Ronnie05's Blog

Stuck in the PC mold! Microsoft reads up Tablets wrong

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on January 14, 2011

One in five Americans plan to buy a tablet computer within the next three years. That’s great news for Apple, RIM, HP Palm, Motorola and others who have placed their bets on tablets. That however is horrible news for Microsoft. For every Tablet that sells, one laptop sells less. With every laptop that sells less, Microsoft looses a customer. And Microsoft has no alternative tablet where it may hold that customer. It feels like Microsoft is all set to repeat its smartphone blunder over again.Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform might do very well on a tablet, much like Apple’s iOS moved from the iPhone to the iPad, but Microsoft isn’t even considering that strategy right now. Instead, the company is betting on Windows 7–its PC desktop operating system–with perhaps a few new user interface elements layered on top.

Mr. Ballmer reads the tablets wrong. Horribly Wrong!

Mr. Ballmer reads the tablets wrong. Horribly Wrong!

Reports suggest that Windows tablet (rumored to be running a step up Windows CE OS, possibly called Windows 8 ) will actually see the light of the day in 2012. One hopes that by the time Microsoft comes along with its Tablets, it should get a foothold in the crowded tablets market. Currently the field has been left wide open for Apple and possibly Android to run away with significant leads. Goldman Sachs has already sounded alarm bells for Microsoft suggesting that the company’s revenue growth would slow from 12% in 2010 to 7% in 2011. HP is counting on its acquisition of Palm to boost its position in tablets –a major vote of no confidence in Microsoft’s tablet plans. WinMo 7.0, Microsoft’s latest salvo in the Smartphone OS space has been well appreciated but has not given any indication that Microsoft would increase its smartphone market share above 10% any time soon.

The CES gave little hope that Microsoft sees Tablets as a major category yet- Microsoft would continue down the same old path of customizing desktop Windows for tablets. It is not attempting a fresh, interesting, new mobile OS and moving it up into tablets. Making the core version of Windows work better on tablets is not the same as creating a specialized tablet group. Porting Windows to ARM processors, redesigning other prominent Microsoft applications like Office so they work better on touch screens, or any of the other steps that would suggest Microsoft is taking the tablet market seriously.

Wintel on a rough patch

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems by Manas Ganguly on January 14, 2011

Is the end of the long heralded Wintel Platform nigh? Or so it seems. Click here for an earlier post on Wintel failing to ride the future.

Microsoft’s big announcement that came this CES was that it was making the next version of Windows work on ARM chips. It’s a major break in Microsoft’s longstanding relationship with Intel. On the other hand, Intel has nothing significant about its Smartphone or Tablet plans at CES. However, Intel has reportedly reorganized itself with a new tablet and netbook group and is splitting its tablet strategy between Windows, Google’s Android, and Nokia’s MeeGo operating systems.

Microsoft parting ways with Intel has touched a nerve with Intel. Citing a lack of foresight on the part of Microsoft, Intel has commented that PC makers like Dell and Intel had been trying to get Microsoft to tailor Windows for touch-screen tablets for years, with no luck. This was because revamping Windows for different types of devices is expensive and time-consuming, and Windows revenue had been growing just fine without Microsoft venturing into newer categories. Tablets only became a problem for Microsoft when non-Windows tablets started cutting into Windows PC sales. That’s starting to happen now, which is why Microsoft is finally taking notice. Is it too late? Microsoft has a couple of good concepts in Kinect and Surface and that could be leveraged going forward, but from the looks of it now, Microsoft’s inability in predicting the future in computing may cause it to loose ground in Tablets.

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Mobile Gaming:Engagement, Discoverability and Growth!

Posted in Gaming by Manas Ganguly on January 14, 2011

A very basic game of catapulting birds across a distance to break eggs which are heavily fortified. That’s Angry birds for you. However this description misses out on the slick gaming interface and the stickiness that has catapulted Angry Birds as one of the highest downloads in history of mobile gaming.

The potential that is offered by Mobile Gaming as an industry is immense. Thanks to games such as Angry Birds, spending on mobile game advertising increase by more than 900 percent according to a new report by Juniper Research. Even then, ad spending will still pale in comparison to direct player spending. Juniper envisions aggregate mobile game ad spending of $894 million in 2015, up from an estimated $87 million in 2010, as more brands show interest in targeting mobile game players.

Despite this increase, Juniper thinks direct revenues from paid downloads and in-game purchases will continue to represent the vast majority of mobile game revenues in five years’ time. The value of these revenues will be 10 times larger than those for advertising in 2015. Juniper forecasted that the total end-user revenues for mobile games will hit $11 billion annually worldwide by 2015, nearly double the $6 billion recorded in 2009, driven by in-game purchases. In-game purchases currently representing roughly 80 percent of all revenue on games for iOS devices. Titles such as Rovio’s Angry Birds that offer full, ad-supported versions are making a significant impact on the mobile game ad market. The beauty of engaging gaming titles is that while users get great games for free, advertisers get significant product/brand exposure.

Citing the profusion of titles and developers, Discoverability — or users’ ability to sift through the tens of thousands of games on the App Store to find the true gems — will remain a hurdle for developers.Discoverability can be a ‘chicken and egg’ problem: high downloads lead to prominence, but achieving a high number of downloads is largely dependent on already being prominent. Consequently, a small minority of games achieve very high downloads, whilst the vast majority achieve very small download figures

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