Particle Debris (wk. ending 9/23) Growing Pains and Purell

Recently, I wrote an in-depth review of Parallels Desktop 7. That software is pretty darn good, but I’d like do direct your attention to a terrific overview of Mac virtualization, written by Joe Kissel, a strong and experienced technical author. He’s written a book on the major competition to Parallels Desktop: VMware’s Fusion, but he uses all the VM software and knows what he’s talking about. He also has some observations on the free VirtualBox. If you use any of this software, check out Joe’s column at Tidbits.

How can you tell when a platform, say, an OS platform is in demise? Horace Dediu has worked out an algorithm that says, just before a platform’s demise, there’s a very long period between updates as the developers struggle with major architectural issues. Complete with telltale graphs, here’s: “The tell-tale signs suggesting a platform’s demise.

If you keep up with the tech news at TMO, you probably have a pretty good idea of where the various mobile OSes stand and how they measure up to iOS. But I love summary articles, so I’ll point you to this, especially since it’s written by Harry McCracken. “The iPad challengers: A status report.

RIP TOuchPad and Playbook

Microsoft is an interesting company lately. While other high tech companies are stumbling, Microsoft is keeping its head down and getting its shit together. Windows 8 shows some signs that Microsoft is starting to get it, and this article explains: “How Microsoft sped up the Windows 8 boot process.” In my best Don Adams voice, “Would you believe ten seconds?” If you want even deeper details, here they are.

Microsoft is trying harder, but Dan Frommer thinks the company isn’t quite there yet when it comes to building the right business model for Windows 8 tablets. The problem that Microsoft has (that Apple doesn’t) is that MS has to sell Windows 8 to tablet makers to make money, and the tablet makers, in competition with Apple, hate to incur that cost. Dan’s a pretty smart guy, and here’s his assessment and some proposed solutions: “Microsoft needs a new business model for Windows 8 tablets.

Touchscreens are starting to show up everywhere. Of course, we have the Apple retail stores where, I’m told, employees periodically clean the iPads with disinfectant. But what about hotels, restaurants, libraries, and all those other places where iPads are proliferating? We’re entering a touchscreen age with Purell in our pockets, but will these devices nevertheless overcome us and spread epidemics? Okay, Apple wizards. We need an iPad screen that kills viruses and bacteria without harming us. Soon please.


The gadget appeal of the iPad is hard to resist, and Apple must be aware that in order for the post-PC era to consolidate, the iPad must become a competent replacement, for most users, for the PC. Otherwise, it’s relegated to second class status. With that in mind, here’s the result of a Citigroup survey of how 1,800 consumers are using their iPads. Be mindful that this survey is indicative of a fairly new technology. That is, people are still experimenting, playing, diagnosing, so one can’t be too critical of the long term prospects. After all, the iPad will grow, morph, and become more capable. As it does, more and more people will replace their PCs with iPads.

There’s a difference between design and technical patents that a company like Apple will keep close to the vest and more general patents that are licensed out to others. In the latter case, they’re called FRAND licensed patents (Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory). Now, it seems that after Apple sued Samsung for violating its design patents, Samsung seems to have turned around and sued Apple for violating the FRAND patents that Apple already paid for. A good explanation by Daniel Eran Dilger is at AppleInsider.

Nemo wrote me about this, so I’ll save him the trouble of writing again in the comments. “This is a desperate move by Samsung, attempting to use FRAND patents, which Apple seems to have already licensed, to sue Apple for patent infringement. Well, this tactic is highly unlikely to be successful in the U.S. And I suspect that it will also fail in other jurisdictions, such as Europe and Australia, where the courts and law of intellectual property is sophisticated. Indeed, Apple need only establish that it is using FRAND patents according to license in all commercially important jurisdictions for Samsung’s attempt to leverage Apple into settlement with FRAND patents to fail.”

Our own Bryan Chaffin has more to say on this.