Amazon Fires up the Tablet market

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the Kindle Fire

Yesterday’s launch of Amazon’s new Tablet, the Kindle Fire, has stirred up all sorts of trouble for the other vendors in the same space.

Will Apple be hurting? A little bit, but it’s really RIM, Microsoft and the other Android tablets that are in for a tough time. Amazon seem to have created a lovely device and new web browser aimed at the mass market. There is plenty of people that want an iPad but don’t want to pay the premium for a Tablet. We all saw what happened when HP did a firesale on their Touchpads, the price point was just right for the mass market.

There are also plenty of people out there that love their Kindle’s and prefer the smaller form factor. I’m a new Kindle user. I read 4 books on holiday last week and loved the device. When my iPhone blew up I even tried out the Kindle browser. It wasn’t great, but it looks like Amazon have invested a lot of R&D to build their new Silk browser. It looks very slick and uses Amazon’s EC2 cloud to really optimize the user experience.

I think the Kindle Fire is really going to put huge pressure on Microsoft. Consumers are now seeing that you can buy really capable devices without having to spend the Steve Ballmer OS tax. Do users need Windows 8 and Office outside of the workspace? Not really.  And I think that the reality of this issue has hit home after the mass walkout during Ballmer’s speech at the Microsoft Company meeting last week.

But the key to Amazon’s success is going to be content. Their vast amount of books, magazines and music means that the Kindle is certain to be a must have device. Portable, slick, easy and powerful when on the Internet.  I have been trying to think what sort of people will buy one? To be honest at that price I think its pretty much aimed at everyone.  In today’s consumer market, it’s the content that is king. Amazon has that in bucket loads, and all on a device less than $200.

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The Post PC Era gathering speed in the Enterprise

I just wanted to highlight this great article in Information Week entitled “Microsoft could lose more than Consumers market to Tablets “.  It points at new research from Gartner that reinforces Cisco’s view that tablets are making significant inroads in the business market due to companies giving employees more technology choice and flexibility.

“CIOs are determined not to make the same mistakes they made with smartphones, which were written off early as expensive toys, or executive status symbols—which then left room for more inventive leaders who saw the competitive advantage that mobile applications would bring,” said David Willis, a research VP at Gartner, in a bulletin.

Before I left Microsoft to join Cisco I had a meeting with some senior Practice Leaders of a Global Systems Integrator at our HQ Offices. Opening up my Lenovo laptop to take notes, I noticed that everyone of them got out an iPad. Maybe not too much of a surprise but one of whom was their Microsoft Desktop Deployment lead!!

Consumerisation is here to stay and this Post PC era is a huge advantage for Cisco. There is only one Microsoft OS Tablet in the marketplace and Microsoft doesn’t play on Apple or Android. Combine this with the “new way of working” with Social Computing like Quad and Webex which operate on any device, then you can see how strong our offering is. The key is to not compete head on with Microsoft, but to focus on what Microsoft is not about.  Choice

Microsoft gets Feisty with VMware

Looks a harmless Billboard promoting Microsoft’s Cloud Technologies right?

Well it would be, however this billboard has been placed a mere 5miles from VMware World Headquarters in Palo Alto. Its also on the route that most VMware employees take to work!

 For someone who has worked at Microsoft for over 5years now this sort of feisty advertising is a sight for sore eyes. Over the time that I’ve been here, its been frowned apon internally  if we create a campaign that competes directly with another software vendor. However “Cloud Computing” seems to be the game changer!

 Next step for Microsoft? Hopefully a focus on Social Marketing and viral

Public Enemy didn’t, but do you Believe the Hype? “Gartner Hype Cycle 2010”

I love Twitter! To be fair it’s the only way I would have seen the 2010 Gartner Hype Cycle over the weekend; I needed a distraction from Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor!

Working for Microsoft I find these types of Reports really interesting; especially as a large focus of my role is now around Cloud Computing.

What interested me the most in the report was how Gartner had rightly separated Cloud into Public, Private and Platform rather than bundle them together as they did in 2009. As Software Vendors jostle for position in the Cloud, clear lines are being drawn around which model is best; SaaS, IaaS or PaaS. To be honest, they all have their place.

My own personal view is that SaaS model like Google and Microsoft Online Services work well in the Small to Mid-Market space. Enterprise customers really want their own Private Cloud or Dynamic Datacenter. This is probably why Gartner have plotted Private Cloud at the up and coming area of the Hype Cycle; Larger Businesses want the flexibility of the cloud but also want to keep control of their own data. My thoughts are that IT Departments in the future will become a business within a business offering IT Services to departments on a utility style basis.  Of course this model requires initial investment to Optimise the Infrastructure first….although I’ve been preaching about Businesses doing that for about 10years now. Is the hype right this time?

 

The Big Shift: The Rise of the Cloud

This nice infograph from Column Five Media gives a easy to understand view of where the world of IT is heading. My role with Microsoft is now almost 80% focused on the Cloud, be it the Public Cloud with Microsoft Online Services and Windows Azure, or the Private Cloud with Dyanmic Datacenter and Virtualisation. Microsoft dont seem to pushing the top of this list of top vendors but this infograph is a little old now and probably doesnt take into account the latest announcements made at WPC.

Microsoft and Amazon Sign Patent-Sharing Deal

In a new deal announced today, Microsoft and Amazon will gain access to each other’s portfolio of patents, including patents related to the Amazon Kindle and the shopping giant’s Linux server technology. More details on the Mashable website.

So it looks to me like we’ll Kindle developed by the Windows team and hopefully out for Win8 or 9. I also suspect there will be a closer development of both companies Cloud Strategy with Azure.