Steve Job and Apple announced iCloud this week and this was revolutionary and exciting for the media because Apple has taken the name “cloud” and put an “i” in front of it! Wow! Thanks again Apple! We worship you!
Why does every Apple announcement remind me of the scene in toy story where the little green aliens say “Ooooohhh…the Claw” ?
“Apple’s cloud is timid: it’s about storage and synching as opposed to a streaming, real-time, extension to your actual machine.” – Article from Wired
But I digress… The point of this post is really that Microsoft continues to spiral down. Granted, they’ve traditionally been flying so high that the downward spiral will take years before it hits the ground and give plenty of time to pull the nose up, but for now that hasn’t happened.
Microsoft recently announced a new version of their OS. Supposedly a “radical” departure from past versions. And to demonstrate just how radical of a departure it really is, they gave it a new and exciting name … Windows 8! (yawn). I’ll just repeat what I’ve said a dozen times already, unless Microsoft can resist the urge to call everything “Windows Something”, it will never turn this ship around. Windows is un-cool! Nobody wants anything Windows related.
And get this, it’s going to have aspects of the interface from iPhone7 layered on top of the traditional Windows OS. So a user-interface layered on top of a user-interface. Sounds desperate. Microsoft grasping at anything as an excuse to launch Windows 8 without actually doing anything new. I predict that sales will show that they should have called it “Vista 2″.
Google’s vision is much more far reaching and long term. Google envisions a day when your device is nothing more than a window into your virtual computer on the cloud. All the power, all the storage, all the applications running “on the net”. That’s what true cloud computing is and I commend them for that. The problem is that to truly realize this dream requires a very high speed (and more importantly, low delay) network. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon.
In the now famous Apple ad from the 1984 launch of the Mac (directed by Riddly Scott), Apple took a swipe at the established computer makers by invoking images of Orwel’s 1984. The not so subtle point was to break free from the PC (and buy an Apple instead).
Ironic then that many now see Apple as today’s big brother with its closed architecture. Motorola decided to take a swipe at them in this new ad that will run during the U.S. version of the Superbowl (In Canada the ads are preempted).
IDC has predicted that smartphones and tablets will outsell the PC within 18 months. That’s probably true but it’s not the end of the PC by a long shot.
For one thing, I’m not sold on tablets. As the size of a device increases, it’s portability, and therefore usefulness declines. My rule of thumb is, if it doesn’t fit in your pocket or in a holster, it’s not a portable device. The few people I know that ran out and got iPads flashed them around work for a few days and they’ve never been seen again. I’m sure they’re a nice alternative to a netbook, but that’s about it.
Relatively speaking I’m sure tablets will sell well (not as well as many are predicting), but replace the PC? Not likely.
As I’ve said before, the device that will replace the P.C. is the dockable smartphone. A pocket sized device that can be docked to give you a full sized keyboard, mouse (or maybe touchscreen?) and display is the killer device I’m waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for.
It really is that simple. Everything else is just evolutionary, not revolutionary. So why am I still waiting for this device? Get on it manufacturers!
The announcement that the Beatles will finally be available on iTunes is sure to make every news media outlet in the world; because clearly this is the most important thing to happen this week, right?!
So I took some solace in the fact that it at least generated two good quotes. First from engadget:
“We’re sure some of you are super-stoked about being able to buy this stuff in yet another format — and we’re glad Steve and Yoko worked it out — but unless something else happens today we’re feeling like we just witnessed a lot of empty hype.”
And another gem from my second favorite Thomas the Tank Engine conductor (2nd favorite after George Carlin of course):
“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” – Ringo Starr.
Well said Ringo! I think we’re all glad we no longer have to hear about when the Beatles might be coming to iTunes.
Just another Android update from Computerworld.
On a personal note; I just started using my first Android phone, the HTC Magic (It was the only Android phone available from my carrier). My first impression; not good. It has lots of bugs and quirks which make it frustrating to use. Once I’ve had it for a while I post something more in-depth.
This ComputerWorld article reveals that mobile application developers think Android has the best long term chances which is surely an endorsement of Google’s (relatively) open model vs. Apple’s closed environment.
“Of those developers [surveyed], 59% said that Android had the “best long-term outlook,” compared to just 35% who pegged Apple’s iOS with that label.”
CNN continues to circle the drain. What happened to this former “most trusted” news authority? I’m consistantly stunned by what a joke it’s become. I guess they are trying to emulate Fox?
Anyhow, the premise of this story is that Google, for all it’s cash and prestige, actually never releases a “killer” anything. It’s fair comment that Google has had many unsuccessful “product” releases, but, it seems this particular “business insider” hasn’t been paying attention.
First, the dismissive claim that the only thing Google has ever done well is its original search engine. Uh what?
First of all, even if that were true, search is still the most important application on the web and Google’s turned it into gold not only by making the best search engine, but by creating adwords. The dominance of search can not be dismissed. It still makes Google is still the most important company on the web and if Google never did anything else, they would still make a zillion dollars.
But setting aside search for the moment, somehow, Dan Frommer has never looked up an address on Google maps, or watched his own channel (CNN) zoom in on a map using Google Earth. What about street view? If ever their was a “killer-app” on the web, that has to be it. He says, “Google is no product-killer” ? Perhaps he should go ask the map makers at Rand McNally or map-quest their opinion on that?
And what about that gmail thing? Granted that Google hasn’t destroyed anyone, but GMail slammed hotmail and does anyone still have a yahoo mail account? I guess they do if they love spam.
How about phones? The article makes a big deal about how Google launched, the canceled it’s Nexus One phone making it sound like Google’s attempt at getting into phones was over, case closed… This must be intentional ignorance. The Nexis One was introduced to demonstrate the power of Google’s Android phone operating system which is now gaining market share at stunning rate. While the “iPhone” gets all the press, Android is steadily gaining market share.
As I’ve pointed out before, unlike Apple which is the only company that can release iX-ish products (iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc) Android can be taken and used by anyone. Thus it’s starting to appear on phones, tablets, set-top boxes, netbooks, and the list continues to grow.
I think maybe CNN is a bit sore over that other “non-killer-app”, Google news. Ya, the one that is so not important that every news outlet in America has been whining about the “death of real journalism”. Or maybe it’s the threat that youtube will replace news channels where you have to sit through hours of garbage just to see a few solid news stories?
Let us not forget the punch line to all this; Apple and Microsoft buy adds on CNN, Google does not. But of course this would never have any influence on a company with true journalistic integrity would it?
I’m really not that strongly anti-Apple, but I keep coming across these prominent stories on digg about how people are switching away from Apple. The latest of which is “Switching from iPhone to Android”. Choice quote “Android is looking good nowadays, and Apple’s creepy corporate culture is wearing me down.”
Just in case you’ve not ready any of my other posts on the topic, I predicted Android will rule the world because it’s open and therefore it can run on anything. In much the same way that VHS ultimately crushed Betamax, (or the Phillips screw beat Robertson’s design), (a perceived) technical superiority is no match for proliferation. Devices running Android will starting appearing out of the woodwork while the next Apple gadget has to wait for Apple.
But I digress; the topic of this post is actually digg’s ability to predict the future. For a long time I thought digg wasn’t anything special, just another site rehashing stories from other sites. But then the 2008 US presidential election came along.
Long before his name was ever mentioned in main stream media, while everyone was still talking about Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama was generating buzz on digg. And against all odds he actually won! From nowhere to the first black president, and all predicted on digg. Was it just a fluke? I don’t think so.
Since then I’ve noticed that I read about new movies on digg long long before anyone else has even heard of them. A recent example is Avitar. It was getting “buzz” on digg before anyone even knew what it was about and now it’s the most successful box office movie of all time. Another example was “The Dark Knight”. Heath Ledger was getting “buzz” as the Joker long before he died. His death may have propelled the movie even higher, but I have a feeling that it was going to be a smash hit even if he hadn’t passed away.
However, there is one thing to be cautious of, does digg reflect the true feeling of the people, or is it just the result of clever marketing planting stories? Or a better question, does it matter? If all we care about is predicting the future, then whether or not the buzz is real or artificially generated, the result is the same.
So is digg predicting the future downfall of the iPhone, or is Google just planting all those positive Android postings? Either way, if recent digg history is any indication, Apple should be worried.
“Ultimately, my reason for switching can be summed up thusly: I used to feel that, to get the best smartphone software and hardware experience, I had to live in Apple’s walled garden. Now, the walls are getting higher, and life outside the garden looks better and better.” full article
In a way, the most telling thing about this article in PC World is that the name “Microsoft” isn’t even hinted at. Lots of people upgraded to Windows 7 so profits are looking pretty good at the moment, but chances are that by the time Microsoft comes out with their next major release, mobile devices will be king and they won’t be running Windows…
Just a couple news shorts:
This started me thinking, just when did I start to dislike Apple so much?
This conclusion is based on sketchy data gathered from surveys, not from actual handset sales, but still, it shows that Android is poised to become an unstoppable force.