Analyst Opinion - The ignorant masses milling around the iPod display
at the local Wal-Mart last week had no idea that they were at Ground
Zero of the next titanic battle in all of technologydom. And while past
conflicts, like Microsoft kicking IBM into the PC weeds a generation
ago and Google more recently knocking Microsoft down a peg or two,
typically involved relative newcomers picking off established, dominant
leaders, the fight that’s about to get underway is different than
anything we’ve seen before.
Opinion: A crack team of staffers from the New York Daily News shows us just how not to write a news story.
Opinion – I am glad some deal between Microsoft and Yahoo finally got
done. Despite its seemingly simple purpose to give Microsoft much more
leverage in advertising through increased search market share, it is
somewhat apparent that this is a very complex partnership with much
more intentions than Microsoft has revealed so far. Microsoft can’t be
so naïve to believe that the deal will allow the company to catch up
with Google in search market share just by slapping a Bing logo on
Yahoo’s front page. No, Microsoft is after something entirely different.
Analyst Opinion - This month I’ve been doing a lot of
thinking and talking about Steve Jobs and his return. What I keep
coming back to is why there is only one CEO that is like him? Granted
each CEO is somewhat unique, but Steve stands out from the rest rather
noticeably. There have been a number of books profiling Steve the two
most recent, iCon Steve Jobs (which Apple tried to block), and Inside
Steve’s Brain combined tell a story of someone that could have never
made it to the top ranks of any mature company. But now that he is up
there it is hard to find anyone else that is more successful for their
company, customers, and their investors than Steve has been.
Analyst Opinion - Intel and Nokia announced a strategic relationship
this week, a relationship that would point to a cooperation targeting
the development of next-generation communicatiosn devices. The
smartphone space is defined by four product vendors and one processor -
none of which are currently Intel or Nokia. ARM is the dominant
processor technology that is supplied by companies like Marvell, which
uses technology that has been picked up up from Intel and Qualcomm.
What is the tactical and strategic outlook of this segment, in which
only one thing is certain: Going forward, you'll generally want a
smartphone other than the one you actually have.
Opinion: The European Union, which clearly views successful US companies such as Microsoft and Intel as the spawn of the devil, is ganging up with their less-successful rivals to fight the forces of evil.
Opinion - Chip giant Intel has swept all before it by a combination of aggression, execution and sometimes bullying, and it's hard to see the Santa Clara gravy train ever hitting the buffers.
Analyst Opinion - With Google coming to market, the OS environment is very similar to what it was in the late 80s with Microsoft in IBM's position, Apple in Apple's, and Google in Microsoft's. Windows 7 is the best operating system that Microsoft has created since Windows 95, but it breaks the same model that Windows 95 did - and Windows 95 began the cycle that effectively eliminated much of Microsoft's market control. In the end, the next three years will be one for the history books. Those who lose will go down in infamy for their failures.
Analyst Opinion - This morning, we found out that the Sun might rise again. Oracle has
decided to spend approximately $7.4 billion to buy its long time
neighbor down the highway. This combination of two stalwarts
instrumental in the rise of the Silicon Valley high-tech powerbase
signals a regretful passing of a member of the old guard. But times
change and Sun did not change with the times (much as Digital, Compaq,
SGI, Cray and others before it.) The question is, why would Oracle, a
company who has been gobbling up companies over the past few years
(e.g., Siebel, Peoplesoft, BEA), but with its own set of challenges,
want to move into hardware – a commodity, cut throat business?
Analyst Opinion - Do you remember Whac-A-Mole? In the dark ages before
arcades went video, kids across the land spent many an afternoon
smacking these machines with oversized soft mallets in a futile attempt
to make the automated moleheads stop popping up. In many respects, the
conviction last week of the founders of The Pirate Bay file sharing
site is a lot like this silly old game. There is no doubt, Pirate Bay
isn’t dead and the convictions reinforce the industry’s challenge to
treat the Internet as what it is and win the hearts of consumers.
Starting next week, every new Mac sold will come preloaded
with a copy of Windows Vista Premium, the result of a new direct
licensing agreement between two fierce rivals. OS X Leopard will be
still offered, albeit as a paid upgrade.
Opinion – Finally! I have been waiting for some big mergers for at
least half a year, given the fact that some companies could pick up
some of their rivals for pocket change these days. Still, the news that
IBM might acquire Sun came as a surprise this morning and raised
especially one question: Why would IBM want Sun? Sun has not much that
is especially attractive from an economic point of view and seemed to
be struggling with finding a focus since Scott McNealy handed over the
controls to Jonathan Schwartz. But look closer and Sun may be one of
the big bargains currently on the market – a bargain that could solve a
lot of problems for IBM.
Apparently fake iTunes gift cards are the next big thing in the underground cybercriminal
world. Earlier this week, Chinese hackers enabled
this new "business" by cracking the algorithm used to
generate the voucher codes printed on real prepaid iTunes Gift Cards. As a
result, a slurry of fake iTunes cards began popping up all over the web, enabling a consumer to buy a valid voucher code that could be redeemed at the iTunes Store
for music, movies and TV shows purchases. The $200 iTunes gift cards
are selling for as low as $2.60 -- if you are willing to shop on Asian
web sites using credit card processing firms most westerners have never
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will surely remember his dance performance on the reality show Dancing with the Stars
for as long as he lives. Not only did Woz
embarrass his dance pair Katrina Smirnoff, who is a world champion pro
dancer, but he was taunted by the three-panel judges who didn't spare
a word to graphically describe his nerdy moves. But kudos to Woz who had
guts to prove that yes, nerds can dance, too -- and do so in front of
the 20+ million viewership. Our advice though to Woz: Get in line for the
Dancing with the Nerds show instead. At least there you'll stand a better
chance -- although the ultimate winner of that show would probably have to be,
without a doubt, Steve Ballmer. EXTRA: VIDEO
This past Tuesday, it felt like Steve Jobs personally orchestrated
the multiple hardware updates of Mac desktop lines when, in reality, all Apple did was leak the Mac mini spyshot
and announce updated products with two press releases. What a
remarkable departure for the California-based consumer electronics
powerhouse that up until recently used to send tingles down our spines
with glamorous media events centered around Steve Jobs and his showmanship.
While many fans would like to believe Apple's marketing will turn
to old practices once Steve Jobs gets back from his medical leave, in
reality it won't. In fact, Steve Jobs may never return to Apple and
the recent stark departure in how the company markets its products might be
part of a carefully-staged plan to prepare all of us for the idea of an Apple
without Steve Jobs.
Analyst Opinion -Most of us would agree that pornography is a scourge that, if it can't be eliminated from our online experience, should at least be shoved to the margins so that regular folks like us can enjoy the Internet in peace without be inundated. We'd also agree that child pornography is particularly reprehensible, and society owes its victims an unwavering commitment to make every reasonable effort to stop it. This is why I'm so torn over The Internet Safety Act, a package of two bills introduced by Texan legislators that, if passed into law, would force ISPs to retain user data from every subscriber's IP address for up to two years (see TG Daily's previous coverage).
Chicago (IL) - Marketing 101: How can I increase traffic, visibility and name recognition on my growing website without paying for it? A-ha! Let me change the policies of my website to such an outrageous extent that individuals will become so infuriated and irate they'll blog about it, Tweet about it, start Facebook groups about it, and draw the attention of national high traffic publications. And then, once we've grabbed the attention of the masses, we'll utilize that opportunity to make ourselves not seem to be the evil bad guys, catering to the people's voice.
Opinion - In late 2007 when I was in San Francisco for Intel's Developer Forum, I signed up for Verizon Wireless broadband. Since then I have used it all across this nation while driving back and forth, and apart from some sporadic loss of signals when driving in mountain ranges, I have never had any problem with the service. And today, I found out that Verizon is still honoring their unlimited usage contracts made before their current 5GB capped contracts.
Opinion - Microsoft appears to be grasping at every source of revenue potential it can reach and then some. It's actually now moved beyond the point of being kind of interesting to follow along with, and into the area of "Okay, it's time to be a little concerned." This most recent move of Wonderwall's celebrity news/gossip site has us scratching our heads and wonderwalling: What are they thinking?
Analyst Opinion - Watching this new battle between Apple and Palm
almost looks like a remake of an old play or movie but with Apple in
Microsoft's role and Palm as Linux. Not too many years ago, Microsoft
was popping up on a regular basis threatening with litigation for
violations by Linux to Microsoft's patent and copyright portfolios. No
real litigation ever resulted and you had to wonder what would have
happened if Microsoft had gone the litigation route. Apple is now
making similar noise about Palm and its Linux platform – and we know
that Apple is far more aggressive than Microsoft in legal matters.