Since the advent of the Internet, its users have been able to hide behind a certain vail of anonymity. So I wonder how can one use the web accurately to research market trends? Some of this will make sense, other times it will be a brain dump. Bear with me, this is a long term project in the making.

4.23.2005

Weekend Reading 4.23.05

Happy weekend to all. Let's dive into to this weekend's reading right away, you'll enjoy the first posting.

This week new articles heralded the supposed start of talks over the next generation of DVD technology. I found a Reuters article that lays out what is happening, but not really what is at stake. The short and skinny is that there are two next-gen DVD standards in place, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Both are capable of storing more data than current DVDs which is good for storing HD content, but they are not compatible. Think BetaMax versus VHS all over again at the end of 2005. Now companies behind the standards, mainly Sony and Toshiba, have decided to try and define one standard for HD DVDs. While not mentioned in the article, I think the main reason is that consumers would be turned off by the confusion and decide to stick with their current DVD players and would also increase their usage of OnDemand HD movies through their cable operator or FIOS operator. If the DVD talks do not go well, could this put an end to the purchase of DVDs for entertainment purposes as people rely more on faster Internet speeds for delivery of HD movies and content?

Expanding on the HD discussion above, Gizmodo links to a story about Texas Instruments' new 1080p DLP chip which is going into production sets this summer. This could be a big driver for sales of new TV sets come the end of the year or the start of NFL season. The reason being is that all of the early adopters have picked up their HD plasma/LCD/DLP sets while the next set of adopters are waiting for prices to drop lower. The introduction of a lower cost DLP chip should create some healthy competition for the LCD producers and nudge down prices making HD more affordable for the masses. Could we see HD TV set sales take off in the second half of the year as opposed to 2006? That would definitely go against my original train of thought.

Moving on, my thanks goes out to Mary Jo Foley for writing an article pertaining to the end of mainstream support for Windows 2000. This will serve as a reminder to me to consider my server upgrade options when I return to the office next week. Since I am only using the server as a print and file server, should I upgrade to Server 2003 or go the Linux route? Being part of a small office, I can only surmise that thousands if not millions of Windows 2000 customers are scratching their heads wondering what they should do? Could this be the needed revenue driver for Microsoft during the summer duldrums in software? Might print and file server users decide enough is enough I am moving to Linux?

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