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Ballmer leaves Microsoft

AFTER 33 years at Microsoft, head honcho Steve Ballmer has called it quits. He announced on Aug. 23 he plans to retire within the next 12 months. During his reign, he has tripled profits and taken the company on a fantastic route financially. However, despite his amazing business sense, his lack of innovation put the company on a dead-end road. The company's attempt to enter the mobile market failed miserably. And due to the absolute failure of Microsoft Surface, the company had to write off the tablets as a huge loss. It's a really odd time for Ballmer to leave as he just announced his new vision for entering the mobile market. The whole company bought into this vision and when Ballmer leaves, the new CEO is going to have a lot of work to do. What I personally look for in a CEO of a tech conglomerate is pure innovativeness. I love a CEO who can sell consumers on his vision on the future of the company, and deliver. I never saw Ballmer in that light. The big question, however, is who will be the next CEO of Microsoft? The speculators are saying it will be someone fresh, not from the company -- which I think is a good move.

Champagne iPhone

MANY tech blog in the past three weeks have been writing furiously about the new iPhone being gold. Right from the get go, I dismissed these rumours, and today I'd like to convince you to dismiss them as well. Apple's vision is clean and crisp. A gold iPhone does not fit that description. Apple would not sell a flashy and tacky product. A gold iPhone is something gangsters and Kim Kardashian would buy, and that certainly is not Apple's targeted demographic. I believe Apple will continue to stick with its two colour choices: black and white. The only improvements I foresee in the next iPhone are a fingerprint scanner, a bigger screen, and speed improvements. Don't let these outlandish rumours get you all wound up; it's simply bloggers looking for page views so they can make a buck. The only champagne at Apple is the shareholders pouring some into a glass every time they check their bank statement.

Facebook still sucks... for now

EVERY time I log onto Facebook, it's a constant reminder of how much it sucks. All I see is unorganized and paid content. What I log in to Facebook for is to find what my family is up to, because that's Facebook's big demographic: age 27 and older. However, Facebook's algorithm pushes content all over the place and makes you see only stuff it wants you to see, essentially. However, last week there was an announcement that Facebook is making significant changes to make sure the content important to you will be shown. I'm assuming Facebook has realized everyone hates them and they need to make some serious changes before everyone ditches the service for good. I think Facebook still has a chance at becoming a future dominant network -- it just needs to do a big spam wipe, tinker with the algorithm, and re-invent itself. It needs to be fresh, like it used to be.

Big on tech

THIS past week, I travelled to Boston for work. There, I noticed something much different than Winnipeg -- everyone is tech crazy! As I landed there, I was reading about an app called Uber. In Boston, it appears there aren't as many taxis as there are town cars -- all-black SUVs. Uber is an app that allows you to request a black car to your location (tracked automatically via geo-location) and has a car/sport utility vehicle at your location within minutes. What's really cool about the app is when you sign up, you input your credit card and contact information immediately so you never have to swipe it. Your account is automatically charged after a ride and the receipt is emailed to you. The driver will also text you when he is close so you're never left waiting. Now I know Winnipeg couldn't support this, but I just wanted to share some of the cool tech that is out there. Venture capitalists seem to believe in Uber -- $300 million was just raised to invest in the company.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 25, 2013 ??65521

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