Windows Phone was a complete failure

It is almost a tragic story for  Microsoft. As Apple unveiled its latest iteration of iPhone and the brand-new 10th anniversary edition dubbed iPhone X, Microsoft did actually shot its foot despite its multi-year head start in mobile business.

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Traced back in 2000, Microsoft embarrassed the notion of mobility with the introduction of the Windows Mobile for PDA and smartphones. But no one saw Apple coming from the ashes and ate it its market share slowly but surely when it unveiled iPhone in 2007.

It was a real threat. And it was too late.

It was too late for Microsoft for a simple reason. When Windows Phone 7 was revealed in 2010, three years after iPhone, the mobile ecosystem was dominated by Apple and Google. Despite the steady improvements of Windows Phone and the doomed acquisition of Nokia, consumers yawed and were bored by the lack of a rigid ecosystem from Microsoft. Windows Phone Store was a complete disaster. Flagship apps from iOS and Android were not even available on the Windows Phone Store.

Despite Microsoft’s vast resources, they simply couldn’t compete in a mobile oriented market that had quickly pegged them as irrelevant. Indeed, even as Windows Phone launched, many were quick to proclaim that the initiative was doomed from the start.

Another reason is that Microsoft was focused on Windows and Office products, which are simply the company cash-cows. While Apple focused on hardware and Google on the search engines and mobile ecosystem.

The Longhorn project that Microsoft embarked back in early 2000s, was amid the reasons that Microsoft missed the boat to get into the mobile business. By the time Longhorn was completed and renamed as Vista, iPhone in its first iteration hit the shelves. Microsoft needed to refocus on how to correct the Vista mistake. By the time Windows 7 and 8 hit the computer landscape, Apple and Google enjoyed their two house race, as Microsoft was seen from their rear view mirror.

If Microsoft engineers and executives had experienced that same type of urgency, the smartphone market today might very well look a lot different than it does today.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

Bill Gates jettisoned Windows Phone in favor of Android. He shows no interest in an iPhone

Everybody knows that Bill Gates is an ardent supporter of Windows Phone platform. He even worked on an note-taking apps to showcase the power of that platform. However, everybody knows that Windows Phone was one of the greatest debacle after Windows Vista.

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The platform, which was heavily criticized due to the lack of premium apps and solid ecosystem was left lagging behind iOS and Android.

And in a surprise move, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft found it naturally to follow the trend, as he still keep his promise not to use the iPhone (not let his kids to use Apple products) but to jump into Android bandwagon.

As far as the device he uses, Gates likely owns a Samsung Galaxy S8 filled with ton of Microsoft apps like Office, Azure…etc, as the company decided to migrate most of its apps to iOS and Android stores.

Welcome to the club Bill!

Sofiane MEROUANI

Hit Refresh, a cultural revolution at Microsoft as seen by its CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just released today his brand new book called “Hit Refresh” where he talks about the radical transformation that happening at Microsoft. As the technology is dancing forward, Satya Nadella explores the advance in artificial intelligence, Mixed Reality , quantum computing that Microsoft embarked since his tenure at Redmond.

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Nadella, who has been promoted as CEO back in 2014, talks about his decision back then on Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, which ended up as with negative consequences. As a result, Microsoft ended the production Lumia phones, which is seen by the critics and users alike, as a greatest debacle since Windows Vista.

In his book, Nadella also traces his journey, with his humble beginning in India before immigrating to the United States.

“Ideas excite me,” Nadella explains. “Empathy grounds and centers me.” Hit Refresh is a set of reflections, meditations, and recommendations presented as algorithms from a principled, deliberative leader searching for improvement—for himself, for a storied company, and for society.
Hit Refresh is right now available at Amazon, Kobo.

Sofiane MEROUANI

40 years later, Jamie Lee Curtis to return for Halloween H40

She is a household name in the horror movies. Nicknamed The Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis will return one last time for Halloween to commemorate the 40th anniversary for the release original John Carpenter’s horror classic, as the actress would appear for the upcoming entry of the franchise, set for October 19, 2018.

The actress confirmed it in her twitter account.

Starred with Donald Pleasence in the cult 1978’s Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis was propelled to the stardom when she played the role of the young babysitter stalked by a knife-wielding killer Michael Myers. Since then, she returned to the franchise four times for sequels, most recently for 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. 

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Fans are likely scratching their heads at this revelation, since Curtis’ character was unceremoniously killed off in Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, but in true Halloween franchise fashion it would appear that the film will be ignoring the continuity of many of the sequels in favor of telling its own story. Curtis has previously appeared in four films in the series, including the 1978 original, its 1981 sequel, 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Resurrection.

No plot detail about the next entry of Halloween  is floating around the net, I will keep you posted as soon as something would show up.

Mark you calendar, Halloween 2018, (a.k.a Halloween H40), is slated for Oct 19, 2018.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Porn Legend Sasha Grey debuts her first novel : “The Juliette Society”

Her name is a trademark in the porn industry. Sasha Grey one of those rare gems who turns anything into gold. After a stint in the adult indusrty, Sasha Grey  moved into film and TV roles, including the lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience and a long guest arc on HBO’s Entourage.  She stared in Open Windows oppisite Elijah Wood. And now she turns into a novelist. Her latest endeavor is an erotic novel called The Juliette Society, about a young, sexually unfulfilled woman named Catherine who spends her days indulging in sexual fantasies. Her thirst is finally quenched when she gains entrée into a secret society where the rich and powerful bump uglies.

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You can order the book at Amazon.com

Sofiane MEROUANI

Timecrimes (2007) Objectification and Sexism. How Women are Treated in Timecrimes (Part 4)

Timecrimes, released almost a decade ago, is written and directed by the Spanish director (and actor) Nacho Vigalondo. The first time I was it back in 2009, I was completed intrigued by the storyline, a creepy tale about time paradox, presented in the most simplistic, yet more complex plot.  Forget about CGI like in Terminator or the Flying the Delorean in Back to The Future. Timecrimes is truly a masterpiece in its own right.

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The Sleeping Beauty

In the previous articles I wrote, I covered the plot, the free-will within the limit of perception and the time-paradox. However, there is an interesting theme, I’d like to cover here. It’s all about voyeurism and sexism, and how the women, the bicycle lady and Clara are treated in Timecrimes.

There is a strong sense of objectification  early in the movie, when Hector 1 sees The Girl standing out in the woods, biting her thumb, apparently thinking about something. Continuing to watch her, he sees her pull off her shirt, exposing her breasts.

At this time, Clara is there next to him, trying to talk to him about whether or not he wants chicken for dinner. He basically ignores her, as he’s too busy watching The Girl. He doesn’t mention to Clara what he’s looking at, even when The Girl starts undressing, and continues watching her. Eventually, she leaves to go into town, clearly annoyed.

Being a pervert, Hector-1 goes for a walk to try to get a closer look at The Girl. He follows a trail of clothing into the woods, until he finds her naked and unconscious. Hector-1 eyes her naked body for a while, the camera along with him, before he tries to wake her up. He then approaches her, apparently to see if she’s alright (at least I hope), but up until this point he’s just been a pervert.

Later, when he time travels and becomes Hector-2, the lab worker sits him down to explain just what the freak’s going on. Hector-2 seems concerned about the other man in his house with his wife, though he eventually catches on about the time travel. The lab worker describes Hector-1 as like a reflection in the mirror, essentially the same as Hector-2, and that Hector-2 has to conform to the way things went when he was Hector-1 or else Hector-1 will never go back in time and become Hector-2. However, the explanation is worded in a way to emphasize the fact that if Hector-2 doesn’t do this, then he’ll be cuckolded by Hector-1. This is a small aspect of the movie, but the disrespectful treatment of the female characters adds up.

Hector-2 at first doesn’t listen and tries to make contact with Hector-1. Partway to his house, his car is struck (by Hector-3) and he crashes. The Girl, traveling along the road on a bicycle, comes to help. Realizing he needs her to be in the forest to draw Hector-1, he repays her kindness by basically sexually assaulting her. He threatens her with a sharp instrument and forces her into the woods, where he makes her undress for what amounts to his own (Hector-1’s) sexual satisfaction. Yes, this is to keep the timeline intact, but why does it even exist? She attacks him, and he knocks her unconscious, going on to stripping her for Hector-1 to find.

Then at the end, we have the conflict with The Girl and Clara. Clara is not treated as a person in her own right. She’s just an item Hector-2/Hector-3 wants to keep safe whereas the Girl is just a disposable item.  Hector feels a great attachment to his wife and wants her to live for his sake rather than the respect for human life. The Girl has always been objectified, from the first time Hector(-1) saw her, to Hector-2’s coercion of her to attract Hector-1, and she ends objectified when Hector-3 kills her to save Clara. When it’s all over, Hector-3 doesn’t explain to Clara what’s going on. He just brings her out to the yard and makes her sit in the lawn chair next to him while the police come.

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I think the ending is supposed to be twisted and give viewers an uncomfortable feeling as they watch it. Yes, Hector has fixed the timeline to his liking, but he’s done something evil to do so. The character itself is written to be immoral, so I’m not sure how much blame can be put on Vigalondo for producing sexist content. However, the whole series of instances Hector encounters and must reproduce involve this objectification and sexual assault for no reason other than it suiting Vigalondo’s purposes.

In conclusion, this twisted-up strange loop time travel story, though amusing, contains noticeable elements of sexism. Women characters are constantly disrespected. Though the protagonist is himself depicted as immoral, the existence of certain events within the strange loop (having no detectable cause but themselves) indicate sexism of the narrative rather than thematic depiction of it. So: enjoyable movie, but problematic content.

The final part coming up soon.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Timecrimes (2007) : Everything you need to know about this wickedly dense serio-comedy.

A trip back in time. From a present to.

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrimines) tell tales the story of Hector, an everyday man whose lazy afternoon turns into a nightmarish time paradox. After being attacked by a bandaged man in an attempt to rescue an unconscious woman, Hector runs into a scientific silo. A scientist tells Hector to hide into a basin filled with an unidentified liquid, operates the switch and sends Hector back in time. One hour backward.

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But interfering with the past can engender the future as Hector would soon realize.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of Timecrimes, l decided to write an extensive multi-part article that deals with Timecrimes, the time paradox and other themes covered in the movie :

(Warning: Spoiler & Adult Content)

  1. Timecrimes (2007) Part 1 : A Trip to The Past From The Present To…
  2. Timecrimes (2007) Part 2 : Free Will Within The Limit of Perception
  3. Timecrimes (2007) Part 3: It’s all about a Time Paradox
  4. Timecrimes (2007) Part 4: Sexism, How Women in Timecrimes are Treated

 

Sofiane MEROUANI