Saturday, November 3, 2012

Scott Forstall is the Next Steve Jobs

Have you read the Wall Street Journal piece on Scott Forstall being fired? Maybe not since you're not subscribed to the Journal like me. So I read it on other sites like ABC News: Scott Forstall to Leave Apple.

In 1985, Steve Jobs got kicked out of Apple by John Sculley, then CEO, when Jobs tried to take control of things. And as we know, eventually Jobs came back to Apple and the rest is history.

Seems like to this point, Forstall was one of Jobs favorite and had similar tastes. Forstall was gaining power, and even rumored as the possible next CEO during Jobs last moments. Now, Forstall is being fired, but he's already cashed in his Apple shares so supposedly he has some money. Is he going to re-launch NeXT? And maybe 10 years later, or maybe more like 5 years in the era, is Forstall coming back to save Apple?

My gut feeling:
Scott Forstall is the next Steve Jobs. Tim Cook is the next John Sculley. Jony Ive is, well, Jony Ive.
I guess I missed my timing to sell-off my AAPL stocks. At least for another 5 to 10 years, maybe.

BTW, why did Tim Cook apologize for the Maps app? I think it was so pointless. I would side with Forstall who did not agree to apologize. Maps does suck, but it's no antenna-gate.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Possible Fast Fall of Kindle Fire

Here is a thought on Kindle Fire why it may encounter a sudden death. The reasoning here is not so much regarding technology and I'm quite sure this is not just my internal thought but can be observed much broadly.

The low price point will most definitely attract many customers and quickly expand its user base. But when you hear from people, like literally in person, the reason for choosing Fire, many mention because it's cheap and that is the primary reason. These people are "investors" who are investing very little money just for trial and see if they get lucky with an unexpected return; i.e., they're not committed and will withdraw quick if they see it undesirable. With such investors as a majority, any mistake can be devastating for Amazon; or perhaps it's already a failed product, unless it was intended to be a low-end cheap better-than-nothing device.

On the other hand, Apple's iPad may get their market share nibbled away, but won't be a struggle to keep it's loyal user base. These investors have put a lot into it and are expecting a steady return; they're committed and won't be giving up easily. Again, I've talked to these investors, literally plural, and they've waited on their own time until it was justifiable, had a strategy and were even willing to replace their laptops. Laptops are something else these people have been investing on for a long time and has been a solid investment. When this is starting to shift, this is some serious thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Key to Windows 7's Success

This is my opinion to what may or may not make Windows 7 a successful operating system. Well, actually it's just a common knowledge or result that you'll see in a few month. Anyways…

(Jump to the end if you want to just read the conclusion. I won't be offended. Probably.)

So, why did Windows Vista fail? Well, first of all, what does it mean that Vista failed? Microsoft is the dominating giant; whether it does a great job or not, people will move on and buy the latest product. Go to the store and buy a new PC, the consumer has no choice but to buy what's there. Most people I know have Vista, unless they're a Mac owner. However, when it comes to commercial, which I mean bigger organizations, the IT department has some power and knowledge to choose a certain OS and stick with it for some time. Also, hardware and software vendors/developers also get to decide for themselves with which OS their product will work with.

So, again, why did Windows Vista fail? 1) the users complained out loud, so it seemed like it failed; 2) IT departments didn't buy it, so it did affect sales; 3) a lot of third-party hardware and software did not support Vista and interestingly this made Microsoft look bad rather than the developers.

On the contrary, Apple's Mac OS X series seem to be praised. Aside from the fact that the operating system is in fact slick and intuitive and appeals to the users, it seems to have relative good support from the developers. The recent updates from Tiger to Leopard and on to Snow Leopard were pretty smooth as most software worked just fine, or the developers were quick to solve problems which lead to happy customers. But it's worthy to note that Mac OS X install base is still very small especially in commercial areas which amplifies the outcry of poorly developed operating systems.

Conclusion: what is the key to Microsoft Windows 7's success? Unlike Vista, it needs good support from third-party hardware and software vendors. The primary reason some stuck with Windows XP was because their hardware/software didn't support Vista. If the cost is not a significance and the third-party vendors happily support Windows 7, it will succeed.

Say what, Apple? Not a threat to Microsoft, just yet. Post Windows 7, maybe…

Friday, August 28, 2009

Some Noteworthy Music

I like music, as many do, and here are some of my picks from kinda-got-lost-in-the-pile collection. (Links to iTunes Store USA.)

  • Electronic/dance genre helps to stay awake on occasions working all night. Some vocals are great too from this indie album; check out this track:
    Sally Shapiro - My Guilty Pleasure: Looking At The Stars

  • Here is another electric shock for you!
    Goose - Bring It On: Bring It On Down

  • Michelle Branch goes country:
    Michelle Branch - Sooner or Later - Single: Sooner or Later

  • My favorite genre is actually Jazz. This is a great album for a great deal:
    Nat Adderley - Autobiography


Thursday, June 11, 2009

iPhone Push Notification — AIM

Apple is conducting a massive PNS (Push Notification Service) test again. This time with AIM, AOL's (or MobileMe) instant messaging app. More like it, as this is interactive and much more meaningful using PNS. Below is what it looks like:

a) You can see an IM message sent from me via the Alerts and Badges.

b) This is the Alerts shown when the iPhone is locked. Notice the unlock slider says, "slide to view". When you slide, the app automatically launches immediately after unlocking; no, the app does not launch until you take this action. (I'm not sure if this is an improvement over the previous AP News app or something that is controlled by the app developer. Or maybe I just missed it…)

c) If you don't want the app to automatically launch when you slide, you can ignore it by pressing the power/sleep button. Turning the iPhone back on shows the regular "slide to unlock".

Previously, I complained that after receiving the notification, you still have to launch the app and it was annoying, especially due to the time it takes. But if the iPhone 3G S is truly faster at starting an app, it might not be such a big deal. We'll see about that…

Friday, May 22, 2009

How the Push Notification Works on the iPhone

If you are curious on how the Push-Notification works on the yet to come iPhone 3.0, here are the details.

Apple has been testing their push notification system with a preview edition of the AP News app; this app is made available to selected developers only on the iTunes Store. Of course, this new app requires iPhone OS 3.0 and breaking news is supposed to be notified even when the app is not running. So here is how it looks like:

1) When you launch the app for the first time, you're asked if you want to enable push notification. Let's answer OK.

2) Well, you are good to go now, but lets see what can be configured. Go to Settings (of your iPhone) and you'll see a new item called "Notifications".

3) Then you will see a list of apps that uses the push notification service.

4) You can then configure three settings for each app; you can be notified by: 1. Sounds, note that the app developer decides what the tune will be, not you, 2. Alerts which is a pop-up, 3. Badges, the little red circle with a number of unread messages like the Mail app.

So now, how does this work in live? Badges, there is no need to explain. The Sounds, umm, it would be nice if the user can choose a tone like the ringtones; it probably will depend on the app, but the AP News buzz sound is not good for ones heart. Also, it might be nice to have a time schedule in which you can turn it off at night. Alerts is like when you get a text message; it looks like below:

BTW, if you are curious, it does work with both carrier network or Wi-Fi. In the above picture, the phone is in Airplane mode with Wi-Fi on, although the Wi-Fi icon is not on. (May be it works without any Internet connectivity. You know, Apple is very innovative so…)

Now, my opinion on this: I think this really does not replace background processing. For example, with the AP News app, you launch the app after receiving a notification which takes at least few seconds. Then, the app really doesn't show you the related article; or at least it wasn't obvious to me. Think about using this with an IM app, constantly switching apps going back and forth with another app, each time logging in and out of your IM session. The notification is not delivering messages to the app, it's just a notification; after the app is actually launched, it still has to load information via the Internet and the app has to be well developed so that it actually is in sync with the notification message. All this is going to take so much time that users will defiantly start to complain.

Push Notification is probably for applications such as emails or news updates. If you are playing games, doing some research on the web and wanting to IM chat with someone going back and forth, this is not yet the solution.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsoft's Laptop Hunters Ad Not Impressive

I have to say, the Laptop Hunters series ad from Microsoft is really not impressive. (I have the official video clips down below.) Well, true, in this economy, it must be very appealing to the general crowd and I think Microsoft is being successful in that aspect. But basically, what Microsoft is saying is that Windows computers are simply cheap; that's it, nothing more. For a while, sales will go up, but in the long-term, will the "PC" manufacturers be happy for what Microsoft is doing for them?

Side note, although I'm a fan of Apple products and do some development on its platform, I do depend on Microsoft products and they are equally important. So I'm not trying to say Apple is the best and Microsoft always sucks, but Microsoft is kind of doing that on its own.

Can Microsoft ever have a branding image that ties to keywords like: "innovative", "gorgeous", "easy-to-use", instead of "cheap", "copy-cats" and "frustration"? Oh, BTW, Microsoft itself doesn't tie to "cheap" at all, but their sales channel, "PC", does. No wonder why PC manufacturers are exploring Linux flavored OS and some even installing Mac OS!

The first of the series. Yes, direct comparison with Apple.

Actually a different Lauren. I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft is hinting a new operating system named "Lauren"…