Entries tagged with “Hardware”.


Never underestimate the power of first-mover advantage, especially when being one of the first movers gets you bought by Google. Back in August, 1999, Pyra Labs launched Blogger. LiveJournal had launched six months before and Open Diary in October of the previous year. But it was Pyra Labs which was acquired by Google in February, 2003, and the rest was history. Now, nearly ten years later, Blogger is still the dominant hosted blogging platform. In May, 52 million individual people from the U.S. visited a Blogger blog, almost twice as many as the 28 million who visited a blog hosted by Wordpress.com (comScore). Six Apart properties, including Typepad.com, attracted 14 million.

Millions of bloggers still use Blogger because it is easy. However, Wordpress.com is making steady gains and growing its aggregate audience in the U.S. at more than twice the annual rate of Blogger (40 percent versus 14 percent). These numbers don’t count all the blogs that host Wordpress on their own servers, such as Techcrunch.

The vast majority of Blogger traffic comes from outside the United States, where its annual growth rate is 38 percent compared to Wordpress.com’s 59 percent. On a worldwide basis, Blogger blogs have a readership of 267 million people a month, compared to 143 million a month for Wordpress (comScore, April, 2008). The biggest countries are, in order:

1. U.S.
2. Brazil
3. Turkey
4. Spain
5. Canada
6. U.K.

From a business standpoint, Blogger is good for Google because it creates millions of sites which can show AdSesne ads. It creates more inventory for Google. Only recently has Google bothered to start showing ads to the users of Blogger itself every time they publish a post.

Can Blogger keep its lead indefinitely, or will Wordpress eventually catch up? Or will something else entirely overtake both of them?

Today, two of the people behind the original Blogger, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, have another little service that is capturing people’s attention. It is called Twitter, you may have heard about it. In May, Twitter.com had 17.6 million unique U.S. visitors to its Website alone, making it bigger already than Six Apart.

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

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This is a guest post from Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDNet, TechRepublic’s sister site. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines (or subscribe to the RSS feed).

Cisco’s Unified Computing System is garnering interest, but storage appears to be the focus of CIOs as they ponder the next generation data center and that’s good news for EMC and NetApp, according to a Goldman Sachs survey.

Goldman Sachs surveyed 100 IT executives at Fortune 1000 companies to get a read on their data center plans two to three years from now.

Among the takeaways:

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) has found “a surprisingly receptive ear,” according to Goldman Sachs. Indeed, 18 percent are planning to evaluate Cisco’s UCS in the next 12 months, an impressive figure for a product that was announced a few weeks ago. Another two-thirds of IT execs say that they expect Cisco have a larger server presence over the next 2 to 3 years.

Among those surveyed, 18 percent said they will evaluate UCS in the next 12 months, 44 percent said no and 38 percent were unsure.

Cisco, HP and Dell were vendors expected to increase data center share, according to respondents. Sun and IBM are seen decreasing.

These charts tell the tale:

And.

The next gen data center push is benefiting pure storage players. EMC and NetApp are seen gaining share in the next-gen data center. A key point: As tech giants try to further integrate hardware and software independent storage vendors NetApp and EMC are benefiting. Why? These vendors work with any architecture and they’re ahead on storage virtualization.

VMware is seen as the most strategic software vendor, but Microsoft has a better-than-expected finish. Meanwhile, Oracle got a mention as being strategic on the virtualization front.

The standings:

Cisco and Juniper defend switching turf. Goldman Sachs notes:

Despite the heightened activity in data center networking, including the launch of Juniper’s new high-end switching platform as well as HP’s ProCurve partner ecosystem, Cisco is expected to further extend its already sizable lead in the long-term. This is consistent with our IT Survey’s results pointing to share gains in the near term. Juniper also appears to be gaining traction in switching as our survey points to the company increasing its presence in the data center, with nearly 70% of the respondents citing share gains over next 2-3 years.

More reading:

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Image via CrunchBase

A Microsoft patent application details a business model whereby the user gets a free or heavily subsidized PC but is charged for usage time, application and performance. Microsoft has applied for a patent on metered, pay-as-you-go computing.

US patent application number 20080319910, published on Christmas Day2008, details Microsoft’s vision of a situation where a “standard model” of PC is given away or heavily subsidized by someone in the supply chain. The end user then pays to use the computer, with charges based on both the length of usage time and the performance levels utilized, along with a “one-time charge”.

Microsoft notes in the application that the end user could end up paying more for the computer, compared with the one-off cost entailed in the existing PC business model, but argues the user would benefit by having a PC with an extended “useful life”.

“A computer with scalable performance level components and selectable software and service options has a user interface that allows individual performance levels to be selected,” reads the patent application’s abstract.

“The scalable performance level components may include a processor, memory, graphics controller, etc. Software and services may include word processing, email, browsing, database access, etc. To support a pay-per-use business model, each selectable item may have a cost associated with it, allowing a user to pay for the services actually selected and that presumably correspond to the task or tasks being performed,” the abstract continues.

Integral to Microsoft’s vision is a security module, embedded in the PC, that would effectively lock the PC to a certain supplier.

“The metering agents and specific elements of the security module… allow an underwriter in the supply chain to confidently supply a computer at little or no upfront cost to a user or business, aware that their investment is protected and that the scalable performance capabilities generate revenue commensurate with actual performance level settings and usage,” the application reads.

‘A more granular approach’
According to the application, the issue with the existing PC business model is that it “requires more or less a one chance at the consumer kind of mentality, where elasticity curves are based on the pressure to maximize profits on a one-time-sale, one-shot-at-the-consumer mentality”.

Microsoft’s proposed model, on the other hand, could “allow a more granular approach to hardware and software sales”, the application states, adding that the user “may be able to select a level of performance related to processor, memory, graphics power, etc that is driven not by a lifetime maximum requirement but rather by the need of the moment”.

“When the need is browsing, a low level of performance may be used and, when network-based interactive gaming is the need of the moment, the highest available performance may be made available to the user,” the document reads. “Because the user only pays for the performance level of the moment, the user may see no reason to not acquire a device with a high degree of functionality, in terms of both hardware and software, and experiment with a usage level that suits different performance requirements.”

By way of example, the application posits a situation involving three “bundles” of applications and performance: office, gaming and browsing.

“The office bundle may include word-processing and spreadsheet applications, medium graphics performance and two of three processor cores,” the document reads. “The gaming bundle may include no productivity applications but may include 3D graphics support and three of three processor cores. The browsing bundle may include no productivity applications, medium graphics performance and high-speed network interface.”

“Charging for the various bundles may be by bundle and by duration. For example, the office bundle may be $1.00 [68 pence] per hour, the gaming bundle may be $1.25 per hour and the browsing bundle may be $0.80 per hour. The usage charges may be abstracted to ‘units/hour’ to make currency conversions simpler. Alternatively, a bundle may incur a one-time charge that is operable until changed or for a fixed-usage period,” the document reads.

Microsoft’s patent application does acknowledge that a per-use model of computing would probably increase the cost of ownership over the PC’s lifetime. The company argues in its application, however, that “the payments can be deferred and the user can extend the useful life of the computer beyond that of the one-time purchase machine”.

The document suggests that “both users and suppliers benefit from this new business model” because “the user is able to migrate the performance level of the computer as needs change over time, while the supplier can develop a revenue stream business that may actually have higher value than the one-time purchase model currently practiced”.

“Rather than suffering through less-than-adequate performance for a significant portion of the life of a computer, a user can increase performance level over time, at a slight premium of payments,” the application reads. “When the performance level finally reaches its maximum and still better performance is required, then the user may upgrade to a new computer, running at a relatively low performance level, probably with little or no change in the cost of use.”

By David Meyer ZDNet.co.uk
Posted on ZDNet News: Dec 29, 2008 6:20:34 AM

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 160_computer_email.jpgYour cell phone or mp3 player could soon be sporting a more powerful memory as computer chip manufacturer Freescale Semiconductor Inc. announces a new high-endurance memory chip that claims to combine the power of several chips in one.

After a decade in the works, Freescale created a chip that has the endurance of traditional computer memory but with the ability to store data while powered down like a hard drive.

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