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Rich Tehrani
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Open Source

Microsoft Tablet Expensive but does Flash

January 5, 2011

Microsoft, the company which invented the tablet – Tablet PC just under a decade ago has a long way to go before they understand how to become an important player in the tablet space of today. In short order, the market has become one which is price sensitive – iPads start in fact at under $500.

Yet when Asus rolled out its tablet strategy with three Android units and one based on Windows 7, the latter device was priced at more than twice the average of the Android gadgets. So you can buy an Asus Tablet for $399 or $499 or pick up a Windows unit for $999.

Incredible New Content at ITEXPO East 2011 Next Month

January 5, 2011

If you haven’t checked out the ITEXPO home page in a while please do so because the show evolves as rapidly as the markets do with relevant quality content being added constantly. There is virtually no part of the tech market which will help you and your company that is not covered from multiple angles.

For example VI-Peering focuses on the IP peering space, the Business Video Expo focuses on the increased use of video by companies and Super WiFi Summit focuses on how white spaces could absolutely revolutionize the way broadband access is delivered via the disruptive use of radio frequency white spaces which are open and free.

Another addition is Telecom One-on-One powered by DealCenter and taking place Tuesday, Feb 1st, 2011 from 2-5 PM.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.

Net Neutrality: More Unintended Consequences

December 23, 2010

What if the FCC could force FedEx and UPS to charge the same rates for delivery regardless of how many days it takes to get a package delivered and/or the weight of a package?

Stairway to Trouble

A large tech company found many of its workers were using gadgets when walking up and down the stairs and as a result after numerous internal meetings they decided in order to create a better work environment they would communicate with the workforce about the perils of multitasking while walking on the stairs. As you might have guessed, the decision was made to put signs in the stairwells warning people to not multitask.

Grandstream GXV3175 a Solid IP Multimedia Value

December 14, 2010

Grandstream's Khris Kendrick discusses the GXV3175 as well as the company's other products such as a new cube camera

Grandstream has just released the GXV3175, a multimedia phone which features HD voice and video with the ability to connect the output of the video conference to an HDTV. Moreover, the Linux-based desk phone which sports an easy to use seven-inch touch-screen interface supports widgets for checking things like the weather or stock quotes.

There is support for  IM from Google, MSN and Yahoo! as well as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Another great feature is integration with Photobucket and Flickr and other photo sharing services. This phone could very well replace a Sony Dash on a desktop as it not only does much of what that device does but adds real-time multimedia communications.

There are lots of other features including a 1.3 megapixel CMOS camera with privacy shutter as well as dual USB ports, integrated PoE, WiFi and memory card support.

TMC Seeks Product Marketing Manager

December 13, 2010

How TMCnet Global Online Communities look online (Click to enlarge or go to TMCnet to see a larger version) (Channels run along the left border)

Due to great success achieved by TMC's customers, we have seen massive growth in our online community-building products and as a result, we are in the middle of a search for a product marketing manager - someone whose focus will be to articulate the value proposition of these products to a broader audience.

An established product-line, our keyword-based Global Online Communities (GOCs) and channels have grown to over 200 and many of our customers are coming to us to purchase more terms to help them with organic search engine rank, news search rank, community building, social network needs and numerous other reasons.

We believe we have the largest collection of sponsored, news-generated communities on the Internet and as a result it makes sense to focus more resources on this product-line so more companies in more industries can learn how such products can assist them in their growth.

These products are very dear to me as I knew in the nineties that every company would need someone to help them with content generation - text, audio and video. I realized every website had to eventually become broadcast TV stations and newspapers in one.

And now, that is exactly what TMC provides sponsors - a third-party content-generating machine which creates targeted news which in-turn brings a large, laser-focused audience based precisely on specific terms and concepts.

The benefit for readers is we continue to reinvest our resources - many of which come from this cloud-based community building and SEO model right back into more reporters, editors and designers meaning more targeted and in-depth news and analysis for people looking to make purchasing decisions.

What is most gratifying is the smallest companies choose to work with us to grow their brands and we also have major players as customers such as RIM and Alcatel-Lucent.

Obviously I am biased but I see this community concept as the most underestimated product on the Internet. Most people don't understand it.

Finally Headsets Get Smart

December 10, 2010

You get a call, you pick up the headset and put it on your ear and then turn on the headset to connect the call.

One of these steps is not needed.

The Apple iPhone popularized the motion sensor/accelerometer and Sonos uses this technology to keep its remote control powered down until it is picked up.

Now headsets can join the motion sensing party and the latest one from Plantronics, the Voyager UC Pro which ships early next year will acknowledge the fact you have picked it up by switching the call to the device.

What could be better than a world filled with smarter devices, making our lives easier? Thanks Plantronics... This is a really good idea.

TMC broke the story earlier today for more on this new bluetooth headset.

Digium Asterisk World Returns to ITEXPO East 2011

December 10, 2010

Digium Asterisk World Demo Theater from Past ITEXPO Event in Miami, FL

TMC is thrilled to have Digium Asterisk World return to ITEXPO this February 2-4, 2011 in Miami, FL. Here is a quote from Digium from a press release which just went out today:
 “Hosting Digium|Asterisk World at ITEXPO East 2011 allows us to share the vision and power of Asterisk with a wide community of developers and carriers – even some who are not completely familiar with open source,” said Mark Spencer (News - Alert), CTO and founder of Digium, and the creator of Asterisk. “The upcoming Digium|Asterisk World will help developers, resellers, and anyone interested in Asterisk learn more about the opportunities emerging today. It will provide the hands-on training needed to capitalize on these opportunities,” he continued. 

A New Tech Bubble?

December 4, 2010

Are we in a new tech bubble which most of us aren't even aware of? It is certainly quite possible and one thing we have all learned from experience is it is better to be overly cautious than to get burned in yet another frothy explosion.

One observation worth sharing is the rapid spread of information through the Internet means bubbles seem to grow bigger and faster as information flows more freely to those people who want to invest in whatever the latest craze is.

A recent New York Times article discusses the sky-high valuations of so many of today's startups from Twitter valued at $4B to Zynga valued at $5B! Then there is Groupon at over $6B. 

VentureBeat has an article on the matter worth reading as well.

In short, these aren't public companies that are witnessing these massive valuation increases - most are private and are seeing their values increase as VCs are stepping over each other to be part of the next Facebook.

Skype Shows us Closed Can Win

December 3, 2010

Dan York at a recent ITEXPO - specifically the collocated Cloud Communications Summit - Dan is on the right and Thomas Howe is on the left

Yesterday I discussed how open always wins referring to the competition between Apple and Google's Android and a side conversation was started on Facebook questioning my assertion. I took the opposite viewpoint in a comment and mentioned that Apple does have a lock on customers via iTunes as well as the App Store which have a tremendous lead in the market.

I was reminded of this discussion when I read how Dan York of Voxeo is espousing the virtues of Skype - a closed provider of communications - when Voxeo and Dan are huge proponents of open ecosystems.

As I read the piece, I became fascinated at how Voxeo has chosen to use Skype as a way to make the company's operations better - utilizing persistent group chats which focus on various subjects.

The point is that using these chats, the company which consists of many people located all over the world and some who travel are able to not only communicate effectively but are able to rapidly be brought up to speed on various topics after getting off an airplane by just logging onto Skype.

Dan mentions that there are other alternatives but it seems from the outside anyway that habit will keep the company using Skype for a long while - even if a better solution comes along immediately.

And this gets us to the counter of the open always wins argument - if you have loyal fans and/or people who habitually uses your interface and are happy with it - or some other differentiator, it becomes tough for competition to come in and take the market over. Even if the new competition is open.

Let's recall that compared to Apple and iOS, Windows Mobile was very open - it just wasn't as good as Apple's OS - and there was no contest from a marketing perspective either.

Apple definitely put together a more pleasing experience and were able to do so in part because they owned the stores, hardware and  packaging.

But now, Windows Phone 7 and Google's Android are taking some of the best parts of the Apple experience and replicating and in some cases improving them.

This in and of itself may not be enough to win against Apple but what the open approach has is a slew of hardware partners making devices in a variety of form factors. Some of these device sizes may catch fire.

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