March 25, 2007

Phased Redeployment

Om and Niall PodSessions has shut down after over a year of weekly podcasts covering the latest technology news and its effects on your business and our daily lives. Listeners may have noticed a slowdown in this podcast's release frequency over the past few months, and I know you have wanted more quality content delivered to your ears every week.

Niall will continue to podcast almost weekly at Niall Kennedy's Podcast, connecting with a new guest each week to discuss the latest news affecting our online lives.

Om will continue to publish in hypertext form in the Giga Omni Media network.

This week's PodSession, Phased Redeployment, talks about the coming changes to the site. The podcast is 1 minute in length, a 1 MB download.

Om and Niall PodSessions subscribers will be automatically transitioned to Niall Kennedy's Podcast feed in the next week. No change is necessary on your end as feed aggregators and podcast applications such as iTunes will automatically switch over to the new feed.

Listen to this Phased Redeployment announcement directly on this page using Flash Player.

February 2, 2007

Windows Vista launch

Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 launched on Tuesday morning, providing computer giant Microsoft with a much-needed revamp for two product lines accounting for a majority of the company's revenue. Windows Vista is Microsoft's first consumer operating system release since Windows XP in October 2001, and the 5 year gap was definitely noticeable to customers increasingly moving everyday tasks away from the desktop operating system and into hosted applications such as Yahoo! Mail or Google Calendar.

Both Vista and Office boast major improvements over their predecessors, taking advantage of the computing and graphics power found in today's machines and creating a better connected experience over the local network as well as the worldwide web. Vista features major overhauls to networking, sound, and graphics devices and drivers, some of the essential components of any desktop platform. Windows Presentation Foundation delivers a whole new interaction layer for content and interactivity, making applications written for past Windows OSs appear even more dated.

Office 2007 received a major overhaul, replacing the familiar drop-down menu bar with graphical representations of the same tasks in what Microsoft is calling its "Ribbon UI." The new office productivity software will make your colleagues feel like dinosaurs based on new document outlining tools and fancy graphs alone.

All these changes come at a price of course, and software buyers will need to decide which of the 12 or more versions of Vista or Office best suites their need. Vista users can choose between Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, or Business editions of the software available in full, upgrade, or OEM varieties ranging from $100 to $400.

Are all of these new features exciting reasons to upgrade? Will consumers and businesses upgrade their operating systems or wait until buying a computer pre-loaded with the new OS? Will desktop gadgets and Internet Explorer 7 change the bridge between the desktop and our online lives? Has Om given up his MacBook Pro for a younger and sexier Windows laptop?

We answer these questions and more in this week's PodSession, Windows Vista launch. The podcast is 26 minutes in length, a 12 MB download.

Listen to this Windows Vista Launch podsession directly on this page using Flash.

January 27, 2007

The Connected Home - are we there yet?

The connected home is coming. Every year we hear about new technology on the verge of changing how we toast bread, watch television, or listen to music by the pool. The connected home promises to synchronize our digital lifestyle, connecting the broadband connected digital hubs of our home life into any piece of home electronics with a computer chip and networking gear.

This month's Consumer Electronics Show and Macworld conferences introduced the world (yet again) to new hardware and software that will redefine our digital home. Or will it? What do we want from our home media center? Should our toaster, coffee maker, and alarm clock be network aware, coordinating our morning routines? What are the current services and devices with the most promise, taking advantage of assets on the local network as well as in the cloud?

In this week's PodSession Om and I cut through the marketing hype and extended promises of the connected home, presenting our current realities and the most promising future services. This week's PodSession, Connected Home, is 20 minutes in length, a 10 MB download.

Listen to this Connected Home podsession directly on this page using Flash.

December 22, 2006

Year-long trends in review

The calendar year has almost come to a close as the world focuses on tangible goods for the holidays and Internet time slows down just a little bit. In this week's PodSession Om and I review a few trends from 2006 and their impact on next year's big trends.

Years ago marketers moved their standard unit of web traffic measurement from "hits" to "pageviews" to better reflect the images, movies, and other sub-components of a page brought together in a single browser window to enhance user experience. In 2006 subsections of web pages became even more apparent, throwing off historical measurements of website popularity and customer engagement. From Ajax components to sidebar widgets and embedded movies, sub-components of a page came alive, creating what was often a better user experience while complicating the statistical measurement the web and its advertisers rely upon.

The lifeblood of the web, the advertising systems lining the pockets of online companies large and small, received significant upgrades this year. Microsoft launched a new online advertising product, AdCenter, and Yahoo! Search Marketing received an upgrade with the introduction of Project Panama. Google's AdSense product didn't sit still either, adding better understanding of advertising landing pages and tracking a sale from ad display through completed purchase with Google Checkout.

The technologies powering the web received a major upgrade as well. It was only a year ago when Om and I interviewed David Heinemeier Hansson just before the release of Ruby on Rails version 1.0. Rails continues to be a hot topic and serves as an inspiration for frameworks in other programming languages.

Om and I discuss these topics and much much more in this week's PodSession, Year-long trends in review. The podcast is 21 minutes in length, a 10 MB download.

Listen to this Year-long trends in review podsession directly on this page using Flash Player.