I’ve found the fracas regarding Apple (AAPL) and the recent release of software for the iPhone rather ironic and worthy of comment.
The iPhone was introduced as a standalone consumer electronic device with little or no modification possible by third parties. In the months since launch, the iPhone attracted hackers by the dozens who bypassed the phones security functions to add many interesting applications, as well as unlock the device for use on any GSM/EDGE network.
Google (GOOG) appears to be buying GrandCentral, a company that merges VoIP and advanced calling features. They provide you with a single phone number and web/mobile interfaces to manage call redirection, voicemail, address books, etc. Think of it as VoIP on steroids and EPO, simultaneously. Click over to their Features page for a better description and familiarize yourself with how outdated a plain landline has become.
Anandtech has an absolutely horrifying review detailing the trials and tribulations of setting up a Windows Vista home theater PC (HTPC) with the first HD capable TV tuner from ATI (AMD). Even with the on-site assistance of Dell (DELL) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) (with promptness and technical expertise you or I could never hope to see) it took two days to get the Windows Vista PC, external HDTV cable tuner, and Time Warner Network integrated and up and running. The resulting experience was great, though most consumers would have never had the patience or technical fortitude to get it up and running. It makes one wonder why anyone would bother to do this at all.
From an interview with Romanian Press:
Journalist: Let’s imagine a hospital where life support systems are running Vista. Would you trust it with your life?
Microsoft Windows is the Tin Man of the computing world. It has no heart.
Viewed in the context of last week’s CES, the iPhone’s greatest impact should be felt by incumbents. Why? The iPhone has enlightened consumers to the fact that existing mobile phone interfaces suck. But people are mistaken if they think a $599 iPhone is going to sell 10M units in 2008. It will take a $299 iPhone 2.0 to make this happen.
I love it when a plan comes together.
I’m here in Vegas and Microsoft (MSFT) has announced that the Xbox 360 will be morphed into a set-top box, delivering IPTV like functionality. This is something I predicted almost a year ago, based on the fact it made sense and Microsoft appeared to telegraph this.
Prediction is an entertaining activity better suited for stimulating discussion than providing an absolute outlook on the future. Therefore, the bolder and more controversial, the better. Keep that in mind as you read and respond.
Quick, rank the 10 following companies by market capitalization from large to small. If pressed for time, try picking the three biggest and three smallest.