December 11, 2006
Topic Summary: Windows Vista
Over the past few months, the public's knowledge of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows Vista, has grown exponentially. Some expect it to be a masterpiece that will drastically change the way we use or computers every day. Others think it will be a flop and people will stick with Windows XP, or move to other operating systems such as OSX and Linux. While the ultimate fate of Windows Vista won't actaully begin to play out until its release in early 2007, we certainly have a much better idea of what is in store for us than we did 4 months ago.
At the beginning of the semester, almost nobody outside of Microsoft had seen anything even closely resembling the final product of Vista. All that anyone really knew about it was the broad general details that Microsoft provided. Most expectations were based solely on rumors spread around the web.
Then, Microsoft released a beta version of the operating system, giving users around the world a hands-on chance to play with Vista. While a beta release is similar to a rough draft of a report, people were able to check out some of the new features Vista offers. Reviews have largely been mixed; some love it, others hate it. Those who love it say it streamlines their computing experience, making almost everything easier and more convenient. Those who hate it tend to focus on its vulnerability to viruses and malware, saying it has all the same problems that XP does.
Just last week, the corporate version of Vista was released. There has been much speculation over how many companies will bother upgrading from XP to Vista, especially at a time when many firms are cutting back on their IT spending. It is still too soon to make an definitive claims about the value of Vista. Whether or not it will have a notable impact on the business world remains to be seen.
For the rest of us, we will have to wait until early 2007 to get our hands on a final copy of Vista. From the video clips and screen shots out there, it looks great, but the final verdict will definitely depend on its actually functionality.
December 10, 2006
Highlight of My Delicious Account (Peter Brock)
Early in the semester, I posted a lot of articles regarding Windows Vista, Nintendo Wii, and the PS3. Since these are/were the most highly anticipated tech releases of the season, there was a large number of articles on them. Particularly interesting was the opposing views people have of Windows Vista. Some expect it to revolutionize computer usage, while others think it will be a huge letdown.
The majority of my posts were found either on business-related websites, such as BusinessWeek and the New York Times, or through searching for specific terms on Google. The business related ones inherently cover a wider variety of topics, but generally in less depth. They allowed me to get a brief overview on topics. Conversely, the Google-searched topics were few, but provided a deeper level of content. I believe it was a good blend for learning a good deal about current technology overall.
Highlight of my Delicious Account
My delicious account consists of mostly websites about the latest news in technology. I mainly use Google to search the websites and then add those that interest me to my delicious account. Before the announcement of the topic for the term project, I tag random websites. A large number of them are mainly on Apple news. This is because I was also undertaking a Marketing Project about Apple. The knowledge that I gain about Apple as I did my marketing project increases my interests in Apple and I can have a better comprehension of Apple-related websites.
After the topic was decided, which is on Windows Vista, I started to tag websites that are related to Windows Vista only. The websites which I tag is also based on the latest news about Windows Vista. THe tagging process also helps me understand the development of the Windows Vista as it nears its official launching date in January 2007.
Summary of my Del.icio.us tagging (Greg Turner)
The majority of my tagging in del.icio.us has concerned the pending release of the new Microsoft Vista Operating System. The other prevalent themes that seemed to be in my tagging concerned the rapidly-developing technology in the business world. Specifically, I seemed to tag a lot of sites that were related to Google, wireless technology and new technology that will increase the efficiency of processors. Also, since my Marketing project concerned the Nike+ Apple Sport Kit, I tended to tag a lot of sites that were related to this to allow for easy reference and because they were relevant to the course; killing two birds with one stone is always a good thing.
Admittedly, I did not see the purpose of the whole del.icio.us thing at first, but then it seemed that I became really knowledgeable on the topics that I repeatedly tagged. Also when I learned some if the intricacies of delicious I was able to find other sites and information that I would have never found otherwise. Hopefully, I can use this later on in my career; realistically, my delicious account will be deactivated in 3 months (or whenever delicious kicks you off after a long period of inactivity)
December 07, 2006
1,000,000 Zunes by the month of June?... Right
Microsoft announced today that they expect to sell 1,000,000 Zune MP3 players by the end of June, 2007. While Microsoft claims this is a reasonable goal, others people aren’t so sure.
The article, which can be found at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003465392_zune07.html states that in it’s debut weeks, the Zune claimed a market share of over 9%, which is really good considering Apple’s Ipod has dominated that market with a market share of around 80% for the past few years. However, the Zune Market share slid to around 2% after their competitors dropped prices to attract holiday shoppers. Microsoft has one commodity over Ipod that it hopes to tout in the near future; wireless technology. Zune Users are able to connect to each other and share their media libraries, but at this point the capabilities pretty much limited to this and even this sharing feature has many restrictions.
In my opinion, what will hurt Microsoft’s Zune sales more is the announcement that the Zune my not be compatible with the new Vista operating system that they are releasing very soon. It is estimated that 9/10 computer users will have Vista on their computers in the very near future and since computer integration is vital for the Zune, this may put a lot of people off. You would logically expect Microsoft to produce items that are compatible with each other (especially when they are competing with Apple). Hopefully for Microsoft, this won’t prevent them from reaching their lofty goal.
December 05, 2006
Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website. A user can bookmark sites and post them under his or her favorites on del.icio.us for future reference. These tagged sites are then also made publicly available to other users on del.icio.us so that others can add anyone's tagged sites to his or her own list of favorite. This enables information sharing between anyone who uses del.icio.us and hence increases the availability of information.
There are several search features on del.icio.us. There first two are the most obvious whenever your favorites page uploads. These are located on the upper right hand corner with the link names "popular" and "recent". Clicking on the "popular" link will lead you to a list of bookmarked sites that are, needless to say, popular among del.icio.us users based on the number of users who saved the site. The "recent" link will on the other hand direct us to a list of bookmarked sites which are recently added to del.icio.us. As you click on the link, the upper left-hand column will display the user's current location. For example, if I initially click on the "popular" link, I will be directed to the "popular" list while the upper left-hand corner will display "del.icio.us/popular/" followed by a blank space. The latter is meant to narrow down the search by typing in key words.
The next search option is also listed on the upper right hand corner of the del.icio.us page. There is a blank space for users to type in the indentifying phrase and the drop menu besides the blank space will allow users to choose the domain of the search; it can be his or her favorites, del.icio.us or the web.
Another option is by searching under your network's lists of bookmarked sites. This can be done by clicking on the link "your network" on the upper left-hand corner next to the link "your favorites".
Lastly, populated sites can be easily tracked from their tag names. As you save a site, there will be two entries that need to be made. One is for the title of the site and the other is for the relevant tag names that you want to associate with that site for easy access to the site in future.
These search options under del.icio.us will definitely help users spend less time in finding the necessary sites to be added to their list of bookmarks.
December 04, 2006
Vista... last of its kind?
The upcoming release of Vista has been anticipated by computer users for nearly 5 years. It is a new Operating system which supposedly contains all the updates you ever need. However, there is speculation that competition and rapidly-evolving technology will make this release the last of it s kind… ever.
Microsoft has enjoyed what many consider to be the largest monopoly in the world. However, companies such as Google and Linux are contributing to breaking it down. Google has expanded to offer many of the services Microsoft touts on its operating systems for free, with development and release supported by as revenue. Linux has also made some component of their operating system free. This greatly reduces the amount that Microsoft can charge for it new Operating systems. Also, because of the rapid evolution of technology today (much, much quicker that it was in the past), it is very illogical for consumers to wait years to get their software and OS updated. Most people enjoy and would rather have numerous, smaller updates that are available as new technology and improvements and created.
Consider the cost incurred by Microsoft to create the Vista Operating System. Some estimate that 10,000 employees worked specifically on this project for five years at an average salary of 200,000 per year. That gives it a cost of over $10 billion. This compares to the cost of some of the biggest engineering project in history, including the Manhattan Project (which created the Atomic bomb). They also claim, however, that Microsoft with still be able to post an operating profit on the project of about $11.5 billion. This is because Microsoft has such a significant monopoly on the market and there is no parallel competitor for Microsoft to have to worry about. That many not be the case in the near future, however, and it would be prudent for Microsoft to start paying attention to that now.
If Microsoft does in fact decide to go the route of Google and Linux and offer many smaller updates over shorter time intervals, it would be greatly beneficial for both the consumer and the company. Consumers won’t have to wait as long to get updates and their software could reflect the most-current technology and Microsoft won’t fall behind Google and Linux or lose any of its large market share. Also, Microsoft could enjoy a steady stream of revenue; despite the large amount of money invested into Vista, the stock has remained flat over the past 5 years. This would allow Microsoft to continually invest in developing technology and stay at the forefront of the Computer Technology industry.
The information used for this article and be found at teh website
PAPA - Assignment for Dec. 4th
The PAPA framework is particularly relevant to the WSJ.com article on consumer information. The main theme of the article is the way in which online retailers have begun offering different offers and promotions to customers based on information gathered about them, in hopes of more effectively meet the customers' needs. This situation involves all four aspects of PAPA: privacy, accuracy, property, and accessibility.
Of these, the most important issue is privacy. These online retailers are collecting information about their customers without their consent. What if that is information that the customer would prefer stays private? While the retailer is certainly trying to use that information to better suit the consumer's needs, what if the consumer doesn't want them to? In my opinion, the lack of consent makes this a clear violation of privacy. If the consumer wants to be helped, they should have the option to indicate so. Otherwise, they should be exempted from this practice.
Property, accuracy, and accessibility play a role in the debate as well. Who owns this information and who should be allowed to see it? What if one of these retailers decided to sell this information to another company? While using the information internally may not harm the customer, it may be distributed in ways they would not want. On top of this, what guarantee is there that the information being passed on is correct? Passing on incorrect information has a much greater potential to negatively affect the customer. If acquiring the information was a violation of privacy in the first place, passing it along to a third party is even worse.
Delving into a person's personal behavior and choices without consent should not be tolerated. While it seems that the companies mentioned in the article did not have ill intent behind their behavior, the practice is unacceptable in theory. Without safeguards protecting who uses it and in what context, there is too much room for abuse and companies should not be allowed to gather information about customers.