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Wannabe Geek


# 31694 27-Mar-2009 09:19
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Netbooks are about to provide one of the most exciting opportunities in software that we've seen for many years. They will also present one of the most fundamental changes we'll see in the technology industry.

By Netbooks, I don't mean the cheap small PC running Windows XP of today, I mean the new form factor, always connected devices that we'll start seeing from Q3 this year.

Currently Dell sells a PC in China for US$150. On top of that the consumer? has? to pay a few more hundred? dollars for their operating system and productivity tools.

When Google Android comes out for PCs in Q3, you'll have a functioning device with no embedded software costs. Google-based Netbooks will launch the Google Chrome browser and you'll be up and running.

Because there is no need for significant local storage they only require a small Solid State Drive (SSD); so minimal moving parts and minimal manufacturing costs. Essentially, Netbooks can just become a screen with an integrated circuit board.

But what does this mean?

The endpoint pricing of computing drops significantly. This will have a huge impact on computer usage for consumers (second or personal PC), students and small businesses.

Therefore, there will be a surge in demand for cloud-based applications.

Independent Software Vendors (ISPs) with installed applications will have to redevelop these for the web. This accelerated technology shift creates a massive opportunity for new software entrants "free from the encumbrance of an existing model."

Carriers become the channel for Netbooks and cloud applications. At less than $500 pricing, Netbooks can be subsidised by signing up to a mobile data plan contract.?

The biggest change to the industry will, however, be Microsoft's response. If an Android Netbook sells for $199, you can bet that there will be a Windows Netbook sitting close to it for the same price. Microsoft will experience erosion in their Windows/Office cash cow and will turn their huge resources to cloud-based services where the real future monetisation takes place.

The Operating System quickly becomes irrelevant and it all becomes about the services.

This levels the playing field for software companies. Like the Apples App Store has created a meritocracy for mobile applications, cloud computing levels the playing field for all software providers. As per the Jennings/Haughton Book, "It's not the big that eat the small? It's the fast that eat the slow."

Money will be made here. Lots of it. There will be a land grab for cloud companies in 2010 as the industry focus shifts to services. We expect to see significant acquisition activity and new global businesses appear. We've already seen this happen in the consumer social networking space and we should see new leaders in the business space emerge in this time frame.

A big issue will be having affordable bandwidth to exploit these new applications.? I've heard that Netbooks will ship with a memory card reader to handle scenarios like photo and movie uploads. These are common consumer scenarios. As there is no local storage you would want to use your Netbook to push your digital photos up to cloud services like Flickr.

That is fine if you have no mobile data caps but that just would not work in New Zealand. Therefore Netbooks create a collision between new technology and consumer demand for new data services and our Telco based pricing.

This may create a digital divide between us and other countries.

However, we still believe this is the most exciting time for software. How will you exploit the Netbook Tsunami?

Xero (The world's easiest accounting system) | Xero Blog | 2009 Success & Survival Guide

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Uber Geek

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# 203759 27-Mar-2009 16:47
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Interesting post - however, would this not better posted in a Geekzone blog?

Just my $0.02

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