Most popular ▴ See a list of all my posts! The experts got it wrong. Why are there no great Windows 10 apps? How moving the Capital helps Hartlepool. Gender bias calculator The Centre of the UK Defending Uber BusTracker Imagination not needed. Part 1. Imagination not needed. Part 2. Imagination not needed. Part 3. Why Birmingham fails Who is London? Innovation on buses. Heathrow

PDFs and Data ▾ Global open data and PDFs. Improving PDFs for Science. Improving PDFs for Planners. PDFAttacher. A Clearer Plan Hybrid PDFs PDF test-off. PDF Profiler Making PDFs play nicely with data

Housing ▾ Counting households. 1. Counting households. 2. The housing market works (where we let it) Hexmaps Adonis is wrong on housing Car free Birmingham

Regional Growth ▾ Measuring tech in the UK and France in 10 steps. Defending the Zombie graph. Channel 4 must move to Mancheseter Measuring innovation 1: meetups Measuring innovation 2: scientific papers. The UK city-size abnormality. Cities not cheese: why France is productive. How moving the Capital helps Hartlepool. Industrial Strategy. Leeds Growth Strategy 5: Limits. Leeds Growth Strategy 4: Focus. Leeds Growth Strategy 3: Inclusive growth. Leeds Growth Strategy 2: Where to grow? Leeds Growth Strategy 1: Why grow? Imagination not needed. Part 1. Imagination not needed. Part 2. Imagination not needed. Part 3. Inclusive growth. The BBC in Manchester 1 The BBC in Manchester 2 What works (growth) North-South divide: we never tried Imitating Manchester Why Birmingham fails Who is London? Researching research Replacing UK steel The Economist & The North The State of the North, 2015 Move the Lords! Calderdale Digital Strategy Maths of inequality Income by MSOA Heathrow and localism The NorthernPowerhouse Centralism and Santa Claus Yorkshire backwards London makes us poor

Transport ▾ Crossrail 2: Where trust in experts dies. Pacers: crap trains, worth keeping. A Yorkshire transport policy. Stop telling me to learn from London. Fixing it ourselves: bus data in the North. Open fare data will be hard. Transport is too complex! Investment is political London loses when it blocks Leeds' growth The Centre of the UK Defending Uber BusTracker Train time map What works (growth) The Value of Time Innovation on buses. Heathrow 1975 WYMetro Plan

Politics & Economics ▾ GDP measures are like toilets. The UK's private postcodes restrict innovation. Yorkshire could learn from Ireland's success. Alternatives to GDP are a waste of time. Fiscal balance in the UK "Not like London" Innovation takes time to measure Fifa and the right In defence of the € GDP mystery Liberal protectionists 5 types of EU voter Asylum responsibilities STEM vs STEAM The Economist & Scotland BBC Bias? Northern rail consultation What holds us back? Saving the Union Summing it up

Positive ▾ Bike Lights Playful Everywhere Greggs vs. Pret Guardian comment generator Consult less, do more! More things for Leeds! Cartoons PubQuest: Birmingham

Tech ▾ What's holding back opendata in the UK? Anti-trust law saved computing 1 Anti-trust law saved computing 2 Open Data Camp Cardiff Why are there no great Windows 10 apps? Tap to pay. Open Data in Birmingham Defending Uber BusTracker Train time map Building a TechNation How the UK holds back TechNorth GDS is Windows 8 OpenData at the BBC SimFlood SimSponge See me speak Digital Health Leeds Empties Leeds Site Allocations Building a Chrome extension I hate webkit Visualising mental health Microsoft's 5 easy wins Epson px700w reset Stay inside the Bubble

Old/incomplete ▾ Orange price rises The future of University Cherish our Capital Dealing with NIMBYs Sponsoring the tube Gender bias calculator MetNetMaker Malaria PhD Symbian Loops Zwack Kegg Project The EU Eduroam & Windows 8 Where is science vital? The Vomcano 10 things London can shove Holbeck Waterwheel

Last modified: 07 September 2013

Sync & Steal: five easy wins for Microsoft.

I used to work in science. People loved Linux.

I now work in design. People love Apple.

But I still like Microsoft products and I'm looking forward to a new CEO making them easier to recommend to other people. Big changes are needed going forward but in the rest of this year there are five easy wins for any new CEO. They might sound simple but these are the kind of opportunities Microsoft has been missing for nearly a decade now.

Synchronise your f&*%ing browsers!

Forget the pain of IE6; IE10 and IE11 are excellent browsers. IE10 displays standards-compliant HTML5 faster and more reliably than Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Only the pre-Webkit Opera that nobody used is better. I run IE11 on Windows 8 on my development machine, IE10 on a Windows 7 laptop and IE10 on a Lumia 720. I am signed-in to the same Microsoft Account on each device.

Why aren't my browsers synced? Why? Chrome has had this built-in for over a year.

Synchronise youre f&*%ing payment systems!

I use Skype a lot, it's amazing. It's even more amazing being able to call a landline in Vietnam for almost nothing, so I have money in my Skype account. But if I don't Skype out all that often, and if I forget to make a call at least once every six months, Microsoft steal my money.

Microsoft need that money a lot less than I do, but they still steal it. What's stupid is that Microsoft have a lot of other services I don't use that they should be encouraging me to spend my money on. Like Xbox Music, Xbox Videos, the Windows Phone Store, the Windows 8 App Store, Skype screensharing. I don't use most of those services, but if Microsoft offered to let me use my spare Skype money to try them out? Of course I would.

Stop. Stealing. My. F%$^king. Skype. Credit!!! Encourage me to spend it on something else you own.

Steal Dropbox!

I pay for Skydrive because I use Windows Phone and because it's cheaper Dropbox. I should be paying for Skydrive because it's better than Dropbox; it isn't.

It's unacceptable that Dropbox, using third-party systems and third-party operating systems is far faster and far more featured than the Skydrive clients you write for your own operating systems and run on the Azure system you claim is the future of cloud processing.

Short story: I want LAN sync, I want easy online versioning, and while you're at it, auto-awesome my photos too. You have amazingly quick panorama technology. Why aren't you using it?

Steal Google's Developer Cred!

I write apps that use Moodstocks' amazing image recognition technology. The provide an SDK for immediate on-device recognition on iOS and Android but - because you were slow releasing a native development kit - not yet on Windows or Windows Phone.

Microsoft has had technology that is similarly good for all mobile platforms for years - it's what drives the instant-stitching capabilities of Photosynth. You were talking about it as old technology and doing amazing new things in 2011 (skip to 46 or 50 minutes for the good stuff) but you never let anyone else play with it. The BING API set is a good start. Now do more!

Google let people play with their stuff. They let them build new things on it. You need to do the same. Now!

Do it all right f&*%ing now!

If you talk to people who like Microsoft stuff, I'd suggest starting with Paul Thurrott, they'll give a list of five more easy things to fix. Like this. So for the first six months, you've got hundreds of easy wins you can make while you figure out the real future of Microsoft.

The tech world needs Microsoft. It needs a browser that isn't webkit to keep HTML alive. It needs a company that people want to pay, as an alternative to a company that gives you free stuff and then sells your information to advertisers. It needs a company that makes great hardware, and sells great services, but who'll still let you buy better hardware from somewhere else and use better services from someone else.

So, seriously, get going. And deliver me the Amber update to my Lumia 720, the 'Other' folder is now 1.8GB.