Sometimes ads can be puzzling…

This ad that I saw on my Kindle this morning just looks wrong in many ways:

Let’s say that Amazon didn’t target this ad very well…

First: “start the year”: I’m not in school and I don’t have anybody in school in my residence. I also don’t think that they meant the Jewish New Year (that does start in a week).

Finally “Office 2010”: with the new Office coming up , why would I be really that interested in buying Office 2010… It already feels old!

Windows Phone 7 Voice and Siri

I watched this very short interview with Craig Mundie for Forbes:

Been There, Done That

And it cracked me up! The second part of the interview he says that everybody is overhyping Apple’s Siri, because Microsoft (and, if one should follow his line of thought, Google) has had voice commands on the phone for over a year now. The part that he doesn’t understand is that there is a fundamental difference between what Windows Phone Voice does and what Siri does:

Windows Phone provides you with voice shortcuts to doing things. You can say “Call …” and it will make a call. “Search …” and it will use Bing to search. So, if you know the right phrases, you will get exactly what you ask for.

Siri, on the other hand, tries to take this voice recognition to a “conversation” level. Yes, you can do things like “Call 425-555-1000” and it will also call that number. However, it can do things like “Call my wife” and the first time you do that it will ask you to tell the name of your wife. After that it will know and will call that number all the time.

Does that sound the same? Well, now for a different example: I can ask Siri: “Will it rain today?” and it will reply with things like: “There is no rain on today’s forecast” and show me the forecast. Again, why does Microsoft think that they have a similar product already? It’s amazing and very sad how blind some companies can be from time to time.

Laughable

Sorry, I was going to write something about my impressions of Brazil so far, but I read this and I can’t help but laugh at it and pass it on:

Microsoft execs struggled with Vista too, say internal e-mails

It discusses that even Microsoft understood the mess that they were creating releasing Vista “this early” (although it was very late according to their initial plan). Very tragic, but funny at the same time.

Microsoft is a great company that needs a paradigm shift. It’s stuck to this self-centered world of major releases that aim on putting out a piece of software that is easy to obtain (it comes inside your operating system when you buy a new computer) that just has parity to the basic of what is out there. Their hope is that people will be lazy to go and get the better things, just because they aren’t that behind anymore.

I’ve felt this when I got home and realized that all my parents’ computers had only IE7. I just couldn’t deal with it, so one of the first things is that I’ve installed Firefox, mouse gestures and ad block and now life is so much better and faster. Yes, you can claim you can do it all with IE7 and I did try some of it. I just thought that, from my limited experience, the large amount of very mature solutions that exist for Firefox are just easier to use. IE7 has things like IE7Pro that does a lot of it for you, but it is a huge bundle of different things and not only what I want.

Finally, I was discussing this today: the future lies on integration. Building solutions and hoping everybody in the world with integrate with these solutions is not the direction to go. Even if you open your formats (like Microsoft did with a lot of its Office products). The winner of this fight will be the one that is the most proactive about it, hunting to understand the other and be understood by others. This is an aspect that I actually admire Google for. Look at their Google Docs and Spreadsheets… You can import and export to many formats including MS Office formats and OpenOffice and StarOffice. Do they have a format of their own? No!

My dream is still on a paperless world. But I feel like there are still way too many integration obstacles to get to it. I can share files and sometimes printers between two computers. But any other type of sharing that I want to do (event based things like “open this document, generate a PDF and let me see it on this other computer”) takes a good amount of work. Without those seamless integrations we can never achieve the basic infrastructure that I consider needed for getting rid of this isolated interface that is the paper.

Ok, wrote too much already. Time to go to sleep and hope that I’ll have time before my trip to Salvador to finish my post about my impressions of Brazil/São Paulo.