And the iPhone firesale begins, Part 2

See my earlier post regarding this topic.  So today Steve announced the new pricing scheme for iPhones going forward.  $200 price reduction for the 8gb, 4gb model being dropped.  Looks like they really want to cast the success in stone.  Now that Apple is done gouging their most loyal fans, it is now time to guarantee that the iPhone gets adopted as fast as possible to ensure that the product will go down in Apple’s company history as a time-changing product.  Don’t worry, they still make money even with the new pricing scheme.

NOW I will consider the possibility of getting an iPhone… but not until I see the Gphone first. 🙂

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Cell Phones 2.0

This TC post highlights the next logical step in communications – going mobile.  The evidence is all there.  Mobile computing is catching on in a big way, and why wouldn’t the smart media companies like Google and Yahoo want to get into the mix and capture part of the nascent market?

If you think about it, media and telecommunications go hand-in-hand.  Soon, these mobile devices may not even have a “phone number” attached to them.  Google’s rendition of a communications device may work on 3G or 4G and be bound to a Google ID.  Yahoo may do the same, utilizing their Yahoo ID.  Microsoft already got a head start in this arena, with Windows Mobile being one of the most mature players.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this market will be played out.  I can’t wait to see these G and Y phones in action, and finally get to see if any of these are really paradigm shifting or interruptive, instead of just a bunch of “talk”.

Yahoo upgrades Mail with IM & SMS integration

And it’s about time.  My Yahoo mail account was my primary web-based email for the longest time before I switched to Gmail in Aug/2004.  I’ve love to love my Yahoo mail again– frankly, the new interface is quite slick.  Now with IM and SMS built in, it’s downright the most convenient.

There is just one thing that still bothers me though– the ads!  They are big, bold, and definitely not beautiful.  Same reason I’ve abandoned Hotmail.  They are all very good services, but the ads!  Not to mention the spam…  Granted, I can’t blame the services.  I have had those accounts for much longer.

I can see Yahoo winning back quite a few more eyeballs with the new integration, and that’ll be good for them– Yahoo needs the support for their hard work.  Yahoo mail is a very good service and I’d love to love it, but unfortunately I will most likely still resort to checking it weekly, just like my hotmail account.

There’s a big reason why I kept switching: POP3 support.  Hotmail never had this as a free feature (they did have outlook express integration for a while, that was way cool while it lasted), and Yahoo removed their POP3 access not too long after.  GMail on the other hand, still allows POP3.

Not that I use POP3 often, but I love having the option.  Nowadays, not only do I have the Gmail mobile app on my E62, I can also use the built in client to POP the same account.  Options are good.

This is definitely a great step for Yahoo, but unfortunately for me, it came a little too late.  I was never a YIM user, and never a big SMS user (I’ve always had company owned blackberries before my E62).  This may have a bigger impact outside of the US, but I believe US users are more into mobile email than SMS as well, due to the US carriers’ greedy SMS pricing schemes.

All in all, congrats Yahoo.  Keep up the good work– we need you to survive. 🙂

VMWare’s IPO splash – Wake up call for the others

VMWare rocked the market today, and that really is no surprise. With the most comprehensive product offering of all the Virtualization solutions (and also the priciest), this is THE VM solution to go with for the enterprises that are adopting it. For instance, the company that I work for has already been steadily migrating racks into the ESX environment. If these other competitors don’t shape up soon (and it doesn’t look like they are), EMC’s toy project is looking to become the de facto player in the Virtualization game.

Let’s briefly look at the competitors:

Amazon EC2: This service shows great promise in taking away many of the start up business that VMWare would have had. Can’t see established big corporations utilizing this much though.

Microsoft’s Viridian: So far, it can still be considered vaporware. It may be too late of an entry for Microsoft once it gets released.

SWSoft’s Virtuozzo: Slightly different approach to virtualization, OS based. A little late in getting into the Windows space, but looks to be a decent contender. Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t seem to be doing the product justice.

SWSoft’s Parallels: Toy for the Mac fans. Unfortunately, VMWare’s Fusion is looking pretty capable in stealing quite a bit of this small piece of pie as well.

Xen: Not quite as polished or robust in terms of management as VMWare, but it’s coming along quite nicely. Could be a cheaper alternative than VMWare. Could also benefit from better marketing.

Virtual Iron: Already positioning itself as VMWare’s cheaper alternative. Shows promise, but it’ll probably never overtake VMWare.

The rest of the smaller players out there are probably not even being considered by big enterprises at this point.

As the market currently stands, VMWare seemed to have captured the hearts and the pocketbooks of the majority of the enterprise markets out there.

My verdict? I see great promise in VMW, though at today’s valuation, I would wait a bit before I’d consider picking some up.

What are your thoughts? Which one of these are you a fan of?

UPDATE: Looks like Citrix read my article last night and decided to buy XenSource this morning. 🙂 Check it out here.