The flurry on the interwebs right now is how Rupert Murdoch has threatened to disallow Google to crawl his news sites and how News Corp. is doomed to fail. I unlike most don’t think News Corp. will fail, but also unlike some such as Jason Calacanis, don’t believe it’s the smartest decision either.
Most people do have it right in that the public doesn’t use Google News much and they don’t search Google for news. I’d bet that most people that follow news have found RSS or go to the website of the news organization. Then we get to what I use for news now, Twitter. Mark Cuban has argued exactly my point that nowadays Twitter is going to be the new way for people to have news pushed to them. Using the previous three methods to access news gains Google nothing and drives all the traffic to the sites themselves. I mean it makes this whole hulabaloo worthless.
As far as my thinking the decision is a dumb one is that of broadening your audience. If someone does Google search a topic and your article shows up of course you would want that traffic. Plain and simple, it’s why stores have free giveaways and loss leaders. Get you in the door and show you their wares.
Calacanis then goes on to say this is Bing’s silver bullet to increase marketshare against Google. I disagree as evidenced by the points above, but also for the fact of if this was really profitable, it would have been done already. Microsoft as of late has been doing whatever it can to gain share so why wouldn’t an exclusive deal, a’la Facebook, not been done. I mean I’m just saying.
It seems once again I’m writing a piece that refutes PC World writer Matt Peckham’s thoughts. I was reading his piece “What happens if we boycott the PC version of Modern Warfare 2” and once again my head started to hurt.
Having read numerous posts of his before, he is constantly bringing attention to the sad state of PC gaming. On the first page of his post though, he brings the idea of boycotting the PC edition of COD4 Modern Warfare 2. Before I get into the actual meat of the article I just have to opine of how stupid the idea of boycotting a PC game for a console platform is. Why would any fan of PC gaming do exactly what the studios want? Why would we purposely tank the sales on a platform that most publishers want to kill? Many game studios have already abandoned the PC and are waiting for any excuse to drop it. So by all means lets buy COD4 Modern Warfare 2 for Xbox 360 or PS3 and make sure PC gaming dies. Stupid.
So why would anyone come up with such a ridiculous idea? It seems the main crux of his argument is that a PC version would not have anything to differentiate it from the console versions. Well guess what, when your now a minority in market share content developers are not going to spend time to make your product special. It’s plain and simple economics. One down.
Next he brings up once again DRM. As I have said before DRM is an evil that is not going away anytime soon, so it bears no real weight to bring it up again and again as a detractor. He goes on to say that the use of Valve’s Steam platform is a deal breaker. For me, Steam is about as close as you can get to DRM done right. It allows use on multiple systems, just not at the same time. It also allows me to access games that I normally would not be able to get a hold of, and from the comfort of my home. Plus if you catch a sale, you can get great software for next to nothing. Couple this with the fact that if your system gets hosed you just re-download the games and it works for me.
He then goes on to say that if we boycott the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 Activison may just drop PC support all together. Um, I’m pretty sure we all figured that one out. Which brings me back to his headline, so why would be boycott the PC version?
It seems that many people lately, from PC World to the motley group on MacBreak Weekly, feel that Apple is making a push to put iMacs in the living room. Most of them point at the fact that it is a 27 inch screen and has… gasp.. a VESA mount. Apple needs a few things to fall into place before this becomes a reality, a much improved Front Row, Blu-Ray support, Price, and Apple TV.
Everyone seems intent on making Jason Calacanis’s prediction of an Apple branded Television come true with each product release. I find it hard for someone to replace a TV in their living room with an iMac. While what I’ve seen of Front Row looks to be a clean efficient 10 foot interface, it is missing a lot of functionality compared with Windows Media Center. Sure, there are 3rd party applications to achieve this functionality but as usual no one can compete with the integration and styling of an Apple developed application. There has to be DVR functionality for the iMac to be in the living room.
Secondly comes Steve Job’s “world of hurt” that is Blu-Ray. While most of America still hasn’t made the conversion to Blu-ray as DVD is still sufficient for most, the change will come and Apple will be caught off guard. I’m sure in the depths of one infinite loop, there is Snow Leopard code with all the DRM needed built in, to be released at a moment’s notice. If one is going to purchase an expensive piece of kit for the living room I certainly would like it to play more than just Apples HD content.
Lastly, and it seems to be a mainstay of any Apple product evaluation, is price. 1700 dollars for a glorified media player is just overkill. For the price of a 27 inch iMac one can get a very large HDTV, or can get an HDTV and an Apple TV which would seem like the better buy.
I’d really like to see Apple make some sort of Apple branded television, but sadly I can’t say the 27 inch iMac is it. Hopefully a cheap TV with Apple TV hardware built into it will come to fruition. But then again I won’t hold my breath.