Friday, November 12, 2010

Windows Phone 7: It’s not a market stealer, it’s a precedent maker.

The headline says it all. Windows Phone 7's goal is not to steal market from Android or iOS, it’s real goal is to take market away from feature-phone makers. Eliminating feature-phones will give WP7 a more competitive edge against iOS or Android. So rather than Microsoft aiming at Android or Apple users, Microsoft aims the rifle gun at feature-phone makers like Nokia. Who still make an ungodly amount of money from feature-phones because “they’re cheap”. Microsoft shaped Windows Phone 7’s user interface at those who are new comers to the smartphone space, those who came from feature-phones. Some rumored, unconfirmed reports claim that Samsung Focus, which is the first major WP7 device to go on the market, sold approximately 40,000 devices on launch day. Some people dawn on this and think, “Shame Microsoft, shame.” When in fact, this is an unconfirmed report, this is great considering this is one day sales, and the fact that they’re comparing it to iPhone 4 which in my opinion sold in ungodly amounts. They think that Microsoft was aiming it at Apple. But they are wrong! Unfortunately, because Microsoft poorly, and I mean poorly communicated to their users what their intent was with Windows Phone 7, the general “techies”, if you will, were conceived that this was a good attack at Google’s Android, which is a great mobile OS. Windows Phone 7 is aimed at ease of use because of it’s intuitiveness, and great “tile” UI design.  Point is, Microsoft wasn’t aiming their attack at Google or Apple, they led their attacks against feature-phone makers to allow smartphones to consume the whole space.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7: Are you buying?

Last Monday, Microsoft held an event in New York to officially launch Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s attempt at getting back into the smartphone space. Steve Ballmer, and AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph De La Vega were there. My thought when I saw Ralph De La Vega come up on stage was, what was Microsoft thinking, bringing up AT&T Wireless CEO on stage. When they clearly know that people hate AT&T (at least people who live in major areas like the SF Bay & New York). The good news is that AT&T is only the exclusive partner at launch. There will be more devices coming with WP7 (Windows Phone 7) for the other major carriers later on. Some speculate that some will come for Verizon & T-Mobile in early 2011.

Now that we can move on past AT&T stuff, WP7 is interesting in my mind because of it’s neat active tiles-based UI. Their goal was to eliminate steps to achieve a certain task with WP7. For example, instead of needing to go into the calendar app to check for upcoming events, you just unlock the device and the calendar tile will display the next upcoming event. I thought that was quite thoughtful of them to implement that. Some people believe that Microsoft put the OS first, and the apps took a back seat. That wasn’t necessarily 100 percent true. Microsoft did thoroughly think about the interface & user experience, but they will continually work on the app experience and the application market they have setup. Now they do have apps, but as of now they only have about 2,000. More and more will come and many developers have expressed interest to develop applications for WP7, but it’ll take some time for the number of apps to become measurable to Android or iOS.

My questions for you is, are you buying a WP7 device when they launch on November 8? I hope for one of two things in your response. A, I’m not getting one until a Verizon or T-Mobile device comes or B, I have a nice sized budget and AT&T coverage isn’t awful in my area. If you could really wait until a second revision of WP7, I’d encourage you to wait! First off, WP7 doesn’t come with copy & paste. Although Paul Thurrott from the Windows Weekly podcast expects that to come in early 2011. And according to him, copy & paste is going to be implemented well in WP7. Another reason to wait off until a second revision of WP7 is because of other features & issues as well like compatibility with first generation devices. If the same thing with Android & device compatibility issues come with WP7, then we can expect the general public to just become more confused than they already are with the tons of Android devices. It’s good to have choice, but then again, too many choices is a bad thing!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

That Google privacy video in Times Square is bogus & unfair!

Remember that video that Consumer Watchdog posted about Eric Schmidt & the “free ice cream truck”? This video was posted by Consumer Watchdog & was aired in Times Square.

I recommend you watch it just so you can get the full sense of what I’m writing about.

This is insane! Of all people to pick on…WHY GOOGLE? Microsoft’s Bing tracks you, Yahoo, OMG, and pretty much every other site on the web tracks you through cookies! And the fact of the matter is, Google is not selling the data they collected from you to anybody else? It’s purely for business reasons! They just want some information to give you relevant ads! All the major video & news sites do this! It’s really unfair to exclusively beat up Google for this! Google is absolutely not selling the information they collected to any government or business! They’re using the data privately to gather some information about your interests to deliver you relevant advertisements! But if you’re going to pick on Google, you might as well pick on the other big name news & video sites as well because they do it too! And the only reason Consumer Watchdog made this video is to scare corporate America! It’s very clear and it’s pure fact! They hate corporate America & that includes Google! And that’s beside the fact that most of the world’s population doesn’t even know who Eric Schmidt is? If Consumer Watchdog is trying to “send a message”, they’re doing an awful job of that because most Americans, including ME think that they’re just trying to rag on Google! And honestly, I don’t feel that most Americans understand that this data is privately being held within Google’s servers just so they can deliver relevant ads! Google is now the new Microsoft of the 1990’s! Google seems to be getting in anti-trust issues that Microsoft had in the 1990’s. So naturally it makes sense for big name media companies to trash-talk Google!

In fact, I wish sites would collect data about me just for the purpose of relevant ads! If it brings up more ads that are relevant to my interests, then I say, “Track me Google! Track me please!”. If I visit a website that tracks me exclusively for the purpose of relevant ads, and doesn’t sell it to anyone, then I’m totally okay with it! And as far as I know, Google doesn’t sell their tracking data to anyone else!

That’s why I say this video is bogus & unfair towards Google! Do you agree?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The death of Windows & Desktop OS’s?

I think we’re close to seeing it! Finally the day where we won’t have to install OS’s on our devices! The day when we just choose what browser or browsing experience we want & don’t have to bother with everything else. We won’t have to worry about importing data because it’ll be completely on the cloud and easily accessible with one click!

But of course that’ll have to happen with adoption from the rest of the industry & all the tech companies. So this adoption will come slowly. Over the course of possibly 5 or more years!

Here’s what will need to happen for this to be a successful transition:

  • Kiss goodbye to installing the OS yourself & other hassles! OS makers & OEM’s will have to learn that people don’t want to hassle with their OS & the software they have on their devices. They just want a device that will give them what they want! The average consumer just wants something that’ll give them access to email, web surfing, and apps at a touch of a button.

  • Software makers & OEMs will have to move to the cloud. Whether or not they like it, they need to move to the cloud to be successful. Their data is at risk when they handle everything on old fashion desktops. Moving their data & software to the cloud won’t be easy, but it’ll be a worth while investment!

  • Move the operating system to the cloud I know Microsoft doesn’t like the idea, but transferring Windows to the cloud would be a wise choice. OS makers such as Microsoft who still proves to be successful in the desktop OS space, are being forced to move their software into the cloud, eliminating the need for big hard drives & CD’s to install their software. Take Google’s Chrome OS as a good example, it’s something you run on your system that is just a complete browser-based solution that can do the best of all worlds! It’ll be capable of checking email & doing day-to-day activities like web browsing as well as running web-based applications. And HTML5 will make running web-apps possible!

  • The User experience should be nice & friendly. The only thing that would complete the online-based OS would be installation. You shouldn’t make people install the solution to make this possible. It should just come with the device & even the first time the customer turns on the device, it’ll just work. Their data will be online so with a touch of a button, they’ll have their personal data. This system will allow them to run their web-apps right out of the box without problems. But software makers need to improve the experience for this to work. An example would be Microsoft making a web-based OS that doesn’t require any user intervention from the start. It should include a web browser (if it was Microsoft I’d assume they’d put the cruddy Internet Explorer on it) and nothing else. Because all the user’s data & applications they use & love will be on the web. Google offers a solution like this called Google Chrome OS. It’s basically the Google Chrome browser running like an operating system. Except they need to complete the experience by making it so we don’t have to slip a disc in every time to run it. Just have it built into the device!

  • Users need to adapt too. Many people already use the web. However, most of the world’s web users don’t understand or care to know what a web browser is. Most users just see whatever is their by default and go with it because it’s “easy” or “convenient”. Which is why IE’s (Internet Explorer) global market share is so high! This part is why I think it’ll take some number of years before this complete transition to the web will take place. If we as the smart techies of the tech industry come together to educate the general web population about web browsers & the choices they have between browsers, then we can completely transition to the cloud.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd steps up as new CEO for Oracle.

Did anybody see this coming?  That was my initial thought when I saw the story from Information Week. According to Info Week, Charles Phillips has resigned as CEO. Allowing Mark Hurd, former HP CEO, to step up to the plate to fill his shoes.Last month, Mark Hurd was ousted as CEO of HP due to sexual harassment claims.There has been some speculation that Mark Hurd would become the new CEO for Oracle, the owner of Sun Microsystems. Larry Ellison was caught on the record of saying this according to Info Week, “Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he’ll do an even better job at Oracle.” Larry Ellison also said, “When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision.”  For all the negative ranting I’ve been doing about tech companies, this will be the first positive opinion I’ll have. Mark Hurd was a great CEO for HP & did them well & restored the company’s ability to sell products of dying markets. And I have no doubt that Hurd will do the same for Oracle.

My next iPod will be a Zune! And why I think the new iPod lineup is a flop!

After the Apple Event, I found myself disappointed with the reality of the new iPod lineup. The iPod Shuffle only got buttons back and a smaller, lighter design. So what?! The new iPod Nano has eliminated the click-wheel, but now is just a small 2-inch LCD touch-screen wristwatch! And it's important to take this into consideration:

    • The iPod Nano now cannot play video! :(

    • The new Nano can't run iPhone apps!

    • And the screen is too small!

      The iPod Touch may have gotten a "nice refresh". I disagree completely!

      Understand that the iPod Touch:

        • Has the weakest camera I have ever seen! Not even a megapixel! And the resolution that the camera takes is incredibly poor. My question is: Why the heck did Steve put a camera in the iTouch in the first place?!

        • It has a front-facing camera. But hold on a second! This camera only works with FaceTime (Apple's incredibly unsuccessful video conferencing software!). You can only call other iPhone 4's & 4th gen iPod Touches! If your friends one of the two devices, you can't call them! It's completely useless! Again, why did Jobs bother putting a camera in the device!

        • The 8GB iPod Touch is now $30 more expensive! Steve, you have disappointed me greatly! You give us a crappy camera and charge us 30 extra bucks for a camera that may cost 5 bucks to manufacture!

          I'm not going over the positives of the iPod Touch. Let me make myself clear...I hate the iPod! All iPod models! Proprietary software, you have to sync to iTunes to get content, and it's just plain flat too expensive for some very bleak functionality!

          So, why do you like the Zune so much?
          Not to be a Microsoft fanboy, but the Zune is much more compelling! The Zune HD gets you 16GB for less than the price of an 8GB iPod Touch! A Zune HD 32GB for a little more than an 8GB iPod Touch!
          The Zune HD:
          • Offers Zune Pass, a music service from Microsoft that gives you unlimited songs for $15.99/month! And every month you get to keep 10 songs in download form! That is so much more economical than buying songs by the dozen on the iTunes Store!
          • Gives you an HD-Radio receiver!
          • Works with HD video!
          • Offers Wi-Fi (duh!)
          • And something that the iPhones & iPods need...Wireless syncing! Allows you to sync to your PC wirelessly!
          • And unlike iTunes, the Zune software for the PC is not "crapware"! It works well without bugs! The stability and performance of the Zune PC software is an order of magnitude better than iTunes!
          By the way, the library of music on the Zune store is comparable to iTunes. The Zune store has a nice library of music & videos!

          Allow me to summarize this with one simple equation.
          Steve Jobs + greed + poor product quality = New iPods are terrible!

          Microsoft Zune software + convenience + price of content & hardware = Zune rocks!