Thursday 28 February 2013

The rise of the Chromebook?

Chrome as an operating system has been around for a while but has never seemingly taken off. This may be due to the fact that the cloud based nature of it has been too big of a jump for people moving away from Windows and the supposed 'safety' of Office.

However, now that the Chrome OS has had a little time to mature there appears to be far less barriers to jumping on board.

Firstly, the cost of the hardware makes it look very appealing, starting at just £199 for the lower spec model. Although their new flagship model, the Chromebook Pixel (video below) will set you back £1,049...

Secondly, the option for offline editing has improved vastly with Documents and Presentations being available to edit offline with them syncing when a connection becomes available again. Although there is still a way to go, Spreadsheets and Drawings aren't available for editing yet, this is far better than it was last year.

Lastly, it's easy to use. The Chrome OS is a 'light' version of an operating system that focuses specifically on browsing the web, document creation and portability. Ideal for taking to meetings and using as a laptop in front of the TV. If you're a diehard gamer then it's not for you but for the day-to-day browser this could prove to be a very useful machine.

The big question now is, do you feel brave enough to leave Windows behind?

Thursday 14 February 2013

"So i'm getting Scroogled?!" Er, probably not...

I think it's fair to say that i'm very happy using my Google products (Mail, Calendar, Docs, Blogger, etc) and they all work rather well. But, I also realise that Google specialise in paid for advertising and that the compromise for having free tools to use is that some may carry some ads, which are usually discrete and I always ignore. So, it was quite amusing to see that Microsoft has started a fairly low level smear campaign to bolster the take up of 

Only problem is, the below video really just looks like something a bored student has put together, or is that the point?

Negative marketing may be the new approach for Microsoft, but as Marketing Land point out this may not be having the effect they were hoping for:

"To date, the Microsoft-backed petition against Gmail’s practices has gained about over 6,000 signatures — equal to about 0.002% of Gmail’s user base."

 Could this be a case of Microsoft telling us what we already know? "Hey, Google does advertising..."

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Concept Design Feedback, seems all good...

It's been a week and a half since I took delivery of the new concept designs for the website and there's been a flurry of activity around collecting feedback! Last week was a round of showcases for board members as well as a week of collecting comments from students at our De Havilland campus.

The good news is that we are running at 92% positive feedback on the new designs overall and when we filter out the staff feedback we are at 94% positive for our students. Not a bad number and we still have a week of feedback to collect as well...

Having a mixture of Yes/No questions with narrative follow ups has allowed us to pick up on recurrent themes within the comments and is highlighting what we should be addressing in order to get as close to 100% positive as possible. No shockers so far which is good and hopefully I can roll out a very small preview closer to us going live!

Interestingly, within the questions we started to tease out some feedback on mobile usage, currently we only have 49% of our students/staff accessing the University website on their mobile phone, mainly due to the awkwardness of navigation. However, when asked if they would use the site if it were responsive the number went up to 63%... highlights that mobile usage is more front of mind than some people may think!