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Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Smart Phone OS Breakdown: Pretty Colors Edition ;).

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Now this is how you make a chart. Cold hard facts and figures are already irresistible, but Nielsen has done one better by organizing data about  US smart phone subscribers into attractive, colorful infographics. The chart shows the distribution of mobile operating systems by manufacturer, which gives Apple and RIM some nice big bars for their respective platforms. With their iPhone and Blackberry products, each company controls 27% of the US smartphone market. HTC is the next most successful manufacturer, with a 12% market share for its Android devices and 7% for its Windows Phone 7 handsets.

When considering OS penetration, Android managed to squeak past the iPhone and Blackberry marketshare with a leading 29% cut. Windows Phone 7 isn’t doing too badly for itself–10% seems like a decent portion of the market for such a young OS. A second chart, posted below, demonstrates the smart phone breakdown by age.

These results are remarkably even–while Windows Phone 7, webOS and Symbian obviously post smaller numbers, almost every bar shows a pretty consistent distribution of phones among age groups. Android has a 2% advantage in the 18-24 range, while RIM has a modest 1% edge among 45-54-year-olds.

Who said? Wesley Fenlon said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

March 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Yahoo Decides to Friend Facebook ;).

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Yahoo Inc. watched as social-networking website Facebook Inc. stole the attention of users and grabbed a major share of the online-advertising market.

Now the Internet pioneer is following an old mantra: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

YAHOO

After struggling for years to develop services that compete with the social network, Yahoo in recent months has installed tools such as Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons on its news and sports websites in order to help Yahoo users share articles with their contacts on Facebook, among other things.

Yahoo, like other content providers, is seeking to leverage Facebook’s huge user base to draw more traffic back to Yahoo after readers click on the sharing buttons. The moves also are aimed at ensuring that links to Yahoo content appear in the search feature on Facebook’s site. Yahoo is using similar approaches with Twitter Inc., the Internet messaging service, and Zynga Game Network Inc., which offers online social games.

Yahoo hopes the moves will solve one of its biggest problems—a 10% slide in the time users collectively spent per month on Yahoo sites last year, according to research firm comScore. Yahoo’s internal research shows the main culprit for the slide is Facebook, people familiar with the matter said.

 

“‘Frenemy’—part friend, part enemy—is where Yahoo finds itself with Facebook,” said David Karnstedt, a former senior vice president of North American sales at Yahoo and currently chief executive of online marketing firm Efficient Frontier.

The enemy part, Mr. Karnstedt said, is that Facebook’s ad business is big and growing fast, sometimes at Yahoo’s expense. “The friend part is that Yahoo has stopped trying to get people not to go to Facebook and decided it was better off enabling that, largely because it didn’t have a real choice,” he added.

“I think ‘frenemy’ is not the right word. That implies more enemy than friend,” said Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships and platform marketing.

Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz recently called Facebook her company’s top competitor. That is certainly true in U.S. display ads, a market that reached nearly $9 billion in 2010. Yahoo was No. 1 with 16.2% of the market, down from 16.5% in 2009, according to research firm eMarketer. Second-place Facebook saw its market share rise to 13.6% from 7.3% the prior year, eMarketer said.

“They’re a hot site, but there’s room for more than one of anything,” Ms. Bartz said at an event in December.

Some others at Yahoo stress recent collaboration with Facebook. “They’re a partner, and a good one at that,” said Mike Kerns, Yahoo’s vice president of social, games and personalization, in an interview. “We view them and their platform as a great opportunity to both distribute Yahoo and its partners’ content” and “to enhance user experience” on Yahoo.

Mr. Rose, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, said the company doesn’t think of Yahoo as a competitor. “We’ve had a strong partnership in place with Yahoo for over a year, and we anticipate partnering with them even more deeply in the future,” he said. “Our interests are aligned to help people connect and share content with their friends from wherever they are on the web.”

By contrast, search giant Google Inc., which rose past Yahoo in the Web-search market during the last decade, has recently invested in developing a social-networking-type experience that could rival Facebook’s, people familiar with the matter have said.

So far, Yahoo’s partnership with Facebook hasn’t reversed negative trends. Last year it began letting users of its email service to access Facebook without leaving Yahoo, hoping to keep users there longer. Blake Irving, Yahoo’s chief product officer, said in an interview late last year that the feature “has not been seeing mind-blowing use.”

But he added that social networking is “an open playing field” and the company was developing new ways to help users stay connected with the “small groups of people that actually matter to you,” rather than a vast network of hundreds of people—including work colleagues and casual acquaintances—that many people now include as “friends” on Facebook.

As Facebook becomes a key place where people discover content such as news articles, Yahoo also sees an opening to provide technology to online content providers such as newspapers so they can better control of how users find and interact with their content, rather than leaving it up to Facebook and others.

For example, last week Yahoo made a public pitch to magazines and newspapers to use its software to reach users of tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad with features such as flashy, interactive graphics and photos. Yahoo didn’t name any partners.

Shifting Course

Yahoo launched or bought several social-networking-type services before ultimately forging partnerships with Facebook:

YEAR EVENTS
2005 Launches Yahoo 360 social network; buys Flickr photo-sharing site
2006 Tries to buy Facebook; deal falls apart
2007 Stops developing Yahoo 360; starts Yahoo Mash
2008 Yahoo Mash abandoned; launches Yahoo Updates
2009 Talks to Facebook about possible partnerships
2010 Lets users access Facebook and Twitter content while on Yahoo; adds Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons to more pages; launches Yahoo Pulse
2011 Allows users to “log in” to Yahoo using Facebook, Google credentials.

Source: The company; WSJ research

Who said? Amir Efrati said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

February 17, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Facebook’s Web of Frenemies ;).

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Facebook Inc.’s growing ambitions are redrawing battle lines in Silicon Valley.

As the seven-year-old company ramps up its hiring and adds new features to its social network, it is disrupting the businesses of established companies like Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. and putting even more Internet firms on notice.

Facebook, which has more than 600 million users and was valued at $50 billion in a recent funding round, is grabbing online-advertising from Yahoo, Myspace and others. The social network is a potential rival in electronic payments to eBay Inc.’s PayPal, while partnerships Facebook is cementing with smartphone makers set the stage for competition with Apple Inc. and Google in mobile services.

Meanwhile, Facebook is tussling with Google and Microsoft Corp. for top engineers.

As a result, many Silicon Valley companies increasingly have to decide whether to treat Facebook like a friend whose reach and user data can help propel their own growth, or a foe that can become a destructive force.

“Facebook is both a great competitor and a benefactor here in Silicon Valley,” said David Cowan, a venture capitalist at Bessemer Venture Partners in Menlo Park, Calif. “Anyone who’s trying to get the attention of the young Internet user now has to compete with the dominant position that Facebook has there. On the other hand, they have opened up a lot of opportunities.”

Facebook executives aren’t shy about their aspirations. “We think every industry is going to be rebuilt around social engagement,” Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

Facebook already helped spur a new crop of videogame companies designed around interacting with friends, Ms. Sandberg said, adding, “News, health, finance, shopping and commerce—we think similarly, all of these things will be rebuilt by companies that work with us to put social at the core.”

So far, Facebook’s key battleground has been in online marketing.

FACEBOOK

In just two years, Facebook’s share of online display ads has surged to 13.6% from 2.9% of the U.S. market, which reached $8.88 billion in 2010, according to research firm eMarketer.

Facebook’s growth comes at the expense of companies such as Yahoo and AOL Inc., and the site is also likely taking ad money away from traditional media like newspapers and TV.

Yahoo has stopped trying to compete directly with the social network and instead integrated Facebook features into its sites, hoping to halt a slide in the time its users spend on Yahoo each month.

Myspace, which like Yahoo has struck some partnerships with Facebook, declined to comment. Myspace and The Wall Street Journal are owned by News Corp.

[FACEBOOKjmp]

Jeff Levick, the president of AOL advertising, said he viewed the rise of Facebook as “complementary” because the companies are “running two very very different businesses.”

AOL, he said, focuses on monetizing the content that Facebook users share. “The more high quality content we produce and is shared, the traffic comes back to us,” Mr. Levick said. The top advertisers who are working with both companies are spending more with AOL each quarter, he said.

Facebook likely had revenue of $1.9 billion to $2 billion last year, mostly in advertising, one person familiar with the company has said.

Facebook has recently introduced ad formats that incorporate users’ networks of friends—even their names, photos and postings—into the ads.

And Facebook has also turned its attention to the local advertising market, launching its own location check-in and deals services that bring together elements of sites such as coupon site Groupon Inc. and business reviews service Yelp Inc.

Groupon and Yelp declined to comment.

Facebook is likely to tread on more toes as it builds out what’s known as a platform for the Internet, which other websites, cellphones and now even cars can use to build their own offerings to allow people to take their friends and preferences with them.

Some 2.5 million websites have so far tapped the platform, which lets them populate blog posts, news articles, product listings and other pages with Facebook’s “Like” button.

With its platform play, Facebook is positioning itself as a partner to other tech companies—even Google, which allows YouTube users to share videos with their Facebook friends.

“The foundation of a platform is one where people want to build on top because there is equal value exchange,” said Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships and platform marketing.

Still, Mr. Rose said Facebook intends to participate in new businesses that emerge from the use of its platform.

One case in point: Game developers such as Zynga Game Network Inc., among the first to find massive growth on Facebook’s platform, now have to pay a kind of tax.

Last month, Facebook said it would require all game developers on its platform to use its in-house Credits, a virtual currency for buying things in games. Facebook takes a 30% cut from all Credit sales. Zynga declined to comment.

Facebook could later extend its Credits system to other areas of commerce, including physical goods, potentially making it a competitor to PayPal and Amazon.com Inc.

Mr. Rose didn’t rule that out, but said the company had no current plans to do so and was focused on virtual goods for now.

PayPal President Scott Thompson plays down any rivalry with Facebook.

He said his company partners with Facebook, which lets people pay for Facebook Credits with PayPal. Even if Facebook gets deeper into payments, he said PayPal will be well-protected. “Payments is really, really hard to do,” he said.

Yet many Silicon Valley firms are wary of Facebook’s control over its platform and have turned elsewhere.

Online-dating service Zoosk Inc. launched in 2007 as an application on Facebook, where it experienced fast user growth. But in mid-2008, co-founder Shayan Zadeh decided Zoosk needed to expand to other platforms such as Myspace and its own website. It began to ask its Facebook users for their real email addresses, instead of just relying on Facebook as a means of communication.

Mr. Zadeh said he was concerned that some shift in Facebook’s business model or platform strategy could destabilize Zoosk. “If you want to be a long-term established business, you have to establish a direct communication line,” he said. Today, Zoosk has about 15 million to 20 million active monthly users; only about 20% of new users come through Facebook.

Facebook executives also have their sights set on smartphones, where they hope to become more integrated in the software on the handsets. Last week, INQ Mobile, owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., unveiled a handset for the U.K. that prominently features contacts, photos and other data from users’ Facebook accounts. More such arrangements are expected soon.

Such activity increasingly puts Facebook on a collision course with Google, Apple and others in mobile advertising. Mr. Rose said Facebook could eventually make money off its mobile efforts through ads and Credits, but doesn’t have any plans for it at the moment.

Google declined to comment on Facebook, but in an interview last, year Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said the two companies compete for talent but not for ad dollars and that Facebook users use more Google services than any other users. He also said that “you’re assuming that if they do well we do poorly,” but “winners tend to all do well.”

Who said? Geoffrey A. Fowler said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

February 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

10 Ways Google is the New Microsoft ;).

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February 11, 2011

Google (GOOG) is the new Microsoft (MSFT). Something tells me you’ve heard that one before. By my count, people have been saying that since 2005. But the question remains: Is it really a fair comparison?

Slideshow: 10 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Google

Microsoft dominated the desktop computer industry for the past 15 years with purported ruthlessness and cunning business savvy. These days? Don’t look now, but the role of the tech industry’s biggest bully and most dominant force is increasingly played by Google.

If you compete with Google, you’d better be looking over your shoulder. Its search engine algorithm alone can make or break a business.

From privacy issues to market dominance to passion among fans and detractors to government scrutiny, Google and Microsoft share more similarities than you may realize.

In 2005, Microsoft cofounder and CEO Bill Gates had this to say about Google: “They are more like us than anyone else we have ever competed with.” Far be it from me to argue with Bill Gates. Let’s take a look at just how similar these two technology megacompanies are.

1. Core Dominance

The most obvious similarity between Microsoft and Google involves each company’s ability to dominate its core industry. Microsoft has had well over 90 percent of the desktop operating system market since the days of Windows 95 and Windows XP. There are signs that Microsoft’s dominance may drop significantly in the next few years due to the proliferation of devices running mobile operating systems, but Windows is still the king of the desktop.

Google doesn’t have more than 90 percent of the search market, but there’s no question that the company rules the search world. Google had nearly 67 percent of the search market in December, according to Comscore; the closest competitor was Yahoo (YHOO), at just 16 percent of U.S. searches.

The biggest source of Google’s online dominance is Web-based advertising. Google owned 83 percent of the highly lucrative online search advertising market worldwide in 2010 and 81 percent in 2009, according to metrics firm IHS Screen Digest. The search giant is making big gains in other areas of digital advertising, too: Google grabbed 59 percent of the U.S. mobile advertising market in 2010, up from 48.6 percent the previous year, according to IDC. (PCWorld and IDC are both owned by International Data Group.) That’s a rise of nearly 11 percent in just 12 months. Google’s acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob in May contributed to the company’s massive leap in mobile advertising.

2. Monopoly Mania

The downside of dominating an industry is that you’re an immediate target for antitrust allegations. Microsoft experienced this during the late 90s and early 2000s, with accusations of unfair business practices against competitors such as IBM (IBM), Real Networks, Gateway, Netscape, and Apple (AAPL).

(See: “Microsoft Declared a Monopoly“)

Google’s antitrust headaches have just started, with European legislators looking into how it treats itssearch and online ad competitors. The company is also meeting fierce opposition from the online travel industry following its announcement of its intention to buy ITA Software, a flight-data aggregation company.

3. It’s the Platform, Stupid

The core strategy for both Microsoft and Google has been to create a platform that keeps the user in each company’s ecosystem. Microsoft led the way in the 1990s by distributing the most popular desktop operating system ever and offering tools that played nice with Windows, such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and early online “cloud-based” services like Hotmail.

Google has tried to emulate that success by building an array of Web-based tools that encourage users to stay in the Googleverse, such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google search, and Google Maps.

In addition, it’s making a big push to popularize Web apps through its Chrome Web store and the forthcoming Web-focused Google Chrome OS. Google also recently stepped up its game in encouraging third-party development for its Android mobile operating system, with new features such as a Web-based store for browsing apps and an in-app payment system.

Microsoft faced little challenge to its ecosystem in the 1990s, while Google faces formidable challenges from Apple’s iOS platform for mobile devices and Facebook’s continuing push to become the dominant platform on the Web.

4. Apple Rivalry

Microsoft is the new IBM, Google is the new Microsoft, and Apple is the new…Apple?

After the release of Windows 95, Microsoft ate away at Apple’s business, driving the Macintosh maker into a niche market. Microsoft’s strategy of distributing Windows on as many platforms as possible was a huge success, a contrast to Apple’s distributing of the Mac OS only on its own computers.

Fast-forward to 2011, and Google is trying to beat Apple’s iPhone and iPad using a similar strategy: Although you will find iOS only on the iPhone and iPad, Android is on pretty much everything else, including devices from HTC, Motorola (MOT), Samsung, and Sony. Android’s smartphone market share is steadily overtaking that of iOS.

The most recent numbers from Nielsen say that new smartphone users are choosing Android devices over iPhones by nearly 15 percentage points, while the iPhone platform maintains an overall lead of about 3 percent. It hasn’t happened yet, but Android is threatening to push iOS devices into a niche market much as Microsoft shoved aside Apple’s Macintosh.

5. From Rebel to Lumbering Giant

Microsoft started out as the plucky disruptor that popularized the PC graphical user interface through wide distribution and lower pricing compared with Apple’s Macintosh OS. In a similar vein, Google was able to dominate search thanks to its amazingly relevant search results and its bare-bones homepage that featured the search box and nothing else.

Google’s uncluttered front door and its eerie ability to deliver highly relevant results distinguished it from competitors such as Ask, MSN, and Yahoo, all of which sported incredibly busy home pages, provided less-relevant results, and failed to make a clear distinction between sponsored ads and regular search results.

But as each company has dominated its respective industry, each has had to deal with the transition from fast-moving startup to technology behemoth.

Microsoft was supposed to produce a slew of updates to its Windows Phone 7 devices in early 2011, but at the time of this writing it had yet to release even one update since introducing Windows Phone 7 in October. Google is trying to escape Microsoft’s fate by reinjecting a startup mentality into the company. Many observers believe that this is part of the reason Google is shaking up its management structure by removing Eric Schmidt as CEO in favor of Google cofounder Larry Page.

6. Trust Us

Believe it or not, Microsoft, not Google, was once seen as the big, scary technology company trying to steal your data. In 1999, Microsoft had to address suspicions that the National Security Agency had a backdoor into Windows that allowed the NSA to peek at users’ encrypted data. Then, in 2001, Microsoft revealed a big plan for its Passport universal sign-in feature, which would store each user’s name, password, address, e-mail address, and credit card credentials online to encourage people to shop on the Web. The Passport plan was met with fierce opposition, however, because no one wanted to trust Microsoft with their data.

Today, Google is dealing with all kinds of privacy concerns over Google Street View‘s taking pictures of people’s homes, Google’s recent Wi-Fi sniffing snafu, the company’s saving of search histories, theGoogle Buzz privacy breach, and on and on. And, oh yeah: Google has also had its fair share ofaccusations about dealings with the NSA.

7. Hooked on Googlesoft

Want to get people to use your stuff and forget about going with the competition? Just pile some basic tools into your platform that are handy and free. Microsoft first bundled Internet Explorer with Windows to battle Netscape. Other tools packed into Windows include MSN Messenger, WordPad, and integration with Hotmail–and who can forget MSN Explorer for that AOL-like experience? Google has taken Microsoft’s free-software strategy to the extreme with Google Docs, Gmail, Google Translate, Google Voice, Calendar, and Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation in Android. Google has also been accused of favoring its own products–such as Google Maps and YouTube–in its search results.

8. Competition Crusher

A tweak in Google’s algorithm can send online businesses reeling from a significant drop in Web traffic. This is part of the reason the European Commission is looking into Google’s search practices following antitrust complaints from sites such as price-comparison service Foundem and French law-related search tool eJustice. Microsoft’s tactics, in its heyday, were far more aggressive: For example, the software giant was accused by RealNetworks of pressuring PC makers not to install RealNetworks software on Windows PCs by default. And IBM said Microsoft pressured manufacturers not to offer computers running IBM’s OS/2 system.

9. Me-Too Products

Despite each company’s dominance, both Microsoft and Google have tried to insert themselves into business areas that have never quite worked out for them. After TiVo was introduced, Microsoft attempted to break into the DVR market with its own version called Ultimate TV. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping program followed Google Earth, and the Zune MP3 player followed Apple’s iPod.

Google, meanwhile, has been desperate to get into the social networking game, with products such as Orkut and Google Buzz. Both have managed to grab only a niche audience. Whether it can compete against Apple’s Apple TV or Roku’s set-top box with its own Google TV remains to be seen.

(See: “Top 10 Google Flubs, Flops, and Failures“)

10. Brain Drain

Once upon a time, every software engineer wanted a job at Microsoft. It was the “it” place to work, thanks to the company’s healthy compensation packages and exciting projects. Google eventually overtook Microsoft as a desirable place to work, offering perks such as free laundry rooms, dry cleaning, snacks galore, recreation rooms, bouncy balls for work stations instead of chairs, and the much-ballyhooed 20 percent time for working on experimental projects.

(See: “Visual Tour: Visiting the Googleplex“)

Change is in the air now, though, and Google is steadily losing employees to the new “it” place to work: Facebook. Google Wave creator Lars Rasumussen and former Google exec turned Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are just two high-profile examples of people leaving Google for Facebook. Things have reportedly become so bad that Google is trying to retain its employees with bonuses and pay raises.

The tide appears to be turning in favor of Facebook. And that prompts one question: If Google is the new Microsoft, is Facebook the new Google?

Who said? Ian Paul, PC World said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

February 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Posted in facebook, Google, Microsoft

Backdoor ways to reboot a Windows server ;).

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When you need to reboot a Windows server, you’ll occasionally encounter obstacles to making that happen. For instance, if remote desktop services aren’t working, how can you reboot the server? Here is a list of tricks I’ve collected over the years for rebooting or shutting down a system when I can’t simply go to the Start Menu in Windows.

  • The shutdown.exe command: This gem will send a remote (or local) shutdown command to a system. Entering shutdown /r /m \\servername /f /t 10 will send a remote reboot to a system. Shutdown.exe is current on all modern Windows systems; in older versions, it was located on the Resource Kit. For more details, read this Microsoft KB article on the shutdown.exe command.
  • PowerShell Restart-Computer: The equivalent of the command above in PowerShell is:
    Start-Sleep 10
    Restart-Computer -Force -ComputerName SERVERNAME
  • Hardware management device: If a device such as an HP iLO or Dell DRAC is in use, there is a virtual power button and remote screen console tool to show the system’s state regardless of the state of the operating system. If these devices are not configured with new servers, it’s a good idea to have them configured in case the mechanisms within the operating system are not available.
  • Virtual machine power button: If the system in question is a virtual machine, all hypervisors have a virtual power button to reset the system. In VMware vSphere, be sure to select the option to Shut Down The Guest Operating System instead of the Power Off; this will make the call to VMware Tools to make it a clean shutdown. If that fails, the Power Off button will be the next logical step.
  • Console walkthrough: In the situation where the server administrator does not have physical access to the system, walking someone through the process may be effective. For security reasons, basically a single user (domain or locally) can be created with the sole permission of rebooting the server. That person could log on as this temporary user, and then it is immediately destroyed after the local shutdown command is issued. Further, that temporary user could be created with a profile to run the reboot script on their logon to not have any interaction by the person assisting the server administrator.
  • Configure a scheduled task through Group Policy: If you can’t access the system in any other mainstream way — perhaps the Windows Firewall is turned on and you can’t get in to turn it off — set a GPO to reconfigure the firewall state and slip in a reboot command in the form of the shutdown.exe command executing locally (removing the /m parameter from above). The hard part will be getting the GPO to deploy quickly.
  • Enterprise system management packages: Packages such as Symantec’s Altiris and Microsoft System Center agents communicate to the management server and can receive a command to reboot the server.
  • Pull the plug: This is definitely not an ideal approach, but it is effective. For physical servers, if a managed power strip with port control is available, a single system can have its power removed and restored.

 

Who said? Rick Vanover said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

January 8, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Posted in Microsoft

Smartphone wars: The PC wars all over again ;).

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How RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are re-enacting the desktop wars of the ’80s and ’90s

The current smartphone playing field looks amazingly familiar. In fact, I think I’ve seen this movie before.

The names have changed, but the roles remain the same. The players today are RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Twenty years ago it was IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and Novell.

[ Despite Steve Jobs’ best efforts, you just can’t keep a good iPhone jailbreak app down. | In 2008, InfoWorld Editor in Chief Eric Knorr predicted Android would crush the iPhone. | Stay up to date on the lighter side of tech goings-on with our Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

You might recall that once upon a time, IBM had a stranglehold on the computing market. It wasn’t threatened by anything, really. If you wanted computers, you went to IBM, where execs held court like emperors who meted out technology from on high at a spectacular price. Then IBM introduced the PC, and although there were were a few comprtitors, IBM didn’t really care. PCs were small potatoes and IBM was making beaucoup bucks with big iron.

Everyone else, however, did care about PCs. Apple introduced the Macintosh, showing the world how an intuitive computing interface should work. Then as now, Apple kept things proprietary and locked down. Microsoft, on the other hand, opened up to everyone, allowing its inferior product to gain acceptance simply because it was everywhere. IBM finally saw its mistake and started pushing OS/2 heavily, but eventually gave in and accepted defeat.

To sum up War No. 1: Even though it was first, IBM missed its chance to capitalize on the PC market; Apple created a superior product, but the lack of external licensing severely limited its market share; and Microsoft grew absolutely huge on the success of Windows and Office.

Meanwhile, Novell was trying really hard to show everyone that Netware was the superior NOS to Windows NT, only to be crushed by the Microsoft juggernaut.

This is pretty much what’s happening right now with RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. RIM bears an unfortunate similarity to IBM: It basically created the smartphone market and enjoyed years of success as the only viable business communication device. However, it got lazy and for the most part stopped innovating, producing phones that seemed years behind the competition. Apple, meanwhile, is in the same position it was in way back then. With the iPhone, Apple showed everyone how an intuitive smartphone UI should work, and its product took off, but only on Apple hardware with Apple-approved applications.

Google holds Microsoft’s place in this comparison, since it has released a product inferior to Apple’s iOS. But Google has licensed Android all over the place, so it’s enjoying broad adoption. Android is “good enough” for many people — and it can be found running on devices in a variety of form factors available through just about every carrier.

Microsoft, of course, is filling Novell’s shoes. Windows Phone 7 is so lacking in inspiration, it’s likely to follow the path of the Zune, which is to say it will wander aimlessly for a few years before being refreshed with yet another incarnation that will do the same thing. (Frankly, that’s the weakest part of this comparison, since Novell actually had a compelling product. Novell just couldn’t — or some say, wouldn’t — sell it the way it should have been sold.)

The wireless wars are every bit as heated as the PC wars — except that they are transpiring at Internet warp speed. If history is any guide, RIM will become an also-ran in the consumer and business smartphone market; Apple will enjoy a steady revenue stream from the iPhone; and Google’s Android will basically take over everything else, if for no other reason than because it’s everywhere else.

RIM and Google are new to this situation, but Apple and Steve Jobs have been here before. I have no doubt that Jobs knew which way this was going to go as soon as the iPhone was an official success, but he’s maintained the same position with the iPhone that he did with the Macintosh back in the day.

If nothing else, it’s clear that Jobs absolutely values quality over quantity and always has. He’d rather be a smaller part of the market and offer the best user experience than be the market leader and relinquish control over his creation.

Based on Apple’s stunning recovery in the past 10 years, I suppose it’s hard to blame him. On the other hand, RIM must see the writing on the wall and know that there’s little aside from a miraculous and revolutionary product release that can stave off the inevitable. Google is flying high right now, although the Oracle patent lawsuit may be curtailing the jubilation somewhat.

And then there’s Microsoft, scratching its head and wondering how it wound up being the Novell of the smartphone wars.

Who said? Paul Venezia said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

August 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM

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