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Microsoft’s Stores all about Propaganda?

In his third piece on “fixing Microsoft” Bob Cringely has some convincing theories about those proposed Microsoft retail outlets – namely that it’s all about providing street-level positive spin for Windows 7.

Sadly the rest of the article, dealing with the specifics of where he’d make cuts at MS, is a little too uneducated and thus disappointingly unconvincing. Not very Cringely, in fact.

A second gPhone.

The Mobile World Congress is on in Barcelona this week, so mobile phone news and announcements are thick on the ground. The first thing that’s grabbed my attention though is HTC’s announcement of another g(oogle)Phone. You already know the HTC Dream (AKA T-Mobile’s G1) – well meet its sister, the HTC Magic. It looks a little prettier than the G1 (in my opinion) but has no pull-out QWERTY keyboard – so it’s just a touchscreen and trackball affair. Oh, and the Magic will be exclusive to Vodafone in the UK.

googlephones T-mobile’s GooglePhone Vs Vodafone’s GooglePhone

The other news from MWC worth noting is that handset manufacturers and network operators have agreed on MicroUSB as a standard charger for all new phones. A great idea (for consumers anyway, since we’d be able to borrow each other’s chargers without worries of compatibility) but sadly there’s no date for implementation – just a vague target of 50% of new phones by 2012. By which time of course, there’ll probably be a better way of doing it.

RIP Friends Reunited?

According to the FT, ITV might be looking to flog Friends Reunited, with analysts predicting that potential suitors would “include rival sites such as Facebook and MySpace”.

Can i be the first to call “bollocks” on this?

Friends Reunited was arguably the first “social networking” website and a pretty decent idea back at the turn of the millennium, if only let-down (from the users point-of-view) by the charging of a fee to contact any old friends you’d found. By the time the company realised nobody liked this and made everything gratis, it was too late – Facebook, Bebo and MySpace had already taken hold. So Friends Reunited is now just another site and almost certainly won’t be bought by anyone who already has a foot in the social networking market.

My money is on ITV selling it (at a massive loss) to some relatively unknown outfit and the brand just disappearing completely within 6 months of the sale…

Nielsen on Macintosh.

Jakob Nielsen (yes, he of usability fame) on 25 years of the Macintosh…

“The Mac’s miserable marketplace performance seems to pose a strong argument against usability. Why bother, if it doesn’t sell?

The counter-argument is that usability is the only reason Mac survived. Compared to the PC, it was much more expensive, had only a fraction of the specialized applications, and was cursed by Apple’s business-hostile attitude.

So why would anyone pay more for less? Because Macs were easier to use.”