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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 16, 2012 / 22 Adar, 5772

Microsoft's Big Challenge Ahead

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A two-day forced vacation from the MacBook Pro I normally use during work hours, necessitated by a logic board replacement, forced me to seriously rely upon a Hewlett Packard notebook computer running Microsoft Windows.

This, plus last week's news about Apple Inc.'s new iPad (more on that next week), got me to thinking. I'm not a stock market guru, and mine may not be the best investment advice you can find, but here goes: short your Microsoft stock, if you don't choose to dump it.

That's a bit extreme, and Microsoft's partisans would be quick to note that there's plenty of life remaining in that firm and its products. Indeed, one of the preferred productivity applications on the Apple desktop/notebook platform is Microsoft's version of Office for the Mac. But that still doesn't eliminate, or excuse, the challenges the folks in Redmond, Washington, have ahead of them.

First, there's those incredible iPad sales numbers. In announcing the "new iPad," as Apple called it last week, the firm said it had sold more iPads in 2011 than any single computer maker had sold desktop or notebook PCs. Other analysts say Apple should easily sell a total of 100 million iPads by the end of 2012. Since every iPad has at least a Wi-Fi connection, and often a wireless data radio, that means a lot of "connected devices" out there, ones that can access cloud-based applications and/or data.

That has all sorts of implications, for users, for system administrators, and, again, for Microsoft. In a cloud-based situation, a tablet (iPad or otherwise) or a desktop computer for that matter, essentially becomes a terminal, accessing both data and applications from the cloud. Fair enough, but from whom will those applications be obtained? It could be Microsoft, but it doesn't have to be. Just ask Google, which is very happy to sell you its online productivity software. Or talk to Oracle, which now owns and distributes OpenOffice, a highly compatible "clone" of Microsoft Office.

The bottom line? Microsoft should, in my opinion, embrace services such as OnLive Desktop, and pronto, to keep a viable link to customers.

Second on the list of potential giants in the Microsoft "forest" would be the Windows operating system itself, and even those vaunted applications. Yes, the release of Windows 8 is in the wings, and a public "beta" version is available. But even Windows 7, itself a vast improvement over the ill-starred "Vista" release of a few years back, is clunky and feels dated, especially in the face of the touch gesture-rich operating system on the iPad, elements of which Apple is bringing not only to its next desktop OS X release, Mountain Lion, but also to individual applications. Ironically, there's bunches of touch-sensitive Windows-running desktops out there; the Microsoft software just isn't as creative in using touch.

On the Web browser front, Microsoft is, in my view, wildly optimistic when it advertises Internet Explorer 9 as the start of a great Internet surfing experience. Unless one wants to ride a wave of creamed corn, that is. Using IE9, even on a computer with a relatively new and supposedly powerful quad-core AMD processor, is anything but elegant or fast. And again, Microsoft seems to be blissfully ignorant of such competitive products as Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome or Mozilla.org's Firefox, let alone Opera Software's eponymous browser.

It doesn't have to be this, and, frankly, it shouldn't be this way. This columnist was opposed to hegemony when that word was applied chiefly to the now-former Soviet Union, and a vibrant, and competitive software/applications marketplace is in everybody's best interest. Those of us who want to root for Microsoft's applications - some of which are quite good - are just waiting for some signs of life on the part of a technology titan.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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