Liked Microsoft’s Project Photon: A Stunted Effort To Rebuild Windows Mobile (Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.)

Today in Tedium: It’s a make-it-or-break-it situation when a software company decides to scrap an operating system several years in the making. Apple. Failing to ship Copland, averted the crisis by relying on a third-party groundwork—that one led to the creation of macOS. For other companies, like Palm and its spin-offs, projects like Cobalt are left as eternal reminders of their former ambitions. The case of Microsoft and their Photon project is peculiar in this regard. When the company announced a brand-new Windows Phone 7, no one shed a tear over the “true” successor to Windows Mobile 6. Nowadays, though, both platforms are just as irrelevant. But while the former gained a cult following, it’s time to ask: was there truly nothing left of Photon?

Liked “My work really began to flourish once I had access to the internet and realized that my students could collaborate with the world.” – Margaret Simkin, Australia (daily edventures)

Reflecting on the challenges of teaching today, Simkin sees the busyness of the curriculum and the lack of time to fully meet the timetables that most schools use as particularly difficult. “Immersion, less topics and more depth would be a great way to get more of us (and I include teachers in this) learning more deeply and meaningfully,” she says. “Teacher attraction and retention, particularly in rural and regional schools, is another big issue – and older teachers need to be valued more.”

Liked Goodbye, EdgeHTML

Microsoft is officially giving up on an independent shared platform for the internet. By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google.
This may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. The “browser engines” — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozil…

I liked Colin Devroe’s response to this:

From one point-of-view this move by Microsoft might seem to make total sense. They spin this as “it will be easier for web developers to target one less browser engine”. However, this is exactly what web standards are supposed to afford – developers target the same set of standards and the browser engines, however many there are, target the same set of standards. In theory, having multiple engines shouldn’t make it too much more difficult for developers. In practice, however, it has. But most developers would agree that to avoid a monopoly in the browser market we’d take on the added complexity we’ve had for years. In fact, having multiple browser engines has made browsing on the web better since the competition has led to faster load times, less battery drain, and less computer memory usage … Beard’s call-to-action is to use Firefox. I think you should too. But I would simply say use anything but Chrome for a while just to swing the market in more directions.

Replied to New digital footprints poster! 👣 by Kathleen Morris (mailchi.mp)

Digital Footprints

Digital Footprint Tip No.11

Be careful when you see the word ‘free’, Flipgrid provides Microsoft a hell of a lot of data to feed Azure to train its algorithms. Who knows, that information could even be used to prosecute ‘illegal immigrants’.

Replied to Microsoft’s Ethical Reckoning Is Here (WIRED)

On Sunday, critics noted a blog post from January in which Microsoft touted its work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The post celebrated a government certification that allowed Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud-computing platform, to handle sensitive unclassified information for ICE. The sales-driven blog post outlined ways that ICE might use Azure Government, including enabling ICE employees to “utilize deep learning capabilities to accelerate facial recognition and identification,” Tom Keane, a general manager at Microsoft wrote. “The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud,” the post added.

I am currently reading James Bridle’s New Dark Age and wonder if the partnership between ICE and Azure is just technology returning home?

Embrace, extend, and extinguish

Twenty yeara ago, when Microsoft was at its peak, a phrase was coined to describe the strategy to kill off rivals:

“Embrace, extend, and extinguish”,[1] also known as “Embrace, extend, and exterminate”,[2] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found[3] was used internally by Microsoft[4] to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors.source

Doug Belshaw touches upon this in a post on OER.