Microsoft Has A Chance to Compete With Windows 8

on June 6, 2011

It’s way to early to count Microsoft out. Just look at history. Microsoft has a fighting chance with Windows 8 because they are Microsoft. We can argue and debate whether they understand the consumer. Or whether the market has passed them or not but the simple truth is they are still a force in the computing landscape.
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Will UltraBooks Make PCs Interesting Again?

on June 6, 2011

I ask this question specifically because this is the question those who make PC’s are asking. In particular this initiative to make the PC relevant again is being driven by Intel and in part by AMD. This sounds rather silly because of course the PC is still relevant, the fact of the matter is the PC has become boring.

PC’s are mainstream and there isn’t much interesting about them these days. Consumers are familiar with them and understand what they are and what they are good for. Consumers are more interested in learning about things like smart phones and tablets to which they are still in discovery mode with.
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Apple Retail is Key to Their Competitive Advantage

on June 5, 2011

Apple has several things I consider to be keys to their competitive advantage. Fundamental advantages that when you study become clear differentiators as well as roadblocks for Apple competitors. However if I were to prioritize, their retail strategy would be near the top as a key to their competitive advantage – here is why.

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HTC Flyer: To Stylus or Not to Stylus

on June 4, 2011

I want to focus the thoughts of this article purely on the HTC’s implementation of a stylus on their Flyer 7″ tablet. When Steve Jobs said “if you see a stylus, they blew it,” I believe he meant that if a tablet or computer required a tablet for navigation and input it has failed. To this I would entirely agree.

I believe the stylus alone should be viewed as an accessory, not something the tablet experience depends on. I believe HTC understands this and all though the implementation isn’t perfect it is still by far the best stylus implementation to date.
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Blue Yeti Pro Review – Great to Use and Look At

on June 4, 2011

Let me start off by saying I have a thing for microphones. I am not exactly sure why, since I rarely use them. I don’t do much personal podcasting but I do contribute to several.

What I mostly use microphones for are VOIP calls, acoustic instrument recording and vocal recording- all just for fun. Those use cases were the the primary ones I tested. The Blue Yeti Pro let’s you connect VIA XLR through a powered amplification source or VIA USB. Most of the microphones I use, I plug in VIA XLR but in this case I wanted to test the USB audio quality. The Yeti Pro boasts recording at full 24 bit rate and 192 khz sample rate. Inside the housing to capture audio is 3 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules.

To test I ran a series of audio quality tests so let’s start with audio quality.
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The Amazon Tablet Opportunity Could Be Huge

Amazon logo
on June 4, 2011

I have fielded a lot of questions recently regarding the rumors of Amazon making a tablet of their own to bring to market. Right off the bat there is enough data out there to support this rumor, so I am certain Amazon is bringing a full featured tablet to market.

I make the distinction of full featured tablet because of the rise of the term “feature” tablet. The current Kindle as well as the B&N Nook Color are examples of feature tablets. A feature tablet is a tablet that focuses just on certain features like e-reading, navigation, gaming etc. Where a full featured tablet is a more general purpose than feature specific device.
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Will Low Radiation Phones Be A Selling Point In the Future?

on June 3, 2011

There has been mounting media over the past few years around whether there is a link to cell phone radiation and a possible cancer risk. The latest WHO (World Health Organization) report that was recently released issued yet another warning that there may be a link to cell phone radiation and brain cancer. Which leads to an interesting question: Can low radiation levels be sold as a feature of cell phones in the future?

My guess is yes. In the very near future, I would not be surprised if we begin to see more labels on these devices clearly stating how much radiation (SAR levels) they produce. I would even venture a guess that there will be consumers who will take the radiation levels of a cell phone into consideration as a part of the decision making process. Some consumer may be more concerned about the radiation levels than others but tradeoffs will be made based on what the consumer cares about.
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The Android Opportunity – Core Apps

Android logo
on June 2, 2011

Google’s Android operating system has proven itself a growing force to be reckoned with as adoption rates among manufactures and consumers continue growing at considerable rates. I feel that Android 2.1 has finally reached a point where it is ready for the mass market. I’ve also had the opportunity to use a Nexus One with the next release 2.2, AKA Froyo, for the past two weeks and have found it even more ready for the mass market and perhaps even the enterprise.

Android continues to advance in virtually all areas and compared to Apple’s iPhone OS, it represents the only really viable alternative, for now. As I pointed out in my last article The Fate of Windows 7, Microsoft is way behind this curve, and even if they were caught up at a pure OS level, they are still at least two years behind on the the app ecosystem. Conversely, Android is well behind Apple with the core apps.
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Why Apple Has a Strong Competitive Advantage

on June 2, 2011

One of the primary things about being an effective technology industry analyst is that I have to clearly communicate our perspectives about the technology industry as a whole to my firms clients. This requires more than just the regurgitation of information as we gather it in the field. It requires explaining more fundamental elements of what is happening and why. It is because of this that we seem to get one question common to many of the companies that we speak with and provide services to. That question is: “Why is Apple doing so well and what can we do to compete?”
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