Friday, January 21, 2011

The Google Story

Google's core strength is search and data relevance. Not user experience. Not consumer electronics. Not social networking. Not platforms. Not multimedia retail or content provision. It's search and managing metadata. That's it. Their search has really started to suck as of late. It's full of spam and is becoming increasingly less reliable. All of these other areas may be more sexy but to Google, they should not matter. They need to focus on search and make that their business focus or someone will come along and do it better.

In my opinion, they should be pouring their brains into artificial intelligence. Forget music services or social networks. That's someone else's business. One thing the Microsoft story should have taught us all is that you can't be all things to every market. Google should go back to being an excellent data provider, not trying to lead the experience. That's simply not in their DNA. It's not in their story.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Snow Leopard Delight: Baked-in HP Scanner Support

I recently discovered that I was no longer able to scan using my HP PSC 1507 all-in-one post Snow Leopard upgrade. Frustrated, I headed out to the HP drivers haystack portal and found this gem.

Apple and HP have baked all of the scanning functionality right into OS X. I no longer have to deal with the atrociously bloated HP software bundle that previously handled all imaging. Now I can simply fire up Preview and import directly from my scanner.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google Chrome OS Targets MS and Ubuntu, Not Apple

While the web weenie in me is extremely excited about the news of a Google web-centric OS for mobile devices, I think that some of the tech press is off in their assertion that Chrome OS in some way will threaten Apple. I don't think Chrome OS will impact Apple in the notebook space anymore than Android has threatened their smartphone dominance. Neither product is targeted at Apple's consumers.

Apple sells a polished digital media experience and targets consumers who want to pay a little more for the quality, simplicity and polish. Google's Chrome OS won't target that same consumer. Google's offerings are all fantastic for what they are - free and good-enough to get the job done. They aren't in any way a threat to Apple who's customers feel that the premium price they pay is an assurance of quality and value. Besides, Google Docs are great for quick and dirty documents but they'll never provide the impact of a Keynote presentation or the pro feel of a Pages production. The web simply doesn't offer that level of software robustness today and won't anytime soon. Apple's customers care more about multimedia than they do productivity tools and Google's offerings simply can't offer the same level of streamlined sophistication or integration that the iLife suite does for managing and creating digital media.

On top of that, Apple has the advantage of deep hardware integration that augments their software in ways that won't be possible with a distributed, open-source OS. Web service integration at the OS level is relatively easy to achieve but it's not the whole story. A truly immaculate computing experience, which is what Apple customers demand, can only be achieved with hardware and software integration.

It's Microsoft that should be most concerned about this development simply because they sell software as their primary source of revenue. Google will give this OS away to anyone that wants to put it on cheap netbook hardware. These budget-conscious "laptop hunter" customers that Microsoft counts on would probably opt for the Chrome netbooks. I don't see Microsoft being able to counter this without completely altering their business model.

What about Ubuntu? While Ubuntu is a perfectly suitable OS for netbooks, it's not the most usable and won't offer the same level of service integration that Chrome OS will. Simply put, it doesn't feel like a product and I don't think it stands a chance against an actual brand.

Ultimately, both Microsoft and Google should both be concerned about Apple's missing netbook. I think we've seen what they can do when they take their time and truly let design happen. They could very well be about to deliver a product that redefines mobile computing in ways that will take the entire computing industry down an entirely different path.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Navy Federal's Satisfaction is Best in Class

Amidst this historic economic downturn, a glimmer of hope emerges. Not only is Navy Federal's financials looking up but their membership is quite happy as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

...this BlogPress app could reignite my blogging self.

Seeing that I've become a total slacker with regard to my blogging in recent months, I've decided to pick up an app for my phone that will leave me no excuse. I'll report in after a couple of days to provide a proper review.

Meanwhile, I must say that traffic was dreamy today despite all of today's festivities. I found myself wishing that I could just park at the Vienna station and spend the morning on the mall soaking in the history and reedit off of the nation's buzz. Alas, important work awaits so I'll have to settle for TiVo.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Appendage of Childhood Fades Into History

Ouch. Somewhere deep down inside, my 7 year-old self is beside himself.  KB Toys is no more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

RIM Enjoys A Mirage Of Market Share Gains

If you're taken aback by the recent IDC report showing major gains for RIM in the US smartphone market, rest assured that Q3 will paint a very different picture. Most major news outlets are running with a story this morning citing the recent IDC report that shows RIM capturing over 50 percent of the US smartphone market. This report is based on Q2 sales figures. What today's news reports aren't being clear about is the fact that Apple essentially spent Q2 without a product on the market as they had completely sold out their channels ahead of the iPhone 3G launch. RIM should enjoy this temporary reprieve as the eye of the storm passes over them.

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