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Can Discounted Hardware Compete with Apple?

July 10, 2012

Microsoft Store in Danbury, CT


Global Apple stores are brimming with traffic with municipalities tripping over each other to get Apple to open stores in their areas. At the same time, the Microsoft Store in the Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut had a fraction of the foot traffic of the nearby Apple Store this past weekend according to fellow TMC blogger Tom Keating. The good news for Steve Ballmer is Tom likes the layout of the Microsoft store better. These are his exact thoughts:


My next thought was, "It's better." The Apple Store has this clean simplistic design with lots of white and clear plastic, but it lacks the fun factor and has this almost cold, hospital, sterile-like atmosphere.

It's Time for Apple to Allow Default iOS Browser Choice

June 29, 2012

Google’s Chrome browser was released for iOS today and it is getting good reviews. After becoming the leading desktop browser it has also become the number one free app on the iTunes App Store. But there are two big problems for Chrome running on Apple’s mobile devices. First of all the browser is slower than Safari because Apple doesn’t allow other developers access to its Nitro Java engine.

Nexus Q: Google's Lateral Move into the Home Entertainment Ecosystem

June 28, 2012

There has been massive speculation regarding Google’s decision to purchase Motorola Mobility. Many, including the author believed this move was primarily driven by patents but it is becoming clear that even if this was the case, the search leader has looked to Cupertino as a guide and decided it too needs to be a hardware company building out ecosystems. Yes, Google, a company which makes most of its revenue via auctioning ads - having no brick and mortar stores, is getting beaten in terms of market cap and sales growth by Apple, a company which relies on malls and physical stores for a good part of its revenue.

Google obviously thinks it can take Apple on and while most of the tech sphere is focusing on the company’s Nexus 7 tablet, I find it only mildly interesting.

Surface Tablet: Microsoft's Desktop Hail Mary

June 19, 2012

If you are Steve Ballmer, going to the mall and walking by an Apple Store loaded with people buying tablets, music players and phones which don’t run his software has to be as pleasurable as preparing for a colonoscopy. He further has to hate the fact this once left-for-dead enterprise not only has a larger market cap than Microsoft, it has helped usher in what many people call the post-PC era. That one’s really gotta hurt.

Even Google is doing hardware

US Content Removals to Google Increase by 103%

June 18, 2012

Google's senior policy analyst, Dorothy Chou recently warned us about internet censorship coming from Western democracies. Sure, we are used to hearing about censorship in parts of the world where there is an authoritarian regime in but this news is a new concern which should be taken seriously in democratic societies.

Of note, the US content removal requests increased by 103% including alleged defamatory comments aimed at law enforcement officials in a personal capacity. Google for its part complies with some of these requests based on local laws and its own policies against things like hate speech.

Analysts: Windows 8 Confusing to use

June 7, 2012

In the late nineties I was fortunate enough to meet tech veteran John Dvorak and a while later he was good enough to be a keynote speaker for a TMC event CTI Expo in San Jose. In case you aren’t aware I was the conference chairman of the show and ITEXPO spun out of this event a few years later. John was a compelling speaker, passionate and much of his content revolved around problems at Microsoft. The audience ate it up. Of course Microsoft execs were in the audience so there was some awkwardness between me and them when the keynote concluded.

Attention Social, App and Search users, YOU are the Product

May 30, 2012

Original image from Shutterstock

A little understood notion is that for those people using free services and apps, you are the product and generally speaking the advertiser is the customer. The exception is when no ads are shown and confidential information isn’t disclosed to third parties but instead the provider of the service gives away a free version in the hopes of getting users to upgrade to a paid one.

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece where they suggested that the EU lay off of its antitrust investigation into Google because the search service used by 90% of Europeans is helping consumers.

Why Facebook Needs a Phone

May 29, 2012

Facebook as the dominant social network is becoming the replacement for the phone. Nowadays in fact it is fairly common to use Facebook as the primary way to stay in touch with others – especially among those under 30. The point here is that the phone is becoming the Facebook communicator.

And with mobile adoption continuing ta a blistering pace – many people have multiple mobile devices in fact, Facebook should be sitting pretty, right?

Yahoo Kills off Livestand

May 25, 2012

It took six months but Yahoo! decided its Livestand newsreader will no longer be offered. Apparently the competition from Google Currents, Zite and Flipboard was too much.

I mentioned this past December that the Livestand user interface was clunky and I suppose this is what did the product in. That of course and being late to the party and seeing superior competition from Google - whose interface is better.

Think about it though - Yahoo has virtually infinite marketing real estate avaialble to it and could have made this product a success. Perhaps they decided its new Axis browser is more strategic and a better place to focus on.

Interestingly I just checked out the Yahoo blog post on the matter and they confirmed my suspicions.





Yahoo Reinvents Mobile Browser with Axis

May 23, 2012

Yahoo has taken the mobile browser and improved it dramatically by integrating search and allowing users to view results rapidly without the need to open page after page. While Google allows similar functionality on a desktop what Yahoo! has done here is put the results of browsing up top where they should be. And with the simple swipe of a finger a user can scroll through pages after page to see the site they are looking for.

If you take the best parts of Google Instant and the now defunct visual SearchMe bowser and put them together with some added features you get Yahoo’s Axis.

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