The Real Reason that the Government Healthcare Web Site Doesn’t Work

By Rich Woods

Let’s make one thing clear from the beginning. This is not a post that is meant to be pro or anti-government healthcare. That being said. . .

It’s no secret that the government did a pretty crappy job putting together the new Obamacare web site. Obviously, it was not designed to handle the amount of traffic that it needed to. The real question is why?

Can’t the U.S. government handle putting together a web site? The simple answer is no. It’s not a conspiracy. It has nothing to do with the government shutdown. The simple answer is that they can’t do it and it’s actually pretty stupid to expect them to.

Putting together that can handle millions of users per day is no easy task. I’m not saying that it can’t be done. I’m just saying that the government aren’t the guys that can do it. doesn’t crash. Google doesn’t crash.

The fact of the matter is that the best software engineers in the world don’t work for the government. The best software engineers in the world (or at least in America) work for Apple, Google, Microsoft, or even Facebook.

Forty years ago, people were told that the best jobs in the world were government jobs, because the government will never go out of business. Here we are in 2013 and the government is trillions of dollars in debt and running over a trillion dollar deficit in the budget. The government is ready to go out of business. If you are the best at what you do, you’re better off working for the private sector.

To borrow a few quotes from Adam Curry on the No Agenda Show, software engineering is not easy. It’s hard. They make it look easy but it’s not. It’s not as simple as saying that something is glitch and that the glitch needs to be fixed.

You can’t just assume that because the U.S. government is the U.S. government that they can just do anything they want or create anything they want. Maybe they should have used Squarespace.

Can we really trust Apple with the new iPads?

By Rich Woods

As if the world doesn’t know by now, Apple announced two new iPads: the iPad Mini with Retina and the iPad Air. The iPad has been the gold standard of tablets since they first came out and since Apple has around 80% of the market share of tablets the real question is whether it’s worth upgrading.

After the iPad Mini was released last year, many people decided to wait a year because they wanted to wait for the retina display and if you don’t already have one, this should be a no-brainer. The iPad Air is also a huge leap forward, with the new 64 bit A7 processor and the M7 coprocessor.

There is no arguing that both of these new iPads are wonderful machines. They both have the 64 bit processors, retina displays, and the M7 coprocessors. The iPad Air is now 1.0 pounds which is 0.4 pounds lighter than the previous model.

But is it enough of a departure from the previous models to consider them first generation hardware? Everyone knows that it’s a better idea to wait for a second generation product after they’ve had a chance to iron out the defects. The original iPad with retina (the third generation) is known as the worst performing iPad to date. The first iPhone (the iPhone 4) to have retina didn’t perform well either. It would seem that the iPad Mini is just a shrunk down version of the iPad Air. It has the same processor, the same camera, and the same display but in a smaller package.

Hasn’t that historically been a recipe for failure? The first compact cars were just that. They were parts from larger cars stuffed into a smaller package. What comes to mind when you think of the Ford Pinto? It seems that the specs on these two tablets are too similar to assume that it will perform well out of the gate.

But what about the iPad Air? The full size iPad is a mature product that we can all trust by now right? Unfortunately, Apple has a long history of screwing its iPad customers, unless you have an iPad 2 of course. The first generation iPad was last supported with the last update to iOS 5. Soon, you won’t even be able to download apps for it anymore. The iPad 2 is still on sale for $399 (the same price as the iPad Mini with retina), and you can bet that – being two and a half years old already – it’s going to lose support soon as well. The third generation iPad came a year after the iPad 2 and was the first with retina. Six months later they took it off the market in favor of the fourth generation iPad leaving all of the early adopters of the retina display in the dust. So here we are a year later and they’re discontinuing the fourth generation model that was released a year ago and continuing to push out a two and a half year old iPad 2.

When you spend $500 on an electronic device, you expect to get a few years of life out of it right? I know that most people want to get five years of life out of a $500 laptop that they buy. Why is it acceptable to end support for something only a year or two after its release?

My advice would be to wait a month and read some user reviews before buying.

In fact, I will be one of those guys dumb enough to buy one the day of the release, so I’ll be writing one of those reviews. Follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” and don’t miss a thing!

Microsoft vs. the World: Why Apple and Google sees things differently than we Do

By Rich Woods

In the tech world, it seems pretty clear that Microsoft is the underdog these days, especially in the mobile market with the tiny market share numbers that Windows RT has on tablets and Windows Phone has in the smart phone market. The thing about that is, Apple and Google don’t seem to see it that way.

One would think that Apple would view Google and Android as their prime competitor and that Google would view Apple and iOS as their prime competitor, but that’s definitely not how they’ve been acting. If you think about it, it does make sense for Google to think about Microsoft as their main competitor. After all, Google makes their money off of search and Microsoft is the only company that has a competing search engine. Apple still uses Google as its default search engine and Google makes about three dozen apps for iOS while they only make one app for Windows Phone and have notoriously shut down Microsoft’s numerous attempts to create a YouTube app.

The latest was in Apple’s iPad announcement on Tuesday when it seemed that Apple was taking every shot they possibly could at Microsoft. The first came when they announced the price of the new Mac OS X Mavericks operating system. While displaying a picture of Windows 8.1 Pro with a price tag of $199, they announced that from now on Mac OS is going to be free.

They also made points about how confusing the Windows ecosystem now is with laptops that turn into tablets and tablets that turn into laptops. “Who knows what’s next?” They even showed a traffic sign of an arrow pointing up that was referring to Apple and an arrow that looked like a squiggly line that referred to “their competition”. That wasn’t quite as clear of a shot at Microsoft as it could have been Google just as well.

Another thing that Apple announced that was a clear response to Microsoft is that the iWork and iLife suite of apps will now be free. Microsoft Office has been Microsoft’s biggest revenue generator for a long time. Currently, a subscription to Office 365 costs $99/year. So now, the biggest competitors to Microsoft’s two top selling software products are now absolutely free.

This could also be a response to the low cost devices coming from Google. Google is a services company so they provide low cost devices assuming that it will lead the user to its services. Apple is a devices company, so they charge more money for a higher quality device and are now providing free software for them.

The real question is: With the market share of Windows Phone still under 5% and the Windows RT tablet operating system being all but dead, why is the tech juggernauts Apple and Google responding to Microsoft’s attempts to stay in the market?

They see the numbers and they see momentum. Customers go out every two years and buy a new iPhone and every time they get their brand new phone they say “it just doesn’t feel like a new phone”. That’s because they most likely restored an iCloud backup to the new phone from a phone that was running the exact same operating system. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. iOS 7 feels like a fresh coat of paint on something old while Windows 8 feels like something fresh and new.

There is still loads to talk about. There should be a Google announcement tomorrow where there is an expected announcement for a Nexus 5 phone, possibly a Nexus 10 tablet, and likely a new version of Android called KitKat. More to come from Apple’s announcement yesterday and I will be posting some user reviews once these devices start rolling out. Make sure you follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” and don’t miss a thing.

Microsoft Surface 2 or Nokia Lumia 2520?

By Rich Woods

Tuesday at midnight, Microsoft launched the second generation of their Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. At the same time, Nokia was making an announcement of a very similar device to the Surface 2, the Nokia Lumia 2520. Today was no slow news day in the tech world. Other things to come out of Nokia’s announcement were two 6″ Windows Phones, the 1320 and the 1520, three new Asha phones, and the announcement that Temple Run 2, Asphalt 8, Vine, and Instagram would finally be coming to Windows Phone. Apple may have announced a couple things as well.

When Windows RT was released last November, Microsoft had all of their OEMs making tablets that ran Windows RT alongside their own Surface RT model. Windows RT wasn’t a hit and all of the OEMs jumped ship leaving Microsoft the sole manufacturer of Windows RT tablets. That was of course, until Tuesday morning when Nokia announced the Lumia 2520.

So which one of these brand new Windows RT tablets is the superior model? It is tough to say. Starting with price, the Surface 2 comes in $50 cheaper on the 32 GB model at $449 while the Lumia is $499 and the Surface 2 also has a 64 GB model for $549 while Nokia is only offering a 32 GB model. Both tablets offer SD card expansion and have USB ports so storage really isn’t an issue, especially with the SkyDrive integration in Windows RT 8.1.

Both tablets have a 1080p display, which is a refreshing upgrade from the 720p display of the first generation Surface. The Lumia 1020 phone has a 41 MP camera that takes video in 1080p but it doesn’t have a display that can take advantage of the videos it’s taking. Finally, with these new tablets, the videographer will be able to finally see the video that he captures in its full quality.

There is a bigger difference between the cameras. The Surface 2 will have a 3.5 MP front facing camera and a 5 MP rear facing camera. The Lumia 2520, on the other hand will have a 2 MP front facing camera and a 6.7 MP rear facing camera. So if you’re more likely to be the type of person that takes pictures with your tablet, the Lumia might be better for you but if you’re more the type to use your tablet for video chatting, you just might be better off with a Surface 2.

The other main difference is the processors. The Surface 2 uses a 1.7 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor while the Lumia 2520 uses a 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Both are quad core processors and are going to deliver comparable performance.

Both models will be offering LTE models. While the Lumia 2520 offers LTE in its base model, Microsoft will be offering an LTE model of the Surface 2 in 2014.

Lastly, let’s take a moment to talk about battery life. Normally, it’s not a huge issue when it comes to ARM tablets. Ten hours is usually the standard and that is exactly what both of these devices are promising. There is one major difference though. While Microsoft has pushed out the backlit touch and type covers for the Surface, the Lumia 2520 will offer a power cover, which will add an extra five hours of battery life. Microsoft if rolling out a power cover as well, but that will not be available until 2014.

So here is the question: which one is better? Well, as I pointed out above, if you take more photos with your tablet you would be better off with a Lumia but if you are more about video chatting you might be better off with a Surface 2, especially with its lower price point. Ultimately, it seems that the Surface 2 is a better tablet than the Lumia, although not by much.

There is one other thing that you may want to consider when buying your Windows RT tablet. If you own a Lumia phone, you may want a Lumia tablet. Nokia does make a lot of apps, and they are good apps. Many of the Windows Phone apps that are made by Nokia are exclusive to Nokia phones, meaning that the few Windows Phone users that use the HTC 8x can’t get them. So it is entirely possible that Nokia might deliver exclusive Windows RT apps that sync with its Windows Phone apps.

On the other hand, Nokia is going to be selling its devices division to Microsoft early next year so they are clearly not competitors. I really don’t think that there is a right or a wrong choice between these two tablets. If you need one today, get the Surface 2. If not, wait until the Lumia 2520 ships and put them next to each other.

There is still so much more to talk about. Apple had an announcement yesterday. We will talk about that. A first look at Mavericks. Eventually when the news slows down we can start doing some real product reviews and comparisons. Follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” and don’t miss a thing!

Big Update for the Nokia Pro Cam

By Rich Woods

Nokia released an update yesterday to its Pro Cam app that combines both the Smart Cam and the Pro Cam. The update includes some new features as well, such as a self-timer that has previously been missing ever since the change from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8.

Also included in the update is a new feature that is similar to the burst mode in the new iPhone. With this feature turned on, the phone takes a series of pictures, and then gives you suggestions with captions that include “Remove Moving Objects, Change Faces, Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus. You can pick whichever option you want and work with the photo from there.

I’ve personally been waiting to see a self-timer. When I bought my Lumia 1020, it came with the free camera case which has a hole in it to screw in a tripod. When I went out and bought a tripod, I tried to set up a picture so I could take a photo of my family with myself in it. I was very disappointed to find that there was no way to set a timer on the Lumia. Now there is!

Another thing included in the update is support for RAW photos which is something that pro photographers have been talking about for a long time. Most pro photographers have said that they would much rather work with a camera that uses RAW files than JPEGs no matter how many MPs are in it.

Finally, the options to share the photo have been greatly expanded. Still no native printing of photos, so the best way to print your photos is still to upload them to SkyDrive and print them from your desktop or to download the Walgreens app and have your local Walgreens make prints for you.

There is so much news this week and there is much more to come. We’re going to take a look at everything that Nokia announced and everything Apple announced, we will compare the ONLY new Windows RT tablets on the market, and the Microsoft vs. Apple series will continue. Follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us at “For the Love of Tech” and don’t miss a thing!

Microsoft’s Marketing Seems to be Working

By Rich Woods

While shopping at a local computer store over the weekend, I witnessed a customer buying a Surface Pro and overheard him talking with the salesman. As he was finalizing his purchase, he was remarking about the superiority of the Surface over the iPad making comments like “Microsoft has really taken the market” and asking questions like “do people even buy iPads anymore?” When the salesman responded, he was shocked to hear that they still sell more iPads than Surfaces.

It’s true. If you take a look around you, without knowing what people are actually using, you would be fooled into thinking that Microsoft phones and tablets are everywhere. Just turn on the TV. Popular shows such as Fox’s “The Mindy Project” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” are loaded with Nokia Lumia handsets and Surfaces. While watching the post-game show of a football game on Fox I couldn’t help but notice that all four announcers were using Surfaces.

Shepherd Smith has a new show on Fox News where he is standing in front of a room full of people that seem to be working on giant Windows tablets. As absurd as it seems to be on the show, it does seem to be just a little more of Windows placement.

After I left that computer store that I mentioned above, I went to my local Best Buy. Since the last time I was there, the place had been completely redesigned. There was a small Apple section, as well as small Google and Samsung sections. The other 80% of the entire computer section of the store was Windows merchandise.

Earlier this year when everyone was saying that Microsoft was slashing prices on the Surface because they just couldn’t sell them, I was the one suggesting that they were trying to get the product into as many hands as possible to get brand recognition out there. This would appear to be phase two and it also appears to be working.

Tomorrow Apple is announcing new iPads and Nokia will be announcing new phablets and possibly a new Windows RT tablet. Also, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 along with the new Surface accessories will be available tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 or like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” as there is plenty more coming throughout the week!

I wrote a series of posts a while back comparing Microsoft to Apple a while back. It would seem that it’s time to post some updates to that as well so make sure you stay tuned.

Apple Roundup: What to Expect from Next Week’s Announcement

By Rich Woods

Earlier this week, invitations were sent out from Cupertino saying simply “We Still have a lot to Cover”. It’s an announcement from Apple that’s scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 22. This also happens to be the same day that Nokia is holding their event that they’ve been planning for months and the same day that Microsoft is releasing the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2.

It is true. They do have a lot to cover. Apple typically refreshes its products once a year and here we are ten months in and all we’ve gotten so far are new iPhones and new MacBook Airs.

Let’s start with what they owe us. Back at WWDC in June when they announced the new MacBook Air, they teased us with a video of a new Mac Pro and a new desktop operating system called Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Those were supposed to be coming this fall. Mavericks has been ready to go in the developer center for a long time and will most likely be available immediately following the announcement. The Mac Pro, while it looks really cool is not for the average consumer. It will probably start at around $2500 and it is more computer than anyone really needs that isn’t a serious power user.

There are plenty of other products due to be refreshed this year, most notably the iPad. It’s also worth noting that the iPad hasn’t been structurally refreshed in two and a half years since the iPad 2 came out, so it’s very likely that we will see an all-new iPad. The iPad Mini will likely be refreshed as well with the same design as last year’s model but most likely with a retina display. It’s also likely that they may add in a fingerprint reader to the new iPads.

I personally think that it’s possible that they may refresh the non-retina iPad as well. They kept the iPad 2 around when the fourth gen came out and called the fourth gen “iPad with Retina”. It’s the same system as they use with the MacBook Pro. They have a non-retina model and a more expensive retina model. This would give them four iPads in their lineup. iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina, iPad, and iPad with Retina. I think that they are likely to leave the names just like that and just start using the year as the model like they do with their laptops.

There have been rumors of a type of iPad Pro and the phrase on the invitation “we still have a lot to cover” could mean that they may have type covers like Microsoft’s Surface tablets.

Lastly, we are likely going to see new MacBook Pros that have the new fourth generation Intel chipsets. This would bring the new battery life possibilities that Apple showed off in June with the MacBook Air announcement.

Many people have said that Apple is losing its edge, but how can you satisfy these people? To create a laptop that you can use from the moment you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night without plugging it in? The world’s first 64-bit smart phone? A finger print reader that allows the user to unlock their phone without swiping the screen? There is clearly still serious innovation coming from Apple.

If you look at what’s coming across from the other side of the tracks at Android, you will see things like the HTC One Max. That has a fingerprint reader as well but it really has about a 70% accuracy rate. Fingerprint reading is something that you really have to do right or you shouldn’t do at all.

So new iPads, a new Mac Pro, and a new desktop operating system are more or less guaranteed from this announcement and the MacBook Pro is possible as well. It’s true. Also, with the iPhone announcement they made it clear that they plan on manufacturing their own covers for their own devices, so it stands to reason that they will start making iPad covers as well.

There is so much more to come. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” for all of the latest!

Microsoft Roundup: Windows 8.1, Windows Phone Update, New Surfaces, and so much more!

By Rich Woods

It’s a huge week for Microsoft. Earlier this week, we got an update to Windows Phone, codenamed GDR3 and yesterday we were all able to upgrade our Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, respectively. Some other not-so-newsworthy updates to come from Microsoft in the last week were an update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Visual Studio 2013 RTM, an Office 2011 for Mac OS, and an update for Azure.

So Microsoft is supposed to be a devices and services company now though, right? This week was all about services. What about the devices? That’s all coming next week. Tuesday marks the release of the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 and some of the new accessories that they’ve promised us such as the touch cover 2 and the type cover 2. Also on Tuesday is Nokia’s big event where were likely to see a new line of devices.

Importance is always a matter of perspective, so let’s approach this in a chronologically linear fashion. Over the weekend we saw a major update to Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac OS. It’s nothing visually noticeable and while Office 2011 is still the current standard for Office 365 subscribers using Mac OS, it’s still not up to par with what Office 365 subscribers are promised. Office 365 promises Access, Publisher, and OneNote which are all not available for Mac OS. It stands to reason that the next major update for Office on Mac OS will be Office 2013 but will probably be delivered some time in 2014.

Windows Phone got its third major update since Windows Phone 8 was released. It’s possibly the most important update yet for several reasons. First look at what existing users got with the update. We finally have the ability to close apps and there is a new driving mode that allows the user to ignore calls, messages, or both while connected to Bluetooth. It also adds support for 1080p devices, meaning that they are presumably preparing for larger screen phones to be added to the lineup of Windows Phones. As I mentioned above, Nokia is making an announcement next week and this would lead us to believe that they will be announcing a “phablet”.

Normally when an update for a smart phone is released - whether it’s from Microsoft or Google – it gets released, goes to the handset manufacturer where they add in their own updates for the specific device, then it goes to the carrier where they have to approve it and make sure that it supports their junkware. After a few months the customer finally gets the update just in time to hear that there is another update coming. Another reason that the 1080p support is important is that it helps to bridge the gap between Windows Phone and Windows RT. New 8 inch tablets are starting to arrive on the Windows RT scene and new 6 inch Windows Phones will be coming soon. We all want to see these two platforms merge and this will bring them one step closer.

This time was different. Microsoft allowed users to register for a free account which allowed users to download the new update the day of its release, putting them on par with Apple’s updates and keeping them away from the fragmentation problem that Android is currently experiencing. Currently the Android ecosystem has users that range from Android 2.3 to 4.3 with just about even numbers across the board while Apple has around 90% of its users using the latest version of their OS.

It would seem that the big news this week is the Windows 8.1 update. I personally updated my Surface RT, Surface Pro, MacBook Air, and Toshiba laptop. It takes a little under two hours to do, although I’d presume that it took so long yesterday because the servers on Microsoft were a bit overwhelmed. If you’re running Windows 8, it should come as an update from the Windows Store app but if you’re already running the Windows 8.1 preview, it can be a bit more complicated.

Windows 8.1 comes with loads of new features, most notably is tighter SkyDrive integration. Now, no matter what program you are using, you can work straight to and from SkyDrive like it’s just another folder on your computer. If you save a file to SkyDrive when working in Word or Excel 2013, it continues to save your work while your work. So you can walk away from your computer without saving your work, sit down at another computer and open the document you’re working on and start right where you left off.

That’s not the only new feature in the new update to Windows. Search has been drastically changed. Previously if you clicked the Search charm it searched your computer. Now it searches your computer, Bing, and the Windows store. You’ll also notice changes to the interface of the store as well as a new “Start Button”. One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 was the lack of the start menu. Well, it’s back. Really, it didn’t go anywhere. It just looks different. The Start screen with the tiles is the new start menu.

So let’s take a look into next week. The Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 are coming on Tuesday. What’s the difference between the Surface and the Surface 2? The kickstand will support two positions instead of just one, making it easier to use as a laptop and the display will be 1080p instead of 720p. These are changes that came across the board with both the Surface RT model and the Surface Pro model.

Both Surface models will have better processors than their predecessors as well. The Surface 2 will have the quad core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor instead of the quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 allowing for better performance and the Surface Pro 2 will have a fourth generation Intel Core i5 to replace the third generation Intel Core i5 in the original Surface Pro allowing for better battery life. The new Surfaces will start at $449.

So we covered both devices and services. Finally, let’s cover announcements. Nokia is having an event on Tuesday where we can all assume that they will be announcing a larger screen phone due to the latest update to Windows Phone having support for 1080p support. It’s also been rumored that they will be releasing a Windows RT tablet. While most wouldn’t be too excited about the prospective Windows RT tablet, I think the idea is very exciting. Nokia makes great phones and great phone apps. I would love to see some of that technology that Nokia offers come to the Windows RT platform.

So that’s this week in Microsoft. But is that all there is to talk about? Certainly not. Apple has a big announcement on Tuesday as well. Also, a while back I wrote a series of posts comparing Microsoft to Apple and part of that series was a post titled “iOS 7 Beta 2 vs. Windows RT 8.1 preview”. I also compared the iPhone 4S to the Lumia 920 and I compared Windows 8 on a non-touch screen to Mac OS 10.8. It seems that it might be time to refresh some of these posts.

There is still a whole lot more to cover. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” for all of the latest.

Microsoft is on the Cutting Edge of Innovation, Whether Anyone Notices or Not

By Richard Woods

No one seems to like Microsoft anymore. They’re just a boring old company that releases a new version of Windows every three years and a new version of Office as well. Every once in a while you see their logo pop up on something else but generally, they’re just the guys that give us the software that comes on our new computers. Right?

Not anymore. Microsoft is changing the way that we do things right across the board and giving us the best experience we’ve ever had. Start with Windows 8. We’re heading into the third generation of operating systems. The first generation was command line with DOS. The second generation was point and click, drag and drop, also known as Windows. The third generation is multi-touch.

We’re seeing all kinds of new devices across the board. From tablets that turn into laptops to laptops that turn into tablets and everything in between and they all have touch screens. It’s pretty incredible.

But let’s take a closer look at some of the new stuff coming from Windows. First look at something that they’ve always done well. That’s office productivity in Microsoft Office. Office 2013 is remarkable. SkyDrive integration makes it so much easier to save and open documents to and from the cloud and it even saves as you’re working. The Surface tablets have an attachable keyboard making them the best tablets made so far for Office productivity.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way with office productivity, let’s get to the fun stuff. The innovative stuff (as if the things I listed above aren’t innovative enough).

The Lumia 1020: it’s a high end smart phone and it’s a pretty high end digital camera. So there’s really no need to carry both anymore. You don’t have to worry about having to remember to bring a camera when you go to your son’s baseball game because your phone can now take THAT good of a picture. The iPhone takes really nice pictures, but not this nice.

How about if music is your business? The Surface team has announced a new music cover for the Surface tablet. At some point since I was a kid, disc jockeys somehow became MacBook Pro jockeys. This is another way that Microsoft is innovating with their new line of products.

Maybe video editing is your business and you need the extra specs that the Surface Pro just doesn’t provide. 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid state drive just isn’t enough for you. The Surface Pro 2 can come with 8 GB of RAM and a 512 GB solid state hard drive.

Maybe you don’t care THAT much about your pictures and you don’t use Office much for anything useful. You’re not a DJ so you have no interest in a music cover and you have no need for a high end Surface Pro that would be good for editing videos. You just want games.

If there’s one things that Microsoft is good at besides office productivity, it’s games. Let’s not forget about the Xbox One coming this fall. It’s an all in one entertainment box that will bring us games we’ve only dreamed of. Look at the games for the Surface tablets and Windows Phones.

Halo: Spartan Assault is an amazing game. If I hadn’t played it myself I wouldn’t believe how good the controls on a touch screen game could be.

These are innovations that no one else is doing in the mobile or desktop pc markets. Not even Apple. Apple is still using that second generation of operating systems. We haven’t seen a touch screen laptop yet at all from Apple, and they were the ones that made touch screens popular with the iPhone and the iPad.

So whether you’re a gamer, a photographer, a video editor, a musician, a blogger, a businessman, or just somebody who wants to be able to take advantages of these features if they need to, Microsoft is giving it out in spades and they are showing no signs of slowing down.

The popular thing to hear these days is that Microsoft is copying Apple but they’re not. They’re only doing one thing that Apple is doing: innovating.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech”.

The Real News from Yesterday’s Surface Announcement: The Remix Project

By Richard Woods

When I was a kid going to parties, I used to watch DJs setting up their DJ stations with their hundreds of records and all of their equipment. You could always watch them spinning through all of he different records that they had and it was really interesting to see how they did their work.

At some point that all changed though, didn’t it? We stopped seeing records at the DJ booth in favor of a glowing white Apple logo. Disc Jockey’s really seem to be more like MacBook Jockeys these days so Microsoft seems to be taking the logical next step: Why not make them Surface Jockeys?

The new music cover for the Surface that was announced as one of seven new accessories is a keyboard for the Surface tablet that is designed for remixing music. There are 16 different programmable buttons on it that allow the “SJ” to program different settings and such along with some other buttons and settings.

This will bring the Surface Pro into another market that was previously dominated by Apple’s MacBook Pro. The amazing thing about it is how much cheaper a Surface Pro is than a MacBook Pro. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 for the base model while the MacBook Pro starts at $1099.

The Remix Project is certainly going to be a much bigger deal for Microsoft than anyone realizes so far. It will bring the Surface to yet another market. Microsoft is continuing to bring more and more innovative and creative things to the market with cutting edge technologies.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” for the latest news, reviews, and comparisons.

Calling it like I see it, not pulling any punches