Mar 30

Harry McCracken, looking back at Microsoft Bob, 15 years after its release:

Analyst Charles Finnie of Volpe, Welty & Co. called Microsoft’s product a threat to the very existence of Microsoft’s competitor in Cupertino. “Bob is going to be another nail in Apple’s coffin unless Apple can somehow raise the standard yet again on the ease-of-use front,” he told the AP.

[From ‘Another Nail in Apple’s Coffin’]

We know how that turned out 🙂

Mar 28

Shipping for pre-orders has been pushed back more than a week, to April 12 The demand curve for Apple’s (AAPL) new tablet computer crossed the supply curve sometime overnight Friday. By Saturday morning, the ship date for iPad pre-orders, originally set to guarantee delivery by April 3, had been pushed back to Tuesday April 12. Customers who had already pre-ordered are still scheduled to get their iPads next Saturday. Meanwhile, the option to reserve an iPad for pick-up at an Apple Store has disappeared from Apple.com entirely. That does not mean that there will no iPads available for sale next Saturday. Customers who reserved them over the past two weeks were told at the time that their iPads could be picked up between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday April 3. After 3 p.m., any iPads that haven’t been collected may be made available, while supplies last, on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s not clear whether the shortfall is due to strong demand, short supply or both. Published estimates of the number of iPads Apple was expected to have on hand by April 3 range from a high of 1 million to a low of 300,000. By Friday, according to the best available estimate, 240,000 iPads had been pre-ordered online. The only published report on reservations suggests that they’ve been coming in at roughly the same rate. Kudos to the folks at Planet iPad, who were the first to spot the change in ship dates. See also:

iPad week two: 240,000 pre-orders
iPad week one: 190,000 pre-orders
Day 1 estimate: 120,000 iPad sales
Apple sells 50,000 iPads in two hours
The wild iPad Ruckus begins
How many iPads will Apple sell?

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

[From Apple has run out of iPads]

I wonder how this affects the UK launch? No impulse buy for me I guess 🙂

Mar 27

Saw Kick-Ass today. Very amusing. A sequel couldn’t be as good, but on the other hand it might be better than most of the other stuff that comes out. And it’s out in the UK before the USA 🙂

Mar 24

The high profile failure of Palm’s efforts to revitalize its flagging smartphone business with the Pre’s new webOS has analysts casting doubt over parallel phone platform reinvention efforts by others, including Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.[From Palm’s failure to take on iPhone casts doubt on Nokia, Microsoft]

They’re all doomed! Doomed I say!

Mar 23

oDDmON oUT writes “MSNBC is reporting that a Columbia Business School study shows those who hold power over others make better liars. According to one of the study’s coauthors, ‘It just doesn’t hurt them as much to do it.’ For the average liar, she said, the act of lying elicits negative emotions, physiological stress and the fear of getting caught in a lie. As a result, she added, liars will often send out cues that they are lying by doing things like fidgeting in a chair or changing the rate of their speech. But for the powerful, the impact is very different: ‘Power, it seems, enhances the same emotional, cognitive, and physiological systems that lie-telling depletes. People with power enjoy positive emotions, increases in cognitive function, and physiological resilience such as lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Thus, holding power over others might make it easier for people to tell lies.'”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[From Study Shows People In Power Make Better Liars]

Or maybe liars are better at gaining positions of power. Fake degree on the wall and such.

Mar 23

Perseus Books, which also represents 330 smaller publishers, has signed on to have its electronic books distributed through Apple’s iBookstore.[From Apple inks iPad deal with largest independent publisher]

I welcome a deal that allows authors to make a living from their work. Goodbye freetard economics.

Mar 17

Macs are often the black sheep in the many enterprise environments which have been dominated by Windows for nearly two decades, but the growing consumerization of IT is slowly changing that perception. Though Macs often have a higher up-front price than many business-class PCs, Macs are usually believed to have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) due to lower support costs. A recent survey of IT professionals in large enterprise environments that have a mix of Macs and PCs overwhelmingly agree that Macs cost less than PCs to support.

The Enterprise Desktop Alliance, which seeks to make it easier to integrate Macs in Windows-centric IT deployments, surveyed IT admins from companies that made large deployments, including universities and government agencies. Responses included in EDA’s analysis include those from environments with a mix of Macs and PCs that had a total of 50 servers or over 100 Macs.

A majority of respondents said that Macs cost less in terms of time spent troubleshooting, user training, help desk calls, and system configuration. Admins generally agreed that costs related to software licensing and supporting infrastructure were the same between the two platforms.

Two-thirds of those managing mixed environments plan to increase the number of Macs deployed in 2010. Twenty-nine percent cited lower TCO as a “key reason” for deploying Macs. Almost half cited lower TCO, ease of support, or a combination of the two as leading factors in Mac adoption. User preference and increased productivity were considered important factors as well.

“As a greater percentage of enterprise applications become OS-neutral, the cost to support a more diverse hardware and OS mix will decrease, making Macs a more viable choice for a greater number of users who continue to demand them,” noted Michael Silver, vice president and research director at Gartner, in a recent report on PC trends. Macs tend to be popular among C-level execs, as well as with those in creative departments and developers (especially cross-platform developers).

Apple has historically done little to actively develop a traditional strategy to target enterprise deployment. Instead, the company tends to focus on consumers first, and lets individuals drive enterprise demand for its computers and mobile devices. It does, though, make continual small improvements that make it easier to integrate Macs, iPhones, and soon iPads into many corporate environments.

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[From Survey: Macs cost notably less to support than Windows PCs]

That’s a no-brainer! Pretty much every IT person I know makes sure their family members buy Macs so they don’t have to deal with support hassles.

Mar 14

I saw the Swedish film yesterday and it was very well done. The next two parts are due in the UK in September and November and I’m now looking forward to them keenly.

Previously

Mar 11

Microprocessor company ARM says there will be more than 50 new tablets launching worldwide to compete with the iPad. [From iPad Could See 50 Tablet Rivals This Year]

It seems quite a few companies think it is a good idea if they are copying it already.

Mar 09

Mozilla’s high-performance TraceMonkey JavaScript engine, which was first introduced in 2008, has lost a lot of its luster as competing browser vendors have stepped up their game to deliver superior performance. Firefox now lags behind Safari, Chrome, and Opera in common JavaScript benchmarks. In an effort to bring Firefox back to the front of the pack, Mozilla is building a new JavaScript engine called JägerMonkey.

The secret sauce that will drive Mozilla’s new JavaScript engine engine into the fast lane is some code borrowed from Apple’s WebKit project. Mozilla intends to bring together the powerful optimization techniques of TraceMonkey and the extremely efficient native code generator of Apple’s JSCore engine. The mashup will likely deliver a significant boost in Firefox’s JavaScript execution speed, making Mozilla’s browser a formidable contender in the ongoing JavaScript speed race.

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[From Mozilla borrows from WebKit to build fast new JS engine]

Another nail in the coffin of Flash.

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