All Articles by Jason Ward | Windows Central

All Articles by Jason Ward

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Google wants our children

Google's push into school districts nationwide is transforming our children's schools into a real world "Neverland." In pursuit of the enterprise, Google wants our children.

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In "Highs and Lows Part I: Are Low-End Windows Phones Hurting Microsoft's Smartphone Brand?" we discussed Microsoft's strategy to increase its market share by targeting "the next billion" by disseminating low-end, low-cost devices into the mobile space.

In this and the two following pieces, we will look at that strategy and more within the context of Microsoft's larger strategy to acquire, engage and enlist consumers.

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"Why don't Windows phones have front facing cameras?"

This was the question posed by my 14-year-old niece from the back seat of the car on Easter Sunday. She will soon be the recipient of a Lumia 635 Windows Phone. Good news right? Well, kind of. The device will be passed down to her from my nephew, her 18-year-old brother who after a second brief stint with Windows Phone has returned to team iPhone. So much for family loyalty.

He does leave these parting sentiments in praise of the Windows Phone UI, however. Windows Phone is fast, smooth and never hangs. Yet, he refuses to hang around. So why no selfies with the Lumia 635 for my teenage niece and all those selfie loving types? Well, what happened was...

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In part one of this two-part series, "AI Wars: Hey Cortana is that you on my iPhone?", we focused on Microsoft's strategy of bringing Cortana to rival platforms.

We looked at the benefits such a move would bring to the Microsoft ecosystem. In this piece, we would like to look at what Cortana's rivals may bring to the table in attempts to hamper our favorite AI's ambitious advance.

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"Our top priority and showcase device for Cortana is Windows Phone. Any discussion or commentary about us giving up or abandoning Windows Phone is crazy talk. Our top priority is to make Cortana so fantastic that it pulls customers to Windows Phone. Period…And if that happens, then we can stop early future speculative talk about Android/iOS." – Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana.

Those were the words of Marcus Ash two months after Cortana's April 2014 launch on Windows Phone. This was a perspective shared approximately nine months ago. These words, many of you may remember, followed a social media firestorm. Ignited by earlier statements which alluded to Cortana, Windows Phone fans' cherished and exclusive digital assistant, traversing the platform divide and finding a home on iOS and Android. These words were damage control.

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Am I really positing that the Microsoft Band will beat the Apple Watch? Yes, I am.

How will they accomplish this you ask? While Apple is diligently courting the elite, Microsoft is purposefully launching out into the deep, and they are aiming to commandeer the seas.

Today Apple is priming the masses for the Watch's maiden journey into the "waters of wearables" (see our coverage on iMore). Microsoft by contrast is more subtly and methodically building a system to immerse itself in the developing currents that are directing the wearables market.

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