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what are they all up to?

The WWDC keynote played last week and the one thing that was absent was any serious discussion about hardware. The WWDC is where Apple would normally make all or most of it hardware announcements and yet it was pretty bare.

As I watch the landscape move past my window "we" seem to be in a time of flux, waiting, and brinksmanship.
  • Apple's app store requires sandboxed apps
  • Apple did not announce any real hardware changes despite all of the extraordinary rumors
  • Apple buying beats cannot be the end game... wireless headphones are not that complicated; why not buy Logitech
  • Samsung is building a nice collection of appliances without having any real services other than reusing Google Apps.
  • Google's Apps and 3rd party apps are gaining momentum but still lacks clarity on privacy
  • While integration between Google apps and other vendors is a browser away it's not flawless (duplicate contact entries still drive me batty)
  • Chrome is still a CPU pig on my MacBook Air and Windows PC which leads me to believe that it's also a pig on ChromeBook/Box/Base.
  • I recently purchased a 3rd ChromeBox because each of my daughters has a ChromeBox and I needed one to replace my MacBook Air which was on the fritz. I had to buy a new keyboard because the keyboard and mouse I had were not responsive... or maybe it was chrome.
  • Now it looks like Barns-N-Nobel is re-entering the fray with an android tablet.
  • And the spoiler is award is going to go to Amazon. The Kindle brand is pretty well covered even though they stop at the TV and media tablet.
  • Comcast's apps, services, and position on net neutrality is a mystery.
  • The cell carriers are a complete mystery too. They have the hardware to capture the last mile and yet they don't. Their pricing is terrible. What ever happened to the razor/razor-blade model... not that it's any better.
We have hardware companies dabbling in software and media.
We have media companies dabbling in hardware.
We have have services companies dabbling in hardware and media.

The problem is that at some point we are being asked to make a real commitment to the platform or brand as a whole. And once there all others are essentially blocked out. For example; buy $1000 worth of music on iTunes and then cancel your subscription. Now what? Will you be able to load the music into Spotify? Go ahead and format your resume on Google App. Cancel your subscription to Google Drive... will you be able to load the document into MS Word without a converter?

All of these vendors are trying for lock-in without addressed the issues of lock-out and there is no neutral territory or safe place.


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