There was no news item that dominated the past five days. It was a potpourri of a week, with interesting notes coming from several areas. The biggest item of the relatively modest bunch was that Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Julius Genachowski is about the head off into the sunset.
Genachowski said today that he will leave within weeks. The Hill has a nice rundown on Genachowski – an FOO (Friend of Obama) – who led the agency during complicated times. The Hill said that Genachowski’s overarching goal was to expand broadband access. The post points to the conversion of The Universal Service Fund into a broadband subsidy, auction spectrum for wireless services and – over Republican opposition -- enacted Net Neutrality rules.
Successful marketplace initiatives can be built upon a single great idea. Home runs very often are structured around multiple good and great ideas. Cloud computing is squarely in the multiple idea category. Once networks became fast enough to remove or highly reduce physical distance as a barrier, the concept of centralization of assets far from where they are to be used becomes feasible. The good news for folks in this sector – and their customers – is that there are many uses: storing data, housing corporate applications and easing decentralization among them.
Disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) experts have long said that having assets physically dispersed – the very description of the cloud -- is a best practice. If it is done correctly, a flood, fire, hurricane or other disruption at the main site won’t take the company down. Obviously, cloud computing is just what the doctor ordered. Computer Weekly and TechTarget released a study this week that was based on responses from almost 1,300 IT professionals. The study found that during the next half year, the use of cloud computing for DR/BC will grow from 17.9 percent to 28.5 percent.
It wouldn’t be a week in the IT and telecom industries without a blizzard of news, reports and studies on mobility in general and mobile operating systems (OS) in particular. This week was no different. The biggest bit of news, probably, is more a known milestone being met than something nobody knew about. On Friday, according to eWeek, Best Buy began selling The BlackBerry Z10 and AT&T began activation of the phone. The story said that AT&T is offering the device for $199 with a two-year contract.
This phone – even more than the Q10, which is more traditional -- is vital to the future of BlackBerry. The introduction ends an interim period in which delays made the company look like it wasn’t ready for primetime and gave vendors vying to be the third choice behind Android and iOS a head start. Those were not good days for the company:
BlackBerry delayed the launch of the Z10's BlackBerry 10 platform at least twice, and after its Jan. 30 introduction the extensive testing processes that U.S. carriers have to run prevented them from bringing it to market sooner. The device launched in the United Kingdom Jan. 31 and in Canada Feb. 5, and in both countries and beyond it has sold well, according to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.
Apple still is in great position, though it got some uncharacteristically negative news during the past few weeks. This extends to the enterprise as well as the consumer sector. According to Datamation, during the fourth quarter of last year, 58 percent of smartphones and tablets registered with Citrix’s cloud-based mobile device management platform ran iOS. It could evolve into a horserace, however. The story quotes a Citrix blog that says that Android gained 11 percentage points in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) during the quarter and now only trails Apple 43 percent to 36 percent.
ABI Research reports on what everyone knows, which is that the mobile Internet and messaging is exploding. The firm looks at it in terms of worldwide revenue. The analysts found that revenue, from the period starting last year and ending next year, will rise by 21.4 percent. At that point, it will represent 40.4 percent of the $1 trillion folks spend on mobile phone services. The firm adds that two years after the end of the study period – 2016 – North America will be the first region in which mobile data will pass voice revenue.
And, finally, there was intriguing news on the futuristic front. IBM researchers announced that they have found materials that could enable machines to think in an “event-driven” human way, according to ZDNet. HP Labs also was in the act: Technology Review reports that the organization is working on technology that could allow typical liquid-crystal displays on mobile devices project 3D images and videos.