In an article by Bloomberg today, it was revealed that Microsoft is forking over more than $1,000,000,000 to Nokia to have them make Windows 7 phones. That’s 9 zeros there folks. Despite the fact that Microsoft has handed over (or is in the process of handing over) an extremely large sum of money, it doesn’t seem to be reversing their fortunes any.
Steve Ballmer must be very afraid of Google and the Android platform. VERY.
Today a good friend of mine asked me what apps can be loaded on the Xoom. That’s actually an interesting question at this point, since the Xoom is still new. I did a little bit of research (when I said a little I mean less than 5 minutes), and I found some interesting numbers.
According to one source, Honeycomb had 16 applications on the 25th of February. I’ll be pretty frank on this. 16 applications is L-A-M-E. No one is going to buy any device that only has 16 applications. The trick about that particular number is that the Xoom, which is effectively the first Honeycomb based tablet, was released on the 24th. So, at that time the Xoom and Honeycomb were a day old. Puts that in perspective.
Then, in comes Apple. On March 2nd, Apple announced the iPad 2. Now Apple is really working hard to dismiss their competitors, and they didn’t pull any punches with Android. According to the Apple presentation, Honeycomb had 100 applications. 100 applications is pretty lame too, but again, we’re talking about an Operating System that had been released for a grand total of 7 days.
It’s impossible to argue that Honeycomb has a large number of applications at this point. What makes things really interesting is that on the 3rd of March (one day after Jobs’s pompous presentation), Google expanded its Fragments API to applications running older versions of Android. What this means is apps that are compatible with Android 1.6 and higher can tap into Fragments to create apps that work on larger-screened devices like tablets. This makes it trivial to move your app for a handheld to an app for a tablet. The Android market is growing by leaps and bounds, and it has been shown to be growing faster than the App Store.
What this means is this: Gloat now while you have the chance Steve. It won’t be long before you hear that familiar whooooshing sound of your competition passing you by. It should be interesting to hear you try to explain why the number of applications available for a device doesn’t matter after the numbers for the iPad fall behind.
Reposted with permission from Phil Johnson.
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Today I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Motorola Xoom. My time with it was fairly limited, and the device wasn’t connected to a network of any kind, so keep that in mind.
At first blush, the device is fast and intuitive. Applications fire open as fast as you need them. There are some complexities you don’t see with the iPad, but I write those off to the fact that the Xoom has functionality that the iPad lacks.
All things aside, I think the thing that sells the Xoom more than anything else is the desktop widgets. There’s nothing like them on the iPad, and the functionality that they add is second to nothing. The fact that I can scroll through my emails without ever opening the email application saves so much time. Having a picture of my son in a frame on my desktop where I can always see it. Priceless. And really, should have I have to open up the weather application every time I want to check the weather? Seriously? With the desktop widgets, I can just put the weather on my desktop, and it’s there all the time. The iPad has nothing like it.
The other functionality that I really liked was in the web browser. I didn’t get the opportunity to play around with it on the web, but I love the fact that the Xoom displays web sites like they appear on a desktop. We’re not dealing with a phone here people. I also love the fact that the browser has tabs at the top. I haven’t spent a lot of time with the browser on the iPad, but I know on the iPhone the browser is limited to 8 pages. For me, that’s almost a deal breaker. There’s no such limit on the Xoom.
All in all, I loved the Xoom. I’m waiting until the 4G model is standard because I just don’t want to have to ship the device back to the company. As soon a the 4G model is out, it will be mine.
The Pwn2Own 2011 contest is right around the corner. It’s going to be March 9th, 10th, and 11th. It looks like Linux will be not participating again this year with the exception of Android. Maybe that’s because it’s a foregone conclusion that it won’t be Pwned. Who knows.
Android is in the mix this year in the mobile category. Here’s the contenders:
- Dell Venue Pro running Windows 7
- iPhone 4 running iOS
- Blackberry Torch 9800 running Blackberry 6 OS
- Nexus S running Android
My predictions are they will fall in this order:
- iPhone 4.
- Dell Venue Pro
I really was torn about 3 and 4 (but 1 and 2 were easy). Blackberry has been shown to be fairly security aware. I guess time will tell.
What are your predictions?
Today it was announced that The Daily (a digital newspaper created for Apple’s iPad by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp) has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. Today it was also announced that Angry Birds for Android has been downloaded over thirty million times.