Ballmer Says Microsoft Won't Ship Office 14 This Year
InformationWeek Daily - Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009
Is The Mobile Web For Content Or Commerce?
A company called Buzzwire unveiled yesterday a site that will aggregate user preferences to create a guide to the "best content" on the mobile Web. I'm not so sure it's what people are looking for on their phones.
You can just imagine the spreadsheets and slide presentations that excited the company's founders and investors: since 2006, mobile Internet browsers have doubled, to 40 million people. Smartphone sales are cranking among non-business users, thanks in part to Apple's iPhone and the competitive product development it has prompted.
Yet the vast majority of cell phone users still don't surf (only 16%), and when they do, they visit an average of 6 sites a month (compared with 100 on their computers during the same time frame). TVGuide.com reports that it gets 16 million visit a month, but only 500,000 on its mobile Web site, so it's one of the first Buzzwire clients to hope it can drive its content to more readers.
But who is clamoring for more mobile content? Or, more specifically, what's the purpose of getting the stuff?
Clearly, handheld gizmos are becoming far more than mobile phones. I've read the same reports that you have... everybody in Korea watches TV on their phones, or uses them to live in some virtual world. The Swedes can point their devices at vending machines and buy soda pop.
Most of the uses I can name are transactional. There's a purpose to accessing the content. Relevance to experience -- the where, when, why, and how of user context -- is the driver of the lion's share of interest in the mobile Web.
So, for instance, I don't need to find that really funny story on TVGuide.com as much as get a real-time read on the restaurant before which I'm standing. Don't expect me to troll videos, but instead help me get the best price for the shirt that's on sale at 3 stores within eyesight. Give me movie reviews from the crowd walking out the showing in front of me.
Watching content on postage stamp-sized screens may well be the future, but isn't the more immediate need -- and opportunity -- to make the mobile Web a true enabler of commerce?
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Virtualization At The Desktop?
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Memo To Google: I Know 600 Students Who Depend On Your Gmail
I couldn't help but take Google's Gmail outage today a bit personally. I'm in the midst of my one, big yearly contribution to my son's school: computerizing the school's heavily paper-based read-a-thon competition, using Gmail as the platform. So I'm asking you please, Google, don't mess up my PTO project. For once I look like a hero rather than the under-involved parent.
As American As Apple Mac
Apple OS X may have been approved for government sale since 2003, but the company has recently ramped up its pursuit of government customers, according to a source.
Internet Child-Protection Bill Raises Too Many Questions
Are you a child molester? I know I'm not. And yet U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Lamar Smith apparently think that there's a pretty good chance we both are. They've introduced bills that would require Internet service providers to keep customer records for two years. The law presents all kinds of creepy potential for abuse, and I don't see any reason to believe that it will be a cost-effective way to reduce the problem of molestation.
BlackBerry E-Mail On Windows Mobile
RIM announced a BlackBerry on Windows Mobile Service at Mobile World Congress, according to TheStreet.com. If you are tied to BlackBerry e-mail but prefer a device that has a bit more computing power, this solution may work for you.
DNSSEC: Forgetting The User, Again.
A lot of very smart people are working very hard to make the Internet trustworthy. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has launched a beta Interim Trust Anchor Repository so top-level domain owners can publish DNSSEC material while ICANN works out signing of the root zones. The ITAR is one more step in the road to DNSSEC. But DNSSEC is a technical solution and, like other technical solutions, ultimately misses the point.
How To Lean Towards Free & Open
People talk a lot about "going open", or leaving proprietary apps of various kinds for open source equivalents. My way of putting it has been to say "leaning open", to emphasize that you don't need to do this by diving into the deep end of the pool and praying you learn how to swim right then and there. In this and future installments I'm going to be talking about that process in detail.
Better Storage Practices To Improve Backup
Backup is the thorn in the side of many otherwise smoothly running IT operations. There is probably little coincidence that the newest hire is almost always assigned the backup process or the ramification for missing the assignments meeting. The truth is that backup should be simple -- all you're doing is copying data to tape. The problem in general has nothing to do with the backup process, it has more to do with how primary storage is managed and optimized.
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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
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