Skip to main content

If Only Intel and Microsoft Had Apple's Mojo

WSJ columnist Lee Gomes tells the story of how simplicity, by design, may be Apple's forte -- but it remains elusive to the likes of Intel and Microsoft.
Just take a look at one of the central products of the emerging post-PC world -- a living-room "media center" that will function like your current set-top box, but will also let you TiVo your favorite shows and access videos on the Web, among other things. Intel is making a big push to get into this market, and has launched a huge campaign around the newly minted Viiv brand to show how its chips work in these devices. But one of the first Viiv-based machines, judging by a review forwarded by industry watcher Pip Coburn, isn't anything I'd want in my house. The unit is described as big, boxy and ugly, with a loud fan and a badly designed remote control that crashes easily and takes a long time to do things even when it does work.

Apple is rumored to be preparing its own living-room video product, and whatever its shortcomings, I have a hard time imagining it getting similarly excoriated. Apple has a built-in benefit, because many assume that whatever it does is cool, the way some pop stars can start fads just by changing clothes.

But mostly, Apple has Mr. Jobs, who functions, in the words of one vendor trying to sell to Apple, as a "one-man focus group," a person with a legendary design sense who insists on getting what he wants. That is possible on the Wintel side, despite occasional claims to the contrary. Both Microsoft and Intel have long had programs in which they certify products as complying with the technical specs of their chips or operating systems. It would take only a bit of imagination to extend that idea to an entire product and the experience of using it.

A "Microsoft-approved music player" or "Intel OK'd media hub" would need a consistent look, fit, finish and user-experience that the iPod does. There are, no doubt, lots of smart, visionary individuals at both companies capable of designing delightful versions of both products. If either company could manage to allow those visions to reach the marketplace without being battered down by committee-think -- in other words, to give one person or one idea Jobs-like powers -- the sky would be the limit.

Popular posts from this blog

Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Growth

In an evolving era of rapid advancement, market demand for innovative technology in the industrial and manufacturing sectors is skyrocketing. Leaders are recognizing the immense potential of digital transformation and are driving initiatives to integrate technologies into their business operations.  These initiatives aim to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately drive growth and competitiveness in an increasingly digital business upward trajectory. The industrial and manufacturing sectors have been the backbone of the Global Networked Economy, contributing $16 trillion in value in 2021. Industrial and Manufacturing Tech Market Development   This growth represents a 20 percent increase from 2020, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of these sectors in the face of unprecedented challenges, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research . The five largest manufacturing verticals -- automotive, computer and electronic, primary metal, food, and machinery -

Rise of AI-Enabled Smart Traffic Management

The demand for smart traffic management systems has grown due to rising urban populations and increasing vehicle ownership. With more people and cars concentrated in cities, problems like traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions are pressing issues. Since the early 2000s, government leaders have been exploring ways to leverage advances in IoT connectivity, sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics to address these transportation challenges. The concept of a Smart City emerged in the 2010s, with smart mobility and intelligent traffic management as key components.  Smart Traffic Management Market Development Concerns about continued climate change, as well as cost savings from improved traffic flow, have further motivated local government investment in these advanced systems. According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, they found that by 2028, smart traffic management investment will be up by 75 percent from a 2023 figure of

AI Software Market will Reach $251 Billion

The growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software could lead to many benefits. As more organizations adopt AI, they may become more efficient, productive, and able to offer improved products and services. The global job market could also expand, with demand growing for roles like AI engineers and technicians. Plus, AI apps could enable breakthroughs in fields like healthcare, transportation, and energy. The worldwide AI software market will grow from $64 billion in 2022 to nearly $251 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.4 percent, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). AI Software Market Development The forecast for AI-centric software includes Artificial Intelligence Platforms, AI Applications, AI System Infrastructure Software (SIS), and AI Application Development and Deployment (AD&D) software (excluding AI platforms). However, it does not include Generative AI (GenAI) platforms and applications, which IDC recent