As American, Delta, and other airlines begin to roll out in-flight Internet services, I'm hearing a lot of doubts about whether they'll stick. And many people are ticked off that airlines have the audacity to charge passengers $12.95 for the service. But for all you naysayers, I have some answers for you on why I think broadband in the sky is here to stay.
"It's too expensive at $12.95. Besides, airlines are now reaming us for baggage costs and meals. There's no way I'm going to hand over another $12.95 for Internet access."
1. Well, nobody complains when they pay $16.95 for a paperback novel at the airport terminal bookstore. It's all relative. And if you think airlines should or will offer this for free, dream on. Most are just trying to stay out of bankruptcy. It costs them to run this service, and they'll be lucky to squeeze a little profit out of it as it is. I see it more as a way to entice passengers and keep up with the competition in terms of passenger options.
"I don't care. It's the principle of it. I'm tired of getting reamed by airlines for every little cost now, and I'm not paying for it."
2. And you're not the only one who feels this way. Airlines know this, which is why they're counting on business travelers to use the service. Businesspeople everywhere expense WiFi access in airport terminals as they're waiting to board planes, so they can check e-mail and get other work done. There's even more downtime while you're actually in the air.
"Geez, when will I ever get away from work? Now I'm expected to stay in touch with the office from an airplane?"
3. Oh, come on. Wouldn't you rather answer the boss's e-mail while you're in a plane with nothing to do, rather than hours later in a hotel room, when you'd rather be settling down for a good night's sleep before the big conference? And do you really want to read that novel for seven straight hours on a cross-country flight?
I'm betting that this is the beginning of a long relationship between the Internet and the friendly skies. Go to my blog and read the rest of the reasons why I think so.
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Helio Is Officially Folded Into Virgin Mobile USA
Today marked the official end of yet another MVNO. Virgin Mobile USA has closed its acquisition of Helio. Helio made waves as an MVNO, providing innovative handsets and services at good prices. Can Virgin Mobile keep the Helio spirit alive?
Untrusted SSL Certificates Indicate A Failure
An unknown certificate is a failure in SSL/TLS, and that's how it should be. Ever since Firefox 3 came out, the way it presents SSL-enabled Web sites with self-signed certificates has been called scary and hurtful. Untrusted self-signed certificates should be scary because untrusted self-signed certificates are a failure in SSL/TLS, and a failure in your authentication and encryption mechanism should be treated as serious. Encryption with unknown parties is useless.
Moving data between tiers of storage has gotten easier as a result of global file systems and simplified archive software, but upgrading to a new platform ... that is just plain ugly.
Getting The Information Out
Olympics IT infrastructure provider Atos Origin has created two key systems to support operations at the Games: the Games Management Systems (GMS), covered earlier this week, and the Information Diffusion Systems (IDS).
Aging Computers Are Microsoft's Challenge
A recurring theme in this year's Olympics is older athletes who are still at the top of their sport. Swimmer Dara Torres and gymnast Oksana Chusovitina are the most successful examples. High performance in aging athletes is something to celebrate, but Microsoft can't be happy about the high performance of aging PCs.
Xerox Works To Bring Document Management To The MassesXerox this week announced a new addition to its DocuShare family of content and document management products. With DocuShare Express, small to medium-sized businesses can get a solid, reasonably priced system to manage information and content, all while integrating easily with existing Xerox hardware using the new Extensible Interface Platform (EIP) connector.
Intel Spinning Atom Processor Into Big 'Little' Market
I've always been highly skeptical of Intel's attempt to carve out a new market niche for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). The big question for me: What are these things? They're too big to be smartphones but too small to live like full-function laptops. However, after yesterday's big launch (re-re-launch, if you ask me) of Intel's Atom processor, I'm becoming convinced that MIDs may have a future.
Intel Research And Development: 40 Years Over The Rainbow
In the 1983 film The Right Stuff, the phrase "No bucks, no Buck Rogers" is used to describe what makes rockets go up, namely funding. In an Aug. 21, 2008, Intel Developer Forum Keynote "Crossing the Chasm between Humans and Machines" in San Francisco, Intel CTO Justin Rattner talked about how Intel Research and Development funding is helping bring some decidedly futuristic gadgets out of Intel labs and into peoples' lives.
Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.
Software as a Service Research Report No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.
The Internet & the Developing World The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises - surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from InternetEvolution.com
Not a current InformationWeek magazine subscriber? Apply now for your FREE subscription to InformationWeek.
InformationWeek is the weekly magazine that combines the goals of business with technology to help you make the strategic decisions that affect your company's bottom line.
Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.
Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list: InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com
If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.
InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2008 United Business Media Limited
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, N.Y. 11030
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.