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The new OS.

Riddle me this. When does an operating system really become an operating system?   When it truly delivers a digital assistant that manages all devices by voice activation. As Amazon’s Alexa intends to do.

Operating systems today are made up of software that undergirds other software and applications, e.g., iOS, Windows, and Android. In 20 years voice commands that direct “ons,” “offs” and other device and system activations will be the operating systems.  These assistants will compete with each other for supremacy.  There will be systems by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and one or two start-ups. None will integrate (at first) but mark my words, these are the operating systems of the future. Because they operate real life things…including cars.

These operating systems will be the battleground of the next 50 years. Will they be free?  Will they be as expensive as cars? Will consumers be paid to use them? Time will tell.



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Beats This.


There is a talk at Apple about including the Beats Music Service in the new iOS operating system. Nice! Beats was always a cool brand and now getting cooler with some smart and big boy advertising by tastemakers. The problem is, the people at Apple are thinking of subsuming Beats Music (a streaming service) under the iTunes brand. Oops. iTunes is growing some gray whiskers while the Beats brand is really coming into its own. The powers at Apple (Dr. Dre, being one) agree to keep the Beats brand on the headphone business – or so reports The New York Times today – but this guy thinks Beats should take over all of Apple’s music offering. It’s a great name, a wonderful descriptor of product, and it celebrates music.

iTunes should certainly be kept alive somehow in the Apple brand arsenal but 2015 just might be the year for a breakout of Beats — soon to be one of the biggest global brands extant. Fell me? Or is that feel me? Peace.


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I don’t like the IBM-Apple partnership. It will benefit IBM but not Apple. Apple is the device owner. That’s its art. When we start to hear co-marketing phrases like “big data analytics down to the fingertips” it feels like Apple is being relegated to an end-point not the design marvel we know and love. It begins to imply that the data, analytics, the cloud – read the big machine – is more important than the amazing living breathing organ Apple puts in the hands of consumers.

Tim Cook and Apple like the fact that they will now have access to IBM’s huge salesforce and that it will sow the iOS operating system into businesses with gale force winds. But Apple iPhones and iPads are already in 92% of the Fortune 500. And frankly, in the hands of the influencers, not the unwashed tech masses. Masses who are not part of the Apple franchise. Masses who may fly to the next big thing, when and if it suits them.

What has made Apple such a strong brand over the years is it unique design, form factor, software and intense user community. The IBM move will get IT involved at corporations and will put emphasis on the pipes, data and iron (big machines), and RFP – not where Apple has typically done its best work.

When I put on my prediction hat, my “beyond the dashboard” visor, I see this partnership breaking up in 30 months, if not before. Mark your calendars for 2017. Peace.


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