What’s on my mind lately..

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It’s been about a month since I last blogged so here is an attempt to catch up by covering some of the stuff I’ve been reading and some of the things I’ve been discussing with my partners on the phone. It’s kind of funny that way, the opinions on topics range but the same topics and concerns are somewhat uniform around the globe.

Microsoft Gives Up on Windows
In the eyes of many financial analysts and those of us that listened to last weeks launch of Office for iPad – Microsoft is seemingly trowing it’s weight behind it’s Office cash cow and trying to make it more relevant in the new mobile world. With the new CEO and the 2% market share by the Surface it’s clear that Microsoft was never going to make any future play in the world of business productivity if it didn’t embrace the iPad completely.

If you recall, the reasoning for keeping the Office as an exclusive Microsoft property was the key reason for OEMs to build Windows tablets – except then Microsoft decided to compete with the said OEMs and none made any significant progress in becoming a viable brand. If you recall the WPC presentation about Windows 8 a few years ago, Ballmer was surrounded by what according to many of us that played with Windows 8 gear is a floating island of garbage – between convertibles, tablets of all different sizes, rugged tablets, AIO, netbooks – Microsoft couldn’t find a single winning product in the bunch. The decision to put everything behind Surface – right up to including the full version of Office and a free 8.1 upgrade was the real all-in moment for them.

It ended last week. Even the Google Chromebook branded cheap “laptops” outsold anything even remotely related to Windows and Microsoft.

Now with the new CEO and a new strategy, Microsoft is clearly thinking about becoming the business solution. Though as Microsoft knows really well, habits are hard to break: It’s what kept them as the most dominant platform for business for 20+ years. And this iPad move may be too little too late. You see, I also installed Office on my iPad the day it was released and it’s nice. It’s really, really nice. They have done a great job. But since then, when I needed to take notes I used Evernote. When I wrote stuff and viewed stuff from my staff, it happened in Pages. There is no reason for me to open Office on the iPad any more than there is a reason for me to open my Surface which sits on my nightstand, fully powered as a digital picture frame.

It’s too early to guess what the new Microsoft CEO will do with Windows, it’s definitely unfair to project it based on a single conference that covered the launch of a productivity platform for the dominant home and office productivity gadget. But what is fair to assume is that Microsoft is rapidly losing the battle with it’s own OEM effort with Surface, it’s Mobile offering is all about the camera and it’s competitors with Android and the cloud are getting far better with each passing day. They got Xbox though – and XBONE is incredible.

This is a more international topic than something a lot of people in USA deal with but for something so plagued in scandal, mistrust, mystery and outright theft you’d think the Bitcoin was a work of US Congress.

The “digital currency” which IRS ruled last week was property not currency… sounds like an immigrant telling you about a brilliant business idea involving his home country. It sounds pretty good but everything about it sounds borderline illegal and you don’t want to die in a Bolivian prison. It has the potential to dethrone the US dollar as the worldwide Internet currency, yet even it’s largest exchanges are filing for bankruptcy after misplacing $200 million “in an old wallet it no longer uses..”

It’s somewhat interesting to watch… on one hand you can buy Virgin Atlantic tickets and a Tesla with it. On the other hand, you have that suspicion that bulk of it is used to pay for items you really don’t want to show up on your credit card.

We read your email but we’re not going to do it again
NSA reads your email. Damn government overreaching, we should accept free market capitalism absolutely – make everything a private enterprise! No more big brother!

Except when the private enterprise ends up spying on Outlook.com accounts to find out who is leaking Big Blue Microsoft’s secrets. Woops! So much for wasting millions of dollars on a Scroogled campaign (to promote something everyone already knows, that freemail Gmail scans your emails to embed context-related ads) and the safe and secure trustworthy Microsoft turns out to be KGB.

But don’t worry, you can trust Microsoft. They even put up a newsletter explaining how they won’t do it again. Even Obama is out proposing severely limiting the NSA spying operations to just somewhat unconstitutional.

The part that worries me is that these are the crimes that we know about. What else are they doing that we don’t?

Cloud Bubble
I was fortunate enough to live through the first .com boom and bust and the very same stuff is happening today. Quickly scrapped together companies, launching without significant revenues and coming out of business incubators, are taking their one hit wonders and cashing out the venture companies as fast as they can get to Wall Street.

The real harbinger of doom – a company whose mascot is more popular than it’s product and earning potential – has not yet appeared.

In the IT world
To be honest, I have been pretty preocupied with what we are doing over at ExchangeDefender to pay attention to the rest of the community. As a matter of fact, I am heading to my first (and last) networking event at CompTIA AMM. I’ll be on the panel discussing the changing face of a technology buyer. Unfortunately, too many of my MSP friends are sadly aware of this trend and it has put many of them if not out of business outright into a more unprofitable situation.

On my agenda is going global, perfecting our service delivery (more and more people are realizing they want nothing to do with email so we’re in charge of their email migration, support as well as everything underneath it from SPAM to hosting), extending our portfolio to the many integrators, developers, resellers and folks just trying to offer email solution more affordably as a part of a different puzzle. Personally I have a few other projects that I can’t talk about yet, I’m looking for a COO/zookeeper to run OWN on a day-to-day basis and really… to be honest, enjoying my life. I’ve spent the past decade on “we must do this, we must launch this, we need just one more thing” and with last years launch of migrations, support, encryption, compliance, Shockey Monkey HR, accounting and even the Unicorn there is no new “big” thing on the horizon – so at the end of March I’ve spent more time out of the office than in office. I hang out more with my kids, spend more time with my partners than with my employees, work on my other business ventures, read, run, drink.

Life is good.

And when you don’t have things pissing you off daily, it’s a little bit harder to find motivation to write about them and help people overcome the same problems I’ve faced in my career. If you want to know something, call me 🙂