News You might have missed: Week of Dec 8th, 2017

Microsoft Whiteboard

At the Surface Pro launch a few months back, Microsoft had previewed Whiteboard, a Windows 10 app designed to offer creative and business collaboration across devices. Up until this week, the app had been available in private beta, but starting this past Tuesday, Microsoft kicked off a public beta for anyone with a Windows 10 device.

Via TechCrunch 

  • I have played with Microsoft Whiteboard on my Surface Laptop, and I have to say I have found the app quite engaging especially for drafting outlines of articles or presentations.
  • The collaboration part, while it would be better executed on a larger screen like the Surface Hub is also quite compelling.
  • The reason why this rather simple little app matters is that it speaks to how more and more users want to work – no longer in isolation and limited by the tools they have but enriched by digital variants of tools that have served us well for so many years when working in groups: whiteboard or sticky-boards.
  • Whiteboard also speaks of Microsoft trying to drive experiences across devices as well as designing first-party apps that increase engagement with specific features of  Windows 10 like inking and touch.
  • I am particularly happy to see that the app, while linked to an Office 365 subscription does not differentiate on the type of subscription and is widely available.
  • From a competitor standpoint, I would like to see more from Apple for iPad Pro. While many apps can be found in the store I would like to see Apple invest in a separate app than Notes as a dedicated whiteboard for Pencil.

Snapdragon 845

If you follow me on Twitter or have read my weekly column, you might have noticed that I was attending the Snapdragon Summit in Maui. Among several announcements at the conference, Qualcomm announced the new Snapdragon 845. The new chipset focuses on five areas: camera, AI, Security, Connectivity, and Performance. You can read all the details of the specs in the press release.

Via Qualcomm 

  • I am not going to get into a spec discussion or comparison for the Snapdragon 845 but I want to share some thoughts on the impact on phone manufacturers.
  • There are two things that most vendors have been focusing on for the past year: camera technology and AI. And at times the two were actually brought together like in the case of Google with the Pixel 2.
  • Now Qualcomm, with the Snapdragon 845, is going to deliver improved camera and AI experiences right out of the box. Features such as depth portrait on a single camera, improved support for multiple digital assistants just to mention a couple.
  • This is great news for smartphone vendors who have limited resources and IP in this space, but it could potentially be bad news for those vendors who have been trying to differentiate their offering by pitching their phones as “AI enabled.”
  • Apple, Samsung, and Huawei have their own chip designs of course, but for everybody else, it will be interesting to see how much differentiation they will be able to add on top.
  • One might argue that this is no different than it was in the past as vendors can always add on top of the off the shelf solution. However, as hardware enhancements shift to software, I believe it will be harder for some vendors, which just do not have the necessary skills in software.
  • It was unclear if a capability that comes on the 845 could be tailored towards a specific use and branded by a single vendor.

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Carolina Milanesi

Carolina is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc, a market intelligence and strategy consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and recognized as one of the premier sources of quantitative and qualitative research and insights in tech. At Creative Strategies, Carolina focuses on consumer tech across the board. From hardware to services, she analyzes today to help predict and shape tomorrow. In her prior role as Chief of Research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, she drove thought leadership research by marrying her deep understanding of global market dynamics with the wealth of data coming from ComTech’s longitudinal studies on smartphones and tablets. Prior to her ComTech role, Carolina spent 14 years at Gartner, most recently as their Consumer Devices Research VP and Agenda Manager. In this role, she led the forecast and market share teams on smartphones, tablets, and PCs. She spent most of her time advising clients from VC firms, to technology providers, to traditional enterprise clients. Carolina is often quoted as an industry expert and commentator in publications such as The Financial Times, Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She regularly appears on BBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox, NBC News and other networks. Her Twitter account was recently listed in the “101 accounts to follow to make Twitter more interesting” by Wired Italy.

2 thoughts on “News You might have missed: Week of Dec 8th, 2017”

  1. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really..

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