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Microsoft

A Little Heavy Chrome

November 1, 2012

Google has a new heavy metal-based TV commercial which has a Halloween undercurrent. The ad touts the $249 Samsung-made Chromebook as being smaller, better on batteries and good for “scaring off viruses.” It goes on to discuss its lack of phantom files and crashes. Although the video has had under 100,000 views I can see it going viral and perhaps adding a zero to that number.

What is unclear is how much demand there will be for a cloud-based laptop which seems to ape the look of an Apple computer at a fraction of the price.

For Microsoft Surface, Is it Mission Impossible?

October 16, 2012


Microsoft, here is your mission. Take a device which has become synonymous with the term “post-PC era” and topple it. Go up against a company which is considered cool and somehow transform your image to be as cool. If you decide to accept this mission you must take your reputation for developing bloated operating systems and software and scale it all down to run in a tablet form factor where a person can use the device for an entire day without recharging.

Microsoft, SNL, Sprint and Softbank News for Monday October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Microsoft is jumping into the music business and this is perhaps the biggest news of the day and possibly the week. Redmond is now offering ad supported music streaming and going up against Sirius XM, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes all at once. Boasting a 30-million strong library of songs, users can listen to playlists for free or download to own music across their TV, computers and smartphones. The ad-free version is $9.99 per month and includes access to music videos as well.

 

Major Flaws in Ballmer's Apple-Fighting Strategy?

October 11, 2012


It really is shocking that Apple has pulled so far ahead of every other device maker with designs that are more art than technology focused. For those of you familiar with Bang & Olufsen products (BeoSound 8 pictured above) you know in some ways Apple’s designs are a copy of this iconic audio manufacturer meaning Apple didn’t entirely invent cool looking consumer electronics devices and others should be able to compete effectively in the space.

I am sure Microsoft agrees but as they’ve watched Apple become the cool and fast growing computer company they used to be, they determined they need to be more like Cupertino. This of course is the reason the company decided it was more important to design new hardware than keep their partners churning out directly competitive products happy.

Microsoft Hopes Free WiFi Will Persuade Developers

October 8, 2012

Google has been a steady sponsor of free WiFi in airports and subway stations for some years now but Microsoft has decided such sponsorships make sense for them as well. Specifically, the company is paying Boingo for the privilege of supplying free wireless access in parts of San Francisco and Manhattan.

The reason for the generosity has to do with Redmond celebrating Windows 8 and looking forward to introducing the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community.

"At Microsoft, we know that amazing apps are being built in New York and San Francisco, and we want to give talented developers the chance to launch their businesses through the Windows Store," said John Richards, Senior Director at Microsoft Corp. "We hope our Boingo Wi-Fi sponsorship will introduce the Windows 8 opportunity to app builders in NYC and San Francisco, while providing folks with Wi-Fi connectivity on-the-go."

See an Ultrabook with Touch and Sensor Tech

September 21, 2012

Is Apple's New Lightning Connector a Dead End?

September 13, 2012


Apple fans will view the introduction of the new Apple Lightning Connector with mixed emotions because while the new plug enables their gadgets to continue the march towards minuteness, all existing Apple plugs and accessories have been rendered moot. If you are a hotel chain with thousands of alarm clocks and treadmills which have the old Apple connectors in place you have a huge choice to make… Do you upgrade the devices or provide adapters at $29 apiece? The Wall Street Journal has an article today which details how a hotel chain called NYLO just upgraded its hotel rooms with almost 600 iPhone-dock clock radios which are now potentially obsolete.

One company taking advantage of the situation is Jawbone who has a creative new video out showing how the dock is dead.

Does the iPhone 5 have the Wrong Form Factor?

September 5, 2012


We all know that in the past many iPhone and iPad rumors have been wrong so we shouldn’t get overly excited about leaked news regarding the form factor of the new iPhone 5.

But since there are photos and videos which back the rumor up this time and they do seem authentic, let’s assume they are accurate.

I will start my analysis of the new phone by saying it absolutely stinks. I hate the form factor.



Are Apple's Patent Lawsuits Dead Right?

August 30, 2012

I have often referred to patents between large tech firms as mutually assured destruction as any of these companies can sue others with a slew of patent infringements at once, counting on a few to be upheld by a court. And this is what happened with Apple and Samsung where the Korean phone maker and tech giant was found to have willfully copied Apple’s trade dress meaning the look and feel of the device – among other things like pinching to zoom.

Jason Perlow at ZDnet points us to a good video from Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, on the topic of patents and trademarks in the food industry. It is boring but useful if you want to learn more.

Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre

August 16, 2012

Recently I touched upon some of the differences between the automobile and tech spaces and in the past I have mentioned how Apple’s ability to price its products without discounting implies a stronger brand and moreover helps it sell in its retail stores which offer the same prices as online.

This doesn’t mean that Apple can sit still because we can expect an almost infinite supply of focused competitors.

Sure, many of them like RIM and Nokia are in decline and are retooling their product lines almost perpetually to become competitive. But beyond these examples we also have a slew of Japanese consumer electronics companies who have seen the golden age of TV come and go… Now they are focusing on exporting mobile devices to make a living.

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