Money would go to network upgrades and purchasing Clearwire
After a period of Apple having the only large trackpad accessory for its touchscreen-averse desktop Macs (and only Macs despite its Bluetooth compatibility), PC vendors have jumped on trackpads as if they had the springy surface of a trampoline. In fact, the velocity seems to have accelerated as we approach the release of Windows 8, which is optimized for touch screens that many PCs will lack. So the trackpad has become the disembodied notebook component that enables Windows 8’s charming — or at least Charm-coaxing — multitouch gestures.
Vizio started the trackpad trend by including a Magic Trackpad-sized device with its first all-in-one PCs, going as far as ditching the mouse in favor of a remote. HP also included one with its new high-end (as opposed to the old high-end) touch-deficient Spectre One, although isn’t ready to off the rodent.
Now, if anyone can sell an external pointing device to PC users, it’s probably Logitech, which will take aim with a new T6500 glass trackpad. But it still seems that there will be a limited aftermarket for such devices. They would be of primary interest to non-touch-enabled desktop users, a shrinking part of the Windows pie (and even smaller if Microsoft makes the progress it wants in talbets). Logitech would have to bet — as Vizio appears to be doing — that the multitouch gestures of Windows 8 wlll sway people away from the classic pointing device of the mouse, even as Microsoft and others add multi-touch capabilities to that.
eBay today brought out the A-team copywriters with its assertion that it will make “inspiration shoppable.” Personalization was probably the biggest theme of the day with the expected healthy dollop of mobile and a heavy sprinkling of factoids about eBay customers. But in the end, three takeaways were
- geographical expansion of eBay now, the instant-delivery service reminiscent of Kozmo of yore
- Feed, a new eBay meld of browsing and search that resembles a Pinterest board.
- a revamped item listing page with integrated PayPal to streamline the checkout process. PayPal, of course, was on its own roadshow last holiday season showing off how it intends to compete as a versatile e-wallet provider.
But there’s nothing that can wind up a prolonge presentation like a good concept video. eBay’s was heavy on augmented reality, showing different scenarios in which consumers could use their handsets to to identify the value of things needing to be sold, shopped for or donated in real=time or identify auto parts for their vehicles. The more curious part of the video, though, was when a woman virtually tried on outfits in a store window and then had a mini-map locate the location of the object in the mall. For all the bashing eBay did of the value of real estate, it appears it intends to expand its brick-and-mortar ambitions.
[Apple’s] co-founder went on to point out that once upon a time Apple released software on competing platforms, such as its release of iTunes on Windows. Something has recently changed, however: As Wozniak points out, iTunes isn’t available on Android.
In fact, very little has changed, at least regarding app support for competing operating systems. iTunes has been one of the few exceptions to Apple developing software for Windows or any other non-Apple platform; Steve Jobs famously described the port as akin to “giving a glass of ice water to someone in Hell.” Who can really say what beverages apps such as those in the iWork and iLife suites would have represented to the damned? It’s a moot question as Apple never ported any of them and likely never will. iTunes was ported primarily as an interface between the iPod and the PC. Windows didn’t really need another music management program.
There is now less need to create a hedge against Internet Explorer
Safari was another app that Apple had brought to Windows, but hasn’t updated to the latest version. There is now less need to create a hedge against Internet Explorer with the ascent of Webkit-based Chrome on Windows and iOS has provided a fertile enough base for Safari to ensure developer support. The other notable Apple app for Windows is FileMaker, which is managed out of an Apple subsidiary. It’s been a successful product, but I’ve always thought that Apple kept it in-house to ensure that the Mac had a viable database client app (since Microsoft never created a Mac version of Access (or Visual FoxPro for that matter)) and to keep tabs on what life was like for a commercial Windows developer.