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Ketosis is a condition in which the ketone levels of the body rise. These ketones are derived from fats. The body uses the ketones as a source of energy in replacement to glucose. The condition of ketosis develops when a person is following a very low-carb diet. Some studies show that ketosis can improve blood sugar levels and keep the body away from disorders such as seizures. However, the keto diet is not suitable for everyone.
Doctors recommend ketosis for wight loss management, or for the treatment of chronic illnesses. The keto diet can produce side-effects because of the nutrient-deficiencies it puts the body into. In this tutorial, we will discuss the impact of keto diet on health conditions, called ketosis.What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It occurs when the body does not have enough carbohydrates available to burn for energy release which results in the breakdown of stored fat into molecules called ketones. These ketones can be used as an alternative energy source.Symptoms of Ketosis
A lot of people who follow a ketogenic diet and want to track their progress can keep a check on the following symptoms −
Bad Breath − People following a ketogenic diet can notice bad breath as a key symptom. This condition occurs due to the accumulation of a ketone called acetone.
Nausea − People with a ketogenic diet plan may experience frequent nausea, stomach cramps, bloating, and discomfort. This is because the body is adjusting to the new way of processing fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Brain Fog − Individuals following ketogenic diet plans have reported instances of brain fog and confusion.
Weight Loss − One of the key reasons for starting a keto diet in the first place is to lose weight. In ketosis, the body loses weight considerably.
Increased Thirst and Dry Mouth − Another frequently reported symptom of following a ketogenic diet is increased thirst and mouth dryness. When the body is in the state of ketosis, it produces ketones, which can make the blood more acidic. The kidneys work to remove excess ketones from the blood, which can lead to an increase in urine production and dehydration. This, in turn, can cause increased thirst.
Constipation − As the body gets used to digesting more fats than carbs, people following a ketogenic diet may experience dehydration and constipation. Constipation is one of the major symptoms of ketosis.
Insomnia − People with a ketogenic diet plan have also reported sleeping disorders like insomnia.
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms because these symptoms are based on the studies and data collected by researchers across the world.Benefits of Ketosis
Some research also suggests that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for certain neurological conditions, such as epilepsy, and may have anti-inflammatory effects. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of following a ketogenic diet. Here is a list of benefits of ketosis.Improves Neurological Disorders
Ketosis can contribute towards the treatment of neurological disorders like epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition in which the patient suffers recurring seizures. Although medication is available for the treatment of epilepsy, in case, there is medical management failure, a ketogenic diet can help manage the problem. According to multiple studies, individuals following a ketogenic diet had reported a significant dip in the frequency of seizure accidents.Weight Loss
Ketogenic diet has gained popularity because of its weight loss aspect. Many celebrities and icons have opted for the trend of following this diet and using it as a fitness tool. When the body is in ketosis, it begins to break down stored fat into molecules called ketones, which can be used as an energy source. The absence of carbohydrates in the diet can lead to decreased insulin levels and a decrease in water weight.
Additionally, because the body is using fat for fuel, it may begin to break down fat stores, leading to weight loss. However, it’s important to note that weight loss on a ketogenic diet may not be as significant as weight loss on a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet. The weight loss on a ketogenic diet may be mostly due to water loss, which can be regained once an individual returns to a diet containing carbohydrates.Conclusion
Before we conclude, let us consider understanding the risks and other aspects that one may have to encounter while following a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet can undoubtedly produce outstanding results but the side effects of this dietary plan might make our dieting endeavour potentially risky. The short-term sideeffects are −
A ketogenic diet can be low in certain essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It is important to ensure that these deficiencies are adequately addressed through nutrient-dense foods or supplements. Kidney stones are also one potential risk that can be caused due to ketosis. Those who have a history of kidney stones should consult a healthcare professional before starting a ketogenic diet.
Ketosis can also impact the liver. A high concentration of fat is never a piece of good news for the liver and it can cause serious damage and complications to the body.
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An urticarial eruption brought on by pressure or stress to the skin is known as dermatographia, often referred to as dermographism urticaria or urticaria factitia. There are several reasons for urticarial skin responses, which manifest as erythematous wheals in the dermis. The most prevalent form of inducible/physical urticaria, which affects 2% to 5% of the population, is dermatographism.
Dermatographism, which translates to “writing on the skin,” is a condition in which downward pressure on the skin results in linear erythematous wheals in the dermis that are shaped like the external force being applied. A tiny percentage of patients with dermatographism have pruritus, stinging, or prickling symptoms, which can be uncomfortable for the sufferer.Dermatographia: Causes
There is no known etiology for dermatographia. Although no specific allergen has been identified, it might be an allergic response.
Dermatographia symptoms might be brought on by simple causes. Your skin may get irritated by, for instance, friction from your clothes or bedsheets. In some people, an illness, mental stress, vibration, exposure to the cold, or taking medication comes before the symptoms.
Dermatographism has no final mechanism that explains why it happens.
Vasoactive mediators are activated by mechanical stress as a result of antigen-bound IgE interaction with mast cells. The “triple response of Lewis” is a biological reaction that is considered to be triggered as a result of this.
In the beginning, the capillaries dilate, resulting in an erythematous phase that is only superficial. After arteriolar dilatation, an axon-reflex flare and transmission to sensory nerve fibers result in an extension of erythema. The linear wheal is lastly created by fluid transudation. After receiving an external stimulation like stroking of the skin, this full reaction can take up to 5 minutes on average.
The Lewis triple reaction typically decreases within 10 minutes, although the wheel can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. A part in this process is thought to be played by mediators such histamine, leukotrienes, bradykinin, heparin, kallikrein, and peptides like substance P. Symptomatic dermatographism is often believed to be idiopathic, however, there are other possibilities.
The most widespread agreement centers on bites, scabies, medications like penicillin, and Helicobacter pylori as the more frequent presentations to support this association. Last but not least, the presenting symptom of systemic mastocytosis is congenital symptomatic dermatographism.Dermatographia: Symptoms
When mechanical injury to the skin, most frequently from stroking, dermatographism lesions develop. In between five and ten minutes, a wheal begins to form and grow. Around 15 to 30 minutes will pass as the wheal continues. The wheal will get bigger further edema extends into the dermis.
The wheal of symptomatic dermatographism is accompanied by itching. The pruritus is worse at night (perhaps because of the friction caused by the sheets and bedding pressing on the skin) and from external stimuli such as heat, stress, emotion, and exercise.
The trunk, extremities, and other body surfaces are those that dermatographism most frequently affects. The scalp and vaginal region are the least often reported locations, however symptomatic dermatographism has been linked in the literature to dyspareunia and vulvodynia.
Dermatographism has various uncommon subtypes, including −
Dermatographism in red (small punctate wheals, predominantly on the trunk)
Dermatographism with follicles (isolated urticarial papules)
Dermatographism involving choline (similar to cholinergic urticaria – large erythematous line marked by punctate wheals)
Dermatographism in delay (tender urticarial lesion reappears 3 to 8 hours after the initial injury that persists up to 48 hours)
FamilialDermatographia: Risk Factors
At any age, dermatographia can develop. Teenagers and young adults seem to experience it more frequently. You might be more vulnerable if you have other skin issues. Atopic dermatitis is one of them (eczema).Dermatographia: Diagnosis
The diagnosis of dermatographia is mainly done based on history and some of the tests may be required for confirmation and to rule out underlying causes
Your doctor may use a tongue depressor to make lines on the skin of your arm or back to see if you have dermatographia. You most likely have the disease if a raised line or welt develops within a short period.Dermatographia: Treatment
Controlling dermatographism requires preventing and avoiding triggering causes like physical stimulation and reducing stresses. The majority of people are asymptomatic, thus only those with symptoms should receive treatment. Treatment with H1 antihistamines like cetirizine or loratadine is a form of choice therapy. If H1 blockers are insufficient to manage pruritus, H2 antihistamines can be coupled for a more comprehensive course of treatment. One approach is to take the sedative antihistamine hydroxyzine before bed.
Dermatographism research studies are looking at omalizumab, which has a 72% efficacy on 150 mg and a 58% efficacy on 300 mg. Interestingly, there was a statistically significant improvement in the patients’ Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score of at least 4 points. Dermatographism has been somewhat successfully treated with light therapy, although most patients return within 2 to 3 months of finishing treatment.
Supplemental therapy with 1000 mg of over-the-counter vitamin C per day is suggested to lessen Lewis’ triple reaction by assisting in histamine degradation and increasing elimination.Dermatographia: Prevention
Some of the measures that can help to prevent dermatographia include −
Be gentle with the skin. Use a non-soap cleanser or light soap, then pat the skin dry. Wear items made of scratch-free fabric. While taking a shower or bath, use warm water.
Keep your skin hydrated. Employ ointments, creams, or lotions every day. Lotions don’t often work as well as creams and ointments do since they are thinner. When your skin is still moist after showering, apply your skin care product. When required, use it once more during the day.Conclusion
Dermographism’s painstaking progression without resolve can be disconcerting. Nonetheless, patients need to be informed that the disease is benign. It is important to warn the patient not to take the medicine before driving a vehicle because the therapy, antihistamines, might cause drowsiness.
The majority of patients and their parents find dermatologic lesions to be benign yet surprising. To prevent these stresses, it is crucial to appropriately inform the patient and their parents about the risk factors linked to the development of dermatographism. When unsure about the diagnosis, consult a dermatologist.
Diabetes mellitus (DM), is the most common chronic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. It has become a public burden. The number of people getting diabetes is increasing year by year due to lifestyle modifications. Diabetes occurs due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus, Type 1 DM, Type 2 DM, and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 DM results from the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin.
Type 2 DM occurs due to insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly.
Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes.
Diagnosis of the diagnosis is very important as it can affect other systems and can become life-threatening. Diagnosis is mainly by measuring the blood sugar levels fasting and post-prandial blood sugars. When diabetes is diagnosed at borderline stages can be prevented by following a proper diet and lifestyle modifications. In patients with diabetes treatment includes medications like anti glycaemic drugs and insulin depending on the requirement.Diabetes: Causes
The following are the essential causes of developing diabetes −
Insulin is the principal hormone that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood into cells of the body, especially the liver, adipose tissue, and muscle, except smooth muscle. Insulin plays a critical role in balancing glucose levels in the body. It helps in the utilization, storage, and breakdown of glucose.
Insulin is released into the blood by beta cells (β-cells), found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, in response to rising levels of blood glucose, typically after eating and is low when the glucose levels are low
Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited, with multiple genes, including certain HLA genotypes, known to influence the risk of diabetes.
In genetically susceptible people, the onset of diabetes can be triggered by one or more environmental factors, such as a viral infection or diet.
Type 2 DM is characterized by insulin resistance that occurs due to lifestyle factors and genetics.
Lifestyle factors such as obesity, lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and dietary factors influence the risk of developing type 2 DM
Gestational diabetes mellitus involves a combination of relatively inadequate insulin secretion and responsiveness. It occurs in about 2–10% of all pregnancies and may improve or disappear after delivery.Diabetes: Symptoms
Symptoms of diabetes may develop rapidly over weeks to months in type 1 DM, while they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent in type 2 DM.
The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes include −
Loss of weight
Polyuria is increased urination
Polydipsia is increased thirst
Polyphagia is increased hunger
Other symptoms include −
Blurring of vision
Slow healing of cuts and minor wounds
Several skin rashes that can occur in diabetes are collectively known as diabetic dermadrome
Symptoms occurring due to complications of diabetes include −
Diabetes doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Damage in small blood vessels includes damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Causing diabetic retinopathy, presenting with gradual vision loss and blindness.
Damage to the kidneys, known as diabetic nephropathy, can lead to tissue scarring, urine protein loss, and eventually chronic kidney disease, sometimes requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.
Damage to the nerves of the body, known as diabetic neuropathy, presents with numbness, tingling, pain, and altered pain sensation, which can lead to damage to the skin. Diabetic neuropathy causes painful muscle wasting and weakness in Diabetic Amyotrophy.
Diabetes-related foot problems such as diabetic foot ulcers) may occur and can be difficult to treat, occasionally requiring amputation.Diabetes: Risk Factors
Several factors play an essential role in the development of diabetes which include −
An individual with a family history of diabetes
Type 1 DM affects younger age groups and type 2 DM affects adults and older people.
An improper diet containing oily items, junk foods, sweets, and fried items
Lack of physical activity
The diagnosis of the diagnosis is done as follows −
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) ≥ 6.5 DCCT %
The oral Glucose Tolerance Test measures the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. The patient is asked to take a glucose drink and their blood glucose level is measured before and at intervals after the sugary drink is taken.
People with impaired glucose tolerance show fasting values of 6.0 to 7.0 mmol/L and at 2 hours 7.9 to 11.0 mmol/L. In diabetes fasting values over 7.0 mmol/L and at 2 hours over 11.0 mmol/LDiabetes: Treatment Conservative Treatment
Conservative treatment includes −
Lifestyle modifications such as diet modifications, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight
Medications include anti glycaemic drugsSurgical Treatment
Surgical treatment may be required in severe cases where the diet and medications don’t help the individual with the condition. Depending on the condition the surgeries required may be −
Transplantation of the pancreas
Transplantation of kidneys
Bariatric surgeries in obesity patientsDiabetes: Prevention
Some of the measures that can help to prevent diabetes include −
A healthy well balanced diet including a lot of dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables
Avoid junk foods
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Regular physical activity such as regular walking and exercises
Maintain a healthy body weightConclusion
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs due to increased levels of glucose in the body. It occurs due to the less or absent production of insulin by the pancreas either due to an autoimmune attack or due to idiopathic causes or developed resistance to the insulin secondary to lifestyle factors and genetics.
The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes include Loss of weight, increased urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. Additional symptoms are present depending on the organ affected and the complication present.
The criteria to diagnose diabetes include fasting blood sugar of more than 126mg/dl, Postprandial blood sugar of more than 200mg/dl, and HbA1c of more than 6.5. Diabetes can be controlled by following a properly balanced diet, regular activity, and by taking medications regularly. Surgery may be required in some cases. Prevention by lifestyle modifications is very important in diabetes.
Experiencing gas and getting rid of it is quite common. It occurs because of the excess air swallowed in the stomach. Certain food habits or lifestyle changes can lead to gas. Gas pain occurs when gas accumulates in the intestines and puts pressure on the abdominal wall, causing discomfort and pain.
The pain can be relieved by passing gas, using over-the-counter remedies, or engaging in physical activities to help move gas through the digestive tract. If gas pain is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, it is best to consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
Read this article to learn the causes and symptoms of gas and gas pain and how one can manage and prevent its occurrence.Causes of Gas
Gas is formed in the body when we take up more air by mouth while drinking or eating. Later, it can be released when burping.
The food that we eat has certain components that when reacting with the digestive system form gas. For instance, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, lentils, cauliflower, etc., are high in raffinose, a sugar that is only digested by gut microbiota. When the bacteria ferment it, gas is produced which causes bloating too. Other foods like dairy products have lactose sugar that is intolerant to some people who lack the enzyme lactase. Since sugar cannot be digested, the body releases gas.
Fried or packaged foods and drinks make things worse since they have high levels of preservatives and carbon dioxide gas used in carbonated beverages highly contribute to gastric problems. Hence, less absorption of carbohydrates in many cases may lead to the formation of gas. Certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can cause increased gas production and discomfort.
The practice of certain habits such as using a straw while drinking allows more air to go inside the stomach. For those who don’t chew their food properly, it is difficult for the digestive organs to break down larger chunks of food. This ends up leaving behind undigested food in the digestive tract and gas. Gastric problems are also very common for people who talk while eating. Our lifestyle habits define our health. Heavy smokers or drinkers experience gas problems very often as compared to those who smoke occasionally or not at all.Symptoms of Gas Issues
If a person is suffering from gas or gas pain, he or she may experience certain symptoms related to the condition. The symptoms include −
Bloating − Bloating is when a person experiences a feeling of fullness when consuming any kind of food. Even when a person hasn’t eaten much, the gas inside the stomach fills up a certain amount of space and causes a feeling of fullness.
Flatulence − Flatulence is the release of gas through the rectum. It is when too much gas is produced in the body that a person may need the urge to pass it.
Nausea − Nausea is characterized by a feeling to vomit but isn’t the same as vomiting. It is an unpleasant feeling a person may experience when the overproduction of gas takes place in the body.
Cramps − A person having gas pain may experience pain in the stomach or abdominal region known as cramps.
Distension − Distension is a feeling of swelling of the abdominal region caused due to bloating.
Burping − Burping or belching is the release of gas in the stomach through the mouth.Gastric Management
Changes in our daily habits and routines may help us manage excess gas production and gas pain.
Eating slowly allows us to chew the food properly and aids in efficient digestion of the food. This will also not allow excess air intake while eating.
Taking up healthy habits like regular exercise will not only allow movement of the body but also help relieve gas that is trapped inside the body.
Smoking and drinking frequently or eating food outside more often can develop gastric problems. Cutting down on these habits will help manage excess gas production.Prevention of Gas
Gas and pain caused by its production can certainly be prevented if regular habits are observed.
Cut down a little on eating cruciferous vegetables and try not to eat food from the stores or junk more often. Homemade food is the best to prevent digestive problems.
When having a feeling of gas in the body, holding it won’t solve the problem. Instead, not allowing gas to pass will cause bloating and pain. Thus, it is always best to release gas either through the mouth by burping or through the rectum by flatulence. If the gas has a pungent odour, it is considered as a sign of digestive infection, and consulting a doctor would be good.
Taking up healthier choices such as exercising over sitting for too long, or intaking probiotics and herbal drinks over junk and processed food will not only help prevent gastric disorders but will also benefit the digestive system for a longer period.
Gentle walking can help stimulate digestion and reduce gas.
Certain yoga poses, such as the Wind-Relieving Pose or Child’s pose, can help alleviate gas
Gently massaging the abdominal area can help move trapped gas and reduce discomfort.
Engaging in regular aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, can help improve digestion and reduce gas.
Gentle stretching can help relieve gas and improve digestionConclusion
Regular movement of the body is as equally important to allow excess gas in the body to be released either by belching or flatulence. Gas pains are often misinterpreted as a heart stroke or colon medical conditions such as appendicitis. Therefore, it is important to be aware of gastric conditions and how to prevent, or deal with gastric issues.
What are NFTs?
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are a type of cryptographic asset that represent unique units of value. They are unlike other tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which are fungible, meaning that each unit is interchangeable with another. This makes them perfect for representing digital assets like collectibles, game items, or real estate. Nowadays there are many online platforms that are helping their users to gain
NFTs can be stored on blockchain platforms like Ethereum and used to transfer ownership between users. They can also be used to represent rights and permissions within decentralized applications. For example, an NFT might be used to represent the voting power of a user in a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).How do NFTs work?
NFTs are created by issuing a unique cryptographic key to represent the asset. This key is used to control the ownership of the NFT and can be transferred between users. The NFTs are stored on a blockchain platform where they are tracked and verified by the network.What are some examples of NFTs?
Some examples of NFTs include digital collectibles like CryptoKitties, game items like swords and armor in games like Blockchain Cuties, and real estate like property on the Ethereum blockchain.How can I use NFTs?
There are many ways to use NFTs. Some common applications include:
-Transferring ownership of digital assets between users.
-Representing rights and permissions within decentralized applications.
-Tracking the provenance of
-Creating digital collectibles.
-Building online marketplaces for NFTs.What are the benefits of NFTs?
The benefits of NFTs include:
-Security: NFTs are stored on a blockchain platform where they are tracked and verified by the network. This makes them secure and difficult to forge.
-Transparency: The ownership of an NFT is transparent and can be verified by anyone on the blockchain.
-Fungibility: Unlike other tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, NFTs are not fungible meaning that each unit is unique. This makes them perfect for representing digital assets like collectibles, game items, or real estate.
-Portability: NFTs can be transferred between users easily and quickly. This makes them ideal for use in digital applications.
-Decentralization: NFTs are decentralized and not controlled by any central authority. This makes them secure.How to Invest in NFTs?
When it comes to investing in NFTs, there are a few things that you need to take into account. Firstly, you need to decide what kind of NFTs you want to invest in. There is a range of different options available, from digital collectibles to tokens that represent real-world assets.
Once you’ve decided on the type of NFTs you want to invest in, you need to think about how you’re going to store them. Each type of NFT has its own storage requirements, so make sure you research this before investing.
Finally, you need to think about how you’re going to trade your NFTs. There are a number of different platforms available, so you need to find one that suits your needs.
With these things in mind, investing in NFTs can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and increase your chances of generating returns. So, if you’re thinking about investing in NFTs, make sure you follow these tips!Risks Involved in NFTs Investment
It is important for investors to be aware of the risks involved in investing in NFTs. One of the main risks is that the value of NFTs can be impacted by a variety of factors, including regulatory changes, technology changes, or simply because the market for NFTs grows or shrinks.
Additionally, there is always a risk that an investor could lose their entire investment if the holder of an NFT decides to sell it. This could occur if the holder is not able to find a buyer at a price they are willing to accept, or if the holder becomes subject to a
that results in the theft of their tokens.
Finally, investors should be aware that there is also risk associated with holding and trading NFTs on exchanges, as these exchanges may be hacked or experience other technical issues that could result in the loss of funds. As with any type of investment, it is important for investors to do their own research and understand the risks before deciding to invest in NFTs.Conclusion
There are a number of risks involved in investing in NFTs, including the risk that the value of NFTs could be impacted by a variety of factors, the risk that an investor could lose their entire investment, and the risk associated with holding and trading NFTs on exchanges. Investors should do their own research to understand these risks before deciding to invest in NFTs.
You don’t expect to hear shocking news coming out of the annual Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Sure, the biggest names in technology put in regular appearances at the conference—the CEOs of Apple and Yahoo among them, this year—but no one ever says anything close to controversial. You don’t want to rile the investors, after all.
Microsoft CFO Peter Klein didn’t get the memo.
Amid talk about the company’s plans to transition Windows’ desktop success to tablets and smartphones, he was asked what the company’s “Plan B” is if the gambit failed. It’s a perfectly reasonable query when you consider the difficulties Microsoft has encountered with both Windows 8 and the mobile arena thus far. Klein’s response gave me pause.
“It’s less ‘Plan B’ than how you execute on the current plan,” Reuters reports him as saying. “We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers.”
Wait, what? No Plan B? I’m a reporter, not a corporate executive, but “no Plan B” doesn’t exactly seem like a sound business strategy to me. So I decided to check in with a few experts for a reality check. Their replies were illuminating in more ways than one.Calling shenanigans on “no Plan B”
After Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 is already a semi-Plan B (or C?) for Microsoft.
“They undoubtedly have a Plan B,” says Patrick Moorhead, the principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. Prior to his current role, Moorhead spent more than two decades in various strategy and product management roles within the industry, including an 11 year stint as the VP of Strategy at AMD. “All large companies do, or their strategy team should be shot. It’s typically around acquisitions and pivots… basically, saying ‘OK, I missed out on this, but what is the next big wave that I can get ahead of and own?’”
Rita McGrath, professor of business strategy at Columbia Business School, agrees that Microsoft has a Plan B pivot or two hidden up its sleeve—though the company may not realize it.
“Even if Microsoft doesn’t consciously know there’s a Plan B, they’re such a resource rich and diverse company—and decision-making is pushed down to such a low level there—that if things really go wrong for them, and they go rooting around in the closet, they’re bound to find a Plan B, something waiting in the wings,” she says. “My guess is that there’s stuff going on in the company that would be a de facto Plan B, even if it’s not part of the strategy plan.”
“If what’s meant by ‘There’s no Plan B’—meaning, are you going to scrap this and adopt a completely new model and adopt something else in this section of your enterprise?—then, no, I don’t think they’re going to. And I don’t think the [current Windows] model is wrong,” she says.Why a Plan B is needed
The Surface Pro tablet is the paragon of Microsoft’s device-spanning focus.
“I think the model makes sense,” Matwyshyn says. “To create a contiguous user experience across all devices—that’s the future. The user on the go wants to grab email on whatever device is convenient, or log in to various apps regardless of the physical situation.”
“I do think it’s very high risk,” McGrath says. “If you look at the psychology of adoption, a large part of Microsoft’s stickiness with its customers has been, ‘OK, maybe we’re not raving fans, and there’s things we don’t like about this software, and it’s buggy and whatnot, but I just spent 18 months learning to use it and I don’t want to switch to something else with a heavy duty learning curve.’
One UI to rule them all: High risk, potentially high reward.
Along those lines, Microsoft’s cross-platform vision has hit some major bumps early on. Windows Phone 8 still holds less market share than BlackBerry, an operating system that many analysts have on a death watch. Comments from analysts, retailers, and manufacturers alike suggest that Windows 8 PCs aren’t selling very well, either, and the NPD research group said that Windows tablets accounted for less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales after their first month on the market.
Several manufacturers have already put plans for Windows RT tablets on hold. The ‘No Plan B’ declaration was almost certainly targeted at Microsoft’s partners, to allay fears concerning the sea changes inherent in the new all-encompassing Windows vision.
“The primary reason Klein would say that is to provide confidence to everybody involved in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that they will keep their commitment to the platforms,” says Moorhead. In essence: The road may be bumpy, but Microsoft won’t pull the rug out from underneath the feet of its manufacturing partners.Playing the long game
It remains to be seen whether the great cross-platform Windows experiment pays off more for Microsoft, or for Apple and Android. We won’t know where the chips will fall for a long time. We do know, however, that Qualcomm is “near-term cautious” yet “long-term bullish” about Windows 8 and Windows RT, echoing the Microsoft line.
“Windows 8 represents really a generational shift of hardware—a generational shift of the operating system and apps, all together, all at once,” Windows honcho Tami Reller said at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference back in November. “It was built for the future, not just any one single selling season.”
That being said, if Microsoft’s new-look Windows stumbles down the stretch and the company truly doesn’t have a Plan B in place, well, let’s just say history hasn’t been kind to similar high-stakes gambles.
“Remember Palm?” Columbia’s McGrath asked me with a laugh. “They went for a ‘No Plan B,’ and maybe it really would have been better to have one.”
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