As someone much smarter than I once said, “Timing in life is everything”, couldn’t be more correct especially in the technology business. Exactly one year ago this week yours truly was part of a nationwide kick-off of the short-lived webOS HP TouchPad that unfortunately lasted all of 6 weeks before our business unit was closed and the sales of the TouchPad were shut down. Now let’s advance forward exactly one year and here we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the most iconic and disruptive technology product of all time, the iPhone, which has produced over 200 million devices and over 650,000 apps.
Now continuing to look at the current day, much is changing as we speak especially around Microsoft building out it’s Windows 8 OS and RIM being unable to deliver on BlackBerry 10, which is delayed until early next year. Who would have known let’s say 12 months ago that this perfect storm of a new Windows OS to possibly challenge Apple and Android could be taking the place of the once former king of mobile devices in RIM? In reality you would have liked both Microsoft and RIM to be healthy enough to make this a 4 horse race, but based on the dismal results and significant layoffs at RIM (including many of my former co-workers and friends), I suspect that Microsoft will be able to pick up some quick market share if RIM continues to drop like a rock. Microsoft still has to prove out their ability to utilize Windows 8 across multiple touch-screen platforms to be a serious challenger to IOS and Android, but they certainly have the muscle and more importantly, the war chest to at least make this a 3-way contest.
Lot’s of exciting and unfinished business for the rest of 2012 and beyond so as they say, “Let’s Go Mobile”!
Windows 8 marks beginning of new programming model
July 2, 2012 – 10:00am
The looming release of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 operating system will have far-reaching implications for business enterprises, according to a report released last week by Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc.
The report, “Windows 8 Changes Windows as We Know It,” predicts the new operating system will lessen the support for legacy Windows applications over time while speeding adoption of cloud and mobile computing. Although Windows 8 will be backwards compatible with applications programmed in the Win32 application programming interface, Gartner said it expects software developers to embrace the WinRT programming model.
“Windows 8 is the start of Microsoft’s effort to respond to market demands and competitors as it provides a common interface and programming API set from phones to servers,” said Michael Silver, vp and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “It is also the beginning of the end of Win32 applications on the desktop. Microsoft will continue to support Win32, but it will encourage developers to write more manageable and engaging applications using WinRT.”
Accordingly, the report says that, eventually, most legacy Win32 desktop applications are likely to be run in virtualized environments or in the cloud.
“Windows 8 is more than a major upgrade to Windows—it’s a technology shift,” said Steve Kleynhans, vp for client and mobile computing at Gartner. “We don’t see technology shifts too often; the only other one Microsoft’s client OS has gone through was the move from DOS technology to Windows NT technology, which began in 1993 and took eight years, ending with the introduction of Windows XP in 2001,”
While an official release day for Windows 8 has not been set, it is widely expected to be released this fall.
What happens to your BlackBerry now?
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Is this the end of the road for Research in Motion and the once-loved “CrackBerry“?
The company’s BlackBerry 10 operating system — meant to be the linchpin of RIM’s turnaround — won’t hit the market until the first quarter of 2013.
The news is so concerning that some critics don’t think the company will even survive long enough to launch the OS.
BlackBerry 10 (which RIM first announced in October as “BBX” before a lawsuit over the system’s name) had previously been slated for release later this year.
CEO Thorsten Heins was somber on a post-earnings conference call Thursday, saying that developers have been making progress on BlackBerry 10 but implementation is “more challenging than anticipated.”
Critics think that delay may be fatal. Brian White, an IT hardware analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, wrote in a report that it “may leave the company so vulnerable that the new platform may never see the light of day.”
Amid the delays, RIM’s device shipments are declining rapidly. Smartphone shipments fell 41% over the year to 7.8 million last quarter. And the company shipped a paltry 260,000 PlayBook tablets.
On the smartphone front, National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson wrote in a report that “investors should expect shipments to spiral downward unless the handsets are donations.”
RIM’s uncertain future was crystallized in late March, when Heins, who took over the CEO role in January, said he was exploring all options for the company, including a sale. The company officially hired bankers a few weeks later.
Thompson praised management for “taking meaningful restructuring actions” — namely, the 5,000 job cuts and its consideration of other “strategic” moves like putting the company on the block.
A total overhaul will certainly be a difficult task for Heins, a RIM insider who succeeded co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. He inherited a laundry list of problems, which seems only to be growing.
RIM’s chief problem is the loss of its stronghold in the corporate market, a market it once dominated. Rather than issuing company BlackBerries, many employers now have workers bring their own devices into work. And they are often Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPhone and Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android devices.
As a result, RIM now trails Samsung, Apple and Nokia (NOK) in the smartphone market, according to a report from IDC last month.
Investors and other industry watchers are wondering whether RIM or Nokia will have the dishonor of being the next Palm, the smartphone maker that officially met its demise last fall after Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) bought it and then shut it down.
But despite RIM’s many issues, the company still has 78 million subscribers and $2.2 billion in cash on hand. So you won’t wake up in the next few months and suddenly find that your BlackBerry has become merely a fancy paperweight.