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Monthly Archives: May 2011

SEO – Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz – Future – Past

Social Signals and Ranking [publication date: May 27, 2011; likely presentation date: 5/6/7 of April, see the below SMX München information]

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz talks about his idea of the future of link building and the importance of social singals for rankings. The talk was recorded for the Microsoft Academy while SMX Munich was in town during which Microsoft managed to win Rand Fishkin to come to their German HQ and talk about SEO and Social Media.

You can download the slides here.

SMX München, 05.-06. April 2011

Keynote: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz – Die aktuellen SEOmoz Ranking Faktoren

Das neue Suchuniversum: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple & Co.

Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
Stefan Weitz, Bing, Microsoft
Niels Dörje, Tandler.Doerje.Partner
Maile Ohye, Google Inc.

About Rand Fishkin [from SEOmoz website]

Rand Fishkin is the CEO & Co-Founder of the web’s most popular SEO Software provider; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEO from O’Reilly Media and was named on the 40 Under 40 List and 30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand has been written about in The Seattle Times, Newsweek and PC World among others and keynoted conferences on search around the world. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day.

How to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing to Attract a boatload of Qualified Leads to your Website – with Rand Fishkin [Owen McGab Enaohwo for his HireYourVirtualAssistant.com, May 10, 2011]

If you already have a website for your business, I bet you also need a constant stream of qualified and targeted leads coming to your website on a daily basis because some of them will eventually buy your services and/or products. There are several paid options available that you can use to drive traffic to your site such as Pay Per Click (PPC), Website Sponsoring, Banner Display Advertising, Affiliates and so on. Wouldn’t it be great for a boatload of relevant leads to find your website for FREE? If you are like me, your answer is YES! The solution is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO); though it will take time and effort in the long run it’s a worthy investment. In order to get expert information on SEO and how we can create the right niche content for our websites, properly optimize them so that they are indexed and displayed organically on Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on; I interviewed Rand Fishkin. Enjoy the interview!

The Beginners Guide to SEO [free from Rand Fishkin]

New to SEO? Need to polish up your knowledge? The Beginner’s Guide to SEO has been read over 1 million times and provides comprehensive information you need to get on the road to professional quality SEO.

… an in depth tutorial on how search engines work that covers the fundamental strategies that make websites search engine friendly.

Great Content for SEO: Simpler than You Ever Imagined [April 26, 2011]

Today I want to share an incredibly simple yet massively powerful process for building search-optimized, “great content.” There’s no fancy tricks and nothing proprietary about the approach, but it is rare indeed to find an organization that follows these steps and hence, it’s a way to potentially differentiate and build a competitive advantage.

Step 1: Build a Survey

Step 2: Send it to Your Customers / Potential Customers

Step 3: Record Responses + Leverage them to Build What the People Want

That’s all there is to it.

And while you’re thinking, “He’s right! It’s so easy… I can do this in 15 minutes tomorrow and have the perfect roadmap to build something searchers will love,” you’re probably busy and might put this on the back burner for another time. Don’t do it! Implement now – even for just one keyword and one page. Even if you only get 2 responses! Heck, you can just fill it out yourself 4 or 5 times with how you think others might respond and it will still give you a better plan than 90% of what’s in the top 10 results for most queries.

Value proposition of SEOmoz PRO: the whole SEOmoz.org homepage:

Effectively Manage Your SEO

SEOmoz PRO -- dashboard SEOmoz PRO -- issue identification and getting recommendation

Analyze links and track key performance metrics in an efficient all-in-one dashboard.

Identify critical SEO issues and get actionable recommendations.

SEOmoz PRO -- monitor rankings and control traffic

Automatically monitor changes to your rankings and take control of your organic traffic.

More: SEOmoz PRO – Campaign software for easy SEO management

Search engine optimization wikipedia article:

By 2004, search engines had incorporated a wide range of undisclosed factors in their ranking algorithms to reduce the impact of link manipulation. Google says it ranks sites using more than 200 different signals.[11] The leading search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages. Notable SEO service providers, such as Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz, Aaron Wall and Jill Whalen, have studied different approaches to search engine optimization, and have published their opinions in online forums and blogs.[12][13] SEO practitioners may also study patents held by various search engines to gain insight into the algorithms.[14]

The related Talk:Search engine optimization contains also the following interesting information (emphasis is mine):

I agree there is no justification on including a section on notable seos if it excludes smart-traffic.co.uk who have been Googles no1 seo specialist for a very long timeand will continue to be so.

Some of these “notables” should be vetted as some of them are obvious shills for Google.

… The article for Rand Fishkin has been deleted 3 times – possibly at the request of the subject himself – Rand Fishkin.

… Yes, Rand Fishkin requested deletion of his biography.

… Actually Rand Fishkin is known as one of the most famous, or one of the most famous Google Shills out there. The last thing the world needs is a shill toted as an expert.

shill (noun, from Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

a : one who acts as a decoy (as for a pitchman or gambler)
b : one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter

About Smart Traffic (smart-traffic.co.uk) (emphasis is mine)

Smart Traffic was established in early 2006 with the goal to become one the of the best known and most successful Search Engine Optimisation companies in the UK. Since that time, Smart Traffic have grown to become the largest SEO specialist in the UK and now employ over 170 employees Worldwide.

Such rapid growth has been possible due to Smart Traffic’s unrivalled results. With the largest Technical resource in SEO available to our clients, we are able to outrank and outperform all competitors.

Due to the unique business model of Smart Traffic, we are able to offer:

– SME’s affordable, high return SEO campaigns.

– High level SEO strategies for blue chip brand names to eclipse their competitors in search.

– Quality SEO services to resellers who want to offer an Industry leading SEO service.

SEOmoz Jobs (emphasis is mine):

We’re a small startup – there are only 35(ish) of us, but we’re globally known in the search field and have deep relationships around the world. We’ve got the reputation of a big player with the energy of a young, nimble organization and we love that – it lets us do very exciting things when we smell opportunity.

How SEOmoz and Majestic SEO Can Help Webmasters [SEO Theory, May 12, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

I generally refrain from analyzing SEO tools. There are too many of them, they generally don’t do anything useful, and few people care what my opinion of their favorite tools may be. Nonetheless, a couple of recent posts from Majestic SEO and SEOmoz caught my eye. Both posts include some statistics that, by themselves, don’t reveal anything useful but they do hint that some potentially useful data could be developed and shared by both services. I don’t believe either service publishes this kind of data in their members-only area but they are welcome to correct me on the point.

… [quite worth to read]

Rand Fishkin Interview [Sept 8, 2010]

Speaking of low risk SEO, why do you think neither of our sites has hit the #1 slot yet in Google for “seo”? And do you think that ranking would have much business impact?

We’ve looked at the query in our ranking models and I think it’s unlikely we could ever beat out the Wikipedia result, Google or SEO.com (unless GG pulls back on their exact-match domain biasing preference). That said, we should both be overtaking SEOchat.com fairly soon (and some of the spammier results that temporarily pop in and out). Some of our engineers think that more LDA work might help usto better understand these super-high competitive queries.

Analysis of "SEO" SERPs in Google
SERPs analysis of “SEO” in Google.com w/ Linkscape Metrics + LDA (click for larger)

In terms of business impact – yeah, I think for either of us it would be quite a boon actually (and I rarely feel that way about any particular single term/phrase). It would really be less the traffic than the associated perception.

When does the delta between paid search & SEO investment begin to shrink (if ever)?

I think it’s probably shrinking right now. Paid search is so heavily invested in that I think it’s fair to call it a mature market (at least in global web search, though, re: your previous question, probably not in local). SEO is ramping upwith a higher CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) according to Forrester, so that delta should be shrinking.

Forrester Growth of SEO vs. Paid Search
via Forrester Research’s Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009-2014

What are the major differences between LDA & LSI?

They’re both methodologies for building a vector space model of terms/phrases and measuring the distance between them as a way to find more “relevant” content. My understanding is that LSI, which was first developed in 1988, has lots of scaling issues. It’s cousin, PLSI (probabilistic LSI) attempted to address some of those when it came out in 1999, but still has scaling problems (the Internet is really big!) and often will bias to more complex solutions when a basic one is the right choice.

LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation), which started in 2002, is a more scalable (though still imperfect) system with the same intuition and goals – it attempts to mathematically show distances between concepts and words. All of the major search engines have lots of employees who’ve studied this in university and many folks at Google have written papers and publications on LDA. Our understanding is that it’s almost universally preferred to LSI/PLSI as a methodology for vector space models, but it’s also very likely that Google’s gone above and beyond this work, perhaps substantially.

The “brand” update was subsequently described as being due to looking at search query chains. In a Wired article Amit Singhal also highlighted how Google looks for entities in their bi-gram breakage process & how search query sequences often help them figure out such relationships. How were you guys able to build a similar database without access to the search sessions, or were you able to purchase search data?

In a vector space model for a search function, the distances and datasets leverage the corpus rather than query logs. Essentially, with LDA (or LSI or even TF*IDF), you want to be able to calculate relevance before you ever serve up your first search query. Our LDA work and the LDA tool in labs today use a corpus of about 8 million documents (from Wikipedia). Google’s would almost certainly use their web index (or portions of it).

It’s certainly possible that query data is also leveraged for a similar purpose (though due to how people search – with short terms and phrases rather than long, connected groups of words – it’s probably in a different way). This might even be something that helps extend their competitive advantage (given their domination of market share).

When I got into SEO (and for the first couple years) it seemed like you could analyze a person’s top backlinks and then literally just go out and duplicate most of them fairly easily. Since then people have become more aware of SEO, Google has cracked down on paid links, etc. etc. etc. Based on that, a lot of my approach to SEO has moved away from analysis and more toward just trying to do creative marketing & hope some % of it sticks. Do you view data as being a bit of a sacred cow, or more of just a rough starting point to build from? How has your perception as to the value of data & approach to SEO changed over time?

I think your approach is almost exactly the same as mine. The data about links, on-page, social stats, topic models, etc. is great for the analysis process, but it’s much harder to simply say “OK, I’ll just do what they did and then get one more link,” than it was when we started out.

That analysis and ongoing metrics tracking is still super-valuable, IMO, because it helps define the distance between you and the leaders and gives critical insight into making the right strategic/tactical decisions. It’s also great to determine whether you’re making progress or not. But, yes, I’d agree that it’s nowhere near as cut-and-dried as it once was.

The frustrating part for us at SEOmoz is we feel like we’re only now producing/providing enough data to be good at these. I wish that 6-7 years ago, we’d been able to do it (of course, it would have cost a lot more back then, and the market probably wasn’t mature enough to support our current business model).

Blekko has got a lot of good press by sharing their ranking models & link data. Their biggest downside so far in their beta is the limited size of their index, which is perhaps due to a cost benefit analysis & they will expand their index size before they publicly launch. In some areas of the web Google crawls & indexes more than I would expect, while not going to deeply into others. Do you try to track Google’s crawls in any way? How do you manage your crawl to try to get the deep stuff Google has while not getting the deep stuff that Google doesn’t have?

Yeah – we definitely map our crawls against Google, Bing and Majestic on a semi-regular basis. I can give you a general sense of we see ourselves performing against these:

  • Google – the freshest and most “complete” (without including much spam/junk) of the indices. A given Linkscape index is likely around 40-60% of the Google index in a similar timeframe, but we tend to do pretty well on coverage of domains and well-linked-to pages, though worse on deep crawling in big sites.
  • Bing – they’ve got a large index like Google, but we actually seem to beat them in freshness for many of the less popular corners of the web (though they’re still much faster about catching popular news/blogs/etc from trusted sourcessince they update multiple times daily vs. our once-per-month updates).
  • Majestic – dramatically larger in number of URLs than Google, Bing or Linkscape, but not as good as any of those about freshness or canonicalization (we’ll often see hundreds of URLs in the index that are essentially the same page with weird URL parameters). We like a lot of their features and certainly their size is enviable, but we’re probably not going to move to a model of continuous additions rather than set updates (unless we get a lot more bandwidth/processing power at dramatically lower rates).


the problem with maintaining old URLs became more clear when we analyzed decay on the WWW

In terms of reaching the deep corners of the web, we’ve generally found that limiting spam and “thin” content is the big problem at those ends of the spectrum. Just as email traffic is estimated to be 90%+ spam, it’s quite possible that the web, if every page were truly crawled and included, would have similar proportions. Our big steps to help this are using metrics like mozTrust, mozRank and some of our PA/DA work to help guide the crawl. As we scale up index size (probably December/January of this year), that will likely become a bigger challenge.

Entrepreneurship: The Full Story Of SEOmoz Told By Rand Fishkin [recorded and transcribed by Robin Good [Luigi Canali De Rossi] for his MasterNewMedia, April 8, 2011]

also available on the The Daily SEO Blog as The Story of SEOmoz [Rand Fishkin, April 13, 2011]

This is the story of SEOmoz, as I have heard it by sitting in the first row of a small but very attentive audience at the LUISS University in Rome, Italy. The storyteller is Rand Fishkin himself, the father and founder of an SEO company which has become synonym of high value tools and services, competence, and a natural inclination to share valuable information before asking something in return.

Individual video records on YouTube (useful in the case of slow loading of the full content with all video records and adjacent transcriptions):
SEOmoz Story Introduction (Duration: 1′ 15”)
The Origins of the SEOmoz Company (Duration: 5′ 20″, emphasis in bold is mine)

In 2004 things are kind of going terribly and I started the SEOmoz blog, because not only was I struggling financially, but I was struggling with SEO.

I realized that I was not great at it, I could not figure it out, it was very challenging.

Google makes it really hard to know and understand how to do SEO well. And that was one of the reasons why I built SEOmoz, as I thought that this practice of search engine optimization, should be easier. It should not be this black box, it should not be so hard to understand and so, SEOmoz was founded around this idea of transparency and sharing and information.

If you go back and read the blog posts from 2004, you are not going to be impressed. They are not particularly insightful. A lot of them were just silly day-to-day stuff.

Things like: “I found this article here, it says to do this thing. I tried it and it did not work“, but eventually it gets more popular, it starts growing, I get better at blogging, I get better at writing and building these resources and in 2005, after we produced some viral content, Newsweek Magazine, which used to be a very popular magazine in the United States – they had subscription of around eight / nine million subscribers weekly who pick up this magazine – they featured us in a big four / five page spread around SEO and that was a sort of a big coming out party.

We suddenly had a lot more media attention, a lot more clients contacting us instead of wanting us doing web design development services, they wanted us to do SEO. That kind of kicked us off and in fact the Newsweek article was the impetuous for me writing something called The Beginner’s Guide to SEOwhich is still a relatively famous and well-regarded resource.

The weird part is: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO, brought us more clients, more traffic, more value than the Newsweek article did. I thought: “Oh, Newsweek wrote an article, I would better write a guide to SEO for all the people who are going to come to the website from reading the magazine and want to learn more.”

It turned out the other way around. The guide itself is more popular.

How to Raise Venture Capital Money (Duration: 4′ 39″)
How to Manage a Board of Directors (Duration: 2′ 54″)
Business Marketing Strategies (Duration: 8′ 13″)
Lessons Learned (Duration: 5′ 9″)
Why Startup Culture and Mission Are Important (Duration: 1′ 59″)
How to Hire Good People (Duration: 1′ 41″)
How to Manage Big Challenges (Duration: 1′ 39″)
Marketing Tips for Startups (Duration: 10′ 43″)
Successful Web Marketing Channels (Duration: 10′ 13″)
Conferences and Events (Duration: 2′ 26″)
SEOmoz’ Financial Data (Duration: 4′ 34″)

… this is our revenue over the past four years and an estimate of this year’s revenue:

  1. 2007: Less than $1 million
  2. 2008: $600.000
  3. 2009: $1.2 million
  4. 2010: $5.7 million
  5. 2011: A little bit over $11 million – although it is possible there might be less

follow up: http://seopressors.org/ proposed to me, I don’t know how good it is, will try later, but first let’s see what it is:
Daniel Tan’s SEOPressor
Hi, I’m Daniel Tan and I have Created SEOPressor For You!
http://seopressors.org/: The MANDATORY WordPress SEO Plugin
> Top Priority Support, Free Life-time Updates
> SEOPressor Single-Site, One Domain $47 Only (one-time)
> SEOPressor UNLIMITED $97 Only (one-time) with Free Installation Service
>> Instant Download After Purchase
>> Compatible with WordPress 3.0
>> Requires Self-Hosted WordPress Sites
>> Widely Used on Niche Websites
>> Great for Large Business Sites
>> Works Extremely Well for Huge Autoblogs
– a 3d party expert review: Best SEO plugin SEOPressor for WordPress Blog [May 31, 2011]
also because it could probably be obtained free of charge as well:
How to Get a FREE SEOPressor plugin [May 19, 2011]

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Microsoft’s huge underperformance on mainland China market

Ballmer Bares China Travails [May 27, 2011]

Rampant piracy means Microsoft Corp.’s revenue in China this year will only be about 5% of what it gets in the U.S., even though personal-computer sales in the two countries are almost equal, Chief Executive Steve Ballmertold employees in a meeting here.

Mr. Ballmer’s candid remarks provided a glimpse at the software giant’s struggle with piracy in what will soon be the world’s largest PC market. In China, copies of Microsoft’s core Office and Windows programs are still available on street corners for $2 or $3 each, a fraction of their retail price, despite efforts by the company to curb theft.

In his address to employees at the company’s new Beijing offices, Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft’s revenue per personal computer sold in China is only about a sixth of the amount it gets in India. He noted that Microsoft’s total revenue in China, population 1.3 billion, is less than what it gets in the Netherlands, a country of fewer than 17 million.

“We’re literally talking about an opportunity that is billions of dollars today” if China’s intellectual property rights protection were at the level of India’s, Mr. Ballmer said Wednesday in Beijing. … PC sales in China will be “as big as the U.S. market this year,” he said, yet “our revenue in China will be about a twentieth of our revenue in the United States.”

The statement suggests Microsoft’s revenue in China is close to $2 billion. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, Microsoft reported U.S. revenue of $36.2 billion out of a world-wide total of $62.5 billion.

High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile

Follow-up: First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21 – Sept 25, 2011]

After the technical and business excellence well reflected in my previous posts Marvell seems to be on the high rise.
See my previous posts as well:
ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [March 8, 2011]
Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011]
Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, 2011]
Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23, 2010 – Jan 17, 2011]

Update: Marvell Leads TD-SCDMA Market with Industry’s First Commercially Available Single-Chip Solution Shipping in China [June 1, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Company showcases at Computex 2011 a suite of new smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspot devices developed for the China market powered by Marvell’s PXA920 series of high performance single-chip TD-SCDMA solutions.

… said Weili Dai, Marvell’s Co-Founder. “Marvell has raised the technology bar for the entire industry.  We believe Marvell has delivered a quantum leap to the development and adoption of the TD-SCDMA standard.  Because of this breakthrough, more than a dozen world-leading mobile OEMs are launching Marvell® PXA920 based products in China. We’re very proud to enable the next billion users of connected devices in China.”

Marvell’s industry-leading TD-SCDMA solution is designed to deliver world-class performance – 3D graphics, mobile gaming, mobile TV, and high definition video with a unified user experience across different product platforms enabled by Marvell’s beautiful and easy-to-use Kinoma® software. Additionally, the PXA920 series of products are the industry’s first TD-SCDMA solution that combines a high performance application processor and modem and enables realization of the long-standing quest for mass market smartphones priced at 1,000 RMB.  This same platform is designed to support worldwide 3G and 2G standards, allowing OEMs to rapidly deploy WCDMA smartphones, tablets, and mobile hotspot devices in China and beyond.

Marvell provides a complete solution including system-on-chip (SoC) communication processors, modems, RF, PMIC, and integrated Wi-Fi/BT/FM connectivity including 1×1 and 2×2 mobile MIMO with beamforming capabilities.  Marvell’s TD-SCDMA silicon and software solutions were developed at its Shanghai design center, home to approximately 1,000 engineers dedicated to the China market.

Update: The PXA920 opportunity was realized only in September 2011, two years later than the September 2009 launch. See:First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21, 2011]

Marvell Up 11%: Street Says ‘Inflection Point’ [May 27, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Shares of Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) are up $1.53, almost 11%, at $16.09 after the company last night missedfiscal Q1 estimates but forecast the current quarter ahead of consensus, based on an expectation for a pick-up in its wireless chip business.

Most analysts this morning are saying business has hit bottom and is on the way back up. Estimates are up all around, though there are no ratings revisions, as far as I can see, and price targets are mostly staying where they were.

The China Mobile (CHL) “OPhone” project for TD-SCDMA handsets could bring the company $40 million in the latter half of this year.

… in Ophone it believes it has ~80% of a 10-12M C12 TD unit oppty …

… the Q2 forecast is “a fundamental inflection point,” even though the ramp-up of wireless chips for China Mobile’s OPhone will be relatively immaterial. “We believe the company is ramping several OEMs this quarter, with one being ASUS. Previously, management indicated that it had garnered design wins for 90% of current OPhone models across eight of the top nine OEMs. The company now expects to ship to over 12 customers this year with a design win rate of ~80%.” …

With that market capitalization of Marvell went from $9.2B to $10.2B in a single day.

Marvell Technology Group’s CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [May 26, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Given the recent market concern surrounding our Mobile and Wireless business, I would like to take a moment to address this up front. First, I would like to stress that the mobile end market is a key area for Marvell, and we continue to invest new product development and to strengthen our infrastructure to support new customers.

As an example, we are currently supporting over 20 handset designs at new customers. In addition to our current 3G and TD offerings, our investment in advanced technologies, such as LTE, are starting to pay benefits. We are already sampling our LTE solutions at some of our key customers and believe we are well positioned to benefit when the market ramps. Although quarter-to-quarter fluctuations are hard to avoid, we believe our business at our leading customers will be sustained, and we will continue to be a significant player in this space.

Second, I want to share with you the current status of the ramp in TD products. We are winning about 80% of the TD smartphone designs on the Android and OMS platforms. Our single-chip solutions address the entire spectrum of low- to high-end TD phones, and we are firmly entrenched in the high-volume sweet spot. We believe our solutions are compelling for this market and should translate into solid growth for our TD business this year.

We remain confident that our early investment in support of the TD has been extended in China will be very beneficial to us as the majority of China’s mobile 600 million subscribers continue migrating to the smartphone market on the TD standard.

In addition, we are working with our key carrier partners and handset customers on prototypes for our next-generation TD LTE, which we’ll be sampling later this year. These new products are best in class and fully backward-compatible. We believe these investments will further distance us from our competitors in TD.

During the last quarter, we achieved a significant milestone as the first company to ship TD single-chip solutions in production volumes. We expect these revenues to more than double in the second quarter. This should provide clear evidence that our strategy in TD is successful.

Question-and-Answer Session [of the above]

Let me add a little bit more color about why is TD so important to China. There’s a lot of people — a lot of people in outside China are skeptical about the opportunities of TD in China. The way I look at it, I can explain it from a technical point of view. But then, I can speak until I’m tired, and nobody will care anyway. So I’m trying to, this time, answer you from a different angle, from a non-technical point of view.

As you know, Chinese have been run — the society has been run for 4,000 or 5,000 years of history. And over those history, they invented many new technologies hundreds of years before anybody else invented those technologies. Yes, okay, recently, okay, in the modern eras, in the cell phone, they were behind. But they were behind only for a few years. The TD-SCDMA industry standard was developed a few years later than the WCDMA 3G standards. So it’s natural for the WCDMAs to be ramping up in the rest of the world first.

However, China, with understanding the Chinese, already waited 5,000 years in history. Waiting for a few more years for ramping up all the majority of their cell phones to use Chinese phone standard. Okay, it’s of the highest priority for the Chinese people. So this, compared to anything else, this is more important than, let’s say, speeding up the deployment of 3G into China by using outside technology. And they’re only few years. And from then on the Chinese people will be labeled do not have any 3G technology. So the way I look at it, okay, that’s not going to happen.

What’s going to happen is that TD is beginning to be deployed in China for the Chinese people. They’re ramping up huge number of subscriber, and as I mentioned earlier, 600 million subscribers. Over time, those subscribers will all move to TD-SCDMA and TD LTE. The base stations already been deployed. More than 220,000 base station last year being deployed throughout the whole China, not just in the big cities. Everywhere, throughout the whole China. That’s more than base stations, the number of base stations in the largest area in, let’s say, in the U.S. in total. And this is just the new base station for China Mobile, and they continue to invest in new base stations this year and next year.

So you can see that the opportunities for us is great. The only thing, as Clyde said, is we need to just wait and see when the rest of the customer will ramp up. As the products get more mature, as the prices goes down, it will be natural for those design wins to continue to go into production. And the beauty is that we have 80% of design wins. So at least we don’t have to worry about, okay, when it actually ramps, it will be somebody else, not only us.

… there’s a 800-pound gorilla that’s out there that’s very strongly the tablet business. So every other — the vast majority of companies there working on the tablet solutions do have a challenge on trying to get the tablet market in the short term.

In the long term. In the long term, I do believe that our strength in being able to integrate the modem and the application processors will be important not just in the cell phone, in the smartphone, but also in the tablet. There are so many — because after all, the tablet — if you think about what’s in the tablet, the tablet really is a smartphone with a bigger screen. So it’s just a matter of time.

You’re asking about in the next 2 or 3 years, I do believe in the next 2 years or so when things, the dust settle down, the tablet and the smartphones really looks just the same like we have design wins like we have significantly done with in the smartphones market, but we’ll have design wins, sizeable design wins, in the tablet. For the market, they are obviously, we’ll use the type of technology, the modem technology that we developed. For this market that we don’t use our own, the modem that we don’t develop, obviously, they’ll go somewhere else.

But as I said, TD-SCDMA, we invest in TD-SCDMA, LTE, TD LTE, as well, and WCDMA. So this is at least 70%, 80% of the market of the world anyway, so that’s enough. There’s a big enough time for us to address. And so if we can address our fair share of market share for those markets, we’ll be just fine.

And so for now, for us is to invest. We have to invest in the software. We have to invest and support of the customers. We have to design new chips with more advanced technology, better and higher integrations, and make the things lower cost and so on. So the standard stuff that we do in any other businesses. So sometimes these things takes time, longer time than we expect. I understand the frustration. I also wish I could get things get done sooner, but sometimes we win some. Sometimes, we lose some, and then things get delayed. We’ll come back and recover, and then we’ll become a stronger company as a result.

Microsoft’s next step in SoC level slot management

Update: Microsoft postpones IDP for 2 weeks to re-consult with chip players [June 2, 2011]

Microsoft has postponed its Integrated Development Program (IDP) for Windows 8 as the plan created significant dissatisfaction within the upstream supply chain. Microsoft is set to re-consult with the five major chip players about IDP, while Microsoft OEM vice president Steven Guggenheimer also paid visits to executives of Acer and Asustek Computer on June 1, to communicate and is set to re-release details of IDP after two weeks, according to sources from notebook players.

Sources from chip players pointed out that Microsoft’s actions have their reasons, but the way the company unfolded the plan to its partners could make its partners feel unpleasant since players that do not participate believe they will lose the opportunity to launch Windows 8-based products first hand, which could seriously affect their product lineup in the future.

The chip players also noted that the development of ARM-based Windows 8 has difficulties and if Microsoft adopts an open development program as in the past, the company may not have enough manpower to support and answer all the problems and questions chip and system players have.

Following Microsoft’s CES 2011 move to the SoC level slot management of the market, here is the next step in that direction:

Taiwan PC vendors seeking participation in developing Windows 8 [May 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Microsoft has talked with Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments (TI), Intel and AMD for their participation in its Integrated Development Program specifically for developing Windows 8 for use in tablet PCs and has asked each IC vendor to invite two PC vendors for joint development and testing, according to industry sources in Taiwan. Taiwan-based PC vendors who have been in long-term partnerships with Microsoft have complained to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) because they were not invited to participate, and hope for the government’s negotiation with Microsoft, the sources added.

For each of the five IC vendors, Microsoft seems to have desirable PC vendors such as Samsung Electronics, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell, the sources indicated.

The IC vendors are actually unwilling to invite only two PC vendors because they each have many PC clients and participation of more PC vendors is commercially favorable for them. Thus, the IC vendors have urged Microsoft to invite more PC vendors, but Microsoft has so far insisted on the quota of two for the initial period, the sources said.

Wu Ming-ji, director general of the Department of Industrial Technology under MOEA, indicated the department has heard about Microsoft’s move from Taiwan-based PC vendors although Microsoft has not confirmed it.

In view of the business performance and global reputation of Taiwan-based vendors Acer, Asustek and HTC, the Taiwan government recommends that Microsoft invite them to co-develop Windows 8 in the first round because this would be in Microsoft’s best interest, Wu emphasized.

However, Wu did not indicated whether the government will negotiate with Microsoft or make any arrangement.

What happened at CES 2011 has been described in my CES 2011 presence with Microsoft moving to SoC & screen level slot management that is not understood by analysts/observers at all [Jan 7, 2011] report.

Since that report is enormously large I will include here all the relevant excerpts regarding the SoC level of slot management:

Microsoft’s CES 2011 presence is summarized in two detailed parts below, one for the System on a Chip (SoC) support announcement and the other based on the Steve Ballmer’s CES 2011 opening keynote. The first one has, however, been a source of great confusion among the company watchers, analysts and observers, therefore before we start the detailed overview in these two parts we should look into that situation first.

While the company has clearly stated that Microsoft Announces Support of System on a Chip Architectures From Intel, AMD, and ARM for Next Version of Windows [Jan 5] even such an ardent Microsoft watcher as Mary-Jo Foles interpreted this as a simple message that CES: Microsoft shows off Windows 8 on ARM [Jan 5]. No wonder that Computerworld has written an article that an Analyst ‘baffled’ by Microsoft talk of Windows 8 on ARM [Jan 6]:

In an accompanying analysis article IDG News Services has even up the ante by declaring that Microsoft must get ISVs onto ARM bandwagon, Microsoft has a lot of work to do moving Windows to ARM chips [Jan 6]:

This is all absolutely wrong. The truth is that Microsoft made a strategic decision of moving its core slot management approach to the key System on a Chip (SoC) vendors. It is a decision of enormous significance because up to now the company was managing the slots created by the PC vendors. That is Microsoft had been trying to ensure all along that the client PCs shipped to the market, the “slots” in terms of Microsoft internal way of thinking:

  1. Are best when they are running Microsoft system software.
  2. Have that software already installed when the devices are out of the factory floor (with OEM versions)

From now on Microsoft will do a kind of similar thing on the SoC level (and on the screen level as well), this is my conclusion as I carefully compiled all the available information in the two parts available below. This became absolutely obvious to me as I compared the below details with the radically new “slot situation” represented in my previous post Changing purchasing attitudes for consumer computing are leading to a new ICT paradigm [Jan 5].

Look for example how PC vendors were underrepresented in the keynote compared to what had been before (see my earlier posts: Windows slates in the coming months? Not much seen yet [July 13 – Oct 6, 2010] and Windows 7 tablets/slates with Oak Trail Atom SoC in December [Nov 1 – 24, 2010]) as well as how on the electronics industry level things had been changed recently (see my earlier posts: Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23 –Nov 4, 2010,] and Intel’s industry position and prospects for years ahead [Dec 9, 2010]).

Notes:
– Mary-Jo Foley started to discover some, but only some real motives in her latest With Windows coming to ARM, what happens to Windows Embedded Compact? [Jan 7]. There she mused about the really significant fact of the cancellation of Microsoft OEM chief’s planned appearance at the J.P. Morgan Tech Forum at CES (see the final agenda where Microsoft is missing) which was much anticipated by the investor community.
– Although for me that sign is important as well, the fact that HTML5 related announcements (as was anticipated in my previous post of Windows 7 slates with a personal cloud based layered interface for touch-first HTML5 applications on the CES 2011 [Dec 14, 2010] post) were postponed has even much bigger significance. Whatever will come regarding that upto the MIX 2011 of April 12-14 will be equally important to clarify the rest of the new strategic Microsoft picture. Particularly I am expecting that Silverlight technologies will nicely join the already known IE9/HTML5 push in a new platform technology setup.

Part I. The SoC support announcement

Microsoft Announces Support of System on a Chip Architectures From Intel, AMD, and ARM for Next Version of Windows [Jan 5], (emphasis is mine):

Microsoft Corp. today announced at 2011 International CES that the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures, including ARM-based systems from partners NVIDIA Corp. [Tegra platform], Qualcomm Inc. [Snapdragon platform] and Texas Instruments Inc [OMAP platform]. On the x86 architecture, Intel Corporation and AMD continue their work on low-power SoC designs that fully support Windows, including support for native x86 applications. SoC architectures will fuel significant innovation across the hardware spectrum when coupled with the depth and breadth of the Windows platform.

At today’s announcement, Microsoft demonstrated the next version of Windows running on new SoC platforms from Intel running on x86 architecture and from NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments on ARM architecture. The technology demonstration included Windows client support across a range of scenarios, such as hardware-accelerated graphics and media playback, hardware-accelerated Web browsing with the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer, USB device support, printing and other features customers have come to expect from their computing experience. Microsoft Office running natively on ARM was also shown as a demonstration of the potential of Windows platform capabilities on ARM architecture.

Next version of Windows on Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM demo at CES 2011 Ballmer keynote -- Jan 5, 2011

SoC architectures consolidate the major components of a computing device onto a single package of silicon. This consolidation enables smaller, thinner devices while reducing the amount of power required for the device, increasing battery life and making possible always-on and always-connected functionality. With support of SoC in the next version of the Windows client, Microsoft is enabling industry partners to design and deliver the widest range of hardware ever.

Next Version of Windows Will Run on System on a Chip (SoC) Architectures from Intel, AMD and ARM [Jan 5]
(emphasis is mine) Q&A: In a technology preview at CES, Microsoft demonstrates Windows running on new SoC x86 and ARM-based systems.

The Microsoft News Center team talked with Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, in advance of the announcement.

Microsoft News Center: Can you give us an overview of what led you to make this announcement today and what the specific news is?

Sinofsky: We are making this announcement now to allow greater collaboration across our expanded partner ecosystem so we can bring to market the widest possible set of PCs and devices, from tablets on up, with the next generation of Windows. We’re at a point in engineering the next release of Windows where we are demonstrating our progress and bringing together an even broader set of partners required to deliver solutions to customers.

We’ve reached a point in technology where everyone really does want everything from their computing experience — the power and breadth of software for today’s laptop, the long battery life and always-on promise of a mobile phone, and the possibilities from a new generation of tablets. Bringing these capabilities together to meet customer demand requires innovation in hardware as well as a flexible, evolving software platform to bring it to life.

Microsoft News Center: Tell us about your partners on ARM-based systems. How were they selected and what do they bring to the table?

Sinofsky: It takes experienced partners to help deliver Windows to a whole new set of devices and we’re pleased NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have joined us in this technology demonstration. We look forward to even more robust collaboration between silicon partners and a broader set of partners as we work together to bring new PCs and devices – from tablets on up – to market with the next version of Windows.

Microsoft News Center: You’ve talked about these new systems being ready for the next version of Windows. What does this mean for future hardware innovation on Windows 7?

Sinofsky: Windows 7 continues to be extraordinarily well-received by customers – consumers and businesses – using a broad selection of PCs for a wide variety of usage scenarios. There is no better place to see this array of choice and innovation than at a show like CES. At the Windows 7 launch, we saw a terrific line-up of new offerings from partners, and this CES brings another wave of great Windows 7 PCs across a wide range of form factors and capabilities, including new designs on Intel’s 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family and AMD’s Fusion APUs. OEMs are delivering great designs and personalized selection across the wide range of PCs including convertibles, gaming rigs, all-in-ones, ultraportables, everyday laptops, and tablet PCs. We know we’ll see additional waves of hardware innovation over the next several seasons as well and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners.

Microsoft News Center: What exactly are you demonstrating today as part of this announcement with respect to Windows on ARM?

Sinofsky: Today’s demonstrations will highlight the work we have done on the architecture of Windows to enable the richness of the Windows platform to run natively on the ARM platform. That includes support across a full range of scenarios like hardware accelerated media playback, hardware accelerated Web browsing with the latest Internet Explorer, USB device support, printing, and other features customers have come to expect from their computing experience.

The underlying architecture and engineering work includes a significant set of capabilities to run natively on ARM across the low-level subsystems of Windows as we bring Windows together with this new hardware platform.

Today’s demonstration represents the first showing of the next release of Windows. We know many of our most enthusiastic supporters are interested in learning more about the user interface, programming APIs, and other new features to come in Windows. The announcement today is just the start of our dialog with a broad community around Windows and, as with Windows 7, we will be engaging in the broadest pre-release program of any operating system. So there is a lot more to come.

Microsoft News Center: What can you tell us about Office on ARM?

Sinofsky: We’re committed to making sure that Windows on SoC architectures is a rich Windows experience. Microsoft Office is an important part of customers’ PC experience and ensuring it runs natively on ARM is a natural extension of our Windows commitment to SoC architectures.

Microsoft News Center: What else can you say about the next version of Windows?

Sinofsky: What we showed today was a technology preview of how Windows can adapt to run on SoC architectures. We are making this announcement now to enable our silicon partners, including new ARM partners, to collaborate across the ecosystem to bring innovation to market with the next version of Windows. We’re hard at work on all the aspects of the next version of Windows and we’ll share more information when the time is right.

Update: Intel CEO Paul Otellini addresses Microsoft’s ARM move in the wake of record earnings announcement [Jan 13] (emphasis is mine)

The plus for Intel is that as they unify their operating systems we now have the ability for the first time, one, to have a designed-from-scratch, touch-enabled operating system for tablets that runs on Intel that we don’t have today; and, secondly, we have the ability to put our lowest-power Intel processors, running Windows 8 or the next generation of Windows, into phones, because it’s the same OS stack. And I look at that as an upside opportunity for us.

On the downside, there’s the potential, given that Office runs on these products, for some creep-up coming into the PC space. I am skeptical of that for two reasons: one, that space has a different set of power and performance requirements where Intel is exceptionally good; and secondly, users of those machines expect legacy support for software and peripherals that has to all be enabled from scratch for those devices.

Part II. The Steve Ballmer CES 2011 opening keynote and all other Microsoft related
– Footage from the Microsoft keynote with some relevant keynote transcript excerpts included
– New Windows Laptops, Tablets and Slates Showcased
– The Next Generation of Microsoft Surface – LCDs That Can ‘See’
– New Xbox Avatar Capabilities on Display
– Copy-and-Paste Coming to Windows Phone 7
– Additional details for the three PCs demonstrated in the keynote
– Other new PCs
– Hardware acceleration for cloud clients (browsers etc.): AMD Fusion APUs, NVIDIA GeForce 500M [Jan 14]
– Xbox and Surface 2 additional information
– Windows Embedded Standard 7: the first wave of OEM partners exploiting the included Windows Media Center

See more in my CES 2011 presence with Microsoft moving to SoC & screen level slot management that is not understood by analysts/observers at all [Jan 7, 2011] report.

Barnes & Noble NOOK offensive

Follow-up: Core post: NOOK Media LLC: the finalization of the strategic joint venture between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft [Oct 6, 2012]

Ammunition Teams with Barnes & Noble on All-New NOOK [May 24, 2011] (emphasis is mine)


Ammunition’s long-standing partnership with Barnes & Noble reached a milestone today with the announcement of the All-New NOOK, the ground up redesign of the company’s successful NOOK digital reader. Working alongside the world’s largest book retailer, Ammunition developed product concept, industrial design, and packaging for the All-New NOOK, the third e-reader and electronic publishing device to join the NOOK product line.The challenge for the All-New NOOK was to create a lower cost, full featured e-reader and to do so on a timeline that would allow it to move to market quickly. The result is a $139 device that uses eInk technology, a touch interface, and wireless connectivityto create a more immersive and personal reading experience for users. With its simple, soft, rubberized form and refined details, the All-New NOOK is by far the smallest and lightest dedicated e-reading tablet to come to market to date.Pre-orders are available at Barnes & Noble retail and online stores with a ship date on or about June 10, 2011.

NOOK work [by Ammunition]

… In addition, our team provided the retail packaging accessory strategy for NOOK Color.

The NOOK website

Highly recommended event report: Barnes & Noble Nook announcement of new ereader [TeleRead, May 24, 2011] (only a few excerpts are here, emphasis is mine)

Nook Color is the best selling Android tablet in the US and second only to the Ipad in overall tablet sales.

Compared to Kindle 3: no buttons and optimized interface makes it faster and easier to use; same size display as Kindle with 10% less size and bulk; countoured form factor so it is shaped to the hand, uses soft-touch paint; twice the battery life of the Kindle; Kindle uses reflash to change pages and until now this was the only option to address the ghosting effect, the new Nook is 85% faster.

Touch screen uses infra-red technology.  Design goal was that technology should disappear to make reading as much like a book as possible.  Will display how many pages left in a chapter.  6 different fonts with 7 different sizes.  The shop screen will give readers recommendations based on what you are currently reading. WiFi but no 3G.  Will connect automatically to AT&T hotspots.

Questions: WiFi is the dominant share in readers so went with that also helped keep the cost down.  800 MHz TI Omap chip [the same as in the Nook Color].  In hearing from customers battery life was always 1 or 2 in requirements. Two months is based on 1/2 hour reading per day with WiFi off. Nook apps only available on the Nook Color – this is a pure and simple device.  Uses Android 2.1.  Expandable up to 32Gb.  Old Nook device will be discontinued. Don’t expect it to cannibalize Nook Color sales because is aimed at a different market segment. Research suggests that some people will buy both products for different members of family. In next 3 to 5 years physical books will continue to dominate the market.  Store sales are not declining.  For touch screen worked with Neo Node. Digital revenue is fastest growing part of B&N revenue, by far.  No ads on Nooks.  Surprised at how well Apps have done.  Store managers by slightly less than 1/3 of their books regionally.

Barnes & Noble Partners with Leading Content Providers and Developers to Launch NOOK Apps™ for NOOK Color™, Best Reader’s Tablet™ [April 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

– NOOK Developer™ Program Brings Popular, High-Quality Applications For Customers to Play, Learn, Connect and More on Award-Winning Device
– Major NOOK Color Software Update Expands Best-In-Class Reading Experience with Most Requested Tablet Features Including Shopping For Apps in NOOK Bookstore™

NOOK Apps were introduced with the major NOOK Color software update launched today (available at no cost at www.nookcolor.com/update). The update delivers what customers want: shopping for popular apps, full-featured built-in email, an enhanced Web experience, as well as new ways for adults and children to enjoy rich content. NOOK Color v1.2 includes a platform upgrade to Android OS 2.2/Froyo, along with support for AdobeŽ AIRŽ and Adobe FlashŽ Player.

… Built on the Android OS, it is fast and easy for third-party developers to deploy existing Android-based apps to NOOK Color’s open eReading platform. With the v1.2 update, Adobe AIR is available pre-installed on the NOOK Color eReading platform, allowing developers to create and deliver rich and interactive applications for NOOK Color using tools in Adobe Creative SuiteŽ 5.5 including Flash Builder™ 4.5, and Flash Professional CS 5.5. Developers can learn more about the tools and resources available to create AIR and native Android applications for NOOK Color on the NOOK Developer portal.Barnes & Noble will continue to work with the development community – including the program’s more than 5,000 registered parties – to bring NOOK Color customers the highest quality apps, through a simple, organized method of discovery through the Shop experience. The number of NOOK Apps will continually expand as new applications are added to the growing collection. The NOOK Developer program continues to experience strong momentum with hundreds of developer requests to qualify for application submission in the three weeks since Barnes & Noble opened its submission process for qualified registrants and introduced a new suite of tools and services to accelerate application delivery and distribution.

Developers are invited to join and qualify to submit their applications by visiting www.nookdeveloper.com. Unlike other developer programs, there is no program fee for developers to participate in NOOK Developer. Developers who qualify will be able to submit paid and free apps and will receive 70 percent of any paid app purchased by Barnes & Noble customers. Developers also have the option to offer free trials to NOOK Color users.

Barnes & Noble Quickly Hits 1 Million NOOK Apps™ Downloads by NOOK Color™ Customers [May 16, 2011]

Milestone Reached Just One Week After NOOK App Shopping Made Available to All NOOK Color Customers
– Angry Birds, Drawing Pad, Fliq Calendar and Pulse Among Most Popular Apps

Barnes & Noble Introduces The All-New NOOK™, The Simple Touch Reader™ [May 24, 2011]

– Best Battery Life Ever – Up to an Incredible Two Months on a Single Charge
– Ultra-Light and Compact for Optimal Portability, Lighter than a Paperback
Full Touchscreen with E Ink(R) Pearl Display Technology for Reading Anywhere
– Optimized Display Performance Offers 80 Percent Less Flashing than Any Other eReader for the Most Immersive Reading Experience
– The Most Intuitive, Easy-to-Use eReader for Everyone
Barnes & Noble Expert Recommendations, Plus the Most Social Reading Experience with NOOK Friends™
– Pre-Order for $139 in Time for Father’s Day and Summer ReadingBarnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today expanded its bestselling digital reading offering with the All-New NOOK, The Simple Touch Reader. With a full touchscreen, NOOK™ features record-setting, extra-long battery life on the easiest-to-use, ultra-light, portable 6-inch eReader with the most-advanced E Ink Pearl display, and the world’s largest bookstore available by Wi-FiŽ. Now available for pre-order at www.nook.comand at Barnes & Noble stores for just $139, NOOK will begin shipping on or about June 10. Barnes & Noble adds the All-New NOOK, a significant leap forward in the dedicated eReader category, to a product line that includes the bestselling NOOK Color™, the only Reader’s Tablet™. Based on the success of the NOOK product line, combined with focus on the absolute best reading experience, Barnes & Noble now claims more than 25 percent of the digital book market – just 18 months after launching NOOK 1st Edition™.

Barnes & Noble has always recognized the simplicity and ease that the element of touch brings to its NOOK product line, and the All-New NOOK is no exception. With a simple tap to the 6-inch touchscreen, it’s intuitive and easy to navigate, shop and read. Customers can look up words, highlight passages, adjust the font size and style or search by typing on the responsive on-screen keyboard that appears only when a customer needs it. The paper-like E Ink display features crisp, clear text that’s great for reading anywhere, even in bright sunlight. The no-glare display offers 50 percent more contrast than NOOK 1st Edition.

At only 7.48 ounces (212 grams), the artfully designed All-New NOOK is lightweight and thin – 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than NOOK Wi-Fi 1st Edition™.  Lighter than a paperback, NOOK’s sleek but durable, compact design (6.5 inches high by 5 inches wide by 0.47 inches deep) makes it easy to fit in a jacket, pocket, purse or backpack, holding up to 1,000 digital books and more personal content using the expandable memory slot. Its ergonomic, contoured design with a soft-touch back makes it easy and comfortable to read, even with just one hand, and for extended periods of time.  And thanks to best-in-class battery life, read for up to 2 months on a single charge with Wi-Fi off – that’s twice as long as the other leading eReader available.

Barnes & Noble’s use of the latest-generation E Ink screen and proprietary technology offers unmatched performance on the All-New NOOK, delivering a seamless and immersive reading experience. NOOK offers 80 percent less flashing than other eReaders – whether turning pages, browsing for books or scrolling through your library. Page turns are lightning fast, using the touchscreen or well-placed side buttons, and with the new Fast Page™ feature, just press and hold a side button to quickly scan through content and skip right to the desired section.

“We set out to design the easiest-to-use, most optimized, dedicated reading device ever created and accomplished it with the All-New NOOK,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “Touch makes it simple to use, and the beautifully compact design makes it the most portable eReader in its class. Add to that an unmatched battery life, the most advanced paper-like touch display on the market and wireless access to the world’s largest digital bookstore, and we believe that for readers of all ages, the All-New NOOK is the best eReader on the market, and a great value at $139.”

The World’s Largest Bookstore in Your Pocket
With the All-New NOOK, customers can enjoy a wide variety of digital content, all at their fingertips. Shop for everything from new releases and current bestsellers to classics and more, all in a single search. The NOOK Bookstore™ offers one of the most expansive digital catalogs of more than two million books, magazines and newspapers. Enjoy helpful recommendations from Barnes & Noble’s experts, personalized based on customers’ favored authors and genres, to decide what to read next. Have more than 80 popular national and local market newspapers and magazines from the NOOK Newsstand™ automatically delivered to NOOK the moment they’re released, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA TODAY, as well as Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Discover, Fast Company and New York magazine. All periodicals are available for subscription with a 14-day free trial or via single copies.

Most NOOK Books™ are $9.99 or less, including most of The New York Times Bestsellers, plus there’s over a million free classics. Enjoy more than 100,000 titles from independent publishers and self-publishing authors using Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!™ digital publishing platform. Young readers will find more than 12,000 NOOK Kids™ chapter books in Barnes & Noble’s world’s largest collection of digital children’s content. Sample NOOK Book titles for free and download all content wirelessly over a Wi-Fi connection in just seconds.

When customers visit Barnes & Noble stores with their All-New NOOK, the shopping and reading experience gets even better. Connect to free and fast Wi-Fi and browse complete NOOK Books for free through the company’s innovative Read In Store™ program and get exclusive content and special promotions through the More In Store™ program. NOOK customers receive access at more than 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as other personal and public hotspots to browse, buy and download new content wirelessly.

Get Social with NOOK Friends
Another way NOOK customers can learn more about great books is through NOOK Friends, an exciting social experience previously available only to NOOK Color customers. From the home page, customers can see book recommendations from friends.  See what your friends have posted about their current read, swap recommendations, share reading status, favorite quotes, and much more. Through TwitterŽ and FacebookŽ integrations, right from their current book, customers can tweet the title they’re reading, post on their Facebook wall and see what their NOOK Friends “like” on Facebook. With Barnes & Noble’s exclusive LendMeŽ technology, you can also lend eligible books to your friends at no cost for 14 days, and see and request to borrow friends’ LendMe books.

And coming in the next few weeks, Barnes & Noble will offer a new custom website, mynook.com, where customers can get recommendations from Barnes & Noble expert booksellers and NOOK Friends, access their NOOK Library™, and manage their device.

Read Your Way
Customers can customize their All-New NOOK and reading experience to their liking. Choose from 7 font sizes and 6 font styles. NOOK owners can personalize their device with one of Barnes & Noble’s screen savers or transfer personal photos (JPG, PNG, BMP and GIF) to make NOOK their own, and choose from a complete line of exclusive, new NOOK accessories (www.nook.com/accessories) to show their style wherever they go. They can also create personalized My Shelves to organize their NOOK Library and group reading content similar to their bookcase.

Read Everywhere
A customer’s entire NOOK Library follows them wherever they go. They can also easily transfer personal EPUB and PDF files to their All-New NOOK device to read documents on the go using the 2GB internal memory or a microSD™ card. Since the All-New NOOK is built on Android™ Operating System 2.1 and uses Adobe technology, device owners can also borrow digital books from their local library, a feature Barnes & Noble has always offered to NOOK device customers. Customers can also read seamlessly, accessing their NOOK Library and sync the last page read across their NOOK devices and their favorite mobile and computing devices using Barnes & Noble’s free line of eReading software (www.bn.com/freenookapps).

Availability
The All-New NOOK can be pre-ordered for $139 today and is expected to begin shipping on or about June 10, making it the perfect gift for dads and grads, and a great addition for every book lover’s summer reading wish list. Experience the All-New NOOK at www.nook.com or at the NOOK Boutiques™ and displays in one of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 bookstores. With The Barnes & Noble Promise™, the company offers unmatched customer support in neighborhood Barnes & Noble bookstores, as more than 40,000 booksellers across the country are ready to assist customers with setting up their NOOKs or choosing their next great read. The company also continues to provide award-winning customer service support via phone and email. The All-New NOOK will also be available beginning next month at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million, along with NOOK Color.

About NOOK™ from Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble’s NOOK brand of eReading products makes it easy to read what you love, anywhere you like™ with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOK Bookstore™ of more than two million digital titles, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices. The award-winning NOOK Color™ Reader’s Tablet™, the best-value on the tablet market ($249), features a stunning 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen to read all of the content you love, shop popular apps, connect via email, browse the Web and more. The All-New NOOK ($139), the Simple Touch Reader™, is the easiest-to-use 6-inch touch reader, with the longest battery life of any eReader. In Barnes & Noble stores, NOOK owners can access free Wi-Fi connectivity, enjoy the Read In Store™ feature to read NOOK Books™ for free, and the More In Store™ program, which offers free, exclusive content and special promotions. Barnes & Noble was the first company to offer digital lending for a wide selection of books through its LendMeŽ technology, available through NOOK eReading products. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at www.BN.com, as well as at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million.

In addition to NOOK devices, Barnes & Noble makes it easy for customers to enjoy any book, anytime, anywhere with its free line of NOOK software, available at www.bn.com/freenookapps. Customers can use Barnes & Noble’s free eReading software to access and read books from their personal Barnes & Noble digital library on devices including iPad™, iPhone(R), iPod touch(R), Android™ smartphones and tablets BlackBerry(R), PC and Mac(R). Lifetime Library™ helps ensure that Barnes & Noble customers will always be able to access their digital libraries on NOOK products and software-enabled devices and BN.com. Barnes & Noble also offers NOOK Study™ (www.nookstudy.com), an innovative study platform and software solution for higher education, NOOK Kids™ (www.nookkids.com), a collection of digital picture and chapter books for children, and NOOK Books en espańol™ (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooksenespanol), the first-ever Spanish language digital bookstore in the United States.

For more information on NOOK devices and eReading software, updates, new NOOK Book releases, Free Friday™ NOOK Books and more, follow us on www.twitter.com/ebooksbn and www.facebook.com/nookbn.

Nook Color e-book reader review from Consumer Reports [Nov 17, 2010]

Barnes & Noble Expands Award-Winning NOOK Color™ Reading Experience with the Most Requested Tablet Features [April 25, 2011]

– Reader’s Tablet™ Now Offering Popular Apps, Email, Enhanced Web Experience and New Rich Content for Adults and Children
– Customers Can Explore One of World’s Largest Digital Bookstores Featuring New NOOK Apps™, More than 2 Million Books, 150 Interactive Magazines and Newspapers and More Than 12,000 Children’s Chapter and Picture Books
– At Only $249, the Easy-to-Use, Full-Featured NOOK Color is the Best Value in the Tablet Market, Offering a Great Alternative to Expensive Tablets
– Exciting Free Software Update Now Available to All Current and Future NOOK Color CustomersBarnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, announced today that it added significant new features and content to the NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet, making what has already been acclaimed as the best reading device on the market, the best tablet value on the market at just $249. With a major update to its bestselling device, Barnes & Noble is delivering more of what NOOK Color customers want: shopping a broad collection of popular apps, staying connected with full-featured, built-in email and an enhanced Web experience. In addition, NOOK Color’s reading experience gets even better with enhanced books featuring in-page video, new interactivity in digital children’s picture books, and now over 150 interactive magazines and newspapers, including new popular titles like The Economist and Food & Wine. All current and future NOOK Color customers can experience all of the great new features in v1.2 now available at www.nookcolor.com/update and provided for free over the air (OTA) via Wi-Fi to customers beginning next week.

“NOOK Color offers the best reading experience of any device, and now delivers the most popular tablet features such as engaging apps so customers can play, learn and explore, free, built-in email, an Android operating system update for enhanced Web browsing and more interactive content,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “With our new NOOK Apps program, we’ve partnered with the world’s best publishers and developers to offer popular brands like Angry Birds, Epicurious, Uno, Lonely Planet, Dr. Seuss, Little Critter and many more quality and entertaining applications. These and other enhancements, plus new ways for adults and children to experience exciting content, make NOOK Color a great alternative to paying double the price – or more – for an expensive tablet. Our easy-to-use, full-featured Reader’s Tablet is available for only $249, and presents the best value of any tablet on the market.”

Introducing NOOK Apps
NOOK Color customers can get even more out of their Reader’s Tablet – built specifically for reading and complementary experiences – with a collection of top quality apps specially designed to take advantage of NOOK Color’s stunning 7-inch color touchscreen and to keep the whole family entertained, engaged, connected and organized. Enjoy great games like Angry Birds, Uno and More Brain Exercise, and stay up-to-date on news and weather with Pulse and My-Cast. Learn new languages with Lonely Planet Phrasebooks apps, and try new recipes with the app from Epicurious. Keep sharp with pre-loaded crossword puzzles, chess and Sudoku. Stay organized with calendar apps, relax with streaming music from PandoraŽ Internet Radio and spark creativity in children with Drawing Pad and more fun apps made just for kids like Sandra Boynton’s Going to Bed Book.

NOOK Color customers can easily discover and download apps in seconds from Shop on NOOK Color, so they can browse complementary apps alongside books, magazines and other content. Customers can explore a growing collection of more than 125 favorite NOOK Apps from leading third-party developers and content providers in categories including Play, Organize, Learn, Explore, Lifestyle, News and Kids. The NOOK Apps offering will continually expand as new high-quality applications, optimized for NOOK Color, are added from the large and growing number of qualified developers and content providers submitting their applications through the company’s new app submission process.

Barnes & Noble offers a selection of free NOOK Apps – including calendar and notes apps, requested by NOOK Color customers – and paid apps, with approximately half of the collection available for $2.99 or less and the vast majority priced at $5.99 or less. Customers will easily find their newly downloaded or preloaded apps by tapping the NOOK Apps button on the Quick Nav menu or Apps section in their library, as well as through the newly refined search. All updated NOOK Color devices will now include NOOK Email™ and NOOK Friends™ apps preloaded in addition to Pandora Internet Radio, Crossword Puzzle, Sudoku, Chess, Contacts and Gallery.

Stay Connected with Email
NOOK Color now helps customers stay connected with the full-featured free NOOK Email application built in to organize Web mail accounts in one inbox. Given NOOK Color’s compact design that fits easily into a purse, jacket or bag, email was one of the most-requested features requested by customers. Connect to Wi-Fi to check and send emails with a full-screen virtual keyboard, making it easier than ever to stay in touch while on the go. NOOK Email works across the top Web mail services including Yahoo! Mail, Gmail™, AOL and Hotmail.

Updated Platform and a More Complete Web Experience
NOOK Color’s update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, enhanced browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content. NOOK Color now includes support for AdobeŽ FlashŽ Player. Surfing the Web is even better with the ability to easily switch between larger desktop or mobile Web experiences and enhanced pinch and zoom. Additional enhancements include improved global search and quick settings such as battery indicator, shortcuts to settings and audio.

Enhanced Reading Experience and More New Rich, Interactive Content to Enjoy
Designed for people who love to read everything in rich color, NOOK Color now has even more engaging and rich content, plus a sliding page turn animation, requested by customers. Easily access personal files transferred to NOOK Color on your customized Home screen.

By exploring Barnes & Noble’s more than 2 million digital titles, one of the world’s largest collections of digital reading content, customers will find even more exciting and engaging content to enjoy on NOOK Color.

  • NOOK Kids™: Barnes & Noble’s state-of-the-art NOOK Kids digital picture book experience – the first with the innovative Read to Me™ feature – has been expanded with 15 new Read and Play™ titles that bring animation, activities and stories together. In NOOK Color’s innovative Read and Play books, children can interact with their favorite characters and enjoy activities built right into the story they’re reading. Whether it’s drawing with Fancy Nancy or making the dogs go in Go, Dog, Go!, parents and children will enjoy narration, animation and interactivity that fits into the story and plot lines of new Read and Play titles including Splat the Cat, Are You My Mother?, Caps for Sale, Little White Rabbit and more, now available to explore and enjoy.

With more than 350 NOOK Kids digital picture books and more than 12,000 children’s chapter books, Barnes & Noble offers the world’s largest collection of digital content for children. Children can choose stories featuring popular characters like Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, and Disney favorites like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Snow White and Cars.

  • NOOK Books™ Enhanced: Watch that appetizing recipe being made step-by-step or learn how to perfect yoga poses with embedded video and audio in cookbooks, health and fitness, biography, photography and travel books, along with other interactive content on NOOK Color. With more than 225 multimedia titles (and growing), Barnes & Noble offers instructive content including Knitting for Dummies, You: Raising a Child and ELLE: Workout Yoga starring Brooklyn Decker. Learn more about bestselling books from authors including David Baldacci, Pat Conroy, Russell Brand, Keith Richards and many more.
  • NOOK Newsstand™: Dozens more favorite magazines and newspapers are now available on NOOK Color – the first reading device to offer popular newsstand titles in rich, full color. From Us Weekly and Elle to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, NOOK Newsstand delivers your morning paper and latest magazines right to your NOOK Color, ready to read in an amazing new way. With enhancements to magazine navigation on NOOK Color, it’s even easier to enjoy the full-color, digital edition of the print magazine, including Barnes & Noble’s innovative ArticleView™ feature.  Barnes & Noble continues to build its NOOK Newsstand offering, now with more than 150 top full-color magazines and newspapers including recent additions such as OK! Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Kids, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Dwell, Outside, Saveur, The Onion, PC Gamer, Family Handyman and many more. All can be enjoyed with a 14-day free trial, via subscription or purchased in single issue form.

Get Social with NOOK Friends
With the new NOOK Friends App (Beta), NOOK Color creates the go-to social network for people who love to read, and offers even more ways to connect. Customers can create a group of NOOK Friends to easily swap books, get a friend’s take on a new bestseller, discover great new reads or see if someone’s enjoying a book they recommended on the Friends’ Activity tab. NOOK Color customers can view their NOOK Friends’ content ratings and reviews, shared quotes, recommendations and how they’re progressing on their latest book. Check out all or individual NOOK Friends’ LendMe™ books available and track all current and pending sharing activity. Updates to NOOK Color also make it easy for customers browsing the great content available in Shop to share which products they “Like” on Facebook and view how many other Barnes & Noble customers “Like” it, too.

NOOK Color v1.2 Now Available
NOOK Color customers can experience all of the great new features in v1.2 immediately at no cost via manual download at www.nookcolor.com/update. A free over-the-air (OTA) update will begin rolling out to customers via Wi-Fi over the coming weeks. Experience the new NOOK Apps and other exciting new features at the NOOK Boutique™ or display in one of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 bookstores across the country or by visiting www.nookcolor.com. NOOK Color, along with NOOK devices, can also be found at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million.

Barnes and Noble NOOK COLOR eBook Reader Tablet [Nov 7, 2010]

Nook Color Goes Froyo [April 25, 2011]

Nook Color Review: Get the Scoop on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color [eBook Readers Resource, Feb 16, 2011]

As one would anticipate, the 7-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution LED-backlit color screen takes up most of the front portion of this reader. Note that the In-Plane Switching (IPS) display utilized here is the same screen technology used in Apple’s iPads and iMacs. Barnes & Noble however, has customized the Nook with its proprietary VividView technology which fully laminates the screen coating, thereby significantly reducing the glare.

… despite its VividView treatment, the Nook Color’s IPS display remains pretty reflective, thus, it still doesn’t quite match up to e-ink technology when it comes to providing a glare-free reading experience.

Nook Color review [Engadget, Nov 16, 2010] (emphasis is mine)

It’s hard to believe we’re already writing a review of the Nook Color, considering Barnes & Noble’s first foray into the e-reader world was revealed just over a year ago. In that time, the company has gone from no presence in e-books to owning 20 percent of the marketshare, and now has moved from a somewhat sluggish hybrid E-Ink / LCD device to a full color, tablet-like product. …

… the front of the device is eaten up mostly with that 7-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS display. …

… As we said, the screen is of the 7-inch LCD variety, and at the 1024 x 600 resolution, looks reasonably dense (from a pixel perspective) with a 178-degree viewing angle. Barnes & Noble is particularly proud of the screen, which the company says utilizes its “VividView” treatment to provide less glare. What that really means is that the screen coating is fully laminated against the display itself, making for less tiny, almost-imperceptible unglued areas which can catch light. Still, the display is pretty reflective, making reading in bright locations (like on a subway with stark fluorescent lighting) sometimes difficult. …

… Web browsers and gaming aside, the main focus of the Nook Color is that it’s an e-reader — so how does it fare in that department?

First let’s get something out of the way. Obviously this isn’t an E-Ink screen, so you have to decide if you’re on board or not for reading on an LCD display. If you’re entertaining an iPad or Galaxy Tab, we’ll assume this screen technology is not going to deter you from using the device as a reader. For us, the display tech isn’t a major hang-up — in fact, lots of the staff have been using iPads as reading devices with little to no trouble.

So as far as screen tech goes, the Nook Color looks gorgeous as an e-reader for standard books and goes one step beyond, delivering magazines and children’s books the way they were meant to be viewed. For standard e-book reading, there are tons of options for formatting, fonts, and coloring — even those with poor eyesight should be able to find settings that make the reading experience enjoyable. We really liked reading with the Color, and even though the device doesn’t sport animated page turns (a la the iPad), it does offer great options for notation and word or phrase discovery (you can do dictionary, Google, and Wikipedia searches right from a contextual menu). We also loved that you’re able to share quotes or info about what you’re reading via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

For magazines, the reading format is a bit different. The full pages of the magazine are displayed on the screen, and you can swipe left and right to move through them. What’s even better, however, is a scrubber (for lack of a better term) that you’re able to bring up just below your magazine content which lets you quickly jump through the magazine and then zoom into a page you want to read. We found this option great for skipping ads. Once in a magazine page, you can zoom and pan to see photos up close or read, but the Nook Color also provides a novel (no pun intended) option called ArticleView which lets you break out text on the page into a strip down the middle of the screen with plain, clearly readable content inside. It’s a great idea that worked most of the time. Sometimes, on pages with lots of captions or cutaway text it didn’t seem to capture everything. As avid magazine readers, we really love the option of a unified method of getting periodicals, and the Nook Color is the first device to actually show that it can be done without a tremendous amount of effort (and surprisingly little lost). There’s clearly room to grow in this area (and a lot of content still to nab — the current magazine catalog is only about 70 strong), but we like where it’s headed. We hate to beat a dead horse, but as with the rest of the interface, the magazine experience is hampered by the sluggishness of the UI.

The Nook Color also offers newspapers delivered daily, but we’re not quite as psyched on the layout of the traditional dailies. We found the page ordering and design of these digital editions confusing and clunky. There’s likely a hybrid of what Barnes & Noble is doing with magazines and what the company does with books for these publications — but the current state of daily papers is a bit of a mess on the platform.

The final piece of the puzzle is B&N’s push into the kids’ book market with its new formatting that not only allows children and their parents to page through full color versions of popular kids titles, but introduces a “read to me” function. The premise is rather simple: a professional voice actor reads the copy out loud through the Nook Color’s speaker, and a child can follow along. We’re sure this will be a quality addition to a parent’s arsenal of options for keeping the kids happy. We did have a few issues with some audio skipping early on in one of the books we tested, but it went away quickly and didn’t return. The kids books also offer a scrubber similar to the one found in the magazine section. One thing of note — loading these volumes takes a little more time — though overall the feature worked as advertised.

Microsoft on five key technology areas and Windows 8 –UPDATED [Dec 15, 2012] with full content up to delivery and change of command

After this update there are three detailed sections in the post:

  1. Julie Larson-Green’s and her team journey to build the new Windows 8 and Windows Live experience and getting to the top of the whole product group
  2. The follow-up posts to the original May 2011 one
  3. The original May 2011 post, which described the five key technology areas for the Windows 8 journey which Microsoft earlier (in H2 CY2009]
    – identified to transform the industry over the next few years, and
    – was committed to investing and innovating and leading

    These were:

    1. Natural user interface
    2. Natural language
    3. HTML and JavaScript
    4. Chip and form factors
    5. The cloud

As the end-result of that effort we had delivery shown in Microsoft Windows 8 – Launch Event Keynote Highlights [HD] [BuildingWindows YouTube channel, Oct 28, 2012]

Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows from [0:01] to [1:42]; Julie Larson Green, Corporate Vice President, Windows Program Management and Michael Angiulo, Corporate Vice President, Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem [1:49] to [4:28]; Steve Ballmer, CEO from [4:30] to [6:43].

Then came:
Steven Sinofsky, ex Microsoft: The victim of an extremely complex web of the “western world” high-tech interests [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Nov 13-20, 2012]
resulting also in Julie Larson Green’s promotion to the top job of leading all Windows software and hardware engineering, and in her membership in the Senior Leadership Team of Microsoft.

All this during quite a turbulent year at Microsoft, with quite a lot at stake, as shown in:
2012: A Year of Microsoft Milestones [Microsoft YouTube channel, Dec 12, 2012]

From Windows 8 to Surface to ‘Halo 4,’ 2012 was a momentous year for Microsoft. See how Microsoft is building its devices and services foundation for the year to come.

Going into the detailed sections below (including the linked posts in the second section) you will be able to judge for yourself how much Microsoft would be able to transform the ICT industry over the next few years. All this is, certainly, in addition to your own experience with Windows 8 on a proper touch device. Your own experience should also last as long as from two days to two weeks depending on how deep you are involved in the old way of doing things with mouse and keyboard, as well your degree of resistance to change.


1. Julie Larson-Green’s and her team journey
to build the new Windows 8 and Windows Live experience
and getting to the top of the whole product group

Update: When she started the journey:
Interview with Julie Larson-Green about Office 2007 and Windows 7 [BryZad YouTube channel, Nov 21, 2009]

Her Microsoft Office achievement is well described in the description of her 2008 Outstanding Technical Leadership award:

In revamping the interface of Microsoft Office 2007, Larson-Green effected a paradigm shift in one of the company’s most successful products.
“At first, no one wanted to change Office dramatically,” says Julie Larson-Green, who was tasked with overseeing a reimagining of the product’s end-user interaction and overall experience in the fall of 2003. Larson-Green’s leadership of Microsoft Office 2007’s redesign, the most radical revamp in the product’s history, required immense courage and conviction, to which this award attests.
A specialist in user-interface design, Larson-Green began working with Office in 1997, when she program-managed FrontPage. She subsequently helmed UI design for Office XP and Office 2003, which had evolved into a large organization of carefully negotiated compromises among the application suite’s various programs. Although Office’s great success was based on customer familiarity, the Customer Experience Improvement Program was indicating that users, while basically happy with the product, were increasingly either unaware of (possibly redundant) functions among Office’s different programs or frustrated by the amount of training necessary to use an astonishingly complex set of commands, dialogs, and interaction modes.
After deciding that Office needed to be made easier to use, Larson-Green’s team arrived at the elegant solution of the browsable Ribbon (or Office Fluent user interface) and its contextual cousins that united the product’s common capabilities and ease of experimentation. “The breakthrough,” Larson-Green says, “arrived with contextualizing the user interface and realizing that all of the product’s features didn’t have to be present all the time.”
SELLING THE REDESIGN
As development of Office 2007 proceeded, Larson-Green was confronted with the equally formidable task of selling the redesign across Office’s various programs. “Our biggest challenge,” she says, “was convincing people that we had an idea that would work.” Heavily invested in the earlier version, the Word, Excel, Outlook, and other organizations were initially reluctant to relegate control to an umbrella design team. Even more significant, Larson-Green had decided not to compromise the integrity of Office 2007 with the safety net of a “classic mode.”
It’s difficult to change the direction of a large organization at the best of times. It’s even more difficult when the goal is still incomplete. Larson-Green’s ability to argue her vision without necessarily being able to address myriad objections in detail is a remarkable trait in a data-driven culture such as Microsoft’s. One by one, however, the suite’s principals bought into the design as it was being tested and fleshed out.
Office 2007 shipped to nearly universal critical acclaim in January 2007, and Larson-Green was promoted to corporate vice president of program management for the Windows Experience. As with Office 2007, she plans to identify and solve customer problems, which will in turn drive a new design and its subsequent engineering. “In the old world,” she notes, “coding would start and design would kind of evolve with the coding.”
COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS
Flattered by her nomination for the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award, Larson-Green admits to shock at winning. “I was very pleased,” she says, “but also kind of embarrassed. I may have been the ringleader, but I couldn’t have done it without a lot of help from a lot of people.” She cites principal Office User Experience Team Program Manager Jensen Harris, Product Design Manager Brad Weed, General Manager Dave Barthol, and Test Manager Sean Adridge as key collaborators.
As for the prize, Larson-Green will treat its dispensation as a family affair. “Unless we all agree on one, we’re going to split the award and each pick a charity,” she says. “My seven-year-old son has already decided he wants to do something with animals. My fifteen-year-old daughter wants to do something with children. And my economist husband is doing all the research on how much money goes to programs versus administration.”
View Larson-Green’s official press profile.

Update: When she delivered:
Windows 8 Launch Live Event Part 1 – 25/10/2012 [LiveSports TechNews YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

Windows 8 Launch Live Event Part 2 – 25/10/2012 [LiveSports TechNews YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

After that an Interview with Microsoft’s Windows Program head, Julie Larson-Green [VentureBeat YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

 

Update: before the promotion on Nov 12, 2012 to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering, and becoming member of the Senior Leadership Team of Microsoft, her official corporate biography [Microsoft, Oct 25, 2012] was as follows:

As corporate vice president of program management for Windows at Microsoft Corp., Julie Larson-Green oversees the design and delivery of the Windows operating system. Leading a team of technical engineers, her responsibilities include program management, design research and development of all international releases for Windows 8.
Larson-Green joined Microsoft in 1993 and has focused on technical design and development throughout her career. As a program manager in Development Tools and Languages, she was instrumental in several releases of Visual C++ for 32-bit operating systems and led the development of Microsoft’s first customizable integrated development environment for Windows. Moving to the Windows team, she was responsible for the Internet Explorer 3.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0 user experiences, including features related to the Web-integrated Windows desktop.
Continuing her focus on end-user software, Larson-Green joined the Office team in 1997 and led program management for Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft FrontPage, including the early work in information worker servers. More recently, she has been responsible for leading the user interface design for Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, which was lauded for its innovative reinvention of the user experience for productivity software. Before Windows 8, Larson-Green served as corporate vice president of Windows Experience for Windows 7, charged with leading the design and development of the Windows 7 OS.
Before joining Microsoft, Larson-Green was a senior development engineer at a Seattle-based company that created leading desktop publishing software. She has a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University. A native of Washington state, she lives there with her husband, who is a university professor, and her two children.

This time she had her earlier key collaborator, Jensen Harris again to lead the program management of the user experience. Watch Harris’ presentation about The Story of Windows 8 [keynote on the UX Week, Aug 21, 2012, published on vimeo on Oct 25, 2012] as it is extremely important to the whole story:

UX Week 2012 | Jensen Harris | The Story of Windows 8 from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

… [26:04] David Pierce said [in The Verge that] the Start Screen [of Windows 8] feels like a house made out of the Internet

The 5 Microsoft (previously Metro) design [style] principles he is talking about

  1. Do more with less, i.e. “fierce reductionism for every piece of UI”
  2. Authentically digital, i.e. “skeumorphism … removing decoration, ornamentation in a ‘Bauhaus‘ style … content over chrome … as in the [3d party] my History Digest application … icons reimagined as tiles”
  3. Pride in craftsmanship, i.e. “caring about every detail … getting details perfect … typographic grid underlying everything on the screen”
  4. Be fast and fluid, i.e. “… feel broadcast TV quality … as in the [3d party] Cocktail Flow application …”

  5. Win as one, i.e. “… have a product feel as designed by one person …”

With the goal of having one device for consumption and productivity

“New Microsoft led by principled design” as the result of all that 

About

Jensen Harris is Director of Program Management for the Windows User Experience Team.

He has worked at Microsoft since 1998. Prior to his current job, he was the Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team, where his team redesigned the user interface for Office 2007 and Office 2010, adding the Ribbon, Live Preview, Backstage View, and other innovations.

Jensen attended Yale University and Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating with degrees in music composition.

For completeness some additional information from Jason Harris:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Product Demo [WindowsVideos YouTube channel, Feb 28, 2012]
Creating the Windows 8 user experience [Building Windows 8, May 19, 2012], highly recommended reading as gives all the background information, from Windows 1 released in 1985 upto Windows 8.
Windows 8 UI vision mockups from 2010 [a 3d party report from the UX Week video]
Jensen Harris: Windows 8′s lockscreen photos are design easter eggs [a 3d party report from the UX Week video]
8 traits of great Metro style apps [Channel 9 video of Jansen Harris’ Build2011 session, Sept 13, 2011]
Notes from BUILD – Day 1 – Big Picture Session 1 – Jensen Harris on 8 Traits of Great Metro Style Apps [Oct 6, 2011]
bldwin – 8 traits of great Metro style apps (notes in German about Jansen Harris’ Build2011 session) [Sept 13, 2011]
– regarding his earlier achievements see The Story of the Ribbon [Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog, March 12, 2008] with video and slides embedded

And Jensen Harris had a team behind him as well. From that team Bonny Lau, Senior Program Manager, Windows User Experience Team had been the most active member. Here she is briefly talking (click to the link which follows) in a concise way about the same subject what Harris was talking about in great detail a year earlier:
8 traits of great Windows Store apps [Channel 9 video, Oct 18, 2012]

The 8 traits she is talking about:

  1. Microsoft design style
  2. Be fast and fluid (the Cocktail Fow 3d party app is shown again)
  3. Snap and scale beautifully
  4. Use the right contracts
  5. Invest in a great tile
  6. Feel connected and alive
  7. Roam to the cloud
  8. Embrace Microsoft design style principles

Her related materials:
Creating Metro style apps that stand out from the crowd [Windows 8 app developer blog, July 12, 2012] using the “Food with friends” application shown for Microsoft design style (in Jason Harris’ UX Week keynote as well to illustrate by him the Do more with less design style principle) as an example for development
Make great Windows Store apps (Windows) as her contribution to “Getting started” MSDN materials for developers
Designing UX for apps as contribution from her team to MSDN documentation with everything including samples to learn from
– earlier she was with Microsoft Project 2010 Scheduling Engine Project 2010: Bonny Lau [MSFTProject YouTube channel, Oct 28, 2009]

Finally here is a light talk of Bonny Lau about Windows 8 User Experience [MSUserCommunity YouTube channel, Sept 18, 2012]

Do design principles hinder innovation? Bonny Lau explains the reasoning behind theWindows 8user experience and urges developers to leverage design templates as a starting point (not an end point) for design, to push the envelope and build great looking apps.Learn how to make your app the best experience for your users at Generation App. Ready to Get Started? 1.Visit the Windows Developer Center for a myriad of sample, docs and guidelines: http://bit.ly/PwV3sE 2.Join the Generation App program and get a jumpstart building your Windows Store app. http://bit.ly/PwVi6R

Update: The Woman Charged With Making Windows 8 Succeed [MIT Technology Review, Dec 13, 2012]

In a Q&A, Julie Larson-Green explains why Microsoft felt it was necessary to rethink an operating system used by 1.2 billion people.

imageAs the head of Windows product development at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green is responsible for a piece of software used by some 1.3 billion people worldwide. She’s also the person leading the campaign to introduce as many of those people as possible to Windows 8, the dramatic redesign of the iconic operating system that must succeed if Microsoft is to keep pace with a computing industry now shaped more by phones and tablets than desktop PCs.

Windows 8 throws out design features familiar to Windows users since 1995, swapping in simpler, bolder interfaces designed to be operated using a touch screen. The release of the Surface, a device somewhere between a tablet and laptop, also sees Microsoft break its tradition of leaving the building of hardware to other companies.

Larson-Green took over the role a few weeks ago, after Microsoft veteran Steven Sinofsky left amid rumors of personal disputes with other Microsoft executives. However, Larson-Green has long been a senior figure inside the Windows division and even took the lead on drawing up the first design brief for Windows 8. An expert in technical design, she also led the introduction of the novel, much copied “ribbon” interface for Microsoft Office, widely acknowledged as a major improvement in usability.

Larson-Green met last week with Tom Simonite at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington.


Why was it necessary to make such broad changes in Windows 8?

When Windows was first created 25 years ago, the assumptions about the world and what computing could do and how people were going to use it were completely different. It was at a desk, with a monitor. Before Windows 8 the goal was to launch into a window, and then you put that window away and you got another one. But with Windows 8, all the different things that you might want to do are there at a glance with the Live Tiles. Instead of having to find many little rocks to look underneath, you see a kind of dashboard of everything that’s going on and everything you care about all at once. It puts you closer to what you’re trying to get done.

Windows 8 is clearly designed with touch in mind, and many new Windows 8 PCs have touch screens. Why is touch so important?

It’s a very natural way to interact. If you get a laptop with a touch screen, your brain clicks in and you just start touching what makes it faster for you. You’ll use the mouse and keyboard, but even on the regular desktop you’ll find yourself reaching up doing the things that are faster than moving the mouse and moving the mouse around. It’s not like using the mouse, which is more like puppeteering than direct manipulation.

In the future, are all PCs going to have touch screens?

For cost considerations there might always be some computers without touch, but I believe that the vast majority will. We’re seeing that the computers with touch are the fastest-selling right now. I can’t imagine a computer without touch anymore. Once you’ve experienced it, it’s really hard to go back.

Did you take that approach in Windows 8 as a response to the popularity of mobile devices running iOS and Android?

We started planning Windows 8 in June of 2009, before we shipped Windows 7, and the iPad was only a rumor at that point.

I only saw the iPad after we had this design ready to go. We were excited. A lot of things they were doing about mobile and touch were similar to what we’d been thinking. We [also] had differences. We wanted not just static icons on the desktop but Live Tiles to be a dashboard for your life; we wanted you to be able to do things in context and share across apps; we believed that multitasking is important and that people can do two things at one time.

Can touch coexist with a keyboard and mouse interface? Some people have said it doesn’t feel right to have both the newer, touch-centric elements and the old-style desktop in Windows 8.

It was a very definite choice to have both environments. A finger’s never going to replace the precision of a mouse. It’s always going to be easier to type on a keyboard than it is on glass. We didn’t want you to have to make a choice. Some people have said that it’s jarring, but over time we don’t hear that. It’s just getting used to something that’s different. Nothing was homogenous to start with, when you were in the browser it looked different than when you were in Excel.

I wonder if you’re experiencing a little déjà vu, after previously leading a radical change to the interface for Office that initially met with complaints.

Yes! A lot of it is familiar. Some people who review it for a shorter period of time may not feel how rich it really is. We’re going for the over time impression rather than the first 20 minutes out of the box. We’ve found that the more invested you were in the old way, the more difficult the transition is, which is unfortunate because we first hear about everything in the tech press. Those are the ones that we knew up front are going to have the most challenge.

How long does it take people to adjust?

Two days to two weeks is what we used to say in Office, and it’s similar in Windows 8. We do a “living with Windows” program where we watched people over a series of months in their household. A lot of people don’t have trouble upfront.

What data do you have on how people buying Windows 8 are reacting?

When you sign into your Windows PC, one of the things you get asked is whether you’ll be part of our customer experience improvement program, and if you will, then you’re sending some data to us. Everyone gets asked that. We get terabytes and terabytes of data every day, and we can’t possibly use it all. So far we’re seeing very encouraging things. Over 90 percent of customers, from our data, use the charms and find the start screen all in the first session. Even if you’re a desktop user, over time there’s a cutover point around six weeks where you start using the new things more than the things you’re familiar with.

Microsoft has chosen to make its own hardware for Windows 8 with the Surface tablets. Why not leave that to the equipment manufacturers, as you’ve done in the past?

It was a way to test our hypothesis of a new way of working. It takes time for individuals to adjust, but it also takes time for the industry to adjust to new things—all the complicated things about the supply chain and issues like what sizes of glass gets cut. Surface is our vision of what a stage for Windows 8 should look like, to help show consumers and the industry our point of view on what near perfect hardware would look like. We believe in Surface as a long-term product, but we know that partners will have other innovations and ideas. One of the things that’s always been nice about Windows is choice—you’re not locked into one size, one shape, one color, one version.

Your predecessor, Steven Sinofsky, was widely credited with driving Microsoft to create Windows 8 through sheer force of will. Is that true?

Steven is an amazing leader and an amazing brain and an amazing person, but one person can’t do everything. It’s really about the team that we created and the culture that we created for innovation.

What changes now that you’re in charge?

Not a whole lot. I’ve worked directly with Steven for seven years but known him for the whole 20 years I’ve been at Microsoft. We think a lot the same about what the role of Windows is in society, what computing looks like, and getting people on board with that point of view.

Now that Windows 8 has been released, what are you and your team doing now?

We didn’t really slow down. There are always new technologies to think about that can be helpful to people.

Read more about Microsoft’s efforts to track users’ reaction to Windows 8: Microsoft Has Been Watching and It Says You’re Getting Used to Windows 8.


2. The follow-up posts to the original May 2011 one


3. The original May 2011 post

Windows 8 on ARM expected to appear by the end of 2011 [DIGITIMES, May 24, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Tablet PCs that adopt Windows 8 and ARM-based processor are expected to appear by the end of 2011, but due to the platform lack of system performance, the platform will be mainly used for targeting the tablet PC market, according to sources from notebook players.

However, due to the combination still have several issues need to be resolved, most notebook players are taking a conservative attitude toward the new platform and will not rush to open up new projects for the related products.

Due to the Windows 8/ARM platform initially only testing in the tablet PC market, the sources believe the platform is unlikely to affect Intel’s position in the traditional PC segment, while the operating system is also unlikely to impact Google’s Android in the next one year.

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft Developer Forum [Microsoft, May 23, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

There is so much in the way of exciting innovations to look forward to over the next few years. At Microsoft, we’ve identified five things that we think will transform the industry over the next few years, and five areas where Microsoft, as a company, is committed to investing and innovating and leading. We think there will be other companies working in these areas. There are going to be opportunities for developers. Certainly we’re going to see a lot of competition. But these five key technology areas are the ones that I think more than anything else will make people look back and say, wow, computing is fundamentally simpler and easier to use, whether it’s on my phone, my PC, or my TV, than ever before.

The first one I’ll highlight for you is natural user interface. This is the notion that we really want to speak, wave and gesture, touch and mark on our computing devices. We want smart devices to work the way we work, to recognize us and our actions. Speech recognition, vision, handwriting recognition, touch interfaces, these are all part of the theme. And certainly whether it’s in phones, or what we’ve done with Kinect for large room, and living room type environments, for vision, and visual recognition are all emblems of the move in this direction.

The second big area of innovation will come in natural language. And the distinction is important. With natural user interface, we’re talking about voice, and vision, and touch. With natural language, we’re really asking ourselves the question, can we let you control your computing environment by expressing intent instead of specific commands. Today on a PC, it’s file open, blah, blah, blah, respond, reply, forward. I can’t just say to my device, get me ready for my trip to Tokyo.

The third area that I think will be increasingly important is HTML and JavaScript. We’ve made a big investment, obviously, in Windows and IE9 in our HTML and JavaScript support, but more and more of the world’s programmers will be fluent in these technologies in addition to whatever skills people have in C++ and C# and a variety of other important skills. But we have to recognize that more and more of the world’s talent will know these techniques. And whether it’s writing a website or a client application, or a server application, we want to build and develop the range of things that you can do not only using .NET, but also in using HTML and JavaScript. And, in fact, even how you can weave these things together into sensible programs in the future.

No. 4 is chip and form factors. Just think back three or four years ago and how quickly performance and size, and miniaturization and the move to ARM processors has happened. We’ve announced with Windows that we’re going to support system-on-a-chip architectures, not only from Intel and AMD, but also from a set of ARM vendors.

The form factor of the devices that we all use will continue to change. I think there will be a day in the future where it will be hard to distinguish a phone from a slate, from a PC. You literally will have displays that become paper thin and very easy to fold out form your phone. And at the same time, you’re going to get more and more PC-like capabilities in smaller form factor devices.

Last, but certainly not least is the cloud. And with both Azure, Windows Azure and SQL Azure, as well as Office 365, we’ve made a major step into the cloud. I’m sure I’ll get a few questions about Skype. Skype is just another representation of what we think is the importance of enabling a broad range of scenarios in the cloud. If those are the technologies, the flipside is to ask what can we do with them? They’re all great, but what will we, Microsoft, do and what do we expect the developers that we work with here in Japan, and across the world to do?

We’re obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows. Windows 7 PCs will sell over 350 million units this year. We’ve done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand new user interface. We’ve added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there’s a whole lot more coming. As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.

The browser is an area where we’ve been very active. Internet Explorer 9 is the fastest browser around because of the way that we’ve married it to Windows systems and allow essentially full exploitation of the hardware to have the fastest and most beautiful Web on the planet run on Windows systems.

We’ve integrated the browser into Windows more fully, so that you can put jumplists, and pin those to the taskbar on Windows. We’ve improved JavaScript performance. We’re running on downloads that are about five times the rate of customer acceptance that we saw on IE8, and when it comes to HTML and JavaScript, and the browser, there will be simply no one who pushes that, not Google, not Firefox, nobody will push that faster and harder than we push with IE.

Microsoft’s Ballmer says next-gen Windows systems due in 2012 [ZDNet, May 23, 2011]

During remarks at a developers conference in Japan on May 23, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer referred to the next version of Windows as “Windows 8.” He also said the next generation of Windows systems will be out next year.

To those not following Microsoft’s Windows saga closely, this may seem like a “so what” moment. But Microsoft execs have been studiously avoiding any references to the timing or naming of the next version of Windows to try to keep the specifics of the product as quiet as possible. Microsoft’s top brass has been avoiding calling the next version of Windows “Windows 8″ publicly, preferring instead to call it “Windows Next.” (Internally, a number of  Microsoft job postings and leaked slides have referenced “Windows 8,” however.”

Update: OK, believe it or not, the “official” response is Ballmer’s statement isn’t what it seems to be… Sent from a Microsoft spokesman earlier tonight:

““It appears there was a misstatement. We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year.  To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.”

And, as usual, there are many ways to interpret these remarks. Is the next-generation Windows release nothing but Windows 7 with new paint? Windows 8 not the final name for the next version of Windows? (The final name possibly being something other than Windows 8 is something that I’ve heard from my tipsters…) You be the judge….

E Ink and Epson achieve world-leading ePaper resolution

PVI Joins Hands With Epson to Produce E-Paper Displays [May 23, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

PVI`s chairman Scott Liu said that the cooperation marks his company`s entry into the commercial and educational segments, indicating that the company`s e-paper displays will be produced for not only consumer use, but also professional purposes in the future.

To achieve better visibility of Japanese and Chinese words displayed on electronic screens, the two parties are determined to jointly develop 300-dpi, high-resolution e-paper displays, which will be mainly used in commercial and educational e-book readers with screen sizes of 11 inches and above and sold in Japan and mainland China.

In the cooperation, Epson will take charge of manufacturing and providing a high-speed display controller platform for e-paper displays, which incorporates a display controller IC, processor, power supply control IC and related software for optimal operability.

Meanwhile, PVI is engaged in manufacturing and promoting the 300dpi e-paper display, which, with screen sizes of 9.68 inches, 11 inches or above, boast lightweight design, low power consumption, and a vivid, easy-to-read display of words and images.

Accordingly, the cutting-edge product has been sent to customers of e-book readers and system integration for certification and will be set for volume production in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.

E Ink and Epson achieve world-leading ePaper resolution [May 16, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

TOKYO, Japan and HSINCHU, Taiwan, May 16, 2011 – E Ink® Holdings Inc. and Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”) today announced the joint development of a 300-dpi electronic paper device with razor-sharp text and images for ePaper Document Reader. Combining E Ink’s high-resolution ePaper display and Epson’s high-speed display controller platform, the new device will enable the world’s highest resolution ePaper tablets. With sharply improved readability and ease-of-use the ePaper Document Reader is expected to catch on in business and education settings where huge amounts of data have to be processed, as well as in countries that use character-based text, including Japan and China.

Thin, lightweight, energy-efficient eReaders with easy-to-read, paper-like displays have won over consumers, who are snapping up ePaper devices in unprecedented numbers, causing the market to surge. Demand has also been on the rise in business and education, market segments that require exactly what ePaper provides: the fast and accurate display of enormous amounts of information. Applications in these segments demand higher resolution than that offered by today’s 160-dpi displays due to the need to crisply render, with smooth gradations, engineering diagrams, illustrations, Asian characters, and other fine or intricate content. These market segments also demand faster page navigation and sophisticated user interfaces to allow instant viewing of vast amounts of data.

“As the adoption of eReaders continues to rise worldwide, the opportunities for our EPD technology are expanding in new market segments including business and education,” said Scott Liu, chairman of E Ink. “We continue to improve E Ink’s technology to meet the demands of our customers and the needs of consumers, and this new EPD delivers the low power, sunlight readability and thin, lightweight form factor users have come to expect from E Ink at an even higher resolution.”

“We developed this device specifically to meet the high data demands of business and academia,” said Torao Yajima, managing director at Epson. “Our IC controller and processing power enables the display to handle large files while maintaining the excellent display control and operability found in today’s EPDs, including fast page navigation and a sophisticated user interface.”

Epson’s high speed controller platform is an ideal choice for developers who wish to develop high resolution eTablets with ease and within a very short period.

The respective roles of E Ink and Epson and the products they offer are described below.

E Ink
E Ink will manufacture, sell and support the newly developed 300-dpi ePaper displays, which measure 9.68 inches on the diagonal and have 2,400 x 1,650 pixels. These paper-like, high-resolution displays demonstrate in full the very best features of ePaper: crisp and clear text and images on an easy-on-the-eyes screen, a thin and light form factor, and ultra-low power consumption.

Epson
Epson will manufacture, sell and support a high-resolution, high-speed display controller platform optimized for controlling E Ink’s high-resolution display. Leveraging Epson’s experience with image processing technology developed for photo-quality printers, the display controller platform combines a display controller IC, applications processor, system power management IC, and firmware to provide excellent display control and improved operability.

Moving forward, E Ink and Epson plan to continue collaborating to promote the popularization of ePaper based devices in the business and education markets by developing technology, expanding and upgrading the product lineup, and providing customer support.

Exhibition plans, high-resolution e-paper device
The jointly developed device will be on display at the E Ink booth at SID, to be held in Los Angeles from May 15 to 20.

Related links
News release about Epson’s high-speed, high-resolution display control platform: http://global.epson.com/newsroom/2010/news_20101027.html.

Epson to Provide Display Controller Platform that Sharply Improves e-Paper Product Performance [Oct 27, 2010]
– Platform to enable laser-quality images and high-speed refreshes

Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”, TSE: 6724) today announced that it has developed a new display controller platform for electronic reading devices and other electronic paper products that provides laser-sharp image quality and rapid refreshes. The company will begin shipping the platform to e-paper-based product manufacturers in April 2011.

The display control platform will enable e-paper product manufacturers to speed up their time to market by allowing them to efficiently develop products with fast display refresh times and the ability to display images as sharp and clear as any produced by a laser printer. Notably, the platform will facilitate the development of products for business and education applications, which typically require higher image quality and faster displays.

Epson is the world’s no.1* supplier of controller ICs for e-paper displays, partnering with E Ink Holdings Inc. of Hsinchu, Taiwan, the world’s number 1 supplier of e-paper.

The display controller platform employs a newly developed e-paper display driving scheme that is unlike those used in current e-book readers. The new driving scheme capitalizes on high-speed image processing technology originally developed for Epson’s photo-quality printers to enable e-paper displays with resolutions of 300 dpi and higher to be refreshed at high speed, which is ideal for higher education, professional office and general business environments.

E-paper devices outfitted with the display controller platform and a high-resolution e-paper display will render intricate content, such as “kanji” characters, mathematical formulas and engineering drawings, as well as illustrations, photographs and other images that require smooth gradations, much more clearly than current e-paper displays. They will also be able to flip through the pages of an e-book much faster than existing e-readers. When combined with sensors, these devices will provide powerful handwriting recognition, a critical function for business applications. The sharp improvement in readability and usability are expected to fuel the popularity of e-paper products in Japan, China, and other regions where Chinese characters are used, as well as in business and education applications where huge amounts of data have to be processed.

E Ink Announces Next Generation Display Platform [July 1, 2010]

E Ink® Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic paper display technology, today announced the Q2 release of its next generation display technology, Pearl. With Pearl, E Ink expands the capabilities of reflective displays, bringing electronic paper performance to the next level. With the whitest reflective displays in the industry, and a contrast ratio now approximately 50 percent greater than today’s products, text on Pearl “pops” from the page, enabling a reading experience most similar to reading text on printed paper.

The E Ink Pearl design builds on the current generation of Vizplex designs, which is used in millions of eReader devices today. Due to a unique and proven two pigment system that is extremely stable, the current E Ink products in the market today have demonstrated long life and high reliability, enabling a whole new class of consumer products.

Images and text become crisp on the screen as the contrast between the background and item of interest is increased. E Ink Pearl raises the bar for displays used in digital reading. This allows for eReaders to go from a contrast ratio typical of newspapers, to a higher contrast ratio typical of paperback books. The crisp text and detailed graphics also continue to remain pleasant to view when E Ink products are enjoyed outside. In addition, with 16 gray level depth, E Ink Pearl offers the sharpest rendering of images and allows product developers to display images with smooth tones and rich detail.