Ronnie05's Blog

Profiling the slide at Nokia (Part III)

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on July 28, 2009

Dan Carter’s blog says it all.

The blog illustrates how Nokia looses the big game from a consumer perspective, with the most vociferous fans now slowing conceeding to the fact that Nokia’s smartphone challenge is outplayed and outsmarted by other worthy competitors.

To quote Dan,” Through thick and thin I have been promoting Nokia, Blogging about Nokia, Talking about Nokia and Buying Nokia!. However more and more recently my eyes are being opened to the rest of the Smartphone world and it is clear to me there are other phones out there that will do the job I need them to do, and maybe in some cases better?.”

Dan adds, “The problem I seem to have is with the Symbian OS not evolving enough compared to other manufacturers. Apart from some transitions and Feature Pack updates the OS looks the same today as it did 3 years back with the N95.”

The last when Nokia was able to make waves with its smartphone was the N 95. However, there after, N 78, N 79, N 82, N 85, N 86, N 96 and now the N 97 havent really given audience the kicks they were worth! Another user Ashutosh Timary comments, “You can almost predict what nokia is going to churn out next and not only that, even without playing with the new device, you can almost feel the experience.”

HTC hero

HTC Hero with a new Android OS and ‘Sence’ system, is a very sexy looking OS with a great piece of hardware packaged in one phone. The Hero has a large touch screen, HSDPA, 5 Megapixel camera, 3.5mm headset jack and looks like a real multimedia phone.

Another prime case is that of iPhone 3GS which has been selling out all around the world despite being very over priced for the specification. The N97 beats the 3GS in pretty much every area apart from usability of the screen and the OS.

Does Nokia have any more smartphone winners in its portfolio? No probably.. All current Nokia devices seem recycled.

N 97Nokia are starting to become boring with their same devices repackaged and using the same OS over and over again, especially when other manufacturers are doing such a good job at getting things right.


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Would MS Azure start a new cloud price war?

Posted in The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on July 28, 2009

Earlier today Microsoft unveiled it’s pricing model for its forthcoming Windows Azure cloud services platform. What’s interesting about the pricing model is that they seem to be taking direct aim at Amazon Web Services.

To recap, Amazon charges 12.5 cents per hour for a basic Windows Server instance in contrast Microsoft’s stated that their price will be 12 cents.They noted that the service will remain free until November. I should also point out that it still isn’t clear if comparing Windows Azure to Amazon’s Windows EC2 is a fair comparison given the rather drastic differences in functionality.

Microsoft calls Windows Azure a “cloud services operating system” that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Platform. They’ve also said they will offer a private data center version of Azure that will be capable of being hosted within a “private cloud” context. This will be most likely as part of their upcoming virtual infrastructure platform “hyper-v” possibly as a virtual machine image. Currently to build applications and services on Windows Azure, developers can use their existing Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 expertise with the ability to easily run highly scalable ASP.NET Web applications or .NET code in the MS cloud.

Microsoft officials had previously indicated that Windows Azure pricing would be competitive, but the price differential may be more symbolic than material. At their published rates, if you ran a Window server in the cloud every hour of the day for an entire year, you’d save a mere $43.80 going with Microsoft. Indeed, if penny pinching is important, Amazon Web Services actually has a cheaper alternative, though it’s not Windows. Amazon charges 10 cents per hour for “small” virtualized Linux and Unix servers.”

The half cent price difference is quite certainly material for those running larger cloud application deployments. A few cents can quickly add up. The move indicates that Microsoft is certainly not afraid to subsidize its cloud pricing in order to take a larger piece of the cloud market and with the large cash reserves Microsoft is said to have, they can certainly afford to engage in a price war. The bigger question will be how other more closely related cloud platform providers will adjust their pricing models? Right now all signs are starting to point a cloud price war. Time will be the best judge!

iPhone users most satisfied lot? (A US study)

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on July 28, 2009

Though Apple continues to hype the iPhone and the multitude of applications available through its App Store, iPhone users are indeed the most satisfied smartphone users and exhibit the strongest brand loyalty, according to a recent survey compiled by analytics firm Crowd Science.

Of those surveyed, 40 percent use a smartphone and one-third of those are iPhone users. The iPhone users gave Apple’s smartphone a 73 percent overall satisfaction rating, compared with a 52 percent satisfaction rating from users who had a BlackBerry device from Research In Motion and 41 percent who were satisfied using another smartphone.

Further, iPhone users plan to stick with the device, according to the survey. Fully 82 percent of current iPhone users would buy an iPhone again, compared with 39 percent of BlackBerry users who would purchase a BlackBerry again. Additionally, the survey found that 38 percent of non-iPhone users would switch to the iPhone for their next phone purchase, compared with 14 percent of non-BlackBerry users who said they would get a BlackBerry as their next phone. One final iPhone stat: Ninety-seven percent of current iPhone users surveyed said they would recommend the device to someone else.


Of the total sample, four out of ten use some type of smartphone and one-third of these use an iPhone.


Among those possessing a smartphone, most use it for both business and personal purposes (71 percent), with only 3 percent who use it for business only.”


IPhone users exhibited higher overall satisfaction with their phone than Blackberry and other smartphone users


IPhone users exhibit a strong loyalty to the brand. An overwhelming majority of iPhone users (82 percent) would purchase an iPhone again. As for non-iPhone users, almost four-in-ten (38 percent) would switch to iPhone for their next purchase, while 14 percent of non-Blackberry users would switch to Blackberry for their next mobile phone purchase.

While there are irregularities in the data collection mechanism and iPhone users have been given more weightages (compared to Blackberry, which numerically is larger than the iPhone), the results could be looked at from a “directional” perspective.



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How Microsoft is underprepared for next gen computers?

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on July 28, 2009

Microsoft’s Windows is still shipped on 97 per cent of all new PCs. Thanks to the emergence of new classes of portable, internet-connected devices, a potentially disruptive sea-change is now under way in the fastest-growing areas of personal computing and Windows is not exactly in the driver seat on this ground.

As a PC operating system, it turned out that the world did not need, or want, Linux. The ubiquity of Windows guaranteed that other software developers would write their programs to run on it, creating an effective barrier to entry for others trying to break into the market.

That market dynamic has also helped Microsoft to hold its ground so far on netbooks, the new class of small-scale machines that have been the sole bright spot in an otherwise shrinking PC market. While early netbooks came with Linux and were designed to act mainly as simple internet devices, they have since been recast as scaled-down versions of the familiar, software-heavy laptop.

Yet this victory has come at a cost, and has exposed a flaw in Microsoft’s development plans. With most netbooks incapable of running the Windows Vista code, it was forced to use the older Windows XP operating system. And with prices far lower than for standard laptops, Microsoft has already seen an erosion in the average price it gets for Windows.

A second phase of the netbook wars is now looming. Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS, announced this month and planned for the second half of next year, is designed to carry through on the original promise of netbooks: to let users do all their work on the web through a browser. The web is thus a platform for applications and the operating system becomes less relevant.

Other operating systems designed for the web are also in the works. The Linux and Intel open-source project, known as Moblin, will be available in a range of machines before the end of the year.

The backers of software platforms like these see netbooks as the thin end of the wedge. Getting a foothold on small laptops is the first step to expanding into a wider range of internet devices – including the emerging class of tablet computers and so-called mobile internet devices (MIDs) that many in the industry hope will eventually create a new personal computing market, between today’s PCs and smartphones. Maemo, Nokia’s Linux-based operating system for portable tablet computers, is also pitched at this market.

That convergence promises to bring another dimension to the emerging software platform war.

Smartphones have seen a wave of software innovation, with the emergence over the past two years of a number of new purpose-built platforms: Google’s Android, Palm’s Web OS and a version of Apple’s OSX for the iPhone.

Microsoft is suffering because some of its licensees are looking to do more business with Android.

Designed for the power-constrained world of mobiles, these smartphone operating systems could start to invade a bigger piece of the personal computing world – particularly if the low-power Arm processors on which they run move up into larger, netbook-style devices.

Even in this shifting world, though, the power of Windows could be a deciding factor. If it released a version of the new Windows 7 to run on Arm-based processors, Microsoft could still be well-positioned to ride the wave of new devices.


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