We will all own iPads (or something similar)

I’ve long had the opinion that consumer PC market is due for a major overhaul.  The problem: Normal people hate computers.  They do, it’s a fact, and I don’t blame them.  I hate computers myself sometimes.

Nobody likes having a desk in their house taking up space.  It’s uncomfortable, anti-social, and just play ugly.  We’ve modified people’s natural environment to accommodate for the PC.

PCs were developed by nerds, for nerds.  Windows was not developed for the consumer market, even though they may have marketed it that way.  The iPad was developed for people who don’t like computers, and they will love it.

This is the beginning of the end of computers for normal people.   I’m not saying the iPad will necessarily bulldoze Windows off the map, but it will be known as the product that started the ball rolling.

Unfortunately, Microsoft have painted themselves into a corner by chaining themselves to the desk.  Latching onto Windows is isolating Microsoft to enterprise software (even the Courier tablet is enterprise).  Windows, as it is currently, cannot be their consumer OS.

As hopefully Ballmer understands, Window OS market share is not the only thing that is at stake here for Microsoft.  Losing the consumer market OS also isolates the Xbox.  Make no mistake Apple’s eyes are getting bigger and bigger, and pretty soon they will attack that big screen in your living room.  Apple will offer media, games, and applications that will sync to all devices.  Why buy an Xbox when it can’t play my iTunes movies?  (Also, Mom and Dad would buy an Apple TV, but they wouldn’t buy an Xbox or a PS3.)

Can Microsoft fight back? Absolutely, and I really hope they do.  The worst thing that can happen is that Apple becomes a Monopoly for consumer devices.  (I also really hope Google digs into the consumer market more, but I’ll save that maybe for another post.)

In order for Microsoft to fight back they need media.  Media, media, media.  Music, video, games. How can you sell consumer devices without our precious media?  Invent a new form of media for all I care, just give us what we want.  Break me from my crappy internet media experience, and from my crappy TV viewing experience.  Make it simple and make it transferable to new devices.  Oh, and do it SOON.

That PC in the office is going to start collecting cobwebs in a lot of houses.  The only question is who will control your living room?

(Edit: I just read this post by Techcrunch which explain really well why the iPad will be a success.  I completely agree… but dammit I still want a camera on it)

NYTimes Pay Model

The New York Times, not surprising anyone, has decided to enforce a “Metered Model” for their most loyal readers.  The New York Times, this time surprising me, has taken the aggressive timeline to enable this model…. no less than 12 months.

Why announce a year in advance?  Are they trying to build momentum with other publishers?

I’ve read some responses which seem to be horribly shortsighted, relying on math like “users x estimated price”.  I’m sure their accountants have crunched the numbers.  The New York Times is no doubt betting on a larger content strategy (one that isn’t free).  Why would someone pay to view their content on an iPad (etc.) when they could see it free on their website?

I haven’t made the decision myself whether this is a good move for them or not.  Quite frankly, it won’t concern me.   If I am linked to an article of theirs I usually regret not stopping at the title.  A harsh critique, but I just generally don’t have the time to get into a song-and-dance with content (mostly tech news).  Give me the goods quickly, and bonus if you make me laugh.  No disrespect.  Maybe I’m just not the target audience.

I will say though that it is always sad for everyone else.  I’m sure there are plenty of situations worldwide where their good writing is appreciated, but unfortunately the money isn’t available to purchase it.  But, of course, other sites will fill the gap, and the NYTimes would have lost an opportunity for increased readership.

What I really wish was that the NYTimes would have sucked it up and kept on probing for that hidden goldmine, that unknown business model that can only be found through sweat and tears.  But they didn’t, they picked the easy way, but it’s hard to blame them; they have employees to pay with families to feed.  I can’t help to think though that they’ll now sit on their heels and risk becoming part of the pack (instead of leading it).

They have other properties though that could be a little more adventurous.  Who knows!  Time will tell.  But… I just can’t help but feel that a slow-moving and popular publisher will be swallowed by bigger, nimbler, fish.