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  • One Word Sums Up Google's Problem [View article]
    How is Google essential?

    You can find things without using Google search
    You can find physical directions without Google maps
    Youtube has no real competition but you can post videos in many places

    Google+ is for geeks. You use facebook if you want to connect with people

    Google search is the best that is out there. I use bing just so I don't use google services. Occasionally I will search on Google but 99% of my searches use bing which works just fine.
    Feb 2, 2015. 09:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Word Sums Up Google's Problem [View article]
    The stock price has risen since ipo.

    It has risen since multi class shares were offered.

    They are compensated.

    Most 'investors' since they buy non voting shares accept the fact that they live on the largess of the owners. They have no reason to complain. They are explicitly not owners as they cannot vote.
    Feb 2, 2015. 09:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Microsoft Innovate Profitably? [View article]

    I think we generally agree.

    I like what Nadella is doing. He has recognized that Windows is not the platform to hitch his future to and so he is unblinking more and more apps.

    SQLServer as well as other properties are very strong. However they are all hitched to windows. Because windows was ubiquitous it became a very strong property. Every time Sybase or oracle would claim some top spec microsoft would tinker and one up them the next week. They could do this because they owned the stack like Apple does now with its platform.

    I agree there is limited visibility on Apple going out more than a few years.

    I disagree on the pay and fingerprint points. While mobile pay has been available for some years, Apple in partnership with the banks built a new back end. This is not unique to Apple. Others can use it, but Apple is there first because they helped formulate the architecture. Fingerprint is integral to pay and while others have had it Apple has the best solution now. It is easy to use and fast. Everything I have read of other solutions are sub par. Apple bought the best and it is now in house.
    Feb 1, 2015. 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Word Sums Up Google's Problem [View article]
    Your comment suggests Google is magnanimous.

    They are not. They sell your privacy to make money.

    They steal from everyone.

    They want to digitize libraries to sell ads and disenfranchise the authors' works they give away. They want everything to be on the web so they can index and sell it.

    Apple kills the web because they promote apps which while they use the Internet do not allow Google to be an intermediary so they can sell ads. This is the primary reason Google wants to support android, so they can try and push mobile to the web and their properties to sell you ads.

    Google glass was the last best technology Google offered the world. How has that worked out? They offered it to some fools for $2500 so they can explore a lab experiment. So of those who spent their $2500 what have they gained for being part of a dead product?
    Jan 31, 2015. 09:12 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Word Sums Up Google's Problem [View article]
    The ownership structure of the company is not an impediment to making correct changes in the company.

    Yes the leaders own the company.

    However, would you want Carl Icahn telling Google what to do? I can tell you what he would say. He would say borrow a few trillion dollars at super low rates and give it to him in dividends and buy backs.

    This is the boilerplate solution all of these 'activist' shareholders would offer.
    Jan 31, 2015. 09:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Word Sums Up Google's Problem [View article]
    Google is only a search/ad company.

    Look at any sec filing of financial statement.
    Jan 31, 2015. 09:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]
    Fragmentation does not help you win.

    Unix is fragmented and lost. They lost because of fragmentation. The ui was different enough to confuse users. Libraries and methods erected costs. Dos and windows won in part because of uniformity. One market.

    Ios is winning in part because of uniformity. You build mostly one version of An app and it works the same on 100's of millions of devices.

    Android is fragmented and while it is popular it is not winning.

    The gold standard is Apple not android. Google is trying to create uniformity, but only for their services so they can sell ads. That is all they care about so fragmentation as it exists for consumers is real and nothing is done about it.
    Jan 30, 2015. 10:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]
    Pc's are different

    It was a different world

    In that world what compelled you to buy a product was file system, os platform and application.

    In today's world all you need is an http call.

    In the end you want your information. It used to be tied to a file system and application type and os. Those things don't matter.

    So now the choice of computer is up to the individual. If you want to switch from android to ios or the reverse you can.

    Right now the people who spend money on mobile choose ios. That has been true for years and continues to be. Developers choose iOS because that is where they make money. Because of this consumers choose iOS. And the circle continues.
    Jan 30, 2015. 09:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]
    All androids are not the same.

    The millions of androids sold in China do not equal the androids sold in the USA. It is not a homogeneous market.
    Jan 29, 2015. 10:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]

    I think the problem with Android is consistency. The software is not the same do to who you purchase the phone from and the hardware is not the same which limits what you can do. Google has solved the problem on their end with their software stack, so while you can enjoy the latest Google maps features on your phone the way it plays out may or may not work for you, or the hardware support may not be there.

    The point is there is fragmentation depending on what you are doing. The other point is these are pocket computers. As such Apple compels it's user base to upgrade frequently to maintain the experience. The carrot is the new features like Apple Pay.

    So yes for many features perhaps a low end android phone is good enough but is it really? There are probably many more places that sell cheap coffee than there are Starbucks, but starbucks makes the money. Does this mean stRbucks has been marginalized? Apple will never sell the most units. That is not their strategy. Apple keeps moving the needle and so for the next few years at least I do not see Android hurting Apple. In fact Google may decide to kill android and make it a software emulation on top of chrome.

    At the end of the day I am not persuaded. Everyone but Apple and Samsung lose money. How do you stay in business if you lose money? Samsung is getting killed because the Chinese are selling cheaper phones and Apple took away their one differentiator with the 6.

    Apple repeats the theme to developers every quarter how much money they make. They do this to make sure they get the message. You build for us first or only and you will make money. You build for them and you won't.

    Sure if you have enough volume you can make money selling ads for Google, but given the choice who are the developers writing for? The answer is still ios. Until that changes your thesis won't work.
    Jan 29, 2015. 10:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Windows 10 Impact PCs And Tablets? [View article]
    Yes. I agree. A tech company should not be run by someone who has no feel for technology. They don't have to be an engineer, but they do need to understand technology and why it is important.

    Steve Ballmer was a good operational manager. But he had no feel for technology. He completely missed the change in the landscape.

    When a similar thing happened to mr bill he did a week retreat and pivoted the company in one year to take out the competition.
    Jan 29, 2015. 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Microsoft Innovate Profitably? [View article]

    Ok let's talk about this.

    You make two points.
    1) Apple is highly concentrated
    2) Microsoft is diversified

    How concentrated is Apple? The majority of their sales and profits come from one product, the phone. There are other large segments namely software sales, tablets, traditional pc's, but the company is built on the phone.

    They sold $9, 7, 4.5, 2.5 billions in categories other than the phone. Together that is almost what Microsoft sold in the quarter. So if their phone business went to zero they are almost as large a company as microsoft. My point is while they are concentrated they are still huge. But let us talk about risk. What is the likelihood that in the next few years someone knocks Apple off its perch? Not likely. Apple's biggest competitor in mobile is having huge problems staying profitable in mobile. Who is their competitor? I don't see it. Apple has 2 huge advantages in phones. Touch ID and Apple pay. No one else has this. No one is likely to have it any time soon. Apple took the company that provides the touch technology off the market precluding competition. In all likelihood Apple has no serious competition in high end phones over the next 2 years. They have the best ecosystem to support their devices. Their software is great. Over the past 7 years or so their phones have consistently beaten the competition in usability with what some consider to be substandard hardware. To wit, cache that is smaller than the competition, chips that don't clock as high, and yet in various usability benchmarks they score at the top of the lists. They have issues as others do, but nothing that will derail the train.

    Apple is focused on the consumer, they always have been.

    Microsoft. Yes. They are more diversified. The company for the past few decades has been built on 2 products. Windows and Office. Everything else is secondary. Without office there is no windows. Without windows there is no office. The problem is this monopoly no longer matters. No one company killed this foundation. The web did. By the web I mean the Internet and the rise of SaaS. This shift has broken the chokehold Microsoft has had on consumers and the enterprise and allowed companies like Apple and Google to thrive. This shift in technologies has allowed the current situation to arise. Namely that people can hve access to their information without being tied to an OS or file system. Data is now available via an http call. So anyone can access it. This has created a fundamental shift that has forced Microsoft to give away what it used to charge $100's for.

    Microsoft is a big player in the cloud but the biggest player in the cloud platform is Amazon. Microsoft has many powerful assets at its disposal but the big cloud players seem to be using custom solutions. Amazon, Google, Facebook are known to design their own hardware to support their infrastructure. They use tools like Hadoop to manage their data. These building blocks have nothing to do with microsoft. Microsoft makes a lot of money but virtually all of it is dependent on Windows. With the waning influence of Windows their empire is in trouble. I am not saying they will go to zero, but like IBM which was once the 800 lb gorilla, Microsoft has significant headwinds to it remaining a powerful force and some would argue the force in technology.

    One more thing. Your last point was about the consumer. Microsoft has never catered to the consumer. Never. Their primary and really only customer in its history has been companies. Be they small, mdium or large companies or the programmers that work for them. Their focus has never been on the consumer. If you look at their products you will see this.
    Jan 29, 2015. 09:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]

    You make some good points.

    Regardless of market size Apple monetized better. I know you know this. So while Android is larger, Apple is more profitable. Which markwt would you go after?

    The other issue I want to address is price. Yes, Apple focuses on the high end. However they also offer phones in the medium price point, so this is not an all or nothing strategy.

    At some point Android will be good enough, but with Apple Pay and the convenience of Touch ID is Android really there? I think Apple is continuing to add to its value proposition.

    While it is true that Android and Apple have met the same needs in different ways the near term will see both camps striking out in different ways. Apple is touting the IBM partnership. Samsung, Android's strongest player, is in a swoon. Motorola the last vendor to push medium types of phones crashed and burned. So far the good enough argument is not good enough.
    Jan 28, 2015. 11:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Microsoft Innovate Profitably? [View article]
    Microsoft made 26.5b sales last qtr
    Ipad made 9b in sales alone.

    You seriously think microsoft is in a better position?
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Windows 10 Impact PCs And Tablets? [View article]
    Well if this is evolution early results indicate Microsoft is evolving to extinction.
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment