May 2, 2017, Microsoft introduced their Google App for Education (GAFE) ecosystem killer–Windows 10S, Minecraft Edu, Insight, and Office 365 Teams.

Having seen how Microsoft missed the boat back in 2012 when GAFE in combination with inexpensive Chromebooks were on the verge of taking over the education market, I can honestly say that today’s announcement has put Microsoft ahead of Google in terms of their offerings–starting with Windows 10 S, on platforms with a base price of $189.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has a big challenge ahead of itself.  For the past 5 years, Google has grown its roots deep into the education market with the abundance of inexpensive Chromebook device alternatives.  That’s because many school districts in the US have adopted the Chromebook as their standard platform for assessment testing and web-based curricular programs.  At the district where I work, the number of Chromebook devices has skyrocketed to around 26,000 units with another 9,000 on order soon.  The teachers like them because they boot up in a matter of around 6 to 10 seconds compared to the older Windows-based laptops that would take around 30 seconds to 2 minutes to completely boot up.  Technicians like them because they are easy to re-image, and there isn’t much to fix.  Through Google’s management console, all these Chromebooks are easy to manage.

The solutions announced by Microsoft today has met and exceeded the capabilities of Google.  From what I see, the fact that Windows 10 S can boot up in 5 seconds is a major plus.  The base price of $189 is also a major plus.  Where they will beat google are in these areas:

  1. Availability of
  2. Applications that are mostly non-internet dependent
  3. Ease of image deployment in small scale environment–through the use of a flash drive.
  4. Ease of device management in large scale through Insight
  5. Free Windows 10 S on genuine Windows Pro PCs
  6. Integration with next generation technology like 3D and augmented reality applications
Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S

All these are supposed to be available to schools this summer.  Unfortunately and realistically, it may be two to three years before they make deep inroads into schools that are already using Chromebooks.  This is assuming that they are able to maintain their technological edge.

What say you Google?

Amazon's new Kindle--a possible iPad killer?

Amazon's new Kindle--a possible iPad killer?

It seems that everyone is getting into the tablet market, and it also seems like there is always a new kid on  the block being touted as the next iPad killer.  I haven’t seen any news stating that Amazon is actually stating this, but the press seems to be doing it themselves.

Here’s the scoop on the new tablet that Amazon is going to announce this Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011:

  • 7″ display
  • Android operating system
  • Color multi-touch screen
  • costs around $250
  • will also be called a Kindle
The press, in general, seems to indicate that this could impact the iPad’s market share because of Amazon’s market reach and cloud-based services.  It think it is possible if this new Kindle will have a higher hardware specification than its competitor–the Barnes and Noble Nook Color.  If it doesn’t, then it will simply be a Nook Color competitor, and thus will not upstage the iPad in any way.
That’s just my take on this.What do you think?

If this technology takes off, it could mean smaller book stores.  Barnes & Noble or Borders as we know them, may end up looking more like coffee shops than a book store.

You may also see small “mom & pop” book shops sprout out with a drive through for book pick ups, considering the space requirement will be significantly smaller and provided that the machine is relatively affordable for businesses.

Imagine also if libraries get some funding from the government to provide this service. They can get any books available online provided paper supplies are available!

This is also excellent for people who wants to self-publish. See the video below. You don’t have to have a publisher publish your book; you can do it yourself.

It would be interesting how this evolves or develops in the next two to three years.

Microsoft Security Essentials, also known as “Morro”, was officially released as BETA to the public Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009.  This article gives you a quick first look at it.  If you want to look at it yourself, you can download it at, but you’ll need an account in (just make one if you don’t have one; it’s free).

OK.  Here’s a quick look at MSE’s user interface.

When you’ve installed it, you will see this icon on your traybar:  mse-traybar-icon

When you open it, you will the following four tabs:  Home, Update, History, and Settings.





After you install it, MSE will perform its initial scan.  When it did the scan, I checked to see how it was doing with respect to resources and how it was affecting the performance of my computer.  And to my surprise, it was very forgiving.  I was able to do work without having to wait or be affected by MSE scan because apparently it generally tries to run when your computer is idle.  So, when you are busy doing other things, it does release the CPU resource as needed.  Check the task manager below and you’ll see that when I was idle the CPU was at 100%, then I started working and the CPU utilization went down.


Also check out the detailed performance below.  If you aren’t idle, it does get out of your way.


Its memory utilization, for an AV product, doesn’t look that bad.


Of course, I can’t really tell at this point how effective it is in catching malware.  I’ll save that for someone else to do.  For now, know that it is out there and seems to be running just fine.

The wait is over, people can now download Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 software update for free!

To install, you basically need to do the following:

  • Install the update using iTunes 8.2.  Download iTunes 8.2 and install it if you don’t already have it.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer
  • Select your iPhone from the Devices in the List on the left, when the iTunes application opens
  • In the Summary pane, click the Check for Update button and follow any further instructions.
  • Done.

Several years ago I saw tried Microsoft’s OneCare—a paid for security solution for Windows computers. Of course, I did it when they were in their BETA phase; thus I was able to use it for free. The product seemed OK, and the BETA period came and went. However, I didn’t hear much about it thereafter. Recently, Microsoft announced that by the end of June 2009, they will discontinue selling it.

However, just recently they made an announcement of plans to release another security product—code named “morro.” There’s definitely a lot of buzz around it: CNET News, ZDNet blog, PCWorld, and Information Week. What’s so special or different about this release? Here are some key points I was able to extract from their press release:

  • No cost to consumers
  • Lighter and smaller footprint, necessary for less powerful smaller computer systems
  • Core focus is on malware protection—against viruses, spyware, root kits, and Trojans—no non-security features like ones found on OneCare
  • Stand-alone download with support for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7
  • Expected to be released in second half of 2009

Apple iTunes

Guess what!  Today is June 17, 2009, and according to the Apple web site, the update to the iPhone operating system (version 3.0) will be available today; however, at the time of this writing, no download links were available at the Apple downloads.

Key features of iPhone OS 3.0 are:

  • Run peer-to-peer games
  • Copy and paste between applications
  • Landscape keyboard
  • MMS functionality – send audio, pictures, videos, and even take a snapshot right in the message
  • Voice memos
  • Better Calendar functionality – meetings via MS Exchange ActiveSync; subscribe to calendars (with new CalDAV support)
  • Buy movies, TV shows, and audio books
  • Enhanced Stocks application
  • Safari improvements
  • Spotlight search – search your iPhone from one place
  • Internet tethering (use your iphone as a modem like device to reach the Internet using your laptop)
  • Stereo bluetooth
  • Auto wi-fi login
  • Sync notes to your PC or Mac
  • Parental controls
  • iTunes store account
  • YouTube Login
  • Shake and Shuffle your music library
  • Support for 30 languages, 40 keyboard layouts
  • MobileMe Find myiPhone and Remote wipe-you’ll need this if you ever lose your iPhone

Visit the iPhone page for more details.

Last night my daughter mentioned that she has joined the KGB, and that she has already made $20 working for them.  She had me worried.   I thought that the KGB (Komityet Gosudarstvjennoj Biezopasnosti) was the intelligence/security branch of the now nonexistent Soviet government (USSR)!

Later that night she showed me some video ads for this company called KGB (Knowledge Generation Bureau).  Here is one of them:

Entertaining huh?

Anyway, my daughter is an avid Yahoo Answers person, and she is a top contributor on one of the categories there. I’ve been telling her to not waste her time with Yahoo Answers since she doesn’t get paid giving out answers. Well, now she is a KGB agent and is actually getting paid answering questions.

What questions may she be answering you ask? Well, the KGB has actually been in business in the US for some time now providing phone directory services. Just this year they started providing text answering service where it costs $0.99 to have a text question answered. From each question she answers, she earns a few cents (e.g. anywhere from 3 to 10 cents per response).  Their agent position page explains the compensation plans.

I thought I would have to contend with Soviet spies.   Whew! what a relief.