Palm CEO on What’s Next

The New York Times has an interview with Ed Colligan, the chief executive of Palm. An excerpt:

Q. What’s the next killer application in hand-helds?

A. Well, I think the Web has not been exploited to the level that it’s going to be on these devices. When you see our next-gen product, it has a high-speed radio in it, literally bringing kind of broadband connection speeds to the device. It totally changes the dynamic of how accessible the Internet is as an information access point wherever you are and whenever you want to get access to it. Everything from looking up the meaning of words, booking a table at OpenTable.com, to doing a Google search on my family history in Ireland as I’m driving through the Irish coast when we’re opening our center over there. It is going to become so much more accessible as the performance of those networks continues to improve that a whole new set of applications are going to be delivered via that. I believe you will suddenly see some of the promise – like not only information access, but commerce and other functionalities – that had been promised a while back relative to cellphones will finally come to fruition.

Apple’s Media Plans

Robert Cringely writes:

…the Mac rumor site Thinksecret.com seems quite sure that Apple will announce a video locker strategy of sorts at the January MacWorld show.

Apple’s take on enhanced Digital Rights Management, according to Thinksecret, is never actually allowing copyrighted bits to be stored on the user’s machine. Instead, when you buy or rent a movie from iTunes, the video will sit on Apple’s server and be accessible to the purchaser or renter in accordance with the rules of that particular transaction. If you don’t have the bits on your machine, the theory goes, you can’t steal them.

Yes and no.

It is a clever plan and one that actually makes a lot of economic sense because Apple isn’t saddled with Oboe’s task of keeping five million different copies of Louie-Louie on its server. The Apple system can keep only a few copies and simply assign access rights. For storage, Apple’s reported plan is a winner, then. It works well for bandwidth, too, in part because the data only ever travels in one direction, unlike Oboe, which has to pay to receive it from the subscriber then pay again to serve it back.

Intel CEO on $100 Laptop

Yahoo News has a story about Criag Barrett pooh-poohing the idea:

“Mr. Negroponte has called it a $100 laptop — I think a more realistic title should be ‘the $100 gadget’,” Barrett, chairman of the world’s largest chip maker, told a press conference in Sri Lanka. “The problem is that gadgets have not been successful.”

Barrett said similar schemes in the past elsewhere in the world had failed and users would not be satisfied with the new machine’s limited range of programs.

“It turns out what people are looking for is something is something that has the full functionality of a PC,” he said. “Reprogrammable to run all the applications of a grown up PC… not dependent on servers in the sky to deliver content and capability to them, not dependent for hand cranks for power.”

Search and Media

Ramesh Jain writes:

When the amount of information started growing exponentially on the WWW, many people felt the need of tools and environments that will help people find information on the Web. This resulted in attention to organizing all the information on the Web to make it easily available to users. Yahoo, Altavista, Infoseek, Lycos and others started with this goal. There was a period when many companies struggled with the decision whether they wanted to be a search engine or a portal. Since during the twentieth century boom of Internet, the focus was on eyeballs, it appeared that the concept of portals was winning the battle. That continued. Yahoo started considering itself a media company it is not clear even today whether in their deep heart they feel as a technology company or a media company.

Most evolving models in Search and related space on Internet are going towards primarily advertisement revenues. What that means is that all these products/services are going to become media companies like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, All these services will be for serving advertisers not the users of products and services.

Mobile Email

Mobile Enterprise Weblog (Daniel Taylor) has an excellent Q&A addressing the following questions:

* Is the market for mobile e-mail over-inflated and over-invested?
* What are the demographics of enterprise mobility?
* If the market is so nascent, will larger players like Microsoft and Nokia ultimately supplant RIM?
* Is there a future for a proprietary platform like BlackBerry?
* You mention a larger mobile enterprise solution what do you mean by that?
* Will the Treo beat out BlackBerry?
* Will Nokias acquisition of Intellisync cause a shakeout in the mobile e-mail marketplace? Which companies will go out of business?

TECH TALK: The Best of 2005: Mobility (Part 2)

6. The Pondering Primate on Mobile Opportunities

The Pondering Primate had two stand-out posts one discussed how Microsoft could beat Google, and the second speculated on how Google could increase its domination. Both are full of fascinating ideas.

In January, TPP wrote about ideas for Microsoft to best Google in the next phase beyond search:

Bill Gates had the vision to see every PC would need an operating system and elected to get a piece of every pc sold w/ DOS/windows. Let the Hardware guys decide what else to put on the pc and how to market it.

Windows and IE was THE platform for the connection to electronic world. It was true visionary thinking and it took many years for the competition to catch up and offer alternatives. MS literally dominated Phase1, the connection of the electronic world.

Phase2 is the mobile PC (cell phone) and the physical world.

Phase 2 is coming and it will take some forward thinking to create the next OS that will be required on every computing device. Phase 2 will be 1000 times larger and more lucrative than Phase 1.

Phase 2 is connecting every physical item to the Internet. People want more, they want interaction, immediate response. Phase 2 will create more killer apps than Phase 1 because you have taken the internet outside the box and have a vast amount of items to search/link. Phase 2 takes the internet in 3-D and creates an infinitesimal amount of data to search/link. But the only way to connect these items is through a unique tollbooth (IP).

Every physical item WILL BE connected to the net. It will be done through a barcode, an RfiD tag, a Zigbee chip, a word, a sound, a fingerprint, a magnetic strip, a phone number.

Phase 2 is different than Phase 1 in many ways. Phase 1 involves surfing the net, sending email, instant messaging. Phase 1 is the communication of computing devices through the Internet. Phase 2 adds an exponential factor. Now take EVERY PHYSICAL ITEM and connect it to the Internet and all of these computing devices. The Internet will now multiply exponentially. The growth curve of data and applications will be a hockey stick.

In April, TPP wrote about the next big idea for Google:

Would Google be able to command more dollars if advertisers knew their site would come up based on location versus guessing the correct keywords? YES.

Will Google create a few billion dollar revenue streams from this? YES
Heres how they do it.

Google unveils a Mobile Words division and mobile search takes off. All generic words are available for sale, except trademarks and brand names. That is another problem that can be resolved with Googles Mobile Words. They sell, not auction/bid for keywords for a mobile search.

Remember mobile search is really navigation.

How can Google re-sell the same keywords again?

The search for pizza on a PC versus pizza on a cell phone is completely different. It also is done from a completely different device, and Google can determine this. Google can tell from the server info that a search query was coming from a cell phone.

So a cell phone search query accesses a completely different database, the Google Mobile Words.

7. Financial Times on the Mobile Revolution

In November, Richard Waters of the Financial Times wrote a brilliant article on the impact of mobiles.

Tools such as e-mail and instant messaging may have been around since the dawn of the internet era, but it has taken a wireless communications revolution to turn them into a constant and inescapable fact of life for a growing part of the population. WiFi networks – a low-cost technology that can beam large chunks of data over short distances using part of the radio spectrum that was previously the preserve of gadgets such as garage door openers and baby monitors – assure the digitally addicted of a permanent and ubiquitous connection to the wider world. At the same time, more versatile mobile phones have turned text messages into the communications tool of choice for teenagers in Asia and Europe, if not yet the US, while also bringing e-mail to many handsets. For those in the grip of these new networks, life has changed. There�s no such thing as solitude any more, no fragment of time that cannot be filled with digital chatter.

It is hard to deny the extent to which mobile phone communications have already crept into many, if not most, corners of our lives: children texting from the bus stop; suburban streets clogged with housewives on the phone while at the wheel (at least in countries where it is still legal); executives bowed, fetishistically, over their BlackBerries. In equal parts liberating and intrusive, the mobile phone has changed the way many people relate to their work, or to their friends and loved ones. It seems a fair bet that its next incarnation will have a much deeper and wider impact.

Next Week: The Best of 2005 (continued)

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