Companies clam up about China

Nick Bilton of the New York Times asked Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Amazon, and Dell about their Chinese factories. Not one company gave a straight answer, though Microsoft came close.

And people still think Apple is the only one using Chinese labor.

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“Windows 8”

Impressive. Most impressive. That said, how jarring do the “legacy” Windows apps like Excel look next to the sleek new interface? I think Microsoft needs to abandon its “Windows Everywhere” strategy and bite the bullet on touch apps here. Excel works well enough with keyboard and mouse, but I shudder to think of how it would behave on a capacitive touchscreen. WP7 is the darling of the mobile space (in theory, not sales) and this new Windows 8 interface would be absolute dynamite for tablets. But only tablets. I would strongly consider buying a Windows 8 tablet (that’s really saying something, coming from me) if it only ran apps designed for touch. I have no desire to ever purchase a normal PC running this interface. Without that restriction, why would anyone make and sell apps using the metro UI? Regular PCs will still dominate for a long time yet, so there’s no reason to build a touch app when given the choice. Why did Steve Jobs remove arrows from the original Mac’s keyboard? So people couldn’t build command line programs for the the new WIMP interface. A line needs to be drawn to make the platform take off, and so far Microsoft hasn’t done that. If they do, this is extremely promising stuff. If they don’t, it’s just another wrapper.