Author Archives: Michael Gartenberg

Michael Gartenberg is a partner at Altimeter Group. His weblog can be found at gartenblog.net. Contact him at Gartenberg AT gmail DOT com Views expressed here are his own.

Breaking Windows is a good idea

Breaking Windows is a good idea

I have been reading a lot of critiques of Microsoft's mobile strategy lately, especially among those who think that breaking compatibility with older versions of Windows Mobile is a bad idea. Some of these opinions are just wrong, showing little knowledge of technical architectures. (If it's CE based, how come I can't run my old apps? Sheesh; CE was used in many different mobile devices, none of which could run Windows Mobile apps). For those that are dependent on some Windows Mobile app, Microsoft is wisely keeping the 6.5.x platform around for a while meaning folks can make a smooth transition as they need to.

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The Palm Paradox

The Palm Paradox

It's been a rough few weeks for the folks at Palm. First false rumors about Palm shutting down production lines, followed by less than stellar results have once again started the usual suspects putting Palm on either some death watch or have them about to be sold to (insert vendor's name here _____). Regarding the second, I don't believe Jon Rubenstein came out of retirement to build a world class product only to have it sold to (insert vendor's name here _____). But with regards to the whole death watch theme, Palm reminds me a lot of TiVo these days. It's not just the death watch meme that's plagued TiVo for years, it's the fact that Palm suffers from their own version of the TiVo paradox.

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Dirty Fingers Sexy Screen Wash and ET: more in common than you think

Dirty Fingers Sexy Screen Wash and ET: more in common than you think

It's a great urban legend. In September 1983, the Alamogordo Daily News of Alamogordo, New Mexico, reported in a series of articles that between ten and twenty semi-trailer truckloads of Atari boxes, cartridges, and systems from an Atari storehouse in El Paso, Texas were crushed and buried at the landfill within the city... it has been speculated that most unsold copies of E.T. are buried in this landfill, crushed and encased in cement.

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Buzz-kill

Buzz-kill

Recently Google entered the world of social media with their own service called Buzz. Buzz put Google directly in the real-time and social spaces, combined with a strong mobile component. Their approach is tied directly into Gmail on the desktop with a mobile website, and integration into various flavors of Google Maps. It would seem like a no-brainer and a success. Except I stopped using it almost immediately. Here's why.

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Why there is no Zune Phone

Why there is no Zune Phone

The big news out of Barcelona this week was Microsoft’s announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series, the heir to Windows Mobile and Microsoft’s platform of choice to evolve their mobile strategy. With a UI that's looks very familiar to users of the Zune HD, I think Microsoft has done an excellent job re-inventing their mobile strategy. It's clear they are no longer playing in this market, they're playing to win. It's also clear that this year will be a major inflection point for mobile and Microsoft has gotten off to a good start, much better than what we've heard so far this week. The key will be execution and delivery on the things they've shown us this week. You'd think that would be enough for most folks, but it's clearly not. It seems there are some out there that are still looking for more.

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When the PC is a Toaster

When the PC is a Toaster

It hasn’t been that long since Apple announced a computer that was more appliance than traditional PC and we’re still feeling the shocks. It was a “closed” system and the digerati panned it. Some said it would hurt future generations who would lack the tools to tinker and program. Others decried a new metaphor for dealing with information as too limiting and toy-like. Universally, it was agreed that it was way overpriced for what it offered to the market. Now you might think I’m talking about the introduction of the iPad a few weeks ago. Actually, I’m referring the introduction of Macintosh in 1984.

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Is the mobile browser relevant?

Is the mobile browser relevant?

I think it started with the iPhone and Safari, combining the power of a Webkit browser and a mobile phone for the first time. Later adopted by Nokia and Google among others, the mobile browsing experience has improved in leaps and bounds over the last three years. Today, vendors offer to deliver the "real Internet" to devices but I’m not certain that the "real Internet" is what matters for mobility.

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Who wants to be the Home CIO? Not me, please

Who wants to be the Home CIO? Not me, please

The PC has come a long way since it entered the home. Going from a disconnected device with little connectivity, it has become one of the core focal points for the digital home. Household PC penetration is on the rise with many homes having two PCs, and it's not uncommon for some to have three to or more. With the rise of lower cost laptops and netbooks, the average age at which a child receives their own PC is getting younger and younger each year. This growth of the PC within the home is not without complications and more consumers are growing frustrated as the proliferation of PCs make management, configuration and support a new and unwelcome household chore.

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Blu-ray: “The Best is the Enemy of the Good”

Blu-ray: “The Best is the Enemy of the Good”

It's sometimes a challenge to understand how arguably better technologies often lose out to things that are inferior. We've seen it time and time again. The problem is that consumers are often not interested in the "best" technology but are more than satisfied with that which is "good enough". These days, a good example would be to look at Blu-Ray and how it's being adopted by consumers.

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