Remember the days of Nintendo vs. Sega? Things were simple then. If you hung around enough peers, you were likely granted access to both gaming systems. Things got mighty complicated in later years…more buttons, manufacturers, attachments, etc.
The latest turn in gaming technology leads to “SmartGlass,” a revolution in entertainment. The Microsoft software will combine the Xbox video console, Windows 8 tablets, and Windows phone devices. SmartGlass will enable tablets or smart phones to stream media onto a television screen (controlled by the Xbox console).
So what’s the cost for the SmartGlass technology? Microsoft reps state it will be free and operate with Windows phones, Windows 8, and other portable entities. SmartGlass apps facilitate “communication with whatever glass surface you have.”
If you’ve been somewhat tracing the triumphs and tribulations of tech manufacturers, you may have noticed a bit of implemented strategy. For instance, some devices only work with in-brand devices, some technologies cross paths with patents of other brands, etc. However, after working on the project for over a year, Microsoft plans to have SmartGlass work with the devices of other manufacturers, such as Apple and Google.
Let’s not neglect Nintendo and the notion the brand plans to release its Wii U console later this year. The console offers a tablet-like controller, which can manipulate the game screen via touch screen and onboard sensors.
The notion of allowing its technology to integrate with implements of other manufacturers is an interesting business strategy. For instance, many consumers champion Apple products, yet do not like the inability to cross usage with implements of other manufacturers.
The in-brand only approach can lead to a faithful following, which Apple has; but, does it alienate a percentage of the market, those who want options? Microsoft’s notion may make a lot of sense and cents for them by enabling wide-spread access.
If you have a great product or service, why not enable more people to embrace them? Of course, it’s not always such an easy decision for competing brands. When was the last time you saw Pepsi offered in a Coke vending machine? Even if it meant more sales, would Coke host its long-time rival? Can technology brands be mutually-benefitting frenemies?
Bing has added a new feature to their shopping site on their search engine. When a user types a certain product (golf clubs, for example) the drop-down is automatically filled in with brands, types, variances, and arranged by department, and product. This new feature went live last week.
Announced today, Google purchased Motorola Mobility (widely known as the builder of Motorola’s cellphones and tablets) for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility significantly helped the company return to stronger revenue with its line of Android based smartphones. Some analysts say this shines light on future plans for Google (including the development of Google Tablets), however most say that this move is more about securing patents.
The company has gotten itself in to some patent lawsuits and has since been buying the rights to various patents across the board. CEO Larry Page discusses “We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android”. Page further states that “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
Google competes against Apple in the smartphone industry by making smartphones on Android open-source. Apple’s iOS is closed-source. By doing this, Google wants Motorola, Samsung, and HTC to allow them to customize the software to their liking. This has led to a bitter battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Since Google gives the operating system free to smartphone manufactures, Apple and Microsoft are seeking a way to make them pay $15 licensing fee for all smartphones made on the Android system.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility acts as a hedge against this and tries to give the company more patents in its on-going dispute with rivals Apple and Microsoft.
Microsoft Corp. is claiming that Google is deceptively misleading customers about the security of their various applications, representing another piece of the ongoing struggle between tech giants Microsoft and Google. Released in mid-February, Google caught Bing apparently stealing their search results.
Microsoft claims that Google Apps for Government does not adhere to the security standards that they claim it does. David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president says that Google’s apps used for government clients are not certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
This could raise a problem as Google claims that their applications do have FISMA certification. Is this another shot that Microsoft is taking at Google in an event to get market share for Bing?
In an industry report of search engines for 2011, Google has 84.5% market share, while Yahoo has 8%, and Bing had 5.4%, respectively.
Microsoft launched an app for Bing compatible on the iPad 2, iPhone, and Android last week. They are expected to announce a Microsoft based tablet computer sometime in 2011. What we’re seeing is really a classic tale of two giants going against each other, competing for reputation and market share.
Since Microsoft is the first real threat that could be posed to Google, they seem to be taking every opportunity that they can to make up huge ground on Google. This is a pretty clear example of an Offensive versus Defensive marketing strategy. Stay tuned.
Google Inc. claimed last week that rival Microsoft’s search engine Bing stole their search results. A report surfaced last Tuesday, February 1, when Google claimed they ran a trap operation to test if Bing had in fact stolen their results. And of course, what happened? The mouse got caught! Google changed their search algorithms to display fictitious website in their search results for bogus words such as “hiybbprqag” and “mbzrxpgjys”. When they used Bing to search for these scrambled words that would have made Noah Webster have a heart attack, the same exact search results populated on Bing and they did Google.
Anyone could imagine the look on the Google search team’s face when they noticed the results. Because of this, Amit Singhal, a member of the Google search engine algorithm team labeled Bing “cheaters”. A Microsoft spokesman quickly responded in an online Blog that this was “nonsense” and Bing “does not copy Google search results”.
This is not the first time Google’s ears perked up over this. In October 2010, Google claimed there was a significant overlap in the top 10 search results of random search terms as there was in Bing. This early onset of actions gave Google some months to test their hypothesis and it looks like they stated their conclusion very clear last week.
Bing’s response to these accusations is that they use many opt-in programs including the Bing toolbar, which helps them “clickstream data” which is a common tool used to rank websites.
More reports should surface in the coming weeks. These allegations and the he-said she-said chatter almost seems like the two heavyweight boxers performing their typical stare-down contest when they are weighed in weeks before the match. It seems like right now we’re all just waiting for the fellow in the tuxedo to come into the ring and announce who’s in which corner.