Thursday, October 24, 2013

An OS war on a Fragmented Battlefield: Who will win the war?

I'm predicting in two years the OS wars will be over and the market will settle on four winners that will divide the winnings (market share) evenly among themselves, provided the patent wars don't cause collateral damage.

The battle has been raging on now for 4 years resulting in Android and iOS unseating the leader "BlackBerry" from the market and Microsoft has been struggling to remain relevant in the mobile space with the launch of Windows Phone 8.

Samsung has managed to win the battle for Android supremacy as Apple continues to fight for market share with it's expanded portfolio and Enterprise friendly OS7 launch. It's important that Samsung take the lead in Android in order to defragment Android in the market. Google has proven over the last few years that they are not able to defragment the market themselves, despite their acquisition of Motorola and launch of their Nexus line of Android devices.

With Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia and Samsung's dominance of Android the market has now been reduced to four viable players for handsets; Microsoft, BlackBerry, Apple, and Samsung. It's no longer a OS War now but a Manufacturer War.

If you look at all four operating system they are very well designed, stable, and appealing to consumers. It's a preference or choice game now with the choice being really reduced to a factor of 4. In the consumer market it becomes a choice to associate ones self with a Brand they can identify with and less with the actual technology.

 Two of the players , however, extend their OS to not just handsets but to desktops and laptops as well. Apple and Microsoft have integrated their OS tightly with their other form factors making the choice in the future even more limited if one values their devices working well together. Yes Samsung does make Laptops and many other consumer devices and they have attempted to implement software that makes them work seamlessly together but they are not their quit yet. That really leaves BlackBerry out in the cold as consumers opt for interoperability with their other gadgets.

We live in a connected world today where consumers globally are continuously connected to cloud services such as Google, iCloud, and Microsofts Live platform as well as social networks such as FaceBook, Twitter, and others. Our private data, our lives are stored on these services which gives us instant access not matter where in the world we are. The choices we make for a handset are as much influenced by our use of those services as it is by the brand and OS functionality. Only Microsoft and Apple have a fully end to end integrated service offering while Samsung is relegated to Google and BlackBerry tries to integrate with them all.

It all becomes messy when we start looking at the challenges Business are having with these developments. There was a time where BlackBerry was the only device allowed in Business because of it's strong security, end to end integration, and reliability. The Technology however has caught up with BlackBerry with standards such as VPN, SSL, Push, OTA, and on device encryption have caught up with BlackBerrys imbedded security.

It does help either that consumers, especially senior executives of Business are pushing to have their own device implemented by IT. We call that consumerization of IT. With advanced technology being implemented in IOS, Windows Phone, and Samsung Android (KNOXS), ITs' ability to say no has been diminished completely. Who in IT says no to the CEO anyway.

So the trend in the consumer market to associate ones self to a brand or services is bleeding it's way into the Enterprise. This is great for the Manufacturers because they have an unsegmented market. No longer is it consumer or Business segments it's just consumer.

All of this is also driving the Mobile Device Management market because companies now have to have a way to try and provide the same level of control and security they enjoyed with BlackBerry. The choices consumers make on handsets are also driving the functionality of MDM platforms which has completely fragmented the MDM market and making IT choice for Management systems very difficult. This to will pass however because from my perspective there wont be a Mobility market in the future, these devices will simple be IT end points that need to be managed, secured and applications distributed to. The market will simply become an IT software market for managing end points whether it is a mobile device, Laptop, Desktop, Server, Cola Machine, or a UPS driver's device.

So who will win this war on the OS ? It will be those manufacturers that provide appealing products to consumers that are integrated well into cloud services and also have the basic security and manageability for Business. They will interact well with our other gadgets whether at home or at work, and they will seamlessly provide access to our social networks that keep us connected.

All four manufacturers have the capability to do this. The MDM market will disappear and give way to Enterprise End Point Management Solutions such as Microsoft's SMS and IBM's End Point Manager who also integrate all other IT assets and End Points in the Enterprise. Consumers will continue to influence the direction of these devices which in turn will force IT to think more strategically and stop implementing Point Solutions to eliminate their immediate pain.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The United Kingdom explained..

Watch "The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained" on YouTube

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

IBM Notes Traveler 9 and BlackBerry 10

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Countdown to a Mobile Revolution

Only a few months to wait to what could be a revolution in Mobile Technology and the ultimate user experience. I am a fan of anything that could revolutionize how we interact with technology,  how that technology makes our lives just a little easier and frankly more enjoyable. The new BlackBerry 10 devices have incorporated the User Interface technology to make this revolution a reality. It takes more than just the UI , it requires an underlying operating system that can handle the realtime processing
required to revolutionize the mobile experience.

I recently came across the youtube video below titled "Advanced Future Technology" which reminded me what the future of technology could realistically look like. I found clear correlations between the gestures and user experience displayed in the video and what the new BlackBerry 10 OS is offering. Pay attention to the gestures of screens expanding and circular motion for controls as well as the expanding items under an object. Also pay attention how things Flow within the applications. All of these gestures which are natural to us require some powerful processing and graphics capability as well as the underlying APIs for developers to utilize these apis to create rich applications such as these.

 Now have a look at the TAT videos from a few years ago. You may  recall that RIM acquire TAT a few years ago to develop their UI for the BlackBerry 10 OS. Have a look at the videos below of some of their work done by the astonishing tribe (TAT) before being acquired by RIM.

See any correlations here ? The gestures and UI interaction in the BlackBerry 10 definitely incorporated some of the early work of TAT. The UI is designed to produce the same experience in the first video for future technology.

I'm confident that Android and iOS don't have the processing capability required to support this type of technology. BlackBerry 10 (QNX) does. Heck, QNX runs the high speed trains here in Germany. For that type of application you must have a real time OS. Same is true for the future technology in the videos shown above.

Just image the possibilites here, both on Smartphones and Tablets and just maybe on TVs, Home Controls, and even cars.  You can see many videos on the net demonstrating the BlackBerry 10 User interface (UI). It is years ahead of Android, Windows and iOS both from a user experience and potential to revolutionize the mobile industry and how we interact with other technology such as the class panel screens in the Future Technology video. Not a big step for RIM to do this with wireless HDMI or mirroring technology.

Just image holding that kind of power in your hands, the same power that controls the high speed trains, the same power required to create the Future in Mobile Technology, Today; a revolution in how we interact with our environment.

For my part I'm looking forward to getting one of the new touch devices with BlackBerry 10 as I know I will be holding the future in my hand.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The last Smartphone I'll ever buy

This week we all watched as Apple launched their new Iphone 5 smartphone to what was lackluster at best in comparison to the Iphone4 launch by Steve Jobs. Its no wonder considering the Iphone 5 does not offer any groundbreaking technology. Heck they forgot to add NFC capability to the device. This is a perfect example how Apple dictates what consumers will use in the future. NFC is a key technology for the next step in payment systems of the future. With Apple's blatend omission of NFC they are trying to kill innovation in consumer services that have the potential to make our daily lives much easier. Consider not having to carry money with you, or finally being able to pay a parking meter without digging up a pocket full of change. Oh, they did add the passbook. So now I get get coupons to use with the cash and plastic I have to carry around.

The hardware specs for the Iphone 5 are also disappointing in the fact that Apple's screen is only 4 inches and the resolution is only 1136 X 640 pixels. This is much less than most high-end smartphones on the market. Again Apple shows that they don't seem to consider the value being offered for the high price they are asking. Holmes this is a profit margin game. But man a profit margin of over 300% is ridiculously greedy.

I have been holding off on buying an Iphone over the last 3 years in the hopes that Apple will bring out technology that actually evokes that WOW effect I got the first time I turned on a BlackBerry back in 1998. It hasn't happened. For a company that so many analyst tag as an innovator I would expect much more from them.

For my part I am going to hold out again but not for the next Iphone but for the BlackBerry 10 Touch smartphone device to be launched early next year. Now that's what I call innovation. I've had the opportunity to see the BlackBerry 10 OS in action at BlackBerry World and with my Alpha Developer device. If the London (code name) is anything like what I have seen so far then look out Apple. The hardware specs are much better than Iphone5 and RIM will have NFC in the device at launch. Looking at the picture (Above) the design is a sleek, slim, elegant, yet durable construction. From what I hear as well, can't confirm, consumers will not have to have a BlackBerry tariff to use it so it will work with any data plan from the carrier. From my experience with RIM their audio and video quality is the best on the market and I have no doubt this device will be just as good if not better as the Playbook Audio.

The BlackBerry 10 UI is an innovation in user interfaces. The screens slide and transition as if on a thin sheet of water. The design is well thought out with consideration for the common task most people do on their smartphone. This was the problem with the current BlackBerry 7 devices. The user interface is simply to complicated to navigate.

RIM traditionally did not pack much power in their devices in the past because of their focus on push email services. Why do you need to much power for email. Good point but didn't resonate very well with the social media generation. From what I understand this thing will have a 1.5Ghz Dual core processor. Plenty of power under the hood.

I have however three concerns with the new device.

 1. With the proliferation of litigation by Apple on anyone who dares to make a device that is thin, has a elongated square speaker at the top and rounded edges I wonder if RIM will actually launch this design in fear of the 500 pound Gorilla in cupertino. 

2. Will RIM succeed in having the core set of applications available at launch that most smartphone users expect. IE. Facebook; Google Plus, Docs, Maps, Youtube, Talk; Linkedin, Dropbox, Airline Apps, MyTaxi, Rail Apps, Microsoft Skydrive, Skype, Amazon, Evernote, Widgets, Endomondo, StarMoney and Paypal with NFC support, and last but not least Temple Run.

3. The hardware should include Micro-SIM; 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB versions; at least an 8MP camera and all the sensors required by sports and navigation applications; and of course a battery that last more than 48 hours for those weekend Mountain Bike trips.

If they can get past these three concerns then I'm hooked. Oh, and Temple Run is a killer criteria for me.