Michael Sampson: Re-Imagining Productive Work with Office 365

by Volker Weber


I have been reading Michael Sampson's new book "Re-Imagining Productive Work with Office 365" for a day now, and I will make this easy for you: if you are dealing with Office 365 in any capacity, whether as a competitor, as a future or current Microsoft customer, as a business user or IT professional, then buy this book immediately. It's only $19 for a single copy.

What are you waiting for?

OK, you want to know why. Here is the deal: while most books would look at the plethora of tools in Office 365 and then describe their features, Michael takes a different route. He tells you how to drive certain opportunities. Example? You want to facilitate discussions. There are three major ways to do that with Office 365: Groups, Yammer, Sharepoint. Michael helps you understand the capabilities and how to put them to work.

I like his style. It's almost scientific in that he backs up his assertions with findings from research and case studies. You can take a look if you are still not convinced.

This book is actually not a book. It's a PDF and it is formatted to be read on a 3:4 screen like the iPad. It's typeset in landscape so that you can also read it on your laptop. Instead of buying a single copy, you can also license it for a team, for your company, or for the world. One way or the other, Michael will find a way for you to compensate him for his work.

If you want more than a book, Michael is also available for consulting. And he has designed a workshop covering the same topic as his book.

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Twelve months

by Volker Weber


I will just leave this here. This is what twelve consecutive months look like. We discussed the how and why a few days ago. #dontbreakthechain

Upgrade auf Windows 10: Drückermethode wird noch aggressiver

by Volker Weber

Rund zwei Monate vor dem Ende des Gratis-Upgrade-Angebots auf Windows 10 werden Microsofts Methoden, um unwillige Anwender von Windows 7 und 8.1 doch noch zu bekehren, immer rücksichtloser.

Die Methode hat sogar einen Namen. Früher musste man Software von Microsoft noch kaufen oder klauen. Heute muss man sich mit Händen und Füßen dagegen wehren.

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Why bots won't replace apps anytime soon

by Volker Weber

Lately, everyone’s talking about “conversational UI” [user interface]. It’s the next big thing. But the more articles I read on the topic, the more annoyed I get. It’s taken me so long to figure out why!

Interesting perspective from Dan Grover, WeChat product manager.

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Samsung finds itself in a hole. And keeps digging.

by Volker Weber

SEOUL—Samsung Electronics Co. is quietly adding more advertisements to its Internet-connected televisions as it seeks new revenue sources for its struggling TV business.

The world’s largest maker of TVs by shipments added new tile ads to the main menu bar of its premium TVs in the U.S. in June 2015 and is planning to expand the program to Europe in coming months, people familiar with the matter said.

When I discovered that my Samsung Smart TV was installing crapware, I should have taken it back to the store. Since I didn't, it is a constant reminder to never buy anything with a Samsung logo.

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Wolle komische Scooter verkaufen?

by Volker Weber


Es gibt tatsächlich noch Möglichkeiten, schlimmer als auf einem Segway auszusehen. Und man kann zugleich jede körperliche Bewegung vermeiden. Wird auch für Tesla-Käufer empfohlen, um die Meter vom Parkplatz ins Gebäude zu überbrücken.

Wistiki Voilà

by Volker Weber


Voilà ist eines von drei Bluetooth-Anhängern, die Philippe Starck für Wistiki entworfen hat. Voilà passt an den Schlüsselbund und es gibt zwei weitere Bauformen: Hopla hat die Form einer Kreditkarte und passt damit in den Geldbeutel, Aha ist rund und soll zum Beispiel am Tierhalsband angebracht werden. Den durchsichtigen Teil gibt es in vier verschiedenen Farben: lila, rosa, orange und gelb. Wistiki hat mir eins in Rosa geschickt.


Die Idee hinter diesen Geräten ist nicht neu. Nokia hatte sowas, von der Connect habe ich ein Lapa mitgebracht. Das Voilà ist bisher das hübscheste, das Lapa vielleicht das hässlichste. Was macht das Ding und wie funktioniert es? Man lädt eine App auf iPhone (min iOS 8) oder Android (min 4.4.2). Dann verbindet man Smartphone und Wistiki per Bluetooth Low Energy. Sucht man das Smartphone oder das Wistiki, drückt man einen Button auf dem Screen oder dem Gerät und die andere Seite bimmelt.

Außerdem kann man sich anzeigen lassen, wo das Wistiki das letzte Mal von der App gesehen wurde. Bei einer Reichweite von 100 Metern (im Freien), ist die Angabe natürlich ungenau. Die App zeigt aber an, wie stark das Signal ist und kann einen (heiß/kalt) dann hinführen.

Da das Wistiki keine eigene Netzverbindung und kein GPS hat, kann man seinen durch die Botanik laufenden Hund natürlich nicht aufspüren. Auch ein geklautes Fahrrad lässt sich so nicht finden. Das lösen alle Hersteller auf die gleiche Weise: man markiert sein Gerät als verloren gegangen und bekommt dann von anderen Kunden einen Hinweis, wenn sie das Signal aufschnappen. Das funktioniert unter der Bedingung, dass jede Menge Leute so ein Wistiki haben. Eine Bedingung, die erst mal nicht erfüllt wird. Was fehlt ist eine Zusammenarbeit der Hersteller solcher Gadgets. Jeder möchte gerne eine eigene Community haben.

Das Wistiki hat eine Besonderheit: man kann die Batterie nicht tauschen. Sie soll drei Jahre halten und danach verspricht Wistiki einen Rabatt, wenn man im Austausch ein neues Gerät kauft. Was mir noch auffällt: was auf Bilder nach Metall aussieht, ist tatsächlich Metallplastik.

Wistiki versucht die Geräte über Crowdfunding in den Markt zu bekommen. Aktuell sehe ich 28 Unterstützer.


New OS/2 version in 2016

by Volker Weber

After WarpStock Europe, ArcaOS, the new OS/2 distribution previously codenamed Blue Lion, is scheduled for release in Q4 2016.

If you are worried about Notes, don't. Even OS/2 lives on, 20 years after Warp 4 was released, and 15 years after IBM's last maintenance drop.

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What Sonos can and cannot do

by Volker Weber


When Sonos announced a change of direction, I was left puzzled.

As we look to the future there are two big areas that we’re leaning into: paid streaming services, and voice control.

Both of these things are outside of Sonos' reach. They can't take them over; they need to work with them. The streaming services give us a good idea of what Sonos plans to do: integrate existing technology in a platform agnostic way. For voice control that means working with Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google assistant. Sonos' best designer is working on that.

Sonos cannot match the investment that goes into music discovery or speech recognition. But they need to speed up their software support for those services.

Spotify opens up interesting options with its Premium Family plan

by Volker Weber

Spotify upgraded its Premium Family plan last week to cover six Spotify IDs for 15 € a month. They don't have to be actual family members; you can also invite your friends. I think this is going to increase the number of paid accounts very quickly.

Sonos lets you add more than one ID, so you can have multiple family members with their own playlists. And you don't run into a problem where Sonos stops playing because one family member is traveling and listening on their iPhone. For your mobile device, you select a default Spotify account so you no longer have to think about having more than one account on the Sonos system. Each family member automatically uses the right account. On a PC/Mac you get the choice right in the services panel.


Today I was invited into a Swedish family. For that I actually needed to create a Swedish user, because the family plan only covers users in the same country. I have added this ID now to my Sonos player and can enjoy Swedish charts.

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If anybody wants to invite me into their UK or US family, I am all ears. Just drop me an email. You remain in control. When you remove a family member, that account does not die. It just reverts to a free account.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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