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Reflections on 2014 and Looking at 2015

Posted on: 1/22/2015 8:16:00 PM by

For the third year in a row, I’d like to take a look back at the last year and reflect on a few of the things that happened as well as go over some stats from my site:


Highlights of 2014

It really seems hard to top 2012, but 2014 had some pretty great moments:

  • January Nothing exciting.
  • February Did some travel for work (Atlanta) and trained for a 12k (I’d fallen out of running so this was hard).
  • March Visited numerous places in Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Epernay, Versailles, Bruges) and ran the Hot Chocolate 12k.
  • April Spoke at Build in San Francisco as well as helped with the keynote.  Oh yeah, and I was ON STAGE for part of the keynote.  Also had my second anniversary at Microsoft.  Also sold our old boat and bought a new (to us) boat.
  • May Did a lot of travel for work (Orlando, Houston, Boston) and a bit for fun (Whidbey Island)
  • June Had some friends visit.
  • July Took a cruise to Alaska.  Very scenic trip though I think it turned me off from cruise ships.
  • August More work travel (Columbus, Wisconsin Dells, Denver)
  • September Turned 31, went to Arizona for a wedding.
  • October Nothing exciting.
  • November Helped with the keynote at the NYC Connect event (where we announced the cross-platform build engine for Visual Studio Online), Boston, and San Francisco for work.
  • December Took a few days to go to Hawaii for Xmas.  It rained heavily.

Top 3 Blog Posts

By looking at unique view count, these were the top three blog posts in 2014:

Not a single one of those was actually from 2014. 

Top Azure Post

The top Azure related post was Authentication with Azure Mobile Services.  One of the focuses of this article was how to do custom authentication with Mobile Services which continues to be a popular topic. 

The Visitors

Here are the stats on the people that visited the site:

  • Unique Visitors:  This time around there were 222k unique visitors on the site.  That’s nearly 100k more than last year. 
  • Visits:  328k visits.  That’s over 130k more than last year.
  • Page Views: 601k page views.  Nearly 190k more than last year.
  • Location and Language:  The US led with 23% of the visits, followed by Indian (18.62%) and then the UK (4.43%).  English was again the language of choice. 
  • Browser and OS:  Chrome led with 56.61%, then Safari at 21.18%, Firefox at 15.54%, and IE at 4.41%.  Compared with last year, Chrome was up, Safari was up, Firefox was down, and IE was down.  For OS, OS X was at 47.85%, Windows at 41.62%, iOS at 4.23%, Linux at 3.59%, and Android at 2.4%.  This was a decrease for Windows, an increase for OS X, decrease for iOS, decrease for Linux, and increase for Android.  Windows Phone was at 0.14% and Chrome OS at 0.03%.
  • Mobile:  Mobile traffic was at 4.59% for mobile and 2.64% for tablet for a total of 7.23% which was just about the same as last year.  iPad led with 29.51%, then iPhone at 28.52%, then “not set” at 12.22%, then Nexus 5(2.14%), Nexus 7 (1.81%), and the Galaxy S3 (1.22%). 
  • Where you came from:  Overwhelmingly people came from search (86.6%), then Direct (9.7%), then searches.

This was a big increase over last year despite not really adding that much content.  There were only 23 new entries with a decent percentage of them being mostly puff (non-technical content or recaps of conferences).

Fitibit Stats

For sake of being able to hopefully compare last year against this year, I’m going to include some stats from the wrap up email I received from Fitbit.

  • Total Distance:  1847 miles
  • Total Steps Taken:  3,934,007
  • Most Active Month: July
  • Most Active Day:  January 25th
  • Least Active Day: December 27th
  • Weight Difference:  I’d rather not say…

What’s ahead in 2015

I’ve got a number of things planned for the next year:

  • Get back to blogging a bit more with at least 50 posts here as well as at least 10 posts on my other blog about sailing.
  • Release an actual app or game into a marketplace (Google Play, iOS App Store, Win App Store, etc).
  • Double the miles I went last year (so 3694).
  • Do some more travel (hoping for a fall trip to the UK).

I’ll report back in 2016 and let you know how it went.

Categories: Blogging
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Is this real life? Microsoft Band

Posted on: 10/31/2014 6:32:00 PM by

Late Wednesday night, news broke about Microsoft’s soon to be released fitness wearable dubbed: Microsoft Band.  When the news broke, it was shortly followed by links to the official page for the Band as well as news that it would be available for purchase in Microsoft stores and online on Thursday, as in the very next day.  While there are always rumors about what products tech companies are researching or building, I don’t recall seeing anything substantial in regards to Microsoft building or releasing a fitness wearable.  There certainly weren’t screenshots of the actual device and I didn’t hear about anyone leaving a test unit sitting on a bar somewhere.  For all intents and purposes, this product was launched without being leaked.  This is made even more impressive when you think about what was actually built:

  • The band itself which involved hardware and software being constructed for the device
  • An iOS app
  • An Android app
  • A Windows Phone app

That’s a lot of moving pieces and people for something to fly under the radar and not end up on All About Microsoft.  Let’s look at a few other arguably amazing facts:

  • The Microsoft Band has met with overwhelmingly positive reviews: theVerge, Gizmodo 
  • The Microsoft Band beat the Apple Watch to market
  • The Microsoft Band works with all three of the most popular mobile operating systems
    • It’s true that Cortana functionality only works if you’re paired with WinPhone
  • The Microsoft Band has been out in public being worn by beta testers for months!
    • Check out a few tweets from people at Microsoft
  • The Microsoft Band SOLD OUT at numerous Microsoft Stores

No matter how you slice it, this adds up to something pretty cool.  It’s even nicer to see that this came from Microsoft as the company continues to pursue it’s mobile first, cloud first mandate.  I haven’t purchased a Band yet (they were sold out before I left work) but I hope to pick one up soon!

Categories: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile
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