Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Links: Verizon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Foursquare, Facebook, AOL

Here are a few of the reports, articles and stories I found interesting this week.

Get ready for Verizon's 'Dream Phone'

The forthcoming Verizon iPhone will test those investments. As noted, wireless data usage on the device is a major burden on AT&T's (T) network; iPhone users who complain about AT&T service don't always realize how much they contribute to the strain, partly because the iPhone persistently reaches out to AT&T's towers, switches, and computers to grab data. While Seidenberg wouldn't comment on the iPhone specifically, he and Lowell ­McAdam, his operating chief and heir apparent, seem confident the Verizon network will hold up. McAdam points out that Verizon already carries a data hog of a phone, the Motorola Droid (which runs on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system), and that the average Droid user consumes more data than the average iPhone user.

IDC: Apple passes RIM to become No. 4 global mobile phone vendor

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Apple's record quarter was enough to land it a fourth-place spot on the list of global mobile phone vendors, behind Nokia, Samsung and LG Electronics, BusinessWire reports. Though Apple has consistently been a top smartphone vendor, this marks the first quarter that Apple has cracked the top 5 list of global mobile phone vendors.

Ozzie's 'doomsday' memo warns Microsoft of post-PC days

Departing Microsoft executive Ray Ozzie's just-published memo is a "doomsday-ish" missive that calls on the company to push further into the cloud or perish, an industry analyst said today.

Ozzie, who replaced Bill Gates as Microsoft's chief software architect in 2006, is leaving the company, although Microsoft has not disclosed the date of his departure.

His "Dawn of a New Day" memorandum, which was dated Oct. 28, is an attempt to focus Microsoft's attention on the day when PCs will no longer rule consumer or business computing, said Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash. research firm that specializes in tracking Microsoft.

AOL To Sell Pacific Corporate Park to CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) today announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of four office buildings it no longer utilizes and two undeveloped parcels of land on the East side of its Dulles campus to CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust for $144.5 million. As of October 29, pro forma for the sale AOL has approximately $750 million of cash on hand.

On its "latest statistics" page, Facebook says "there are more than 150 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices."

Does this mean Foursquare, the startup Facebook Places most closely copies, is doomed? It only has 4 million users. It had an offer to sell to Yahoo this summer for more than $100 million. Should CEO Dennis Crowley have taken the money and run?

Surprisingly, the answer to both those questions might still be "no."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Top 16 Public Sector Social Media and News Sites You Should Know About

I'm always a bit flabbergasted when I meet someone in the government marketing space, mention GovLoop or Gov2Social, and I get a blank stare. I know we are in the early adopter phase of using social media to help contractors find and close deals, establish partnering opportunities and grow stronger relationships with government...and I know that just because I know something, doesn't necessarily mean everyone else knows it too...

But how can you not know about GovLoop?

OK, so in the interest of spreading the good news about social media and the public sector contracting business, here is a list of top social media and news sites that you should know about...

(this isn't a comprehensive list-- please leave a comment if you feel I've left something important out...)

  1. GovLoop - the Facebook for government, GovLoop has 30,000+ people registered there
  2. GovTwit - is a large repository (3,000+) of twitterers in federal, state and local government and the contracting community
  3. FedScoup - an aggregation for must read government business blogs, news sites and social media streams
  4. MeriTalk- smaller than GovLoop, MeriTalk positions itself as the social network for government IT people
  5. FutureFed - learn about Microsoft's solutions and ideas for a more efficient and effective public sector
  6. Brightside of Government - Microsoft's social media platform for state and local government executives and the unique issues they face
  7. Gov2Social - a repository of social media implementations, case studies and" how-to's" across all levels and functions of government
  8. Google Public Sector- thoughts from Google's government group
  9. IBM Center for the Business of Government - collection of white papers on the issues facing governments today
  10. FOSE - the ur-trade show for government IT
  11. FCW and GCN- two magazines from the 1105 Government Business Network that cover the technology policy and management community and government IT specialists respectively
  12. Governing is a online magazine that focuses on the issues most important to government leaders and employees
  13. Washington Technology- also from 1105, this magazine focuses on the contracting community, especially technology providers and partners
  14. Federal News Radio (AM1500) is a local DC radio station that covers a myriad of issues pertinent to the government employees and contractors. Also available over the Internet...
  15. Dorobek Insider- one of FNR's hosts is Chris Dorobek who also puts out an informative email newsletter and website
  16. GovExec- focused on the needs and interests of government employees


Monday, October 11, 2010

Windows Mobile 7 Day!

As a proud owner of a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone, I've been hearing about and interested in the impending launch of a new operating system for a while. This new OS for smartphones has been in the works for quite some time. I saw a demo on it last year and played with a live version at the Microsoft Partner Conference earlier this year.

Looks like there won't be a Verizon WM7 phone for a while but the initial reviews are in and all are generally quite good.

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Handsets

Microsoft Corp. lifted the curtain Monday on a lineup of smartphones using its revamped Windows Phone 7 mobile-operating system, the software giant's boldest move to remain a player in the increasingly competitive mobile business. Microsoft unveiled seven handsets planned for its global launch. Marquee partner AT&T Inc. showed off three of the devices, the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Focus, the LG Electronics Inc. Quantum, and the HTC Corp. Surround, which are priced at $199.99 with a two-year service contract. They will go on sale during the week of Nov. 8.

Microsoft announces ten Windows Phone 7 handsets for 30 countries: October 21 in Europe and Asia, 8 November in US (Update: Video!)

It may have "Windows" in the branding, but Windows Phone 7 is not the desktop PC experience shoehorned into a cellphone. Microsoft tried that with Windows Mobile... and we all know how that turned out. Today, eight months after the Windows Phone 7 OS unveiling in Barcelona, we're finally seeing the official launch of the retail hardware: nine new WP7 handsets, some available October 21 in select European and Asian markets and others from early November in the US. The phones will find their way to over 60 cellphone operators in more than 30 countries this year. Microsoft tapped Dell, HTC, LG, and Samsung to deliver the Snapdragon-based handsets with a carrier list that includes AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Vodafone, TELUS, América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, and Telstra. And that's just for the first wave -- Microsoft has even more handsets coming in 2011 including the first for Sprint and Verizon in the US.

Windows Phone 7 launch day app roundup

With thousands of developers churning out thousands of apps, we've no doubt exploring the Marketplace is going to be a full-time job for at least a day or two after you nab your Windows Phone 7 device this fall -- but with all the hullabaloo today, we thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight a few that Microsoft and its partners have been talking about recently. Dig in!


  • Tetris (EA): If you don't know what Tetris is -- or if you don't agree that it's a must-have on any gaming platform, regardless of size or age -- you need to go back to school. Tetris school. Available this fall.
  • The Sims 3 (EA): We imagine this will be a pretty faithful reproduction of the version that's been available on the iPhone, albeit at a slightly different screen resolution and with the addition of Xbox Live support. Available this fall.
  • Monopoly (EA): Do not pass Go, do not collect $200... because you just spent it on a Windows Phone. Available this fall.
  • Need for Speed Undercover (EA): Fan of driving and racing titles? The Need for Speed franchise continues to grow by leaps and bounds -- so now that EA's involved with the platform, it's no surprise that one of the NFS titles will be right there near the launch. In this case, it's Undercover.

  • ilomilo (Southend Interactive): AT&T locked down an exclusive on this one through the end of the year, downloadable for free from the Windows Phone Marketplace -- and from the looks of it, that was a smooth move on their part. The basic idea is to get two characters to unite by traversing crazy terrain, and the screen shots posted on Southend's blog look really promising.


  • U-verse Mobile (AT&T): Hold up -- don't skip over this one just because you're not a U-verse subscriber! Yes, granted, U-verse TV users will be able to use the pre-installed U-verse Mobile to schedule their DVRs -- and with some packages, you'll be able to download shows right to your phone for free -- but AT&T's switching it up a bit by offering the service to anyone with an AT&T-branded WP7 device for $9.99 a month as well, regardless of whether you've got U-verse on your boob tube. It's not clear whether the change will eventually filter down to the iPhone version of the app, but seeing how it's a new opportunity to make money, we'd imagine so.
  • Slacker: A pack-in app for the HTC HD7 on T-Mobile USA, Slacker's app will be a solid alternative for anyone not interested in paying for Zune Pass (and heck, even if you do pay for it, you'll probably still want it). It integrates directly with the platform's native Music hub.
  • Netflix: Though Microsoft didn't show anything new with Netflix today, we already know from prior demos that it'll support Watch Instantly -- not just queue management -- which is pretty huge. Notably, T-Mobile's HTC HD7 will have it pre-installed when it launches in mid-November, just like Slacker.
  • T-Mobile TV: Oh, and one more T-Mobile pre-load (as the name suggests). As far as we can tell from T-Mobile's announcement, this looks to be T-Mobile's answer to services like Sprint TV, MobiTVAzteca America, family holiday movie favorites and more." Both live and on-demand shows will be available -- perfect to take advantage of that sweet HSPA+ rollout, eh?
  • IMDb: Yes, IMDb's website looks straight out of 1995, but no worries: the ubiquitous all-knowing movie database looks much better on Windows Phone 7.


  • eBay: Microsoft didn't spend much time talking about eBay's Windows Phone 7 app today, but from what we did see, it looks right at home in WP7's unique user experience. You can expect they typical eBay functionality -- checking out auctions, keeping track of your sales, bidding on stuff, and adding items to your watch list.
  • Fandango: Like Netflix -- another movie-centric app -- Microsoft didn't actually mention Fandango on stage today, but we're willing to bet it's a pretty hot download, particularly when the time comes for Inception 2: Nightmare presales to go live.


  • Twitter: Twitter's support for Windows Phone 7 is especially important because Microsoft has chosen not to support the network out of the box -- it's only got Windows Live and Facebook at launch -- so we've got a hunch that this will be one of the top downloads in the Marketplace for a long time to come. Interestingly, it appears to be one of the most complete implementations of Twitter on a mobile platform to date, allowing users to browse timelines without even logging in to an account.