Archive for the 'technology' Category

Be your own competitor: A case study based on the ipod

I found this excellent article on why being your own toughest competitor can lead to a winning product – a case study using the Apple Ipod. Worth a read. An extract:

“…what distinguishes Appleā€™s approach to the iPod is the frenzied pace of innovation and the size of the risks they took. In contrast, Compaq, Creative, and Archos were tentative in their steps to make their products better and more appealing to customers. They competed with each other, rather than with themselves, and thus none of them were ever pushed to radically innovate.”

Apple ipod, why ipod is a success, apple market share, how to design an ipod, why did the ipod succeed

The demise of Windows. Rise of the Cloud?

I feel it’s now time for some articles detailing my thoughts on the future of technology, and where better for me to start than on one of, if not the most, influential technology companies in the world – Microsoft.

I’m not going to patronise everyone by detailing the history of Microsoft, if you are genuinely interested in that then you should read up on the company. Instead I’m going to look at the state of play in the industry just now and hypothesize on the future of the company.

Microsoft has a firm grip on home computing with Windows being all but compulsary on all computers bought from almost any retailer. Their web browser is the standard and their software such as Microsoft Office is again an industry standard. Ignoring how they came to power, how will they move from this position?

I feel that Microsoft, as many would, has become complacent with its position and this will ultimately lead to the loss of that monopolistic position. For instance when using a Windows computer seldom does an entire stint go without a frustratingly long pause or a crash for what is seemingly nothing to do with the users input. This lack of testing and unstable nature has gone unpunshed for so long but I feel it will catch up to Microsoft in the end.

Other systems are available and are less popular, Linux for instance is a daunting prospect for all but the keenest users and Apple’s OSX has a heavy cost associated with it for the ‘exclusivity’ factor. Up until recently the position of control was Microsofts almost through default – better the devil you know – and may have led to the common idea that computers are a technical nightmare.

2009 is the year when I think this will begin to level off and signs of change will emerge. Look at the current breed of mobile ‘phones’ that are out. I recently got a new handset that has almost as many features as my three year old laptop (slight exageration I’ll admit)! All this jammed into a tiny, touchscreen mobile that my mother or sister could pick up and use. They are genuinely intrigued by it due to the touchscreen and gyro interface, little do they know they are actually handling a highly sophisticated and complex piece of kit. It is this break from the traditional keyboard-and-mouse image that seems to be moving us forward – the Nintendo Wii has revolutionised the gaming market with a similar system based upon movement.

Where does Microsoft fit into this? They have themselves established in the keyboard-and-mouse world and through their complacency may miss the transition from computer to the next gen equivalent where others are innovating and leading the way. Apple and Google for instance have their mobile OS on their mobile phones, imagine this combined with the current craze of Netbooks [cheaper, lower spec, more portable Laptops – often come installed with Linux].

The future is this – a merge of all technical devices into smaller and cheaper units. Access for anyone. Where does Windows begin to lose its hold? Simplicity, I don’t want to be able to look and open all my system files. I don’t want an error code or n error for that matter. Hide things from me, automatically sort my things into a consistent heirarchy for me, this is what the future is. Look at what Apple do, my three year old laptop takes all my music files and arranges it in my music file in album and artist based folders, all when I add the file to itunes. It does the same for my photos through iphoto and consequently I never have to worry about it. Simple!

Even further into the future and I support the idea that Android will reign. Android is a Google backed opperating system much like the Apple equivelant on iPhone. A more polished Android OS coupled with an ‘always on’ approach to internet (through WiFi and 3G) will allow hardware to get even less powerful. As bandwidth becomes cheaper we will store all our files online and simply download them [virtually instantaniously] to the unit we are using when we need them. Our programs like MS Word, CAD etc. will all be installed on one mainframe which then we can access fromt he internet to use the program for a fee thus reducing piracy as well as removing the limits that client based programs face (hardware limited by affordability, if a program is run server side they can have one very good computer running the program with the users simply tapping in to access it). For example edit your photos with an online Photoshop equivelant – already this is possible with Picasa and FlickR.

Microsoft would do well to either follow suit with Windows, stay and try keep a niche with client side computing and/or take its best programs such as Microsoft Office and make them cloud compatible.

All your files online means you can get to them from your PC, TV, mobile phone, work computer, friends, anywhere! Any changes you do are global and your files are backed up and secure 100% of the time.

This is the future. Welcome to the concept of ‘The Cloud’.


welcome

This is my blog.

I'll mostly be posting pictures I have taken while out and about. I'll add articles and tutorials on interesting things as and when I can.

I hope you like.

archives

my flickr stream