Low cost touchscreen technology: What does this mean for large organizations?

With a significant user base of Windows XP, organizations are either strapped for cash, comfortable with what they have, do not see an adequate Return on Investment (ROI) to upgrade operating systems and/or machines, or organizations really do fear change. In order to convince financial officers and project sponsors that upgrading to a more recent iteration of Windows, it is necessary to get over these hurdles. Windows 8.1 has helpful hints built in such as additional icons and has a Start Screen button (sort of like a Start Button) to help new users adjust to the user interface changes (help businesses with retraining, check). Microsoft has made accommodations with hardware manufacturers to give them cheaper prices of Windows licenses for devices with smaller screens. Economy of scale with the transition from non-touch to touch should result in cheaper screens, which means the upgrade costs with go down (lower costs, check). Better security from sandboxing applications and remote device management upgrades are also nice features for the enterprise. So along with these developments, the ability to turn any surface into a screen  might be a catalyst to help convince some of the decision makers to upgrade.

And if that does not do it, end of support for Windows XP is coming up in early 2014.

E-Reading increases and physical books decline

E-Reading increases and physical books decline

With prices that vary considerably (E-Books may be as much as 30-50% cheaper online or more) and with options such as the Nook or Kindle apps for PCs, it is no wonder that electronic reading has jumped and traditional books have declined. Then, if you add in how dedicated E-Readers have gotten cheaper and  tablet and smartphone ownership has spiked, more and more readers have the option of having a decent, cheaper reading experience than traditional books.

This does not mean that E-Books are better than traditional hard copy books, it just means that the value and price equation has convinced many readers to favor e-books over hard copy, physical books.


Tablet ownership has increased

Tablet ownership has increased

Tablets, when compared to other computing devices like Laptops and Desktops, cost a lot less. They do not necessarily have to have subscription service for data, unless you want to have 3G or 4G service supporting it (Smartphone and Tablet plans range anywhere from $35 to over $100  a month, depending on carrier and coverage). So, when the economy retracted between 2007 and 2009, and the recovery was not as robust as many of us have hoped, users were faced with some stark financial choices. They were also compelled to adjust their entertainment dollars as well.

That was the financial side of things. Now, if you look at the functionality, many users just want to check email, respond to social network updates and notifications, and check the news. Tablets are great at this and have battery life far better than most laptops. Apps have also made tablet use more productive and allowed some users to avoid their laptops and desktops unless there is a task that is just more efficient to do on a laptop or desktop. Tablets and smartphones, because of this increased functionality and productivity at a lower initial cost, are probably the biggest reasons that the PC market is in decline (not Windows 8, although some cite it as a reason).

So, it is not a huge surprise that tablet ownership has increased.


Lumia 1020 and its camera

What will be the market reception towards the Lumia 1020?

Having a 41 megapixel camera is an impressive stat. The question that will come when tech users examine the hardware is, “Can I take advantage of it?” Case in point, some Android devices have a low heap size. This means that images will not be taken that exceed this memory size, so many phones are set to reduce the resolution to prevent this. Will users notice? Sometimes. Other times, no. Users want cameras that take great photos and provide quick and easy access to them to show and share.

What will Nokia and Windows Phone be able to do? As part of this discussion, it also comes up whether or not Windows Phone is a compelling enough OS to get users interested in and excited about the camera. Only time will tell.



Windows Store reaches 100,000

Windows Store reaches 100,000

It took longer than what was anticipated, but it is finally at this first big milestone.

If Windows 8 (Metro UI and app store) and Windows Phone 8 are to be viable, the perceived gap in available core apps must be bridged. Windows stores do not need to exceed iOS or Google Play (How many duplicate apps are out there? Argument: Quantity or Quality?) to be considered at least passable. However, they do need to have apps that users are using quite frequently. Facebook and Youtube are or will be addressed (Why did it take so long?). However, where are LinkedIn and Instagram? If Windows has these core apps covered and a good overall selection of most types of apps, the numbers are not an automatic reason to prefer Android or iOS as a platform that you as a user want to join.

Developers, on the other hand, follow the users and their dollars. By making great strides in trying to help developers port over native code and HTML5 apps, some developers will be more receptive since the cost of adapting their application to this platform have decreased. Others are going to wait until they see what the users are going to do.


Mobile App Sales: $27 Billion, really?

Mobile App Sales prediction….$27 Billion in 2013!

Working on a great app idea? Interested in adding mobile as a supported sales channel for your company? Now is the time. MOBILE APP SALES ARE EXPECTED TO BE $27 BILLION IN 2013. (Yes, I am yelling). Don’t miss out on this opportunity because you do not think your company does not have scale to support mobile or does not need it. Your business deserves, at the very least, an evaluation of how mobile can help your business grow.


Half of U.S. has a smartphone

Half of U.S. has a smartphone

For the carriers, this means money. 21 Billion in revenue from data realized by carriers in the U.S. What does this mean for consumers? What does this mean for businesses?

Well, for consumers this means having portable powerful devices that have the capability to make them more productive and better able to communicate with their families and friends.

For businesses, this means new ways to interact with potential customers and existing clients.

How is your business taking advantage of this opportunity?

Does your organization have a strategy to leverage this market?