Thundering Herd Update

  • Posted: 15 June 2012 08:59 PM #196

    Drew Bear - 15 June 2012 11:27 PM

    Wall Street Journal jumps on the rumor bandwagon. They have nothing new to add to the original rumor. This is interesting because Google I/O arrives the week after with the rumored Google Nexus tablet.

    Microsoft Plans Its Own Tablet

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303410404577468910054141438.html

    I hate doing what I’m about to do because I could be proven dead wrong as soon as Monday. Sigh. Here goes.

    Not that I know anything, but I very much doubt that Microsoft is going to introduce a tablet on Monday. Here’s why:

    1) There is no way that Microsoft could keep a hardware announcement secret. There would have been a leak from the hardware side. A pre-announcment? Maybe.

    2) Why would you announce or pre-announce a hardware product now? Are they saying that they have a tablet running Windows RT that is going to go for sale in the very near future? That would be a coup. But is the platform ready? It’s my understanding that there is a LOT of preparation still needed to be done before Windows 8 is ready for release.

    3) Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets mean everything to Microsoft. If they don’t get into the tablet game and get into it in a big, big way, they are going to be shut out of the future of personal computing. And they know it well.

    Why would Microsoft - at this crucial juncture, before one of the biggest OS initiatives in the companies history - want to tick off all of its hardware partners? If you’re one of the manufactures who’s been sweating bullets to get their hardware ready for the Windows 8 launch, how happy are you going to be that Microsoft just pulled Zune and you just got relegated to “playsforsure” status?

    What am I missing?

         
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    Posted: 15 June 2012 09:27 PM #197

    FalKirk - 15 June 2012 10:54 PM
    Drew Bear - 15 June 2012 09:56 PM
    FalKirk - 15 June 2012 09:29 PM

    Don’t denigrate the X-Box. Project Glass shows that Microsoft has big plans for the X-Box, which is a recognized and respected brand located in far more living rooms that the Apple TV is.

    I’m not sure that Microsoft’s “success” with the Xbox will help them with their tablet. It hasn’t helped them with their phones..

    I don’t think I ever suggested that it would.

    And I agree with everyone else who has posted that Xbox was not nearly the financial success that most assume it is.

    However, the Xbox is ubiquitous and its clear that Microsoft is pouring resources into making it the hub of their home strategy. I have zero idea where Microsoft is headed but I think they have very big plans for the next iteration of the Xbox.

    By the way:

    Josh Topolsky, The Verge (apparently hopped up on a bunch of caffeine):  “So is gaming on television something that you’re interested in?”

    Tim Cook:  “I think it could be interesting.”

    http://allthingsd.com/20120611/apples-tim-cook-says-hello-the-full-d10-interview-video/?refcat=d10

    D10 conference, Q&A session, about 1:32:30 in.

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    Posted: 15 June 2012 09:45 PM #198

    FalKirk, I’m with you and agree that at best it will be a pre-announcement.

    At an event in Los Angeles Monday, Microsoft will announce plans for the first time to sell a tablet computer under its own brand, according to people familiar with the matter.

    I’ll go further and side with Thurrott & Foley in guessing that it will be more a Kindle Fire competitor. They do know that Windows 8 RT is not ready, so again it would be to “announce plans”.

    Why? Possibly because Microsoft’s hardware partners are balking at the license fees? Maybe they want to see some consumer reaction before investing too much effort? Maybe they would be happy to see Microsoft lead the charge?

    We’ll find out Monday. I’m not expecting much from either Microsoft or Google, but it’s always interesting to see how they try to respond to the latest iPad.

         
  • Posted: 15 June 2012 10:21 PM #199

    Drew Bear - 16 June 2012 12:45 AM

    FalKirk, I’m with you and agree that at best it will be a pre-announcement.

    At an event in Los Angeles Monday, Microsoft will announce plans for the first time to sell a tablet computer under its own brand, according to people familiar with the matter.

    I’ll go further and side with Thurrott & Foley in guessing that it will be more a Kindle Fire competitor. They do know that Windows 8 RT is not ready, so again it would be to “announce plans”.

    Why? Possibly because Microsoft’s hardware partners are balking at the license fees? Maybe they want to see some consumer reaction before investing too much effort? Maybe they would be happy to see Microsoft lead the charge?

    We’ll find out Monday. I’m not expecting much from either Microsoft or Google, but it’s always interesting to see how they try to respond to the latest iPad.

    Ah, I get it. The initial rumors were for a Window RT device which made no sense.

    Microsoft just settled a patent dispute with Barnes & Noble that created a new subsidiary. The new venture was said to focus on e-reading and the education market.

    Here’s an article from Mary-Jo Foley (whom I like a lot) that asks: “What if the rumored ‘Microsoft tablet’ isn’t a Windows tablet?

    Microsoft brass have continued to hint over the past year-plus that the company expects to see some kind of a Metro-centric reader to come to market.

    They have never actually said such a device will run Windows 8 or even Windows on ARM/Windows RT. That has led me and others to speculate whether a Microsoft tablet ? if such a device ever DID come to market ? might be a Windows Embedded or, more likely, a Windows Phone OS device.

    If such a ?reader? were more akin to the Kindle Fire than to an iPad, a Los Angeles launch might make sense. Think this through. A Kindle Fire is an entertainment/consumption device. It is great for movie watching and music listening (hello, LA!) It also lets you read books (hello, Barnes & Noble). And remember: The settlement/contract between B&N and Microsoft mentioned Windows Phone. A lot. (In between all the redactions in that document.)

    So if there?s a Microsoft ?reader? coming on Monday ?and that?s still a big if ? maybe it?s meant to to be more of a Fire killer than an iPad competitor In other words, it?s going to be a consumption-first device, not a creation one. What if that device is based on Windows Phone. And maybe even made for Microsoft by Nokia and private-labeled by Microsoft?

    Now things are beginning to make a little more sense. It could be a joint project with Barnes & Noble. It could be a Microsoft only e-reader, but I doubt this. In any case, it’s not likely to be a Windows RT or Window 8 tablet competitor. It’s probably designed to fill out the bottom of Microsoft’s tablet lineup.

    Interesting. I have some thoughts on the viability of the ebook tablet market but I’ll hold off until after we see what Microsoft actually does on Monday.

    Thanks for the insight, Drew Bear! The scales have fallen from my eyes.

         
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    Posted: 17 June 2012 12:47 PM #200

    Another not-really-an-iPad competitor bites the dust.

    Cisco Systems shuttered its misguided attempt to get into the tablet market…CEO John Chambers conceded that the company should have killed the offering nine months earlier than it did.

    For those keeping track at home, nine months ago would have meant axing the doomed tablet back in September 2011, only three months after it launched in July after being delayed by more than a year. Translation: We should have pulled an HP.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/06/16/tablet-losers-yeah-this-was-a-bad-idea.aspx

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2012 12:10 AM #201

    Drew Bear - 17 June 2012 03:47 PM

    Another not-really-an-iPad competitor bites the dust.

    Cisco Systems shuttered its misguided attempt to get into the tablet market…CEO John Chambers conceded that the company should have killed the offering nine months earlier than it did.

    For those keeping track at home, nine months ago would have meant axing the doomed tablet back in September 2011, only three months after it launched in July after being delayed by more than a year. Translation: We should have pulled an HP.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/06/16/tablet-losers-yeah-this-was-a-bad-idea.aspx

    I remember when they announced the project. It sounded like such a bad, bad idea. I kept thinking, well, it looks bad from the outside but they know a lot more about their business and their target audience than I do.

    Turns out that this was just as bad as it looked. Clearly a case of people who are too tightly wrapped up in the “trees” that they live in and who don’t have an inkling of what is going on in the “forrest” around them. Because standing on the outside looking in, this project was D.O.A. from the moment it was conceived.

         
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    Posted: 18 June 2012 06:16 PM #202

    Bump for Microsoft’s mystery announcement due at 6:30 PM EST.

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    Posted: 18 June 2012 06:50 PM #203

    Repost from Intraday:

    Microsofts supposed ?big? announcement coming up in about an hour.

    A possible Barnes & Noble ereader collaboration was talked about all weekend, but now speculation on a leaked document detailing a spec heavy 7? xbox tablet:

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/18/3094918/xbox-surface-7-inch-tablet-rumor

    maybe neither, maybe both?

    A subsidised gaming/content device using the xBox business model might not be too bad a choice for Microsoft to be honest. They cant take on the iPad directly obviously, and will leave that to 3rd party manufactures to fail about with windows RT.

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  • Posted: 18 June 2012 07:02 PM #204

    Mav - 18 June 2012 09:16 PM

    Bump for Microsoft’s mystery announcement due at 6:30 PM EST.

    EDIT: I was very wrong in my prediction. Microsoft came through in spades. Big, big announcement. Congratulations Microsoft.

    Original post follows:

    I have a prediction. I think that Microsoft has oversold this event. They scheduled it at 6:30 on the east coast. That misses a news cycle. I think that Microsoft is trying to ape Apple and get extra juice from the fact that this announcement is sudden and secretive. That has worked but it will backfire if they don’t have anything worthwhile to show.

    I also think that Microsoft is a touch egotistical and naive. They don’t seem to know the difference between what’s important to them and what the rest of the world deems to be important.

    Their “funeral” for the iPhone when they brought out Windows Phone 7 and their several bizarre in-house attacks on Google shows a certain tastelessness and gives one a feeling that they are badly out of touch with what is going on around them and how the world actually feels about Microsoft and Microsoft’s competiors. For example, I think that the higher ups at Microsoft are truly baffled by why the iPhone is more popular than Windows Phone 7 and that they truly don’t understand why any one would want to pay the Apple “tax”. They’re not stupid, they’re just myopic.

    I strongly suspect that most reporters will go away from this event feeling that this was overhyped and a waste of their time. This is based entirely on my gut and I could be oh-so-very wrong. In fact, I hope I’m wrong. I like seeing cool new things as much as the next guy does. Probably more.

    [ Edited: 18 June 2012 08:51 PM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 18 June 2012 09:08 PM #205

    I created a new topic specifically devoted to the new Windows surface. Let’s gather all our thoughts there.

    Thoughts on Windows 8 Surface

         
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    Posted: 27 June 2012 02:54 PM #206

    Very quick thoughts on Google I/O:

    - Nexus 7:  By…_not_ Moto?  Nice Kindle Fire competitor, I guess.

    - Nexus Q:  Looks QuickTime-esque, that Q.

    - Project Butter:  Long overdue

    - Versioning to 4.1:  Are we back to the 2.0-2.3 scheme for a while?

    - Activations and devices - so next year there should be…2 million activations a day and 2 billion devices shipped to date or something, right.  Activations and shipments.  OK.  Hey, whatever data looks best.  Also, how many of those 600k apps are the suspect ones?  iOS has some too, but Android does have more.

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    Posted: 27 June 2012 03:28 PM #207

    Mav - 27 June 2012 05:54 PM

    Nexus 7:  By…_not_ Moto?  Nice Kindle Fire competitor, I guess.

    Yup. The UI was very similar to the Fire. Most examples of apps in portrait mode. They really don’t get that a true tablet UI needs a larger screen. This again takes phone apps and scales them to fit.

    - Nexus Q:  Looks QuickTime-esque, that Q.

    $299?! DOA.

    - Project Butter:  Long overdue

    Very basic UX stuff: graphics rendering & touch response improvements. With a quad-core CPU, maybe they can finally catch up to iOS.

    - Activations and devices - so next year there should be…2 million activations a day and 2 billion devices shipped to date or something, right.  Activations and shipments.  OK.  Hey, whatever data looks best.

    No mention of $$.

    Lots of wasted time on G+.

    The Project Glass live demo was very cool. Live streaming video is wild. This would be a great accessory for an iPhone. I think it’ll be many years yet before you can pack a battery & CPU into the frame of glasses.

    Ultimately, such wearable computing devices will require flawless voice input and constant data connectivity. This is very futuristic. Pretty much not applicable to anything practical in the near future.

         
  • Posted: 27 June 2012 03:41 PM #208

    Mav - 27 June 2012 05:54 PM

    Very quick thoughts on Google I/O…

    - Various system updates are nice.

    - How does it profit Google to update their operating system if 93% of their user base isn’t even using Ice Cream Sandwich yet?

    - The Neus 7 tablet just ceded the 10 inch market to the iPad. Expect Android 10 inch tablets to be swept from the marketplace this holiday quarter.

    - At $299 the Nexus Q is DOA.

    - The demonstration of “glass” could have been done with a helmet-cam. Pointless.

    - 400 million Android devices activated, 1 million new ones a day.

    It’s becoming more and more obvious Android is a starter device. It’s low cost makes it attractive to people who want to upgrade its features but few use it as a smart phone. Retention is at about 50%. When users aspire to get the full smart phone experience, they aspire to buy an iPhone.

    Tablets? Not only is iPad wining, but Google just left the game and went home - and they left their balls behind.

         
  • Posted: 27 June 2012 10:40 PM #209

    Drew Bear - 27 June 2012 06:28 PM

    Lots of wasted time on G+.

    Ugh. G+. Talk about flogging a dead horse.

    One thing though. G+ came to the iPad. A tacit admission by Google of the iPad’s importance.

         
  • Posted: 27 June 2012 11:28 PM #210

    Nexus Q for $299 is laughable.  DOA is right.

    The Nexus 7” tablet will chase Amazon to the bottom, though if I was choosing a 7” tablet, I would choose Google’s.  Amazon’s tablet is on life support as it is.

    Overall, I’m not impressed with the conference.  I get the sense that Google is throwing stuff out there that is less than fully developed.  The details are still being fleshed out, which is Google’s way—as they say in movie production:  “We’ll fix it in post…”