Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for February 2011

January was a record-setting month for Google Chrome and Apple Safari, as both set new highs for market share. January was also a landmark month for Internet Explorer, albeit in a negative fashion, as the browser hit a new low of 56 percent of the browser market. Market share numbers show Internet Explorer has been in steady decline, losing 4 percent over the last 10 months.

But why Internet Explorer has lost the charisma which it had as a default Windows Internet Browser? In my opinion there are the following reasons for that:

Lack of innovation: Well-known about Internet Explorer since it took the king’s throne from Netscape Navigator.The likes of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome were the pioneers of introducing some innovative features such as auto-integration and multiple tab in a single window. As a result, Firefox gained over 30% of global computers as their default internet browser and Chrome is chipping away at IE’s market share to make it narrower.

Lack of Speed: Internet Explorer’s main flaw was its slow loading and heavy memory which it took to run. The windows took time to open and load, and it was a hectic experience in today’s iCore Processing world.

Complexity: Chrome is immensely easy to use; it tries to be nothing more than just a browser. No fancy menus, slim toolbars for greater page viewing and easy bookmark management.

That is my three reasons why, if you agree or disagree with any of the points made, please feel free to make some suggestions of your own in the comments below.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group

Lately Microsoft-Nokia deal has arisen much interest. Some compare this mobile partnership to [an Olympic track race in which two of the tired runners that are fading from the front decided to hold hands until they get across the finish line]. Others expect them to become the [game-changer that will transform the smartphone market into “a three horse race” with the lapse of time].

And what’s your bet on what Nokia-Microsoft deal will lead to in the short-term outlook and in the long run?

It was announced that Windows Phone 7 will become Nokia’s primary smartphone platform; still the deal is not exclusive; Microsoft will continue to have other hardware partners and Nokia will still make some Symbian and Meego devices.

CHALLENGE #1. Why did Nokia choose WP7, not Android?
When Nokia went shopping for platforms, it was courted by both Google and Microsoft. On the face of it, Google’s Android would have made more sense as Nokia has already been working with an open source OS in Symbian and Android is open source and more malleable than WP7.
Still Nokia picked a single platform and chose WP 7. In the short term, going exclusively with WP7 will likely cause Nokia phone sales to plummet even further in the market share race as traditional Nokia fans flee the flock.
The best move seems to become an awesome mobile OEM and support both Android and Windows Phone 7.

CHALLENGE #2. If the deal makes Nokia of the favored status to Windows Phone 7 will it mean that other WP7 partners will put even less energy into the WP7 ecosystem ?
At CES 2011 it was evident that Samsung, HTC, LG have put a lot more emphasis on their Android devices. WP7 seemes to be used as a hedge against Android so that if Google gets too pushy they can threaten to put more of their resources into WP7. The Nokia deal will likely keep them focused on Android even stronger.

CHALLENGE #3. The deal with Microsoft may spoil Nokia’s reputation in Europe.
Europe is the where Nokia has its biggest fans and its greatest strength in market share. It’s no secret that vice versa Europe does not like Microsoft due to Windows and Office monopolies on PCs. European companies have generally been a lot more aggressive about adopting open source, especially where it can replace Microsoft solutions. With the switch to WP7, Nokia will likely push a certain chunk of its customers into the arms of Android and iPhone.

CHALLENGE #4. The shadow relationships between Microsoft and Nokia.
One of the main reasons for Nokia to chose WP 7 over Android is that Microsoft reportedly paid hundreds of millions of dollars to make its mobile OS the primary platform for Nokia smartphones.
Additionally, Elop is a former Microsoft executive, so him siding with his old cronies and acting as a Trojan Horse of Microsoft is no surprise. Also Elop is still a big shareholder in Microsoft so he is deeply vested in helping the company continue to succeed.

OPPORTUNITY #1. Nokia may bring WP7 to “a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies”. Read: not to butt heads with Apple and Android but to make a platform that could be used to substitute the larger market of feature phones.
Now the obstacles are that initially WP7 devices cost as much as Android and iPhone and still required a data plan ($20-$30 more per month than a standard cellphone plan). But if they are overcome in the a few years then WP7 on Nokia could grab a big chunk of market share in the low end of smartphones.

OPPORTUNITY #2 Turn Android platform’s weaknesses into Nokia-Microsoft strengths.
Not a secret that Android has a number of nagging problems right now – platform fragmentation, inconsistent updates and versions across devices, and is becoming slower and clunkier over time. Windows Phone 7 has virtually none of those problems, at least not yet. If buyers start becoming frustrated with Android over these issues WP 7 could become a legitimate alternative. Sure, Nokia and Microsoft will be looking for opportunities like these to jump on and position their devices as a friendlier alternative to Android.

Do you agree and what’re your predictions? Eager to see your opinion.

Thank you,
Helen Boyarchuk
Altabel Group

With more than 90 million users worldwide, LinkedIn has established itself as the premier social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn is the ultimate social platform for professionals: in addition to making connections, you can get introductions, obtain recommendations and collaborate with hundreds of industry professionals and peers in your network.

Bellow you may find some tips and tricks propelling people toward success in LI. Feel free to take them on board if you are willing to take 100% advantage of LinkedIn.

Eric Saint-Guillain, Independent Financial Consultant and Interim Manager advises:
«First, complete your profile with all your professional experiences with clear job descriptions, and put your strong points in evidence. Try to have recommendations from different relationship partners (customers, former colleagues, managers) in order to increase your e-reputation.
Participate also to groups and to question and answers. The quality of your questions and answers is much more important than the quantity. Other important principle from networking and not only applicable to Linkedin: provide services or advices to your network partners without expecting something in exchange. Good partners will come back to you one day or another.»

«LinkedIn helps you build and maintain your network of professional relationships.
You will get out of LinkedIn what you put into it, thus:
– Complete your profile so others can know you better. Your Summary should be a WOW piece since that is what people look at first.
– Use the Outlook Toolbar to LinkedIn your existing contacts to grow your network.
First time through, only invite those with the blue LI symbol that indicates they are already on LI.
– Play around with “Settings” to see what is best for you.
– ALWAYS personalize an invitation (if you can) to reflect where/when/how you met or the common ground or reason you wish to connect. Make it easy for the person to remember you and accept your invitation.
– Get active in Q&A so that folks understand you better.
– Join relevant groups and get involved with people that you can connect with and get to know.»
Bryan C Webb, P. Eng.
President/CEO at Norton Scientific Inc

«1. Make sure your profile can turn a viewer into a visitor to your website.
2. Participate in groups. Answer questions. Update your status. Comment on others.
3. Don’t ever spam.»
Mike Seidle

«The wonderful thing about LinkedIn is you can get more personable than you can on your resume. It is the perfect tool to “toot your own horn without blowing it”. Here are just of few items that I advise people to do to get maximum exposure on both LinkedIn and their Google search:
• Profile – Building a complete profile that emphasizes on your strengths.
• Contacts – Connect with people you trust and that have the same goal you do for LinkedIn.
• Groups – Don’t only join groups but get involved in their discussions.
• Jobs – Download the JobInsider Toolbar to save you time and have your resources at hand.
• Companies – Follow companies and stay on top of their changes.
• Events – Register for networking events.»
Phyllis Steele
Corporate Administration

«1. You will not go far without a 100% complete profile (photo, 3 recommendations, and keyword-rich summary). When people do a search on LinkedIn for someone with your skills/experience, you want to show up, so make sure all applicable keywords are in your summary.
2. The heart of networking is giving when you have the opportunity. So find or even create opportunities to give, through groups or Q&A.
3. LI is a great vehicle for personal branding. Between its SEO effectiveness and various Applications (portfolio displays for artists, blog integration, etc), there’s tremendous opportunity to tell the world you exist and why we should care.»
Ed Han

«1) Every 4-6 weeks send a brand agnostic resource to your network
2) Be a matchmaker and help introduce people who need to know each other.
3) When you start a discussion, don’t start it and run. Circle back and make sure you actually facilitate a discussion.
4) Everyone’s favorite subject is them, not you so look for social cues in their status updates, their reading list, trip it, perhaps they blog etc.
5) Spend the 30 seconds to actually write an invitation to connect instead of the always lame LinkedIn Invitation Template.
6) Don’t just accept invites, write a note and, get this . . . be “social”
7) Understand that whether you have 10 connections or 10,000 they are totally useless until you move these virtual relationships to real time. »
Paul Castain

So these are I think quite valuable tips and tricks from LI members. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite LinkedIn tricks.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group

I want to sketch out the SharePoint New Year’s resolutions I think every organization should adopt. By addressing these six resolutions, you’ll be on your way to better understanding the context for SharePoint at your organization and setting the stage for SharePoint success in 2011.

1. Take the time to understand your true needs around core SharePoint capabilities, especially document management and collaboration;
2. Evaluate your current application landscape before thinking about making SharePoint 2010 your core ECM system;
3. Avoid thinking of coexistence between SharePoint and other applications as either/or;
4. Get everyone involved in charting your organization’s approach to SharePoint and its role in the larger content management ecosystem;
5. Use a pilot to refine your approach to SharePoint;
6. Create a Center of Excellence to act as an ongoing governance body as SharePoint and your other content management applications continue to evolve.

So that’s what organizations should be doing to improve their chances of success with SharePoint in 2011. Your opinions are welcome!

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group

PHP and Java have somewhat different models of execution, contra posing shared-nothing processes to resident JVMs. But they have also many similarities, like their object-oriented model.

I’ve seen many programmers starting to think that Java is old and verbose, and trying to jump on the bandwagon of scripting languages such as PHP and Ruby. But it’s not so simple, as these languages are late to the party in many areas. There is a list of 5 things listed below that PHP programmer could envy Java for.

PHP models are still tied to the databases they use for persistence.

PHP envies a bit Java generics, but it works very well anyway as a dynamic language.
Anytime we manipulate an array with PHP, we forgot any type checking on keys and values.
Java has generics, but often this type system gets in the way: you may want to pass around simply arrays or a DTO-like data structure in a “generic” layer like the application or presentation one and you’re forced to do casts.

Keeping objects in memory between requests
Keeping objects in memory is easy in Java, although both in PHP and Java session variables are serialized; you can keep objects from the database in memory as long as they are out of Servlets, even between HTTP requests.

Java Collection Framework

Asynchronous processing
Let’s say you want to execute an action, like a heavy update query on the database, at 14:00 every day. In PHP, we need an external program, to tell us to start that task at the right time. Asynchronous processing is simply outside of the picture of PHP, although there are some that use PHP without terminating scripts. But on a website, your PHP script will be executed only if someone calls them, being it a browser or cron.

The resident Java processes are a real advantage in some use cases, although the shared-nothing model is very easy and cheap to run, solving many complications. Some other issues with PHP are due to its late arrival on the object-oriented paradigm.

I wonder if you have something to add?

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group

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