Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.
Hey guys, have you heard that 2012 is almost over? Yep! The new millennium is about to be a teenager. It's exciting. (No, the year 2000 is not included, you mathematically remedial cur.) The past twelve months have been fantastic and we'll be hearing more about that later, but one of the things we felt the need to talk a bit more in-depth about is the Play Store. You know the one.
Earlier today, while
distracted by a YouTube video doing some article research, I started watching Stephen Colbert's interview at Google with Eric Schmidt. It's pretty great, and you should definitely watch the whole hour - seeing Colbert out of character (and talking about that character) on video for so long is a rarity. He's a really smart guy, and hilarious, to boot.
But during that interview, early on, I caught something that really resonated with me.
For the last few weeks, I’ve had the fortuitous opportunity to spend some time with the Microsoft Surface RT. I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about that experience.
Productivity (Office vs. Drive)
Drive / document editing and creation at large on Android sucks. Office on the Surface RT blows it away. Not even close. Office RT still has its quirks, but Microsoft continues to show that it dominates the spreadsheet and document ecosystem for a reason: it’s had nearly 30 years of experience perfecting it.
When the original Galaxy Note was unveiled back in August of 2011, I’ll admit: I was one of the naysayers. Nay, I was more than a naysayer – I was a hater. The idea of the “phablet,” I thought, was absurd. Who would possibly need – or want – such a ridiculous piece of form-factor experimentation? Like much of the tech media world, I looked on and fully expected Samsung’s newest Galaxy product to be a total failure.
I understand that there have already been dozens of rants in regard to Google's "launch" (and yes, that requires ironic quotes) of the Nexus 4. And I understand that sitting here whining about it doesn't help anyone - so I'm going to avoid that. Really. I mean it. Mostly. But I am going to be critical.
From day one, the Nexus 4 has seemed - essentially - cursed. Victim to some dark techno-magic that has ensured nearly every step of the way that Google's flagship $300-350 phone would be delighting as few consumers as possible in the critical holiday sales season.
It's coming. Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), an event so important to retailers in the US that the physical trampling retail employees to death hasn't stopped it. People go nuts for this stuff. And, when you see the "$100/$75/50%/3-hour-only sale" sign plastered onto something, bleary-eyed and over-caffeinated at midnight, or frantically deciding what to put in your digital cart on Monday morning before heading to work, making a bad decision can be all too easy.
In case you haven't heard (and how could you not?), Google has sold out of pretty much every new Nexus they've launched. If you head to the Play Store as of this writing, you cannot buy a Nexus 4 or Nexus 10. Even the 3G-connected Nexus 7 was unavailable for a while. As if that wasn't enough, customers started receiving emails saying their shiny new Nexus 4s were going to be delayed as much as three weeks.
I can't say I'm the biggest student of Gandhi, but that whole "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" bit sure came to mind this morning when I read that Samsung's head of mobile, Shin Jong-kyun, said the company "[does not] intend to (negotiate) at all" with Apple. This came on news of HTC's settlement with Apple on Saturday, which I contend is objectively good for the industry and consumers, no matter how you spin it.
On Saturday evening, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies had settled their ongoing legal slapfight. Under a confidential 10-year licensing arrangement, they have agreed to what essentially amounts to a rigid patent ceasefire. Even future patents are covered under the deal (there obviously will be exceptions to any deal, but that's the gist).
Immediately, most people assumed HTC was getting hosed. Then, HTC rep Jeff Gordon issued a slightly cryptic but factually vital statement, saying HTC "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company."
Now, whether that means the cost of the license and the savings of not keeping 300 attorneys on retainer will cancel out, or if the settlement basically cost HTC nothing, is not clear.