RoughlyDrafted Archives: September 2006
September 1st, 2007
Daniel Eran Dilger
Index page for articles from September 2006.
September 2006 (newer articles on top):
Poor Microsoft! Its abandonment of PlaysForSure partners and other strategies related to its solo iPod killer efforts have been mercilessly attacked before the company can even get the new device into the hands of users.On top of that, it’s also facing stiff competition in pricing. However, according to proponents of Ten iPod vs Zune Myths, the Zune is technically superior, with brilliant wireless sharing features, and will be able to compete with Apple’s iPod as a cheap loss leader. Ahem. They’re wrong, here’s why.
When Apple uncharacteristically showed an early preview of its tentatively named iTV set top box, analysts of all stripes jumped to share their take on what the box is, what it will be able to do, and how it might change the landscape of TV. The Case of the Missing DVR looked at why Apple isn’t positioning the iTV as another Tivo. Here’s a second look at the more entertaining bits of rampant iTV speculation, this time looking at USB and what lurks inside.
When Apple uncharacteristically showed an early preview of its tentatively named iTV set top box, analysts of all stripes jumped to share their take on what the box is, what it will be able to do, and how it might change the landscape of TV. Here’s part one of the more entertaining bits of rampant speculation, which asked: Where’s the DVR?
The first half of the iTunes Monoploy/Failure Myth debunked the Monopoly Myth by demonstrating how Apple contends in a competitive market for both music players and digital downloads. Here, I’ll take apart the other half of the myth by showing that not only is Apple’s online strategy a success, but also why and how Apple has maintained its lead while rivals have failed miserably.
In Greenpeace Apologizes For Apple Stink, I reported on Toxic Chemicals in Your Laptop Exposed, a new report which labored to find any trace of chemicals, toxic or not. The report not only wholly contradicted the group’s earlier Guide to Greener Electronics, but its sensationalist press release also contradicted the data in the report itself! Why is Greenpeace shooting in such random directions?
According to proponents of this myth, Apple’s iTunes Store has a monopolistic lock on digital music, and at the same time is also a marginal failure that nobody is using. Judging from headlines that appear next to each other, it’s hard to keep the FUD straight. In both cases, they’re wrong, here’s why.
One of today’s fastest growing web sites is not only making news and content easier to find, but also helping to demand more from companies, organizations, governments and analysts, in the form of better products and more accountability for promises and reporting. It’s Digg.com, and it represents a significant potential alternative to corporate-filtered news sites and commercially syndicated programming.
Just over two weeks ago, I published the critique Top Secret: Greenpeace Report Misleading and Incompetent, where I examined the accuracy and usefulness of the “Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics,” as well as its accompanying press release spin that bent over backward to attack Apple on its environmental record. Here’s an expensive apology and the somewhat ineffectual rebuttal I received from Greenpeace International which concedes that my original exposé was right on the money.
Dear Microsoft: I can’t help but noticing that this latest iPod killer situation is unfolding along the same lines as Origami. It’s not too late to call the whole thing a ‘market research experiment,’ or to rebrand all your products under a new name to distract attention away from this boondoggle: Active-, Direct-, -.net, -Live!… how about -Kaboom! ?
I took a first look at the new iPod games in Apple’s New Dual Processor Game Console. Here’s a look at some of the quirks and the hack potential of the new games and the iPod, and why iTunes is where all the action is.
I got some criticism for writing in How Apple’s iTV Media Strategy Works that I thought Apple’s new iTV was going to incorporate 802.11n, the new and much faster industry standard for wireless networking. Some readers thought that n isn’t going to be ready in the timeframe Apple announced for iTV’s arrival, while others said 802.11g is plenty fast enough to stream video already.
This week, Apple unveiled a new dual processor, handheld gaming platform with stereo surround sound and a bright, 30 frames per second color display. The company also announced that it created an instant installed base of players by secretly distributing millions of the new devices over the last year. This brand new platform is the fifth generation iPod. With a simple software upgrade, it can now play a new generation of games Apple is selling in directly from iTunes. Its dual processors have simply been playing music and videos up to this point. Now they’re chomping at the bit to dive into games apparently. Who knew?
Apple’s surprise announcement of a $299 “iTV” set top box was a confusion for some because Apple didn’t call it what it really is: the Video Airport Express. Here’s a closer look at the new device, and how it fits in with Apple’s online media strategy.
As noted in Why Apple is Winning in Media Downloads, there’s a huge gulf between HD or even DVD quality video, and what can be effectively delivered over the web. Here’s a visual comparison of how much larger HD and DVD programming is, compared to what Apple is selling in the iTMS.
Apple is leading media download sales by a huge margin, and had sustained its lead for several years now. The company didn’t fall into first place by accident however. Apple’s lead is based on platform principles that are very similar to the ones that made Microsoft successful with Windows: an understanding of technical feasibility, and a diligent effort to build a sustainable platform. Here’s how Apple is putting both ideas to work.
According to proponents of this myth, Apple and Amazon are embroiled in a dramatic conflict over movie downloads, with contention about who will be first, who will offer more, and who will ultimately prevail. Here’s a critical look at what’s being said, and the facts they’re overlooking. Of course, they’re wrong, here’s why.
Apple worked to compete with clean, new platform designs from NeXT and Be, while also struggling to deliver its own future plans.
Throughout the second half of the 80’s, Apple had shipped five new major versions of the Mac System Software; by 1990, the company was at System 6. After an initial flurry of rapid development, the Mac platform hit a wall. As the Mac morphed from a simple appliance computer into a new role in a more complex, networked world, it began to rise into competition with the low end of Unix workstations built by vendors such as Sun, SGI, and Apollo.
When I began writing the Apple and the Media series, I expected to find lots of examples of companies, individuals, and journalists suing Apple or otherwise using the company’s name for a free ride. I didn’t expect to uncover a conspiracy of greed, blackmail, protection money, and other mob tactics hiding under the sheep’s clothing of environmentalism.
Here’s a look at rival efforts to usher in a new computing platform in the early 1990’s. IBM’s OS/2 partnership with Microsoft intended to replace DOS with an advanced new PC software platform, while Microsoft’s own Windows hoped to prevent competition with other existing DOS vendors. The partners struggled to maintain control while faced with external competition and internal rivalry.
Greenpeace recently released their “Guide to Greener Electronics,” rating fourteen consumer electronics vendors. Following in the same tradition as the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Greenpeace issued a press release that specifically called attention to Apple and assigned the company a failing grade. Do the claims have any merit?
In 2005, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition targeted MacWorld, Apple’s stockholder meeting, and other events to criticize the company’s position on recycling and takeback programs for used computers. Here’s a look at the validity and competence of SVTC’s claims.