2010 Mobile World Conference Highlights
by GE Grand February 22, 2010
So let's wrap up the 2010 Mobile World Conference where all the big players were, except for Apple of course. These are the things that stand out for me from the conference.
Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 based on the Zune system. I don't know why they didn't name it Windows Mobile 7 especially given the way the market is going with phone operating systems being used on more than phones, as with Apple's iPad.. Microsoft is great at doing things the worst way possible. They are always able to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. Looks like Windows Mobile 7 (not calling it Windows Phone 7 because I know Microsoft will change the name later) will make every smartphone it is on into a Zune as well as function with the Xbox. See that wasn't so hard Microsoft. How many years did it take them do this? Wonder how many it will take for them to actually start building their own phones and other hardware?
While Samsung has been making Android powered phones, they have decided to launch their own mobile OS named Bada, and their new phone the Samsung Wave. It has the same level of specs as Google's Nexus One and a very nice screen. It will be interesting to see if it succeeds.
New smartphones such as the HTC Desire, which is like the Nexus One, which HTC builds for Google. Mini smartphones like Sony Ericcson's Xperia X10 Mini Pro and HTC HD Mini, which is based on the belief that some consumers will think an iPhone is too big. I think all smartphones are too small to do anything but talk, so I really want to see where this goes.
Smartbooks and tablets. Somewhere in between a smartphone and a netbook. The question is does the public actually need a device like this. I think someone asked if you have a car and a bicycle do you need a motorcycle? I think a better analogy would be to say if you have a microwave and an oven, do you need a toaster oven? I am going to say that you don't. I think the average person is just fine with a smartphone and a notebook computer, and will not have a need for a 3rd device that really doesn't do anything something else they already have does.
Probably the biggest thing to come out of the conference is the fact that AT&T, Sprint, Verizon,Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics and about 20 other companies have all joined forces to create a new app store to compete directly with Apple's app store. Add to that Google and Microsoft and you can see Apple's problem. App developers have become frustrated with Apple and their approval process so they are looking for other places to sell their apps. The idea is to develop an app once and have it work across all platforms, something the others will do and something Apple will never allow. Also it looks like Hollywood is trying to make Apple change its ways. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to control the market and resist change from other companies.
Stay tuned I am sure a lot of news and devices are on the way in 2010. I can't wait to see how all of these devices will change how we live.
Leave A Comment
Mobile World Congress: Battle of the Smartphone OS
by GE Grand February 15, 2010
This week in Barcelona we will get new information on the upcoming smartphone market. Microsoft is expected to release Windows Mobile 7, probably its final attempt to stay relevant in the smartphone market against Apple, Blackberry, Nokia, and Google.
This is actually shaping up to be the year that probably will decide who the winners and losers in the smartphone market will be. While it is hard for people in the United States to understand, Apple is not the largest maker of smartphones in the world, or the United States for that matter, not even close. That title goes to Nokia even though their Symbian powered phones are virtually non-existent in the US. Along with Microsoft they are expected to announce a new version of their smartphone OS that will be geared more toward the touchscreens of the United States.
The other major contender is Palm with their eebOS. Palm practically invented the smartphone as an extension of their PDA (remember those) before Microsoft and Blackberry did them in. While webOS is a great operating system that can actually multi-task (something the iPhone can't do at all) Palm is too small to contend unless sales of their phones pick up.
On Sunday in ahead of the opening conference, Samsung announced that it is selling phones with its own operating system, Bada along with an apps store. The first phone, the Samsung Wave, will be able in April, but no word on the US carrier. These phones will be geared towards offering touchscreens everyone around the world and not just business users and high end consumers.
Of course Google is the fan favorite at the moment with their popular Android system which is used by many phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. The CEO of Google is giving the keystone address at this conference. It should be an interesting week. Can't want to see what surprises come out.
The Buzz On Google Buzz
by GE Grand February 9, 2010
This is why I like science and technology so much. Every so often you get hit by a surprise from nowhere even when you are like me and always looking for technology news. Well today. Google surprised us again with the release of Google Buzz. It appears this is Google's attempt at directly taking on Facebook and Twitter (does anyone even talk about MySpace anymore?). Basically their idea is to eliminate the clutter of the other networking sites, a complaint I have been hearing a lot with the new Facebook update that most people think makes the site too cluttered with information that no one is interested.
Like Yahoo, the new social networking is built into their email service, Gmail. Unlike Yahoo though, Google is making the experience totally Google and not using other services from other companies. Seems as though Google only made the service available to a select few today (wonder how I got on the list, could someone at Google be reading Grandposts?), but it will be available to everyone tomorrow. I will update this article after I try it out more. So who uses Gmail?
Leave A Comment
Google Chrome OS Tablet
by GE Grand February 4, 2010
Somehow it seems that the tech world missed something last week. Two days before the announcement of the Apple iPad, Google actually released concept images of tablet pc devices running their soon to be released Chrome OS. As has been the Google tradition, they quietly said nothing and let Apple have all of the thunder last week.
So this week with a simple tweet from Glen Murphy, a designer for Google's Chrome browser and the Chrome OS, (see that is the power of social media again) the tech world is again all a buzz with thoughts of a Google Tablet and how it would compare with the iPad. Now this will be more for the thrifty consumer instead of the Apple faithful who will buy anything Apple just because it is Apple. Let me just go over a couple of things for those people considering buying an iPad, HP Slate or similar device.
The idea of Google Chrome OS is to do away with your desktop operating system and let all of your computing take place on the internet. This is generally what the average person is doing now. The average computer user does not run programs only on their desktop, they basically hit the web to surf, email, watch Youtube and download music. With Google Chrome OS you will be able to do all this plus access Google Apps like Google Docs a full online office suite.
This works great for Google because it will drive more traffic to the internet and thus allow more people to use their services and let them of course sell more ads. Google doesn't plan for Chrome OS to just run on a tablet pc, but also netbooks, and other devices. By the end of the year, just in time for the holiday season, Google along with computer makers, will release several models of netbooks (if they still call them that) in the truest sense of the word. These will be mobile computers that will be able to access the full internet, including flash sites, and multi-task so you can do multiple things at the same time, unlike the iPad. Also the netbooks will come with bluetooth, webcam, SD slots, Wi-Fi, 3G and USB ports so you will be able to add memory as needed as well as actually print directly to your printer(also something the iPad will not do). The best part is that you will be able to get all of this for the same price or less than a current netbook, especially if it is sold through a wireless carrier with a data plan. We will be getting sort of a preview of this when Lenovo releases their Skylight this spring which basically operates on the same premise but with their own operating system.
So Google's strategy is a little different than Apple's because they want to give you access to the entire web and all it has to offer, while Apple is more about doing all things Apple. It looks like 2010 will give us our first big tech change of the decade. There are a lot of choices for consumers which is always a good thing.
Leave A Comment
Apple Helping To End $9.99 eBooks
by GE Grand February 3, 2010
It seems because of the pending release of the iPad, that Apple is helping book publishers squeeze Amazon to raise their prices of eBooks from the flat $9.99 to as much as $15 or maybe more.
It seems as though the book publishers were not all that happy with Amazon's pricing model. If you remember they made Amazon turn off the Kindle's ability to read electronic books you purchased because they felt that would cut into their audio book sales as well.
Because Apple has already agreed to the higher pricing model with the book publishers, Amazon has little choice but to give in or lose the publishers and their writers. What this means for you the consumers, is that Kindle, iPad, or other eBook device you bought or plan to buy just became a lot more expensive in this down economy. One of the greatest things about the Kindle was that it was going to allow people to read more and cut down on the waste of printing books that often go unsold and then are simply destroyed. There was so much potential to make books available to more people, at less cost to all, but once again money beats technology and the consumer looses.
It will be interesting to see how Google and Wal-Mart effect this equation with their current book ventures. Wal-Mart has been constantly lowering the price of books purchased online, while Google wants to make virtually all books available online for all. Both of these are good for consumers, question will be how long will they hold up to the complaints of the book publishers.
Leave A Comment
The Apple iPad is a ......?
copyright © Grandposts 2010 All Rights Reserved.