Mozilla is going mobile
Also, the last few weeks have been so hectic that there has been no time to read, think, and write but this will hopefully change soon again.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Mozilla is going mobile
Monday, September 24, 2007
Last Week Mozilla span-off Thunderbird as a separate organization concentrating on communications and mail software.
This organization will start work from the Thunderbird code base and work themselves up from there. What I found most interesting from this move was how Mozilla is building on the assumption that people will need a desktop mail client still in the future.
In the future with connectivity becoming ubiquitous, wireless bandwidth not being a bottleneck, and browser based mails expanding through different technical enablers into offline mails also, is there really room for mail clients? We are so locked into Outlook at many work places, that now it might seem so, but what is really the reason for having an mail client compared to the webmail's services we have in 1 year?
Will E-mail be history in 5 years?
This is a relevant question raised first by John McKinley and Light Speed Venture Partners. There is an ever growing amount of Internet communications tools available for everyone, ranging from VoiP and IM to Facebook, MicroBlogging and even blogging.
All of these of course take attention and time away from E-mail, that has been the backbone of our Internet communication arsenal, but can they really substitute mail?
I actually don't believe so. At the moment, and my guess that for a while, E-mail will have an official element to it that other competing mediums will not have. The share infrastructure legacy behind E-mail will keep it as a relevant part of business communications for a long time to come. The technology is mature and well supported across devices and platforms.
What I see happening is E-mail merging into the right seem between Blogging/Microblogging & chatting. These are each clearly different mediums and the usage intensiveness varies.
Maybe I am shortsighted in this case, but I just don't believe that our everyday communication tool set will change so quickly and drastically. The new tools are not that much more powerful in the things that E-mail does well at the moment.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
oSkope Visual Search is brilliant!
The service supports Amazon (reason I like it so much), YouTube, Flickr and Ebay among others, and the user-interface is really intuitive.
Visually driven search is just so much more comfortable for many people than plain text search, and it will definitely be a part of the future search industry.
With Moira Gunn Interviewing Gordon Moore at the Intel Developer forum, we heard what many people have been worried about, there is an end to Moore's Law.
The reasoning is that anything physical that grows with an exponential speed, will come to an end at some point, there are just limits to physical attributes.
Moore also identified one of the most valuable future technologies, how biology interfaces to computers. In his view, this will be one of the most important future enablers for technical innovation. Maybe it is time to buy stocks in the right companies.
You can catch a video of the interview at Silicon Valley Watcher.
In the last weeks I've been involved in discussions about semantics quite a lot. We have debated on product semantics at work, I've been reading books on semantics, and just plain thinking about it. (To get geared take a second and read the Wikipedia entry for Semantics.) Semantics as a topic is an intriguing brain exercise at least to me, and it can open doors to other valuable "aha" experiences.
Everyone has sometime ran into the discussion of what web 2.0 actually means, and what is the definition of Semantic Web. I am not going to start defining them myself, but I encourage you to read O'Reilly's recent post on confusion around semantic web. Valuable food for thought.
Mobile social networks have a seductive and mysterious aura around them. Everyone knows they will be bring a huge gazillion of gold chips for the service that is the first to really break through, but to this day everyone who has tried, has failed.
These networks are really a classic example of crossing the chasm, or Metcalfe's law. The value grows when there are more users, and crossing to the side of mass volumes is hard, very hard.
Is the barrier technical? I would say no. The spread of phones that can support advanced connectivity features and GPS is high enough. The hype is just ripe now for getting people to massively migrate to a service, and both phone vendors and operators are looking to service business so there is even a high motivation from the critical value chain.
TechCrunch posted a list of some of the start-up's working in this space, including Aka-Aki, MobiLuck, MeetMoi, and Imity.
When compared to social networks on the web, the complication comes from creating software for phones. It is so much harder to make well behaving and virally distributing software with phones where security models are strict and Operating systems binary compatibility is what it is.
Because of this my guess is that the breakthrough will come from an innovative startup partnering with a vendor early enough.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
When your applications Facebook traffic increases linearly, your computing requirements can grow exponentially.
As web development is easy, and getting easier all the time with the variety of RIA framework, facebook-like web platforms, the need for computing resources is growing all the time. But this growth is not easy to pattern out, and it can be fairly volatile, which is of course a killer for any small company where you don't have money for over resourcing, but can't take the hit of over heating.
Step in Amazon S3 and EC2 to save the day.
I've lately been diving more actively into what Opera is up to in the browser market, and I have to say that it has been an interesting experience. To be candid, the offering from Opera with their desktop 9.5 alpha launch and opera Mini, is something competition should not take lightly.
The desktop Opera 9.5 is getting praise for not only lightning fast performance and slimness, but also configurability and personalization. If I would make a new browser and concentrate on something, these 2 areas would be the clear winners. Performance is just such obvious, with the continuous struggle for all browsers, and personalization is the most important thing for the future. A sole browser is nothing special, but how it works as the window to exactly your Internet is the key.
Opera Mini on the other hand, keeps making strides in the purely Mobile phone targeted browsers with their server side optimizing delivering a casual and quick to use browsing experience. Even the New York Times got into the show, by talking about Mini in their business travel section.
At the moment Opera is doing exactly the right things to hit into the niche that has been left open by the open source based browsers. Low-end mobile phones, and lightning fast desktop performance.
With the humangous hype around Facebook continuing and their still accelerating growth rate, it is easy to say that MySpace is old news.
Facebook has now climbed up to rank no. 3 in pageviews, and their growth continues in all relevant categories such as unique visitors, visits, pageviews, average stay and attention. MySpace is growing only in unique viewers, with a measly 1%.
The one thing MySpace really has going for them is intensity. People return on average 18 times a month and spend 26 minutes on the site. This is a metric we should not underestimate. Even if the momentum of growth has turned towards Facebook, intensity is a monetizable asset. Intense user's are the easiest to hook up with contextual advertising, that actually delivers good click through rates.
I would not count MySpace out of the game yet.