Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of March 5th
Google’s Education and Enterprise Efforts Paying Off
• Google is being very smart about the introduction of its Chromebooks and the office suite, called G-Suite, into education. Apple isn’t the only company suffering a competitive headache from this Google initiative. Tim Bajarin at Tech.pinions thinks Microsoft is also vulnerable. Here’s the analysis. “Why Microsoft Should Fear Google’s Push Into the Enterprise.”
This was the first time I got a chance to hear and talk to the team behind G-Suite and saw how well this product was designed and how much Google pays close attention to their customer’s interests and demands when it comes to adding new features and functions….
I had a conversation with a high ranking exec recently whose daughter also uses a Chromebook in her school, and he pointed out that his daughter recently asked him to look at a doc she was working on and needed his input. He mostly uses Microsoft Office in his work and expected her to show him a Word document. But she pulled up Google’s G-Suite and showed him the doc in this application and a light went off in his head.
There’s much more good stuff in this insightful article.
• According to CNBC, the U.S. Government is advising against purchasing this new smartphone from Huawei. “A $229 smartphone just launched, and the US government doesn’t think you should buy it.” Enough said.
• As we know, Target continues to struggle in its battle with Amazon.
The chain … said Tuesday that it attracted more customers over the holidays by revamping some of its stores, upping its online delivery service and offering exclusive brands and collections.
A Yes/No battle is raging amongst the analysts as to whether Amazon will just go ahead and acquire Target for its very visible and local brick & mortar face to customers. It’s similar to Amazon’s thinking about real bookstores that it has opened as well as Whole Foods. Here’s one argument in favor. And here’s one against. Apple can be thankful that it doesn’t compete on a grand scale against Amazon.
• This recent breakthrough could have major repercussions in the design of smartphones and consumer electronics in general. “Surprise Graphene Discovery Could Unlock Secrets of Superconductivity.” I’m going to do some more research on just what the implications and timeline might be.
• Would a less expensive HomePod dramatically improve sales? Apple may be thinking just that. Tom’s Guide reports: “Apple Working on Cheaper HomePod.” This is standard technique in the auto industry. First establish a brand synonymous with quality, then leverage that with a lower cost sibling. The owner gets to bask in the brand name but also save some money while rationalizing that the lower cost product is almost as good. It works, so that’s why I think Apple will do it.
• Admittedly, this company has a product to push, but a recent blog entry has a really well written article on “The state of Mac malware.” It’s well worth reading.
• Apple’s Swift programming language usage has now equalled Objective-C, according to informal data from GitHub and Stack Overflow. In fact, it’s broken into the top 10 in those communities. Here are the details. “Apple’s Swift rises into top 10 programming languages, swapping places with Objective-C.”
• Finally, with all the discussion about smart speakers and voice assistants lately, it’s interesting to hear the thoughts of one of the Siri creators, Norman Winarsky. “A Siri creator is surprised by how much Siri still can’t do.”
I want to point out a quote.
Winarsky acknowledges that some of this disappointment stems from the sheer difficulty of predicting the pace of major technological advancement, which Bill Gates once summed up as the human tendency to ‘overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.’
As I recall, it was Arthur C. Clarke who first made that observation, albeit on a grander time scale. Nevertheless, as we all do, if Bill Gates absorbed the thought and reiterated it, good for him. It remins a truism.
In any case, this article isn’t an indictment of Apple’s handling of Siri. Rather, it’s more of a perspective on how much we expect, the pace of technology, and how hard this problem is.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.