Ronnie05's Blog

Intel tries to diversify as smartphones and tablets have no need for its processors

Posted in Industry updates, Sensor networks and devices by Manas Ganguly on January 8, 2014

Declassifying Inte’s future plans from the CEO’s CES key note address

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich will take the stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show with the message that the chipmaker will do what it takes to remain relevant as consumers switch to mobile devices for computing tasks.

Krzanich, who will make a keynote presentation at the trade show in Las Vegas, is set to feature a first public showing of some of the mobile and wearable technology from Intel’s New Devices division, led by former Apple executive Mike Bell. Krzanich could also emphasise how Intel has accelerated the pace at which it brings new products to market.

The world’s largest chipmaker, which dominates the market for semiconductors that run traditional computers, is seeking to branch out as consumers increasingly use smartphones and tablets that don’t contain Intel processors. With the personal-computer market forecast to decline for a third consecutive year and Intel failing to win significant market share in phones, Krzanich is working to ensure that the company doesn’t miss new opportunities such as wearable devices and other personal technology.

“PCs are slowing so you have to offset that with something else,” said Patrick Wang, an analyst at Evercore Partners in New York.

Intel Insular

The Santa Clara, California-based company, which Krzanich took over in May, remains heavily dependent on servers and PCs. Intel has more than 80% of the market for PC processors and more than 95% share in server chips, according to researcher IDC. In November, the company forecast that sales will be about the same as the $52.6 billion it will report for 2013, below the $53.7 billion analysts were projecting.

Since becoming CEO, Krzanich, a former semiconductor factory manager, has taken steps to diversify Intel’s business. He has said Intel will focus on providing what the market wants in chips rather than following the company’s traditional method of designing and producing products aimed at determining the direction of technology. In addition, the company’s plants, which Intel says are the industry’s most advanced, may produce chips for rivals, he said.

“However the market moves, wherever the compute need is, we want our products to do it best,” Krzanich said at a meeting at the company’s headquarters. “We’d become insular. We’d become focused on what was our best product rather than where the market was moving.”

Listen to the Market

The 53-year-old also has said he’s speeding up the time it takes from design to production of new chips and concentrating efforts on lower-power products. Intel has a new processor called Quark, which it’s trying to get into everything from household appliances to industrial equipment.

Krzanich’s openness to producing chips for other companies and to listening to what his customers want is a departure from predecessor Paul Otellini, who had said smartphones and tablets wouldn’t replace PC, says Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein & Co. “They had their head in the sand,” said Rasgon. “Their push now is to make sure they don’t get blindsided again.”

The CEO, who like his five predecessors was an internal appointment, may need to go further to make what Intel produces central again. While wearable devices could become the next billion-unit market, according to Rasgon, Intel isn’t fast enough at rolling out new products.

Wang said Intel’s factories might be its best bet for getting into new markets. The company will spend $11 billion this year on plants and equipment to maintain its lead in transistor technology. Intel said it is more than a year ahead of competitors in the manufacturing of the fundamental component of all semiconductors.

To participate in the market for smartwatches, glasses and the internet of things, where Intel has no track record in designing chips that are better than alternatives, the company should open its factories to rivals such as Qualcomm, which are more likely to win, said Wang. But that’s a step further than Krzanich may be ready to take.

Reported from Economic Times Article under the topic: CEP Chips in with Intel everywhere

Productizing Tablets for Enterprises – The trade of between Productivity and Mobility

Posted in Enterprise Computing, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on July 27, 2012

With 25 million tablets selling of in Q2, 2012 globally, tablets could very well have arrived as the third device in the mobile stack –  PC and smartphone being the first two devices. But do we find productivity yet on the tablets? Or would they always remain as consumption devices?

Tablets aren’t really new. They’re big PDAs. We do calendaring, note taking, alarms, and notifications on tablets — but so could a PDA, all the way back to the Newton. We’ve been using this kind of touch-based organizer for over a decade at the executive level (remember the clumsy tablets from Microsoft?). They’re coming into their own stride, but we still struggle with leveraging them for productivity.

Many IT professionals are wondering how tablets are going to affect the enterprise. We’re all trying to work out if, when, and how these devices are going to impact our work. However, I’m not sure we’re asking the right questions about these devices. Given that customized, purpose-driven appliances and tablets are the best answer to the ever increasing productization requirements, the case is still largely inconclusive.  We (Marketers in general) are all over the place trying to figuring out how to leverage mobile platforms. We’re looking desperately for a use model. This lack of a definite conclusion reflects the entire industry.

The classic innovation and monetization syndrome is that if we don’t innovate and implement this exciting new technology, our competitors will — but don’t worry, they’re as uncertain about how to proceed as we are.

Coming back to the use cases of Tablets for the enterprises, I see two major tablet applications:

  • Better mobile connectivity than PDAs. In particular, tablets are able to give a more feature-rich browsing experience and reasonable email communication. They also tend to work better with web apps like OWA than previous mobile devices.
  • Ability to design and deploy custom native apps.

The trouble seems to be one of convergence and transition. We’re transitioning from a desktop OS, application-based, business productivity environment — Office, Outlook, PowerPoint, and local applications running on a traditional PC. We use server-based back office, HR, and business processes platforms. Those are behind on developing meaningful mobile options, and they don’t yet rival traditional desktop PC methods in features and convenience. The value add of having a mobile device is offset by the limitations, where it’s an option.

Another driver is the convergence of cloud technologies and mobile devices. Public clouds make enterprises nervous, private clouds lose a lot of the supposed benefits of public clouds, and IT seems reluctant about adopting any cloud. But mobile devices are cloud pods. They’re lightweight devices designed to buzz around the cloud — gathering, creating, sharing, or moving information. Storing my private music and movies on the cloud is one thing, and storing my critical corporate IP there is another. The personal digital assistant part of the PDA is becoming a reality with Now and Siri, but we’re asked to place a lot of trust in allowing a cloud to collect meaningful information about us. Without that, we can’t reap the benefits of these solutions.

The enterprise challenge is that these mobile consumer devices take away the granular control of a PC. Ultimately, things are still sorting themselves out for tablets in the enterprise. It’s still very difficult to see where these technologies might take us.

Maybe Microsoft may have a few answers!

Integrating the elements of convergence: The case for APIs

Posted in Internet and Search, Mobile Data & Traffic, The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on February 28, 2012

Convergence has been the buzz word for a good part of the last decade and will continue to do so in this decade as well. However, for the discerning the definition or at least the meaning of convergence has now shifted from device convergence to technology convergence. The later being the superset of which devices are just another maifestation. So earlier its was the camera, the mobile phone, the GPS, the MP3 player and other such device charecterestics that really converged. However, in the present context it is the convergence of enabling technologies and the three big technologies that seem to be convergent at this time are: Mobility, Cloud Services and Big Data.

However, it is a relatively small lynchpin that drives the convergence of these three mega trends. Small in terms of what it is, but large in terms of the innovation spurts that it provides. The key here is APIs or Application programming Interfaces. APIs tie together the mega-trends in a fundamental and unalterable way. APIs are the lingua franca of the new wave in internet of all things combined with super mobility and seamless connectivity. In my mind, each of these three technology trends (on their own) will be on the fast track to commoditization and will risk facing the same fate as did most social business software plays. The magic and the premiums will come from contextual application of this innovation and smart integration.

To stake a few examples, Box.net as storage without document and device sync and collaboration is commodity. Apple’s iCloud as storage without ubiquitous local and iTunes media sync across devices is commodity. And Google Drive (as discussed here in Ben Kepes’ CloudU community) is also a commodity business not worth getting into had it not been for Google’s services such as Google Apps, Piccasa, and its media and unified communication capabilities under the Google Plus brand.

The premiums from big data, mobile access and cloud comes from
a) dynamically assembled media and content, and interpreted data in the cloud,
b) available wherever you need to consume and / or collaborate and
c) insanely focused and simple interfaces to complex backends.

Thats where money would be made in these commoditized services. APIs provide the integration through the value creation network. The only other differentiator in this case being experience!

(Putting a perspective on…)The Internet of all things

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on July 17, 2011

Data is big… just how big is something that isnt expressed in numbers really! Not at least till you have the metaphors of data in the context of common understanding. In this post today, i feature a presentation from Cisco’s Dave Evans. Apart from the data metaphors, it is amazing to see how our lives will change in next 10 years due to technology advancements.

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Will iCloud do to Cloud Computing what iPhone to Smartphones and iPod did to Media Consumption? (Turn it on its head)

Is it the new MobileMe? Is it the new iTunes? Or is it a whole new definition for the cloud? Or a whole new trend in media consumption habits. It could also be the biggest champion for bits as against disks. It may be the final in terms of software beating hardware…

Apple today enveils the iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering. Many believe that iCloud, will do the same for “the Cloud” as the iPod did for MP3s. It is expected to massify the cloud.
AT the surface, iCloud is the iTunes streaming service. Apple is already supposed to have secured DRM agreements with Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner. However, the music streaming subscription services could just be the tip of a larger iceberg of services which could fundamentally alter the course of desktop computing and migrate the services to the cloud.

There are dozens of cloud options available with Microsoft’s platform for syncing files across multiple devices and servers. Dropbox makes it possible to sync files to the internet. Google just launched Google Music. Amazon has their Cloud Player. Then there is Spotify. Coming from Apple, the iCloud is supposed to provide consumer value, differentiation from what’s come before and a way of taking the market forward. Apple was not the first company to offer downloads of music. But they did it the best and therefore conquered the market. They weren’t first with MP3 players or smartphones. Yet again iCloud launches after Google and Amazon have served up their streaming music services and yet iCloud can overturn the tables by being the most radical and the best.

iCloud may not be restricted to music. It could be synchronization for all files — it could involve video, office files. Apple has agreements with Disney, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures to feature their movies on the iCloud. It will be interesting to see if new business models are introduced. An Apple cloud service could potentially benefit from the huge existing base of iTunes accounts

Apple has the ability and the talent to build a system that, works across platforms. Imagine being able to buy a movie, but never having to worry about downloading it anywhere. Add to that just inserting a DVD into your superdrive, having it recognize such, and having it added to your library, which doesn’t matter if it’s on your computer’s hard disk or in the cloud. The back-end licenses with music and video labels will help Apple introduce scan-and-match technology that scans a user’s hard drive and provides access to music found there from the company’s own servers.Or photo storage, or Apps or more…

The concept of a “disk” will thus be gone. One won’t even think about where on a computer to store things – they will just save, and you’ll be able to access them with ease, from wherever the location, to whatever computer or device. It eliminates “My Computer”,C: drive, root directory, user directory, “My Documents”, “My Pictures”. It will just be “save” and “search”. Nothing else to ever think about again.
Competitors, including RIM, Google, Amazon and Microsoft already have a hard time competing with iTunes as it is, will likely find it even tougher with iCloud enhancements. iCloud has the potential to be a new model for media consumption, which could also spark more demand for Apple devices. iCloud by itself will not be a billion dollar revenue opportunity – It is an enabling technology … once you have things in the cloud, you can create new devices that (have not) been created right now.

Chromebook (Part V): The wish list for Chromebook improvements!

I have featured Chromebooks in four blogs earlier. Read them here: The cloud kisses the laptop, Subscriptions that might have changed the industry standards, Google’s own iPad Moment and 10 reasons why Chromebooks haven’t really won a lot of admirers out there! (Not Yet!). This one is a reproduction of an article bv Desire Athow.

Chromebooks are atleast 3 weeks off from stores and sales and inspite of the drubbing that Chromebook has received from Blogosphere, Amazon reports Chromebooks already in the top 20 “most wished for” items in the laptop category.

The original Chromebooks though are far from being perfect and there are at least four things that can be done to improve the current generation quite easily actually.

1. ARM instead of Intel: ARM’s biggest strengths centres around its battery consumption. Toshiba AC100-10U laptop (ARM powered) , which runs Android, is cheaper by a third and weighs 40 per cent less while having a similar battery life compared to the average Chromebook.
What’s even more incredible is that the AC100 uses a 2200mAh, 3-cell battery, compared to 6-cell 8280mAh monster on the Samsung Chromebook. Intel powered devices have more expensive and bulkier brick-type power adaptors, whereas ARM based ones are likely to have smaller, cheaper wall-type models.

2. Speaking of the battery in the Chromebook, making it removable would be a great idea as the laptop only supports up to 1000 cycles or around 18 months in the worse case scenario.

3. Bringing in an Ethernet port – a conspicuous omission – would also make a lot of sense especially if you have to set up the laptop in a notspot zone in the first place.

4. Connectivitywise, turning Chromebooks into hotspots would be a pretty cool addition indeed, something that Connectify does already for Windows and Google already achieved with Android since Froyo.

The art of perfecting a product is a multi-iterative process and Chromebooks will also follow the same trend in time.

Chromebooks (Part IV): 10 reasons why Chromebooks haven’t really won a lot of admirers out there! (Not Yet!)

Contd from earlier posts: The cloud kisses the laptop, Subscriptions that might have changed the industry standards and Google’s own iPad Moment.

With Chromebook, Google has redrawn the boundaries of desktop virtualization. However, there apprehensions, the biggest being, Netbook as a category is loosing out to the Tablets. While Chromebook has the Cloud edge, could Google have done better with ChromeTab. Listing out a few neagtive thoughts and reactions behind the Chromebook…

1. While, Chromebooks can connect with external devices such as cameras (via USB) and headsets,it is maimed by the exclusion of Apple users. The millions of existing iPhone, iPad and iPod owners cannot use the Chromebook with those devices. That is one task the Chromebook can’t perform, and it is unlikely it ever will. Google will be looking at convincing Apple product owners that they need to switch, or forget the Chromebook. That is a huge unreachable market for a brand new product. (ZDNet).

2. Chromebooks retail at $349 at the least. Will people want to pay as much for such a light client device as they do for a fully loaded notebook running a traditional OS like Microsoft Windows? The Chromebook Series 5 is powered by a 1.66GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, and has a 16GB mSATA solid-state drive and 2GB of RAM. Those are netbook parts in a machine that’s priced at the level of low-end notebooks. (PC Mag)

3. As the recent Amazon Web Services outage demonstrated, cloud services can fail and customers can lose data (Information Week). Google itself has faced loads of Gmail incidents loosing valuable user data.

4. With Cloud centric OS’es, the race will be towards stealing access credentials, after which, it’s game over. Who needs to steal banking accounts, when you have Google Checkout? Or, who needs to monitor passwords, when they’re all nicely stored into the Google Dashboard?…Earlier today, I got asked by a friend- ‘How is Chrome OS from a security point of view, better or worse?’ I answered, ‘It’s better, but much worse. (Software Security at Kaspersky)

5. Google’s foray into hardware products have not really been successful. Need to look beyond the Nexus One and Nexus S? Has Google learned its lessons from its cell phone debacle? We’ll see.

6. We’d be forced to stick to a browser for hours. Is it not worth to wait 15 to 20 seconds for Windows 7 to boot on Netbooks and have the flexibility to work with any application? Microsoft came under heavy fire for taking advantage of its Windows operating system to promote Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, even though you can download any browser using the IE. Now how about sticking to the Chrome browser for the entire life cycle of your Netbook! That’s really not a good Idea. People often criticize ‘Apple’ for crippling their devices off the features and for controlling the third party applications to generate more and more revenue. If that is bad, then have a look at Google’s business model. They have outdone Apple in terms of crippling the usability. Google wants you to buy a Netbook with nothing but a Chrome Browser onboard. All the applications you’d run would be within the browser; all your family photos and videos would be directly saved on Google’s server, multitasking is out of question (yes, there will be a new tab but that doesn’t count as multitasking), and it will update automatically without giving you the option to decide whether or not you wish to download and apply the update.

7. There’s much to recommend the platform, we can confidently say it’s still years away from the replacing most business machines. Google offers ways of working around the platform’s limitations – it just unveiled a new local file manager, and Citrix is providing a desktop virtualization tool for running legacy applications – but these tools can take you only so far. Usability for instance without internet connected is short, and though HTML5 and Open standards platform address this issue, it still is a drawback that needs to be addressed. Aregister

8. The Chromebooks aren’t suited to things like video editing, and they’re quite limited when it comes to most multimedia or design tasks. But the problem goes beyond an inability to run certain applications. In many cases the ease of usage and a friendly interface is lacking and will take some time to come up on its steam.

9. Your computer has no hard drive. You can’t download them and move them somewhere else. You can’t change services. You have nowhere to go. That’s a lot of power to give one company, isn’t it? (SearchEngineWatch)

10. The Chromebook for all its cloud related advantages is not as trendy and path breaking as the iPad or the Android tablets. Could Google have been wiser to have worked on a ChromeTab as against a Chromebook. We will see that.

A survey by British website, Inquirer, asked its readers: Would they prefer to store their documents and data locally instead of surrendering it to a Google Chromebook and its cloud storage? Only a small minority of readers are tempted by the devices, vindicating my thought that netbooks in terms of form factors are not anywhere close to the Tablets. The result of the survey was that
7% prefered a Google Chromebook because they thought it would be useful for their purposes, just browsing the net.
4% liked it because it is ‘an inexpensive laptop’
16% would rather buy a tablet
47% prefer to keep personal documents on PC/Laptop, suggesting that perhaps the cloud, or at least Google’s cloud, has little appeal.
26% respondents didnot know what a Chromebook was. The 26% is a good number, because it means that 74% respondents know the Chromebook.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are skeptical. However, It’s worth remembering that the iPad similarly met with a barrage of criticism and did change how we think about computers.

Chromebooks (Part III): The cloud kisses the laptop (Would have been glad if it would have been the Tablet)

Continued from an earlier post.

The idea of a computing device with most of the computing systems outsourced to the cloud is a novel one and has been around for a while now. Here are the reasons on why it is ground breaking?

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Chrome OS simplifies the operating system by putting most all applications and data inside the browser, and in doing so, it takes a multilayered approach to security, restricting each application to its own sandbox and introducing a verified boot sequence that seeks to identify malware at startup time.

All OS updates, including security fixes, are automatically pushed down to the device over the web, and since virtually no applications or data files sit on device itself, it’s easier to set up a machine – or move to a new one when it is lost or stolen or bricked. What’s more, Chromebooks – equipped with flash drives – offer unusually fast boottimes.

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With a Chromebook users won’t wait minutes for computers to boot and browsers to start. This provides access to email in seconds. The Chromebook provides automatic access to updates which will get faster over time.All individual apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible from wherever the user is and the Chromebook will provide freedom from hassles like worrying on loss of computer and data backing up. Just because the back end systems are lightb and easy, Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge. With optional 3G, accessibility to web is direct. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain.

The MAJORITY of Internet Users are people who only go onto the PC for four activities: Email, Shopping, Online Banking, Facebook. The fact remains that do not users get Dual or quadcore, 4 GB of memory, DDR2, DDR3, Photoshop, Video Editing, Access, Excel and Word is MEANINGLESS to most people who are not Professionals. Add to it the need to buy AntiVirus, Firewall Protection, OS maintenance and the hardware purchase turns onerous. Users just want to Log in, Look at their email, post to Facebook & Pay a bill. Beyond that, the the most strenuous task they’ll ever put on their laptop might be streaming a HD Movie.

Although it remains to be seen how well Chrome OS works when deprived of internet access, the potential for Chromebooks to slash both IT support hassles and the amount of money spent on hardware and software is very enticing. We will get to know the response to Chromebooks in a while. But for me i think the idea of a ChromeTab is much more attractive and enticing.

Chromebook (Part II): Subscriptions that might have changed industry standards

Google has smartly aimed it squarely at the enterprise and the education system. It will be sold to consumers, too, and that’s the market segment that may give Google the most fits with the Chromebook.

Google will charge businesses $1,008 to use netbooks for three years. The subscription requires a three-year contract, and it includes not only continuous software updates but also a web-based management console, Google support, and hardware replacements.This translates into a $28 per user subscription plan for businesses and it can be an affordable way for small businesses to provide laptops to its users, but to really satisfy enterprise users, Google needs to woo its IT decision makers. The value here is that enterprise and education customers can count on a dramatic decrease in costs from a maintenance standpoint.

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Secondly, Google will provide 100MB of free 3G data each month through its partner Verizon wireless. Interestingly, the deal ends after two years (rather than lasting for the life of the product).

Three years is an awfully long time, particularly when you’re dealing with a comparatively low-spec machine such as the ones announced from Acer and Samsung today (both of which will ship June 15th). But for businesses and educational institutions, is it good enough? It’s also worth noting that Google considered shorter contracts (with higher monthly fees), but it found during market research that most institutions never upgraded their machines before three years, anyway. Given that data, it just made sense to offer lower monthly rates and on a refresh cycle that fit nicely with what they found.

According to a recent Gartner Research survey, typical businesses spend between $3,300 and $5,800 on each of its desktops. The subscription model for Chromebook will ultimately save a hefty portion of these dollars because the machine is both easier to administer and more secure than traditional machines.

Google’s subscription plan, reduces the total cost of ownership to less than half what enterprises see right now. The Chromebooks would be launched 15th June and it would be interesting to note which way is it headed. Google on its part is firing all cylinders to ensure its success.

Chromebook (Part1): Google’s own iPad moment

Google’s IO conference had its share of moments with Google Music Beta service, The Ice-cream Sandwich, The Android Open Accessory development tool kit to bridge over the fragmentation and multi-device conundrum that they have had so long and the long awaited ChromeBooks. I had 2 years ago blogged about Light and Zippy Oss that would power the Internet computing world. That day it seems has finally come. Here’s documenting the Chrome powered Chromebook’s, Google’s Internet Netbooks.


Outstanding intro video for the Chromebook

The web-only laptops fundamentally reinvent computers. Chromebooks are built and optimized for the web, where users are already spend most of their computing time. The Chromebook essentially enables a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers. Google and its vast server farms take care of apps, backup, security, maintenance and support.

The Chromebook is powered by the Chrome web browser and uses the HTML5 and other open standards platforms. With Google providing offline support, which now lets users access their Google Docs, Google Calendar and Gmail accounts without an Internet connection, the product story is well stacked. This will certainly alleviate the concerns of those who may want to work on their Chromebooks on a plane, or at locations where there is no Internet connection. Caching documents on local storage is not an issue, as all Chromebooks implement data encryption using tamper-resisting hardware to protect against the theft.

Google thus marries the prowess of centralized processing or cloud computing to lean machines. The machines featured are Samsung and Acer. Samsung’s notebooks have 12.1″ displays, Atom Dual-Core processors, 16 GB solid state drives, weigh 1.48 kg and get 8.5 hours of continuous usage. They’re similar to the Acer notebooks, which have 11.6″ displays, a higher resolution, but only get 6 hours of usage. Some of the notebooks include 3G support, while other notebooks are Wi-Fi only.The onboard processor is an Intel Dual Core Atom, coupled with 2 GB RAM. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n is going to be a standard for all Chromebooks. Variants with 3G module would also be available. Chromebook would usually sport 2 USB 2.0 ports and a memory card reader. Unlike the Samsung s line up, Acer will have a Chromebook with HD-out feature. Both companies will be releasing two or more variants with minor differences.

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