City of Industry, Calif. – May 21, 2013 – MSI Computer Corp, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, unveils the new and refreshed GX70 and GX60, the world’s first AMD Richland A10-5750M powered gaming laptops.
Part of MSI’s award-winning G Series gaming laptops, the all-new GX70 and GX60 are now upgraded with AMD’s newest processor, which promises an increase in visual performance by up to 40 percent over previous generations. The new processor also increases battery life and CPU performance, resulting in longer gaming sessions with crisper, brighter and a more realistic visual experience.
Full release and my initial thoughts available after the jump: (more…)
When you enter the grocery store, there is a very clear marketing strategy aimed at getting customers to walk the aisles and purchase items.
Currently, most shoppers only visit less than half of the total area of an average grocery store, according to this story I read on the Christian Science Monitor, and that means a lot of floor space is being ignored.
A study from the American Marketing Association revealed in-store coupons successfully convinced shoppers to explore the grocery store more.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
“Shoppers in the study were sent mobile promotions while shopping (which a regular consumer might receive through a location-based app like FourSquare or a store-specific app), and the group found that the “walking theory” is true. The experiment showed that consumers, on average, spent $13.83 when they were sent a coupon that was for a product near their planned path, but a mobile coupon requiring shoppers to walk outside of their planned path increased unplanned spending to $21.29. In general, walking an additional 55 feet in a grocery store increases unplanned spending by about $1, while strategically promoting three different product categories via mobile promotion may increase unplanned spending by more than 16%.”
It’s incredible to read stories about how smartphones continue to change our lives, and companies are left scrambling to try and catch up. Ultimately, grocery stores also must work to stay ahead of the technological learning curve, although this is a battle companies will be able to win.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear the impulse purchases at the checkout areas, including magazines, candy and chewing gum, are suffering due to customers paying more attention to their smartphones.
Who is to blame for sluggish Microsoft Windows 8 sales?
If you listen to many analysts and OEM providers, they are more than happy to shift blame to Microsoft for its Windows 8 OS. Of course, Microsoft is on the defensive while blaming OEMs and a changing industry – overall, consumers, OEMs and Microsoft are all to blame for disappointing PC sales numbers.
Even if Microsoft isn’t necessarily publicly discussing the topic – don’t worry, it’s a major concern – simply pointing fingers at OEMs doesn’t do any good. Likewise, OEMs need to stop trying to blame Microsoft and find a way to stop bleeding sales that look like it won’t end due to consumer choice continuing to change.
Here is what Bob O’Donnell, IDC analyst, said in a statement:
“The costs associated with touch PCs have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft is going to have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if they want to help reinvigorate the PC market.”
Besides tablets and other devices helping crush PC sales figures, is there a reason for consumers to upgrade? Maybe they have an aging computer or find a great deal, but with the way hardware has accelerated, your 5+ year-old computer likely works just fine.
It’s true that the current desktop PC is in a current state of disarray, with consumers either keeping older, functional PCs or investing in mobile products. As much as I like using my Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Lenovo ThinkPad Twist ultrabook, my work productivity drastically increases when I sit in front of a PC with dual screens and a full keyboard – and I feel that using a combination of mobile devices only serves to help complement the PC.
REDMOND, Wash. – April 17, 2013 – Kinivo, producer of superior quality accessories for mobile devices, introduces the BTX350 wireless Bluetooth speaker to their extensive line of sleek audio solutions. Kinivo’s new BTX350 streams music from any Bluetooth-capable device to deliver exceptionally clear sound in a portable design. Measuring just eight inches wide by three inches high, this class-D amplifer packs dynamic audio into a perfectly portioned speaker, perfect for traveling, outdoor activities and those who simply want to enjoy their favorite tunes anywhere, anytime.
“We combined the sleek design of our BTX450 and the portability of our ZX100 to craft the ultimate travel speaker,” says Kinivo CEO Sharad Mittal. “Pack the new BTX350 and rechargeabe battery into your suitecase while traveling, carry it in your beach bag for summer activities, or let it seamlessly complement any home décor.”
Bring rich sound with you on-the-go for up to five continous hours of rechargable Bluetooth-streamed audio. The BTX350 also includes an optional 3.5 mm cable, offering universal compatibility with virtually any of your gadgets.
Enhanced by a passive subwoofer, the BTX350’s suspension cone drivers produce immense sound without the bulk or weight of traditional speaker systems. In addition to pristine audio, Kinivo’s BTX350 is user-friendly, featuring full controls on top including bass boost, volume, skip and reverse buttons. The BTX350 operates off an interchangable battery, allowing users to pack spare ones in case they want to extend their listening experience for more than five hours.
Kinivo’s new BTX350 is available now at Amazon.com for a special introductory price of $39.99.
Posted by: Michael in News
on April 11th, 2013
The PC industry faces a high level of competition from tablets, smartphones and other portable devices, and quarterly sales saw the sharpest drop on record, according to analyst group Gartner.
In a shocking statistic, analysts expected a 7.7 percent drop in Q1, though that number was closer to 14 percent – amounting to just 76.3 million in sales. To make matters worse, four consecutive quarters saw year-on-year drops, with a stop to the bleeding unlikely to come anytime in the near future.
Here is what Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner analyst, said in a report:
“Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors.”
The addition of more affordable laptops, ultrabooks, and similar devices – not tablets or smartphones – also play a major role in the current sales trends.
I can’t say I am surprised, even though I think it’s more that vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell are unable to gain consumer trust.
Posted by: Michael in News
on March 25th, 2013
I can’t imagine how tense it must be any time Microsoft releases a new version of its Windows operating system, as users, reporters, and analysts are quick to point out any issues.
Microsoft soaks up the praise, but must also deal with the constant flow of criticism regarding features, functionality, and cost of its latest and ‘greatest’ products.
With its Windows 8 OS, supposedly optimized for touchscreen devices, Microsoft has seemingly heard criticism from everyone: OEMs, users, reporters, analysts, and partners. I believe enterprises are still invested in Windows 7 and it could be until 2014 – at the earliest – before Microsoft begins to see a boost in Windows 8 adoption.
Research group Gartner “believes most enterprises aren’t ready for Windows 8. The firm predicts 90 percent of enterprises will skip deploying Windows 8 on a wide-scale company basis through 2015,” according to an excerpt from the Redmond magazine.
I believe Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is a smart marketing specialist and savvy business man, despite his playful demeanor during keynote speeches. Ballmer clearly understands the market is transitioning into the cloud – and Microsoft no longer can rely on being a software vendor, and must continue to branch out and evolve.
Overall, Microsoft will be just fine if Windows 8 sales don’t pick up, especially with the codenamed ‘Windows Blue’ working on a shorter release road map.
I certainly don’t think Windows 8 is a bad operating system, but it’s clear that it wasn’t going to rally the Windows platform – especially with so many users finally beginning to purchase Windows 7. I believe it’s foolhardy for PC users to expect something along the lines of Windows XP every time Microsoft releases a new OS, which certainly won’t happen.
(Image Courtesy: Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Consumers have a lot of different enticing mobile products to choose from, as manufacturers look to develop ultrabooks and notebooks all the way to e-readers and hybrid smartphone/tablet devices.
Google Chrome-powered devices known as ‘Chromebooks’ are finding an interesting niche in a cluttered market with users hesitant to invest a large amount of money in a portable device that will be outdated in less than one year.
Earlier in the year, Acer issued a public statement that noting Chromebooks account for between 5 and 10 percent of the company’s US PC shipments – an impressive, yet surprising figure – and that number could grow even further.
OEMs are pushing Chromebooks to six new countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, with a focus on both consumer and business markets. Here in the United States, expect to see more Chromebooks in Best Buy retail locations, as manufacturers want to expand domestic sales and marketing efforts.
I like the idea that Chromebooks are quickly replacing netbooks, but they won’t be able to threaten the new generation of ultrabooks, in my opinion. I absolutely love my Lenovo ThinkPad Twist and would never consider giving it up for any of the Chromebooks, especially since an Internet connection is needed to store information to the cloud.
The Chromebook still won’t threaten Windows-powered devices anytime soon, but tech customers have a wider variety of choices now. Acer, Asus, and Hewlett-Packard are already on the Chromebook bandwagon, while Lenovo is expected to slowly roll out Google-powered devices in 2013.
Barracuda Networks plans to show its good faith to the educational community by creating a unique new pricing program and product enhancements that will hopefully streamline IT efforts of educational schools.
Here is what Stephen Pao, Barracuda Networks VP of product management, said in a press release:
”With school-issued iPads, fast-growing volumes of data, and the growth of social media along with corresponding cyberbullying, IT for schools is quickly becoming more complex. Our integrated offering, backed up by award winning customer support, is designed to help educational institutions move quickly to address these challenges, despite limited staff and shrinking budgets.”
The centrally managed security and data protection solution from Barracuda includes the following: Barracuda Web Filter, Barracuda Backup, and Barracuda Message Archiver. I like the idea of a cloud-based CMS that allows admins to check on the software from anywhere via the Internet, which is the type of functionality that cloud-based technology should provide.
To learn about each specific solution, I recommend visiting The Journal
It’s quite obvious that schools need assistance with their IT needs, as IT budgets are being slashed while the cuts go up.
“Barracuda networks further extends reach into education market”
Fremont, Calif. – March 15, 2013 – AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, will be seen by moviegoers across the U.S. this weekend in “The Call,” a suspense thriller starring Halle Berry and Abigal Breslin. AOC is the exclusive provider of monitors for the film, in which Halle Berry plays a veteran 911 operator, who fights to save an abducted teenager.
Full press release — and Mike’s thoughts — after the jump: (more…)
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Posted by: Michael in Editorial
on March 9th, 2013
It’s become painfully obvious that PC manufacturers are unsure how to deal with a technological transition with consumers choosing to go mobile.
Instead of purchasing new desktop PCs, we are more interested in laptops, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones – and companies such as Sony, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard aren’t sure how to adjust.
PC sales will continue to slide throughout the rest of 2013, according to research group IDC, expecting the dismal sales to fall 1.3 percent year-over-year. I fully expect it’s only a matter of time before tablets will challenge PC sales, and that might happen sooner than some folks believe.
There are a few different factors to blame for the current state of the PC industry, though manufacturers still are having trouble adapting. Microsoft Windows 8, which launched last October, has been unable to generate the type of consumer interest that we all hoped for – and enterprise users also aren’t on the Windows 8 bandwagon.
I don’t think manufacturers will be able to suddenly change things around, but they certainly have the opportunity to rebuild the PC market. Research group Gartner predicts that by half of 2015, all laptop shipments will be tablets, and that certainly is something that will be extremely difficult to contend with for traditional manufacturers.