To Microsoft and Apple, “where are your new PC’s?”

Apple and Microsoft are both wondering why their PC earnings are slumping. I’ll guess it is because they are not delivering any new models or exciting technologies.

It’s time for Microsoft to launch the Surface Pro 5.
Microsoft just reported its earnings for the quarter ended March 31, and revealed a 26 percent drop in Surface revenue. Here are a few likely reasons why that happened.

First, Microsoft’s new Surface Book with Performance Base and Surface Studio, the latest products in its family of computers, are too expensive and cost at least a couple of thousand dollars. They’re designed for professionals who are willing to spend a lot of money for a computer, not for the everyday user.

It’s the Surface Pro laptop/tablet hybrid that’s most appealing to consumers…or at least was most appealing. It’s no wonder Microsoft blamed slower Surface sales on “lower than expected Surface Pro unit volume,” on a call with CNBC.

Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro 4, the latest model, back in October 2015. Consumers who might be interested in it are rightly choosing products from competitors, like HP, Dell, Samsung and others, who are selling thinner and lighter tablets with newer components.

Microsoft needs to update the Surface Pro family with Intel’s new seventh generation chip, which is available in computers made by nearly every other manufacturer at this point (with Apple being one holdout).

Microsoft has an event in May where it will unveil new hardware, though the Surface Pro 5 isn’t supposed to be on the docket. Instead, Microsoft’s expected to introduce its new Windows 10 Cloud platform which will help it battle Google Chromebooks.

It might be wise for Microsoft to unveil the Surface Pro 5 there, too.

Frankfurt woos London banks after Brexit vote

The race has finally begun! I’m feeling very optimistic about Frankfurt as a financial hub for Europe right now.

Enjoy this article from Jonathan Gould and John O’Donnell | FRANKFURT

A German politician said on Thursday he was trying to persuade foreign banks to make Frankfurt their home after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and outlined how Europe’s biggest economy wants to bolster its financial capital at London’s expense.

Thomas Schaefer, finance minister of the state of Hesse which includes Frankfurt, said he had spoken to London banks with an arm in Frankfurt as well as others, and sought to persuade potential movers that local labour law and tax were not overly onerous.
“We are listening very carefully to the questions that the financial sector has after the Brexit vote,” Schaefer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, told reporters. “We are campaigning for Hesse because the financial centre of Frankfurt has a lot to offer,” he said at a meeting, where numerous Union Jack flags were put on display.

Most German politicians have so far been reluctant to publicly push Frankfurt as an alternative to London. Many Germans remain hostile to banks after the financial crash.
Schaefer’s remarks suggest momentum may now be growing behind Frankfurt, less than two months after Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union — a process referred to as Brexit.
Schaefer did not, however, offer any prospect of special deals to cut tax or any other concessions. He said the city’s infrastructure and the fact that it hosted the European Central Bank were reason enough to move there.
Schaefer said he had held talks with “all kinds of players” but that many had wanted to keep the contact secret. “There is a fear of being considered disloyal in the London community,” he said.

The comments come as Germany’s banks, worried that Frankfurt could get left behind as rival cities such as Dublin or Amsterdam compete for London’s business, urged the country’s politicians to step up their efforts.The head of Germany’s BDB banking association had criticised politicians earlier on Thursday for being slow to act. “My impression is that France is being more active in support of Paris,” Michael Kemmer told journalists
Kemmer also urged Germany to abandon plans to introduce a tax on financial transactions, a levy backed by the country’s finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Schaeuble’s support for such a measure is, however, largely symbolic and there is little prospect of banks that move to Frankfurt facing such a trading levy. Years of talks to introduce the charge in Europe have yielded nothing.Many banks or fund managers based in London are there in part because it allows them to sell their products within the wider European Union of 28 countries.

That would most likely change if Britain were to leave the bloc. A bank based in Germany or France, however, would still have its ‘passport’ to sell across the EU.

Frank Niehage, head of FinTech Group, a financial technology specialist, recently said there had been a rise in enquiries from London banks.

“We know … that they are looking here for alternative office space for their employees out of London.

Reuters UK – 13 h ago

To Evolve We Must Accept Change

Evolution is so important to us as a race. Humans need to move forward, develop, change.
We know this to be true
and yet it so hard to do so. Sometimes the simplest change can be frustratingly tough to make even though we know, deep down, it is for the best. Inside, we understand that just a small change is all we need to feel better, move-on and evolve. Yet somehow we are hindered by fear, worry and a hundred other obstacles.

We seem to be confronted by these obstacles daily. Worst of all, it gets harder as we age. It seems all our fears, threats and worries magnify every ten to twenty years.

Being in the IT business, we are very analytical in our approach to change. We break down the process to ensure that when we make a change we are doing it properly and for the right reasons. This is simply the scientific methodology to the process of change.  I have found, over the years, that this structured approach is extremely helpful in my personal life, especially when I know, in my gut,  I need to make a change.

What are my fears? What keeps me from evolving and making a change – IMPACT ! Yes impact, this is what we all fear. One of the first things I ask my team prior to a change is if they have done an impact analysis. I am always interested in the results of the impact analysis and on some odd level, the change itself becomes obscure and less important than the risks and impact. I apply this model to my personal life all the time. I ask myself;  If I make this change, what will be the impact on my lifestyle, children and health? Sure, there are other factors, but these, are often significant enough for me to keep from making quick changes and enjoying their benefits, what we call- quick wins. Sadly, the older I get, the more cautious I become.

What am I getting at here?  Do not be afraid of change. Embrace it as a fundamental part of personal evolution, if the change seems too tough, do an impact analysis. Weigh the benefits and the downsides, analyze the RISK.

Get out there and move forward, change – evolve!

 

Love and hate Windows 10

I have been using Windows 10 for a few months now and I love many of the features it has to offer. I also hate the odd settings it sometimes makes on its own. For example; my computer is plugged into the network via Ethernet and I have a full connection and can ping the world but have no internet connection. 

This is absurd. I can even play games online and yet the minute I use Chrome, the new new Edge app I get the reply “no internet connection.” Again absurd, the machine worked fine last time I used it this morning just before work. Now Windows has definitely made some changes to its settings and I now have to spend the next hour figuring out what it did.

This has become tiresome, Windows does this often. It feels that it needs to make agile changes on the fly for a computer that does not move. This could be a cool feature for me if traveling, but for my machine at home, this is dumb!

So here I go again today, playing with Windows 10 settings.

Love / Hate

Taking a nice long walk

My son has karate all day and I have taken the opportunity to enjoy some quality walking.

This area is near Darmstadt and is lovely. I spent a couple of hours at the old castle, Otzberg and then walked though Gross Umstadt. Here are some of the sights:

   
    
    
    
 
The view from up on the castle was incredible.

  

   
I also stopped for some coffee and later a delicious lunch.  😉

   
 
I can recommend this area to any wanderers. My total walk time so far, and I’m almost finished, 2.5 hours. Break time, a little over an hour. I have about  an hour left to go.

If around Darmstadt, enjoy.
Chris

Jobs or Steve Jobs, my opinion

So now that I have seen both, Jobs and Steve Jobs, I can say, I liked Jobs. Steve Jobs, seemed all about him behind the curtain (nothing new). Neither film seems worth a movie theater ticket. But for a two dollar rental,
I was able to settle my curiosity. Ashton Kutcher was very good. There were moments where he looked and seemed so much like the guy it was almost weird. I don’t really like Kutcher that much but he seemed to have this role down. In both films Woz is portrayed as a super smart, super nice guy. I actually believe he is one. Over the years I have seen the Woz in so many interviews and he comes over very much the geek that we all love. Human, humble and passionate about technology and engineering.

I did not like the portrayal of Scully and “The Board” in Jobs. I believe it was much more complex and that. Jobs may have never reached his full potential without the shove. He came back better and more mature.