Retirado Bill Gates, Microsoft está menos visible, mientras su competidor Apple….se separa del resto de los mortales.

Lo dicho, mientras Microsoft pasa a un discreto segundo plano, no menos activa, pero sí menos visible, su competidor Apple se lanza al ruedo y ocupa la plaza, el protagonismo, la prensa y corta orejas y rabo….podríamos decir que hasta el teclado todo es toro.

Aquí les dejo un artículo publicado hoy por The Economist:

EDITADO:

"Apple unveils the iPad

Steve Jobs and the iPad of hope

Apple’s innovation machine churns out another game-changing device

Jan 27th 2010 | SAN FRANCISCO | From The Economist
print edition

EPA

“HEROES and heroics” is one of the central themes of the current
season at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, which
prides itself on showcasing contemporary artists who challenge
conventional ways of doing things. On January 27th the centre played
host to one of the heroes of the computing industry: Steve Jobs, the
boss of Apple, who launched the company’s latest creation, the iPad. Mr
Jobs also has a reputation for showcasing the unconventional. He did not
disappoint.

The iPad, which looks like an oversized Apple iPhone and boasts a
colour screen measuring almost ten inches (25cm), promises to change the
landscape of the computing world. It is just half an inch thick and
weighs 1.5lb (680 grams). “It’s so much more intimate than a laptop, and
so much more capable than a smartphone,” Mr Jobs said of the device,
which will be available in late March.

The new iPad has important limitations, which critics were quick to
point out. It does not have a camera or a phone and users cannot run
multiple applications on it at the same time. But Apple should be able
to correct such flaws in due course. Together with a host of other
touch-screen “tablet” computers that are expected to reach shops over
the next year or so, the iPad looks set to revolutionise the way in
which digital media are consumed in homes, schools and offices.

The flood of devices is likely to have a profound impact on parts of
the media business that are already being turned upside-down by the
internet. The move from print to digital has not been easy for newspaper
or magazine publishers. Readers have proved reluctant to pay for
content on the web. Companies are unwilling to pay as much for online
advertisements as for paper ones—hardly surprising, given the amount of
space on offer. The iPad will probably accelerate the shift away from
printed matter towards digital content, which could worsen the
industry’s pain in the short term. Yet publishers hope that tablets will
turn out to be the 21st-century equivalent of the printed page,
offering them compelling new ways to present their content and to charge
for it. “This is really a chance for publishers to seize on a second
life,” says Phil Asmundson of Deloitte, a consultancy.

It does not come as a surprise, then, that Apple has already
attracted some blue-chip media brands to the iPad’s platform. During his
presentation Mr Jobs revealed that the company had struck deals with
leading publishers such as Penguin and Simon & Schuster. They will
provide books for the iPad, to be found and paid for in Apple’s new
iBooks online store. More agreements ought to be signed before the first
iPads are shipped in March. Users will also be able to download
applications that give them access to electronic versions of newspapers
such as the New York Times, which presented an iPad app at the
launch.

Apple’s media partners no doubt have mixed feelings about dealing
with Mr Jobs. Apple is now widely demonised in the music industry for
dominating the digital downloading business with its iTunes store. The
firm has been able to control the price of music, boosting sales of
iPods but not bringing the record companies a great deal of money. That
said, Apple did provide a way for the music business to make a profit
online, which had hitherto eluded it. Apple’s sleek iPhone has also
given plenty of content producers a platform on which they can charge
for their wares.

The firm’s record suggests that it will be able to make one of the
computing industry’s most fervent wishes come true. Technology companies
have repeatedly tried to make a success of tablets or similar devices.
But the zone between laptops and mobile phones has been something of a
Bermuda Triangle for device-makers, points out Roger Kay of Endpoint
Technologies, a consultancy. “Products launched in there have usually
disappeared from the radar screen,” he says.

Among them are previous generations of tablet-style computers. In the
1990s various companies experimented with the machines, including
Apple. When its Newton personal digital assistant failed to take off, Mr
Jobs killed the project. Tablets were once again briefly in the
limelight when Microsoft’s Bill Gates predicted they would soon become
people’s primary computing device—powered, of course, by his company’s
software. That did not come to pass because consumers were put off by
tablets’ high prices, clunky user interfaces and limited capabilities.
Instead the devices, which cost almost as much as proper PCs, have
remained a niche product used primarily in industries such as health
care and construction.

Why are tablets causing so much excitement these days? One reason is
that innovations in display, battery and microprocessing technologies
have greatly reduced their cost. Apple’s iPad is priced at between $499
for the basic version and $829 for one with lots of memory and a 3G
wireless connection, bringing it within the reach of ordinary consumers.
Another reason for optimism is that interfaces have improved greatly.
The iPad boasts a big virtual keyboard, which pops up when needed. It
also features multi-touch, meaning that two fingers can be used to
change the size of a photo. Furthermore, tablets will benefit from the
fact that people have become accustomed to buying and consuming content
in digital form (see chart on previous page).

All this explains why other firms are eyeing the tablet market too.
Dozens of prototypes were on show at a consumer-electronics trade fair
in Las Vegas earlier this month, including ones from Motorola, Lenovo
and Dell. Jen-Hsun Huang, the chief executive of NVIDIA, a maker of
graphics chips, reckons this is the first time he has seen telecoms
firms, computer-makers and consumer-electronics companies all equally
keen to produce the same product. “The tablet is the first truly
convergent electronic device,” he says.

Netbooks and e-books

The iPad and other tablets could shake up the computing scene. There
has been some speculation that they could dent sales of low-end PCs,
including Apple’s MacBook. But a more likely scenario is that they eat
into sales of netbooks, the cheap mini-laptops that are used mainly for
web surfing and watching videos. Netbooks have been on a roll recently,
with global sales rising by 72% to $11.4 billion last year, according to
DisplaySearch, a market research company. That makes them a tempting
target.

Apple’s new device also poses a threat to dedicated e-readers such as
Amazon’s Kindle, though these will probably remain popular with the
most voracious bookworms. Apple’s long-expected entry into the tablet
market has already forced e-reader firms to consider making their
devices more versatile and exciting. “You will see more readers using
colour and video over the next five years,” predicts Richard Archuleta
of Plastic Logic, which produces the Que proReader. And more makers of
e-readers may mimic Amazon’s recent decision to let third-party
developers create software for its line of Kindles.

Book publishers are quietly hoping that Apple’s entry into e-books
will help to reduce the clout of Amazon: the Kindle has 60% of the
e-reader market, according to Forrester, a research firm. They are also
excited by the opportunities that tablets offer to combine various
media. Bradley Inman, the boss of Vook, a firm that mixes texts with
video and links to people’s social networks, believes the iPad will
trigger an outpouring of creativity. “Its impact will be the equivalent
of adding sound to movies or colour to TV,” he says.

Newspaper and magazine publishers are also thrilled by tablets’
potential. Their big hope is that the devices will allow them to
generate revenues both from readers and advertisers. People have proven
willing to pay for long-form journalism on e-readers. But these devices
do not allow publishers to present their content in creative ways and
most cannot carry advertisements. Skiff, a start-up spun out of Hearst,
is a rare exception to this rule. Its 11.5-inch reader is large enough
to show off all elements of a magazine’s design and accommodates
advertising too.

Apple’s arrival in the tablet market means that publishers will have
to develop digital content for these devices, as well as for e-readers
and smart-phones. Many will prove unable or unwilling to do so
themselves. That may boost firms such as Zinio, which has developed a
digital-publishing model called Unity. This takes publications’ content,
repurposes it for different gadgets and stores it in “the cloud”, the
term used to describe giant pools of shared data-processing capacity.
Users pay once for the content and can access it on various
Zinio-enabled devices, increasing the chances that it will be consumed.

Apple has other ambitions for the iPad. It hopes it will become a
popular gaming machine and has designed the device so that many of the
games among the 140,000 apps available for other Apple products will run
on it straight away. The company has also revamped its iWork suite of
word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software for the iPad in
an effort to ensure that the new device will catch on with business
folk.

Apple’s shareholders are no doubt hoping that the iPad will live up
to its billing as a seminal device in the history of computing. They
have already seen the company’s share price soar. Defying the recession,
on January 25th Apple announced the best quarterly results in its
34-year history, with revenues rising to $15.7 billion and profits to
$3.4 billion—an increase of 32% and 50% respectively over the previous
year. They will be keeping their fingers crossed that the iPad turns
into another billion-dollar hit.date? Whether or not that turns out to
be the case, Mr Jobs has already proven heroic enough to merit a
portrait on the Yerba Buena Center’s walls."

http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15391134&fsrc=nwl

Pues eso, algo así como "tonto el último en comprárselo".

Lo que resulta innegable es que a esta velocidad…¿Para qué compra uno?. ¿Cuánto cuesta un aparatito de estos que al año se queda obsoleto?. ¿A qué velocidad va la tecnología?. ¿Es asumible tanta velocidad en los lanzamientos, o habrá una nueva burbuja, en este caso tecnologica?.

Ahí les dejo el artículo, que me imagino que nos cansaremos de verlo por todas partes.

Carlos Marcelo

Salu2.

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