Posts Tagged ‘web OS’

Weekend Reading – November 20

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Google Aims To Remake Computers

Quentin Hardy at Forbes details Google’s plans for the Chrome OS and an “ultra-cheap” portable computer in time for Christmas next year. Google is definitely a company with its head in the Cloud. With a host of Internet-based applications, Google is banking that users can do most of their computing online. Years after Sun’s John Gage first said “the network is the computer,” could Google be on the verge of making that vision a reality? Read Quentin’s article to find out.

King of the Cloud

Marc BenioffSpeaking of cloud computing, Steve Hamm at BusinessWeek reviews CEO Marc Benioff’s (with Carlye Adler and Josey-Bass) new book, “King of the Cloud”. Based on Hamm’s review, this book looks like a great Christmas present for anyone in technology (hint hint).

By the way, The Economist had a very interesting debate about whether cloud computing is ready for primetime. In this debate, Benioff squared off against Microsoft Business Division chief, Stephen Elop. I already told you how the book review turns out; I won’t spoil the debate. If you want to know the outcome, you’ll just have to read it yourself.

Sending Shockwaves Across the Indian Telecom Industry

Many mobile markets around the world are or are approaching saturation. Some markets count their penetration rate above 100 percent. But at more than 400 million mobile subscribers, India is a hot growth market in a country of 1.14 billion people. As India’s telecom providers build networks and innovate services, a recent move by one of India’s GSM providers, Tata Teleservices (TTSL) is sending shockwaves across the country’s telecom industry. In India Today, a major business publication in India, Kushan Mitra explains the impact of the company’s new per-second pricing plan. TTSL’s per-second pricing plan is the only plan it offers, costing subscribers 1 paise (the Indian equivalent of a penny) per second. To put that in perspective, US carriers charge roughly 360 percent more than TTSL (excluding unlimited calling plans). AT&T’s 1350 minute personal plan runs $79.99 per month. At today’s exchange rate, 1350 minutes would cost $17.40 using TTSL’s 1 paise per minute pricing.

In a second article, Mitra explains how Tata executive Anil Sardana, newly appointed to run TTSL, not only fixed a broken company, but has become a transformative figure in the Indian telecom industry.

In case you miss it

On the other hand, as the US mobile market approaches saturation, a different market dynamic in the competition for mobile subscribers is taking hold. Last week ZDnet blogger Jason Perlow had an excellent post explaining the machinations of the US smartphone market and its ecosystem of carriers, handset manufacturers and smartphone operating systems.

John S

Would you look at the size of that thing?!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

I love smartphones, and in particular the new touch screen smartphones based on the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Web OS and yes, even Windows Mobile operating systems. With so many of these phones now competing against one another, we’re witnessing prices drop and adoption soar. It won’t be long until all phones are what we consider today to be smartphones.

One of the best features of this new breed of smartphones is the large screen that lets people surf the Internet, watch videos and easily manage the apps they’ve installed, all with by sliding their finger(s) across the screen.

The other day I was comparing my G1 Android phone to my iPhone (yes, I have an Android and an iPhone… I also have a BlackBerry and a Windows Mobile phone too, and I covet the Palm Pre). The G1 has a noticeably smaller screen than the iPhone. But because of the way HTC designed this first Android phone, the form factor isn’t much smaller. I noticed the G2 also has a smaller screen than the iPhone. I wondered if the iPhone is the large-end of the smartphone category and what this size differential means for usability?

Well if size matters, Sony Ericsson’s first entry in the Android category will have jaws dropping. Clearly the design team behind the Xperia X10 believes that bigger is better. Everything on this phone is big. While some features like an 8.1 Megapixel camera or an 8 GB microSD card may be welcome additions, the Xperia X10 boasts, or maybe I should say flaunts, a 4-inch touch screen with 480×854 resolution.

iPhone and Android side by sideI don’t know if that 4 inch dimension is the height or the diagonal measurement of the screen (I assume the diagonal), but the iPhone’s screen is 3.5 inches along the diagonal (from upper left to lower right corners) with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels.

Sitting next to the iPhone, the G1’s screen looks puny, but measures 3.25 inches along the diagonal. That means the Xperia X10 is huge. Just how big? Well see for yourself in Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 commercial:

For people who like to keep their phones in their pocket, this might not be the device for you. Do the Xperia X10’s dimensions presage a new trend in smartphone design? Will bigger mean better? Or is the Xperia X10 the Hummer of smartphones, gaining some interest as a status symbol until ultimately the public becomes aware that it’s just too big to be practical?

Time will tell, but for now the Xperia X10 is yet another exciting new addition, among many new additions to the Android lineup coming to a mobile operator near you.

John S