FCC slaps Comcast, but lays foundation for future bandwidth restrictions

Opinion – Some companies are more equal than others. That is an impression some may take away from an order issued by the FCC against Comcast, requiring the cable Internet service provider to disclose details of its network management practices, submit a plan of compliance with current rules and regulations, stop unreasonable and, perhaps most importantly, disclose future plans of bandwidth restrictions. Comcast lied and deceived. It violated federal policies and ends up with an opportunity to discuss bandwidth restrictions. You may call that unfair. Others may call it business brilliance.

Thank you for your baby emails!

Dear Apple, Jesus would be mortified!

Opinion - Some people have dubbed the iPhone 3G the "Jesusphone," with no apparent fear of lightening strikes against Apple's latest incarnation of its mobile wonder, or the threat of excommunication. But divine status may not be on the cards for the iPhone 3G if Samantha Rose's experiences are anything to go by.

A 1-2-3-4 plan for AMD to beat Intel

Analyst Opinion - Intel had a surprisingly strong quarter. AMD went the other direction and is now taking a number of actions that probably should have come right after the ATI merger.   The difficulty the company is facing is one of competing with a vastly larger and better funded competitor in a market largely defined by standards that its rival sets.  In short, it has always been Intel’s game, its home field. And even in the beginning, AMD only got what Intel gave them.

Apple's favorite journalists post iPhone reviews

Opinion – We typically don’t comment on the work of other journalists, but in this case we can’t resist.  Apple is pulling again the dismayed PR stunt by sending out iPhone 3G review samples weeks ahead to a handful of cherry-picked journalists, ignoring others. Now that the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today have published their iPhone 3G reviews, we learn that the phones in fact have more bandwidth, but less battery life. Are these reviews just another part of Apple’s marketing pitch or is there real value in them?

Should Apple be sued over false advertising?

Opinion – Sure, we all know that Apple can get away with many others can’t. But is it just me, or is Apple’s advertising campaign a textbook example of false advertising? Twice the speed for half the price? Yeah, right. In a country with lawyers that offer to sue the pants of anyone you point your finger at, I am actually surprised that Apple can print what could be perceived as an obvious lie on its iPhone posters.

Microsoft Equipt: The beginning of the next-generation of Microsoft

Analyst Opinion - When I was briefed on Microsoft Equipt a few days ago, I couldn’t help but take this in context with Bill Gates’ departure and reflect on the post-Gates Microsoft. For much of Microsoft’s history, the company has been known primarily for two very successful products - Windows and Office.    Sometimes this connection has been less than positive.  Back in 2000, I had a conversation with back then new Microsoft president Steve Ballmer and was fascinated that he believed that the market would eventually move to a subscription model.  With Equipt, Microsoft takes its biggest step in this direction and it makes me wonder whether Windows will, or should, someday follow.

Verizon: "Steve Jobs has no monopoly on innovations"

Verizon's chief Ivan Seidenberg reveals interesting details about plans to leapfrog AT&T to become the largest wireless carrier in the US. In a rare interview with The Financial Times, Seidenberg commented on rumors that Verizon is up for a sale and fired a couple of jealous shots at Steve Jobs.

Thank you, Bill Gates!

Opinion – Today is Bill Gates’ last day at Microsoft and typically we would not care that much if a company founder goes into early retirement. But whether we like it or not, there is no denying that Bill Gates has achieved what many of use dream to achieve – to touch as many lives as possible and make your time count. While the modern tech industry loses one of its pioneers I am glad that Bill will not simply disappear, but has decided to make room for new talent to evolve and dedicate his wealth and influence to his charity.

Panasonic’s template for creating the immortal Steve Jobs

Analyst Opinion - I’m out in Japan this week visiting Panasonic and seeing an incredible set of products, many of which will probably never come to the U.S. At the same time I am watching a health concerns surrounding Steve Jobs and speculation that he may have to leave Apple for one of several reasons soon and the wide-spread belief that the company cannot survive without him.

U.S. broadband: Desperate ideas of an industry that resists change

Opinion - Reading about broadband giants and their ideas how to fairly distribute Internet bandwidth to its customers over the past two weeks got me thinking. Following Time Warner Cable and Comcast, AT&T today joined the choir and indicated that it will charge extra if you take advantage of broadband content through your broadband pipe. For how much longer can broadband providers distort market scenarios to justify price increases for antiquated services, before there will be any consequences?

Samsung Instinct: How bad marketing could cripple a great product

Opinion - Now that SonyEricsson's Xperia X1 has officially been postponed to Q4, we are certain that you soon will see predictions that Apple's 3G iPhone, if it really launches in June, could be set for a home run in the smartphone arena this year. The Xperia's delay and the lack of any information about Garmin’s nuvifone, has opened a window of opportunity for Samsung's Instinct. But the handset maker may have shot itself in the foot with an overly bold marketing strategy.

Is Microsoft gambling away its Windows empire?

Opinion – Some days just don’t turn out in the way you expect they would. In the case of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, their appearance at D6 and a demonstration of a multi touch interface of Windows 7 created lots of feedback from the media, but probably not quite the feedback they expected. Considering the critical voices surrounding Windows Vista, Windows 7 needs to deliver in every perceivable way. And even if Microsoft is very careful about giving out details about the new Windows, there appears to be a growing disappointment over what Windows 7 might or might not be. Can Microsoft afford another Vista?

Adobe: The story of making up a story

Opinion - Last week, we ran a story on a GPGPU-accelerated version of Photoshop. We were a bit surprised to see the company backtracking over the weekend from the demonstration it gave at Nvidia’s Editor’s Day event and accused us of making up the name of the next Photoshop, the software’s release date and its GPGPU acceleration feature. We usually do not reply to such accusations, but the blog post has created some confusion, which prompted us to follow up and release more images of the presentation. If it was really Adobe showing off the next-gen Photoshop and if the presenter wasn’t making up details, then the software will be released in October and it will have GPGPU acceleration. 

Live Search Cashback: Can Microsoft catch Google?

Analyst Opinion - Microsoft just launched a new service called “Live Search Cashback” and it could revolutionize search and may even cause some of us to switch search providers.  You can effectively get somewhere between 2% and 30% of your money back by purchasing a product using this service.

What will Apple do with its billions?

Opinion – How the times change. Several years ago, Dell was flying high and company founder Michael Dell predicted Apple heading into bankruptcy. Today Apple has more than four times Dell’s market cap, and a product lineup as well as profit margins that any IT company would kill for. Apple’s balance sheet reveals that Apple has been piling up its cash for some time now and cash and cash equivalents were about $19,448,000,000 as of March 29, 2008. You can’t tell us that there is no reason for that that much cash in a bank account

Getting inside Steve Jobs’ head

Analyst Opinion - This week Apple released its quarterly results and, coincidently, I’m in the process of reading one of the most useful books I’ve ever read - “Inside Steve’s Brain”, written by long time Apple expert Leander Kahney.  It is basically a textbook on how to create a company and products as good as or better than Apple.  This is a brilliant piece of work and it comes at a time when I’m learning about the upcoming products from a number of PC vendors who are trying to reproduce the growth, profitability, and loyalty that Apple has enjoyed.

Understanding your products and your customers: A short essay on the obvious

Analyst Opinion - Microsoft touches most of us every day, some of us all day with their products – which makes them a perfect model to use when discussing a supplier’s behavior and attitude toward its products and customers. This is not another Microsoft bash rant.

Technology bias: Can you avoid it?

Opinion - "You're biased!"  "You're prejudiced!" Not particularly nice things to be called. Labeled as such, especially in today's world, you could find yourself in hot water very quickly. However, these labels are generally not unfitting, despite their slanderous nature. The only problem is that we all exhibit bias, but no one wants to admit it. Since it is Friday, let’s explore this topic: What does that bias mean for technologists today, and can you use biased sources to form an unbiased opinion on technology?

Are Apple computers overpriced?

Opinion - Even if you are following tech news just loosely, by now you probably have heard about PsyStar, accompany that intends to challenge the OS X License Agreement, which could enable it to sell an Open Mac, basically a cheap Intel-based PC running OS X. Yes, the system’s specs are no match for an 8-core Power Mac, but still: It's a "Mac" for $399. Considering the fact that a Power Mac will set you back at least $2800 and an iMac at least $1200, there is the question why there aren’t cheaper Macs and the unavoidable argument that Apple PCs are way too expensive.