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Thread: Format Wars, Standards & Competition

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There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

Dude, Where's My Android?


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Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 23:01:41 +1000

As the economic billabongs start to dry up, the competition in the remaining, shrinking muddy puddles is starting to intensify. Nokia have a new touch phone, the 5800, which they hope will compete with the iPhone. And a device (the 5300) that seems like an iPod that can make phone calls. With their well established network, Nokia may be able to give them away to customers signing up for new plans or renewing old plans. However, judging by the reviews so far, people won't be rushing off to dealers to specifically ask for a 5800 or a 5300 (as many new iPhone customers seem to have done).

Rumour has it that HP are considering Google's Android for a netbook. And it is the most logical operating system for those devices, which as they evolve, are beginning to resemble smart phones on steroids. As the economic crunch starts to bite hard, manufacturers will have to reduce costs. And the convergence between PDAs, netbooks and smart phones is going to continue for the time being.

In Australia, since the failure of the Kogan launch, it seems that we will have to wait a bit longer for an Android.

And the rumours about a Dell Android still persist. Would it be too much to hope for an Australian Android from them? An Android phone would be a significant change for Dell, who have been a loyal Microsoft customer since they began. Although it would probably make more sense for Dell to release an Android netbook ... a lot more sense then an XP netbook.

And all the while Apple is consolidating their lead in the smart phone market. If we don't see some credible competition soon, the smart phone race could become a one-horse race.

As your humble blogger has said on many occasions, the biggest loser in this lean mean market could be Microsoft, struggling as they are to keep their plump head above water, with the weighty millstone of Vista tied around their neck. On the lean end of the market there is Linux, leanest and meanest, free and better quality than Windows, and at the more profitable end of the market there is Mac OS X which although not as lean as Linux, is more expensive and also better quality then Windows.

And although Microsoft will benefit from some of the stimulus cashola, which politicians are using to fertilise the sagging, sinking market economy, the competitive options for MS in the mobile market are limited. They can either dramatically improve the quality of their operating system or give it away for free. They don't seem to be capable of either of these options, so their footprint on low-end netbooks and smart phones is sure to diminish rapidly. Although since Microsoft is fat and bloated in the gravy train end of the market, it won't do them much harm to lose a few pounds in the lean end of the market. It might even do them some good.

On the other hand, if consumers ever get some hands on experience with Android (provided we don't die of old age waiting for it), the possibilities for Linux are limitless.

Meanwhile in the console market place Sony are tightening their belts. They have cut the cost of their Playstation 2 yet again. This is because consumers are also doing a bit of belt-tightening as well. In the new tight-belt market, the Playstation 2 still has a lot going for it. Parents with younger children, looking for a budget-priced stable gaming platform with a wide range of titles won't overlook the PS2. Sony appreciate that the platform has paid for itself many times over, and they could almost give it away at cost or wholesale and still earn revenue from software sales.

Hey buddy! Can you spare a trillion?


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