5
Jan

Intel brings to market 5th generation CORE processors

2-Color-Design-Hi-Res-100px-widthOn the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 2015, Intel® introduced its line of 5th generation CORE, “Broadwell”, processors. These new additions include the CORE m processor, which was introduced in early December, 2014, and is notable as a first in consumer grade 14 nm chip technology.

Don Clark wrote about the debut of these CPUs in an article titled Intel Unveils New Flagship ‘Broadwell’ Chips for PCs. Intel has provided new pages on its website promoting these new CORE processors.

Readers unfamiliar with why the debut of consumer-grade 14 nm computing technology is an important event should consider the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 2 in 1 computer (tablet and laptop). The Surface Pro 3 empowers users with a completely functional personal computer powered with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 O/S (not the Windows 8.1 RT O/S powering the Surface 2) in an ultra lightweight, comparatively small hardware form factor.

The capability of this hardware form factor (which works fine without a fan) to run completely standard versions of the current Microsoft O/S release should not be under-appreciated. HP is presently selling a model of its Envy consumer-grade PC line, powered by a CORE m and 8 GBs of RAM. This hardware can easily support a Linux Virtual Machine, not to mention any of the 3rd party software targeted to the Windows 8.1 user community.

Price is a drawback. HP displayed a price of $949.99 for the Envy device on its website on January 5, 2015. On the same date, I noted Lenovo promoting a “Yoga 3 Pro 2-in-1” powered by the CORE m at an even higher price of $1,199.00.

The initial market for this technology is, therefore, the high end of the laptop/notebook consumer, which may limit its sales promise to consumers in need of a refresh for existing hardware. But a combination of better marketing communications, together with consumer appreciation for the capabilities of the hardware I have not discussed in this post (readers are recommended to read Clark’s post, or to review the pages I have mentioned on Intel’s website to obtain this information), should help these devices make a positive contribution to the Intel OEMs opting to bring them to market.

I will discuss the marketing communications point in the next post to this blog. The point of the communications effort is to better inform consumers about the benefits of devices like these, which are powered by a full-featured O/S (Windows 8.1), versus lower cost competitive options with neither the support of a comparable O/S, nor a reliable promise of an upgrade path given a plethora of versions (I’m thinking squarely about Android here).

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2015 All Rights Reserved

19
Dec

Success Stories and Case Studies do serve a purpose for enterprise technology consumers

2-Color-Design-Hi-Res-100px-widthIf ISVs with offerings targeted to enterprise computing markets needed any more indication of the importance of case studies and success stories, they likely got what they needed in an article written by Elizabeth Dwoskin, which was published on December 16, 2014 on the Online Wall Street Journal web site.

The title of Dwoskin’s article is The Joys and Hype of Software Called Hadoop. The reason her article should alert any ISVs still in the dark as to why they absolutely require a marketing communications effort, which will produce success stories and case studies can be found in the following quote:

  • “Yet companies that have tried to use Hadoop have met with frustration. Bank of New York Mellon used it to locate glitches in a trading system. It worked well enough on a small scale, but it slowed to a crawl when many employees tried to access it at once, and few of the company’s 13,000 information-technology workers had the expertise to troubleshoot it. David Gleason, the bank’s chief data officer at the time, said that while he was a proponent of Hadoop, ‘it wasn’t ready for prime time.'” (quoted in entirety from Dwoskin’s article in the WSJ. I have provided a link to the entire article, above and encourage readers to spend some time on it)

This comment from a large enterprise consumer — BNY Mellon — which can be read as less than positive, can (and likely will) do a lot to encourage peers to look a lot closer at Hadoop prior to moving forward on an implementation.

Bottom line: enterprise businesses do not like to proceed where their peers have hit obstacles like the one Gleason recounts in his comment. Peer comparisons are, arguably, a very important activity for enterprise business consumers. So ISVs working with Hadoop on big data offers, or NoSQL databases and related analytics need to make the effort to queue up positive comments about consumer experiences with their products.

I recently wrote a set of posts to this blog on Big Data, NoSQL and JSON and must admit to experiencing some difficulty finding the case studies and success stories I needed to gain a perspective on just how enterprise consumers have been using products presented as solutions to the market for these computing trends. Hortonworks, on the other hand, is an exception. So I would encourage any readers after the same type of testimonial content about customer experience with products to visit Hortonworks on the web.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

3
Sep

Even Apple Listens When Microsoft Debuts New Themes for Product Promotion

For several days in August, 2014, the online New York Times web site ran a front page advertisement for Apple’s iPad tablet computer. This ad presented readers with a short success story illustrating how tablet consumers have been using the iPad for some real work, and not the leisure activity more often used for a promotional opportunity like this one.

The same type of marketing communications content filled up the middle portion of Microsoft’s online, audio and video webcast debut of the Surface Pro 3, which was originally published on May 20, 2014.

But Apple’s attention to Microsoft’s style of product promotion for the Surface Pro 3 evidently didn’t just stop with providing its audience of potential consumers with its own examples of business applications for its tablet computers. If rumors about Apple’s product development plans can be taken as a reliable indicator of where the iPad is headed, this attention appears to have also permeated the actual design of the new iPad. On August 26, 2014, Daisuke Wakabayashi published an article for the online Wall Street Journal titled Larger iPad Heralds Blurring Among Apple Devices.

With a rumored screen size of 12.9 inches, the new iPad will be larger, by nearly one inch, than the Surface Pro 3 (which has a 12 inch screen). But of even more importance, Wakabayashi’s contention about the new iPad and a “blurring among Apple Devices”, if it proves accurate, places Apple in lockstep with Microsoft along a path of positioning its tablet as a laptop competitor.

If readers remain skeptical about Apple following Microsoft’s lead, it may be helpful to reflect on what segment of the consumer market for tablets likely remains “untouched”, despite nearly 4 years of heavy marketing of this product. The remaining segment at the top end, one can argue, is largely made up of enterprise business consumers, and their siblings in the public and not for profit sectors. For these markets, the entertainment features of tablets are “nice to have”, but not “mission-critical” capabilities. Given Microsoft’s position in these consumer markets, it makes complete sense for Redmond to be leading Cupertino around the neighborhood.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved