Windows boss Panos Panay says pandemic made computer vital morel than ever: "the frequency of Windows use is incredible": When Microsoft's head of products, Panos Panay, took over the management of the Windows operating system in February, the company's priority was to " remind people how essential the computer is."
"It was my main goal," Panay said in an interview this week at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival. "Let's make people understand that they still need Windows."
At the time, Microsoft had just reorganized the team in charge of the customer experience for Windows and the team in charge of its devices to create a more unified organization.
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Panay, generally regarded as the driving force behind Microsoft's Surface product line, was appointed to lead the team, now called the Windows + Devices team, and oversees Microsoft's overall Windows leadership team.
The change was aimed at " driving end-to-end people-centric innovation, including the entire Windows ecosystem," Rajesh Jha, Executive Vice President of experiences and devices at Microsoft, wrote in an email to employees seen by Business Insider.
"Joining these teams will streamline the decision-making process to help us deliver the best device experience from silicon to OS for our customers in OEMs and Surface devices," he wrote.
Windows boss Panos Panay says pandemic made computer vital
Panay has acknowledged that he wanted to remind people that there are still reasons why they need a computer; that not everything is possible to achieve from a smartphone. "Today you stop and say to yourself, 'Wow, how things have changed,' " Panay said.
The pandemic forced people to work, go to school and connect with each other remotely. More than 300,000 Million Minutes a month are now devoted to computer games, he commented, a great deal that shows that the PC is more essential than ever.
"The frequency of Windows use is greater than ever," he admitted, referring to a Microsoft metric that records the time consumers and business users spend with their PCs, showing that people are more attached to their computers than ever in the age of remote work.
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In fact, analyst firm IDC has said that the computer market, which has been stagnant for a long time, is growing this year: shipments of traditional desktops and laptops increased by 14.6% in the third quarter of the year, according to the firm, reaching 81.3 million. IDC has also commented that the shortage of components means that there is a backlog in computer orders that will likely last until 2021, which speaks to the increased demand.
Now, instead of having to convince customers that the PC is still important, Panay says Microsoft's goal is for customers to transition seamlessly between Microsoft products on different platforms. Microsoft recently launched the Surface Duo smartphone on Google's Android operating system to " get to know customers where they are," highlighting how the company has a wide variety of applications such as Office and Xbox Game Pass available for the platform.
"I mean, as much as I love Windows... there are times when you're going to move away from your PC," Panay acknowledged about the decision to launch Duo on Android.
Windows boss Panos Panay says pandemic made computer vital
This is what it really means for a vaccine to complete Phase 3 clinical trials
The race for the coronavirus vaccine is coming to an end for some candidates who are already immersed in Phase 3 of clinical trials.
This last stage seeks to demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and effective by testing it in tens of thousands of volunteers to verify that it does not generate adverse effects and that they are protected against the disease compared to the control group.
However, Peter Doshi, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and associate editor of the BMJ, warns in an article in the BMJ that the concept of effectiveness has to be understood in a concrete way based on how trials are designed.
Doshi assures that the trials do not allow to know if the candidate can reduce the severe cases (which require hospitalization, admission to ICU or even lead to death) nor to study if he fights the infection thus completely slowing the transmission of the virus.
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Instead, the trials are simply focused on comparing the positive cases of the control arm (without differentiating more severe from mild) with the arm receiving the injection.
The ideal scenario to end the coronavirus would be a vaccine that protects against infection, acknowledged María Montoya, researcher at CIB-CSIC and member of the board of Directors of the Spanish Society of Immunology, in a previous interview.
However, not having these answers is not necessarily alarming, but rather reflects the balance that companies have had to make to show that their vaccines protect without being too late, as Sarah L. Caddy, an immunologist at the University of Cambridge, explains in the Conversation.
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The expert assures that many fewer people die from COVID-19 than those who develop mild symptoms of the disease, so to prove that a vaccine protects only against severe or fatal cases, it would be required to recruit many more people.
It is "unlikely" that a vaccine will stop the spread completely, acknowledged Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser to the UK government.
However, like Vallance, Adolfo García-Sastre, director of the Institute of Global Health and Emerging Pathogens linked to the Monte Sinai Hospital in New York, assured in an interview with Business Insider Spain that even if they did not protect against infection a vaccine would still be useful.
The expert acknowledges that, "the more you protect from infection, the better the vaccine", but warns that it does not need to work like this either. "Protecting against disease or reducing contagion would already make sense," he explains.
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Demonstrating that a vaccine will have some degree of effectiveness is key in a context in which immunization seems the only way to control the pandemic, but in which the population is increasingly reluctant to get vaccinated.
The data referred to the month of September of the survey of the World Health Organization (who) coordinated by the Carlos III Health Institute that tracks the behavior and attitudes of the population related to COVID-19 in our country reveal that the number of people willing to get a vaccine against coronavirus is only 43% compared to 70% of respondents who said the same in June.
The main reasons why the population says they would not put the vaccine are “ " it may have risks to my health” (59%); “I would put a second or third, not the first” (37%) and “I think it will not be effective” (16%).
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Isabel Sola, senior scientist and co-director along with Luis Rincanes of the coronavirus Laboratory of the National Biotechnology Center (CNB) of the Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), explained that it is likely that the first vaccines that arrive are not one hundred percent effective.
Despite this, the scientist also assured that vaccines that have completed these trials will be able to put on the market with the peace of mind that they are "safe and effective"vaccines.
But Sola herself admitted that there would be questions that would remain open even when a vaccine was being marketed.
"We will not know how long the immunity lasts, because he will not have given time to follow the volunteers for a long time," Sola noted.
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In addition, not all companies are testing candidates in certain collectives, so it is unknown how it will affect the elderly and children.
Recently, Pfizer announced that it would begin recruiting 12-year-olds for its clinical trials to test the effectiveness of its candidates in minors.
In that line, also the AstraZeneca vaccine has published the first results referred to the elderly, ensuring that its candidate induces a good immune response and does not generate adverse effects in this age group.