Thursday, December 21, 2006
First they brought us illegal file sharing and proved that Internet lawsuits can abound. Then they rattled global telecom companies with almost free Internet telephony for the masses.
And if you believe the latest hype the Skype duo are about to shake the world of Internet TV/video (hasn't YouTube already done that?) with their latest and greatest venture bizarrely named The Venice Project. I guess they like gondolas.
OK, so their company nomenclature leaves much to be desired, but you've got to hand it to the two Scandi's, they sure know how to create hype, cash and intrigue. The latter obviously fueling the first two like gas on flames.
As Google's real asset is their massive on-demand platform that serves up everything from search to real-time word processors, the Kazaa kids core invention is file-sharing, legally or illegally. First they applied it to digital music, then telephony and now Web TV.
In the first two instances the industries they attacked are still reeling from their affects even though with digital music a la Kazaa they ultimately let iTunes take over the show.
So what next I hear you say? How about Web books? Na. What about consumer software? Na. Bandwidth sharing? Nope, Fon's already done that. Mind you they have invested in them.
Maybe The Venice Project will be it and like so many filthy rich and slightly egotistical (don't they always go hand in hand) businessfolk they will become media barons on the back of it. Hey, if Branson can do it... And no investors here. Their own company with their very own wads of cash bank rolling it and two plucky fingers to Ebay.
Murdoch move aside.
Can two techies really create the next CBS? Maybe. And if so, now is as good a time as any. Watch out Google and Yahoo! Hello real Web TV - I hope.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
With this planet gradually moving towards 3 billion mobile phone users, it is time to ask whether the mobile Internet will ever really happen.
If you talk to the telecoms and tech industry they are all resoundingly positive. "Isn't the mobile Internet already a given?"
If you talk to the average user you hear an entirely different story. "I just use my phone to make calls."
Will the mobile Internet ever become reality?
Well, maybe, but certainly not before a few things happen:
1. Smartphones become a big selling category (and the devices get smaller/lighter).
2. Mobile phone operators give up their walled gardens and become access providers and not access monopolizers.
3. Hi-speed, next generation 3G (called HSPDA) becomes widely available.
4. Compelling mobile Internet applications take off. Not including texting, email, music or games downloads. (Come on Google et al!)
5. Mobile Internet browsers become more sophisticated.
The above barriers should all be removed by 2010, but ultimately it will be up to the industry to excite and entice us consumers. Maybe Apple will do it with their soon to be launched iPhone. They sure shook up the once equally unexciting digital music market.
What a shame for the mobile phone operators if they need a catalyst like Apple to shake the mobile Internet into shape.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
As 2006 gradually winds to a close, like a drunkard idling home after closing time, I am becoming aware of a year end trend. And no, I have not been drinking.
Lots of my friends are talking about switching to Apple computers for their home/personal life. Added to that, whenever I am in a public place (cafe, airport, library etc) I get approached (after being spotted using my Apple MacBook Pro) for advice on switching.
I switched over to Apple ten months ago as soon as Apple moved to Intel chips and I have never looked back. Now granted, I am a writer, photographer and film maker and as a result in the sweet spot of Apple users, but I have to say that switching to Apple today could be a no-brainer.
You get all the benefits of Apple hardware, support and media oriented software and services AND you can still run Windows. Plus Microsoft Office for the Mac is great and compatibility issues seem largely in the past.
Connecting your iMac to an iPod and the iPhone (starting in January), then sharing music, movies and more across Apple's AirPort Express and iTV swiftly and easily turns your home into a C21 media hub.
With the added benefit of Apple Stores which provide free advice and tech support I am not surprised that so many people are switching. And the new Intel Dual-core chips make any Apple lightening fast.
Where will it all end? I could even imagine Apple getting a 20% share of the US PC market. From there its anyone's guess.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Google´s going mobile at breakneck speed.
And Google are ramping up ALL their applications for mobile usage as well as partnering up with the operators to offer mobile search and text based ads.
Given that over 1 billion cell phones will be sold wordwide in 2007 you can´t exactly blame them.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Proving that Wall Street analysts are dangerous as hell and that Apple have no outside competition. I plan to own both an iPod and iPhone. Figure that one out Mr analyst!
Break.com's CEO said that so far the site has seen little correlation between higher pay and the quality of videos it receives(???).
So why hike the money offered (Der)? Oh well...
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Apple and Google defied stock market gravity again this week as their stocks hit all time highs.
Google 'cos they can finally claim to be the Microsoft beater everyone has been waiting for and Apple 'cos they are about to launch the iPhone.
Google is now worth over $150bn, which is over half that of Microsoft and four times Yahoo's. Apple is worth more than Dell.
Plus Google office applications will hurt Microsoft more than anyone realizes and Apple will gain 20% of the PC market. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Yahoo has announced ad, search, jobs listings and local content deals with members of seven major chains including Hearst and Scripps, who are responsible for more than 12 million copies sold daily in 38 states. The chains involved in the deal also include Belo Corp., Cox Newspapers Inc., Register Co., Lee Enterprises Inc. and MediaNews Group.
For Yahoo can still claim the greatest number of viewers and supremacy as an Internet media story. YouTube may alter that, but Yahoo have proved that Google need get off the fence about whether they are search company or media portal. The reality is they are both.
Earnings were boosted though, sending their shares up, thanks to selling more high margin stuff. And even their accounting irregularities fail to excite!
Yep, that's what we can look forward to with Dell, profits taking priority over revenue growth, which means few exciting innovations from them (not that they ever had many), a drive for higher quality, higher priced computers and manufacturing excellence.
Well, that tops it for me. Night, night Dell. Zzzzzzzzzzzz...
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Powered by which software?
This is the age old concept of a remote control for your life. Unfortunately for Microsoft I think that device is much more likely to be a mobile phone than a digital music player. And Windops Mobile hardly owns that space.
Maybe that means Microsoft will follow Apple with their own iPhone! Mmm...
Mobile operator 3 has teed up another great deal, this time with Google for mobile search proving yet again that when it comes to the mobile Internet they may just get it more than any mobile carrier.
And they are even talking about opening up their walled garden and introducing an open Internet experience on their handsets. I'll believe it when I see them really do it.
And they should 'cos the walled gardens that mobile operators have erected worldwide has done more to slow the take-up of the mobile Internet than anything else. By a long way.
When, oh when will they get it! At least they are making small steps - Yahoo has just done an ad deal with Vodafone in the UK and Cingular has teamed up with Microsoft for local search. The more mobile operators partner with Internet leaders the better, for all of us!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Orb Networks has today announced that they are about to eclipse YouTube by offering their video sharing site on mobile phones.
Well, at least on the Motorola Q.
Mind you, with Google behind them, YouTube will be going mobile in the blink of an eye/camera!
For anyone wanting to do a little more with their digital photos than share them on Flickr, this could be the way to go.
And its proving popular too. Slide is now neck and neck with Flickr in terms of numbers of users.
The ex-founder and CTO of PayPal may be onto another winner!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
So long as you fly Continental, Delta, American, Air France-KLM or UAE!! I guess they all have crap in-flight entertainment technology!
Why not just take your video iPod and laptop? Or am I missing something?
Even Microsoft Execs stated that this was just a starting point. Which is corporate mumbo jumbo for "we had to get something out fast so we did. Next time we may even produce a product that people will want to buy. Who knows?"
Zune sales will make no impact on iPod's market share this year or next, a little like Apple computer sales will make no impact on Windows sales.
But after 2008 the gloves will be off! Till then stick with your iPod!
Monday, November 13, 2006
The PlayStation 3 for serious gamers and kids with 'loads a money', the Wii for the masses, the not-so-richies and not-so smarty pant gamers with the XBox for those that failed to wait for the other two!
Friday, November 10, 2006
But for winos, alcoholics and tight asses this is the one for you. Buy the WinePod, order some grapes, taste regularly and bingo, six months later you get your own barrel of wine.
Don't buy too many!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
John Chambers smacked out yet another set of gob-smackingly good results at Cisco proving that he too can get on the Internet video bandwagon and also be the master of tech acquisitions.
And certainly better at it than Computer Associates - er I mean CA!
His latest acquisition, Scientific-Atlanta, you know those set-top box boys, contributed big time to a 28% increase in profits and an equally impressive 25% boost to revenues.
Nice one John. Whose your next victim?
Check this baby out! Its Samsungs latest mobile device, a WiMax PDA called the SPH-P9000 Deluxe. (OK so they could do with some branding advice).
But for sheer cool, this one gets our vote!
The next version of Skype will enable people to post a link on a blog or Web site that will take people to a public chat room when clicked on.
So for you bloggers out there that also want to host/manage the most chaotic telephone call on the planet - this ones for you.
Mind you, it could turn bloggers into chat show hosts - oh my God!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The battle for the digital living room is shaping nicely with Microsoft, Sony and Apple all set to go. They can now use games consoles in Microsoft and Sony's case or the iTV in Apple's to connect Internet download services to TV's and portable devices.
Each now offer a complete range of computers, gaming devices, MP3 players and TV download hook-ups.
So, choose your horse. Microsoft as always will throw the most money at it and make the most noise, Sony will make get ahead when it comes to content and consumer sex appeal and Apple's solution will work the best.
I think I'll go with Apple for now!
They'll hit Vietnam and Indonesia in the next couple of weeks as the two countries roll out mobile TV networks.
Look out Apple and where in God's name is your iPhone!
Monday, November 06, 2006
The shark of copyright protection has decided that, like the BlackBerry, Palm's products, services, systems and processes have improperly used NTP's wireless e-mail technology.
I guess that'll mean that Palm's share price will slump and then they'll huff and puff until they end up paying NTP off. Can they afford the $600 odd million that BlackBerry's owner RIM coughed up?
Ooh, Palm could become a takeover target. Any bidders?
And least surprising of all, his new outfit provides an on-demand ERP system a la Salesforce.com.
First up an HR module (no shocker there) with Workday Financial Management, Workday Resource Management and Workday Revenue Management scheduled to debut next year.
What a mouth full.
And if you're not bored enough by now, there's more 'cos Workday is aimed at small and medium sized companies and is work(day)ing with Microsoft to integrate with Outlook etc.
In a twist of fate/knife, Google have announced that they will start a 3 month trial with over 50 daily US newspapers to prove that it is worth using their technology for print ads rather than going direct or through media buyers.
And unless they are a few sniffs short of a cold, they should at least attract small and medium size businesses onto print in larger droves.
Google need this to work so that their advertising technology can offer a complete media solution, including online, print, TV and radio to AdWords customers. Where do I sign on?
It looks like Murdoch is planning his latest wheeze - a Japanese version of MySpace. Ha-so!
And least surprisingly of all his local partner will be Softbank, which is a right kick in the you know where for Yahoo! as Softbank bank rolled the leading Web portal way back when it needed cash.
How the times they are a changing - the new Web hottie tottie is MySpace and the Web dinosaurs are looking un peu tired and a little under Web 2.0'd!!
Oh and expect MySpace Japan to feature gaming and 'mobile' in a big way.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Microsoft have had enough of watching consumers shift to Apple computers now that they can run both the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows, so in return they are going to allow users to run Windows/Vista and Novell's Suse Linux on the same PC.
Microsoft will of course control the virtualization technology that allows multiple OS's to run on a single computer, and in return they will support and sell Novell's offerings.
This is probably good for both companies - Microsoft gets to control open source and Novell gets a share price boost. And who knows Microsoft may even buy Novell one day, assuming the deal works.
Google execs led by the Blog negative Schmidt are apparently running around like blue arsed flies trying to secure copyright deals with the major media groups before the YouTube purchase looks about as sensible as when Bertlesmann bought Napster (i.e. collecting copyright lawsuits like flies on sh**!).
And we all know what happened to the German media outfits CEO after that one! So Google's Schmidt is now covering his you-know-what like a mad man on coke.
If they get the deals in place with the key media partners then YouTube could well become the Comcast of the Internet. The question is - will the media companies let them?
If not, Schmidt could one day be looking for a new job and investors the next Google!
After all they have built one of the Web's most scalable platform, so why not share it. For a price of course.
Amazon call their new venture Web Utility and have a couple of data service offerings to make the outsourcing companies shudder.
Way to go Amazon - that should hoist up your share price!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Cingular has just announced that they are to offer their own mobile music service alongside partners Napster, Yahoo Music, XM Satellite Radio and eMusic.
They are now the third US mobile operator to offer their own music service to rival Apple's iTunes. But are they really a threat?
Not likely. Sprint, which a year ago became the first, claims that more than 8 million songs have been downloaded since launching their service. And Verizon, which launched its service in February, claims to be selling more than 1 million downloads per month.
Which both pale into almighty insignificance compared to iTunes which has had over a billion tunes downloaded.
The problem is that downloading music to a mobile phone is still clunky and 'not what a consumer really wants to do with their phone!'
People see MP3 music players as the device for carrying music around and the mobile phone as, well, a phone.
I think in the near term Apple may have a better chance persuading iPod users to make calls on an iPhone than mobile operators will have persuading their users to play music on their phones.
That just leaves Microsoft stuck somewhere in the middle with the 'Zune' - stuck between two stools. Ooh, that even rhymes!
Dell has quietly and sneakily started selling AMD laptops at their web site (so as not to offend long time partner Intel).
It looks like Dell have now nearly completed their switch to AMD based computers (PC's and servers have already moved over).
And it coincides with Apple just having completed their switch to all Intel!
I wonder who's gonna win. My money's on Apple for now.
Martha Stewart dominates (funny that) and celebrities like Morgan Freeman join the melting pot of culinary chaos alongside celebrity chefs (which means they have even bigger ego's/tempers than normal chefs!).
Yahoo Food kicks off with load of tips on Thanksgiving dinner. First up go buy your fresh turkey now. Yahoo Foods is supported by advertising - which means the US Turkey Farmers Association are clearly behind this one?!
I'll stick with take-out for now - thanks Yahoo!
He also seems to want to hang onto Time Warner Cable which I thought they were planning to spin off??
Mind you this could all just be corporate mumbo jumbo for "you can have AOL really, you'll just have to pay more for it now."
That probably means closer to $20bn - which may rule Yahoo out! That just leaves Microsoft or Google - who have more wedge/market cap!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
There were just 18,000 Web sites when Netcraft, based in Bath, England, began keeping track in August of 1995. It took until May of 2004 to reach the 50 million milestone; then only 30 more months to hit 100 million, late in the month of October 2006.
Bloggers, small businesses, and simplicity have combined to create the dramatic growth of sites, much of it just in the past two years.
Thanks Blogger.com, MSN Spaces and Apple's iWeb!
And on to 200 million sites by 2010!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Google has just announced buying JotSpot, the leader in Wiki applications and online collaboration tools.
They have shut the JotSpot service down to new users until Google integrate them with their systems. JotSpot will likely stop charging for their services and make money by selling ads within free hosted Wiki applications.
If Google integrate JotSpot with Docs & Spreadsheets and Blogger.com, your average user could get ever closer to building their own, rich websites and website applications.
Smart move Google, and yet again, beware Microsoft!