Microsoft launches new ad series: Laptop Hunters

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Ad Campaign, Microsoft, Opinion

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Yesterday Microsoft launched a new series of ads in their ongoing Windows Brand Campaign; Laptop Hunters. In this first ad and supposedly in the follow ups they are following real people on their quest to find a new laptop.

I thought this first video was just great. It certainly hints at the so-called Apple Tax or Premium, and shows how much more choice there is in the Windows world. To be clear; I think that Apple makes great hardware products, but at the same time find them too expensive and limiting (think upgrades). Anyway; Here is the first ad. What do you think?

Laptop Hunters #1 – Lauren

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My Troubles With Live Mesh

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Microsoft, Opinion, Software, Windows 7 Beta

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Live Mesh touts a simple, yet brilliant idea; being able to access my files and folders from anywhere. Whether it is done with syncing the contents between 2 or more computers utilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) technology or via the Live Desktop.

I decided that I should try to sync my music-collection between my laptop and desktop. Given the 5 GB limitation on what goes to the Live Desktop, I had to choose the P2P solution for my approx 120 GB music collection.

I recently went through my collection and fine tuned it, with album art and tags, utilizing iTunes, Zune and MediaMonkey. Time consuming but rewarding in the end when everything was in place.

Then I made the stupid decision to try out the Live Mesh Beta to sync between the two mentioned computers.

Installing Live Mesh and setting it up is fairly easy, but screwing it up is even easier.

When choosing to add a folder to your Live Mesh and then in the sync options choosing which computers to sync to, what happens is that on the “other” computer a destination folder is created on the desktop. Here is my first complaint ; why can I not choose destination folder myself? So that I can make two almost synced folders become synced? If that option is in there it so well hidden that I cannot find it.

Well, Ok I thought. I have enough disk-space on the C-drive of my desktop to add the entire music-collection. The sync started by itself – which is actually my second beef; why can I not force when Live Mesh is to sync or not? Anyway, folder structures were created and the process seemed to go just fine.

After a few days I found that the process of syncing had stopped, but that the desktop only had approximately 95 GB of the 120 GB it should have… I looked everywhere to find info on how to continue the sync process to no avail. Bummer.

Then I double-clicked the shortcut for the Live Mesh “music” folder on my laptops desktop with the unintended result of changing the sync folders location on my laptop – not to where the music was, but to my laptops desktop. AND – for some obscure reason – the result is (either from that clicking mistake or something else altogether) is that ALL my music on my laptop has disappeared! The folder structure is basically there. Album art is there. But not A SINGLE MP.3 or AAC file to be found.

Yes, I have a backup of the collection (unfortunately made before I tuned the collection), but…..

It is my own fault, I know. I did this on a laptop running a Win 7 Beta OS, with Live Mesh which certainly is in beta, but I am still annoyed (understatement). As it is I have to return to tuning my collection once again, but then I will sync it between the laptop and the desktop using an old and proven way: copy the contents to a removable drive and then onto the desktop. And from then on continue to manually sync the two collections. At least I get to control the procedure and the destination location.

So: At the moment I can not in any way, shape or form recommend using Live Mesh for syncing important folder/file structures. I have created a work folder I will use to sync between the beforementioned computers, but always keeping a backup around. I do think that Windows Live Sync might be a better tool for that, but that is a different post!

Edited; 2009-02-12 Typos…

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Brandon LeBlanc of the Windows 7 Team Blog posts a clarifying article on the Windows 7 SKUs

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Microsoft, Opinion, Windows 7 Beta

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Brandon LeBlanc has written a post on the Windows 7 Team Blog where he goes into the different SKUs of Windows 7.

Bloggers and pundits have been all over Microsoft for not making things easier for the consumers by having too many SKUs. I totally disagree and think that things are actually much easier this time around. Yes, there are 6 different SKUs mentioned;

  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Starter (OEM only)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (OEM only)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (Volume License Agreements Only)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

But as Brandon clearly shows Home Premium and Professional are the two different SKUs most consumers will have to choose from. The others ones are aimed at niche markets, and will not even be available for most people.

He also states that;

We also make it easy for customers to change down the road. So let’s say I purchase Windows 7 Home Premium and want to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. With Windows Anytime Upgrade I can, as it makes upgrading to another version of Windows 7 much easier now that we have a single image for every SKU. Users will be able to unlock upgraded editions of Windows 7 without original media or additional software as everything they need in order to upgrade will be on their PC already.

Because each SKU is a superset of the previous SKU for Windows 7 that means each higher edition SKU will also include every feature the lower edition SKUs has. Windows 7 Professional will have every feature that Windows 7 Home Premium has plus other business-oriented features such as the ability to join a domain.

I recommend going to the Windows 7 Team Blog and read the post in its entirety. Do I believe that the MS bashers out there will calm down – no, but anyway…


A closer look at the Windows 7 SKUs – Windows 7 Team Blog – The Windows Blog

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