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Showing posts from May, 2008

Tech Vendors to Apply Community Marketing

The technology marketer traditional demand generation and customer conversion processes won't qualify in the transformation from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT), according to the latest study by Forrester. Buyers who are concerned with using technology to exploit new business opportunities are dominating technology markets -- and adoption of business capabilities is their objective, not product or service selection. These "business technologists" use Web 2.0 applications to advance adoption goals. Their approach, which encompasses an attitudinal, procedural, and overhaul of technology marketing practices, is the new discipline for matching buyer's business needs with technology vendor capabilities. Forrester believes that creative messages, collateral, and formal sales presentations are no longer the primary source of information about tech industry product strengths and weaknesses. BT decision-makers see online search engines, discussion forum

Can IPTV Fill the Revenue Loss at Telcos?

Infonetics Research reports that a growing number of North American, European, and Asia Pacific service providers are betting on IPTV and video services to stay ahead of their competition. The report says the loss of revenue associated with fixed-line telephony services to cable operators and other competitors, along with the threats to revenue posed by over-the top Internet content providers (ICPs), are forcing service providers to move into the TV business to increase ARPU, reduce churn, and expand their brands beyond the staid, monolithic telephone company. Further fueling the drive to IPTV and video is the fact that service providers now have many more access options over which to deliver high bandwidth, high revenue IPTV and video services to subscribers, including expensive access technologies that are now available at comparable prices from multiple manufacturers -- including DSL, PON, Ethernet FTTH (active Ethernet), cable HFC, and WiMAX. IPTV is the application many service

U.S. Consumers Bonding with Smartphones

As categories of mobile devices converge, there are four primary types of productivity tools -- the ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), the mobile Internet device (MID), smartphones, and smartphones with mobile companions, according to the latest study by In-Stat. The clear winner in an In-Stat survey of U.S. consumers is the smartphone, either alone or with a mobile companion, the high-tech market research firm says. Nearly half of the respondents chose the benefits and capabilities associated with smartphones. Fewer than 10 percent indicated a preference for the capabilities of MIDs. "Helping the smartphone's chances for success are the established and successful channels of distribution and the fact that the actual pricing of this solution is somewhat less than end-user expectations," says Bill Hughes, In-Stat analyst. "That smartphones are established as a valuable solution today makes the sales process easier than for the other mobile device options." The In-Stat

Managed Service Providers to Outperform

According to the latest IDC Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) Enterprise ICT Outsourcing and Managed Services Forecast, the market is expected to exceed $29.5 billion in 2008, an 11 percent increase over 2007. IDC expects value added managed services -- or discrete outsourcing -- to outperform the market with 16 percent growth, reaching $9.1 billion in 2008. "Despite the drumbeat of economic and corporate earnings coming out across the world that points to an economic slowdown, we continue to be cautiously bullish that the industry can withstand the headwinds of a slowing economy" said Adrian Dominic Ho, Research Manager for IDC's Asia-Pacific Managed Services and Enterprises Networks. Cost savings continue to drive the outsourcing and managed services industry, which explains its resiliency. However, IDC expects a slight slowdown in business transformation engagements due to the growing economic uncertainty. Despite this, organizations are still eager for true and real

Mobile Advertising Revenue Remains Elusive

Spending on mobile advertising is beginning to develop worldwide, but mobile ad revenues aren't likely to reach any significant volume until 2010, as market participants continue to wrestle with formats, standards, and pricing strategies, according to a market study by Heavy Reading. "Mobile advertising offers some significant advantages over other media, but also has some limitations," says Aditya Kishore, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading. "Before selecting mobile as an ad medium, advertisers, vendors, and carriers will need to identify the objectives of their ad campaign, the requirements of the creative products and cost, and the responses required." Once technology and business model issues are worked out, mobile advertising revenues will show significant and sustained long-term growth worldwide, Kishore says, adding that mobile network operators stand to gain a large percentage of the mobile ad revenue stream. "Mobile advertising offers carriers th

Transitioning to the Next-Generation Services

Legacy telecom services -- like frame relay, leased line, and ATM -- over the wide area network (WAN) continue to provide the U.S. professional services, finance and insurance, government, and healthcare vertical segments with a reliable, manageable communications infrastructure. However, it is evident that these sectors see the benefit to transitioning to next-generation (NGN) services, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. NGN services are defined as IP/MPLS and Ethernet services, the high-tech market research firm says. "Although these vertical industries are seeking similar goals, the individual motivations and concerns over migration vary by priority and importance," says Steve Hansen, In-Stat analyst. "From the perspective of the service provider, understanding the migration profiles of each specific vertical can provide insight into how services should be packaged and marketed to that specific sector." The In-Stat research covers the U.S. marke

China's Big Bet on Broadband Infrastructure

China's spending on broadband aggregation harware (MSAPs and IP DSLAMs) in 2007 roughly quadrupled that of Japan and South Korea, according to a market study by Infonetics Research. The report, Broadband Aggregation Hardware in Asia Pacific: China, Japan, and South Korea, says China represents about 50 percent of the $2.0 billion spent on broadband aggregation hardware in 2007 by Asia Pacific countries. "China presents the largest market for broadband aggregation hardware in the Asia Pacific region as deployments accelerate in the run up to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing," said Mark Showalter, directing analyst for broadband networks at Infonetics Research. "Although the Asia Pacific broadband aggregation hardware market is the largest in the world, DSL sales in the region flatten after 2008 as services shift from copper- to fiber-based access, as we've already seen in Japan and are starting to see in South Korea." Other highlights from the Infonetics stud

Exposing the Computer Illiteracy in America

Roughly one-fifth of all U.S. heads-of-household have never used e-mail, according to National Technology Scan, a forthcoming market study from Parks Associates. This annual phone survey of U.S. households found 20 million households are without Internet access, approximately 18 percent of all U.S. households. "Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document," said John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. "These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer." Age and education are factors in this divide. One-half of those who have never used e-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school. National Technology Scan found just seven percent of the 20 million "disconnected" homes plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months. Still, the study reports a

U.S. Pays More for Mobile Phone Services

During the period 2007-2012, the worldwide mobile subscriber base is expected to increase by 1.8 billion, according to the latest market study by Portio Research. Around 67 percent of these new subscribers -- a little above 1.2 billion subscribers -- are expected to come from just 10 fast-growing country markets worldwide. Of these top 10 growth markets, nine have been identified as high-volume, low-ARPU (Average-Revenue-Per-User) emerging mobile markets with significant potential in the next five years. Portio's study identified only one truly wealthy nation among this top 10, the United States of America, home to one of the highest ARPU rates in the world, yet also the 4th biggest growth market of the 2007-2012 period. The U.S. is expected to add more than 65 million mobile subscribers to the worldwide subscriber base in the period 2007-2012. This might look relatively insignificant compared to the massive numbers expected to be added from high-growth markets such as China (5

Ultra Mobile Devices Find Market Demand

As personal computer (PC) manufacturers adjust to the macro-economic effects of tightened credit, 2008 looks to be a year where Ultra Mobile Devices (UMD) continue to grow their ecosystems, and notebooks and emerging markets assert themselves on the PC side, according to In-Stat. Sales growth for UMDs is expected to be 72.6 percent in 2008, the high-tech market research firm says. UMDs are ultra mobile PCs, mobile Internet devices, a percentage of high-end smartphones, and a percentage of high-end personal media players. "For UMDs, concerns remain in the areas of infrastructure and the availability of connectivity beyond Wi-Fi" says Ian Lao, In-Stat analyst. Also of concern are: 1. The development of sustainable business models -- whereby all levels of the ecosystem may make money without crushing the consumer with high prices. 2. Form factors that are conducive to, and align tightly with, specific usages. 3. Interfaces that are intuitive and provide pleasant, repeatable user

Explosion in Online Video Viewing Continues

ComScore released March 2008 data from the comScore Video Metrix service, indicating that U.S. Internet users viewed 11.5 billion online videos during the month, representing a 13 percent gain versus February and a 64 percent gain versus March 2007. In March, Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with more than 4.3 billion videos viewed (38 percent share of all videos), gaining 2.6 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for 98 percent of all videos viewed at Google Sites. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 477 million videos (4.2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 328 million (2.9 percent) and Viacom Digital with 249 million (2.2 percent). Nearly 139 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 83 videos per viewer in March. Google Sites also attracted the most viewers (85.7 million), where they watched an average of 51 videos per person. Fox Interactive attracted the second most viewers (54.3 million), followed by Yaho

Online Gaming Upside in Asia-Pacific Region

Revenue for the online gaming market in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow rapidly between 2008 and 2013, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Key factors driving this growth include growing household Internet penetration, increased content development for online-specific games, and the unique experience that online gaming offers, the high-tech market research firm says. "The online gaming market in Asia-Pacific is growing in tandem with the significant increase in consumer Internet use," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "In addition, the number of market players is rapidly expanding -- therefore, improved content and a greater variety of games are keys to success in this market." Their research covers the whole Asia-Pacific market for online gaming. It provides forecasts for online gaming revenue and subscriber growth through 2013, segmented by country. It also includes analysis of market drivers and challenges, as well as profiles o

Radical New Mobile Apps Business Models

Mobile operators in mature markets will need to adopt radical new business models over the next five years if they are to protect their profit margins, according to a market study by Informa Telecoms & Media. Emerging market mobile operators will continue to enjoy strong revenue growth in the short to medium term as they fulfill strong pent-up demand for basic connectivity. But even they will have to embrace new ways of running their businesses when growth inevitably slows. "For the last ten years mobile operators have been building strategies, platforms and services for the delivery of new non-voice services which, they hope will compensate for the inevitable decline in voice revenues" says Mark Newman, Informa Telecoms & Media Chief Research Officer. "But it's been tough going and non-SMS data revenues have been disappointing." The situation has improved over the last year or two with many operators reporting year-on-year revenue growth of 30-40 per

Enterprise Social Network Application Growth

Enterprise social networking grew much faster than expected, as leading adopters started to reveal their early successes and a number of robust solutions emerged, according to a new IDC market study. While the market is still serviced by a wide variety of small players there was significant consolidation through mergers, acquisitions, and new products from existing players. "Enterprise social networking applications established a strong foothold in 2007, emerging as a more comprehensive solution than single utility applications like blogs and Wikis," stated Rachel Happe, research manager, Digital Business Economy. "A number of important societal, digital marketplace-specific, and enterprise trends are driving aggressive growth in this market. They include social filtering of content, media channel fragmentation, adoption of consumer social networking services, and the perception in mature markets like enterprise software that communities are a way to increase differen

Worldwide Cable TV Set-Top Box Market

Growing deployments of one of the least glamorous consumer electronics devices, the cable TV set top box, continues to surprise the consumer electronics industry. For the second consecutive year, demand for digital cable TV set top boxes reached new heights, as both unit shipments and product revenues set new records. Last year, worldwide digital cable TV set top box unit shipments spiked dramatically to over 41 million units, up from 29 million units in 2006, according to the latest market study from In-Stat. Worldwide cable TV set top box revenues passed the $6 billion mark in 2007, up from $4.8 billion in 2006. In-Stat expect that 2008 will be another good year for cable TV set top box manufacturers and component suppliers. However, total worldwide unit shipments and revenues are projected to decline slightly this year, as cable operators shift some capital expenditures to other network components. In-Stat's market study includes the following insights: - The continuing sh

New Web-Based Personal IP Communication

Personal IP communications is the future of real-time communications for the individual user. This market segment is categorized into three areas including Web-based services, portals, and mobile thin-clients. Together, IDC forecasts these categories will represent more than $5 billion in annual spending in 2012. At the forefront of the evolution of "voice as an application" are new Web services platforms from vendors like REBTEL or iotum. Voice is becoming embedded in sites, applications, and other services, sometimes by third party developers but also by the original provider. Web-based personal IP communication comes in many shapes and sizes, ranging from widgets and applications for social networking sites, to Web sites that initiate the bridging of calls. IP communication clients for devices, like Truphone and TalkPlus, are integral to the growth of personal IP communication services. While some Web-based services offer a mobile solution via bridging capabilities ove

Mobile Carriers to Adopt All-IP Architectures

The growth of data application traffic carried by wireless networks will likely force mobile service providers to accelerate their efforts to upgrade their infrastructure to a flat all-IP architecture, according to the latest market study from Heavy Reading. "The steep rise in data traffic volumes being carried by wireless networks is unmistakable," says Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of their report. "In 2007, some large operators in Europe were carrying 2,000GB of data traffic per day -- an eightfold increase over traffic volumes compared with 2006. Mobile operators have to manage rapid traffic growth across a network infrastructure that simultaneously provides lower cost-per-bit and greater flexibility in the pricing structures of end-user services." A major key to achieving that goal is to adopt flat, all-IP network architectures to replace the hierarchical architectures that characterize legacy wireless networks, Brown says. &qu

Most Digital Savvy Consumers in Austin Texas

Austin, Texas, is the most Digital Savvy city, according to a new market analysis from consumer and media research firm Scarborough Research. Twelve percent of Austin adults are Digital Savvy, and they are almost twice as likely as the national average to be in this leading-edge consumer segment. Las Vegas, NV, Sacramento and San Diego are also leading Digital Savvy cities, with 10 percent of their residents having this higher level of technological orientation and adoption. Nationally, six percent of all consumers are classified as Digital Savvy. The ranking of Digital Savvy cities is part of a just-released Scarborough market study report. In terms of purchasing patterns, Digitally Savvy consumers are a luxury-oriented group. They are 56 percent more likely than the average consumer to own or lease a luxury vehicle; 175 percent more likely to have spent $500 or more on men's or women's business clothing during the past year and 49 percent more likely to own a second home.

Chinese Consumer Video Growing Like U.S.

With significant growth in the Chinese market, the forecasts for User-Generated Video (UGV) use and revenue have shifted upward since last year, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. And with expectations of higher quality content -- like HD video -- and increasing file size maximums, the demands on bandwidth will likely continue to grow at a faster rate than the number of videos served, the high-tech market research firm says. "User-generated video (UGV) and the video sharing sites that exemplify this form of content have spread across the globe," says Michael Inouye, In-Stat analyst. "China is a prime example of UGV's global reach and appeal, capturing a significant portion of the world market, making it second only to the U.S. In general, viewing of online video has increased in the U.S. in the past year, although participation is still stratified by age." I believe that the growing use of handheld high-quality video camcorders, easy-to-use video e

Growth for the Ultra Low-Cost Notebook PC

Ultra low-cost notebook PCs have received considerable attention as a potential solution to the digital divide in developing countries. However, IDC believes these devices will primarily find success as mobile, secondary computing devices in established regions and in education PC markets. "Consumers have embraced the idea of the PC, particularly the portable PC, as a personal device rather than a shared household device," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC. "This has led to the introduction of notebooks in an increasingly wide range of sizes and shapes, as well as more specialized PCs. Very low-cost, compact notebooks than can be carried around and provide quick and easy access to the Internet via Wi-Fi hot spots fills an important spot in this burgeoning market -- the first disposable notebooks." IDC's definition of an ultra low-cost notebook PC is a sub-$500 clamshell form factor mobile PC with a screen measuring from 7-10

Why IPTV Requires Unique Service Offerings

In the past five years, IPTV has grown from a handful of deployments by a few pioneering telcos and ISPs to an established part of the pay-TV landscape with services spanning the globe from Australia to the Ukraine. But now, according to ABI Research, this adolescent industry must find ways to create a distinct identity so it can continue to grow and prosper, with IPTV operators creating unique service offerings that are differentiated from the traditional video services of their key competitors. Some services have recently crossed the symbolically important 1-million-subscriber threshold. But, says senior analyst Cesar Bachelet, "IPTV operators must now leverage the characteristics of the new platform to produce a differentiated offering, redefining the experience of television." How are they to do this? Bachelet offers several suggestions. Operators should focus on integration of Web content (text or video) with traditional broadcast content. New technologies offer the

Location Based Services on GPS Handsets

In the wake of personal navigation devices success, cellular carriers have started to offer on-board and off-board navigation solutions, as well as a range of Location Based Services (LBS) such as friend finder and local search on GPS handsets. Community and social-networking-related functionality, such as the sharing of POIs (Points of Interest) and geo-tagged pictures, is also becoming popular and is expected to boost GPS-enabled handset uptake as carriers, handsets manufacturers, and service providers look to capitalize on the LBS trend. While most CDMA handsets are already GPS-enabled and GPS is set to become a standard feature in GSM smartphones, GSM feature phones are next on the agenda to be equipped with GPS technology," says ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte. "GPS chipset vendors increasingly target handsets, looking for new markets and spurred on by the recent dramatic growth of personal navigation devices." However, as GPS begins to penetrate l

Search Engines Driving Visitors to Wikipedia

Nielsen Online announced that four out of the five top referring Web sites to Wikipedia -- which has grown nearly 8,000 percent over the last five years -- are search engines, led by Google. In April, 61 percent of visitors from home and 66 percent of visitors from work to en.wikipedia.org were referred from Google. Yahoo! Search was the second most common referring site to English-language Wikipedia, referring 19 percent and 16 percent of visitors from home and work, respectively. Other search providers to make the top five referring destinations for Wikipedia were MSN/Windows Live Search and AOL Search. "Search providers dominate Wikipedia's referring traffic because of its scope and value as an information resource," said Michael Pond, media analyst, Nielsen Online. "The site's rapid ascent, with audience levels comparable to popular brands such as eBay and MySpace, demonstrates the success of its collaborative nature -- readers can edit entries and add in

Digital Asset Management Global Market

The global market for Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions -- the use of software and hardware to store, organize, retrieve and distribute the world's exploding volume of digital media files -- exceeded $330 million in 2007. A new market study from ABI Research forecasts that figure to top $1 billion in 2013. What is behind this robust growth? "There are a number of factors acting together to drive the Digital Asset Management market," says industry analyst Zippy Aima. "Apart from the sheer dramatic increase in the amount of digital media assets, one important driver is the need for different departments of an organization to have a seamless workflow in handling the same library of digital content." "Many vendors are talking about how their solutions address the need for smooth workflow collaboration," Aima adds. "DAM systems no longer operate in a silo environment, and the solutions available in the market today can tightly integrate with

Carriers Outsource the Day-to-Day Operations

Facing pressure to quickly innovate with new services and to cut operational expenditures, service providers are increasingly outsourcing their day-to-day network operations to professional service companies, according to the latest study by Infonetics Research. Driven by traditional IT integrators and the telecom vendor integrators, the professional services shops provide everything from vendor network integration, network assessment, monitoring, and network design to the service providers who hire them. In 2007, service providers around the world spent $57 billion on such outsourced services, according to a new report by Infonetics Research. For equipment vendors looking to increase their market share or get into the professional services market, Asia Pacific is the place to be, as carrier spending there represents about a third of the worldwide market. There is strong activity in India with multi-billion dollar outsourcing contracts, and once China's telecom restructuring is

Microcells, Picocells, and Femtocells Upside

Mobile service providers have a growing customer base. However, one of the biggest challenges facing wireless subscribers is a lack of indoor coverage, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The timing of 3G service rollouts is making this problem more relevant, as carriers realize that 3G services will have limited success without addressing the indoor coverage issue, the high-tech market research firm says. The cost to address these shortcomings with traditional macro base station solutions is too high and not possible for most mobile operators. "Microcells, picocells, and femtocells address these challenges in a much more cost-effective manner," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. "By providing smaller and less powerful base stations in smaller areas, like public spaces, offices, and even homes, carriers can provide better coverage in more specific areas without a huge capital investment." The research covers the worldwide market for microcells, pico

Top Reasons Why SaaS Gains Momentum

More current business management application deployments are run in-house on traditional, installed licenses, but with new implementations, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is gaining ground, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Over the next 12 months, of the number of U.S. firms initially implementing a business management application such as CRM (customer relationship management), ERP (enterprise resource planning), etc, the percentage implementing a SaaS solution will approach the percentage of firms deploying traditional licenses in that market. Along with gauging demand for business management applications (CRM, ERP, etc) delivered as a service, In-Stat also looked at demand for productivity applications (like Microsoft Office) delivered as a service. While generally targeting smaller offices with often basic computing needs, office productivity applications delivered as a service are also beginning to gain some traction in larger firms. Roughly 15 percent of 100-plus

LatAm CEOs Focus on IT Business Alignment

In its recent market study, IDC explores the business priorities of the leading corporate executives in South America's three largest economies. The study explores various topics ranging from business expectations of IT to how IT vendors can be more effective. In total, 187 interviews were conducted with CEOs, business vice presidents, and IT directors based in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The executives represented medium- to large-sized enterprises from a diverse spectrum of industries including services, finance, commerce, telecom, communications, utilities, and manufacturing. The study opens with an updated view of the economic and business perspectives for 2008. Even with a prolonged economic crisis expected in the United States, Latin American CEOs remain optimistic: 80 percent of those interviewed in the three countries believe that their business prospects will be better in six months that they are today. And business as well as IT leaders are armed with OPEX and CAPEX

Pervasive Wi-Fi in New Consumer Devices

From the home, to coffee shops, to large universities, wireless access points and routers have made Wi-Fi available in practically every type of environment. With this widespread availability, Wi-Fi is being embedded into many types of consumer electronic (CE) devices. Some categories, such as handheld gaming devices have flourished, while other devices have been slower to catch on, according to a market assessment by In-Stat. Portable CE devices showed the strongest growth of embedded Wi-Fi. Presently, handheld gaming devices are the largest category, with market leaders Nintendo and Sony shipping over a combined forty million units in 2007. Online and multi-player games are driving the inclusion of Wi-Fi in these devices. In-Stat expects the attachment rate of Wi-Fi in cellular handsets to increase significantly. Apple opened the door with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. In 2008, top vendors say that at least 50 percent their smartphone models will have Wi-Fi. In stationary C

Service Providers Offer Home Media Storage

Online storage and backup services will spur revenue generation and customer retention over the next five years for U.S. broadband service providers (BSP), bringing in more than 1.5 million subscribers, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates. These customers will pay a monthly storage and backup fee, in addition to their standard service subscriptions, generating an additional $188 million in service revenue by 2012. "Online storage and backup services are great customer retention tools and upgrade incentives," said Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, Director, Broadband and Gaming, Parks Associates. "They fit with broadband service providers' strategic advantages, complementing existing trust and billing relationships, network ownership, and guaranteed quality of service." The report recommends that as broadband service providers reposition themselves as experience providers , they should introduce a variety of value-added services to strengthen custo

Emerging Edutainment Toy Segment Growth

In today's digital-intensive world, young children represent a key target demographic for digital consumer electronic (CE) device manufacturers, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Traditional CE and semiconductor companies are in a strong position to benefit from the emerging edutainment toy segment -- this is because the technology they offer for mainstream portable CE products is the same technology that will be a key driver for continued growth in the edutainment toy market, the high-tech market research firm says. "Digital technology is now the norm for today's child; and they are extremely comfortable using CE products," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "Drivers for the edutainment market include lower technology costs, increased shelf space within mass-market retailers, an increased number of connected portable edutainment toys, and a growing parental demand for educational value in their children's toys." The research cove

Gamers Offered Chance at $10k by Cisco

In the very serious world of business technology and enterprise networking, is there ever a time and a place for fun and games? Cisco Systems believes that time has come, and they want you and I to join in and play along with them. Cisco has apparently found a new way to make routers fun -- yes, I really do mean entertaining. Bloggers like Brian Boyko previously shared their perspective on the initial Cisco EDGE QUEST game launch. And now Paul Young has written a commentary about the recently launched tournament of aces that offers a $10,000 prize to the winner. Cisco's Doug Webster says "Our intent with this game is to find new ways to engage with our customers and to have fun in the process." Will the company's newfound embrace of digital marketing practices change people's perspectives about the world's leading networking equipment provider. I think it will. "We've become a society where video and web 2.0 collaboration applications are shapin

Open Source Services Follow Software Lead

Based on the findings from a recent survey, IDC forecasts that open source software and related services will continue to expand in importance to end-user organizations. Additionally, almost 60 percent of the survey respondents said their company's spending on open source increased in 2007, in terms of relative percentage of IT spending. Quality assurance, testing, and certification of open source systems was rated as the fastest-growing services opportunity by respondents, who projected their spending on this service would grow 150 percent between 2007 and 2008. "The economic slowdown in the United States may actually boost demand for open source services," said Gard Little, program manager, IDC's Worldwide Services and Emerging Services Opportunities research programs. "If organizations adopt more open source software as part of a strategy to reduce software costs, the demand for related services should increase." IDC predicts more pure service provide

Ongoing Challenges for High-Definition DVD

Aided by the major motion picture studios, Sony's Blu-ray format has emerged as the undisputed technology for high-definition DVD video, but according to new market data released by ABI Research, Blu-ray cannot rest on its laurels. Clearly, a bright future for high-definition DVD is not a foregone conclusion. One of the primary challenges facing Blu-ray, says principal analyst Steve Wilson, is that many consumers are not fundamentally dissatisfied with the quality delivered by their conventional DVD players, when upconverted to play on high-definition TVs. "We are starting to see an increase in the number of DVD players with built-in upconverters, and the video processing is getting better with each new generation," he says. "Today about 35 percent of all DVD players sold include upconversion. ABI Research expects that figure to climb to about 60 percent by 2013." Further, the state of the Blu-ray player market is not all that encouraging. The Blu-ray instal

Chinese Market Drives Set-Top Box Growth

In 2007, the cable set top box (STB) market experienced record-setting growth, as both worldwide unit shipments and revenues reached new highs, according to the latest In-Stat market study. Strong demand for basic digital cable set top boxes, especially in the Chinese market, coupled with sustained demand for advanced digital cable set top boxes in the North American market, is fueling the market growth, the high-tech market research firm says. The next several years also look bright for this market. In-Stat is forecasting that demand for worldwide digital cable set top boxes will remain strong through 2012, although unit shipments will decrease gradually throughout the forecast period as the analog to digital cable TV transition matures. The research report covers the worldwide market for cable set top boxes, with special emphasis on product manufacturers, market and technology trends, and the semiconductor content of the boxes. It also provides a digital cable set top box Bill of

Mobile Device Sales Better Than Expected

Mobile phone operators and distributors continued to top up their inventories in 1Q 2008 after a particularly strong 4Q 2007, according to ABI Research vice president Jake Saunders. "Year on year, 1Q 2008 was up 13.7 percent, but 2Q 2008 is likely to be softer than in previous years." Shipment volumes in the developed markets have softened slightly due to the credit crisis, but emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East/Africa are delivering growth rate percentages in the mid-20s. Mobile devices have proved to be a lifestyle necessity, rather than a mere luxury accessory. Despite all the global concern about price inflation in food, rent, clothing, oil, and utility bills, device manufacturers are not benefiting. The ASP (Average Selling Price) has shown comprehensive price erosion for all manufacturers. In the market-share stakes, Nokia increased its share to 39.9 percent while Samsung and LG were also net winners with 16 percent and 8.4 perc

Virtual Worlds are Experiencing New Growth

Virtual Worlds Management announced findings from a comprehensive study of accountable transactions showing that venture capital and media firms have invested more than $184 million dollars in 23 virtual worlds related companies during the first quarter of 2008 with participation from many more VC firms and angel investors. As they already noted in their recently released analysis, the youth market is heating up, and the investments show the same theme: 8 investments were made in youth-oriented virtual worlds for a total of over $16 million. Mirror Worlds and mixed realities also saw a significant, though more concentrated, interest with three investments totaling over $15 million. "The total figure may seem anemic compared to Q4 of 2007's $425 million spread across 15 companies, but there are several things worth keeping in mind for any comparison," said Joey Seiler, Editor of VirtualWorldsNews.com. "$300 million of that period went to Zenimax Media, which we ack

SuperSpeed USB for Multimedia Transfers

And now 2008 will mark the first year in which shipments of high-speed USB devices will surpass shipments of low- and full-speed USB-enabled devices, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. But the most significant development over the past year in the USB market has been the announcement of SuperSpeed USB, the third major revision of the wired USB specification, the high-tech market research firm says. SuperSpeed is expected to deliver actual throughput of 3 gigabits per second (Gbps), a rate significantly higher than that of high-speed USB. SuperSpeed USB is expected to begin shipping as discrete silicon in 2009, and broad deployment of SuperSpeed USB-enabled products is expected in 2010. SuperSpeed USB will be targeted initially at the PC market and in devices requiring high rates and volumes of data transfer, such as external storage, CE, and communications devices with increasing amounts of storage. The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for USB. It provides