Windows 10 Tablets January 2017

Please see below for a small selection of Windows 10 tablet devices from my Amazon Shop for January 2017.


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What are Microsoft Playing At?

Most readers of this blog will be only too well aware that Microsoft have just acquired LinkedIn for a staggering $26 Billion or thereabouts. This was announced yesterday. Since then I have had a number of chats with business associates, clients and friends about this very topic. Three things come to light:

  1. Microsoft are not good at managing web properties and have a poor record in this.
  2. Microsoft have a very troubled acquisition history in general. Nokia is an excellent example.
  3. There does not seem to be a “fit” between LinkedIn and Microsoft. The only strategic fit I could find would be to bundle Microsoft products into LinkedIn subscriptions in order to claw back market share. Even then I am not too sure about this strategy.

Shares in both companies rose substantially around announcement time. I have always felt that LinkedIn are a heavily over valued stock. They have had to implement technical solutions to force people into paid subscriptions in the past 2 years. Certainly for me this has been highly annoying. I will say that some of these solutions are very, very clever. LinkedIn has become a social network for work in my opinion. By this I mean that is has become acceptable to read and interact with sometimes questionable content whilst at work. For what its worth I also believe that Facebook is heavily over valued too. I have always found Microsoft to be a strange company internally. I spent 6 months on a contract there back in the days before LinkedIn and Facebook even existed. Confidentially agreements prevent me from sharing any stories but I could never really work out the politics, the processes, the people or the business model. It was a very strange time indeed. I have to say that the whole experience left me hating with a passion the part of Reading UK, known as Thames Valley Park, where Microsoft’s UK HQ are situated. So what will happen next? Will this flat line in the same way that the strategy behind acquiring Nokia did? Lets face it not a lot of good came out of that one as is evidenced in the media. Is there a next big thing in the pipeline? Will I get offered a free Office365 subscription if I sign to LinkedIn Premium? (To be fair this might be the only reason I but LinkedIn Premium ever again!) One thing is for sure. The plot does thicken! I Hope you are all well Until next time Best regards Court

October’s Commuting Rant

I thought I would get this one in early! Some of you will know that I have ranted about commuting into London recently and especially about the behaviour of certain individuals or groups. Well here goes this months installment! Brompton bike riders. You lot are so beginning to really take the mickey that you have gained a reputation in my eyes akin the that of a BMW driver!. Firstly please don’t be so precious about your stupid bike we all do not need to make a space around you. You are actually supposed to put said bike on the overhead luggage rack anyway. Secondly half unfolding your bike whilst either the train is still moving or on a platform seriously annoys your fellow commuters. You are supposed to unfold your bike outside the station. Worse still are those Muppets who ride down the platform at Victoria Station at * in the morning 🙁 Next up. Ticket Gates. To one side of each set of ticket barriers at any station is a wide angled gate for those of us who are disabled or have heavy luggage or pushchairs with us. It is not for idiots who think they are too good to use a normal ticket barrier. Please stop doing it. You look like a complete twat when you do it as well. Now lets talk about passing the time on the actual journey? Reading a newspaper – thats cool. Reading a good book is fine too. Sipping a latte while you are at it – excellent.. I do it too! Reading reports marked confidential and making sure the whole train carriage can see makes you look like an idiot especially to the bloke on Thursday who was reading a Ministry of Defence, highly classified document on the 08:20 to Waterloo! Lets be clear this document was so sensitive it should not have left the office. I am surprised one of my fellow commuters didn’t take a picture and get the Daily Mail to report it! To be fair it is not the first time I have seen classified government papers being read on a train. This months special mention however must go to the plonker who was talking so loudly about Microsoft System Center on his mobile phone one morning and telling his contacts on the other end of the telephone what do do. He also kept looking around to try and work out why someone was pissing themselves laughing from Raynes Park to Clapham Junction. Well mate here it is especially for you, whoever you are: Firstly Microsoft System Center was my old shop for many years until I left IT. I had some good times consulting on the international circuit around this product set. Secondly you were talking absolute bollocks and trying to get a junior to go through an operation which only you alone should have done from a desk of some description with full control of your environment. You also gave wrong information about a certain part of the product set to your colleague and gave him a password which I assume was for a certain service account. Naughty. Naughty Naughty! I hope your boss sees this and sacks you! Thats the commuting rant over for this month!

Microsoft Surface Review

About a month ago it became apparent that some of my kit may need to be redeployed at short notice for a very important need. This would mean that I would need to acquire a new small laptop fairly sharpish. Taking a walk around PC World (Yes, I know with my background in the IT trade I should know of better places top go! I was however in a hurry and the original plan was to buy a Lenovo netbook) I spotted a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet for only £249.99. I played with it and thought that for the discount it was going to be a good deal. I bought the keyboard case for it as well. I did this on the basis that if I did not get on with it, it would be sold on eBay sharpish.

Three days later saw me heading off to Spain for a holiday. I brought this device along and I am glad I did. I have some fairly hefty spreadsheets I use from work and these could be a pain on my Samsung Galaxy Tab because of a lack of macro support. Any way I got a call from London regarding work that required me to get some figures checked, so I grabbed the Surface 2 and headed for a bar that had wi-fi. I logged in and retrieved the spreadsheet expecting a little aggro, but no it performed flawlessly, a quick phone call to London and 10 minutes later the issue had been resolved.  Thanks to the surface I was enjoying a beer and catching some sunshine.

As I have for the most part left the IT trade (I still do a little IT consultancy) I no longer need some of the software and tools I have on the laptops and as I now have desktops with large screens I have little need for a full blown laptop and the Surface is proving ideal. The only thing that is letting it down at the moment is a lack of Microsoft Publisher. I use Publisher a lot these days for creating prospectuses and this is a little drawback for me.

So the verdict? The Surface has proved itself after a month of ownership and shown that it is more than capable of earning its keep. It won’t be going on eBay anytime soon!