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Posts Tagged ‘tablets

There have been esimates that when Microsoft releases Office for the iPad, likely later this month, it could end up bringing in billions of additional dollars to Microsoft’s coffers. Is that hype and overkill, it will it really add that much to Microsoft’s bottom line?

It’s widely expected that on March 27, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will announce Office for the iPad. If that’s true, that will finally put an end to the “will-they-won’t-they” speculation that has swirled around the fate of the suite for years.

How much additional revenue will Microsoft bring in when it releases the suite? Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt says that Microsoft could get $2.5 billion in new Office revenue by releasing Office for the iPad. And Gerry Purdy, principal of MobileTrax, offers even bigger numbers. He believe that Microsoft could gain an additional $1.25 billion in revenue in the first year Microsoft releases Office for the iPad and Android tablets, and $6 billion in annual revenue by 2017.

I think both numbers are wildly inflated. Take a look at Purdy’s reasoning,which is based on Microsoft releasing Office for both Android and the iPad.

He assumes that 25% of iOS and Android tablet users would buy Office and that Microsoft would net $50 per copy sold. He believes that Microsoft will sell Office for the tablets as standalones, rather than include it as part of a subscription to Office 365.

Purdy is likely wrong on both counts. It’s hard to imagine a quarter of all iPad and tablet users buying Office, especially because there are so many free or very low-cost alternatives, including the free Google Docs and Google’s Quickoffice. I’m sure that the percentage of people willing to pay for Office is far, far under 25 percent.

In addition, it’s quite likely that Office will be sold as part of an Office 365 subscription, not as a standalone piece of software. Microsoft has made clear that subscription-based Office is the future, and standalone Office is the past. As just one piece of evidence, Microsoft recently announced a cheaper Office 365 subscription, called Office 365 Personal, that appears to be aimed at those with iPads. It will cost $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year for one PC or Mac and one tablet compared to $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for five devices for the normal subscription version of Office. That means that only some part of additional Office revenue shoud be attributed to the iPad, not all of it.

But that doesn’t really matter. Releasing Office for the iPad is not only about additional revenue. It’s also being done to protect existing revenue and market share. Microsoft needs to fend off Google Docs, which is free and works on all platforms. Releasing Office for the iPad is an important way to do that.

That will be even more important in future years. Rumors are that a 12-inch iPad may eventually come down the pike. If true, that would put it at the screen size of a laptop, and make it more likely that iPad owners will want a productivity suite. If Microsoft wants to keep its hold on the office productivity market, Office needs to be available for the iPad, and at some point, Android tablets as well.

Lina Deveikyte

Lina Deveikyte
Lina.Deveikyte@altabel.com 
Skype ID: lina_deveikyte
Marketing Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

The Web as we know it have been born and matured on computers, but as it turns out now, computers no longer have dominance in it. According to a recent report by analyst Mary Meeker, mobile devices running iOS and Android now account for 45 percent of browsing, compared to just 35 percent for Windows machines. Moreover, Android and iOS have essentially achieved their share in just five years and their share is getting tremendously larger.

According to some forecasts their worldwide number of mobile devices users should overtake the worldwide number of PC users next year. If forecasts come true, this shift will not only continue, but accelerate. Based on data from Morgan Stanley, Meeker estimates roughly 2.9 billion people around the world will be using smartphones and tablets by 2015.

What does it mean now that more people are accessing the Web through tablets and smartphones rather than laptops and desktops? And is it really a big deal? Anyway, Internet is intended to be accessed from anywhere and thus from any device. Well, it is quite a change at least in terms most people consider the Web and how it gradually adapts to be used on mobile devices.

Apps-like sites
As mobile devices take over, the use of today’s desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will decline. Mobile browsers are already very capable and will increasingly adopt HTML5 and leading-edge Web technologies. As mobile devices naturally have less screen area, the sites need to function more like mobile apps and less like collections of links. So the sites are likely to look like apps.

Apps may rule
Native apps for smartphones and tablets almost always surpass websites designed for mobile devices because they can tap into devices’ native capabilities for a more responsive and seamless experience. This is most likely to change in the nearest future – most experts agree HTML5 is eventually the way of the future. This is already the status quo in social gaming: for example Angry Birds and Words with Friends. Some services won’t be available at all to traditional PCs — they won’t be worth developers’ time.

Less information at once
Web sites and publishers will no longer be able to display everything new for users and hoping something will catch the user’s eye. Smaller screens and lower information density means sites will need to adjust to user preferences and profiles to customize the information they present. Increasingly, the Internet will become unusable unless sites believe they know who you are. Some services will handle these tasks themselves, but the most likely contenders for supplying digital identity credentials are Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and mobile carriers.

Sharing by default
In a mobile-focused Internet, anonymity becomes rare. Virtually every mobile device can be definitively associated with a single person (or small group of people). Defaults to share information and experiences with social circles and followers will be increasingly common, along with increasing reliance on disclosure of personal information (like location, status, and activities, and social connections) to drive key functionality. As the Internet re-orients around mobile, opting out of sharing will increasingly mean opting out of the Internet.

Emphasis on destination
Internet-based sites and services will increasingly function as a combination of content and functionality reluctant to link out to other sites or drive traffic (and potential advertising revenue) elsewhere. These have long been factors in many sites’ designs but mobile devices amplify these considerations by making traditional Web navigation awkward and difficult. Still URLs are not going to die – people will still send links to their friends and Web search will remain most users primary means of finding information online.

Going light weight
As people rely on mobile, cloud, and broadband services, the necessity to do things like commute, store large volumes of records or media, or patronize physical businesses will decline. Businesses won’t need to save years of invoices, statements, and paperwork in file boxes and storage facilities – cloud storage comes as their rescue. Banks will become purely virtual institutions consumers deal with online via their phones. Distance learning and collaborative tools will let students take their coursework with them anywhere — and eliminate the need to worry about reselling enormous textbooks.

Going mobile is an obvious trend today. Experts envisage that nearly every service, business, and person who wants to use the Internet will be thinking mobile first and PC second, if they think about PCs at all. Do you agree? And what other related changes can you imagine?

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Much was written and heard about Windows 8 before its release and there were many rumors around it. Finally October 26, it has arrived. Microsoft announced that the cost for online upgrade will be only $39.99 and approves that it will be compatible with previous operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. In stores, the price will be quite a bit higher: $69.99. However, the question still remains whether it is really worth upgrade to Windows 8? First of all let see what the advantages offer Windows 8 and if there any hidden rocks.

The advantages of Windows 8:

- It’s faster, quicker in comparison with previous versions of Microsoft and either with Apple’s new Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Innovative Interface – Microsoft has brought the Metro-style, so much criticized by many users, has an entirely new layout and interface, which is highly touch-optimized as well.
Loads of apps – recently launched Windows Store that has many programs and apps to download.
SkyDrive integration – Cloud Storage is going to be an essential element nowadays on PCs, tablets and smart phones. With SkyDrive cloud service will be easy for users to sync docs, music, video and other content with cloud and they can be easily accessed from all PCs across the world.
– First-class touch feature – Microsoft has designed Windows 8 both for tablets and for regular computers with keyboard and mouse.

There’s always a but…

Users remain significantly less enthused about Windows 8. Many of them think that it is unstable and the first version of a new operating system is bound to have bugs and issues. As the result, they don’t find anything attractive in new software as the priority feature remains the confidence. The absence of common Start Screen and Start Button is the other reason why the users not interested with Windows 8.

According the last survey that was held in US among 1,200 adults; it was found that 52 per cent hadn’t even heard of the release of Windows 8.

“Among the people who knew something about the new operating system, 61 per cent had little or no interest in buying a new laptop or desktop computer running on Windows 8, according to the poll. And only about a third of people who’ve heard about the new system believe it will be an improvement (35 per cent)”.

“I am not real thrilled they are changing things around,” Dionne said. “Windows 7 does everything I want it to. Where is the return on my investment to learn a new OS?”

“I like something I am used to and can get around on without too much trouble. Sometimes when you get these new (systems), you wish you could go back to the old one.” said Sweeten.

The proverb says how many people so many opinions. So for those who is keen to push towards innovation and ready to the upgrade primary Microsoft recommend to make sure that currently running OS will be compatible with Windows 8 and in this connection prepared sort of instruction of commonly asked questions and answers. Below you may find some of them in order to find out whether your computer is ready for the Windows 8 upgrade.

Can your computer run Windows 8?

The minimum system requirements for Windows 8 are fairly accommodating. Microsoft says that if your computer can run Windows 7, it should be able to run Windows 8.

Among the basic requirements for Windows 8 are:
• Processor: 1GHz or faster
• Memory: 2GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit) RAM
• Hard disk space: 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
• Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Besides the basic ones, Windows 8 has the specific features. To use touch options, obviously you’ll need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch, though some laptops will get extra trackpad gestures through the new OS. Windows Store apps (which include most of the new ‘Modern’ interface options) require a screen resolution of at least 1024 by 768, and app snapping requires at least 1366 by 768. This can be a problem for netbooks, which typically have a resolution of lower resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. There’s a somewhat clunky registry hack to fix that, and you can still install Windows 8 on netbooks if you’re happy to only use the conventional desktop mode.

Are your programs and devises are Windows 8 compatible?

Most apps and devices that work on Windows 7 should be fine on Windows 8. To check specific programs, visit Microsoft’s Compatibility Center or run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which scans your computer and checks for software and hardware compatibility.

Besides, on Microsoft.com you can also find the guidelines for how to install Windows 8, apps on your computer and further technical support.

For sure Windows 8 is quite different from previous Microsoft versions and other operating systems; it represents new approach towards computing. There are many positive and inspire opinions as well as the hostile ones. As everyone makes decision according to his own preference it’s hard to predict the real impact of Microsoft windows 8 in the market. So let’s wait –and-see how the things go on.

Thank you for your attention and you are welcome to leave the comments and share your advice and experience on Windows 8.

Best regards,
Katerina Bulavskaya
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

With the start of 2012, there are some strong trends that are changing the game industry in a big way. We take a look at some of them and what to expect.

Smartphones and tablets are changing the portable gaming market in a big way. Although most games on iOS and Android are smaller experiences than say Uncharted on the PSP (or the newly released PS Vita or 3DS), there is no doubt that games on the iOS and Android ecosystems are exploding in terms of development support, user base, and revenue coming into 2012. Smartphones and tablets are offering ways for smaller and indie developers to get noticed and sell their game to potentially millions without needing a huge budget or marketing campaign. Expect a lot more Android tablets and continued strong sales of the iPad to push games on larger 5-11″ screens. As Android devices are now pushing 720p resolutions, expect Apple to not lag behind in this area too much longer. Market share for Android devices sky rocketed in 2011, and we expect the Google OS to grab even more of the market in 2012. This means more developer support from game developers.

Say hello to the PlayStation Vita. 2012 will usher in a lot more power to handhelds with the release of Sony’s true successor to the original PSP. The big question though remains…. Are gamers really interested in that much power in a handheld, or will the 3DS at a much lower price outpace Sony’s latest offerings like it did with the DS? There seems to be a big push as mentioned previously that the mobile market is garnering a lot of attention from developers and gamers alike. Is the PS Vita going to take the gaming world by storm, or will it lose market share to devices like the iPhone and Android devices… Time will tell. What we can expect though is Sony pushing the PS Vita hard to gamers and developers. A price cut might be needed though to get it the market penetration they are seeking.

Different ways of interacting with video games will also take center stage in 2012. Kinect is coming to PCs, and others like Apple with Siri are taking voice controls first offered from Kinect seriously. The industry clearly is heading into a direction towards different ways of playing and interacting with games and media. Expect this to continue in 2012 with several companies offering competing technologies that offer the gamer and content consumer ways to get immersed into digital content.

All in all, expect a lot of focus and attention towards the mobile sector for the game industry. I think it’s safe to say we will see a lot of competing products fail, and a few moving forward taking the spoils of war. Also we should continue to see voice integration as well as motion controls make a big push in 2012.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

We all have heard that Windows 8 will have more tablet and touch-like features and that it will erase the interminable boot up time that it currently takes a PC to start up. Windows 8 will be available for desktops, laptops, and tablets.
However W8 is not such a good thing as it seems to be from the first sight. And to prove it I`d like to give five reasons why people might want to stay away from W8:

Metro is designed for tablets

Microsoft heaped all of its creativity in Windows 8 on the new Metro interface.There are a lot of nice things there, but it’s been designed for tablets, not PCs. Not everyone will like working in an operating system designed for touchscreens having only a mouse and keyboard.

There’s nothing much new on the Desktop

Windows 8 relegates the Desktop to being just another app in Metro. When you get into the Desktop, it looks and works just like Windows 7 – and in some ways it is even worse. When you click the Start button, it doesn’t open a menu from which you can run apps, open documents, and so on. And if you want to use the Desktop Control Panel, you’ll have to switch back to Metro, move your mouse pointer to the lower left portion of the screen, select Settings, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and then select More Settings. In Windows 7, the Control Panel is available right on the Start menu. For those who live in the Desktop, Windows 8 doesn’t seem to offer any benefits over Windows 7, and may even be harder to use.

The interface is confusing

Windows 8 is essentially two operating systems, not one, mixed up together in a not-very smooth way. Metro is designed for tablets; the traditional Desktop is for PCs and laptops. There’s very little connection between the two; the interfaces look different from one another and work differently from one another. If you like a seamless, integrated operating system Windows 8 might not be for you.

Microsoft will control what Metro apps you can download

If you want to download a Metro app to run in Windows 8, you’ll only be able to do it via the Windows Store, just like Apple does with the App Store This breaks with the long-lasting Windows tradition of allowing people to download any app they want. In essence, this is a form of censorship. You’ll be able to download any app you want to the Desktop, but you can already do that in Windows 7, so why bother to move to Windows 8?

It’s trouble for businesses

Businesses will face serious problems upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 8 because of Metro – users will need time to get used to W8 or even to take some retraining cources, countless help calls to the Help Desk to aid with Metro problems, and deployment woes. Given that Metro is designed for consumers, not businesses, it’s not clear what benefit businesses will get out of Windows 8. They’ll likely stay away. :)

Thank you for your attention and you are welcome with your comments!

Kind regards,
Elvira Golyak (elvira.golyak@altabel.com)
Altabel Group – professional software development


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