As always, Thursday is here and it is time for me to “pontificate” a little. For my work colleagues this should come as little surprise after I did my little Peacock Strut around the office yesterday. This week was tough picking just 3 things to talk about but with the increasing popularity of Google+ I figure…it deserves a spot, the Value of the “User” to today’s big Tech Companies and finally…the one thing that has the world a flutter…a price increase from Netflix!
So Google+ has been around for 2 weeks now and I have seen a million articles about the good the bad and the ugly of Google’s foray into Social Media. I was lucky enough to get in on the first wave of invites on June 30. As part of my Rant today I wanted to talk about the pros and cons so far with this new way of connecting!
- It’s not Facebook! I was a late bloomer to jump onto the Facebook craze and there are still things that irk me about the FB business model but the games they do have me royally addicted…anyone else out there suffering from Bejewelled Blitzitis?
- It’s Slick and it’s fast! Vanilla is one of my favorite ice cream flavors mainly because it is like a blank canvas and that means it will become what I want it to be!
- Google Integration! Sure Google has had some epic failures (see Infographic here) but for the most part, even their failures make the rest of their services better!
- Invite Only! I know that this will not stay this way for ever but it was nice having the place alone with Geeks like me for a while. And having an early access did make me quite popular around the office (more than just a few Invite Requests).
- The Circles! I like the concept that I can visually place people into “collectives” and then communicate different messages to different people. Can you say Facebook for Business anyone!
- More features needed! I realize that Google has made it an art form to market the ever present “Beta” but come on…5 features at launch date…give me MORE!!!
- Mark Zuckerberg is the most followed person on Google+.
- No iPad App…ok so it is in the process of being approved by Apple but come on…running anything as slick as this in Safari just plain sucks!
- Direct interaction with all Google Applications soon please…I would love to be able to connect with clients, friends and colleagues and share a Presentation I built, or truly collaborate with multiple clients and build a static huddle that could be attached directly to my blogger.com blog.
But I digress…2 weeks with Google+ and I am really enjoying the direction that the product is heading. I will continue to +1 the threads that I like the most and have plans for some interesting new ways to leverage this tool in the future.
Ballmer’s FUD Engine
CEO of Microsoft is at it again with his spreading of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)…this time at Apple and it’s market dominating iPad platform. I love the tablet form factor, whether it be a 7 inch ebook or the full on iPad, there is NOTHING better than being able to consume the content that I want, when I want and how I want but Ballmer is once again at his FUD Slinging.
In an article from Information Week Ballmer was quoted at the D8 Conference in Southern California “It wouldn’t surprise me to see the competition try to eliminate the role of what they’ve had that hasn’t been popular” while trying to mitigate the success of the iPad that has easily become one of the hottest selling devices in Tech history. Ballmer called the iPad merely “a different form factor PC”. This makes sense as Microsoft released its plans to come into this category at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference:
“Now, a lot of people have asked me, are we going to produce a phone that is a tablet? You know, are we going to use Windows Phone 7 to produce tablets? Well, that is in conflict with this strategy. We view the tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilize networking tools, to get USB drives and plot them on a tablet. To be able to do things like pringing, all of the things using Office, using all of the things you would expect from a PC and provide a hybrid about how you can do that with a tablet, as well.”
So I guess that makes it official that the earlier revelation that the Desktop Experience being touted for Windows 8 being similar to Windows Phone 7 will bring the “Tablet Experience” to the desktop and not create a mobile OS like Google and Apple did with Android and iOS.
Price Increase for Netflix
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are ablaze with comments and complaints about the Netflix decision to effectively double its price this week. Now if you are looking to just cut the “Cable” the online streaming option will continue at just $7.99 but to be able to receive the one DVD at a time service and get the latest releases delivered to your door that got a boost from being just a $2.00 add on to a $15.98 per month charge.
Because of CRTC restrictions on content with Netflix, we could not justify the overall expense of Netflix and actually opted recently to return to a Cable Provider for the first time in 4 years. I am not sure where the big problem with the price increase is though…this seems like a fair and equitable attempt balancing their online and DVD rental businesses. There is not disputing that the cost of shipping ANYTHING has shot up dramatically (take a look at gas prices) so good on you Netflix!
For those unhappy about paying an extra $5.00 per month for unlimited delivery of one DVD at a time…get over it. The last time that I rented a movie from Blockbuster the late fee (I forgot the movie in the DVD player) was $26.00 (it was also the last time I rented a movie by the way). Even renting a single movie from a retailer is about $6 bucks for a 7 day rental so 4 movies per month…your paying $24.00 plus Gas, plus the line up, plus the annoying clerk…nah…if your gonna be legit and rent a movie…$7.99 per month is not a bad deal at all!
Well that is it for me…have a great day and I leave you with this Video from the mind of Steve Ballmer!
Chris J Powell