And then there were two…

Windows Central reporting:

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Windows, Joe Belfiore, has today clarified the company’s stance with Windows 10 Mobile and what it’s currently doing in the mobile space. In a series of tweets on Twitter, Belfiore states that as an individual end-user, he has switched to Android, and that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer a focus for Microsoft.

To me, this remains the second-biggest business story of the 21st century (the debut of the iPhone, tied directly to this story, is the biggest.) It is shocking how Microsoft was the biggest and most influential software maker of the last 35 years and yet completely missed the boat on mobile. Their mobile OS strategy is now completely dead.

Let that sink in: the mobile revolution happened, and Microsoft is only a surface-level player. They make apps and provide services for mobile operating systems and hardware which is not their own.

In hindsight, Steve Ballmer’s 13 years as CEO of Microsoft marked one of the most catastrophic missed opportunities in the history of business. Microsoft had all of the incentives, resources, and experience it needed to put together a compelling competitor to the iPhone in 2007. Case in point, after the iPhone debuted, Google immediately changed gears and shifted Android from a Blackberry competitor and into something that looked a lot more like an iPhone.

From 2007-2010, Microsoft continued to fumble around with Windows Mobile 6.5 and eventually Windows Phone 7. They did not understand or appreciate what was happening to the market which they themselves had created.

Microsoft never managed to bring to market a mobile product which was compelling enough for consumers to purchase in enough numbers that made the platform compelling enough for developers. I think Windows 10 Mobile could have been that product, but it came five years too late.

Satya Nadella has done an incredible job pivoting Microsoft into a focus on services, entertainment, and hardware. But imagine what could have been! Instead, today Bill Gates carries an Android

Old Mail

Ernie Smith has a great history of Eudora, one of the most important computer applications of the 1990s.

In early 1997, two applications were in the process of taking over the internet, and both had roots in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of those applications, Netscape, became a bedrock of how we surf the web. The other, Eudora, put a graphical twist on email.

I wasn’t much of a Eudora user myself. I envied the powerful filtering abilities it possessed, but I never much cared for the UI.

My client of choice in that era was Claris Emailer, which was both gorgeous and functional. These days I use MailMate and Mail.app (the latter because MailMate doesn’t support Exchange.) If you look at those apps (and really, most other email apps, including gross Outlook) the influence of Eudora is undeniable.

Dear Angry GOP Donors

In Politico today:

With the GOP’s agenda at a virtual standstill on Capitol Hill, the party is contending with a hard reality. Some of the party’s most elite and influential donors, who spent the past eight years plowing cash into the party’s coffers in hopes of accomplishing a sweeping conservative agenda and undoing Barack Obama’s legislative accomplishments, are closing their wallets.

Here’s some Real Talk: you spent the last decade-plus funding candidates who treat conservative ideology more like a religion than a governing philosophy. When there is no room for compromise, even within our own party, and those who are willing to make deals which might otherwise conflict with their ideology are labeled “RINOs” in primary ads, then this is the disfunction you get.

Some exasperated givers are turning to Steve Bannon, Trump’s hard-charging former chief strategist and a McConnell nemesis, to vent. Bannon met with several contributors who were in Washington this week for an RNC gala and has eagerly stepped into the role of donor-whisperer. He is looking to establish his own finance network to fund an effort to unseat Senate Republican incumbents in 2018.

Hahahahahahaha. Yeah, Bannon is the answer to building a functioning majority. Sure. Don’t forget, Bannon backed this guy.