Oct 25, 2010

Dawn of a New Day « Ray Ozzie

I finally had some time today to read - with full attention - Ray Ozzie's Dawn of a New Day memo. I'm sure you've seen this floating around today, especially if you hang around the tech world of Lotus and Office. I actually had a few reactions that may be different from the rest of the blogisphere:

  1. Its is increasingly clear the commoditization of devices (the PC-less future) is boiling down to the individual and will get harder for the enterprise (maybe not the small business) to navigate. Good news for Apple. The real Steve Jobs seems to get this, and the numbers seem to prove consumer markets are big money. See the blog posts I made on Friday about iPad apps traction and Apple deprecating Java (if you haven't already).
  2. The birth of a new meme, "continuously connected." Ray's status as a tech visionary means that many of his words enter the tech lexicon once he's uttered them. I predict heavy use of these words or this term when talking enterprise tech.
  3. Despite Ray's visionary status I doubt his equivalent of the "Space Race" rally cry will ripple outside of the tech cloud. (Pun intended). It will reach the edges for sure. Ray expects that too based on his edges commentary:

But the power and responsibility to truly effect transformation exists in no small part at the edge. Within those who, led or inspired, feel personally and collectively motivated to make; to act; to do.

In taking the time to read this, most likely it’s you.

But will it cross over into the public mind without a Time cover? Bill Gates can get that coverage but Ray is still relegated to the covers of tech media (despite the fact I think Ray has contributed more to IT than many IT folk who have graced cover of Time or Wired). Actually I think this idea is at the foundation of FSJ's reaction to the memo; techies can over-think things. I laughed out loud when I read the FSJ commentary...too bad he didn't read the whole post; I suspect that he really did for his day job.

BTW If you have only been reading about Ray's memo in the blogisphere, don't be a FSJ! Take time to read it all the way through. The blogisphere gets a bad rap for distilling information into bit-sized chunks for us, which can be handy, but please make your opinions after you've actually read it.

Overall I think it's compelling to read, and while I don't think the PC-less future is coming all that quickly, the idea that we can consider one does make interesting design decisions. Personally I like reading stuff like Ray's memo, but then again I'm in the club. ;-)

Dawn of a New Day « Ray Ozzie

Oct 22, 2010

One-third of iPad fanbois don't download apps • The Register

Some interesting stats, especially for those interested in the apps biz...

"Almost two-thirds of iPad owners have already downloaded a paid app," concludes The Nielsen Company's survey of over 5,000 "connected device" owners entitled "The Increasingly Connected Consumer: Connected Devices" (PDF).

Doing the math:

According to the latest report from the app-watchers at Distimo, the average price of the top 10 iPad apps is $4.49. If those 2.4 million download virgins had downloaded just one of those top 10, that'd be over $10.7m, of which Apple's take would have been about $3.2m.

Which is chump change to a company that raked in $20.34bn last quarter — about five one-hundredths of one per cent of that haul, to be specific.

So if you're an Apple fanboi — or, more important, an Apple investor — don't worry even a smidgen about those 32 per cent of iPad owners who aren't downloading apps. Although $3.2m may seem like a hefty chunk of change to us mere mortals, it doesn't even qualify as a itty-bitty bedbug bite to the world's second-largest company.

One-third of iPad fanbois don't download apps • The Register

Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes - Bloomberg

Not surprising from a company that loves to crunch numbers. Heck these are they guys that convinced its investors that providing free lunch saved money by calculating the time lost while people waited in line to pay.

Google’s income shifting -- involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” -- helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.

Still an interesting read of how it's done by the big guys (not just Google).

Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes - Bloomberg

Apple deprecates Java

In its typical hyperbolic yet truthful manner, The Republic reports this Wednesday's Apple announcement to deprecate Java on the new Mac OS.

On Wednesday, as Apple cult leader Steve Jobs unveiled a future Mac OS incarnation dubbed 'Lion' and a new Mac App Store, the company released a Java update for Mac OS X 10.6 — and the release notes revealed that the platform isn't long for Jobs' world. 'As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated,' the notes read.

In an obviously related move, Jobs also banned Java apps from the upcoming Mac App Store. 'Apps that use deprecated or optionally installed technologies (e.g., Java, Rosetta) will be rejected,' the store's developer guidelines say.

The Republic does not see this as a coincidence pointing out that the biggest loser in this move will be developers since they potentially won't be able to run Eclipse in future versions of the Mac OS. The main impetus looks like a strategic block of Android, as one interviewee states:

I guess Steve really, really doesn't like Android, does he?
More salient is whether or not this continued balkanization of third party run times on Mac operating systems will radicalize developers and IT decision makers. Clearly the consumer market has been good to Apple and it will continue to sell its shiny, sexy stuff, but what does that do for the businesses and users that want to use shiny, sexy stuff AND have cross platform functionality?

Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac • The Register