Friday, February 9, 2007

Quick changing world

The last 2 weeks vouch for how dynamic and uncertain the technology industry is and it has seen some of the most significant events like Vista's launch(Microsoft's flagship product after 5 long years),Michael Dell's return to hot seat(Back to CEO position),Steve jobs DRM theory,Zune phone rumors,Yahoo Panama launch(Online ad platform to trap search revenues),Apple's foray in casual gaming,Yahoo Pipes,Amazon,TiVo's Unbox(To download Movies,TV shows to watch on TV) and many more to list.

Let me look into some of these events briefly.First Microsoft's much hyped Vista which debuted along with another Flagship product Office 2007 on Jan 30.It took off well with good reviews for it's improved security features and eye candy look and feeling except for some speach recognition flaw and fight with anti virus software makers Symantec,Mcafee.Watch out for Microsoft's quarterly results this year.Bill gates and Ballmer both emphasized that Vista is not the last hurray for MS as most of the techno fraternity thought,'coz of Microsoft's increased focus on web based services and it's forced adoption of Software as Service model.They are investing heavily on Security,Gaming,Windows Live Services and consumer and life style space which clearly tells that Microsoft is going through a great transition period.Apple Inc. remains to be a great threat for MS as Apple releasing their most advanced OS Leopard this spring which can pouch some of the wannable vista upgraders(Apple's delayed version of iTunes for vista a clear evidence).The biggest threat to MS is most people haven't tasted Apple products so far and many of them wants to try now(As Apple have become most recognized brand after iPod success)as it is evident by the increased sales of Mac Books.

The biggest reason for Zune's flop is it's lack of aesthetic design and lack of USP.It clearly failed to distinguish it self in the Market place as Microsoft simply tried to clone iPod and it's wi-fi feature also couldn't save it.I cant' imagine Microsoft would release iPhone killer without saving it's dying Zune(supposed to be iPod Killer).Microsoft can still save Zune by promoting gaming in Zune('coz they already have strong foot print in gaming market with the XBOX success) and this is best time for them as apple is in talks with EA to design games for iPhone,iPod. MS should try to differentiate themselves rather than simply cloning to get Market share.As i am writing this,i got to know from crunchgear blog that Zune Phone is almost confirmed .It seems Microsoft never give up their Money throw-Monkey business approach.

At Dell Inc. it's purely Dell.I mean Michael Dell's return to CEO position after missing quarterly results in 2006.He also reduced the no.of people who directly reports to CEO from 20 to 12.It has much to do with Mark Hurd led HP's revival in PC Business with aggressive strategies.There is also rumor that Dell Inc. is facing pressure from private equity firms and these are really challenging times for Michael Dell to turn it around.All the best Dell and you may need to take a leaf or two from Steve Jobs' book.

Steve Jobs thoughts on Music came after the Norwegian Consumer Council has deemed Fairplay (iTunes DRM) illegal in Norway with the possibility of France and Germany following suit.Apple's DRM(Digital Rights management) technology restricts files downloaded from the iTunes store from being played only on iPod and not other music players.This is true with Microsoft's Zune,Sandisk's Sansa as well.Jobs says only 10% of the music sold is DRM protected and remaining 90% goes on sale in the form of CDs which can be cloned easily and he says if big 5 Music companies permits his iTunes store ready to sell Music without DRM.I am still confused about what could be the solution in this case as every portable player maker wants to take the advantage of DRM free music.Let's hope industry finds long term solution to this problem as Music is ever green market.

Yahoo's Project Panama, the web giant's Ad platform for it's search engine at last in action.With this they are hoping to tap advertising dollars to be in battle with google and winning back investor's confidence as Yahoo is also under pressure from Private equity firms(I hope this is rumor only).2 Days before Yahoo also launched Pipes service (a word from Unix) which allows you to aggregate data from one or more resources like feeders.I was already using newsgator service to collect news from various sources and it makes life easy and saves time.Today i tried Yahoo pipes and it's good and can do more than aggregating.

These days all biggies are fighting for living room space and Amazon-TiVo deal is the latest in that.After Apple Inc.unveiled it's vision about iTV(Now called Apple TV) almost all High-Tech companies who are in consumer space rolled out their plans.This is a converged world and Internet-TV convergence is long awaited one and many companies are trying to make it happen.Microsoft was one of the early players in web TV and they lost momentum and couldn't achieve their vision. Joost(Earlier the Project Venice),by Skype founders is one more example in that which is about delivering High-definition Video streaming based on P2P technology and it's still in invitation based beta testing.Watch out,Google is warning web can't support streaming and video.Then what about $1.6bn they paid to bought Youtube ,which is also about streaming video.Anyway,the message is clear.I feel in 2 yrs time from now, we can see fully converged world of TV-Internet.


Jam3s said...

could you drop me an invite to joost at jam3s2k [at] hotmail [dot]

thanks! also great article.

sravan kumar said...

are having no work u.plz dont play with our life

Sravan Kundojjala said...

Me also looking for Joost beta test invitation,If i get one definitely drop in your mail box.