Posts filed under “Web/Tech”

Video Game Industry Sales Reach Record Pace in 2004

Following up on yesterday’s debate, I wanted to highlite to a few more relevant datapoints:

"The video game industry enjoyed record sales in 2004, despite a
shortage of game consoles over the holiday season, according to figures
released yesterday.

The data from NPD Funworld, a market research firm, showed that
United States sales of video game consoles, portable devices and the
games made for those platforms were $9.9 billion in 2004. That figure
is slightly below the overall sales figure of $10 billion in 2003.
However, the 2004 figure does not yet include sales of games for
personal computers. When those sales are included in a report due in
the next few days, overall sales for the year will be a record, NPD
said.

The 2004 sales include a surge in sales of games for hand-held
devices, which hit $1 billion in 2004, up from $903 million in 2003.

Over all, sales of games for consoles and portable devices was $6.2
billion. Sales of games for personal computers were $700 million from
January through November, with full-year figures expected soon."

This is another example of a new media taking money and time from consumers to the detriment of older media (newspapers and magazines, television and terrestrial radio, CDs, movie theatres, VHS tapes).

>

Source:
Video Game Industry Sales Reach Record Pace in 2004
By MATT RICHTEL
NYT, January 19, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/19/technology/19games.html

Category: Music, Web/Tech

VOTE: Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog

Category: Web/Tech

Apple aiming for the sweetspot ?

Since we’ve been discussing the impact of Apple lately, I thought it worthwhile to point to a graphic depiction of Apple’s marketing strategy, as conceived by future Wired comtributor Paul Nixon.

I’m not sure I agree with Paul’s statement that "until January 2005,
Apple had no iPod that served the mass market
" givent he enormous sales
numbers the Pod has rung up. But the broader point of targeting the new devices
at truly mass entry level (i.e., cheap) is valid.

click for larger graphic

Apple_tipping_point_lrg

Check out the full size graph here:

Nice work, Paul

Source:
Apple’s Tipping Point: Macs for the Masses
Paul Nixon
Nixlog, January 12, 2005
http://www.nixlog.com/apple/

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Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Wall Street Remains Clueless as Ever as to Apple’s Products

From all the chatter I’ve heard on Wall Street, I get the sense that many PC analysts – long wed to the windows world – have no clue what to make of the mini Mac. I cannot say I am surprised.

Just last year, one PC analyst at a bulge bracket firm suggested Apple sell itself to Sony. Another suggested that Apple start producing Windows machines, or use Intel chips.

Umm, no.

This is part of a long term misunderstanding of Apple by the Street. Most of them don’t “get” Apple; They certainly haven’t been able to figure out Steve Jobs. And since all but one (that I know of) work primarily on a Windows machine, they never really understood what the fuss about the Mac was all about.

Until the iPod came along. Apple created a category killer by engineering a marvelous piece of user friendly technology made from essentially off the shelf components. The secret sauce was their terrific user interface. That forced some Analysts to start getting clued into what the cult of Macintosh was all about.

But what about this new Mac mini?

Understand what Apple is doing with the mini:

1) It’s a Windows replacement machine;

2) Geeks like it!

3) It’s potentially the centerpiece for a Home theatre

4) It’s a cheap 2nd Apple for faithful MacHeads

Let’s focus on #2 today (#1 will be the subject of a Street.com column later this week).

In the old days, geeks recommended Windows because they were a “standard,” they let admins under the hood pretty regularly  — and they were cheap.


Indeed, the original name for Windows 95 was “the IT department full employment act.”
It was buggy, difficult to maintain, vulnerable and crash prone – but
it was the industry standard. Any IT guy you spoke to in the mid 90s
would tell you how much cheaper the Wintel machines were to buy, how
much more software there was for it.


What
he didn’t tell you was how much higher the cost of ownership was –
namely his salary. Its eventually became his entire support staff’s
salary.

 

The result of that “bias” has been costly to maintain PC networks in most offices, and unsupported PCs in most homes. Every home PC user who has ever had a major Windows headache – security issues, virus infections, corrupted ini files, missing dll library – is desperate for an easy to use alternative.

Here we are a decade later, and a new generation of younger IT employees have inherited these headaches from their predecessors. And, to judge by the geek blogs and websites, they are none to happy about it. From Malware to spam hijacking to Explorer vulnerabilities, keeping a windows network running – or even a single internet connected machine – is a time consuming, frustrating job.

For what most people use their PCs for – email, internet surfing, music playing / CD burning, word processing – this is all the machine they need.

And Geeks like it! They really like it! — And they are key influencers of purchases by many people . . .

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Category: Investing, Web/Tech

Fun with Google

Category: Web/Tech

Hunting for the next iPod

Category: Web/Tech

Is the RIAA successful or not?

Category: Music, Web/Tech

Microsoft Conduct Is Challenged Again

wsj_format_logo

Microsoft Conduct Is Challenged Again

As it pushes to settle other antitrust suits, Microsoft Corp. faces new, potentially damaging allegations about its business conduct in a patent-theft and monopolization case pending in a federal court in Baltimore.

In a court filing unsealed late Monday, a small Silicon Valley software company called Burst.com Inc. alleges that Microsoft routinely destroyed much of its internal e-mail despite the many federal investigations and private suits it has faced in recent years, when it was often under court orders to preserve such communications.

Burst.com, whose early investors included the Irish rock band U2, filed its suit two years ago. It charges that Microsoft used Burst’s digital-media technology in Windows, solving a technical problem that was slowing the acceptance of Internet video. Burst also claims that Microsoft tried to patent the technology after a technical briefing from Burst, and altered Windows so that Burst’s product wouldn’t work. Microsoft denies the charges.

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Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Carnival of the Capitalists – October 25 2004

Cotc

Hello and welcome to this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists! We have an exciting and wide ranging line up, which I have tried to categorize (a mostly futile exercise, I might add) for your reading pleasure.

So with no further adieu, I present this week’s entrants:
If I missed your trackback, email it to thebigpicture -at- optonline -dot- net.

Internet

Russell Buckley of mobile-weblog.com wonders what the next 10 years on the internet might hold in store:
Sorry I missed your Birthday

“October 17th was the day that the web was officially born just 10 years ago. That day a company called Spry (later CompuServe then AOL) introduced a product called “Internet in a Box.” For the first time, you could trot down to a store, buy a software package, take it home and have everything you needed to connect to the Internet and the World Wide Web . . .”

Giselle A. Tesoro of OSCommerce Experts ponders the “Well-Formed Web Forms” and advises

“How to get your customers to fill you in – with the information you need in forms to be filled up. Let them form a good impression of you and your store – give them forms with function”

Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World thinking along similar lines, advises on Converting Visitors into Customers

“The frustration for Johnny was obvious. His website had strong visitor traffic numbers, he thought. Johnny’s site offered a complete line of very good, and highly reputable products. He thought he had set up an acceptable way to buy them online.

There were plenty of visitors arriving daily to make any online business a major success. The problem for Johnny was, despite the large number of people visiting his site, not many of them bought his products.”

Last of the internet series is Lipsticking‘s Yvonne DiVita’s entry: Jane Encourages Small Businesses

Blogs are becoming the “topic” of the day, all over the web, it seems. Jane
cannot open any newsletter, magazine, ezine, or even regular email, without
a question or comment on blogging present in the content.

We are delighted to see our favorite form of communication getting the
attention it deserves, but… the true purpose of web-logging is getting
lost in the rhetoric bouncing around the net.

Incidentally Yvonne gets a bonus mention for “Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online,” — I can’t comment on how effective that title may be — but it sure got my attention.

Alan Greenspan & the Federal Reserve

In my own entry (The Big Picture) to CotC this week, I advise investors to Ignore the Cheerleader-in-Chief

Rawdon Adams of Capital Chronicle discusses Mr. Greenspan’s Oil Choice

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Category: Economy, Finance, Web/Tech, Weblogs

400GB DVR DVD Recorder

Category: Finance, Television, Web/Tech