05 January 2009

Microsoft Marketing

Sometimes I wonder what is going on in Microsoft's Marketing division. Or how many divisions there are. Today, I saw somewhere that the Windows 7 logo has a 7 in the middle: Windows Se7en. Like Tr2n - I think the producers of Tron 2 bagged that though, and wisely so). I'm thinking that the logo with the 7 in the middle is bogus. So no further comments.

This is the one I found on Microsoft.com:

OK, that's nice, I can deal with that.

But. Windows 7? Let's look at the name history.

Windows 1
Windows 2
Windows 3
Windows 95
Windows 98 (shudder)
Windows NT (was in here somewhere)
Windows ME (yeah, I went there)
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7

I'm probably missing some server editions in there.

For Windows 1-3 we've got a very boring naming scheme, but that's fine, a company getting off the ground and all that. Windows 95, 98, sure that works but it's really not more exciting than 1-3 for naming.

Windows NT: well really what were they trying to convey there? No idea. Next Technology?

Windows ME I'm just gonna skip. It's the one that they locked in the attic and the public heard some strange sounds coming from that direction from time to time.

Windows XP: Well it's consistently cryptic along with NT and ME. Next I want Windows SX.

Windows Vista: Wow, like a real name and everything? Seriously, of all the names this is my favorite. It conveys something. Like "Out my back window is an impressive vista." It's actually trying for something.

Windows 7: Well, we give up so we're gonna go back to numbers. Lucky numbers only though!

Once again, Apple shows they have a better PR division. Sure the first 6 versions where just System [Number]. Booorring. But then you go to Mac OS [Number]. Now they have some cat names in there for sub-versions, guess that's OK. Will they do bird names for OS XI? The important part here is that Mac has a consistent image. Microsoft is seriously lacking here.

The .NET Framework has the same issue really. When people first heard about it they assumed it was some kind of website. Not many people really know whether it's .net, .NET or .Net and their branding hasn't helped this. If it's not just for making web pages then why is it called .NET? Dropped the ball here. They're consistent at least, version 4.0 is on the way and there's no name change.

There are signs that they're turning around. Silverlight and Azure are both great names. They sound nice and won't be confused with anything else. Azure's got a decent logo:

The Silverlight logo is unclear and looks like a sea creature to me:

That's never gonna scale down well.

03 January 2009

Wii Tennis Pro

Bought my son a Wii for Christmas. He's pretty happy with it. I've been playing it a bit too; went through Metroid Prime Corruption on the days that the Portland area was in a Deep Freeze. Snowed in for 3 days makes Jack a little crazy - and bored. Fun but not much replay value, so back to Goozex it goes.

But now, I'm all about the Wii Tennis. Wii Bowling is nice and all, but it really just boils down to how consistently can you throw a strike. No change in the difficulty, just the chase for a 300 game. Best I did was 5 strikes in a row, no idea now how I did that because a double seems to be the best I can do now. The nicknames don't get better: 3rd strike is a Turkey, but 4th is just Fourth. Wii Tennis is way fun though. I broke in to the Pro ranks the other day, man that was a real struggle, seemed like I was stuck at 850 for days. Now I'm sitting at 1150. So I'm solidly in Pro territory.

Crazy thing was the other day when I won a game and lost 100 points of rank. WHAT. I was playing a solo-double game (me playing both positions) but was missing shots sometimes when I'd try to get in a late shot with the front position, miss and then be too late to get the ball with the back player (because both players swing at the same time when you're playing both). So I switch to doubles with the computer thinking it'll be better. My first computer partner is 600 points below me in rank. Ouch. But I go on to win against computer players rated at 1300; won 3-2 out of 5. Then I see the change in rank and I lost 100 points. What!? Oh well, next game. My next computer player is ranked 0. Zero. Against two computer players ranked 1500. What the hell. Went on to win, but still got a terrible point bounce considering: +50. Yeesh, so it's back to solo/double for me.

Where's the Wii Tennis League in Portland? Off to google it I goes. I'd rather be playing tennis indoors with booze in January anyway. Plus, I've tried like 3 times to sign up for real tennis lessons that aren't at 9AM and haven't been able to get in. Too much demand for the Wednesday night classes it seems.

Chrome without a Google Toolbar? No thanks

This is something that I keep coming back to every few weeks. Have they released a google toolbar for Chrome yet? No? [waits a couple weeks] How about now? No.

Chrome is nice and all; separation of pages into their own process is nice, but really how often does my browser (FF) fully crash? It's rare. So that's a minor problem that Chrome solves. The interface is nice. That's about all it's got going for it. But no google bookmarks? Deal breaker. An eyeball count says I've got 150 pages in my bookmarks. I use that toolbar all the time.

I think it's really weird that the big G released an inhouse browser and 3 months later there's still no toolbar. What's going on over there? Are those teams fighting? Do I need to pull this car over? I was really hoping to find a youtube clip of Clark Griswold saying that; no dice.