Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Qualcomm at the Birth of the Mobile Generation

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, opened this year’s keynote “Born Mobile” at CES in Las Vegas by pointing out that this was the first time a mobile company has opened the show. Globally, mobile is at the heart and center of everything we do, transforming the way we live and giving rise to the new “Generation M”.  A survey of those people who have grown up “mobile” identified that 84% of them can’t go one day without their devices. Mobile is the largest technology platform in the history of mankind. There are 6.4 billion mobile connections worldwide and 1 million smartphones are added daily which is twice the global daily birth rate.

Qualcomm took the opportunity to share the platform with Steve Ballmer of Microsoft who has been the traditional opening keynote for many years. Ballmer showcased Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset used in the Windows-based Nokia Lumina 900 and HTC8X. Cementing their relationship, Ballmer thanked Jacobs for the opportunity to partner with Qualcomm and to experience being “born mobile”.  I would have to suspect that the famous “Wintel” partnership is in its sunset years… so what will the new partnership be called?

Jacob’s keynote offered insight into the new Snapdragon 800 chipset which will offer faster wireless connection in mobile devices by the second half of this year.  This quad core chip, operating at 2.5 Ghz, has 75% better performance and power efficiency than those of previous generations. These are coupled with enhanced graphics, next generation WiFi 802.11AC and LTE to provide online console gaming graphics capability.  Additionally, the chipset enables the playback and more importantly the capture and sharing of ultra-high definition video. This aspect is probably the most significant element in accelerating the penetration of ultra HD, which most thought would be constrained by the slow adoption of the TV industry. To demonstrate the power of the chip, Jacobs introduced the film producer, Guillermo del Toro, who previewed his upcoming ultra HD film “Pacific Rim”, played back on a Snapdragon device.

We were given a glimpse into many other exciting ways that Qualcomm is partnering to help interconnected devices, including sensors, facilitate the creation of a “digital sixth sense” that can gather information from the cyber world and bring it into the real world. One example given was an app being made available this summer called “Big Bird’s Words”. The Big Bird app from Sesame Street is devised as an early reading tool for children; it works on a device fitted with a camera and uses text recognition to enable children to point to words that Big Bird then repeats.

Overall, it was a high profile and powerful presentation that anchors Qualcomm at the center of the new “Generation M” world. To close, Adam Levine and two others from Maroon 5 played acoustic versions of some of their hits including “Pay Phone” – which Jacobs quipped should be renamed “Mobile Phone”!

Steve Bell, Principal, KeySo Global

www.keysoglobal.com

Google & Motorola- Chinese Whispers and Puzzles

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Why offloading Motorola Mobility to Huawei makes no sense

 

Even before the deal is finalized the Wall Street Journal is speculating that Google will sell Motorola Mobility (MMI) to Huawei and keep just the patents because it doesn’t want to disrupt the Android ecosystem. The analysts IDC commented that since “Google doesn’t have a hardware background”, they don’t know what to do with Motorola.

The reality is more complex than either of these speculations. In acquiring the patent portfolio, Google is astute enough to realize that in the converged technology world strong hardware and software combination patents are vital. Equally, they understand that this capability needs to be maintained in order to protect the ecosystem going forward, thus acquiring the means to do this. Now it just has to be creatively integrated into the organization in such a way that everyone sees the overriding future benefits.

When looking at Google’s major operating system competitors, Apple has both the hardware and software capability but completely integrated into a closed system; Microsoft with Nokia has an integrated approach as well, even though they are touting an open system. The requirement for hardware and software is without doubt paramount for the future.

Devices beyond smartphones need to be created in order to achieve Eric Schmidt’s (Chairman of Google) objective of connecting the world. While Android in smartphones is growing rapidly, Apple still dominates the tablet space. Concepts such as Google Wallet and Google Glass will need help transferring into the world of commercial production. The acquisition of MMI provides Google with a mechanism for rapidly commercializing technology concepts into simple to use devices.

Does MMI have too many phone design teams and engineering resources for this scenario? The answer is “probably”. Could elements of this be offloaded and would Huawei be a logical acquirer? The answer is “possibly”. However, the core capability will be retained within Google in order to enable the enhanced technology future that Larry Page, Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google) and Eric Schmidt foresee for the world. This future includes enabling mesh type communications for the emerging world, facilitating the digital living room and creating the autonomous automobile. None of these will be successful without the opportunity and means to integrate hardware, software and creative vision. This is the capability that Google has acquired with MMI.

Article first published as Google & Motorola – Chinese Whispers and Puzzles on Technorati.

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Turbulent times –a seed bed for creative growth

Friday, February 18th, 2011
This week GSMA Mobile World Congress, Europe’s premier mobile telecom and internet industry conference took place in Barcelona. As the industry shared the latest gadgets, technology and service developments, it was also trying to determine the real significance of the Nokia Microsoft partnership.

It is clear that as mobile telecoms and the internet come together, nothing is guaranteed. Two of the most successful players of both industries have struggled for relevance in the converged space of the mobile internet and smartphones. This converged space and the impact that it has on society has been our focus at KeySo Global for the last 3 years, and we refer to it as Digital Life. This phenomenon is spreading virally and facilitating increasing globalization of politics, economics, education and societal change.

Efficient real time communication and “anytime anywhere” access to information sources are fueling a broader societal perspective and increasing peoples’ expectations for leaders to solve the issues that negatively impact their lives, especially among the younger generation. The impact has stunned industry veterans like Intel’s Paul Otellini: “I would not have thought that technology would change politics or democracy. But it changed the American electoral cycle, it just changed two countries and it’s not going to stop there. It’s a liberating technology.”

2011 has continued to provide a constant stream of 24 /7 TV images and online reports of the problems in many countries such as Tunisia, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and most recently Bahrain. Given this barrage, it’s difficult to deny that we’re living in uniquely turbulent times. Citizens in all countries have gained a louder and more powerful collective voice which is generating real and intense pressure on incumbent leaders to alter their policies or step down.

Since 1989 and the deconstruction of both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire, the number of democracies in the world has increased significantly, according to George Mason University. Some observers have noted the Middle East was an outlier in the trend to democracy and that the current events are evidence of the continued enlightenment and alignment of the global population. Others highlight the impact of a connected and educated younger generation and an empowered middle class. Both these factors are relevant but probably two of the most significant aspects of change are the democratization of information and the mobilization of people that these converged technologies enabled. Despite the desperate efforts of some existing governments to curtail, block and usurp access to these converged services, the inevitable outcome could not be prevented.

Returning to the question of the significance of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership – the deciding factor will be their ability to quickly unify their product strategy and collaboratively re-enter the market. As the pace of change accelerates they will be shooting from behind at a rapidly moving target. Compounding these challenges will be the added distraction of finding synergistic thinking among many different egos, overcoming turf wars and posturing which could further hinder the ability of both companies to collaborate effectively and innovate competitively. Nothing is guaranteed in this converged space but if these two can harness their combined depth of knowledge with proactive interaction with consumers and enterprise customers, they have the potential to win.

If you would like to learn how open innovation can be leveraged through internal & external knowledge networks and how to take advantage of Digital Life opportunities, contact us at +1 847-478-1633 or visit our website at www.keysoglobal.com.

Nokia and Microsoft – A window to heaven or 7 years bad luck?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

In January at CES (the Consumer Electronic’s Show in Las Vegas) CNBC’s star reporter “Money Honey” Maria Bartiromo asked Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer “What are you going to do with your $50 billion of cash? Are you going to buy Nokia or RIM?” Ballmer, of course, refused to comment. The consensus is, however, that Microsoft’s options for succeeding in the smartphone market are declining rapidly.

This week there is news that Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new CEO, has determined he and the company are on a “burning platform” and tomorrow is likely to announce a restructure of Nokia’s executive board, making it less Finnish; but more significantly, he is looking to make the company more successful, specifically in North America. Additionally, he is reportedly looking for a new head of operating systems, as well as a new head of research and development with strong software capability. This reorganization will be a major shakeup for Nokia. The question is (as was pointed out in a previous blog) will this consensus driven company that historically succeeded because of continuity of leadership make this transition, not only in strategy but culture as well?

Is this a marriage of convenience or desperation? Both Microsoft and Nokia are struggling in the smartphone arena, particularly in North America, where the latest Comshare subscriber data shows that Nokia has only 7.0% of the overall subscriber base and has no presence in the smartphone platform market. Microsoft is also desperately hanging on to 8.4% of Smartphone platform subscribers; this is compared to RIM that slipped to 31% under pressure from a rapidly accelerating Android and a solid Apple performance.

The scene is certainly set for some bold moves from a market share and business survival perspective, and this leads me to think about the outcome of potential acquisition activity. In reality the key question that should be asked is not “what are you buying?” but “what would the purchase develop into? “

The real issue is not about the strategic benefits and opportunities of such a merger, but whether or not the cultures of the companies can be positively blended. Does Steve Ballmer, in cooperation with ex Microsoft exec Steve Elop, have the stamina and fortitude to work with the Finn’s, where collaboration is more than just a word – it’s a national, cultural and management style? This culture is totally unlike most American “command and control” multinationals, and certainly nothing like Microsoft.

The probability is that tomorrow Stephen Elop will announce a close partnership with Microsoft on Windows 7 and next generation smart device operating systems. This will allow both companies to gain experience of each other, similar to an engagement. The final outcome of this is experimentation and open to speculation, but the reality is that, together or apart, the 2 companies are unlikely to be the dominant forces they were or currently are.

Contact us at KeySo Global if you’re interested in learning about the implications of digital life trends on your business. Call us at +1 847-478-1633 or go to our website at www.keysoglobal.com