Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Real power for your car

AS you look around your world, you'll find lots of technology innovations that have outlived their usefulness. I believe the computer mouse is one of them. Another is the cigarette lighter power supply. I don't even know what its official name is in the automotive industry. But I do know that there is nothing in my car that is less useful than that device.

A modern car engine is more than capable of producing standard 110-volt AC power. But because most cars don't have a standard outlet, we have to buy $pecial power adapters for our phones. We cannot recharge our laptops and iPods. We cannot power a printer or a scanner.

I'm not a camper, but I'm sure that the outdoor sporting industry has come up with creative solutions to this problem. Why are we stuck with same thing that our grandfathers used? Why do I have to buy another device to plug into that ridiculous 12-volt DC outlet in order to get AC power?

By the way, Radio Shack sells inverters ... Inverters & Chargers"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weaker Server demand forecasted

Industry analysts, such as Ticonderoga Securities and Mercury Research, are expecting server demand to weaken in the next six months. While Dell and H-P had strong performance in the first half of 2010, most analysts attributed this to pent-up demand as firms delayed purchases during the recession. (source: ComputerWorld) Now that those lifecycle replacements have been completed, it makes sense that the market will soften.

My expectation is that we will see a rather pronounced slowdown in server orders, especially in the lines geared to small- to medium-sized businesses. My clients are replacing existing infrastructure but are not significantly adding capacity because they are quite uncertain about what the 2011 economy will look like. They would like to prepare for growth, but they are conserving cash. They are planning, but not buying.

The article cited above references the impact it will have on chip makers, such as Intel and AMD. But I'm also considering how this will affect infrastructure software vendors, as the most prudent operating system strategy ties those license updates to server purchases. I believe this will have a noticeable impact on sales of Windows Server licenses, VMWare licenses, and even business continuity solutions.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trouble for the BlackBerry

According to a Nielsen survey of current mobile phone subscribers who are thinking of switching phones, the iPhone is currently the most appealing 'next' phone. But that's not really news, is it. Take a closer look at the graph. Both the Android and the iPhone have earned tremendous customer loyalty with nearly 90% of current iPhone users and over 70% of current Android users waning to stay with their current type of device. Conversely, more than half of current BlackBerry users want to switch to either the iPhone (29%), the Android (21%) or some other device (anything but a BlackBerry?).

The survey was released last week, so it's unclear as to whether the latest BlackBerry device was a part of respondent's thinking. But I don't really believe it matters. I've been predicting the demise of the BlackBerry for over a year now. And these results confirm my suspicions.

The BlackBerry had its day. It was transformational. It was a symbol of success and energy and technical know-how.

But its day has passed. There will be skirmishes, but the war is over.

Thanks, BlackBerry. It was great working with you.

The Nielsen survey report can be found here ...
Android Soars, but iPhone Still Most Desired

Monday, September 6, 2010

Competition for the iPad is coming

Back in April, when the iPad first hit the market, I suggested that this revolutionary device represents a turning point in mobile computing. For that to happen, of course, other manufacturers will have to try and beat Apple at its own game. Samsung appears to be the first to enter the fray, introducing the Galaxy Tab last week. The company expects to launch the device in European markets by mid-October and in the US market in the months that follow.

The most obvious difference between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab is the size, with the Galaxy being much smaller - a 7" screen size. Samsung has positioned the product to be easily carried in pocket or purse. Of course, the iPad has a huge head start in available applications and adoption. But the Galaxy is based on the Android v2.2. operating system, so we shouldn't expect that lead to last forever.

So the Android-based phones have proven to be worthy competitors to the iPhone. Will Android-based tablets enjoy similar success. I believe that the answer will be yes. The price point for the Galaxy is expected to be $200-300 ... or about the same as the entry-level iPad. It won't have the same functionality or elegance as the iPad for another year or so, but neither did the Android-based phones.

Eventually, I truly believe that the mobile computing market will look a lot like the desktop market. Apple will consistently own a substantial minority - 10-15% - of the market. Users who value innovation and elegance will make up their loyal and passionate base. The rest of the market ... those who value economy and utility ... will gravitate towards the Android.

The Galaxy Tab Homepage
Warning: the music is loud and little annoying