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OneNote on Windows RT. What it tells us about Microsoft Now

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

One of the unrecognized jewels of Microsoft software is OneNote. It is a great application for note taking, organization, and project planning. For years, Microsoft has not recognized how OneNote could represent their company to the users they were losing. The people at Evernote recognized this opportunity, and their success represents an understanding of people store and utilize this type of data across multiple devices. OneNote is now available for IOS devices, including the iPad and iPhone, in addition to Windows Phone and Windows itself.

The new Microsoft Surface 2 is a great piece of tablet hardware for students and others working on productivity applications. You can read about it elsewhere. It runs on the version of Windows for tablets called Windows RT. One of the selling points of the Surface 2 is that it runs a version of Microsoft Office, which includes OneNote.

Note taking applications on tablets are expected to have one function, audio recording. While it is possible to record audio in OneNote on a desktop running Windows, the version of OneNote for Windows RT cannot record audio. Does this mean that Microsoft cannot engineer this feature? Of course not. It tells us about the organization of the company and how they still somehow miss what their competition is doing. This is a problem of integrating across product groups, and understanding how customers use their products.

Challenge and opportunity for the new CEO of Microsoft.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Afghanistan and the Future of Stroke Treatment

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The treatment of stroke was revolutionized in 1996 when the FDA approved a clot-dissolving drug, alteplase (tPA). It remains our only available medical treatment for the most common type of stroke, although several types of drugs have been studied over the years. Alteplase (tPA) is not ideal, however, and in some cases produces only limited benefit. The search for more effective drugs continues.

In last week’s edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, a group of investigators from Australia published a study investigating another clot dissolving drug for stroke, tenecteplase (TNK). This study can be viewed as preliminary (phase IIB), and applies to only those patients studied, who were selected by very strict criteria following special CT scan exams, known as CT angiography and CT perfusion. Over 2700 patients were screened to find 75 eligible for the study. The bottom line is that tenecteplase was better than alteplace at opening clogged arteries, and the patients treated with tenecteplase had better clinical results. Tenecteplase, like alteplace before it, is currently FDA approved for the treatment of myocardial infarction.

The path for tenecteplase to reach stroke patients in the United States would need to first include a phase III clinical trial to determine efficacy in the much larger group of patients that are currently eligible for alteplase, rather than the selected group in this study.

It will not be easy. A trial studying tenecteplase in the United States, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, was performed between 2006 and 2008. It was stopped early because the number of patients being recruited was considered too low to continue. While our country is spending $2 billion per week on the war in Afghanistan, funding for studies on stroke treatment is difficult to come by.

Stroke is a common, devastating condition. We have a potentially more effective treatment with a drug that has been developed for another use. A new clinical trial needs to be conducted in the United States. Whether the money comes from the government, industry, private philanthropy or a combination, this type of work must be supported by all of us.

Categories: Uncategorized

How Microsoft Can Replace RIM in the Enterprise

July 20, 2011 3 comments

It has been an interesting year in the smartphone space. The iPhone and Android continue to gain market share at the expense of other platforms such as Blackberry and Windows. RIM, the maker of Blackberry, has not introduced a new phone in months, and is struggling to introduce their next generation operating system. The battle will be drawn for third place after the two leaders. Microsoft is presented with an opportunity they have not had in years. Their new mobile OS, Windows Phone 7, has been well received. And the coming update to Windows Phone, known as Mango, brings it up to a truly competitive level. But one set of features can make it a true competitor to Blackberry, secure enterprise messaging.

RIM made the Blackberry a fixture in the enterprise by creating a secure software platform, Blackberry Enterprise Server, that works with Microsoft Exchange and brings the messaging synchronization to mobile devices. That was years ago. Now Microsoft, after too many missteps, has a phone OS that is modern, that is attracting development, and that has first class phone manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung preparing to introduce new devices.

Blackberry has two features that continue to hold customers, secure email and Blackberry Messenger. Providing these features in Windows Phone, combined with Exchange Server, Sharepoint, and Office, Microsoft can give the enterprise a reason to migrate from Blackberry to their new platform. They can become the third mobile ecosystem.

Categories: Uncategorized

OneNote iPhone app from Microsoft

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Something interesting came from the Microsoft Office group last week, an iPhone app. That alone would raise eyebrows, but it is the choice of application that is something to think about. Most users of Office on the desktop, both on the Mac and Windows sides, would find it useful to synchronize documents such as Word and Excel with a mobile device. Microsoft provides this functionality in Windows Mobile 7, and it is available via add-on products such as Documents to Go. But the application they chose to put on the iPhone first is OneNote. OneNote is the forgotten application in Microsoft Office that has been there since Office 2003. It is a program that is an organizer, project planner, and generalized note taking application that can store text, handwriting, audio and video. There has been no version for the Macintosh.

Why OneNote as the first Microsoft Office mobile application for the iPhone? OneNote is able to synchronize with the cloud via the Microsoft Skydrive service. It is also available as one of the Microsoft Office Web Apps, their competition for Google Docs. Google Docs has a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation features, but Google has nothing like OneNote. It makes sense for Microsoft to launch their first Office app for the iPhone with the one application that Google does not have.

OneNote happens to be a great program that demonstrates the type of creativity that is present at Microsoft. Mobile OneNote may have its adherents, but it also faces significant competition. Evernote has been widely adopted, has many of OneNote’s features, and is available on a broad range of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and Blackberry.

References:
OneNote Mobile for iPhone

Microsoft Office Web Apps

Evernote

Categories: Uncategorized

Will the Verizon iPhone be an LTE Phone?

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Much has been said and written about when and how an iPhone will appear on the Verizon network. It may be remembered that way back in ancient history Steve Jobs said that Apple would never do a CDMA iPhone. While this was sometimes ascribed to the fact that Apple had an exclusive contract with AT&T, there may have been technical reasons why Apple felt that this combination might not be ‘insanely great’. It could be speculated that there might be battery life, temperature, or other power consumption issues on CDMA that would impact the user experience, a killer for the Apple folks.

Now Verizon has announced that their next generation LTE network is about to launch on December 5 in 38 metropolitan areas, it is attractive to speculate that sometime next year this network would provide the platform that Apple would find attractive enough to make the combination something new and powerful. The CEO of Verizon, Ivan Seidenberg, has said “If the iPhone comes to us, it’s because Apple thinks it’s time. Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours.”

The pieces are coming together. Seems to make sense to us.

Categories: Uncategorized