First year

This week marks the first year of living with +Google Glass—not one year, but the first. As in there is more to come. 

I still remember seeing the UPS truck downstairs, setting Glass up for the first time and more. The journey since then has been so exciting, surprising and constantly refreshing—we are in uncharted territory and everything is so new.

And, genuinely, for me, Glass continues to bring magic to life. It has positively changed how I interact with technology, whether it is getting directions, searching +Google, sending a message or just taking a photo without missing the moments that matter. This weekend in New York, as with many other situations, I really felt like I got to push technology out of the way most of the time and explore, while also relive the moments exactly as they happened afterwards.

Glass invigorates me with the same energy I felt when arriving in New York for the first time: ever-changing, nonstop innovation and undying optimism and belief in core ideals.

Photo credit: +Deepa S

Of course there are a whole list of improvements Glass can undergo. Of course there are situations where Glass is not suitable and where I don't wear Glass, just like regular glasses or smartphones. But, I think most people forget that this is a highly beta project and still a Google moonshot, just like +Project Loon+Google Fiber, and the +Google Self-Driving Car Project.

Personally, I don't think Glass will ever be a failure for Google however this goes—it will either continue to evolve or be a valuable insight into wearable technology for the future. So, while the haters continue to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, we, the players, are gonna play, play, play, play, play, as +Taylor Swift eloquently puts it.

The media may write whatever they wish about Google like how +Google+ is going to die, or Glass or even Taylor Swift, but I'd rather spend my energy supporting risk-takers, the future, the ideals they stand for and a better life. All these risk-taking brands and people I support are far more than what the media portrays—just look at Taylor's actual album sales versus what experts projected. Plus, the broad reception I receive from the public about Glass just does not align with how the media usually characterizes it as.

Sharing the magic with various people and seeing their faces light up with joy as they learn about what is true continues to give me goosebumps.

But, most of all though, the past year has seen a whole bunch of passionate, smart people come into my life, online, in real-life or both: the community of Guides and Explorers shaping this whole project, including +Chara Kelley+steph lake+Virginia Poltrack+Jeff Bond+Spencer Kleyweg+Morgan Tuohy+Jeffrey Young+Ana Medina+Christopher Rios+Brian Kelley+Mason Rothman and +Eddie Daniels, just to name a very few.

Here's to what we accomplish together next, +Google Glass and #GlassFamily.

Capturing life's moments exactly as they happened

A couple months ago, I shared a Google+ and Twitter photo of an absolutely gorgeous and perfect DC day. Being able to take strolls on the National Mall, right in the middle of history, is just one of the advantages of being at +The George Washington University. Several weeks later, I learned (through the Center for Student Engagement Twitter) that the photo was chosen as their winner for February, something that came as a surprise to me. 

This week, GW had a Excellence in Student Life ceremony, where the overall #OnlyAtGW photo contest winner was announced as well. People had some really cool moments showing how awesome it is here, including a group selfie with Wolf Blitzer among many others.

I didn't expect much, but here's what happened, as shown through +Google Glass.

When I first shared that photo, I honestly expected nothing more than me sharing a moment that mattered in my life -- a moment of freedom, of relaxation. I am still in awe at what it has become, especially because it all came from two apps from a device the size of my hand. On my Samsung Galaxy S4, I used the camera and Google+'s powerful +Snapseed app and the final product was available in minutes. Of that moment, right at that moment. 

From Glass to Snapseed and everything in between, I'm taken aback by how technology has empowered everyone to be able to capture the moments that matter.

And then there was this tweet, I love it.

What a fun #OnlyAtGW moment last night.

A free Windows 8 is the best strategy for Microsoft

To consumers, Microsoft has claimed that Windows 8, released in October 2012, is beautiful, fast and flexible. In the business world, Microsoft knows that its newest operating system is critical for its future and the entire Windows 8 lineup, if it succeeds, will allow Microsoft to stay competitive and relevant in the technology industry crowded by younger companies. That's true, and that is exactly why Microsoft should have launched Windows 8 at the price of "free."

Paid Upgrade, No Thanks.
Currently, Microsoft advertises an upgrade to Windows 8 on the PC to start at $39.99. That price is too steep for the typical PC user, without even mentioning the $69.99 base price for the Pro version at Best Buy. For many who are running Windows 7 or earlier, and are content with their system, Windows 8 will just be another cycle that's insignificant to them.

Instead, back in October, and even now, Microsoft should have sold a Windows 8 upgrade for $0.00. They have the resources to do so. It might make me look crazy, but think about it this way: it's a gateway to other Microsoft products (the rest of the Windows 8 lineup, RT and Phone) and a true introduction to the new Microsoft.

Windows 8 boasts "Live Tiles."

Incentive Needed for Learning Curve.
Technology enthusiasts may understand that Windows 8 actually consists of a traditional PC and mobile ecosystem, all wrapped into one. It may be clear to them that Windows 8 is built for laptops and PC's, Windows 8 RT is built for tablets and Windows Phone is built for smartphones. All three versions have Live Tiles and similar features that show all are truly from one family.

But what about the general public? Many people have no clue, and could care less, what Windows 8 is, much less Windows 8 RT (Surface) and Windows Phone 8. The market is filled with Android and iOS devices that are much more familiar than the Windows 8 interface.

How do Live Tiles even help keep track of what's important in life? How is Windows 8, along with the RT and Phone version, "reinvented around the user?" The new interface scares many people. And, those same people will not want to pay fo something just to have to learn how to do the simplest tasks all over again, especially if nothing is broken the way it is now.

The word "free" speaks volumes. No one likes change, but everyone likes free and new things. The confusion and nerves would disappear if they were somehow exposed to Windows 8, and that's the best way. If Microsoft pushed a free upgrade to existing PC users, who then became accustomed to Windows 8, Live Tiles and all the features that come with it, guess what will happen when they see a Surface tablet or a Windows Phone 8 with Live Tiles the next time they're at an electronic store looking for a tablet or smartphone?

By introducing people to Windows 8 in the PC environment, which Microsoft undoubtedly dominates, more and more people will understand the new Windows brand and interface, in turn spurring sales of the mobile versions of Windows (RT and Phone) because they've been familiarized with it. Microsoft could even have given away free SkyDrive storage, and required download by way of signing up for an Outlook address, further tying in all of Microsoft's properties, in a full-throttle marketing ploy.

This would have done more for Microsoft than what the $39.99 for a Windows 8 upgrade ever will.