We’re deep in the dog days of summer here in New York. Braving the outside means risking permanent fusion with your Jockeys or psychological scarring inflicted by seeing a baby fight a cat for a half-eaten snow cone. Days like this make anyone cranky and lazy, but when you’re already a professional-grade snark, the oppressive heat devolves your psyche to that of a Cro-Magnon, alleviated occasionally by short bursts of lucidity.
Thus, I’m taking a scattergun approach this week -- there’s too much idiocy in the tech world for someone with my heat-limited focus to choose only one target. At least, that's my excuse.
Gun-shaped iPhone cases
Whoever invented this cement-headed, slack-jawed, drooling, and primal moron bait, I want you to go to a large urban police station, stand in the middle of the SWAT squad room, shout “Look at me, coppers!” and whip out your iPhone. After that, see if you can find an app that’ll measure the rapid rise in your body’s lead content against the even more rapid decline in sympathy from anyone with functioning prefrontal lobes.
Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft
First you go and spend $7.2 billion on the only underperforming division of Nokia in 2014. Now you’re spending $7.8 billion to get rid of it barely a year later. It’s a well-established tradition for Microsoft to take at least five years and three revision cycles before it gets anywhere near the leadership position in any segment. How in the name of Gates did you expect that to be different this time?
Speaking of following questionable business strategies, why is Microsoft offering $500,000 to any Tom, Dick, or Harriet willing to become HoloLens developers? That strategy is why the Apple iWatch is such a brain-numbing yawn; it also killed Windows RT.
How many more casualties do you need before realizing that building a platform and releasing it to grand fanfare with absolutely no idea of how to make it useful is a bad idea? Instead of firing big chunks of your staff every other month, Satya, maybe you should find in-house talent that demonstrates some idea of how people could use the stuff you’re pushing out the door. Perhaps scour your vast-yet-whimpering staff for people who’ve been hiding their innovative ideas for fear of being pegged as troublemakers and try to keep them rather than firing them in big batches simply to get your daily pat on the head from the board.
Linux on a Citrix virtual desktop
We don't care, we've never cared, and we'll never care. Put Microsoft Office on Linux in something other than emulation mode and maybe you’ll get a reaction. Until then, stop sending sad “is this the year of the Linux desktop?” press releases. You’ve been sending them for more than 15 years, and it has never been the year of the Linux desktop. Citrix or VMware putting the penguin on a virtual box certainly isn’t going to make it so.
The Wand Company
This outfit recently released a “working” replica "Star Trek" original series communicator. I put “working” in parentheses because this communicator can’t communicate on its own, only via a Bluetooth connection to an actual phone. See Wand Co., if you want to call it “working,” the communicator can’t pair with a smartphone -- it has to be the smartphone. You didn’t see Captain Kirk wearing two communicators, did you? No, because green and blue alien chicks would never give a two-phone nerd the time of day.
That’s as much venting as today’s heat will allow. Tune in later for more focused coverage, provided I don’t spontaneously melt into a bubbling puddle of curmudgeonly goo on Madison Avenue before then.