly for the consumer! I as a PC owner feel that my custom is unappreciated with idiotic messages informing me that my copy of Windows is illegal! A few years ago I tried to update my Windows XP Professional with a Service Pack and I got a message to say that my copy was illegal and was not able to perform the update, caught a virus in the process and lost a couple of years of work! This will be the last time I mention it but I was super-pissed off at the time! All that work lost because of Microsoft’s crappy software! And they want to move into phones and tablets without perfecting what they have???? That’s insane!

That $1.2 Billion could have easily funded Microsoft branded computers with an operating system to be proud of and a great bundle of software to get the user started. There are some amazing Windows based laptops out there with a touch screen that should have seen Microsoft invest into Android phones and tablets to compliment the Windows computer! Microsoft could have set-up a division for the creation of Android applications.

The only reason why I still use the PC is because of the amazing aforementioned software houses that produce cost effective products that deliver professional results each and every time – unlike bloody Microsoft!

Microsoft, if you are reading this please compensate me for my loss and get it together! Stop scratching the surface and embrace Android!

That’s something to think about!


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