Android invades the desktop - John Morris


Morris gives a quick summary of some Android ‘desktop’ machines — mostly tablets that can dock with a keyboard, like HP’s Slate 21, various Acer products, and Samsung’s ATIV Q — but misses the point completely, sounding almost  apologetic for suggesting these things might have utility.

I’ll go strongly in the opposite direction. Windows is (nearly) dead, especially on smartphones and tablets. Android will soon be the largest OS in the world. Inevitably, Android will become the largest player in the shrinking laptop/desktop market. Mac OS X and Android are the one-two punch for Windows, and that includes the desktop/laptop market, too.

Touchscreen Chrome OS hybrid tablet/laptop coming soon? - Richi Jennings


Jennings pulls together many rumors pointing toward a touchscreen Chrome OS hybrid tablet/laptop designed and developed by Google. 

If the Android/iOS one-two punch is a precedent, the emergence of a Chrome OS laptop/tablet is more of a threat to Microsoft’s push on Surface than Apple. And the Surface looks like it’s heading nowhere, according to Piper Jaffray’s Black Friday stats.

Philip Elmer-Dewitt via Fortune
In a chart posted on Twitpic Monday, Asymco’s Horace Dediu shows that the multiple of PCs sold to Apple (AAPL) Macs sold has been falling steadily since it peaked in 2004 and is approaching the ratio of 1985. (via 2004: The year the Windows PC to Apple Mac sales ratio peaked - Apple 2.0 - Fortune Tech)

if you extrapolate, around 2016 the lines converge. Of course, that’s a linear sort of thinking. My bet is that iPad and soon iTV could accelerate the curve. Also, if Microsoft stumbles with its rollout of new Windows 8 phones, they could fall very very fast on the PC side.

Philip Elmer-Dewitt via Fortune

In a chart posted on Twitpic Monday, Asymco’s Horace Dediu shows that the multiple of PCs sold to Apple (AAPL) Macs sold has been falling steadily since it peaked in 2004 and is approaching the ratio of 1985. (via 2004: The year the Windows PC to Apple Mac sales ratio peaked - Apple 2.0 - Fortune Tech)

if you extrapolate, around 2016 the lines converge. Of course, that’s a linear sort of thinking. My bet is that iPad and soon iTV could accelerate the curve. Also, if Microsoft stumbles with its rollout of new Windows 8 phones, they could fall very very fast on the PC side.

Windows 8 A Springboard For Enterprise Facebook?

If today’s enterprise Windows users move onto Windows 8-oriented hardware, enterprise workgroup software might become very very differetn:

How Windows 8 Transforms Enterprise Computing - Quentin Hardy via NYTimes.com

Windows 8 could mean a lot of changes for business computing, in particular touch computing, like the swipes on an iPad. Microsoft appears to have adopted a refreshing awareness of current events, and with a nod to Apple and Google, designed a user interface that is also centered on apps. If you don’t like that you can go back to the old drag-and-drop desktop-era screen, but it is the new default.

H.P. is not talking about its future designs, but Dell sees the next version of Windows encouraging sales of ultrabooks. These lightweight laptops running Windows 8 are likely to adopt touch screens, like an iPad, while keeping the keyboard preferred for working on things like corporate spreadsheets. “Our view is that the mobile endpoint devices will become more important,” said David Johnson, Dell’s vice president of corporate strategy. “When you are creating content, a keyboard is critical.” For other things, like reading a newspaper, he says, the keyboard might go away.

In the demo, Microsoft showed personalization features that included instant feeds of information from Web-based accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as Microsoft’s own cloud-storage system, called Skydrive. There is every reason to think that an enterprise version of this idea would instantly load updated workflow and task information that is stored elsewhere. That could be very attractive to companies, possibly leading to system-wide upgrades.

Mr. Sherlund said he thought the integration with Facebook, in which Microsoft bought a 1.5 percent stake for $240 million in 2007, could mean that Facebook could begin to have a workgroup function, something Google is also after in its Google+ social networking software. “With the touch capabilities thrown in, this is all about the cloud,” he said.

Imagine Microsoft building an enterprise Facebook, and attacking the work media market with it. Given their position with Office and Sharepoint, they could make a lot of trouble for Yammer, IBM, and the two dozen other start ups and established players trying to dominate that exploding market.

However, I wonder if Microsoft can move fast enough. I won’t rule them out, though.

But the real battle here is Windows 8 versus iOS (and Mac OS X) and versus Android.

The ultrabook niche — especially the arrival of convertible ultrabooks, like Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga — will have to compete against the iPad and MacBook Air. These devices have touch sensitive screens — like the iPad — but also allow a conventional keyboard to be used, as well.

My prediction is that Apple will develop a convertible product — what I call the iAir — and it will become the next killer device, the one that defines the post-pc era.

[…] it’s a fundamentally flawed idea for Microsoft to build their next-generation OS and interface on top of the existing Windows. The idea is that you get the new stuff right alongside Windows as we know it. Microsoft is obviously trying to learn from Apple, but they clearly don’t understand why the iPad runs iOS, and not Mac OS X.

Microsoft’s demo video shows Excel — the full version of Excel for Windows — running alongside new touch-based apps. They can make buttons more “touch friendly” all they want, but they’ll never make Excel for Windows feel right on a touchscreen UI. Consider the differences between the iWork apps for the Mac and iPad. The iPad versions aren’t “touch friendly” versions of the Mac apps — they’re entirely new beasts designed and programmed from the ground up for the touchscreen and for the different rules and tradeoffs of the iOS interface (no explicit saving, no file system, ready to quit at a moment’s notice, no processing in the background, etc.).

The ability to run Mac OS X apps on the iPad, with full access to the file system, peripherals, etc., would make the iPad worse, not better. The iPad succeeds because it has eliminated complexity, not because it has covered up the complexity of the Mac with a touch-based “shell”. iOS’s lack of backward compatibility with any existing software means that all apps for iOS are written specifically for iOS.

John Gruber,  Why Windows 8 Is Fundamentally Flawed as a Response to the iPad

A Step Closer To A Web-First Operating System

Looks like Mac OS X Lion will bring Apple one step closer to a webbed OS. It seems that pre-release builds are already be delivered that way to developers through the App Store.

- Neil Hughes, Apple to release Mac OS X Lion through Mac App Store

Utilizing the App Store will allow owners of the new disc-drive-less MacBook Air to easily install the latest version of Mac OS X without the need for a physical disc. Apple ships its redesigned MacBook Air with a Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard reinstaller on a USB thumb drive, rather than a DVD.

Making the App Store a central component of the Mac experience will also allow Apple to remove disc drives from future hardware as the company looks toward a future of computing without the need for physical media. Removal of SuperDrives from devices like the MacBook Pro is expected to take place over the next 12-18 months, paving the way for even thinner designs with more internal space for a larger battery.

Apple has even moved to limit shelf space for software in its retail stores, allowing greater room for more profitable hardware to be sold. In February, it was rumored that the company actually plans to cease the sale of all boxed software at its retail locations.

Even smaller Macs, more room for batteries, and the imminent demise of the DVD as a distribution mechanism. These are all evidence of the rapid move to a web-first OS.

Yes, Apple has made some false moves on Mac OS — like Ping and mobile.me — but it will smooth those out in later versions of iOS that will support both families of devices.

I wonder when Apple will offer built-in access to the cell network — a la iPad — for the Macbook Air?

/Talkshow: Update On Streaming Audio For Macs

I have received clarification on the best approach for Mac users to access the streaming URL of Blogtalkradio.com’s shows. Users can download Flip4Mac for free — Windows Media components for Quicktime — and install, by clicking .

Requires Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, and QuickTime version 6.5 or later.

I have not tried this myself yet, but hope to do so before the show with Ross Mayfield on Thursday.

Mac Bootcamp: OS X Eats Windows

I agree with Fred Wilson: I don’t really want Bootcamp — the ability to boot Windows on a Mac, per se — what I want is to boot both at the same time, and switch back and forth:

[from A VC: One Step Closer to Conversion by Fred Wilson]

Today Apple announced a beta release of Boot Camp which allows you to boot the MacBook Pro (and all other Intel based Macs) in either OSX or XP.

That’s not completely ideal (what I really want is to be running both OS’s at the same time and be able to toggle back and forth between apps on both), but its a step closer.

Like Virtual PC, except running Windows apps natively. Virtual PC is really slow, although it may run faster on the new duo machines.

Still, this is another step forward, and represents a turning point, since so many people hold out against Mac because they just have to run one or two Windows apps.

[Update: Enormous tech.memeorandum pile-on:

XP can be booted on the Intel Mac

So now I have a really good reason to buy a new Intel Powerbook: I will be able to boot Windows XP on it.

[from Windows XP-on-Mac contest declares winner]

A Macintosh enthusiast has apparently managed to load Windows XP on an Intel Mac, nabbing a nearly $14,000 prize.

For some days, there has been discussion that the person who goes by the handle “narf” had managed the technically challenging feat. Photos were posted on Flickr, and much debate ensued. However, narf’s method had to prove replicable before the contest was officially ended.

On Thursday, though, the contest ended, and a winner was declared.

"Contest has been won—updates to follow shortly," reads a short message on the contest’s Web site.

The contest, which has been running since just after Apple Computer announced the first Intel-based Macs, collected donations from individuals and companies to raise the prize money.

Although both Macs and Windows PCs now use Intel chips, the task of loading Windows on the Intel Macs has proved more complicated, in part because both use different means of booting up. There had been hope that the next version of Windows would make things easier, but an Apple executive last week said booting Vista on Macs may not prove that easy, either.

Vista? Geez, that’s not until 2007 at the earliest. These guys will figure that out next year.

Yahoo Messenger: Syncing With The World Of Phones

Yahoo has released the next round of its efforts to get up to speed on the growing integration of desktop instant messaging with real world telphony through VoIP, as reported in PC Magazine. The Yahoo Messenger Phone In and Phone Out capabilities line up with Skype’s equivalent offerings, except that Yahoo is offering extremely attractive price points: two cents a minute for calls out to the US and 30 other countries, and low-rate, Phone In service for $2.90 per month.

Of course, as usual, these features are not available for the Mac (hisss). So while we can sync up with the world using Yahoo Messenger, its only for those paying homage to Microsoft.

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