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Microsoft in attempt to reduce its own market share?

Announcing its new version of Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Mobile, Microsoft made a curious statement that existing users will not be able to download the browser to their phone.

The browsing experience is at the forefront of the fiercely competitive smartphone battleground.  iPhone’s market sector leading Safari has been facing recent competition from RIM’s recent Storm, whilst the Windows Mobile market has Opera Mini/Mobile, Skyfire and the upcoming Firefox release.

Microsoft claims that a 500MHz processor is required for IE6 Mobile, which is worrying, but fine for many phones on the market such as the recent HTC Touch Pro and Samsung Epix.  Microsoft will be shipping the new browser in new releases in China, starting with the Samsung Omnia.

So by not offering IE6 as a download their market share is likely to decline in other regions, as Opera and Skyfire are so far ahead of the current WinMo IE.  To my mind this is self-destructive, giving competitors free reign to reduce Microsoft’s market share even though it has a product available to distribute.

Neil Berman

Nov 22, 2008 Posted by | Microsoft | , , , , | Leave a comment

Blackberry Storm Quick Hands-on Review

Reasons to like the Storm:

SurePress screen is 100% better to type on than the iPhone’s static glass

Smaller than the Bold with a great screen size

Decent for the Internet compared to the Bold…

Reasons to wish they’d worked a bit harder:

…as long as you wait a looooong time for the page to complete loading.  Storm Internet speed is crushed by iPhone and Opera on WinMo.

SurePress screen is 100% worse to type on than the Bold/Fuze/Epix/most things

Slower than any smartphone I’ve used recently…right up to the moment it crashed

Neil Berman

Nov 21, 2008 Posted by | Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

CES 2009 Preview: Manhattan November 11, 2008

CEA presented some interesting research at this week’s CES 2009 preview in Manhattan.  Their surveys were conducted within the last month, so the results are right up to date.

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA

Unsurprisingly CEA identified that consumer sentiment is the lowest in 15 years and predicts holiday spending down 14 percent at $1,437 per person compared to $1,671 per person in 2007.  Additionally CEA found that one in four consumers is adopting a wait and see approach, which will likely make it harder to determine how much people are really spending until later this year.

The good news however for the consumer electronics sector is that CEA believes the allocation of CE gift spending is growing.  Additionally consumers are more willing to eliminate home decor, furniture and sporting goods expenditure than CE spending.

What’s the reason for this?  CEA believes that consumer electronics are becoming so integral to our lives across a growing age range that CE expenditure is becoming less discretionary.  In fact some CE items are viewed as cost saving investments as families spend on ‘cocooning’ themselves at home in surround sound instead of blowing $50+ on a family outing to the cinema.

nbcLater in the proceedings George Kliavkoff stepped onto the podium to announce for NBC that the Today show, Power Lunch, Access Hollywood and Nightly News would all broadcast live from CES 2009.  Steve Mosko announced for Sony that a 25th anniversary filming of Jeopardy will take place at CES.  The announcements make it increasing likely that the January expo will marry up platform and content providers more closely than ever. 

Neil Berman

Nov 15, 2008 Posted by | CES | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mac users finally get Netflix instant viewing, caught thanking Microsoft

Netflix is now offering instant viewing to Apple users…and the Mac version, unlike the Windows one, is powered by Microsoft Silverlight.  Today’s Apple experience is defined by the strength of its multimedia offerings and its increasingly bitter negative advertising campaign towards Microsoft.  So it is perhaps the ultimate irony for Mac users that to enjoy Netflix’s industry leading video player we have to rely on downloading Microsoft’s Silverlight first.

On a related note Xbox 360 owners who are Netflix subscribers are the first to get Netflix HD shows.  Since current 360s all have Dolby 5.1, 1080i/p HDMI and Media Center extensibility for live TV streaming that makes the now-oh-so-cheap Arcade version a $199 bargain imho.  And it plays games.  If you’re quick you can get the 20gb hard drive for very very little from Microsoft too.

Neil Berman

Nov 3, 2008 Posted by | Apple, Microsoft | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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