Last year, when Microsoft debuted the Surface alongside Windows 8, it was the first shot across the bow to PC manufactures that demonstrated how a Windows 8 tablet should be done. One year later, Microsoft is looking at a new PC landscape. Windows RT is on the decline -- only Microsoft is making tablets with the Modern-centric experience. With new tablets like the Acer W3, Dell Venue Pro 8 and Lenovo Miix running Intel's Bay Trail processor and a full blown version of Windows 8.1, a full version of Microsoft Home and Student and the ability to run Desktop apps, the question really becomes two-fold, "Is Windows RT and the Surface line relevant and does the Surface 2's value proposition continues to be discounted as this new generation of Windows 8.1 devices start to flood the market?" In a word: maybe.
A month with the Surface 2 as my primary machine as a system administrator has opened my eyes to the potential that the Surface could bring to the enterprise. All month I have had executives and salespeople asking me "So, how do you like it?" Throughout the last week, I've had to edit my thoughts when answering that question because it never is an easy, "It's great!" I would almost always answer, "It works well, but has some flaws." I wrote week one thinking, "I am going to run in to a lot of things that I am going to want to talk about." Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I didn’t'. Many of my complaints that I had in week one remain persistent, however they can be mitigated very easily. I've come to the realization that the Surface 2 couldn't be used without some kind of thin-client or second machine that would provide access to the Windows desktop applications that are needed to run a business.
One week with the Surface and I honestly can't be happier. Thus far, all the things that I have put this Windows RT tablet through have actually worked quite well. However, I am starting to see one fatal flaw: without a VDI solution, the Windows RT experience is very enterprise un-friendly.
As you all may know, I took the position of my dreams on September first. I am now a system administrator. This has been a goal of mine since I was very little. I always dreamed of running my own ecosystem. My own enterprise hardware. Over the last 6 years as I have been becoming validated as a professional, I have grown more comfortable with challenging people’s expectations.
Currently, I am implementing something that I always thought was the future: virtual desktops. As I became more familiar with VMWare and Hyper-V, I knew I wanted to learn more about how virtualization works. I passed my VCP Exam and became a VMWare Virtualized Professional earlier in the year. Although this only covered a subset of the entire VMWare ecosystem, I knew I wanted to implement VMWare everywhere. I have my own ESXi host at home as a test lab, but that only gets you so far.
When I took my position as System Administrator, my first big project was right in my wheelhouse: implement VMWare View. VMWare Horizon View, for those of you who don't know, is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system. It allows users to connect to a private cloud and use a desktop that is connected to your company's network and works as if you are in the office working at your desk.
For the second time in a year, a major operating system has gotten an aesthetically focused upgrade. On October 26, 2012 Windows 8 will have been officially released to the public for one year. Many people still think it is by far one of the worst versions of Windows to date while others feel it is the best version of the OS since [insert old version of Windows here.] Apple's iOS7 is to Windows 8 as iPods are to Zunes. It's a new version of Apple's very popular mobile phone OS that went out to millions of iPhones over the last week. To many, you would think that the comparison to Windows 8 isn't as obvious as one would think, however the public opinion is one of great displeasure.
Every once and a while, a device comes along and changes how we perceive what a smartphone should do. For many, the first of these devices was the iPhone. It changed how we approached the smartphone. We left behind clunky interfaces that Palm and Microsoft had pioneered with PalmOS and Windows Mobile 5.x for more elegant solutions. It flipped the mobile space on its head and created something refreshing. Apple, for what its worth, has been enthralled in its battle with Samsung for the last couple years. Who can argue that Apple and Samsung are the two biggest producers of smartphones today?
There are many what if questions that technologists like myself always end up asking because the possibilities are endless. We are talking about an industry where we never thought we would see Sonic on platforms other than SEGA, we would never need more than about 640k of RAM and Twitter would never become the behemoth that it is today. One of the "What if..." questions that I want to talk about today is this: "What if Nokia were to switch to Android?"
Hey! How is it going? I see you are realigning yourself for a faster, more agile company that will allow it self to adopt new technologies faster. That's great! I love seeing a tech company that I have a strong passion about attempt to stay relevant and important as time goes forward. I certainly don't want you to end up like IBM. We all know how that story plays out.
There comes a point in time where many things needs to come together for a company. There is that last hope to save the company. There is that final push to make or break the company. Although Nokia isn't quite at that Final Fantasy moment that Squaresoft was at, you can't help but think that the make-or-break point for Nokia and Windows Phone is coming. When the Nokia 1020 was announced, I was stoked. It's a new flagship Lumia device that packs a 41 megapixel camera.
At the time all those leaks for the 1020 started coming to light, I thought to myself, "There is no way that Nokia wouldn't put a 1080p screen in this camera, right? There is no way that they would price this at $299.99, right? There is no way they are going to stay exclusive to AT&T, right?" Boy was I wrong. There isn't a 1080p screen, the price is $299.99 on contract and it is exclusive to AT&T. It was a perfect storm of what I wish Nokia wouldn't have done.