Xbox One Isn’t the Only One


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The unveiling of the Xbox One has got my inner geek pretty stoked.

Tear it apart any which way you want, but this new console it represents a terrific leap forward in the way we experience and share media in our homes: music, movies, games and TV. The new functions look very cool, especially the improvements in Kinect. I will be getting my hands one as soon as possible.

It’s probably not the elusive “all in one” box that Microsoft claims it is, but I frankly don’t think we will ever get there, because we really don’t want to. As consumers, (especially us geeks, who thrive on variety and shiny new things that replace and outdo the old ones) we don’t like limiting ourselves to just one platform or one way of doing things. We like to integrate our systems together and make them do unique things that serve our purposes.

The Xbox One is also a good example of how we – as communications professionals and PR people – need to constantly keep up with evolving technology that affects our business.

I was a semi-early adopter of social media, and saw its potential for one-to-one, human connectivity right away. And while I’m better at it than most, I’m far from an uber-user or an expert by my definition of the word.

Part of the reason we fall behind is because things evolve so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. And yet, that’s also part of our business: recognizing the changes afoot and evolving our tactics with them. We need to take time out – hard as it can be – to experiment with these technologies and make them work for us.

Take time to turn off all your inputs and just experiment, at least once a week. Part of keeping up is making sure you do it with the frequency to make it effective.

A (well intended) “I Told You So” Friday ShareDay


Apple Vs Competitors

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It wasn’t that far back that I waxed philosophic about which companies do their core business better – focusing on Google and Microsoft.

Since then, what has fascinated me more is the way technology has finally come into its own for our living rooms, and the ongoing battle between Microsoft and Apple for control of our big screen TVs.

So for this Friday ShareDay, here’s a post that updates those thoughts, with news that the XBox360 seems to be making some amazing content available through strategic partnerships and innovation with the Kinect system.

What will the future bring? Stay tuned. But either way, I win.

Happy Weekend!

Is That a Tech Company, or a Verb?


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In a double-dose of tech news this morning, comes word that Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion while Google unveils a cloud-based streaming music service.

Microsoft has a habit of overpaying for its toys under Steve Ballmer, but the Skype deal still looks like good business, opening the door for the boys in Redmond in a way and with a subscriber base they simply didn’t have before. And capturing an audience that’s a hybrid of Microsoft and Apple users isn’t bad for them, either.

Microsoft already has its own cloud-based music stream in the form of Last.fm, which is also installed as an app on XBox360 (alongside facebook, twitter, netflix and hulu plus). It’s not hard to see Microsoft assembling an all-in one living room media device that does TV, movies, music and gaming along with social media and connectivity. Smart move.

There’s a clear line of demarcation emerging here, with Microsoft doing entertainment well while fumbling on search (read: bing) and Google doing search well while seeming to fumble with entertainment (with the clear exception of its acquisition of YouTube).

Google’s office suite hasn’t lit the fire I am sure it hoped it would, and its Buzz social network went nowhere. Yet their search related products, like Maps and Earth, are still the go-to source for finding stuff.

So who would you rather be: the king of the living room or a verb?

P.S. Here’s a great assesment of what the deal means for Microsoft from Ad Age.