Monday, April 23, 2007

Something is wrong with Zune

It seems Google not updating it's Algorithm.'Coz every time i search for Zune in Google,it suggests me to search with 'Zone' key word.The screen shot shows it recognized the context but yet it fails to replace 'Zone' with 'Zune'.It's been more than 6 months that Zune released in the market and Google search fail to recognize the keyword.Yahoo,Live search works ok in this case.It seems Google also not impressed with Microsoft's ill fated Zune.Soonly Microsoft going to launch Flash version of Zune by year end and at least now Google should add Zune keyword.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

SaaS Signal or Noise??

Few days ago,i was reading interview with Ray Ozzie(Microsoft's Chief Software Architect) and he talked about Microsoft's future in the increasingly webified world.He talked at length about Software as a service(SaaS) and how Microsoft prepared to the new challenges.These days much talk is going on SaaS,especially after Google rolled out it's Docs&Spreadsheets and soonly going to add presentation software service also.Symantec also announced that they are testing free online backup service.Adobe considering to rollout online photoshop version soonly.There are already hundreds of Firefox add-ons available today,which are marking rapidly evolving SaaS.Adobe's Flash media player is also a kind of SaaS and Microsoft expected to field it's own version Silverlight soonly in the market.It all signals that we are heading firmly towards Network computing and browsers,devices going to play a big role in the coming days.In one of my previous post also i mentioned about Network Computing.

Ray Ozzie tells some intersting views about SaaS in his interview and i recommend my blog visitors to read full version.Ray Ozzie's comment about SaaS goes like this.

"So the way I view it is, first generation "software as a service" really just meant browser. Second generation means weave together hardware, software and services to accomplish a specific solution.The iPod is a great example of that. You have hardware, the embedded software on the device and an associated [online] service. Does that mean all solutions have to involve hardware and software services? No. There are going to be many things that are perfectly good to deliver in a browser. There are also going to be many software [applications] that are standalone, which will have only a little piece up on the service. But I think it benefits the customer to think of it holistically".

I feel most of the consumer software will migrate to browser but i am skeptic whether same thing can happen in enterprise market as stripped down browser versions may not produce the same results as featureful desktop versions.Another thing is that SaaS becomes meaningless when you go off line.So customers need to evaluate carefully what value they are getting rather than going by hype.Most of the SaaS market targeted at SME(Small and Medium Enterprises) business segment.Currently only17% of world population uses internet and the numbers expected to grow.No. of PCs also need to grow and recently Microsoft announced that they would provide $3 software in developing countries for those who can not afford.I don't know why $3,they can give older versions of Windows for free like Linux.It all seems like we are entering new era where users no longer charged for Software and collaborative work environment demands going to drive SaaS further.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Joost,the killer of You tube???

At last i got Joost beta tester invitation for which i applied in last month.I downloaded and installed the software and it's really cool experience.But unfortunately as of now i don't have any invitation privilage and may be in the coming days it will be added to my account and the screen shot tells the story .It's really great to watch TV in full screen on computer thanks to Joosts' P2P technology.The founders of Kazaa,Skype back with a bang and i'm sure Joost will be hit and can give a run for You tube's money.It has got some cool features like Search,IM(You can IM people who are watching the same channel),Parental control and some cool widgets like clock,news ticker.Right now widgets choice is limited but according to Joost Blog they are going to release Joost SDK soonly which can enable developers to build widgets.Right now the content available is somewhat limited but i think once it goes public from beta version we can expect more to be added and Viacom a media giant recently signed a deal with Joost.Joost FAQ tells that programmes can't be recorded as it can be watched anytime(on-demand basis).According to Joost site,in one hour of viewing, approximately 320Mb data will be downloaded and 105Mb uploaded, which means that it will exhaust a 1Gb cap in 10 hours.So it consumes too much of bandwidth and may be in the later versions technology can be fine tuned.Soonly they are going to release Linux Joost client also as it currently runs on Windows,Mac platforms.Content uploading is not supported at the moment and they are concentrating only on well known Media brands sponsored content.

Good thing is that Joost attracting some competition from early stage.A European startup called Babelgum also working on Next generation TV over internet and it has very good venture backing also.Adobe's Philo can also be added in the Joost's competitor's list.I think it's alarming time for You tube and they recently added some features like IM with people who are watching the same video and uploading videos directly from mobile etc.But i think real concern is You tube should accept only quality content and i am sure You tube will offer their service in Full screen in the near future in the wake of rising competition.I am also predicting that Microsoft will join the list as their interest in web TV is well known.Surely great days ahead for idiot box???

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Podcasting:The Road Less Travelled

These days my ears chilled out with lots of podcasts and i loaded my recently bought iPod Shuffle with lots of Business podcasts.In case you are wondering what the hell podcast is,i suggest you to go through this Wikipedia article.Podcasts are not limited to iPod and you can carry them on any portable player.After listening to many podcasts(Of course for free), i left with only one question. How these guys are making money??My curiosity drove me further to explore this.

Podcasting in simple words "Your Voice->WWW->Portable Player->Masses"

Today,if you search in Google for podcasting it gives 38mn search results.Despite the promise and potential of the podcasting,It's not yet caught mainstream attention.I mean,the diversity of audience is not so great and it still have a long way to reach critical mass.Today,it's popular in education and academic world where you can listen to lectures on the go.Else where it is struggling to find feet.

Today, if i see there is lot of high quality podcasting content is available on net but the problem is there are no takers.Last year more than 140mn MP3 players shipped and in the same time 1bn Mobile phones also shipped.My view is,if podcasting wants to catch up with masses it should and can happen on Mobile phone only.Imagine you are a tourist and your Mobile phone guiding you through podcast???I believe the potential of podcasting can be exploited on Mobile phone only and that seems like a perfect match.In my
previous post also i mentioned this.

There are potential problems in transmitting podcasts on mobile as it's pretty expensive even if you set up Toll free.Secondly the voice quality may not be as great as portable player.Another problem is as i mentioned advertisers support for podcasting is not so great so far.In 2006 podcasting ad market accounted for $80mn only.When you compare it with today's online advertising revenues(it's around $14bn),it's negligible.But podcasting ad market is expected to grow up to $400mn by 2011.That's more than 100% CAGR and sounds exciting.

Today's podcasting market ecosystem formed by Publisher,Advertiser and Listener.Again in each category there is front end and back end.For example in Publisher category in the back end people who supply podcasting studio equipment and software and in the front end people who actually present the show.But in the current scenario the advertiser and listener both seems to be inactive and that presents a big opportunity for innovation.

Despite all problems i bet on Mobile phone 'coz it's ultimate consumer device where podcasting will be highly effective.So,what's the solution??But i feel,to see podcasting seriously on
Mobile we've to wait for 1 yr 'coz by that time market will see the growth of wi-fi enabled and S/W intensive phones,which will present a perfect market for free ad supported podcasting.iPhone is coming this June and that can kickoff podcasting culture on mobile phone.There are few companies like pod2mob which are trying to deliver podcast links to mobile phones but i think that is too expensive to click.Defining viable business model in this field still unfinished work.Recently You tube also started MMS casting.Future certainly looks bright and there is lot of room for innovation in podcasting which can change the way we live.

Few resources of podcasting(Google can do better job)

  • iTunes(lots of podcasts and iTunes client)
  • Odeo(lots of podcasts)
  • Audacity(A free Audio editor and recorder Software)

These are just few and i encourage my blog visitors to google, to explore podcasting world as podcasts are free and knowledgeable which can match different tastes.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Google's Fools Day Prank

Well,all of a sudden Google declared it is giving ad supported free internet through your Toilet Room.This press statement is really hilarious and it doesn't take much time to know it's a fool's day prank and Google is not new to this.They are telling users who ever signs up for the service will receive a full home self-installation kit, which includes a spindle of fiber-optic cable, a TiSP wireless router, installation CD and setup guide.
Some silly clues to you find the truth.

Why do Google need toilet to connect to net when they can do it through underground cabling or some Wi-Max kind???

What about Google's ambitious San Francisco-wide free wi-fi project???They never told it'll be Toilet project???

They didn't mention Geographical location where they will implement??

Anyway enjoy the prank.