When A Game Stops Being A Game

There are 1000s of games released each month to all the various game platforms but I seriously believe that soon, no new game will be able to achieve the great cult status of games such as the SNES titles like Mario and others like it from the late 1980s and 90s. The reason I believe this is so is because too many games these days, stop being games in a relatively short amount of time and become a daily chore. People don’t like doing chores, so if your game becomes one, then it will soon be forgotten. Continue reading

Opera Browser Gradually Regaining Lost Market Share

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Opera Browser has always had a position in the Top 5 browsers in the browser wars (a game which has died down significantly in recent times) but has never held the top spot overall globally. That position has been held by Internet Explorer and more recently Chrome. Even worse for the little engine that could was the fact that over the past year or more, they have had to change their core rendering engine in favor of Chromium/Blink in order to keep up with Chrome, and in the process lost a large chunk of their market share. They plummeted from a global 2.2% position all the way down to approximately 1.01% according to figures from http://gs.statcounter.com.

Opera however have tried and fought back with their redeveloped browser and are gradually regaining much of the lost market share and currently hold a 1.39% of that pie. The browser is pretty decent but it has very tough competition against all the other existing players and without a current version for Linux, they can only hope to gain users on Windows and Mac. Also, current users cannot help but keep lambasting the development team for lack of requested features such as bookmark functionality similar to what was in the previous Opera 12.x versions. The team have promised to deliver however and here’s to hoping they do so rather than later, since they will be releasing the 23rd version of the browser in coming months without that functionality included.

We will keep our fingers crossed and hope the little engine that could, will keep chugging along until it regains its 2% global market share again.

A Word On Microsoft Surface Sales

I just got wind of an article that rumors that Microsoft is cutting orders for its Surface RT tablets in half. It was previously reported that Microsoft had ordered 5 million of the tablet units to be produced, but due to lack luster and modest sales figures, it seems Microsoft want to cut their coat according to their size instead of sticking it out and hoping things will change in the next year.

I’m not a fan of rumors, but if this news is true, here is my recommendation to Microsoft. “Stop Selling the Touch Covers as a separate bundle with a higher price“.

You can currently get the Surface RT ONLY for $499 or Surface RT + Touch Cover for $599, and the Touch/Type Cover only for $119. WTF Microsoft. Your entire advertisement cycle indicated that the Surface tablet was MOST useful when used with the Touch/Type Cover. There was even a whole song and dance routine to the effect, so why sell the two differently instead of just as a replacement when necessary?

I personally believe the sales method chosen has attributed to customers taking a wait and see approach with the Surface devices because most of them would consider it a waste of money to get the tablet alone if they don’t have enough spare cash now, and then have to shell out another $120 – 140 later just to get a Touch/Type cover.

Microsoft continue to hurt themselves with their marketing, pricing and product naming, even though they have “better” products than most of the competition. WTF does “RT” mean by the way? Even though I’m inclined to purchase the device, I would love to know what that abbreviation stands for just in case I have to defend my purchase. Also, if you plan to sell to general consumers, stop naming products as if only business tycoons with loads of money and no idea how the item they are purchasing works are going to purchase the products. (I think the “i” in iPad, iPhone, iMac add the necessary level of “personal” that drives their sales)

It’s not too late for Microsoft to turn things around. They should NOT be like Apple and try to squeeze the life blood out of their customers, but should rather do what they have always done in the past that has made them successful with hardware, i.e. bundle the necessities together for a good price. Desktop PCs are currently not sold with the mouse and keyboard separately simple because they are essential. The Surface tablet should also not be sold without the keyboard because it is essential. WTF am I going to do with Office RT if I don’t have a decent keyboard to go with it? I know several counter arguments can be made about devices, but essentially, don’t let people feel like they are being cheated on quality.

Microsoft have a unique product advantage over other Windows 8 device makers, Apple and Google. If they want to be able to taut their sales figures from the roof tops, then they should make full use of this advantage and not fear under cutting their own competition in the Windows 8 space, because frankly, none of them are really making any sales impact at the moment.