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Is Content King or is it Platform?

September 30, 2011

The adage about content being king is absolutely true and the precipitous drop in the value of Netflix shares related to losing Starz programming reminds us that distribution can be considered a distant second to content. This is true because the world has flattened with the advent of broadband meaning any content provider can stream directly without the need for cable companies or telcos to take a cut.

Glenn Beck’s recent launch of GBTV for example shows us how a content provider can take his or her show and produce it just fine without the need to deal with traditional distribution.

But from the standpoint of the consumer, having access to a smattering of programs on disparate websites is not the same as accessing them all seamlessly through a single aggregator.

Selling your Privacy Evolves with Amazon Silk Browser

September 29, 2011



Amazon's new Silk browser bundled with its new Kindle Fire will leverage it's own servers for browser proxying meaning that all the websites you surf will go through the company's cloud-based servers. Although browser proxying is not new, it has been used in the Skyfire and other browsers. Its general benefit is allowing web sessions to speed up and providing mobile browsers access to content incompatible with the browser - such as Adobe Flash.

TMC's Tom Keating has more on the privacy concerns and after reading his thoughts I realize just how fast product subsidization is evolving. You see yesterday I explained Amazon is subsidizing its tablets via Amazon Prime and cloud-computing services but now it seems Amazon will also have access to the sites you browse allowing its suggestion engine to to potentially use this data to better target products which suit your interests.

While privacy advocates may be up in arms, the reality is we sell our privacy for free services virtually every day when we use popular web portals, online email and a slew of other services such as browser toolbars.





Amazon's Subsidized Tablets Borrow from Wireless Carriers

September 28, 2011

Will any margin remain in selling standalone computing hardware?

I want to bet against Amazon - not because I don't like the company - I most certainly do. But because coming out with a new line of tablets to take on Apple is not turning into a successful strategy for the rest of the tech world. Both HP and RIM are feeling pain - even though I might add the Blackberry Playbook is a very solid tablet.

When Amazon released a slew of devices today from $79-$199 I was concerned that this is yet another case of a tech company going up against Apple and getting slaughtered. It is worth pointing out however that the HP tablet didn't really start selling until the price was dropped to $99.

But back to Amazon - I didn't think the original Kindle would be very popular and I was wrong.





Why AT&T Purchased Superclick Networks

September 27, 2011

AT&T just picked up Canadian WiFi gateway and solution provider Superclick Networks for $15 million dollars and the deal is curious as the company provides wireless solutions but not service for the hospitality, healthcare and retail markets. As you may recall, in November of 2008, AT&T also purchased leading WiFi provider Wayport and my take at the time was the deal signaled the importance of WiFi.

This transaction echoes this sentiment but it’s a bit different because it isn’t a service they are purchasing per se. The deal also shows the Ma Bell is looking outside the country for growth and isn’t afraid to do deals that are unexpected.

AT&T Responds to DOJ - What They Missed

September 9, 2011

AT&T responded to the DOJ regarding the blocked T-Mobile USA acquisition saying that the proposed merger would be good for consumers as it would allow AT&T to gain access to T-Mobile spectrum allowing their call quality to improve and the number of dropped calls to be reduced. This in turn they argue would lead to lower prices. Ma Bell 2.0 continued to explain that the wireless business is fiercely competitive which has resulted in lower prices over time.

The interesting takeaway here is that there is nothing new being argued.

Exciting New ITEXPO Keynote, Michael Tribolet with magicJack VocalTec

August 31, 2011

Two months back I told you that IP communications veteran Michael Tribolet, someone involved in the founding and growth of the VoIP space joined magicJack Vocaltec and would be at ITEXPO West in Austin Texas, September 13-15, 2011.

I have great news to share and that is that Michael will be keynoting at the show at 8:45 am on Sept 13. He kicks off what is perhaps the best keynote line-up ITEXPO has ever seen - he will be followed up by representatives from Cisco, IBM, DHL, Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and many more.

I have known Tribolet for about a decade if not longer and he worked at some of the most influential game-changing companies in his career. For example, he Vice President of Operations at Dialpad - a VoIP leader in the nineties allowing tens of millions of global callers the ability to call into the US for free.

He then went to Vonage America and became President and watched the company change the face of VoIP - causing the cable companies to realize IP was their future as well. The ensuing competition between Vonage and the cablecos is still fascinating to watch.

Now at magicJack Vocaltec, Tribolet is once again at one of the game-changing IP communications companies and no doubt has fascinating insight on where the communications business has been and will be going.







Cloud Communications: That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

August 31, 2011

Seinfeld fans rejoice – I haven’t forgotten about you – and Kenny Bania is now forever immortalized in this blog. He came to mind and his expression “That's gold, Jerry! Gold!” seems so fitting when I get to talking about the cloud. You see, the cloud continues to be one of the most exciting areas TMC covers and as more companies move their tech and telecom into the cloud, they have questions about how best to go about transitioning.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Suggestion: Apple's First Move Without Steve Jobs

August 25, 2011

Apple went from computer innovator to little more than a joke. Then Steve Jobs returned and since then, the company has become the absolute leader in tech, consumer electronics, wireless, tablets, music, entertainment, app stores, retail, industrial design and those are just off the top of my head. Jobs also turned Pixar into a multibillion dollar company and created movies destined to become classics.

Jobs did more than create new products and industries, he was savvy enough to lock up supply chains for hard disks, displays and other products keeping the competition scrambling to not only copy the company but to produce products in quantity.

The momentum the company has is incredible and in the tablet and music player market, the company is virtually untouched. Moreover, I fully expect an Apple TV (a real television I mean) in the future with even better integration with online video options.



Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

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