Rising Tide of Technology

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Title: Rising Tide of Technology
Writer: Sohail Malik – Saudia Arabia

During this month I have attended several events on virtualization, video conferencing, unified communications (UC) and about the latest gadgets. These events were organized by Microsoft, Life Size and some other local technology partners in Saudi Arabia.  And it compels me to write something about Unified Communication, virtualization, cloud computing and latest cellular news.

During a session in a local university I did get hands on with Microsoft Configuration Manager 2012 (Beta 2). It is a very good effort from Microsoft for taking their central management system to the next level.  This software is another step towards Unified Communication by collaborating all the official tasks into a single centralized platform. Companies are investing heavily in UC and trying to innovate in this area by introducing the cutting edge technologies. It is not just Plantronics who is on its toes to introduce its latest products in UC but all the players are feeling immense pressure to cope up with the market demands. Polycom, Tandberg and Life size are working to provide high quality video for video conferencing system, while Plantronics and Jabra for headsets. All these efforts are there to provide a complete and comprehensive solution to the end users.  Microsoft has announced that it is going to buy Skype (Internet Telephony Service) for $8.2bn. The company will establish a separate business division for Microsoft Skype alongside Xbox live, Kinect and Windows Phone. Tony Bates, the acting chief executive of Skype will become president of Microsoft Skype and report to Microsoft chief Executive, Steve Ballmer. This acquisition is Microsoft’s largest deal ever in its history.  Here comes a surprise for all other companies who are working on Video Conferencing Software. The concerns that why Microsoft has valued Skype so much which has never produce any profit throughout its lifetime so far and who is also under more than $600 million debt, are a separate case.

Security is a major issue of today as always. There has never been a reliable technology until now which you can say it is hundred percent secure. Few weeks ago 100 million ps3 users’ data has been stolen from Sony’s servers and Sony has to shut down its website for almost three weeks to secure the web applications and data. Although It’s shocking news for the whole world because it happened to Sony otherwise it’s just a new incident of hacking. Sony is using Amazon’s S3 service for data storage and Amazon storage for Play station network was hit by external intrusion. This act compels Sony to change their companywide security policy. Mr. Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s Executive deputy president said that the company took aggressive actions to resolve security issues and made “consumer protection a full time companywide commitment”.  Similarly Facebook data has being hacked several times and currently Facebook is facing the issue of Spam and Viruses.

Another big news is that Microsoft and Nokia has recently made a joining deal according to which Nokia’s handsets will be built on Microsoft’s Mobile OS7 rather than Nokia’s own symbian. Last week, Microsoft’s market capitalization is about $215B, while Apple’s is about $365B – about 70% higher. This shows that Apple is giving hard time to its major competitor. Apple has already launched ipad2 and now working on to launch iphone 5 with more features and more focus on graphics. According to a survey 52% users will buy Apple products in year 2011.

Google has launched Google Chrome book to provide a cloud based PC. Although it is a radical change but question is, whether the people would be convinced to use and purchase these systems quickly? People are used to see a traditional desktop when login. Well! I think that needs loads of time to be a part of a common person and then pose a serious competitive threat to Windows and Linux but i must say, this invention will be an eye opener to all other operating systems on traditional desktop. Google chrome Book is a totally new concept to access your computer through web browser. There is nothing to fear for hardware, no data loss or hard disk failure. And one can get the computer on subscription based as per his requirements. Pay online and access online to communicate with the world. But the big question mark for Google is: interconnectivity between Google’s and Apple’s OSs.

Tablet Pc’s are very popular these days. After the popularity of iPad, more and more companies are focusing on this segment of technology. Motorola launched tablet PC (Xoom), while Asus has launched Eee slate. Similarly Acer launched its Iconia Tab and viewsonic launched ViewPad 10. Acer and Asus tablets are using Windows 7 while Motorola is using Android. RIM is going to launch PlayBook by mid of June 2011. RIM will use blackberry tablet OS. RIM’s blackberry was a great success and now they want to come into tablets market. As the name suggests that Play Book is designed to target young customers. But the rumors are that RIM has called back its launching date and will make some changes into this new product. May be the company wants to change the name so that it can target corporate customers as well.

We should not forget that we are living in a technological era where corporate and individuals are continuously trying to innovate in every aspect of life from our living room to our office. It is not easy to conclude the things which are still wide open to modernize. A huge gap is still there, where it is now and where it should be. Or in other words we cannot put a cap on anything as for as the improvements is concerned. The purpose of this article is to make you aware about the very recent changes in the climate of the topnotch technology companies.

(Reference: The Washington Post, PC World, Google, Microsoft, Apple, RIM)

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