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Rich Tehrani
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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.

 

3-D Printing Brings Disruption to Manufacturing

October 12, 2012

The pace of disruption continues to increase rapidly – in the nineties Napster and VoIP showed how digitization left record labels and telcos vulnerable to new methods of distribution and communication. This disruption was once relegated to digitization meaning if you didn’t have a way to convert traditional industries into electrons, you couldn’t disrupt them.

In other words, film was essentially annihilated by photo standards on PCs coupled with cameras capable of taking digital photos. Computer memory in essence became film.

In Israel, Venture Capital Gets Disrupted

October 11, 2012


Israel is legendary as a tech powerhouse – the entire IP communications market owes its success to engineers from this middle-eastern country where compulsory army training has a side benefit of immersing the population in engineering specifically applicable to communications.

I remember fondly over the years attending SuperComm, VON, Computer Telephony Expo, Communications Solutions and ITEXPO and always seeing new and innovative startups from this land of milk, honey and falafel.

Sadly, over the years, things have changed – over a decade earlier, investors were making such large amounts of money from IPOs and acquisitions that it made lots of sense to reinvest much of it back into new companies.

Many things have changed over the years – IPOs are a much trickier proposition thanks to Zynga, Facebook and more jittery investors as a result of the dotcom and communications crash from early last decade.

Warren Buffet Investing in Risky Tech Without Knowing it?

October 11, 2012



As news breaks that Coca-Cola is mulling a $10 million investment in Spotify some people may think back to Warren Buffett’s comments on the tech market – saying he wouldn’t invest in it because he didn’t understand it. While some took this comment at face value, it seems the spirit of the comment was that Buffet is a value investor often holding a company’s shares for years or even more than a decade. Trying to figure out who the tech leaders will be over such a long time is very difficult if not impossible.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola is a great example of a Buffet investment – it is a leader in its space and much of its revenue is derived from Coke and its variants which just happen to be addictive due to their caffeine content.

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.

Walmart To Go is Webvan 2.0

October 9, 2012

Have we finally broken the barrier to same day delivery?

During the dotcom boom, Webvan and Peapod were going to change the world and when things went bust and both companies had to deal with the realities of massive infrastructure and overhead with little to no sales by comparison. Peapod got picked up by Stop & Shop and Webvan imploded, and is now just a Wikipedia page.



Fast forward over a decade and Amazon has made lots of noise about same delivery service.

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."

Don't Believe the Apple MapGate Hype

October 1, 2012

Apple has become so successful that journalists seem to go in for the kill if a new service doesn’t work perfectly. To some degree the company has executed so well, this is to be expected. The latest issue is the company’s decision to replace Google maps with its own maps in iOS6. Users have complained about less than perfect directions in some cases as well as some satellite images which are warped and frankly quite odd looking.

A Journalist Will Win a Kindle at ITEXPO in Austin This Week

October 1, 2012

A note from the ITEXPO PR firm for all media and analysts I thought worth sharing:

We’re looking forward to having you join us at ITEXPO at the Austin Convention Center next week. Here are a few notes to ensure you have a great show:

  • Tweet from ITEXPO and you could win a Kindle! The registered press/analyst with the most individual Tweets between October 2 and October 5 citing the hashtag #ITEXPO will win a Kindle!

ITEXPO West 2012 Austin Overview

October 1, 2012

ITEXPO is kicking off this week - my team is diligently setting everything up at the Austin Convention Center here in Texas. Here is some important information about the show. Hope to see you here.







October 2-5, 2012
Austin Convention Center - Austin, Texas
www.itexpo.com

 


ITEXPO Kicks Off Tomorrow!
Asterisk 1-2-3 begins tomorrow at 9am, additional conference sessions begin at 12:30pm.

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