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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Froyo and Google TV and Apple(s) and Oranges

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

On one hand, I think, for now, anyway, we need to stop talking about Kindle Killers, iPad Killers, and understand that not every device and advancement should be compared to every other device and advancement. I think the world is probably big enough for Apple People and Google people.

(Side note: It’s funny, isn’t it — how we no longer talk as much about Mac or PC?)

This week, Google made big news, unveiling Google TV and Froyo, its newest version of the Android operating system and the reaction was to report the news in the context of how does it compare to Apple products.

“Android Froyo Running Laps Around the iPad — Literally,” is the headline on the TechCrunch summing up of the event.

“Google is Leapfrogging Apple,” Gizmodo reports.

“(Google VP of Engineering” Vic Gundrota’s speech was filled with potshots at Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the most direct competitors for the 60 and counting Android-powered devices on the market today,” according to cnet.

There are certainly comparisons to be made, especially when discussing what seems to be Android’s upcoming ability allowing you to find and download music over the web — as TechCrunch points out — a seeming direct competitor to iTunes. And the fact that you’ll be able to stream music from your desktop to your device strikes me as a fairly cool idea.

And, of course, Android fans were very happy to hear that the system would be running Flash — something Apple chief Steve Jobs has made clear won’t be happening with Apply products any time soon (and given some recent reports, that may not be such a bad idea).

But there’s a couple of things to keep in mind, including — as I’ve mentioned — Android’s an operating system working on many platforms while iPads and iPhones are specific devices.

Now, while there are rumors that Google is working on developing a tablet, and Froyo — and certainly Google TV —could be seen as another step down that road, for now it’s little more than rumors.

So, I think for now we need to be more careful.

Compare the iPhone to the Droid — as Daniel Lyons did, coming out in favor of the Droid — but don’t go crazy comparing the sales of all phone with the Android OS to iPhone sales or Android phones to iPads.

For now, Androids are phones and iPads are about a new mobile computing experience.

I think we have to accept the fact that there are Google people and Apple people and, of course, there are still Microsoft people. We’re in the middle of a technology revolution and things are changing very quickly.

Instead of wondering whether each new device will kill its competition, judge it based on its features, whether it’s really an improvement over the previous version, what it might mean for the future of the device.

And even feel free to do head to head comparisons, asking whether an iPhone or a Droid might be better for readers based on what they are looking for.

But how about no more stories saying how this great new phone means the end of the competition. It’s just silly and it doesn’t do anyone any good.

Google this… Let me know when there's news

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

iPad being targeted by hype

So, the Wall Street Journal today has a story about Google and Verizon working together to develop a table computer… or as the headline puts it an — “IPad Rival.”

And, as expected, the story’s getting picked up.

Over at The Baltimore Sun, writer Dave Rosenthal, posts about how this news comes “”just as I was getting ready to plunge into the world of e-books by buying an Apple iPad.”

Business Insider breathlessly reports that “Google and Verizon launching iPad Killer.”

And the Globe and Mail asks: “Can a Google-Verizon tablet computer rival the iPad?”

While pretty much everything Google touches makes a splash — just look at the success of their Android phones and Microsoft’s announcement that the new version of Windows will follow Google and have an online element  — let’s take a step back for a second and look at what the Journal is actually reporting.

Something about the story just doesn’t ring right.

Verizon Wireless is working with Google Inc. on a tablet computer, the carrier’s chief executive, Lowell McAdams, said Tuesday, as the company endeavors to catch up with iPad host AT&T Inc, in devices that connect to wirless networks,” the article begins.

Right there are a couple of telling signs.

One, the source of the article is Verizon not Google.

Two, it’s not about Google striving to catch up with Apple. It’s about Verizon trying to catch up with AT&T.

Then the Journal Quotes McAdams saying: “We’re working on tablets together, for example. We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience.”

“Looking at all the things Google has in its archives?”

What does that mean exactly? They’re rummaging around the attic, seeing if maybe someone actually invented some spectacular tablet computer and then forgot about it? Whatever it means, it makes it clear that whatever they are doing it’s not about to happen.

So, any questions about whether it’s an iPad killer seem, shall we say, premature.

Now, yes. Verizon and Google have a great thing going with Android phones and it would make sense for them to work on future projects.

At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that it’s been long rumored that there will eventually be a deal bringing the iPhone and iPad to Verizon. So, maybe all this is a bargaining ploy?

Regardless. I think it’s one thing to excitedly report on lost or stolen prototypes. It’s something to else to take speculation about something that might or might not happen and elevate it to a ridiculous level.

In the meantime, I suggest we all be a little more patient and get excited when there’s real news to report.

For Entertainment Weekly, Tag is It

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well, maybe.

The New Issue of EW has been "Tag"-ed

While there has been a lot of focus on magazines developing “app” versions of their magazines as they try to find new ways to reach readers — Time Magazine has done it, GQ has done it, just to name two of many —   some still believe that there’s something to be said for holding the thing in your hand and flipping through the pages.

At the same time, they recognize that maybe there’s some middle ground incorporating the print version of the magazine and the ability to go online for a little extra content.

So, welcome to Microsoft Tag.

In Microsoft hyperbole terms, Tag is “a breakthrough technology that transforms everyday things in the real world into live links to online information and entertainment.”

In normal speak, it’s a souped-up barcode that — after software is downloaded — allows for more much information and takes pretty much any reader with a camera-enhanced phone that can surf the web to make the journey from print to online.

While Tags have generally been used in advertising, Entertainment Weekly, which is out today with their summer movie preview, is taking a big step forward incorporating them into editorial content — allowing readers to jump from the page to trailers for 20 of the previewed films.

In addition to the trailers, readers will be able to visit “Tag”ed content from five advertisers.

While EW’s first effort with a new technology wasn’t as successful as they had hoped — according to Mediaweek, only about 5,000 people (out of EW’s 10 million-plus readers) made the digital jump when they worked with a different vendor — they think they’ve got the kinks worked out and more issues should be on their way.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that this first time anyone has used third party video content within edit though it is worth mentioning that Golf Digest used Tags in their November issue to allow readers to see extra content such as video of lessons being described.

So, what’s it all mean? Is having Tag technology going to save magazines? Who knows.

Here’s the thing… a couple of years ago, Gawker reported a rumor that EW was considering going online-only like the Christian Science Monitor. They actually didn’t appear to mean anything bad by it… they were saying the magazine’s ad pages were down (important to note they are back up; a spokesman says up from last year so far) and circulation while very good, was somewhat stagnant (which still seems to be the case), while their web traffic was just terrific.

I think what EW has done with this issue — and Golf Digest, previously — is recognize that it’s not an either/or situation. People like holding magazines, books, newspapers… they also like to go online.

So, while I am pretty much a Mac person, I have to give kudos to Microsoft for a technology that seems able to help bridge the gap between the two media.

Will more publications follow EW? Will EW follow itself and develop specialized content beyond links to ads and movie trailers?

Hopefully.