Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apple Versus The Rest Of the World

Several weeks before Apple is expected to weigh in with a multimedia device with 10-inch touch display, Hewlett-Packard unveiled the prototype of a slate-type computer during Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's evening address at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

The HP device, also touted as a multimedia device with video player, e-reader and multitouch, should be available this year. No name or price were announced.

It's "a beautiful little product," Ballmer said. He showed a demo of the slate PC running Kindle software for the PC, which made the slate look much like a Kindle but in full color.

Earlier, Lenovo introduced what it claims is the first hybrid PC for consumers with a detachable screen that can function as a multitouch slate tablet or a clamshell laptop.

"We are seeing the next wave of technology -- the convergence of the Internet, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and its impact on everything from smartphones to netbooks to slate computers," says Rory Read, president of Lenovo.

Both had better be good, analysts caution, because Apple's tablet is expected to make a big splash. Apple has declined to comment on its plans.

The new entries should invigorate the middling $950 million U.S. market for tablets, says David Daoud, an analyst at IDC. Sales declined 25% in 2008, and were expected to drop again in 2009. "Apple could do for the tablet market what it did for smartphones with iPhone," Daoud says.

Indeed, Apple could help define a decade-old market interpreted as anything from a large phone to a Kindle or slate device, says Mike Stinson, vice president of marketing at tablet manufacturer Motion Computing.

Ballmer's second address as Microsoft CEO focused on new PCs, software and product momentum, most of it tied to Windows 7. He said PC sales jumped 50% the week of the Windows 7 launch on Oct. 22. Holiday PC sales surged 50%, year-over-year, largely due to Windows 7, according to market research firm NPD.

Ballmer was joined onstage by Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft's entertainment division. Project Natal, Microsoft's controller-free gaming and entertainment system for the Xbox 360, will be ready for the holidays in 2010. It lets gamers play through spoken commands and gestures.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Penstroke and Keystroke

While the power struggle has existed for quite long, it is in the near past that the keystroke has shown overpowering dominance to the pen stroke. While Magazines and Newspapers had once routed power from telegraphs and radios, it is time for another power transfer to take place. Today you can find several newspapers migrating to the digital realm. With Google expanding his access to many newspapers and Microsoft not trailing far behind, even news giants like Rupert Murdoch are facing the tremors.

After the recent digital boom,we can see that each keystroke is landing massive punches in the information sharing space. It is as if everyone has a space to share their thoughts. If Facebook can show a growth of more than 1000% this year and we can see new blogs and sites springing up daily, it leads to one conclusion- that the internet is spawning a new turn of information exchange. This form of communication (through online forums, web blogs etc) was always anticipated to be a major breakthrough but the response is overwhelming with major organizations promoting forums and sites. Online forums are promoted by organizations (eg Java by Sun, eclipse by IBM etc) so that the popularity of these forums increase the popularity of the product discussed in them. This form of advertisement, though very popular and successful, is isolated to a small group of people and the reach isn’t global yet.

Organizations across the globe are now unraveling the power of the Internet to boost their revenues. While organizations like Google and Microsoft have already made it big here, other product based organizations are utilizing the existing frameworks to generate additional revenue for their organizations. I am at present working in a pilot project in our company that uses web 2.0 and social networking sites for generating revenue. Even though we haven’t faced a lot of success, the results are encouraging as we are seeing continuous improvements in the online market space. We also find a nascent deal of activity from other organizations. Although not measurable in the vast internet, we occasionally brush each other during our online activities. It will be remarkable to see how this is taken up across organizations globally. One thing for sure, the Internet is a complex child of several brilliant human brains and it would be a dishonor to them if a simple solution be provided to beef up the commerciality of the internet.

Thank you and wishing all of you a Happy Pongal !!!