Every Software company needs a Hardware company!

nokia Bravo to Microsoft for securing Nokia’s mobile phone division. Nokia having shrunk it’s market share from 40% of phones in 2007 to just 3% of smartphones today have struggled in recent years to keep up with Google and Apple

Microsoft paid £4.6bn for the division and although the partnership agreement still had some years to run they should be able to better compete with Apple and Google now they are officially “Phone Engineers and manufacturers”!

Software companies that need to get their heads around hardware engineers and building devices benefit from these sorts of deals, think back to Sony and Ericsson in 2001, they recognised all those years ago that this was a good move, they bought back out in 2011. Don’t forget more recently Google, who took the Motorola phone division back in 2012.

So Blackberry is left on the shelf, Samsung maybe for the software rather than hardware and it’s Enterprise business?

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Google Atmosphere 2013 London

Amit Singh Google’s President of Enterprise opened this years event at the Brewery in London

 Google Atmosphere 2013 Keynote

He introduced Everywhere, Everything, Everyone as the vehicle to articulate Googles strategy for its 5 key areas.

  1. Connect
  2. Visualise
  3. Build
  4. Find
  5. Access

Mobile was mentioned many times and He added From Mobile First to Mobile Only, very slick indeed, bear that in mind when you read some of the stats below.

  • 90% of the search on a smartphone leads to action, telephone number, map search
  • In India mobile traffic has bypassed desktop traffic
  • 84% of Googlemaps traffic is from Mobile devices
  • Android now has 900m users this time last year it was 400m
  • Chrome is now the No1 browser
 

We then heard from Thomas Davies who talked about the successes of Google Enterprise,  touting 5 Billion businesses on google services that’s 58% of F500 companies using paid google products.

Thomas introduced senior IT leaders from Pearson group, Transport for London and Ocado who of course waxed lyrical around the virtues of the Google platforms and services!

All in all not a bad event, felt very sold to but learned lots about Google products.

The food was amasing and we played in the Google “Popup” campus 🙂

Motorola’s fancy new Droid Razr HD

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Motorola readies its new Droid HD Razr handset for release and are shouting about battery life as its unique selling point.
Amusingly they celebrate it as the “All Day Phone” yes we had “All Week” phones many years ago so that’s not that impressive. Of course these phones were not smartphones and battery technology is the constraint but it shows how crowded the marketplace is that they pick out a seemingly average feature as a differentiator.

What about the 4.7′ 720×1280 super OMALED display, the 1.5Ghz Dual Core CPU or even the 8MP camera that can shoot full HD video? Well there is the problem, much the same, if not less than the competition.

The Samsung Galaxy S3, widely acclaimed as the best phone in the world has a quad core CPU is skinny and even has an SD card slot, oh and they say 21hours talk time, now that’s nearly a day.

So the moral of the story is that all these high end phones are packed full of tech so it’s a struggle to part them, therefore choose on brand, operating system or price….and have a think about your requirements as you will likely be signing a 2 year contract. More of a marriage that a one night stand although some celebs have shorter marriages come to think of it.

Also, rather oddly, the fact it has a barometer and temperature sensor is buried deep in the specification, now that is cool why aren’t they shouting about that?

Motorola Droid Razr detailed spec

Autonomous Vehicles

With the state of California recently approving driverless cars, jumping in your car to go somewhere and not having to do anything is a step closer, assuming the technology works and is infallible, it ought to be safer to.

Some of us more senior members of the community will remember the introduction of driverless trains, the DLR for example, at the time (1987) it was unthinkable that no one was driving, now it’s just accepted. No sickness, pension or compassionate leave to worry about, just the odd reboot 🙂

Google recently announced within 5 years they will have autonomous vehicles available. A great added benefit being access to transport for blind or disabled people who currently cannot drive, these guys could own and operate a car, got to be a good thing. Also mentioned in many articles is the extra space available as parking could be much more dense, or even stacked automatically.

These systems employ a mixture of sensors to detect and confirm speed, location, proximity to other vehicles etc by using Radar, GPS, Wheel encoders and Lasers coupled with of course detailed maps, accurate to within a couple of meters. Using all this data they can successfully and safely navigate a route and deal with the usual obstacles and scenarios that crop up on the roads.

The system has been developed to yield to pedestrians for example but to be more aggressive at intersections and junctions, so as to not be out smarted by those around it, edging forward is an example of being more aggressive, unlike the human equivalent of sticking ones fingers up and yelling obscenities out of the window.

The subject of shared vehicles is then a real possibility, after all you do not actually need to own one, just virtually flag one down in the app and jump in, the most efficient one stopping for you and inconveniencing the other passengers the least based on the optimum route.

Next time your in California look out for license plates with the infinity symbol and a red background, this denotes driverless.

For those Tomorrow’s World fans this is one step closer to flying cars.

View the keynote and more info

Source:spectrum.ieee.org, Google, YouTube

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