WinInfo Short Takes, August 24, 2012

An often irreverent look at this week's other news ...

The Colors in the Microsoft Logo Do NOT Represent Individual Products

Since Microsoft unveiled its new Metro-inspired corporate logo yesterday, I’ve been inundated with theories about which products each of the four colors in the symbol part of the logo represent. Folks, those colors do not represent individual products. (And stop trying to match blue to Windows, red to Office, green to Xbox, and yellow to … what? Yellow?) According to Microsoft, “the symbol’s squares of color are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.” And that’s it. Microsoft doesn’t make four products. It makes many products. There’s no need to look for meaning beyond that.

IDC: Windows 8 Will Jumpstart PC Growth, But Not This Year

The market researchers at IDC are now claiming that the release of Microsoft’s hotly debated Windows 8 OS will do nothing to jumpstart PC sales in 2012, so PC makers will need to wait for 2013 for a miracle. “The worldwide PC market is now expected to grow just 0.9 percent in 2012,” the firm claimed in a report issued this week. “367 million PCs will ship into the market this year, up just a fraction of a percent from 2011 and marking the second consecutive year of growth below 2 percent.” According to IDC, consumers are “waiting for Windows 8,” which won’t ship until October 26, and the inference seems to be that any post-Windows 8 bump will be offset nicely by the current quarter, where PC sales are expected to be very, very slow. “There is likely to be some confusion among buyers about new product features as well as where they will get the most for their money,” the report added, apparently suggesting that more choice could in fact be bad for sales. Before anyone gets too excited by any of this, I’ll just point out that these supposedly omniscient brainiacs are forced to revise their crazy predictions every time actual sales numbers come in. So this report, such as it is, amounts to a mulligan since their previous predictions were all horse-puckey to begin with. Remind me: Why do we listen to this stuff again?

Is Microsoft Censoring Windows 8 Criticism?

A BetaNews report levels a pretty serious charge against Microsoft: The site claims that the software giant issued what is essentially a bogus Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down order to remove criticism about Windows 8 from on an online forum. The basis for the complaint is that someone in this thread used a screenshot from Microsoft’s Windows Team Blog to demonstrate why the complaint about the Windows 8 UI was valid. “Some of your materials allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others,” a Google forwarding of the DMCA notice reads. “We are in the process of removing from our Google Search results the materials that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.” Why is this bogus? Because it’s obviously fair use to take an image posted by Microsoft in a public forum and use it in other public forum as part of a debate about the merits of the product’s design. And while Microsoft has in fact filed several other DMCA complaints aimed at websites that are critical of Windows 8, it hasn’t done so against any that are complimentary. Put another way, Microsoft is simply trying to erase criticism of Windows 8 online by usurping an unrelated US law. At least that’s the charge, from what I can tell.

Yes, Verizon, There Really Is a Windows Phone

Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon will finally get its Windows Phone game on with a new Windows Phone 8 device made by Nokia. The wireless giant has, to date, sold only one Windows Phone handset, a now hopelessly obsolete first-generation HTC Trophy. But after spending the past year or so griping about LTE and other nonsense (read: jealousy of AT&T Wireless), Verizon is going to man up. The plan, Bloomberg says, is for Verizon to sell a Nokia Lumia device running Windows Phone 8 starting sometime this fall. That said, Verizon won't be part of Nokia’s event early next month, which will no doubt queue further jealousy of AT&T because AT&T is expected to be in attendance. Of course, AT&T, unlike Verizon, hasn’t been shy about embracing Windows Phone, which explains the cozy relationship there.

Korean Court Rules that Samsung Did Not Copy Apple Designs

Well, I guess there’s no need to wait for that US federal jury to return a verdict in the Apple/Samsung design-copy case: A South Korean court has already decided that Samsung did not, in fact, copy Apple’s designs with its own products. "It is not possible to assert that these [Samsung] designs are similar based only on the similarity of [certain] features," the court’s ruling reads, noting that the design of individual icons in Samsung’s products did not resemble icons in Apple’s iPhone. (This assertion was part of the US case as well.) Samsung also won a ruling that determined that Apple’s iOS products infringe on five Samsung patents. The court also ruled, however, that Samsung infringed on one Apple patent related to the “bounce” effect that occurs when a user scrolls to the bottom of a list using touch. Punishments in the case are minor. Both firms must pay the other tiny amounts in damages. (Samsung will pay Apple about $22,000, while Apple will pay the other firm a bit more.) And until any issues are rectified, older Samsung and Apple products—but not current-generation products—will be banned for sale in the country.

The First Time I’ve Ever Wanted to Live in China

IDC today reported that Apple’s iPhone is coming up blank in at least one locale. Sales of the trendy iPhone have tanked in China, with sales in the quarter ending in June falling a whopping 50 percent. Chinese customers bought 44 million smartphones in the quarter, but the big winners were Samsung, which leads the market with about 19 percent market share, and Lenovo, which kicked Apple out of second place with about 11 percent of the market. Apple, stumbling to third place, controlled about 10 percent of the market. Why does this matter? Two reasons. I’m tired of the iPhone, which has been out of date since the release of the iPhone 4S and which lacks LTE, a reasonably sized screen, and other necessary figures. And China is set to become the biggest market for smartphones in the world this year, overtaking the United States.

Listen to Paul. No, Really Listen. Or Watch. Or Both!

Back on a normal schedule this week, I recorded What the Tech with Andrew Zarian on Tuesday and Windows Weekly with Leo Laporte and Mary Jo Foley on Thursday. Both podcast episodes should be available soon, on the web, and via iTunes, the Zune Marketplace, and wherever else quality podcasts are found. You can also find all of my podcast activities on the SuperSite for Windows.

The Paul Thurrott Mobile App: Is That a Paul in Your Pocket?

The Paul Thurrott: Pocket Tech app is now available for both the iPhone and Windows Phone, bringing all of my technical content to your favorite mobile device in a fun, on-the-go format. We'll have an Android version available soon as well, I'm told. And who knows? A Windows 8 app would make plenty of sense too. Download for Windows Phone - Download for iPhone

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TAGS: Windows 8
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