Much has been written about Apple's GUI innovations in the 80s, but its closed licensing allowed Microsoft to leverage Intel and PC manufacturers to market dominance.
Twenty five years later - we have a wildly successful iPhone launch and Microsoft says it has no plans to get into "smart phones" just focus on delivering Windows Mobile to Samsung, HTC, Motorola and other device manufacturers.
Is history repeating itself?
Lots of differences this time around.
Microsoft is a lot more careful about market moves with the US antitrust consent decree extended another 2 years, and the EU ever watchful. The 800 pound gorilla in the mobile device market is the Nokia-Symbian combo - by some estimates Symbian has almost 60% market share (surprised the EU is not concerned about that while it is about Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm, but I digress). The big (mega) application vendors and service providers in this market are the telcos.
Indeed, Apple and Microsoft (and soon Google) are bit players in this market in spite of all the hype around iPhone. Instead of focusing on each other like they did in the 80s, they have plenty of other vendors to focus on.
Mike Sarokin of EDS lays out a few questions a new teenager likely asks (or certainly thinks about) as a new employee.
Here's a few more that come to mind:
- Why are there so few Macs in this office? - Why do so many people get cc'ed on so many emails? - And yet, why is mailbox capped at 100mb. Can I forward some stuff to Gmail which gives me 5 GB for free? - Wow - l got a tour of the massive data center. My school supported more students than we have employees, but we had a tiny data center - Why don't we use Skype to call people around the world? - Can I not just text message someone's cell phone rather than dial his pager? - Everyone does not have a personal blog? We do not have a group wiki? - Why do we pay technology industry analysts? Can we not research everything on Google? - Are USB and Bluetooth devices banned around here? - You kidding me - those fat manuals are for training for the system? Can I have them in MP3 files for my iPod or see a tutorial video on-line? - Ignore my ignorance but isn't SOA just a complex mashup? - How come our skills database does not allow for me to enter my Ruby and PHP credentials? - When I come back for my full-time role, can I apply for one of these positions? - Is Nintendo missing from our vendor master list? - Finally, I noticed you were steamed at the Deal Architect blog. Do we have a IP anonymizer? I can post a nasty comment on the blog...with my web name ... McLovin -)
PS - a reader alerted me it was Mike, not Charlie Bess, who wrote the EDS post above. Fixed.
Via Dan Farber some SAP BBD (SaaS) numbers. 150 customers to date, Expected at 1,000 by end of year. But expects less than $ 1 billion in revenue from the line by 2010, or likely 5% of total revenues then.
So even though SAP calls BBD its "biggest innovation", it will remain a sideline for the company for the near future.
To me, a sure sign the product line is becoming a core offering is when its Capex around the product spikes like other major SaaS vendors are reporting. Unless it starts to outsource the capital intensive portions of hosting and other data center operations to its partners.
So, I am told of this site which implores citizens to tell Congress not to give telcos immunity.
Look, I am pretty hard on Verizon, AT&T and telcos in general on their economics and innovation quotients, but I would like to know what the telcos did - enthusiastically or under duress - before I can decide whether to support or not their request for immunity.
Is that a catch-22 since national security reasons preclude sharing too many details of their role?
While Apple is probably disappointed it is not making additional revenues from the on-going service revenues it would have with its exclusive telco partners, the $ 450 million in revenues and taxes those million iPhones represent is a welcome, if small, dent on the US trade deficit.
So watching the election results in our state today, there is the intriguing possibility that the Democratic delegates may end up in a court battle if the delegate count continues to be close through the convention. 2000 redux.
Every pundit, with impressive poll data and technologies, had own views on why so many Democratic voters came out to vote in a meaningless contest.
But not one of them pointed out the big personal reason voters went out. There was a property tax amendment on the ballot. Hillary or Mitt or Obama or John happened to also be on the ballot.
Sometimes, the answers are pretty obvious. But with our large investments in analytical tools we just cannot accept easy answers.