Could Windows 8 be a bigger flop than Vista?

There’s an interesting article by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld regarding the slow uptake of Windows 8.

In the first four months since the public launch of Microsoft’s new operating system, uptake has risen to 3% of all Windows PCs. That’s a slower rate of uptake than Vista, which managed 4% in its first four months. Vista was widely regarded as a failure, and users held onto Windows XP until Microsoft released Windows 7, less than three years later. The uptake of Windows 7 in its first four months was 9.7%.

Graph showing uptake of Windows 8 below that of Windows Vista, with Windows 7 much higher than both

Source: Computerworld

The big retailers now sell their PCs with Windows 8 pre-installed, so most customers will end up with it by default. That’s whether or not you purchase a touchscreen system. Windows 8 is designed for use on touchscreen systems but since these are still fairly expensive it’s likely that many users will end up with a traditional desktop PC running what is essentially a tablet OS.

The Windows 8 user experience on a traditional PC is pretty awful – it’s like trying to do your work on a mobile phone emulator. Continue reading

Annotations on the web – a brief list

Annotation software or add-ons are valuable tools for academic websites and teaching applications, allowing collaborative discussion and editing of course texts. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the more notable options:

  1. WordPress plugins
  2. Google docs or similiar cloud interactive services (I think we can rule this out simply on ownership/copyright issues)
  3. Code plugins
  4. PDF page-flipper type add-ons that have annotation capability (these are generally expensive and not necessarily up to the job.)
  5. Browser add-ons (e.g. Zotero for Firefox, or Wired Marker) – not practical for ‘public’ use.
  6. Other services
    •  A.nnotate   (  –  An Edinburgh-based annotation service, with free and paid options.

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) Shuttered

[Original story at:]

“Aaron Gustafson and two of his fellow contributors, Bruce Lawson and Steph Troeth, have announced the closure of The Web Standards Project (WaSP). It was formed back in 1998 by Glenn Davis, George Olsen, and Jeffrey Zeldman to get browser makers support the open standards established by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The project described itself as a ‘coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.’ Founded at a time when Microsoft and Netscape were battling it out for browser dominance, WaSP aimed to mitigate the risks arising out of this war – an imminent fragmentation that could lead to browser incompatibilities. Noting that ‘..Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality’ Aaron noted that it was time to ‘close down The Web Standards Project.'”