August, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    The shallow war of wallpapers


    I don’t get all this kerfuffle around wallpapers in Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard. Both have great wallpapers and given it’s art, it’s unlikely that you’re going to like all of the wallpapers in either OS. Personally, I don’t like the characters wallpapers (below) in Windows 7 but I’m sure kids love them.


    I love the architecture set though (below) and I some of the Snow Leopard images are terrific. For Philip Elmer-DeWitt to suggest that a taste gap exists based on these wallpapers is just a bit, well, disingenuous. Both OS’es have great wallpapers and deserve credit. The comments on his post bear this out and show that in the real world there is a much more balanced view of things.



    Of course if you want a really great set of free wallpapers for either OS, check out Mike Swanson’s beautiful collection – a small sample of which are below


  • Steve Clayton

    2 new Software plus Services videos


    Together Anywhere

    A new Software plus Services video crossed by my browser today and it sits alongside the other dimly lit, moody video Overnight Success video that has been around since the PDC last year.

    This video takes more of a consumer look at things and even shows a (theoretical) video camera with Live Mesh Enabled on it. The basis for both videos is the “greater sum” of rich software allied with cloud delivered services. This one titled is “Together Anywhere” and charts how a disparate set of people tune in and collaborate to watch a young girl playing piano in front of an audience. It’s more subtle than Overnight Success I think and definitely more subtle than most Microsoft adverts you’d see as it doesn’t sell you anything other than a concept and there isn’t even a URL it redirects you to. It feels like the sort of video I’d use to open an event and set the mood for it but the reality is I’m not totally sure on the audience. I know the guy who did the video though and love his work – he also did the Live Mesh video – so I’m off to ask him.

    Whilst checking out this video I also found the 3rd in the series, Diamond in the Rough which also has a link to Mesh and charts an architect with his future tablet PC type device. It has some similarities to the so called 2019 video in that there are plenty of Minority Report moments in there.

    Diamond in the Rough

    Taken together the 3 videos set the scene for Software plus Services and all are in the visionary (and moody) category. They’re beautifully produced and it’ll be interesting to see where we use them to help reinforce the S+S message as they’re quite bespoke. Not a bad thing, just unusual.

  • Steve Clayton

    Olympus Pen


    Everyone is doing stop motion right now….this is one of my favourites. Olympus PEN which harks back to the 1959 heritage of the PEN. Wired has an excellent review of the camera itself and it sounds as terrific as it looks.

    For now though I’m sticking with my Leica D-LUX 3

  • Steve Clayton

    Can you ?



    I had a look at over the weekend and was actually a little surprised to see it go live today – basically a crowd sourcing site along the lines of Dell’s Ideastorm to solicit feedback on Microsoft Office. It’s not an official site but if this is what our Redmond bods can do in their spare time then I’m impressed.

    Personally, I think we ought to have this for every product but Office is a good start. Not that it’s a bad product – far from it, but when you have hundreds of millions of people using your product on a daily basis it sort of makes sense to tap in to their wisdom for how it could be better.

    It was also something of a surprise (a good one) to see authorisation for the site is via OpenID – using any one of the providers below. Sort of weird to see a Microsoft site that doesn’t have Live ID support for authentication. (note – we’re committed to supporting OpenID with Live)



    Head on over there and give us your views on what could be better in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access or OneNote.

  • Steve Clayton

    First shot of a Microsoft retail store


    Microsoft, barricade, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale, AZ

    The official Microsoft Twitter account tweeted on Friday about the first “image” of Microsoft retail stores in Scottsdale and Mission Viejo. The twitpic has a number of comments asking when one is coming to the UK. I have the same question :)

    Actually I’ve been thinking about this over the last few weeks – about maybe trying to find a role in the retail side. About 5 years ago I wrote an internal memo about why it’d make sense to have a retail store and I still have the same passion for the topic. I’m not sure what I’d do or even if they have jobs but I could sort of see myself in retail, helping to get the word out about Microsoft products.

    I dunno….maybe it’s a crazy idea. We’ll see….meantime, I like the way Bing is the entry point to the store on this hoarding. Subtle.


    @cooganphoto is the source of the photos and he has a few more on his Flickr page.

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