Particle Debris (wk. ending 6/4) Winners and Losers in the Tech Wars

It’s not often you can see a direct effect, on the Internet, of a new product coming online. But Net Applications can track that, and Philip Elmer-DeWitt posted a graph at Fortune showing the iPad surges, especially after the U.S. rollouts and during the May 28 rollout in nine countries. Remember, the iPhone also started out at these modest numbers.

I am a big fan of Ryan Fass at Computerworld. This week, he explained in detail why there’s no IT focus at this year’s WWDC. Lest we get all crazy and forget what Apple offers, Mr. Faas reminds us:

“However, it [Apple] does produce some powerful business and enterprise technologies — Mac OS X Server; the Xserve rack-mounted server, which can host virtualized versions of Mac OS X Server, Windows Server, Linux, and most other server platforms; the Xsan cluster file system, which can connect Macs and servers to a high-speed Fibre Channel network and RAID storage volumes; Final Cut Server; tools built into Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server for quick, large-scale deployments; and the enterprise capabilities built into Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server and the iPhone OS: support for joining Active Directory networks, cross-platform client management, access to Windows and Unix shared files and printers, and access to Microsoft Exchange servers.”

So, all you IT people, don’t get too excited. Everything that Apple has done to support the enterprise, education and government are still there. It’s time to get back to work, even if WWDC this year isn’t the prime watering hole.

Have you been wondering why the June issue of Wired, for the iPad, is a single app? Have you wondered about the technology used to create it? Daniel Dilger at AppleInsider explains, and it’s a doozy. You’d expect Wired to be using the latest and greatest technology, but the fact is, unless an organization is particularly astute and has great technical leadership, it can still hose up. Mr. Dilger includes a video at the end of how, amazingly, Sports Illustrated gets it … in spades.

Car and Driver also gets it when it comes to digital pricing. US$8 for 12 issues on your Mac, PC, iPhone or iPad via the Zinio reader. That’s a heckuva sweet spot when you have the love for cars combined with limited funds for iPad subscriptions.

Apple’s gross revenues have been rising, rivaling Microsoft’s. And we know that Apple’s market cap is now about the same or larger than Microsoft’s. How about operating income (profits)? Here’s a Silicon Alley Insider chart that shows how Apple is doing on that front too. Microsoft is doing okay, but can’t compete with Apple’s explosive growth.

What could be classier than a Mercedez-Benz salesman pulling out an iPad and using it to show the customer the product line, the latest deals, and having the credit application at his finger tips? Mercedes-Benz thinks the iPad will give their sales staff a competitive advantage. Ah, the things the PC world never thinks about… Imagine the poor sales guy hunting through every pocket for the darn PC tablet stylus while the customer grows more and more agitated.

What do you get when you combine Legos, some electronics, a printer driver, a Mac and a felt-tipped pen? This is the coolest thing you’ll see all week.

Some people just want to bitch about anything AT&T does, but Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider thinks the new AT&T data plans are eminently fair — and rolled out well. Mr. Frommer is always alert, sensible and smart. Check it out to get a different perspective than you may have seen lately.

I saw a juicy rumor this week. What would you think of Hulu on the Xbox? VidBlog has some information that, at least, suggests that it’s in a test phase. That will please a lot of Xbox users.

Here’s yet another chart from Silicon Alley Insider. This time, they’ve used a metric of PC plus smartphone sales to see how Microsoft is doing over time. That seems to be a valid metric to me. The chart shows that, by that standard, Microsoft is failing to keep up with the smartphone revolution. Now, with the tablet done right by Apple, how many generations of technology can Microsoft afford to be behind?

In fact, Steve Ballmer, at the D8 conference admitted that his company “missed a whole [technology] cycle.” Here’s part of the Q&A Walt Mossberg had with Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and CEO Steve Ballmer, as related by ChannelWeb. What’s interesting is the spin these two men put on their predicament. Draw your own conclusions.