Chilling out at home on my day off updating my computers etc. and I notice that Ad Guard had released 1.9.19, I don’t know what they’ve done behind the scenes but the quality of the ad blocking has improved immensely. I’m looking forward to Safari 15 and improvements that are made not only in terms of performance, stability, security and optimisation but also compliance with open standards. At the moment the latest Safari Technology Preview is only available for macOS 12.0 which is currently in beta testing but from the screenshots I’ve seen, I’m happy with the changes. The UI changes with Safari 15 have been pretty controversial but this will be a situation of a lot of noise made by a small number of technology commentators on YouTube, Facebook/Instagram and Twitter when in reality most people will probably find that the improvement is well worth it particular with those who have small screen laptops where the efficient use of space will allow greater enjoyment of being able to view more of the content.
The big feature I am really excited about is the custom domain hosting for Cloud Plus (link):
Which is the feature that has been absent which keeps pulling me back to Google Workspace (and in turn dragging me back into the Android ecosystem due to Android providing the best possible experience due to its tight integration with Google services). The other benefit has been the “Improved Safari Web Extensions. Try out the support for declarativeNetRequest, which expanded to 150K content blocking rules and non-persistent background pages for improved performance.” which will help those who have extensions that haven’t adopted a separate extension for each filter category (like what Ad Guard has done to get around the 50K limit that existed back when Safari 9 was launched.
One thing to keep in mind that Apple does on occasion holding features back for their September iPhone launch which may double up as a Mac product launch as well, there is also a possibility that there are more details regarding the new iCloud features. The reason I say that is because the WWDC is primarily focused on developers so anything announced there is primarily going to be focused on features that will impact developers so it is possible that feature or features are held back given that they don’t pose an issue with developers in regards to compatibility or any other consideration.
Windows 11 autopsy is still continuing as various YouTube commentators are going it the once over and trying to be optimistic that maybe what they saw was an inside incomplete version or that Microsoft are going to show off a more bleeding edge built or maybe even talk about the fact that the focus of Windows 11 going forward will be to focus on delivering UI consistency which will not be delivered when Windows 11 but an on going focus that will extend beyond the launch of the stable version.
I want to be optimistic about Windows 11 because when Microsoft has its act together it provides competition to Apple to lift their game which in turn forces Microsoft to lift their own game but the question is whether Microsoft can see it through. I say that because Microsoft has proven, with their Surface and Xbox range, that when they are focused they can deliver great products but in the case of the PC world it is undermined by almost a ‘if it compiles ship it’ where little to no focus is on the fit and finish other than whether it is functional rather than whether the product is enjoyable to use and compels the customer to not only invest in the ecosystem but remain for the long term.
That being said, the future of many businesses is about the cloud – the platform is becoming less relevant when it comes to growth so even if Apple gains a sizeable chunk of the computer market, Microsoft is still very much the ‘top dog’ when it comes to productivity in government and enterprise organisations so for Microsoft – if you’re using their cloud services such as Office 365, Azure, their developer tools, languages etc. then they’re not too fussed whether you’re using Windows in the long run (IMHO Microsoft would be better off rebranding ChromeOS to EdgeOS in much the same way that Microsoft embraced Chromium so then they would have a platform that could compete head to head with Google – then build a Microsoft App Store that builds on their existing store then Microsoft would benefit from the mindshare without having to make a huge investment).