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Evernote Celebrates Birthday by Joining the Billion Dollar Club (Really?)

Evernote has recently celebrated their third birthday. I also recently had my 21st birthday – it feels good to be able to legally grab a drink finallySmile.  (Hey, if Evernote can lie about their age, so can I…).   Joke apart, I have no idea why a company would pretend to be half as young as they really are – there are quite a few users, yours truly included who remember the early product, back from 2005-2006.

evernote scrollOK, so back then Evernote was really nothing more than a scrawny little note-taker, with a weird scrolling tape metaphor that was hard to get used to, but it already showed unusual flexibility of mixing typed and handwritten text with imaging. Still, the key benefit was price, compared to Microsoft Onenote.  It’s hard to compete with free.

I was truly surprised by the news of their first funding round. Here’s my offending post from 2006 (hm, before they even existed, if you believe the birthday news…):

EverNote – Love You and Hate You

EverNote is the last company I expected to raise venture funding: has a mature product, a mix of freeware and a $35 version, and I pretty much considered them a good candidate for safe, organic growth. GigaOM just reported it EverNote’s funding to the tune of $6M. Wow…

My Love & Hate relationship? The love part is easy to understand; it’s a handy, easy-to-use notetaker, which I prefer to the comparable Microsoft OneNote, and the $0 price is quite unbeatable. The hate part: it really does not fit into strategy of moving off the desktop into the Cloud.

In fact it’s the only application that breaks my sync efforts between two laptops using FolderShare:

Continue reading here.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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Conspiracy Theory: the Vista-ization of Windows 7 has Started…

I simply don’t get it: Vista is barely out, nobody seems to like it, CIO’s refuse to upgrade, analyst firms tell them to wait, individual users who tried it switch back to XP, others time their new PC purchase so they can still get an XP machine – generally speaking Vista was as poorly received as the ill-fated Windows ME.

Apple is gaining market share, the major computer manufacturers are offering Linux PC’s, the Web OS concept is getting popular, applications are already on the Web – can anyone clearly see the shape of personal computing in 2012? (Yes, I know MS plans for 2010, I’m just adding the customary delay.) Will it still matter what OS we use to get on the Internet? How can Microsoft be so out of touch?

I was right and I was wrong.  Right in the assessment, that Vista’s main competitor was Microsoft’s own solid OS, WinXP – there was simply no reason to upgrade.  Yet as buying new computers with Good Ole Vista became increasingly difficult, many of us got stuck with Vista.  I was wrong in not foreseeing that Vista would turn out to be such a disaster, that millions of Vista victims would end up paying the ransom to get out of the trap and get the version of the OS that actually works: Windows 7.

What followed was two peaceful years when Windows computers simply worked.  Yes, They Just Worked. Almost like a Mac. Smile

Then the unexpected (?) happened…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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The First Thing Microsoft Wants You to Do After Upgrading to IE9…

… is to upgrade to IE9.  No kidding:

It’s not even April 1st anymore…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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Shockingly Honest CEO Memos–Microsoft, Nokia

Engadget calls freshly minted Nokia CEO Steven Elop’s internal letter to the troops “one of the most exciting and interesting CEO memos we’ve ever seen.” Selected quotes:

We have more than one explosion – we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience.

Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry’s innovation to its core.

But there’s still the low-end of the market … except.. oh, gotta love this choice quote:

At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, “the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation.”

Hm, perhaps the Chinese don’t have PowerPoint? Smile (Hey, there’s a reason why I suggested the US Should Donate PowerPoint to the Taliban)

So yes, it’s a brutally honest memo from a new CEO – but not sure it holds the “most exciting ever” title.

Here’s another gem from Elop’s former boss: a CEO who is not a hired gun, but Founder, large shareholder, industry icon, Bigger then God.  Yet he can’ get his troops aligned, and as a user is frustrated at the crap his Monster of a company is turning out.  Yes, I am talking about (then) Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

Excerpts from his 2003 internal letter:

—- Original Message —-

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Jim Allchin
Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don’t drive usability issues…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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The Master of Guerilla Marketing Turns Microsoft’s Prank Around

CloudAve readers know I am a fan of edgy marketing.  Now it’s time to update my recently compiled inventory of software marketing pranks.  A major show like Salesforce.com’s DreamForce would not even be real without some guerilla marketing activity – except the players seemed to have traded places this year.  Guerilla Marketing is normally David’s weapon, but this year Goliath – Holy Microsoft – came down to us earthlings running around on Segways handing out MS Dynamics CRM discount coupons:

Image credit: Centernetworks

I did not get Forced

On a side-note…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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Software Marketing Pranks

I envy software marketing types.  They get to stay kids forever: pull pranks and even get paid for it.:-)

Today’s example comes courtesy of TechCrunch: PayPal competitor WePay dropped a 600lbs ice block at the entrance of the Paypal developer conference.  They got chased away and Moscone security removed the ice block.   My question: who gets the money?  Those are real dollar bills in the ice…

But don’t for a minute think it’s only at startup-land where 20-somethings rule.. the enterprise gray-hairs like pranks, too.  Below are some gems from the past.

NetSuite raining on Sage‘s parade conference:

NetSuite is quite a regular at competitor conferences, see their trucks at SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference:

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)

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Microsoft Word is Desktop Software. Supposedly. Then Why Does it Fail to Load Offline?

Dave Michels’ recent post, I thought I Was So Cloud resonated well with me, since I’m experiencing the same pain regularly, even without the dramatic experience of a cashed harddisk.   I’m now using 4 computers, not counting the iPad, and like Dave, "I am so Cloud", so moving between them should be seamless. It almost is. My data is always there and always up-to-date. But if I turn on a laptop I have not touched for a while, there is a painful process of Windows updates, Firefox updates, FFox plugin updates, Adobe or Java updates – just to name a few. Sometimes the popup windows from these suckers interfere with each other, the crazier ones want to reboot while others still install … yes, we still have too much stuff on the local computers. 🙁

Little did I know my saga would continue this afternoon. Since I planned to spend some time in a medical office, with no wi-fi (Why is it that the smallest little dirthole garage, tire shop you-name-it services privide free wi-fi, but medical offices where you likely spend 10x as much don’t?  Oh, well…) I synced up a few Word documents to my thin little  Vostro 13, and was ready to stay productive offline.

If only the Gods in Redmond had agreed… Booting up in the waiting room.  Installing 4xxx 5xxx finally 6237 of 6237 updates.   WTF?  Even I’m not dumb enough to believe it actually installed 6k updates, but that’s what the display said. Oh, well, finally Windows boots… then spends a few minutes configuring updates. Done.  So now we can work.   Click the file, see Word load, then wait. Wait. Wait.

word1

Something’s not right.  I have the free Office 2010 beta version which downloads components on initial load, but this is taking forever. Oh, no:

word2

Abort.  Internet connection lost, Word cannot be opened.  Oops.  No, the connection has never been lost, there’s none at this place, which is why I keep Office and local documents on this laptop in the first place.  I understand it wants to update, but it should be able to start without anyway.  MS Office is a desktop, “offline” package, after all.

If I can’t use it without being online, I just lost the very reason to use it at all.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

 

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NTP is the New SCO

patent trollNTP, the shell company whose only business is to extract ransom from real businesses does not sit on the $600 they extorted from RIM.  They are now suing just about all the smartphone industry: Apple, Google, HTC, Microsoft, LG and Motorola.

Is NTP the new SCO?

Related posts:

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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Launch Silicon Valley: 30 Startups Debut Tomorrow

Somewhat late notice, but there’s an exciting startup debut event in Mountain View tomorrow: Launch: Silicon Valley, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft, provides the next generation of emerging technology companies with the opportunity to pitch their products to, and network with, an audience of Silicon Valley’s top VCs, Angels, corporate business development executives, prospective customers and partners, bloggers and media.

The event is in it’s fifth year now (Happy Birthday!) and as usual, will feature 30 startups selected from hundreds of applicants in information technology, mobility, digital media, next generation internet, life sciences and clean energy.


Selected demonstrating companies for Launch: Silicon Valley 2010 include:

Company

Application

Web Site

Appbackr

App marketplace

www.appbackr.com

BCCThis

Sticky notes for email

www.bccthis.com

BioVantage Water reclamation www.biovantageresources.com
Breakthrough On line mental health counceling www.breakthrough.com

Jungle Cents

Auction

www.junglecents.com

Convergence CT

Healthcare data

[email protected]

Digital Sun

Water Management

www.digitalsun.com

Electradrive

Electric Drivetrain

www.electradrive.net

Evolver

3D characters

www.darwindimensions.com

GreenPlatform

Data center storage

www.greenplatformcorp.com

Highflex

Flexible photovoltaics

www.highflexsolar.com

jMango

build once, deploy all, app platform

www.jmango.net

Laster

Augmented reality glasses

www.laster.fr

Linqto Many to many collaberation www.linqto.com
Micello Indoor maps www.micello.com
NMBI Painless Injections
Optic Lanes Active traffic management www.opticlanes.com

Pilus Energy

bacteria energy cell

www.pilusenergy.com

RiverMuse

It management platform

www.rivermuse.com

ScanAvert

Food ingredient detection

www.scanavert.com

SDK BioTech

Cell platform

SocialAmp

see what friends are buying

www.socialamp.com

STI-Medical

medical imaging

www.sti-hawaii.com

Taggstr

Location tagging – Make your Mark

www.taggstr.com

TenCube

cell phone security

www.tencube.com

TrueDomain

Anti Phishing

www.truedomain.net

Vizibility

Presearch

www.vizibility.com

Youi Labs

Reduced cost phones

www.youilabs.com

Zikon

Electronic Ink

www.zikon.com


The event starts tomorrow morning at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus.  Here’s the Agenda and registration link.

There’s a pre-event party in Palo Alto tonight at 6pm – you’ll get details upon registration.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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Courier & Foldable Tablets are Neither Innovative Nor “Different”

courier This is a sad “I’ve told you” moment, as I predicted the death of dual-screen tablets, be it the one by MSI or Microsoft’s Courier, which has just been canceled.  Says Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s VP of corporate communications:

At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The “Courier” project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.

Tech blogs are mourning the innovative, “different” device:

Courier was one of the most innovative concepts out of Redmond in quite some time.

I think dual-screen, foldable tablets are neither innovative nor different.  Well, different from other, truly innovative devices, like the iPad, but not different from good old books.  And therein lies the rub.  Hardware manufacturers rushing to the opportunity to follow Apple thought these tablets are mostly reading devices, so they imitated what we’re all used to: books.

Having two small pages side-by-side is not necessarily the ideal format for reading, it’s just the one we got stuck with for centuries when bound paper was the only way we could record / consume textual information. When we liberate information from paper, there’s no point in replicating the poor paper (book) experience. True innovation means embracing the paradigm-shift, rethinking the basics and maximizing readability, comfort, ability to interact as enabled by the new technology.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)