Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Apple Device: Will it Lure Bill Gates out of Retirement?

A few days ago, I blogged about the second generation ebook reader. I was referring to the new device that is being announced by Apple tomorrow.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Apple Execs, who are giddy with glee about their new device. Giddy? Content providers are also reacting the same way. Besides Apple, the winners are users out there and all the book, newspaper and magazine publishers, who were struggling with a digital business model.

It's the OS
The key thing is that Apple began this journey years ago with some critical developments. First, it was all about taking an Operating System (OS) and making it mobile friendly (iPod, iPhone).  Lots of naysayers have ignored this key move. It is the OS here that is strategic. Hardware can be copied. Software and great UI design is much much harder to mimic.

Second it was building two content related ecosystems, iTunes and then the AppStore. No other AppStore has come even close to Apple's success and iTunes remains the gold standard for music distribution.

So now Apple is about to launch a new device with great content and you have a recipe that will crush all comers. Who wins? You do. Students, Soccer Moms and even business people be carrying one soon.

Apple is on a roll right now. Google is a few laps behind (on Mobile) and we keep waiting for a response from Microsoft. It makes one wonder when Microsoft Founder Bill Gates will need to come out of retirement.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Second Generation eBook Reader

The second generation eBook Reader is about to launch and it will obliterate all other entrants.. Yes, it is the new Apple Tablet and it has been in the works for years. Details  of the Tablet have been leaking for days. Will everyone want one? Of course. Get in line early.

Besides a great design, why will this eBook reader rock? The answer is simple. It is all about content and Apple has the inside edge with iTunes, the App Store and soon the new iNewstand (note, sample name). Why is the New York Times suddenly going to charge for its online edition? Its really simple. They want to catch the wave.

What will be the biggest market for the Apple Tablet? Kids. Text books meet games. The perfect storm.

Should you put your content in the new Apple iNewstand? Right away...So what happens to all those other eBook Readers? eBay....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The New Era of Government Sponsored Cyber Warfare

The world has changed forever. Cyber warfare has reach new heights with initial reports confirming that the attack on Google, Yahoo, Adobe, Juniper and at least 31 other companies were sponsored by the Chinese Government (see report: Verisign iDefense IDs Chinese Government ).

The sophistication of the attacks has stunned everyone including Carlos Carrillo, the consultant who helped do the investigation for Google and security firm MacAfee. With details emerging, it is no wonder that Google is considering pulling out of China. Government sponsored attacks on Companies at this level are unheard of and given the number of companies targeted, executives must realize that the very survival of their enterprise hinges on making some fundamental changes in their approach to corporate security.

These attacks weren't just probes, the hackers were trying to get access to source code, which is what products and software services are based on. One who has access to source code can copy it, change it and make a new product or service.  News of this should make any rational business person shake their head in disgust. It means that it is now all out cyber warfare and a different approach to defensive measures must be taken.

So what does one do in the short term? Since every version of Internet Explorer is vulnerable to this kind of attack and since no enterprise can guarantee that users will reset their browser settings to high security, the simplest approach is to remove Internet Explorer from all corporate PCs and all personal PCs that access the corporate network. Mashable reports on that exact recommendation that the German Government just issued.

CIOs can't wait on this. This screams for immediate action. No one wants their career to be marked by the story of how the crown jewels (aka source code) of the company they worked at were stolen because a bad browser wasn't replaced. That is just the first step. Realizing that governments are using multi-stage cyber attacks means that new guidelines and procedures must be employed.