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Amazon Web Services not only achieved the clear and far dominant leader status in the Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud IaaS) market, but “the balance of new projects are going to AWS, not the other providers” – according to Gartner

According to the latest analysis by Gartner, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is:

  1. overwhelmingly the dominant vendor” of the Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud IaaS) market
  2. a clear leader, with more than five times the compute capacity in use than the aggregate total of the other fourteen providers included in the so called Magic Quadrant (MQ)
  3. appreciated for “innovative, exceptionally agile and very responsive to the market and the richest IaaS product portfolio” which puts AWS into a quite far ahead position even against CSC, the only other in the Leaders quadrant currently

In addition Amazon Web Services has come up in July with a price cut that reaches 80% on its EC2 cloud computing platform.

Note that Gartner’s ranking is a complex evaluation, based on various point of views deemed to be most important from vendor-supplier point of view (see in the 3d party explanation of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant included in the Details part). It is not based on any kind of banchmarking, not even those run buy customers according to their specific application requirements. Therefore it is a well know fact that from pure cloud engineering point of view, especially in terms of focussed benchmarks Amazon EC2 is far from being a leader. The latest example of that:
image

About the Test
UnixBench runs a set of individual benchmark tests, aggregates the scores, and creates a final, indexed score to gauge the performance of UNIX-like systems,which include Linux and its distributions (Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat). From the Unixbench homepage:
The purpose of UnixBench is to provide a basic indicator of the performance of a Unix-like system; hence, multiple tests are used to test various aspects of the system’s performance. These test results are then compared to the scores from a baseline system to produce an index value, which is generally easier to handle than the raw scores. The entire set of index values is then combined to make an overall index for the system.
The UnixBench suite used for these tests ran tests that include: Dhrystone 2, Double-precision Whetstone, numerous File Copy tests, Pipe Throughput, ProcessCreation, Shell Scripts, System Call Overhead, and Pipe-based Context Switching.

image

Price-Performance Value: The CloudSpecs Score
The CloudSpecs score calculates the relationship between the cost of a virtual server per hour and the performance average seen from each provider. The scores are relational to each other; e.g., if Provider A scores 50 and Provider B scores 100, then Provider B delivers 2x the performance value in terms of cost. The highest value provider will always receive a score of 100, and every additional provider is pegged in relation to that score. The calculation is:
  • (Provider Average Performance Score) / (Provider Cost per Hour) = VALUE
  • The largest VALUE is then taken as the denominator to peg other VALUES.
  • [(Provider’s VALUE) / (Largest VALUE)] * 100 = CloudSpecs Score (CS Score)
Source: IaaS Price Performance Analysis: Top 14 Cloud Providers – A study of performance among the Top 14 public cloud infrastructure providers [Cloud Spectator and the Cloud Advisory Council, Oct 15, 2013] where—in addition of Unixbench—even more focussed benchmark results are reported as well from the Phoronix Test Suite (i.e. one of benchmark suites in PTS):
For ‘”CPU Performance” the 7-Zip File Compression benchmark which runs p7zip’s integrated benchmark feature to calculate the number of instructions a CPUcan handle per second (measured in millions of instructions per second, or MIPS) when compressing a file
For “Disk Performance” the Dbench benchmark which can be used to stress a filesystem or a server to see which workload it becomes saturated and can also be used for prediction analysis to determine “How many concurrent clients/applications performing this workload can my server handle before response starts to lag?” It is an open source benchmark that contains only file-system calls for testing the disk performance. For the purpose of comparing disk performance, write results are recorded.
For “RAM Performance” the RAMspeed/SMP which is a memory performance benchmark for multi-processor machines running UNIX-like operating systems, which include Linux and its distributions(Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat). Within the RAMspeed/SMP suite, the Phoronix Test Suite conducts benchmarks using a set of Copy, Scale, Add, and Triad testsfrom the *mem benchmarks (INTmem, FLOATmem, MMXmem, and SSEmem) in BatchRun mode to enable high-precision memory performance measurementthrough multiple passes with averages calculated per pass and per run.
For “Internal Network” the Iperf benchmark which is a tool used to measure bandwidth performance. For the purpose of this benchmark, Cloud Spectator set up 2 virtual machines within thesame availability zone/data center to measure internal network throughput.
Amazon EC2 performed “equally bad” in these particular bechnmarks. Check the published report.

THE DETAILS BEHIND 

The 2013 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant [by Lydia Leong on Gartner blog, Aug 21, 2013]

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, 2013, has just been released (see the client-only interactive version, or the free reprint). Gartner clients can also consult the related charts, which summarize the offerings, features, and data center locations.

the best image obtained from the web:

image

We’re now updating this Magic Quadrant on a nine-month basis, and quite a bit has changed since the 2012 update (see the client-only 2012, or the free 2012 reprint).

In particular, market momentum has strongly favored Amazon Web Services. Many organizations have now had projects on AWS for several years, even if they hadn’t considered themselves to have “done anything serious” on AWS. Thus, as those organizations get serious about cloud computing, AWS is their incumbent provider — there are relatively few truly greenfield opportunities in cloud IaaS now. Many Gartner clients now actually have multiple incumbent providers (the most common combination is AWS and Terremark), but nearly all such customers tell us that the balance of new projects are going to AWS, not the other providers.

Little by little, AWS has systematically addressed the barriers to “mainstream”, enterprise adoption. While it’s still far from everything that it could be, and it has some specific and significant weaknesses, that steady improvement over the last couple of years has brought it to the “good enough” point. While we saw much stronger momentum for AWS than other providers in 2012, 2013 has really been a tipping point. We still hear plenty of interest in competitors, but AWS is overwhelmingly the dominant vendor.

At the same time, many vendors have developed relatively solid core offerings. That means that the number of differentiators in the market has decreased, as many features become common “table stakes” features that everyone has. It means that most offerings from major vendors are now fairly decent, but only a few are really stand out for their capabilities.

That leads to an unusual Magic Quadrant, in which the relative strength of AWS in both Vision and Execution essentially forces the whole quadrant graphic to rescale. (To build an MQ, analysts score providers relative to each other, on all of the formal evaluation criteria, and the MQ tool automatically plots the graphic; there is no manual adjustment of placements.) That leaves you with centralized compression of all of the other vendors, with AWS hanging out in the upper right-hand corner.

Note that a Magic Quadrant is an evaluation of a vendor in the market; the actually offering itself is only a portion of the overall score. I’ll be publishing a Critical Capabilities research note in the near future that evaluates one specific public cloud IaaS offering from each of these vendors, against its suitability for a set of specific use cases. My colleagues Kyle Hilgendorf and Chris Gaun have also been publishing extremely detailed technical evaluations of individual offerings — AWS, Rackspace, and Azure, so far.

A Magic Quadrant is a tremendous amount of work — for the vendors as well as for the analyst team (and our extended community of peers within Gartner, who review and comment on our findings). Thanks to everyone involved. I know this year’s placements came as disappointments to many vendors, despite the tremendous hard work that they put into their offerings and business in this past year, but I think the new MQ iteration reflects the cold reality of a market that is highly competitive and is becoming even more so.

A 3d party explanation of the GARTNER IaaS MAGIC QUADRANT 2013 [cloud☁mania, Aug 29, 2013]

Gartner just released the 2013 update of his traditionally Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Here are some consideration about the evaluation methodology and MQ players.

In the context of this Magic Quadrant, IaaS is defined by Gartner as “a standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities, are owned by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand. The resources are scalable and elastic in near-real-time, and metered by use. Self-service interfaces are exposed directly to the customer, including a Web-based UI and API optionally. The resources may be single-tenant or multitenant, and hosted by the service provider or on-premises in the customer’s datacentre.”

To be included in Magic Quadrant IaaS providers should target enterprise and midmarket customers, offering high-quality services, with excellent availability, good performance, high security and good customer support. For each IaaS provider included in MQ Gartner is offering deep description related to services offer like: datacentre locations, computing issues, storage & network features, special notes, and recommended users. Also deep comments about Strengths & Caution in Cloud adoption are offered for each IaaS provider, despite the MQ positioning.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for IaaS is a more than eloquent picture of actual status of IaaS major players. IaaS market momentum is strongly dominated by Amazon Web Services both Vision and Execution essentially directions. According Garner analysts, AWS is a clear leader, with more than five times the compute capacity in use than the aggregate total of the other fourteen providers included in MQ. AWS is appreciated for “innovative, exceptionally agile and very responsive to the market and the richest IaaS product portfolio”.

The Leaders Quadrant is positioning CSC as second player, a traditional IT outsourcer with a broad range of datacentre outsourcing capabilities. CSC is appreciated for his commitment to embrace the highly standardized cloud model, and his solid platform attractive to traditional IT operations organizations that still want to retain control, but need to offer greater agility to the business

The Challengers Quadrant is including Verizon Terremark – the market share leader in VMware-virtualized public cloud IaaS, Dimension Data – a large SI and VAR entering in the cloud IaaS market through the 2011 acquisition of OpSource, and Savvis – a CenturyLink company with a long track record of leadership in the hosting market.

Big surprise for Visionaries Quadrant is the comfortable positioning of Microsoft with his Windows Azure platformPreviously strictly PaaS, Azure is becoming IaaS also in April 2013 when Microsoft launched Windows Azure Infrastructure Services which include Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.  Microsoft place in Visionary Quadrant is motivated by Gartner by the global vision of infrastructure and platform services “that are not only leading stand-alone offerings, but also seamlessly extend and interoperate with on-premises Microsoft infrastructure (rooted in Hyper-V, Windows Server, Active Directory and System Center) and applications, as well as Microsoft’s SaaS offerings.” 

Between the IaaS providers from the Niche Players Quadrant, we have to note the presence of heawy playes triade:IBM, HP, and Fujitsu. Gartner appreciate IBM for his wide range of cloud-related products and services, IaaS MQ analyse including only cloud offering from SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) and cloud-enabled infrastructure service IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+. In the same way, from HP’s range of cloud-related products and services Gartner is considered only HP Public Cloud and some cloud-enabled infrastructure services, such HP Enterprise Services Virtual Private Cloud. Fujitsu is one of the few non-American cloud providers, being appreciated by Gartner for the large cloud IaaS offerings, including the Fujitsu Cloud IaaS Trusted Public S5 (formerly the Fujitsu Global Cloud Platform), multiple regional offerings based on a global reference architecture (Fujitsu Cloud IaaS Private Hosted, formerly known as Fujitsu Local Cloud Platform), and multiple private cloud offerings, especially in Asia-Pacific area and Europe.

Speaking about non-America regions we should observe that significant European-based providers like CloudSigma, Colt, Gigas, Orange Business Services, OVH and Skyscape Cloud Services was not included in this Magic Quadrant. The same for Asia/Pacific region with major players like Datapipe, NTT and Tata Communications.

Gartner considered also two offerings that are currently in beta stage, and therefore could not be included in this evaluation, but could be considered as prospective players of next MQ edition: Google Compute Engine (GCE)a model similar to Amazon EC2′s, and VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) – a full-featured offering with more functionality than vCloud Datacenter Service.

Additional Gartner blog posts related to that:

Cloud IaaS market share and the developer-centric world [by Lydia Leong on Gartner blog, Sept 4, 2013]

Bernard Golden recently wrote a CIO.com blog post in response to my announcement of Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Cloud IaaS. He raised a number of good questions that I thought it would be useful to address. This is part 1 of my response. (See part 2 for more.)
(Broadly, as a matter of Gartner policy, analysts do not debate Magic Quadrant results in public, and so I will note here that I’m talking about the market, and not the MQ itself.)
Bernard: “Why is there such a distance between AWS’s offering and everyone else’s?”
In the Magic Quadrant, we rate not only the offering itself in its current state, but also a whole host of other criteria — the roadmap, the vendor’s track record, marketing, sales, etc. (You can go check out the MQ document itself for those details.) You should read the AWS dot positioning as not just indicating a good offering, but also that AWS has generally built itself into a market juggernaut. (Of course, AWS is still far from perfect, and depending on your needs, other providers might be a better fit.)
But Bernard’s question can be rephrased as, “Why does AWS have so much greater market share than everyone else?”
Two years ago, I wrote two blog posts that are particularly relevant here:
These posts were followed up wih two research notes (links are Gartner clients only):
I have been beating the “please don’t have contempt for developers” drum for a while now. (I phrase it as “contempt” because it was often very clear that developers were seen as lesser, not real buyers doing real things — merely ignoring developers would have been one thing, but contempt is another.) But it’s taken until this past year before most of the “enterprise class” vendors acknowledged the legitimacy of the power that developers now hold.
Many service providers held tight to the view espoused by their traditional IT operations clientele: AWS was too dangerous, it didn’t have sufficient infrastructure availability, it didn’t perform sufficiently well or with sufficient consistency, it didn’t have enough security, it didn’t have enough manageability, it didn’t have enough governance, it wasn’t based on VMware — and it didn’t look very much like an enterprise’s data center architecture. The viewpoint was that IT operations would continue to control purchases, implementations would be relatively small-scale and would be built on traditional enterprise technologies, and that AWS would never get to the point that they’d satisfy traditional IT operations folks.
What they didn’t count on was the fact that developers, and the business management that they ultimately serve, were going to forge on ahead without them. Or that AWS would steadily improve its service and the way it did business, in order to meet the needs of the traditional enterprise. (My colleagues in GTP — the Gartner division that was Burton Group — do a yearly evaluation of AWS’s suitability for the enterprise, and each year, AWS gets steadily, materially better. Clients: see the latest.)
Today, AWS’s sheer market share speaks for itself. And it is definitely not just single developers with a VM or two, start-ups, or non-mission-critical stuff. Through the incredible amount of inquiry we take at Gartner, we know how cloud IaaS buyers think, source, succeed, and sometimes suffer. And every day at Gartner, we talk to multiple AWS customers (or prospects considering their options, though many have already bought something on the click-through agreement). Most are traditional enterprises of the G2000 variety (including some of the largest companies in the world), but over the last year, AWS has finally cracked the mid-market by working with systems integrator partners. The projected spend levels are clearly increasing dramatically, the use cases are extremely broad, the workloads increasingly have sensitive data and regulatory compliance concerns, and customers are increasingly thinking of AWS as a strategic vendor.
(Now, as my colleagues who cover the traditional data center like to point out, the spend levels are still trivial compared to what these customers are spending on the rest of their data center IT, but I think what’s critical here is the shift in thinking about where they’ll put their money in the future, and their desire to pick a strategic vendor despite how relatively early-stage the market is.)
But put another way — it is not just that AWS advanced its offering, but it convinced the market that this is what they wanted to buy (or at least that it was a better option than the other offerings), despite the sometimes strange offering constructs. They essentially created demand in a new type of buyer — and they effectively defined the category. And because they’re almost always first to market with a feature — or the first to make the market broadly aware of that capability — they force nearly all of their competitors into playing catch-up and me-too.
That doesn’t mean that the IT operations buyer isn’t important, or that there aren’t an array of needs that AWS does not address well. But the vast majority of the dollars spent on cloud IaaS are much more heavily influenced by developer desires than by IT operations concerns — and that means that market share currently favors the providers who appeal to development organizations. That’s an ongoing secular trend — business leaders are currently heavily growth-focused, and therefore demanding lots of applications delivered as quickly as possible, and are willing to spend money and take greater risks in order to obtain greater agility.
This also doesn’t mean that the non-developer-centric service providers aren’t important. Most of them have woken up to the new sourcing pattern, and are trying to respond. But many of them are also older, established organizations, and they can only move so quickly. They also have the comfort of their existing revenue streams, which allow them the luxury of not needing to move so quickly. Many have been able to treat cloud IaaS as an extension of their managed services business. But they’re now facing the threat of systems integrators like Cognizant and Capgemini entering this space, combining application development and application management with managed services on a strategic cloud IaaS provider’s platform — at the moment, normally AWS. Nothing is safe from the broader market shift towards cloud computing.
As always, every individual customer’s situation is different from another’s, and the right thing to do (or the safe, mainstream thing to do) evolves through the years. Gartner is appropriately cautionary when it discusses such things with clients. This is a good time to mention that Magic Quadrant placement is NEVER a good reason to include or exclude a vendor from a short list. You need to choose the vendor that’s right for your use case, and that might be a Niche Player, or even a vendor that’s not on the MQ at all — and even though AWS has the highest overallplacement, they might be completely unsuited to your use case.

Where are the challengers to AWS? [by Lydia Leong on Gartner blog, Sept 4, 2013]

This is part of 2 of my response to Bernard Golden’s recent CIO.com blog post in response to my announcement of Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Cloud IaaS. (Part 1 was posted yesterday.)

Bernard: “What skill or insight has allowed AWS to create an offering so superior to others in the market?”

AWS takes a comprehensive view of “what does the customer need”, looks at what customers (whether current customers or future target customers) are struggling with, and tries to address those things. AWS not only takes customer feedback seriously, but it also iterates at shocking speed. And it has been willing to invest massively in engineering. AWS’s engineering organization and the structure of the services themselves allows multiple, parallel teams to work on different aspects of AWS with minimal dependencies on the other teams. AWS had a head start, and with every passing year their engineering lead has grown larger. (Even though they have a significant burden of technical debt from having been first, they’ve also solved problems that competitors haven’t had to yet, due to their sheer scale.)

Many competitors haven’t had the willingness to invest the resources to compete, especially if they think of this business as one that’s primarily about getting a VM fast and that’s all. They’ve failed to understand that this is a software business, where feature velocity matters. You can sometimes manage to put together brilliant, hyper-productive small teams, but this is usually going to get you something that’s wonderful in the scope of what they’ve been able to build, but simply missing the additional capabilities that better-resourced competitors can manage (especially if a competitor can muster both resources and hyper-productivity). There are some awesome smaller companies in this space, though.

Bernard: “Plainly stated, why hasn’t a credible competitor emerged to challenge AWS?”

I think there’s a critical shift happening in the market right now. Three very dangerous competitors are just now entering the marketMicrosoft, Google, and VMware. I think the real war for market share is just beginning.

For instance, consider the following, off the cuff, thoughts on those vendors. These are by no means anything more than quick thoughts and not a complete or balanced analysis. I have a forthcoming research note called “Rise of the Cloud IaaS Mega-Vendors” that focuses on this shift in the competitive landscape, and which will profile these four vendors in particular, so stay tuned for more. So, that said:

Microsoft has brand, deep customer relationships, deep technology entrenchment, and a useful story about how all of those pieces are going to fit together, along with a huge army of engineers, and a ton of money and the willingness to spend wherever it gains them a competitive advantage; its weakness is Microsoft’s broader issues as well as the Microsoft-centricity of its story (which is also its strength, of course). Microsoft is likely to expand the market, attracting new customers and use cases to IaaS — including blended PaaS models.

Google has brand, an outstanding engineering team, and unrivaled expertise at operating at scale; its weakness is Google’s usual challenges with traditional businesses (whatever you can say about AWS’s historical struggle with the enterprise, you can say about Google many times over, and it will probably take them at least as long as AWS did to work through that). Google’s share gain will mostly come at the expense of AWS’s base of HPC customers and young start-ups, but it will worm its way into the enterprise via interactive agencies that use its cloud platform; it should have a strong blended PaaS model.

VMware has brand, a strong relationship with IT operations folks, technology it can build on, and a hybrid cloud story to tell; whether or not its enterprise-class technology can scale to global-class clouds remains to be seen, though, along with whether or not it can get its traditional customer base to drive sufficient volume of cloud IaaS. It might expand the market, but it’s likely that much of its share gain will come at the expense of VMware-based “enterprise-class” service providers.

Obviously, it will take these providers some time to build share, and there are other market players who will be involved, including the other providers that are in the market today (and for all of you wondering “what about OpenStack”, I would classify that under the fates of the individual providers who use it). However, if I were to place my bets, it would be on those four at the top of market share, five years from now. They know that this is a software business. They know that innovative capabilities are vitally necessary. And they know that this has turned into a market fixated on developer productivity and business benefits. At least for now, that view is dominating the actual spending in this market.

You can certainly argue that another market outcome should have happened, that users shouldhave chosen differently, or even that users are making poor decisions now that they’ll regret later. That’s an interesting intellectual debate, but at this point, Sisyphus’s rock is rolling rapidly downhill, so anyone who wants to push it back up is going to have an awfully difficult time not getting crushed.

Verizon Cloud is technically innovative, but is it enough? [by Lydia Leong on Gartner blog, Oct 4, 2013]

Verizon Terremark has announced the launch of its new Verizon Cloud service built using its own technology stack.

Verizon already owns a cloud IaaS offering — in fact, it owns several. Terremark was an early AWS competitor with the Terremark Enterprise Cloud, a VMware-based offering that got strong enterprise traction during the early years of this market (and remains the second-most-common cloud provider amongst Gartner’s clients, with many companies using both AWS and Terremark), as well as a vCloud Express offering. Verizon entered the game later with Verizon Compute as a Service (now called Enterprise Cloud Managed Edition), also VMware-based. Since Verizon’s acquisition of Terremark, the company has continued to operate all the existing platforms, and intends to continue to do so for some time to come.

However, Verizon has had the ambition to be a bigger player in cloud; like many other carriers, it believes that network services are a commodity and a carrier needs to have stickier, value-added, higher-up-the-stack services in order to succeed in the future. However, Verizon also understood that it would have to build technology, not depend on other people’s technology, if it wanted to be a truly competitive global-class cloud player versus Amazon (and Microsoft, Google, etc.).

With that in mind, in 2011, Verizon went and made a manquisitionacquiring CloudSwitch not so much for its product (essentially hypervisor-within-a-hypervisor that allows workloads to be ported across cloud infrastructures using different technologies), as for its team. It gave them a directive to go build a cloud infrastructure platform with a global-class architecture that could run enterprise-class workloads, at global-class scale and at fully competitive price points.

Back in 2011, I conceived what I called the on-demand infrastructure fabric (see my blog post No World of Two Clouds, or, for Gartner clients, the research note, Market Trends: Public and Private Cloud Infrastructure Converge into On-Demand Infrastructure Fabrics) — essentially, a global-class infrastructure fabric with self-service selectable levels of availability, performance, and isolation. Verizon is the first company to have really built what I envisioned (though their project predates my note, and my vision was developed independently of any knowledge of what they were doing).

The Verizon Cloud architecture is actually very interesting, and, as far as I know, unique amongst cloud IaaS providers. It is almost purely a software-defined data center. Components are designed at a very low level — a custom hypervisor, SDN augmented with the use of NPUs, virtualized distributed storage. Verizon has generally tried to avoid using components for which they do not have source code. There are very few hardware components — there’s x86 servers, Arista switches, and commodity Flash storage (the platform is all-SSD). The network is flat, and high bandwidth is an expectation (Verizon is a carrier, after all). Oh, and there’s object-based storage, too (which I won’t discuss here).

The Verizon Cloud has a geographically distributed control plane designed for continuous availability, and it, along with the components, are supposed to be updatable without downtime (i.e., maintenance should not impact anything). It’s intended to provide fine-grained performance controls for the compute, network, and storage resource elements. It is also built to allow the user to select fault domains, allowing strong control of resource placement (such as “these two VMs cannot sit on the same compute hardware”); within a fault domain, workloads can be rebalanced in case of hardware failure, thus offering the kind of high availability that’s often touted in VMware-based clouds (including Terremark’s previous offerings). It is also intended to allow dynamic isolation of compute, storage, and networking components, allowing the creation of private clouds within a shared pool of hardware capacity.

The Verizon Cloud is intended to be as neutral as possible — the theory is that all VM hypervisors can run natively on Verizon’s hypervisor, many APIs can be supported (including its own API, the existing Terremark API, and the AWS, CloudStack, and OpenStack APIs), and there’ll be support for the various VM image formats. Initially, the supported hypervisor is a modified Xen. In other words, Verizon wants to take your workloads, wherever you’re running them now, and in whatever form you can export them.

It’s an enormously ambitious undertaking. It is, assuming it all works as promised, a technical triumph — it’s the kind of engineering you expect out of an organization like AWS or Google, or a software company like Microsoft or VMware, not a staid, slow-moving carrier (the mere fact that Verizon managed to launch this is a minor miracle unto itself). It is actually, in a way, what OpenStack might have aspired to be; the delta between this and the OpenStack architecture is, to me, full of sad might-have-beens of what OpenStack had the potential to be, but is not and is unlikely to become. (Then again, service providers have the advantage of engineering to a precisely-controlled environment. OpenStack, and for that matter, VMware, need to run on whatever junk the customer decides to use, instantly making the problem more complex.)

Unfortunately, the question at this stage is: Will anybody care?

Yes, I think this is an important development in the market, and the fact that Verizon is already a credible cloud player in the enterprise, with an entrenched base in the Terremark Enterprise Cloud, will help it. But in a world where developers control most IaaS purchasing, the bare-bones nature of the new Verizon offering means that it falls short of fulfilling the developer desire for greater productivity. In order to find a broader audience, Verizon will need to commit to developing all the richness of value-added capabilities that the market leaders will need — which likely means going after the PaaS market with the same degree of ambition, innovation, and investment, but certainly means committing to rapidly introducing complementing capabilities and bringing a rich ecosystem in the form of a software marketplace and other partnerships. Verizon needs to take advantage of its shiny new IaaS building blocks to rapidly introduce additional capabilities — much like Microsoft is now rapidly introducing new capabilities into Azure.

With that, assuming that this platform performs as designed, and Verizon can continue to treat Terremark’s cloud folks like they belong to a fast-moving start-up and not an ossified pipe provider, Verizon may have a shot at being one of the leaders in this market. Without that, the Verizon Cloud is likely to be relegated to a niche, just like every other provider whose capabilities stop at the level of offering infrastructure resources.


From: Amazon.com Announces Third Quarter Sales up 24% to $17.09 Billion [press release, Oct 24, 2013]

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced more than 15 new features and enhancements to its fully managed relational and NoSQL database services. Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) now supports Oracle Statspack performance diagnostics and has expanded MySQL support, including capabilities for zero downtime data migration. Enhancements to Amazon DynamoDB include new cross-region support, a local test tool, and location-based query capabilities.
  • AWS continued to bolster its management services, making it easier to provision and manage more AWS resources with AWS CloudFormation and AWS OpsWorks, which both added support for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). AWS also enhanced the AWS Console mobile app and introduced a new Command Line Interface.
  • AWS continued to gain momentum in the public sector and now has more than 2,400 education institutions and 600 government agencies as customers, including recent new projects with customers such as the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.

THE JULY PRICE CUT

From Amazon.com Announces Second Quarter Sales up 22% to $15.70 Billion [press release, July 25, 2013]

  • AWS announced it had lowered prices by up to 80% on Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, instances that run on single-tenant hardware dedicated to a single customer account. In addition, AWS lowered prices on Amazon RDS instances with On-Demand price reductions of up to 28% and Reserved Instance (RI) price reductions of up to 27%.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) became the first major cloud provider to achieve FedRAMP Compliance which recognizes the ability of AWS to meet extensive security requirements and compliance mandates for running sensitive US government applications and protecting data. FedRAMP certification simplifies and speeds the ability for government agencies to evaluate and adopt AWS for a wide range of applications and workloads.
  • AWS announced the launch of the AWS Certification Program, which recognizes IT professionals that possess the skills and technical knowledge necessary for building and maintaining applications and services on the AWS Cloud. AWS Certifications help organizations identify candidates and consultants who are proficient at architecting and developing for the cloud.
  • AWS further enhanced its security and identity management capabilities across several services – introducing resource-level permissions for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), adding identity federation to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), extending Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Server Side Encryption support to Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (EMR), and adding custom SSL certificate support for CloudFront. These enhancements give customers more granular security controls over their AWS deployments, applications and sensitive data.

Some directly related and general/major previous press releases from that overall list:

Leading edge Nokia phablets for both entertainment and productivity: Lumia 1320 targeting the masses at $339, and Lumia 1520 the imaging conscious business users and individuals at $749

This is my conclusion after carefully analyzing the announced products in all of their details. Only “imaging consciousness” needs a little explanation in the very beginning because otherwise the substantial $410 pricing difference would be hard to understand. To illustrate the rationale for that I copied here an image currently available at http://refocus.nokia.com/ which shows that you can make everything in focus. By going to that address you will also be able to experience with the image there (likely a different one) and change the focus as you like. And this is only one aspect of all the benefits for “imaging conscious” business users and individuals willing to pay that $410 extra.

image

Another aspect is the Screen Test: Nokia Lumia 1520 versus Galaxy Note 3 [TheHandheldBlog YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] which is showing particularly well the Lumia 1520 advantage over the phablet market leader Samsung Galaxy Note 3:

Nokia’s so proud of the display that they put in the Lumia 1520 that they had setup a demo zone that simulated the lighting available during various times of the day e.g. in sunlight, indoors etc and the idea was to see how the screen kept up with the changing lighting. Both devices were set to automatic maximum brightness, and this is how they stood up. Hint: The Nokia killed it.

The Nokia World Nokia Lumia 1520 daylight visibility demo [WMPowerUser YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] is showing the advantage against the smartphone market leaders:

The Nokia Lumia 1520 features a very bright screen with much reduced glare, which allows much improved visibility in daylight conditions, as demoed in a special light box at Nokia World against and iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4. All devices are at maximum brightness.

To understand how “a very bright screen with much reduced glare” is uniquely achieved by Nokia, please read The leading ClearBlack display technology from Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 18, 2011 – May 8, 2012] post of mine.

imageAs far as the opportunities for business customer are concerned Chris Weber, EVP Sales & Marketing at Nokia said that the opportunity is huge even in 2013:
imageIn addition Nokia and Microsoft are uniquely positioned in that space because Nokia smartphones (Windows phones) are rated highest by business users etc. Watch his presentation in Replay Nokia World Abu Dhabi (the second webcast:) Breakout Sessions [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013], from [1:49:00].

Now consider what one gets for a much lesser amount ($339) with Nokia Lumia 1320 unveiled at Nokia World Abu Dhabi [Maurizio Pesce YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013]:

[Note that the Lumia 1320 also has IPS LCD with ClearBlack display technology, just the resolution is lower: 1280 x 720 (HD) vs 1920 x 1080 (full HD) of the Lumia 1520.]

While the latest innovations in functionality are shown quite well in the above video the most important quote from Nokia (because of its implication) is:

Similar to the Lumia 1520 – and building on the affordability of the Lumia 520 – the new Nokia Lumia 1320 also features a 6-inch screen and a wealth of features at a lower price.

And here is the Nokia Lumia 1520 first hands-on [Nokia YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] video for a kind of comparison (from Nokia itself):

Be the first to see the stunning new Nokia Lumia 1520, which packs a full HD 6-inch display and a 20 megapixel PureView camera into a sleek polycarbonate shell. It’s also brings an exciting third row of tiles to boost your creativity and productivity, as well as the brand new Nokia Camera app. Find out more: http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/10/22/standing-tall-the-nokia-lumia-1520-and-lumia-1320/

Technical similarities/differences between the two Nokia phablets could be seen in the below table of mine, which was compiled from Lumia 1320 & 1520 spec data + dev specs.image
Regarding the similarity between the two devices the most important thing is the functionality which is 90% the same. The Lumia 1520 is just different with:
– Multimicrophone uplink noise cancellation
– HERE Drive+
– Secure NFC (although in developer specs it is indicated for Lumia 1320 as well)
– Public transportation routing guidance
– HERE Transit
– Panorama (That is get the bigger picture with Nokia’s easy-to-use Panorama app. Simply take your pictures and the app automatically stitches them into a picture-perfect view. Once you’re done, share your panorama directly to Twitter and Facebook.)
– Additional light sensitivities: ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 4000
+ Nokia Refocus (as an application on top of that) illustrated in the very beginning of this post already

The Nokia World Abu Dhabi 2013 [Red Robot – Intelligent Distribution YouTube channel,
Oct 23, 2013] had certainly much wider set of new announcements:
At Nokia World: Abu Dhabi, Nokia unveiled six new devices alongside new accessories, Nokia experiences and third-party developer applications.

In order to understand the substantially higher price positioning for the Lumia 1520 please note that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE 32GB unlocked offering (which has nothing like the imaging functionality of Lumia 1520) has a U.S. retail price of $735.00-789.95+ on Amazon (not to speak of the 32GB Apple iPhone 5s with its $850-950+ price as a minimum). Here is a very recent, brief comparison:
Nokia Lumia 1520 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 [Recombu YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013]

The underdog vs the prized champion – the Nokia Lumia 1520 vs the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Two big phones but which has the biggest impact when places side by side?
More Note 3 related information could be found in The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post of mine.

Now The Nokia Lumia 1520 and the Arabian Peninsula [Nokia Conversations, Oct 23, 2013] post is describing quite clearly the ultimate advantage of Lumia 1520 as:

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is very much the bigger brother of the Lumia 1020, sporting a 6-inch display.
Although it only packs 20 megapixels against the 1020′s 41 megapixels, the results are no less stunning. “The image quality is fantastic” is [National Geographic photographer Stephen] Alvarez’s instant feedback, “every bit of the Lumia 1020′s”. The larger screen makes a difference, too.
“It’s easier to frame because you can see the image much larger,” Alvarez says of the device’s size, “but it isn’t so large that it’s cumbersome”. When doing really careful compositions, Stephen believes the Lumia 1520 makes short work of such tasks, citing the screen as being “remarkable”.
For a professional photographer, the ability to extract DNG (Digital Negative) image files from a device is crucial. Whether it’s to work further on the image in post-production, or whether to prove you have an un-tainted image (if you’re a journalist or gathering evidence, for example). With the Lumia 1520 comes support for DNG files, much to Stephen’s delight when he found out.
Amateur and professional photographers alike benefit from the fact there is zero compression in the file. Pulling more detail out of a shadow is just one example Alvarez offers before pointing out that the file size is comparable to what he sees from his DSLR.

Some additional advantages from Standing tall: The Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013] are described as:

Lumia 1520 features Nokia Rich Recording with four microphones, providing directional stereo recording capability to capture distortion free audio from the preferred direction for clear, accurate sound. (We will have more information to share with you about the Lumia 1520’s audio capabilities soon.)
The Lumia 1520 is a genuine workhorse, too. It comes with Microsoft Office built in, so you can have the flexibility to work when you need to; and it includes a massive battery with integrated wireless charging (Qi compatible). This powerful combination means you can manage to easily log a whole day of work and enjoy entertainment like movies without worrying about finding a place to charge up.
The ability to show a third column on the Start screen isn’t just about scaling the experience of Windows Phone 8. It really is about getting to you favorite apps faster with less scrolling. For instance, the email app now shows one additional row of content in the Live tile, right on the Start screen.
Do you do a lot of video conferencing? The front-facing camera on the Lumia 1520 offers 1.2 HD 720p wide angle video so you’ll always look your best.
And, with the new Papyrus app coming to Windows Phone for the first time, you can easily take handwritten notes on your Nokia Lumia 1520.

The Lumia 1520 features all the latest in display technology to make the beautiful six inch screen stand out, even in the brightest sunlight. With ClearBlack display technology, High Brightness Mode and assertive display technology by Apical, the screen offers a viewing experience to enjoy no matter what the light conditions are. And when winter rolls in, wearing gloves won’t prevent you from using the screen just as easily as before thanks to the super sensitive touch screen with Gorilla Glass 2.

No wonder that in this Nokia Lumia 1520 Hands on and tour of Nokia’s latest phablet [funviz YouTube channel, Oct 24, 2013] 3d party video the display is touted as the big selling point of the device: “[0:19] That display is probably the best display I’ve ever seen on any digital device. [0:23]”

he Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s high-end ‘phablet’ Windows Phone released in early November, 2013. Featuring a 6-inch 1080 display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core CPU, the Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s first Update 3 device featuring the Lumia ‘Black’ firmware, a rolling cover and a 20 MP camera with a f/2.0 lens. The device also has 32 GB of internal storage and it can take up to 64 GB of external memory (microSD). The Lumia 1520 has a massive 3400 mAh battery life for an estimated 25 hours talk time and 2GB of RAM, making it one of the more powerful Lumias to date. Compared to other Lumias, the 1520 also has 4 High-amplitude audio capture (HAAC) microphones on board to give it excellent audio fidelity on calls and while recording videos. The Lumia 1520 will also feature a new Refocus Lens and StoryTeller apps from Nokia and it comes in four colors, including yellow, white, black and glossy red.

And don’t forget that there is the quite rich common Lumia 1320/1520 functionality (except Nokia Refocus ?for time being?) which is touted by Nokia in the following way:

Continuing to redefine smartphone innovation, Nokia introduces its first ever large screen Lumia smartphones, the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320. With a six inch screen and the latest software advancements for Windows Phone, the Lu.mia 1320 and Lumia 1520 are perfectly suited for entertainment and productivity. A new third column of tiles on the home screen means people can see and do more on a larger screen. Bringing larger displays to the award-winning Lumia design, the new format is coupled with some of the most advanced camera innovations so people can capture and share the world around them. … With Microsoft Office built in, documents can be edited and shared easily for maximum productivity.
It includes Nokia Music and HERE Maps for great music and location experiences, and welcomes both Nokia Camera and Nokia Storyteller apps, available in the Windows Phone Store. With the latest apps, the best from Nokia, and the best from Microsoft supported by LTE connections you can make the most out of the bright large screen on the Lumia 1320. Sit back and relax while you play the latest Xbox games, read web content, or watch movies on the six inch screen. A wealth of content can be stored using the free 7GB of SkyDrive storage or with the addition of a micro SD card adding up to 64GB more space.
HERE experiences get an update too! Now with LiveSight in HERE Drive and HERE Drive+ you can easily locate your parked car, while in HERE Transit it will be easier to find nearby transit stations. … The third-party apps line-up for Lumia is significantly boosted with the arrival of … the Instagram photo editing and sharing network, Papyrus and InNote, which both offer handwritten note-taking solutions, and the Vine short-form video service from Twitter – available soon!
imageFrom: Papyrus – Use your finger or a stylus to take notes on your Lumia. The vector graphics engine keeps your notes beautiful at any zoom level.
Windows Phone Store is stocked with a full range of certified applications and games, with hundreds more titles added every day. Starting today, Windows Phone owners can download a number of new applications including: CamScanner, Goal Live Scores, InNote, phriz.be, Rail Rush, SophieLensHD and an updated TuneIn Radio application with radio stations live on the Start screen.
Over the coming weeks, Windows Phone owners can experience many more new applications including: ESPN F1, EA SPORTS(TM) FIFA 14, Instagram, My Talking Tom, Papyrus, Temple Run 2, Vine, Vyclone Pro and Xbox Video among others**.
The screen real estate afforded by the larger full HD display screens on the Nokia Lumia 1520 (6″) … has already inspired developers to create unique experiences for consumers. … Flipboard, a personal magazine, allows people to read and collect all the news they care about, curating their favorite stories into their own magazines. With Live Tiles … people can digest news faster and easier than ever before. Flipboard will be available … for Lumia smartphones in the coming months.
During Nokia World 2013, Flipboard CTO Eric Feng gave us a rundown of some of the new features that are coming to the Windows version of the popular social-networking and magazine app.
More information:
Replay Nokia World Abu Dhabi – (the 2nd embedded webcast:) Breakout Sessions [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013]
Eric Feng (CTO, Flipboard): [42:15] Quick overview of Flipboard:
— World’s first personal personal magazine (curated, personalized and displayed)
— ~8000 content partnerships (The New York Times, BBC, AlJazeera, ESPN etc.)
— Partnering with world’s 14 leading social networks
— A community of a couple of million users who are curating magazines every day
— About 4 million magazines curated already on every single day
— ~100 million items can be consumed on Flipboard every single day
— presented in a beautiful magazine layout
image
~90 million people and growing
~200 countries worldwide
image
[47:10]
Flipboard’s Mike McCue | Disrupt NYC 2013 [TechCrunch YouTube channel, April 29, 2019]
Flipboard is a digital social magazine that aggregates web links from your social circle, i.e. Twitter and Facebook, and displays the content in magazine form on an iPad. Here, watch Co-Founder and CEO Mike McCue onstage at Disrupt NY 2013 talk about Flipboard.
Flipboard and Pandora, gamechangers in mobile [This Week In Startups YouTube channel, Oct 15, 2013]
Flipboard was one of the first iPad apps that made clear exactly how powerful the experience could be. Blending the best of RSS content with beautiful print-style layout, the app has only gotten better. Now Flipboard’s 85m users can create their own magazines tailored to specific interests. When cofounder and CEO Mike McCue sat down with Jason at LAUNCH Mobile, they dug into how the app has become publisher and platform, changing how we think about and interact with content. Then, a conversation with Tom Conrad, longtime CTO of Pandora. The publicly-traded company has long held sway in the mobile space, transforming how we think about radio by identifying exactly what makes a genre or mood, through its music genome project. Then, putting that tailored-just-for-you radio station into the pockets of its 175m users. Don’t miss these great conversations that point to the future of media in the mobile space.
Today, let’s take a look at our homegrown apps right from the Nokia app factory.
Nokia Camera App demo on Lumia 1520. Nokia Camera is available now to download for all Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones, and coming to the rest of the WP8 Lumia range along with the Lumia Black update early next year. Nokia Camera also has raw file support (DNG format) on Nokia Lumia 1520, and this will be coming to the Lumia 1020 when the Lumia Black update rolls out.
Nokia Camera
Two glorious apps combined into one. Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Camera have been merged to simplify your photo-taking experience, and ensure you get the perfect shot every time.
The Nokia Camera integrates easy automatic mode, but you can also take control of your camera and become a pro by manually altering focus settings, shutter speed, and ISO as well as using Smart Burst, Remove Moving Objects or create an Action Shot features.
Nokia has a new Refocus app which put Lytro cameras to shame, allowing users to focus on any element of the picture after the fact
Nokia Refocus
Rather than worry about getting the focus perfect first time, Nokia Refocus takes a photo and lets you choose the focus point after you’ve taken the shot.
[AS AN ALTERNATIVE—to the above one—PRESENTATION] Nokia Refocus lets you readjust the focus after taking the photos. It will be available ON THE LUMIA 1520 AND ALL OTHER PUREVIEW LUMIA DEVICES in mid-november.
This means you can create different expressions of a single photo, changing the same scene in a number of ways by refocusing on the area you want to highlight most. You can also choose to make everything in focus, or magically add colour pop to the focused area for more impact.
[You can experience the effect of Nokia Refocus on an image captured with Nokia Refocus placed at http://refocus.nokia.com/]
Nokia Storyteller
One of the (many) announcements from Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi is Nokia’s new Storyteller app, coming first with the Lumia 1520. We go hands on for a video tour of the new app.
A single app that combines your photographs and videos with HERE location information to create a picture journey. When you take a photo or record a video, you can see precisely where it was taken on a familiar HERE map.
See clusters of photos scattered across the globe and zoom in to an exact location. Plus, zoom out of any photo within the gallery to see where it was shot. You will also notice that your photos truly come live, the videos are played in-line, the action shots are beautifully animated, and the refocus effect is subtly played back to give the immersive feeling when browsing between the images.
Nokia Beamer wins our award for the zaniest thing we’ve seen at Nokia World. The app allows you to share your display, live, to another Windows Phone (or really any device). Just watch the video and expect the app in the coming weeks.
Nokia Beamer
Nokia Beamer is the ideal way to share what’s on your Lumia display to any internet-enabled screen.
PowerPoint presentations, photos, videos, absolutely anything that you see on your Lumia can be shared, remotely, to anywhere in the world.
It’s like magic, there’s no hassle with connections, and it just works. You beam the screen to a nearby HTML enabled screen, or SMS it to a friend on the other side of the globe. You can even tweet it and let your followers see your screen in real time!

It is quite remarkable that how much the “building on the affordability of the Lumia 520” claim (quoted in the beginning) is true for Lumia 1320. When comparing the two in devspecs (functionality comparison I will omit here) there are quite significant improvements (over Lumia 520) on one hand, such as:
– 720 x 1280 pixels, 6 inches
– Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
– ClearBlack, IPS LCD
– High brightness mode
– Lumia Color Profile
– LTE with upto 100 Mbps uplink / 50 Mbps downlink speeds
– 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
– 1 GB RAM, possibility to have 64 GB Micro SD cards
– HERE Maps and HERE Drive
– Magnetometer sensor (compass)
– Auto and Manual Exposure, Face recognition, LED Flash and Video Light for the main camera
– Full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording resolution
– Video call, Video sharing and Video stabilizaion
– Secondary camera
– Dolby headphone
– Bluetooth 4.0
– Maximum standby time: 28 day
– Maximum talk time (2G): 25 h
– Maximum talk time (3G): 21 h
– Maximum music playback time: 98 h
– Maximum video playback time: 9 h
– Maximum Wi-Fi browsing time: 11.5 h

On the other hand—however—the list price of the Lumia 1320 is just $339 vs. the initial list price of the Lumia 520 around $200 when it was released to the market by end March this year. Considering that since then the street price of Lumia 520 went down to as low as $125 (corresponding to Rs.7,714 in India) we may expect that in half year after its Q1 2014 planned release (i.e. in Q3 2014) the street price of Lumia 1320 could become as low as $212 too (iff the sales go as well as for Lumia 520).

In that case the higher by $410 price of Lumia 1520 ($749) will be even less lucrative for an average phablet buyer as it is now (IMHO already not lucrative at all). Look at the list functionality copied here from Lumia 1320 and 1520 spec data, and you will easily understand that (functionality denoted in bold is for Lumia 1520 only):

Software and applications
Productivity features

  • Personal information management features: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Phonebook, Alarm clock, Reminders, To-do list, Social networks in Phonebook, OneNote, Wallet, Family Room, Kid’s Corner
  • Business apps: Adobe acrobat reader free download, Lync (Corporate IM) free download, SkyDrive storage for documents and notes, Company Hub for enterprise applications, Office apps: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote
  • Document formats supported: Excel, PDF, Word, OneNote, Powerpoint
  • Sync type: Exchange ActiveSync, Windows companion app, 1320: Mac companion app, Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac
  • Sync content: Calendar, Video, Pictures, Music, Contacts

Other Applications

  • Game features: DirectX 11, Touch UI, XBox-Live Hub

Software platform & User Interface

  • SW Platform: Windows Phone
  • Software release: Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black

Communications
Email and Messaging5

  • Email clients: Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Mobile, Gmail, Office 365, Nokia Mail, Windows Live / Hotmail / Outlook.com, MS Exchange Active Sync
  • Email protocols: SMTP, IMAP4, POP3
  • Email features: Viewing and editing of email attachments, Always up to date, Multiple simultaneous email accounts, Text-to-speech message reader, Email attachments, Conversational view on email, Linking multiple inboxes to one, Inbox filtering, HTML viewer
  • Supported instant messaging services: Google Talk, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, WhatsApp, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype IM, Facebook
  • Messaging features: Integrated text messaging and chat, Instant messaging, Concatenated SMS for long messages, Multiple SMS deletion, List of recently used numbers, Audio messaging, Text-to-speech message reader, Text messaging, Number screening for messaging, Unified MMS/SMS editor, Automatic resizing of images for MMS, Distribution lists for messaging, Multimedia messaging, Conversational chat style SMS, Unified inbox for SMS and MMS

Call management

  • Call management features: Voice commands, Call waiting, Voice mail, Integrated hands-free speakers, Call forwarding, Call logs: dialled, received and missed, Call history, Voice dial, Conference call, Skype voice call
  • Video call features: Skype video call
  • Supported amount of phonebooks: One integrated phonebook
  • Supports amount of contacts: Unlimited
  • Ringtones: Downloadable ringtones, MP3 ringtones
  • Noise cancellation: Yes –> Multimicrophone uplink noise cancellation
  • Speech codecs: AMR-WB, GSM FR, AMR-NB, GSM HR, EFR, GSM EFR

Device security
Security

  • Enterprise security features: Remote security policy enforcement
  • General Security features: Remote device locking via Internet, Secure NFC, Track and Protect via internet, Firmware update, Remote wipe of user data via Internet, Device lock, Device passcode, PIN code, Firmware and OS integrity check, Secure device start-up, Online back-up and restore, Application sandboxing and integrity check
  • Advance security features: Lost device tracking, Browser integrated anti-phishing
  • Data encryption: User data encryption for device

Sharing and Internet
Browsing and Internet

  • Internet browser capabilities: Internet Explorer 10
  • Social apps: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, LINE, WeChat
  • Photo sharing: Share over Bluetooth, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Send as email attachment, SkyDrive, Nokia Beamer
  • Video sharing: YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Video sharing to social network and internet, Facebook, SkyDrive, Joyn video call sharing
  • Location sharing: WP location sharing, Foursquare
  • Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • Nokia Beamer: Nokia Beamer lets you share your screen with family, colleagues and friends by simply pointing your Nokia Lumia at any screen displaying the web address http://beam.nokia.com. Or share your live Lumia screen by sending a link by email, sms or social networks.

Navigation
GPS and navigation6

  • Location and navigation apps: HERE Maps, HERE Drive –> HERE Drive+
  • Navigation features: (Pin places to Start screen, Reveal the surrounding places, Reviews, info and photos for places, Routing options, Save favourite destinations, Call, share and get directions to places,) –> Public transportation routing guidance, Free maps, (Live traffic information,) Automatic day/night view switching, (Venue maps – shopping and transport centers,) Offline maps, (Online and offline favourites), Speed limit warnings, LiveSight, Download the latest maps with Wi-Fi, Free turn-by-turn walk navigation, (Save and sync favs with HERE.com,) Free global voice guided turn-by-turn drive navigation
  • Location technologies: Magnetometer, A-GPS, Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning, A-GLONASS

Location and navigation apps

  • HERE Maps: Discover the best places in any neighbourhood with HERE Maps. New LiveSight technology reveals interesting places in your display. Explore malls, stations and more with venue maps. Access your favourite places on any HERE app and on here.com.
  • HERE Drive –> HERE Drive+: Navigate safely with (free regional voice-guided directions) –> global free turn-by-turn navigation and true offline support. (HERE Drive) –> HERE Drive+ features audible speed limit warnings, dedicated dashboard and commute assistance. Save and access favourite places on any HERE app and on here.com.
  • HERE Transit: Get around by bus, train and subway all in one easy-to-use app. Compare route options, arrival and departure times and walking distances in over 700 cities and 50 countries. Over-the-air updates ensure you always have the latest routes and schedules.

Photography
Photography apps

  • Nokia Camera7: Nokia Camera brings together the features from Nokia Pro Cam and Nokia Smart Cam modes into one application. It gives you the whole exclusive Nokia camera experience with fast access to editing and sharing.
  • Creative Studio: Get more out of your pictures with this quick and easy photo editor. Creative Studio’s editing tools let you quickly adjust color balance, remove red eye and apply filters. Then, share your pictures directly on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Cinemagraph: A magical blend of photo and movie-like animation, creating pictures that seem almost alive. Helpful on-screen assistance lets you select the animated area of your picture and easily create and edit a cinemagraph. You can share your cinemagraph with friends via social media, email and messaging.
  • Panorama: Get the bigger picture with Nokia’s easy-to-use Panorama app. Simply take your pictures and the app automatically stitches them into a picture-perfect view. Once you’re done, share your panorama directly to Twitter and Facebook.
  • Nokia Storyteller: Nokia Storyteller organizes your photos into stories on an interactive HERE map by time and place. Cinemagraphs and smart photos play automatically. See points of interest around the photos taken and pull up contact info, call or email directly from Storyteller, enabling you to authentically re-experience your entire journey when the time comes.

Image capturing

  • Capture modes: Video, Still
  • Scene modes: Automatic, Sports, Night
  • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
  • Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 4000
  • Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Month, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from social networks, Nokia Storyteller

Music and Audio
Music apps

  • Nokia Music: Unlimited streaming of music for free with Nokia Music. Discover great new music wherever you go. Create your own artist inspired mix or enjoy the mixes from our music experts and celebrity friends. You can listen to your favourite mixes offline and discover live music around you with Nokia Music Gig Finder.

Accessibility
Accessibility features

  • Hearing: Vibrating alerts, TTY support, Video call, BT neckloop compatible
  • Vision: Screen reader compatible, Voice recognition, Vibrating alerts, Zoom, Voice commands, Font magnification, High contrast mode, Customizable home screen
  • Physical skills: Speakerphone, Voice recognition, Voice commands, Customizable home screen

6Downloading of maps over-the-air may involve transferring large amounts of data. Your service provider may charge for the data transmission. The availability of products, services and features may vary by region. Please check with your local Nokia dealer for further details and availability of language options. These specifications are subject to change without notice.

7Nokia Camera comes as an update to Nokia Pro Camera. Available now from Store.

Why Intel is pressed to go as far down as to $99 with its Android tablet prices (but not with Windows 8.1)?

There is a typical misunderstanding from reports like Intel says get ready for $99 tablets, $299 Haswell notebooks, $349 2-in-1 hybrids [ZDNet, Oct 16, 2013] that those rock bottom prices ($99+) will apply to Windows 8.1 tablets as well. This is very far from the truth both from possibilities and business rationale point of view for the company. 

From: Intel’s CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Oct 15, 2013]

During the holiday selling season, you will see Atom SoCs and tablets as low as $99, and in 2-in-1 systems as low as $349.

David Wong – Wells Fargo

Thanks very much. Bay Trail. If I’m not mistaken there are Android tablets using Clover Trail+ the currently available, when might we expect Android tablets using Bay Trail in the market?

Brian Krzanich – Chief Executive Officer, Director

You are absolutely right there, several tablets out there currently today with Clover Trail+ using Android. What I told you was, there are about 50 designs on Bay Trail, about 20 of those are 2-in-1s, probably 25, 20 of them are Bay Trail tablets on Android, there is going to be about eight systems on shelf, eight to 10 systems on shelf, we believe, by the say Black Friday timeframe. Most of those will be Android tablets.

Intel plans cheap Bay Trail CPUs for 2Q14 [DIGITIMES, Oct 14, 2013]

Intel is planning to release entry-level Bay Trail-based processors for the Android platform in the second quarter of 2014, according to sources from tablet players.

The sources expect the CPUs to be priced between US$15-20, about US$12 lower than the current models.

Although Intel has already offered subsidies for its Bay Trail-T processors including Atom Z3740 and Z3770 at US$32 and US$37 and another 10% off for bulk purchase, they are still less competitive in pricing compared to ARM-based quad-core processors.

With the new entry-level processors, the sources expect Intel to gain an equal footing against players such as Mediatek, Qualcomm and Nvidia.

AND WHY “This [$99+ Windows 8.1 tablet] is very far from the truth both from possibilities and business rationale point of view for the company”?

Here are the clues from Intel’s CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Oct 15, 2013]

During the third quarter, our revenue grew 5% sequentially and was flat versus the third quarter of 2012. Year-over-year PC CPU volumes declined slow and were offset by solid growth in the data center and enterprise. While consumer demand in emerging markets was sluggish, we started to see early signs of improvements in North America and Western Europe. I see our performance in this environment as evidence of an increasingly broad and diverse product portfolio. I would like to highlight a few of the most important results from the quarter.

Following the launch of Ivy Bridge EP and the Atom-based Avoton SoCs, the data center group, delivered all-time record revenue. DCG saw strength across its lines of business in geographies. Cloud revenue was up 40% year-over-year. Storage was up 20% and high performance computing was up 27%. Even traditional enterprise servers were up a bit over the last year on the strength of our MP product line.
While the data center group’s results demonstrate some of Intel’s core capabilities, we saw strong performance beyond DCG. Our embedded business grew 21% year-over-year, reaching an all-time record for revenue driven by communications infrastructure, transportation, the internet [of] and retail. Embedded revenue is well on its way to a double-digit growth year.
Just a few weeks ago, we announced our newest product family, Quark, an ultra low power and low cost architecture. And while any significant revenue impact is some time away, the architect and the speed with which we are bringing it to market are evidence of the changes we are making to ensure we are in a better position to lead and define technology trends moving forward.
Finally, our NAND business grew 20% over last year. As enterprise and data center customers increasing use of high-performance SoCs have put this segment on a path to double-digit growth for the year.

(See also The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14-26, 2013] for how much the current Bay Trail is priced for the overall Windows market (not only tablets) where prices are much higher than on the Android market).

The current Android tablet offers from Intel based on Clover Trail +:

You will see that with current Clover Trail + Android tablets there is a clear performance disadvantage against the ongoing quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 Android tablets which are also priced much lower than the upcoming $149.99 and $179.99 Android tablets from Dell. From pricing point of view compare that even with that of Amazon’s move into overall leadership: Kindle Fire HDX with Snapdragon 800, “revolutionary on-device tech support” (Mayday), enterprise and productivity capable Fire OS 3.0 forked from Android 4.2.2 etc. PLUS a significantly enhanced, new Kindle Fire HD for a much lower, $139 price [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 27, 2013], not to speak of the Chinese whitebox tablets costing even less than the new Kindle Fire HD at around $100.

Android tablet user experience [ARMflix YouTube channel, Oct 10, 2013]
ARM Quad core Cortex-A9 @1.4GHz vs. Intel Dual core Clovertrail+ @1.6GHz

Performance comparison of two Android tablets (ARM-based vs. Intel-Based) with same size screens using a real application rather than a synthetic benchmark. A Top 10 Android 3D Game (same version) is launched on both tablets and shown in real-time. Performance differences are highlighted throughout.

So there are Dell Venue 7 and 8 Tablets [Dell YouTube channel, Oct 15, 2013] to capitalise on the well know and aceepted Dell brand name with higher prices:

Stay connected with Venue 7 and 8 tablets featuring fast Intel processors and easy to use Android OS.

for which Dell says on its Coming Soon: New Dell Venue Tablets [Oct 2, 2013] campaign page:

Dell Venue 7 & Venue 8: The tablets that draw a crowd.
Dell Android tablets combine the power of Intel® with compact connectivity, featuring a 7″ or 8″ HD screen with wide-angle viewing and both front and back cameras. Available in October.

High-def details:
Enjoy every detail in high resolution on a 7″ or 8″ HD display screen for sharing your favorite photos, playing games and more.

All-access apps:
Whether you’re looking to relax or be productive, the Android-based platform means you have access to thousands of Android apps.

High-performance processor:
Expect speed with 4th Gen Intel® Atom™ processors for maximum performance.

From Dell Introduces New Line of Tablets and Updated XPS Laptops: Create, Share and Access Content from Virtually Anywhere [press release, Oct 2, 2013]


The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 feature Intel Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) [Z2560/Z2780 Clover Trail+ – see below] processors

Availability and Pricing

The Dell Venue 7, Venue 8, … will be available from October 18 on www.dell.com in the United States and select countries around the world.

  • Venue 7: $149.99
  • Venue 8: $179.99

image
Links to click: Venue™ 7Venue™ 8Z2560Z2580 –  Clover Trail +

Obstacles for .NET on other platforms

Remove the platform restriction on Microsoft NuGet packages [Customer Feedback for Microsoft from Phil Haack , Sept 26, 2013]

In short, we’re customers of .NET, but we are building apps that also target multiple platforms. Likewise, we release a lot of open source libraries.

We cannot take a dependency on the recently released Immutable Collections for example.

For a more detailed description on why this is good for .NET and good for Microsoft, see: http://haacked.com/archive/2013/06/24/platform-limitations-harm-net.aspx

That is the reference to a very elaborative post Platform Limitations Harm .NET [haacked.com, June 24, 2013] by Phil Haack in resume of whom one can find:

Experience

Dec 11 – Present GitHub
Windows Badass

  • Making GitHub and Git better for Windows and .NET developers.
Bellevue, WA
Oct 07 – Dec 11 Microsoft
Senior Program Manager

  • Program manager for the ASP.NET MVC framework and other features of ASP.NET.
Redmond, WA

So when he mentions in his elaborative post the following things one can really understand what kind of corporate complacency (stupidity in fact) really exist in big corporations like Microsoft:

Here’s an excerpt from section 2. c. in the released HttpClient license, emphasis mine:

a. Distribution Restrictions. You may not

  • alter any copyright, trademark or patent notice in the Distributable Code;
  • use Microsoft’s trademarks in your programs’ names or in a way that suggests your programs come from or are endorsed by Microsoft;
  • distribute Distributable Code to run on a platform other than the Windows platform;

While developing Windows 8, Microsoft put a ton of energy and focus into a new HTML and JavaScript based development model for Windows 8 applications, at the cost of focus on .NET and C# in that time period.

The end result? From several sources I’ve heard that something like 85% of apps in the Windows app store are C# apps.

Now, I don’t think we’re going to see a bunch of iOS developers suddenly pick up C# in droves and start porting their apps to work on Windows. But there is the next generation to think of. If Windows 8 devices can get enough share to make it worthwhile, it may be easier to convince this next generation of developers to consider C# for their iOS development and port to Windows cheaply. Already, with Xamarin tools, using C# to target iOS is a worlds better environment than Objective-C. I believe iOS developers today tolerate Objective-C because it’s been so successful for them and it was the only game in town. As Xamarin tools get more notice, I don’t think the next generation will tolerate the clumsiness of the Objective-C tools.

Licenses for products are based on templates. Typically a product team’s lawyer will grab a template and then modify it. So with ASP.NET MVC 1 and 2, we removed the platform restriction in the EULA. But it looks like the legal team switched to a different license template in ASP.NET MVC 3 and we forgot to remove the restriction. That was never the intention. Shame on past Phil. Present Phil is disappointed.

Now came the news that Portable Class Library (PCL) now available on all platforms [.NET Framework Blog, Oct 14, 2013] in which Rich Lander, a Program Manager on the .NET Team essentially told the community that:

You can build .NET apps across a wide variety of platforms, and the Portable Class Library (PCL) helps you share your code and libraries across .NET platforms.  Specifically, the PCL provides a set of common reference assemblies that enable .NET libraries and binaries to be used on any .NET based runtime – from phones, to clients, to servers and clouds.

Prior to today’s release, there was a license restriction with the PCL reference assemblies which meant they could only be used on Windows. With today’s release we are announcing a new standalone release of the PCL reference assemblies with a license that allows it to be used on any platform – including non-Microsoft ones.  This enables developers even more flexibility and to do great things with .NET.

If you are using VS 2013 you can compile your apps using the portable reference assemblies that are automatically installed as part of it.  Today’s standalone release of the PCL provides a ZIP file that includes the same portable reference assemblies that are available in the latest Visual Studio 2013 RC – and which you can use on other platforms (or within other tools). The ZIP file is installed to: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft .NET Portable Library Reference Assemblies 4.6 RC.

after which there was the following discussion:

Erik Schierboom  14 Oct 2013 7:05 AM

Well this is great news! Delighted to see that we will now be able to run PCL libraries on all platforms.


Rich Lander [MSFT]
  14 Oct 2013 7:11 AM

@Erik — This release is for the reference assemblies that we all build PCLs on top of. We are not announcing a change in licensing for our actual PCL NuGet libraries today.


Miguel de Icaza [from Xamarin] 14 Oct 2013 7:11 AM

Erik,

Mono has had PCL support for *consuming/running* the result starting with 3.2.2 I believe.   This is about allowing developers to *build* the PCLs on non-Windows platforms.


Bart 14 Oct 2013 10:26 AM

Ok, so this is apparently not what I thought it was.

It cracks me up that you guys reference UserVoice at the end of this and as of yet have ignored the 4th most voted request on UserVoice (visualstudio.uservoice.com/…/4494577-remove-the-platform-restriction-on-microsoft-nuget).

@Rich, does “We are not announcing a change in licensing for our actual PCL NuGet libraries today.” imply that you will be announcing a change to the licensing of the NuGet libraries in the future?

So “the jury is still out” regarding the most important stuff originally meant. Here is a simplified list of the .NET NuGet Packages as of today:

Stable Packages (the NuGet equivalent of an RTM release)

AspNet.ScriptManager.jQuery assembly that will automatically register jQuery 2.0.3 with the ScriptManager as “jquery”. AspNet.ScriptManager.jQuery.UI.Combined assembly that will automatically register jQuery.UI.Combined 1.10.3 with the ScriptManager as “jquery.ui.combined”.
Entity Framework is Microsoft’s recommended data access technology for new applications. Microsoft.AspNet.FriendlyUrls Adds a mobile master page and a view switcher user control to enable switching between mobile and desktop views using ASP.NET Friendly URLs. Note: This package contains content for C# Web Application Projects (WAPs) only.
Microsoft.AspNet.FriendlyUrls.Core A library that enables automatic resolution of extensionless URLs to ASP.NET file-based handlers, e.g. ASPX pages. Microsoft.AspNet.Membership.OpenAuth A series of helpers to enable using DotNetOpenAuth in an ASP.NET application that utilizes the Membership system for user management.
Microsoft.AspNet.Mvc This package contains the runtime assemblies for ASP.NET MVC. ASP.NET MVC gives you a powerful, patterns-based way to build dynamic websites that enables a clean separation of concerns and that gives you full control over markup. Microsoft.AspNet.Providers ASP.NET Universal Providers extend SQL support in ASP.NET 4 to all editions of SQL Server 2005 and later and to SQL Azure.
Microsoft.AspNet.Providers.Core ASP.NET Universal Providers extend SQL support in ASP.NET 4 to all editions of SQL Server 2005 and later and to SQL Azure. Microsoft.AspNet.Providers.LocalDb ASP.NET Universal Providers extend SQL support in ASP.NET 4 to all editions of SQL Server 2005 and later and to SQL Azure.
Microsoft.AspNet.Providers.SqlCE ASP.NET Universal Providers extend SQL support in ASP.NET 4 to all editions of SQL Server 2005 and later and to SQL Azure. Microsoft.AspNet.Razor This package contains the runtime assemblies for ASP.NET Web Pages. ASP.NET Web Pages and the new Razor syntax provide a fast, terse, clean and lightweight way to combine server code with HTML to create dynamic web content.
Microsoft.AspNet.ScriptManager.MSAjax This package contains the Microsoft.ScriptManager.MSAjax assembly that will automatically register the Microsoft Ajax optimization bundle for Web Forms with ScriptManager. Microsoft.AspNet.ScriptManager.WebForms This package contains the Microsoft.ScriptManager.WebForms assembly that will automatically register the Microsoft Ajax optimization bundle for Web Forms with ScriptManager.
Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR Incredibly simple real-time web for .NET. Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Client .NET client for ASP.NET SignalR.
Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Core Core server components for ASP.NET SignalR. Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.JS JavaScript client for ASP.NET SignalR.
Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.ServiceBus Windows Azure Service Bus messaging backplane for scaling out of ASP.NET SignalR applications in a web-farm. Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.SqlServer SQL Server messaging backplane for scaling out of ASP.NET SignalR applications in a web-farm.
Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.Utils Command line utilities for ASP.NET SignalR. Microsoft.AspNet.Web.Optimization ASP.NET Optimization introduces a way to bundle and optimize CSS and JavaScript files.
Microsoft.AspNet.Web.Optimization.WebForms A Web Forms control for Microsoft.AspNet.Web.Optimization Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi This package contains everything you need to host ASP.NET Web API on IIS. ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices. ASP.NET Web API is an ideal platform for building RESTful applications on the .NET Framework.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Client This package adds support for formatting and content negotiation to System.Net.Http. It includes support for JSON, XML, and form URL encoded data. Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Core This package contains the core runtime assemblies for ASP.NET Web API. This package is used by hosts of the ASP.NET Web API runtime. To host a Web API in IIS use the Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.WebHost package. To host a Web API in your own process use the Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.SelfHost package.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.HelpPage The ASP.NET Web API Help Page automatically generates help page content for the web APIs on your site. Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.HelpPage.VB The ASP.NET Web API Help Page automatically generates help page content for the web APIs on your site.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.OData This package contains everything you need to create OData endpoints using ASP.NET Web API and to support OData query syntax for your web APIs. Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.SelfHost This package contains everything you need to host ASP.NET Web API within your own process (outside of IIS). ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices. ASP.NET Web API is an ideal platform for building RESTful applications on the .NET Framework.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Tracing Enables ASP.NET Web API tracing using System.Diagnostics. Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.WebHost This package contains everything you need to host ASP.NET Web API on IIS. ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices. ASP.NET Web API is an ideal platform for building RESTful applications on the .NET Framework.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebPages This package contains core runtime assemblies shared between ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web Pages. Microsoft.AspNet.WebPages.Data This package contains the runtime assemblies for ASP.NET Web Pages. ASP.NET Web Pages and the new Razor syntax provide a fast, terse, clean and lightweight way to combine server code with HTML to create dynamic web content.
Microsoft.AspNet.WebPages.WebData This package contains the runtime assemblies for ASP.NET Web Pages. ASP.NET Web Pages and the new Razor syntax provide a fast, terse, clean and lightweight way to combine server code with HTML to create dynamic web content.  
   
Microsoft.Bcl Adds support for types added in later versions of .NET when targeting previous versions. Microsoft.Bcl.Async Enables usage of the ‘async’ and ‘await’ keywords from projects targeting .NET Framework 4 (with KB2468871), Silverlight 4 and 5, and Windows Phone 7.5 and 8.
Microsoft.Bcl.Build Provides build infrastructure components for Microsoft packages. Microsoft.Bcl.Compression This package contains APIs for compressing and de-compressing streams using the ZIP and GZIP formats.
Microsoft.Bcl.Immutable Provides immutable collections that allow CPU and memory efficient mutation via new references. Microsoft.Composition Provides a lightweight and throughput-optimized composition container for MEF.
Microsoft.Data.Edm Classes to represent, construct, parse, serialize and validate entity data models. Targets .NET 4.0, Silverlight 4.0, or .NET Portable Lib with support for .NET 4.0, SL 4.0, Win Phone 7, and Win 8. Localized for CHS, CHT, DEU, ESN, FRA, ITA, JPN, KOR and RUS. Microsoft.Data.OData Classes to serialize, deserialize and validate OData payloads. Enables construction of OData producers and consumers. Targets .NET 4.0, Silverlight 4.0 or .NET Portable Lib with support for .NET 4.0, SL 4.0, Win Phone 7, and Win 8. Localized for CHS, CHT, DEU, ESN, FRA, ITA, JPN, KOR and RUS.
Microsoft.jQuery.Unobtrusive.Ajax jQuery plugin that lets you unobtrusively set up jQuery Ajax. Microsoft.jQuery.Unobtrusive.Validation jQuery plugin that unobtrusively sets up jQuery.Validation.
Microsoft.Net.Http This package provides a programming interface for modern HTTP/REST based applications. Microsoft.ScriptManager.jQuery This contents of this package has been moved to the AspNet.ScriptManager.jQuery package.
Microsoft.ScriptManager.jQuery.UI.Combined This contents of this package has been moved to the AspNet.ScriptManager.jQuery.UI.Combined package. Microsoft.ScriptManager.MSAjax This contents of this package has been moved to the Microsoft.AspNet.ScriptManager.MSAjax package.
Microsoft.ScriptManager.WebForms This contents of this package has been moved to the Microsoft.AspNet.ScriptManager.WebForms package. Microsoft.Tpl.Dataflow Task Parallel Library (TPL) Dataflow provides actor based building blocks for concurrent applications.
Microsoft.Web.Infrastructure This package contains the Microsoft.Web.Infrastructure assembly that lets you dynamically register HTTP modules at run time. microsoft-web-helpers This package contains web helpers to easily add functionality to your site such as Captcha validation, Twitter profile and search boxes, Gravatars, Video, Bing search, site analytics or themes. This package is not compatible with ASP.NET MVC.
System.Spatial Contains classes and methods that facilitate geography and geometry spatial operations. Targets .NET 4.0, Silverlight 4.0 or .NET Portable Lib with support for .NET 4.0, SL 4.0, Win Phone 7, and Win 8. Localized for CHS, CHT, DEU, ESN, FRA, ITA, JPN, KOR and RUS.

WebGrease Web Grease is a suite of tools for optimizing javascript, css files and images.

WindowsAzure.MobileServices Windows Azure Mobile Services SDK. WindowsAzure.MobileServices.WinJS Windows Azure Mobile Services SDK for WinJS.
WindowsAzure.ServiceBus This package works with Windows Azure – Service Bus. It adds Microsoft.ServiceBus.dll along with related configuration files to your project. Please note that this package requires .Net Framework 4 Full Profile.  

Pre-release Packages

… <see in the original>

Microsoft Supported 3rd Party Libraries

… <see in the original>

Intel’s new era of integrated computing: Look inside, looking ahead by Renee James, President

Intel App Show for Developers – IDF 2013 Day 1 Keynote Review [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, published on Oct 2, 2013]

Bob and Eric Mantion [Capt Geek] breakdown IDF13’s day one keynote and discuss why they believe this could be the best keynote in recent memory.
imageFrom: 2013 Intel Developer Forum Opening Keynote [transcript, Sept. 10, 2013] Brian Krzanich, CEO, and Renee James, President
Brian Krzanich: … to show just how far we’re looking ahead, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Intel’s newest president, Renee James. [The inserted images are from the presentation PDF]
Renee James: Good morning. For 45 years, Intel’s been inventing the future. For 45 years, we’ve been building the foundation of this industry, which is the silicon transistor, which you just saw. And for 45 years, we have been doing the things that everybody said can’t be done.

image

Now, we’re going to lead the industry into a new era of computing, an era of computing where everything computes. And we’ll transition from worrying about the form factor, or the look and feel of the device, to the real problems that computing has solved for us — compute that’s integrated into the fabric of our daily lives, and assists us in solving problems, like managing huge global cities, or finding cures through personalized healthcare.
We’ll be able to solve ordinary problems in extraordinary ways, and extraordinary problems will be solved in seemingly ordinary ways. It will be from the mundane to the miraculous, when integrated computing is in our future.
For the rest of this talk, what I’m going to do is give you a glimpse of some of the projects that are started today using integrated computing to solve really tough problems that are out there, and give you a glimpse of what the world’s going to look like, from our point of view. But first, I’d like to take you back to the beginning, where all good stories start.
image
Forty-five years ago, when Intel was founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Bob was the inventor of the silicon transition and integrated circuits, and he gave us a mandate, to go out and do something wonderful. Gordon gave us the compass for that mission with Moore’s Law, and since then Intel has been on the relentless pursuit of the essential underpinnings of this industry, improving the silicon transistor.
All of you know this, because some of you have written it. Moore’s Law has been declared dead at least once a decade since I’ve been at Intel, and as you know, you heard from Brian, we have 14 nanometers working, and we can see beyond that. I assume you, it’s alive and well, and we’re going to enable many, many things with it.
One of the things that Moore’s Law enables is the mobility that all of you are using to tweet and surf and text while I talk. We’re going to talk about that.
image
All right, today we work in the nano-world, and for those of you that aren’t big aficionados of semiconductor technology, I thought I’d take a second and just explain to you what it really is like. We build transistors atom by atom. Not long ago, we actually didn’t imagine how we would build a transistor that was smaller than 22 nanometers, and now you’ve seen 14 working in Brian’s talk this morning. So, if you don’t know how small that is, consider this. A nanometer is to a yardstick — let me get my marble — as this marble is to the planet earth, that’s how small.
image
And we build billions of those transistors on every chip, and hundreds of millions of those chips a year. At our scale, what we do is as complex as putting a man on the moon was in 1969, or putting a rover on Mars in the 21st century. What we do takes fundamental scientific breakthrough. Just to make a single new feature or a new product, something for example like HKMG [High-K Metal Gate] or a 3D transistor, both of which were research projects until Intel had fundamental breakthroughs that moved them into high production and scale.
image
These are a few of the additional technological breakthroughs that people said they were barriers. You can’t overcome them, it can’t be done. And the fact is, we have, and we’ve done it so consistently that we make it look easy. Every time you turn on your phone, your tablet, your PC, it just works. It seems easy. And behind that are tens of thousands of people fundamentally making scientific breakthrough so that works.
These are the breakthroughs that fuel the entire industry, and they make the foundation of the compute platform that you as developers do your work on. And compute platforms and devices follow Moore’s Law as well, not just silicon transistors. They continue to evolve in power and features and performance, and it’s all based on that underlying progress that we make.
image
So, I want to give you some examples — they’ll be super fun. So, here’s one. I know all of you are going to recognize this. This — right, the DynaTAC 8000, Motorola phone. In 1980, this phone was built using 1500-nanometer technology, which was state of the art, for 22 nanometers today, right? Some of you remember this was your first cellphone, and it was super cool — not so much today. Today it looks like a prop from a movie. Wasn’t very pocket friendly. Battery life measured in — anybody? — minutes, exactly.
Okay, here’s state of art today. This is an Intel-based phone, it’s a Lenovo K900. And this phone is state of the art. Twelve days in standby, 12 hours in talk time. So remember, until 1990, most phones were installed in cars permanently, because they needed a power source, right? And all you could do was make a voice call. Could you imagine buying a phone that could only do a voice call today? No one would buy that, right? Making a call is not the most extraordinary thing that this phone does.
image
So, let’s talk about what’s extraordinary about it. It has more performance than Pentium® 4. It runs at two gigahertz, that phone, which 12 years ago was the fastest desktop computer you could buy. This is the fundamental advancement of what Intel does. It’s what Moore’s Law brings you, and it’s what we’ve done to make that phone’s performance seem totally mundane.
image
We’ve driven three breakthroughs in computing. The first one was very much about task-based computing. And the next phase — the one that I think we’re living in today — I call is lifestyle computing. I’ll talk a little bit more about why. The next phase is very much about integrated computing.
I’ll start with task-based. Task-based computing really started with origins with the mainframe. It was very much about the scarce resource, and your important task, and what you had to get done. In fact, Intel’s first significant products were memory products for working in mainframes.
image
The PC changed that. The PC democratized computing and allowed everybody to be able to do their own tasks. It was still very task-based. But, of course, the PC evolved. It evolved into the era that we’re in now, lifestyle computing. Lifestyle is very much about you, your data, wherever you want it, whenever you want it, to do what you need to get done.
I want to just pause there and think about evolutions in computing. They don’t come that often. When they do, at the beginning, we think it’s the next big thing. Everything that came before it, dead. But that’s not true. Right? It’s an evolution. Evolutions in computing don’t end. What happens is they continue forward, like the mainframe does today, and they evolve, and they adapt. You should think about each new phase in computing as not an ending but the beginning of the next frontier of where we’re going to go.
image
So the next chapter. What happens in the next chapter of computing? We think that familiar objects that occur in your everyday life get new capabilities. So I’m going to give you a pretty mundane example — a car headlight. What has been the greatest breakthrough in the car headlight in the last decade? Not that much. But now we can add silicon-based sensors to them and make them smart so they can detect the rain. Okay. But I don’t need to detect the rain. I need to actually see individual raindrops so that they can shoot the headlight beams around them.
What it allows you to do is, of course, safer driving, better clarity at night. Ordinary or extraordinary? Mundane or miraculous? Safer driving. When silicon can be made small enough, smart enough to transform a headlight, it can transform every other area of our life.
Quark — which Brian just talked about — is our new family of products that are targeted at integrated computing. And I use that term to be inclusive of Internet of things, of wearables, of traditional embedded. All of these new areas, and some of the older areas in embedded technology, that are getting smarter, and they’re getting connected. All of them will be connected, all of it will compute.
image
So let me show you a few examples of what’s happening today. The city of Dublin, Ireland — not the one in the East Bay — has a program that’s called City Watch and City Sensing. And what they’re doing is they put sensors into the street drainage system, which sounds pretty boring. But it allows them to monitor the flood warnings in the city of Dublin. And it alerts the crews to what’s happening.
But more importantly, it sends out some other information through their cloud servers. It sends out signals to the traffic system to divert [unintelligible] away from the high water area, and it also sends out a city map so that if you live in Dublin, Ireland, you can figure out what’s going on. And the citizens get to participate because, of course, there’s an app for that. There’s a City Watch app. And so they submit real time update reports. And they basically use all of that data together in a crowd sourcing way to put real time status as to what’s going on in the city of Dublin.
Most people don’t even know what’s happened. They don’t know that there’s sensors in their street. They don’t know that the traffic lights are timing or diverting them in different places, getting multiple sources of data real time, being put into a cloud service and sent out back to their smartphones.
image
Why is this important? Because by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population are going to live in these megacities — Dublin not being one of the biggest ones, of course. And something as mundane as a clogged drain becomes more than an annoyance. It becomes a systemic problem that needs the ability to fix it quickly, to manage massive amounts of data, to alert a huge number of populations.
Imagine, as developers, for you, what this means. Whole new platforms that we haven’t even thought about as compute platforms. Brand new kinds of applications that can be built. And managing [mega]cities is just one of those examples.
The other really interesting example — and there are so many that we actually had to pare it down so we could get it into this time slot — is in healthcare. 70 percent of these people that I was talking about that are going to be living in big cities, they’re going to be aging — as am I. We have these questions that we keep asking. Are we going to have enough hospitals? Will we have enough clinics? Will we be able to train enough doctors with this aging population?
They need more than just hospitals and clinics and doctors. They need care that’s affordable and is easy to administer. And the era of integrated computing allows us to offer some new answers to those old questions.
image
What if we’ve moved healthcare out of a hospital? [14:31]
[This – for some unknown reason – was left out of the published keynote at http://intelstudios.edgesuite.net/idf/2013/sf/keynote/130910_rj/index.html 
So here is that video part starting at [0:32] of this report:
Amazing New Wearable Devices demonstrated by Intel President Renée James at IDF 2013 [Santa Barbara Arts TV YouTube Partner Global News YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2013] covering eveything, except the dimmed two paragraphs in the end. 

] Brian talked about wearables, and you’ve seen kind of a glimpse of what’s coming. It’s going to be beyond jewelry and eyeglasses into devices like this one.

image
Let me show you this. This is a wearable from Sotera Wireless, in trials right now. I will put it on. I’m going to see if my heart rate’s really high here. What it’s doing is it’s taking a constant reading and transmitting reports wirelessly to a service. This is actually a real time EKG, blood pressure, and other vitals, just from a wristband. It is pretty big and unattractive but what this replaces is an entire — on this table, on the end — bunch of equipment that you would have to have in a medical clinic, and it gives you real time results to the doctor.
Here is another example of innovation in medicine by MC10. Through the magic of what silicon and transistor technology, in the future, this patch — this prototype silicon-based patch – could take the wonderful innovation shown by Sotera and perhaps even do much of the same in an even smaller package. This will be directly on your skin. This patch will perform all of the same functions that that wearable does today. This is from a company called MC10, and it’s a prototype right now.
So why is this important? That little patch thing is like a Band-Aid. You just peel it off and stick it on. So why is it important?
Because it’s a constant data stream that your doctor can see, that if something’s wrong it’s immediate, it’s up-to-date and accurate. And it allows us to move into the most exciting phase of healthcare that I think is in this frontier for us, and that is moving into customized care.
image
[14:31] Care that’s actually tailored to the things that are going on in your body. There are a tremendous number of other devices and other applications — injectables, ingestibles — that we’ve looked at. I didn’t have time for all of them today. But all based on a fundamental, foundational building block of this industry, which is the silicon transistor.
Customized care, with your own genomic data, is the pinnacle of healthcare. And we first mapped the human genome using an Intel high performance computer, a Xeon-based computer. That’s pretty exciting for us. And as you can imagine – as we like to talk about Big Data – there is one Big Data challenge.

image

I’d like to share how big a Big Data problem. One person’s genomic map is a petabyte of data. That’s 1000 terabytes for one person, enough to fill 20 filing cabinets of information. And through the work that we do, the advancements in price performance, Moore’s Law, what we do every single day, we’ve transformed the ability to sequence. And what used to take years in 2000 is now down to two weeks, and we’re working to get that down to days and hours.

image

But more importantly, a single sequence used to be $70 million. It’s now less than $5,000 to do one sequence, and we are on route to make that $1,000, which means personalized genomic sequencing is within our reach. And it’s moving faster than the rate of Moore’s Law.
But let’s think about the benefits of that. Why are we excited? Why am I excited about that? Why do we get up every day and say, you know what, working with Intel, working at Intel, it’s pretty excited because we get to change the world? Why?
image
One-third of all women and half of all men are going to be diagnosed with cancer, right? Early detection and treatment is the way to solve cancer in most cases, and it’s customized to that individual, it makes the profoundest difference in its effectiveness. And that’s where we can make a difference.
image
Using high-performance computers, the Knight Center for Cancer Research at the Oregon Health Sciences University is working on analyzing human genomic profiles and creating searchable DNA, customized DNA maps. And what I’d like to do is share directly from them with you what they’re doing. [17:15]
[Video plays.]
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[19:21] Renee James: As doctor Drucker said, in this next era, we’re moving the biology problem to a computational problem in the treatment of cancer.
Computing doesn’t get any more personal than when it saves your life, so I’d like to share another story with you. And it’s the story about an Intel employee, in fact, one of our fellows, who’s here with us at IDF. He fought a 24-year battle with cancer. When he was a young man in college, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and he was given a few years to live. And he went through dozens and dozens of debilitating cancer therapies, and he was very brave, and he defined all his doctors’ odds with his longevity, but in the end, the cancer never went away, and his kidneys did eventually fail.
Recently, in his work that he’s been doing, he was visiting a genomic company, and they asked if they could sequence his tumor. And he said yes. He allowed them to do it. And what they did is they shared that data with all of his doctors. I’m not going to tell you the end of this story. I would like you to help me welcome Intel fellow Eric Fishman to tell his story.

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Eric Dishman: Thank you. Alive and well. I think I’ve had more predictions of my death than maybe even Moore’s Law.
Renee James: [Moore’s Law, alive and well, ladies and gentlemen.]
Eric Dishman: [Unintelligible.]
Renee James: Why don’t you tell everybody what happened the day that you showed up to your doctors and they had your tumor sequence?
Eric Dishman: It was just miraculous. At that point, I was so sick, I was going to the doctor twice a week. So it was my Thursday appointment, and I walk in, and they’ve got some of my East Coast physicians on Skype and some doctors on the phone, and all my doctors are working together, and I’m like, uh oh. And then they basically tell me that 90 percent of the drugs that they’ve put me on were never going to work because this genomic map had revealed this to them. And they basically admitted that they had mischaracterized and sort of misunderstood my cancer for over two decades.
Renee James: And then what happened?
Eric Dishman: Well, at that point, then they had the good news, which was we think we understand enough about your cancer, and it’s really Eric’s cancer, it’s unique, like the [physician] said, we’re going to put you on this drug for completely different organs and see how it goes. Four months later, I walk into my diagnostics, the technicians, you know, looking in shock at the scans, they do them again, and they’re like you’re cancer free, you can start the whole kidney transplant process at this point in time.
Renee James: That is miraculous.  And I want you to share with us how now your work at Intel is about scaling that out, so that other people can have this experience.
Eric Dishman: That is exactly true, and scale is the thing. That’s one of the reasons I work at Intel. [I mean], probably less than 50,000 people on the planet have had access to the kind of whole genome sequencing that I’ve had, and that’s generated about 2.5 petabytes of data. If we had every cancer patient today having a whole genome sequence like once every two weeks, which is what they would ultimately want to do, we’d generate 500 exabytes of data, and that’s just in the U.S.
So as we think about this globally, how do we scale? So we’ve got our product teams in there working on the fabric, the storage, the compute, I mean, the whole system — how’s it possibly going to be done? On the policy side, we’re working on how do we deal with the privacy and the security and the ethical issues of sort of scaling this?
On the R&D side, it’s everything like you showed, from biochips to Big Data and solving breakthroughs there. And then, finally, on the sort of human and sort of education side, we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to create a genome-ready workforce, train a million doctors on how to incorporate this data and move forward on getting biologists to understand programming and programmers to understand biology.
Renee James: Wow. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with the audience, and congratulations on being cancer free.
Eric Dishman: Thank you.
Renee James: Thank you. So 20 years of ineffective therapies at an expense and certainly the worry of what Eric went through, all of that changed by the benefits of personalized medicine and cost-effective integrated computing. Affordable genomics,  cities that reroute traffic and alert you to problems — a few years ago, a lot of what I talked about seemed like science fiction, and today, you can see it’s in our near future.
It’s the future before us when computing becomes truly integrated into our lives. For 45 years, Intel has done the things that everybody said couldn’t be done, and we’ve invented the future time and time again. I’d like to close by saying, in the words of Intel founder Bob Noyce, I’d like to invite all of you to not be encumbered by history and to go off and do something wonderful. Thank you.

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[End of presentation.]

IDF13 Day 1 Keynote Highlights & Takeaways [by CaptGeek [Eric Mantion] (Intel) on Intel® Developer Zone, Sept 10, 2013]

So, this is not my first rodeo (as the saying goes) – in fact, I’ve been going to IDF, on and off, for over 10 years, starting with my time when I was a semiconductor analyst. And, yes, I now work for Intel, so some may feel my opinion is biased, but, regardless, here it is anyway:
     This morning was the best IDF Keynote I’ve ever seen
What made this morning better? If I had to summarize it, I’d say it breaks down into 3 things: Intimacy, Lifestyle, and Leadership. Let me explain…
Intimacy
The very first thing I noticed this morning was, before Brian Krzanich said his first word was how he was dressed. Not only did he not wear a tie, but he didn’t even wear a jacket. The tone was very casual, but not in a lazy way. When he spoke, on stage, he went right out to he front of it, basically as far out to the audience as he could, as if he wanted to say “I am one of you – I’m a Geek & I’m proud of it.” Now, someone will say that a slight shift to a dress code & positioning on stage doesn’t much matter, but I would completely disagree because, before joining Intel in 2005, I knew well the biggest criticisms of Intel. In one word, it would have been Arrogance. In three words, it would have been “Intel Doesn’t Listen.” Now, I think that is changing, which I think is a great thing. But it wasn’t just the lack of a jacking and where he stood – the subtleties continued when our new President, Renée James did her keynote. Not once did she hold up a wafer. Not once did she say the word Gigahertz. But, what she did talk about was how Intel was making life better. During Brian’s portion, he talked about the   Intel Quark SoC, which is planned to be 1/5th the size of Intel Atom processors and 1/10th the power consumption. But when Renée spoke, she addressed the why wearables mattered. A great example was what I called a “Hospital-in-a-Patch” that didn’t look much different thank an anti-smoking patch, but would be able to monitor several of your medical vitals no matter where you were. While still in development, it shows the amazing promise of the not-too-distant-future. But she didn’t just pontificate, she brought out an Intel Fellow, Eric Dishman who told a very personal story. Arguably, it was the most personal story a person could tell because it was not only about his own 24-year battle with Cancer, but also how mapping his genome has led his doctors to a path that, thankfully, gave them the opportunity to tell him the magical words: “Eric, you’re cancer free.” I don’t know how you can get more personal, more intimate that that in a story. But it didn’t stop there. Then Renée was finished, Brian re-joined her on stage for the first-ever, “open Q&A with the CEO and the President of Intel.” This has never been done in the history of IDF, but I loved that it did. To me, it signaled change. To me, it was a message: “Yes, we know we make amazing silicon, but none of it means anything if we don’t have get hardware partners to put them into products and great software partners that make the magic happen. In short, Intel is nothing without our partners, so we want you to know that we care, deeply, about you. We want to have a closer, more intimate relationship with you and do amazing, wonderful things together…
Lifestyle
What is the difference between Ordinary and Extraordinary. Renée said it best: Intelligence. What happens when everything gets smarter? The simple answer is life gets better. Whether it is critical technology like the Hospital-in-a-Patch mentioned above or just convenient technology, as things get smarter, life gets better. For example, what if every parking meter was smarter? What if, before you leave your car, you put your smart phone next to the NFC sensor on the parking meter to register your phone. Then, if your meal is running long, it sends you a quick message of “your meter is running low, would you like to refill it?” and, with a simple press of the button, you can. How great would that be? When I was trying to explain the implications today at lunch, I used the table we were eating at as an example. What if, when you sat down, your table was your menu? Instead of the wait staff having to go back and forth, asking if you were ready to order, as soon as you were, you ordered. Also, the moment the kitchen runs out of “Catfish” then all the menus are automatically updated so that option would be grayed out. Also, as soon as you were ready to pay your bill, you could, right on the table, with the NFC on your phone. Or, if you wanted some help, you could just push a button like you do on an airplane & your server could come right out. But this doesn’t just help customers, it would help the restaurateurs as well. If you could save 10 minutes for every customer, a eating establish might be able to fit an entirely extra sitting in the course of a dining cycle. For the fixed costs of the chief & kitchen staff, that could be the difference between being profitable and closing your doors. But these types of “Lifestyle Computing” – or integrated computing, depending on how you looked at it – wasn’t just about tiny, minuscule computers, but also on the other end, the Big Data server rooms. For example, you want better healthcare, then your doctors need to get to know you better, and far better than you can do from just a form. They need to map your Genome, which, if your curious, is about a Petabyte of Data. For those not so familiar with these prefixes, that is around a thousand Terabytes or around a million Gigabytes. So, take that smart phone with 1GB of memory & put it in a pile with a million other phones – that’s the data required to map EVERY person’s genome. Multiple that by the 1/3 of all women and 1/2 of all men that will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and you get to the legal definition of a “butt-load of data.” But, never fear, the new i5 Xeon processors being launched this week are up to that task. So, your lifestyle computing – whether it is wearables devices or warehouse of servers, Intel has got you covered. And that brings us to our last category…
Leadership
It was subtle, but our new CEO – affectionately called “BK” in the halls of Intel – put all Intel employees on notice:
  • If it computers, we will lead
To me, that is vision. That is leadership. There was no squishy areas there, no caveats, no outs. It was simple, straight-forward, and to the point. If it computes, than Intel will do its best so serve that market segment as well as we can. Oh, and, if you missed it, in the future, everything will compute. Your grandpa’s favorite recliner won’t just recline, but rather it will watch him. It will monitor his vitals it will check to see if he’s been siting there past when he was supposed to take his medication and alert him if it needs to. And, heaven forbid, he should have a heart attack while sitting there in an empty house, he will be helped, immediately, even faster than if you were in the next room. In essence, in the future, no seasoned citizen will ever be sitting in an empty house again, but houses, furniture, kitchens, everything will be smarter and connected. Making your life, my life, and most importantly, the lives of the people we love, not only better, but, ideally, longer – as long as possible. Roughly a century ago, we were went through an important transformation – an electrical one. Instead of candles, we gained electric lights. Instead of washboards, we gained washing machines. Instead of a hand pump in your kitchen, we gained running water. Now we are on the cusp of the next transformation: Intelligence. Instead of an electric light, we’ll get a smart one – that turns itself off when not needed (like when no one is in the room) and turns itself on when needed. Instead of washing machines, we’ll get smart ones that analyses the soiling of your clothes and put in the right combination of detergent chemicals to optimize the cleaning. Instead of running water, we’ll gain smart faucets that automatically detects if the water coming out has a higher than allowable amount of harmful chemicals. It doesn’t matter what you pick – a bed, a pool, and gym, with greater intelligence comes a better life, just as electricity has been improving life for the last century or more. General Electrics’ age old tag line has been “We bring good things to life.” Perhaps Intel should adopt: “We bring better things to life,” because, as we lead in everything that computes, from wearables to phones to tablets to 2in1s and Ultrabooks to desktop PCs, and, of course, servers, life will get better, for everyone. And I, as one particularly proud Intel employee, doesn’t mind saying, that is a future that feels wonderful. Which, as it happens, was one of the pieces of closing advice from this morning’s keynote – a quote from one of our founders, Robert Noyce:

Q&A: Intel president Renee James on wearables [CITEworld, Sept 11, 2013]

After calculators, PCs and mobile phones, Intel is now jumping into wearable devices with an extremely low-power chip called Quark, which was big news at the company’s annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Leading the charge into the new market is Intel’s new leadership team consisting of CEO Brian Krzanich and President Renee James, who also articulated on plans to achieve fast growth in the mobile market while trying to reinvigorate PC sales.
It’s been an especially busy few months for James, who became Intel’s president on May 2 after running the company’s software unit as executive vice president and general manager of the software and services group. She is laying the groundwork for Quark chips to succeed in areas such as eye wear, personalized medicine and cloud services. In an interview with the IDG News Service, she talked about the wearable market, Quark and partner relationships.
IDGNS: Where do you see the wearable market going?
James: I think it’s way beyond wearables, I think it’s about integrated computing. I don’t think we know the boundaries of that. The silicon patch — the thought of just ripping something off like a band-aid, putting it on your arm, your doctor being able to know what your vitals are at that moment, that sounds like science fiction, but it’s real. That’s where we are at. That’s today’s outer boundary of where we are going with computing.
IDGNS: When do you see integrated computing becoming a practical market for Intel?
James: For Intel it is a practical market right now, we have different products and platforms that are being developed. That is why we introduced Quark. We believe in the things that you saw — they are not three, five or 10 years out, they are in the next 12 to 18 months.
IDGNS: Will you sell wearables directly to consumers? Intel is already planning to launch a TV service.
James: We tend to believe that our business model is best helping other people build things. It’s in these really highly integrated designs, you need to build one to know that everything is working systemically. We tend to build reference platforms, and we’re going to stick with that.

Insert of mine: nScreen Noise: Intel Media, UK kids love tablets 10/4/13 [Colin Dixon YouTube, Oct 3, 2013]

Lots of bad news for Intel Media’s OnCue virtual pay-TV operator service. Will it every launch? OfCom in UK says kids love tablets. Same in the US?
IDGNS: Quark is really low-power, but will it replace the Atom platform?
James: No. It’s the low Atom. You should think of Core, Atom, Quark. I love the Quark name, it’s so nerdy and funny. Quark is intended to look below Atom. It’s 10 times more power efficient, and it’s five times smaller. Atom is teeny, Quark is the smallest thing we’ve ever built.
IDGNS: Intel and low-power still raise a question mark today. How will Intel achieve low-power on Quark?
James: No, no, Intel and low power are not a question mark. We have lots of low-power products. It’s not a question at all. Maybe that was five years ago. If you look… at Haswell 22-nanometer, that product is a four-watt product with Core i5 performance and Core i5-level graphics in fanless [devices]. That’s the most [power-efficient] product ever built, anywhere.
IDGNS: Are you offering licensing or customizing Quark chips for third parties?
James: What we are offering is the ability to connect their intellectual property around ours. We also are offering fully designed products as well. It’s a broad range that we’re going to offer to customers in this category.
IDGNS: Intel is looking beyond Windows and moving to Android and Chrome for tablets and PCs. How is your relationship with Microsoft?
James: Our relationship with Microsoft is as good as ever. They are going to participate in IDF and you will hear from them about what’s going on with Windows 8.1. I think it’s just a matter of balance. Microsoft is not the only client operating system anymore. The same way for years and years Microsoft balanced between Intel and AMD, we’re in the same situation now. Our customers want choice, and we offer choice.
IDGNS: What’s the next big thing for Intel?
James: Integrated computing is the next big thing, I think it is the future of what we are going to do. It’s not going to be necessarily about this device or that device, it’s going to be about what problems we solve through computation. The final barriers, the things we don’t understand, and what does it mean to have a mesh network of connected devices with cloud services and how does it change what we think about. That’s the final frontier.
IDGNS: How important is your software background in leading a company that is traditionally focused on chips?
James: It’s actually more useful than people would imagine. It’s very relevant to the level of integrated platforms that we see people starting to build, even the way PCs are built now, servers, different workloads, what happens in the cloud. More so than ever on a forward-looking basis, the way computing is developing is going to be about the application, the workload, the right kind of compute for the right kind of task. The other thing is building system-on-chips and products today is very software oriented.
IDGNS: What is Intel’s direction in chip development?
James: The direction for us is to continue with “tick-tock” for the microarchitecture, but to consider how to do derivativesusing the system-on-chip methodology.

Intel President Renee James: Interview with the Wall Street Journal [Intel® Developer Zone, Aug 28, 2013] i.e. Intel’s own report 2 weeks later

Intel President Renee James recently sat down for a video interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler. In this interview, Ms. James discussed a wide range of issues around Intel’s computing strategy, anything from mobile to what’s coming up at IDF in September. You can watch the entire video below:
Intel’s New President Outlines Company’s Plans
[WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]
Renee James sits down for a Big Interview with Rolfe Winkler. Photo: Getty Images.
On mobile:
Ms. James has been with Intel for 26 years, and worked closely with former Intel CEO Andrew Grove. She recently was named Intel President, and directs company-wide strategy with CEO Brian Krzanich. She noted that Intel wants people to know that “we love computing”, and aim to serve every segment, not just PCs.
Intel’s new focus is on mobile, especially on the Atom power line for ultramobility. There will be increased efforts on Android, with an equalization of efforts between Windows and Android. Everyone currently in this market space has advantages, and Intel’s is design and integrated manufacturing, the combination of process technology, and communications. It’s the integration that counts; the combination of all these elements that makes Intel the winner in the market.
In many ways Intel has led the exploration into mobility. James noted that “sometimes you don’t always know about the next thing being a disruption….it wasn’t the form factor, it was how people using computing changed – touch, voice, app models, all of that shifted. That combination with the new form factor really changed the way we look at computing.”
On IDF:
Intel’s premier developer conference is coming up September 10-12. There will be a lot of new things to see and talk about there as far as mobility, where Intel believes computing is heading, and future predictions on computer/human interactions.
On Atom:
Atom is a smaller, less expensive chip. James noted that the Intel point of view with this chip was that you didn’t need all the features and performance you need in more expensive chips since Atom is primarliy for phones, but now as mobile devices are becoming more important and prevalent, it’s also taken on more importance. Intel is building parts of Atom that come all the way up to the Core family with greater compatibility. All new Atom products run Windows.
On transparent computing:
People want their apps to perform no matter what platform they might be using. This aligns with the “Internet of Things” mentality; consumers want lower cost devices, but are also looking for compatiability with the rest of the software ecosystem.
On the shift to a more mobile computing ecosystem:
Mr. Winkler posed an interesting question: “As PCs are increasingly replaced by mobile devices, how do you navigate that transition?” Ms. James answered that Intel does not believe that PCs will ever be replaced, rather, different form factors will continue to emerge with the performance of the core product line in mobile devices. There are also different modes of usability in form factors such as the tablet, PC, 2 in 1’s, etc. It’s not a “one for one” replacement; James noted that these form factors are refreshing the market.
On form factors:
James noted there is a segmentation of tablets – the ones on the higher price point side generally offer more performance, and the ones on the lower price point side offer less. Intel has created Atom products that scale all the way up and down this ladder, with Haswell core-based products as well. These form factors overlap with price points, and some cannibalization is expected, but Intel is looking to create devices at every price point for more customer availability, opportunities, and innovation.
On Moore’s Law
When asked if Intel sees a finite ceiling as to how small chips can be produced, Ms. James replied that “we don’t see that”. There is more performance in a lower power envelope, and Intel has moved ahead multiple generations, becoming much more competitive in the mobile landscape.
How small can the chips actually get? James replied that Intel has “line of sight” for a couple more generations, but after that the future is unclear.
Data center
The data center arm of Intel is an important business, currently holding a 90% market share and bringing in substantial profits for Intel. Mr. Winkler asked about avoiding server upsets, and Ms. James noted that there is a market shift with new competitors, and the way you react initially is how the dynamic is going to go. She mentioned that “it’s good for Intel to have competitors” because it makes the company as a whole better. Intel is not waiting for the industry to change, and has already announced SOC server products based on the Atom family.
On Intel television
What does Intel plan to bring in the television space? James replied that just like everything else, television has gone digital. It’s delivered over an IP network, which is an opportunity for data to be broadcast to devices. Intel can bring tech integration and leadership to this area, making it more cost effective. It’s also a new market opportunity and area of growth.
Exciting times for Intel
This interview with Ms. James was extremely informative, and gave a great overview of where Intel is headed. Be sure to register for IDF 2013 and hear more from Intel leadership on the future of the company.

Which was reported by The Wall Street Journal as Intel Chips Away at Mobile, Wearable Computing [The CIO Report – WSJ, Aug 14, 2013] in the following way

As consumers shift spending to smartphones and tablets from PCs, mobile processors made by rivals have chipped away at Intel Corp.’s sales and profits. Intel in July reported $2 billion in profit for the second quarter, a drop of 29% from a year earlier, on sales of $12.8 billion, down 5% for the same period. The chipmaker, which once milked its Intel Inside brand, can no longer rely as much on PC chips as its cash cow. While PC sales decline, rivals building low-cost, low-power chips based onARM Holdings plc. designs dominate the mobile chip market.
Intel President Renee J. James admitted in an interview, Wednesday, that chips, as well as software for smartphones, tablets and embedded systems, are “markets that we need to go win.” Ms. James, who assumed her role in May after 25 years in various management roles at Intel, is particularly keen on Bay Trail, energy efficient chips she said will appear in tablets and convertible PCs this holiday season. Intel will unveil some of these products – and possible show off a wearable computer – at its developer forum next month. This is an edited transcript of a Q&A conducted with Wall Street Journal reporters and editors.
As you push harder into mobile, you also have to keep a strong hold on the PC. What is your strategy there?
We don’t see the PC going away overnight, but we do see a blending across the bottom end of [PC chips] and the high-end of the Bay Trail chips. You have to recreate the segmentation because [PCs and tablets] are overlapping now [with the proliferation of two-in-one, or convertible computers]. And 7-inch tablets and below are very much like phones and we have an objective in that market as well. By blending and having a shared goal for total compute, you start to think creatively about managing the transition. The suppliers and customers are the same.
How do you steal market share from ARM?
We believe we have better products, but we know we have better process technology. It will take us some time to get to the lowest end, but we have every intention of having products at every price point.
What was gist of the presentation you and new CEO Brian Krzanich gave to the board of directors on how to point Intel in the right direction?
We talked about getting back into the role of technology leader and really making sure that we’re leading into the next generation of where computing gets used. There’s a tremendous explosion in embedded computing, and the way people are thinking about computing, and we hear a lot about wearables, and there’s experimentation and new products like Google’s Glass. Our strategy is to win in every segment of computing and grow our share in overall compute. If it computes, we want to be in that market.
Do you have any wearable computers now?
None that are announced, but you should come to our developer conference in September. We’re going to be talking about where we see computing is going, where Intel is going, and a lot more about how we think computing will be used in the future, beyond the form factors you see today.
What are you doing to advance the Internet of Things?
We bought embedded software leader Wind River Systems, so we’ve done a lot of work creating combined product lines between Wind River and our embedded systems group. We’ve focused our work on specific vertical segments, such as in-vehicle entertainment, retail, point of sale and digital signage and infrastructure projects.
What about Internet of Things in the home?
We have not done as much in the home. I’m sure the team is working on things I don’t know about but… it’s a big opportunity.

Alibaba to secure “centuries” of the future of an already “US$150 billion ecosystem of consumers, merchants and business partners” via an internal partnership (rejuvenated each year) of top executive owners (with just 10% of shares) also controlling the board

With Michael Dell acquiring the rest 84% stake in Dell for $2.15B in cash, before becoming the next IBM, and even getting the cash back after the transaction [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 8, 2013] on Sept 12, 2013 approved by Dell stockholders (for $13.88 per share in cash against the originally proposed $13.65) we had a clear evidence that in these turbulent and extremely fast changing market and business conditions the traditional way of corporate governance is becoming a significant strategic obstacle. Here we have an even more glaring example. Especially because of  The value of Taobao.com and TMall.com in China, as well as outside [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 2, 2013] and the role those key assets of the Alibaba Group are playing for The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 13, 2013].

Alibaba slams HK exchange after IPO talks fail [South China Morning Post, Sept 30, 2013]

A senior Alibaba executive sharply criticized the Hong Kong stock exchange for not allowing the Chinese e-commerce giant to go public with its unique management structure, forcing it to shift efforts to the U.S for the potentially mammoth listing.

The company dropped plans this week to hold an IPO in the southern Chinese financial center because the stock market wasn’t willing to make an exception to its listing rules. Instead, it’s looking to New York for an initial public offering that analysts estimate could value the company at more than $100 billion.

That would dwarf the tech world’s other hotly anticipated share offering by Twitter, which is estimated to have a market value of $10 billion.
In a column posted late Thursday on Alibaba’s blog, Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said “Hong Kong must consider what is needed in order to adapt to future trends and changes.”
Tsai said the company had ended its discussions for a potential listing. It’s the first public acknowledgement that it has dropped its plans for an IPO in Hong Kong, which Tsai said was the company’s “first choice” because most of its business is in China.
Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba failed to persuade the Hong Kong stock exchange to grant it an exception from listing rules to allow it to maintain a “partnership” structure in which top executives, who own 10 percent of the company, retain control of the board.
Chairman Jack Ma has described the partnership system, which currently includes 28 people, as essential to preserving the company’s innovative culture.
Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba in 1999 as a platform linking Chinese suppliers with retailers abroad. It has expanded in consumer e-commerce with its Taobao and Tmall platforms, which are among the world’s busiest online outlets.
China has the world’s biggest population of Internet users, and while it trails the U.S. and Japan in total e-commerce spending, the Boston Consulting Group forecasts it will rise to No. 1 by 2015.
Alibaba’s proposal failed because it was at odds with the Hong Kong exchange’s principle of treating all shareholders equally.
Tsai challenged the exchange over its rigidity.
“The question Hong Kong must address is whether it is ready to look forward as the rest of the world passes it by,” he said.
Alibaba’s two biggest shareholders, Yahoo and Japan’s Softbank, issued statements backing Alibaba.
“In a fast-moving technology market, it’s critical that a company’s leadership can continue to preserve its culture and set its strategic course for the future,” said Jacqueline Reses, chief development officer at Yahoo, which owns a 23 percent stake. She added that the U.S. Internet company believes Alibaba’s system reflects “the desire to govern the company for long-term success while also balancing the rights of shareholders.”
Masa Son, founder of Softbank Corp., which owns 35 percent, said he was “supportive” of the company’s structure.
Alibaba has not yet chosen an exchange or set a timetable for a U.S. listing. But it has hired U.S. law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett to help advise on the IPO and plans to hire underwriters soon, said a source familiar with the matter who was not allowed to speak publicly.
Goldman Sachs has estimated that a share sale could value Alibaba at as much as $105 billion.
Alibaba’s profit in the first three months of the year tripled to $669 million on revenue that rose 71 percent to $1.4 billion, according to Yahoo’s latest quarterly earnings.

Impact of Alibaba s IPO decision [CNN via VBG NewsTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Alibaba Offers an Alternative View of Good Corporate Governance [Joe Tsai on Alizila blog, Sept 26, 2013]

Until recently, Alibaba was in dialogue with Hong Kong capital markets regulators on how to translate our guiding philosophy into a form of corporate governance in connection with a potential listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.  As a company with most of our business in China, it was natural for Hong Kong to be our first choice.
We proposed a governance structure that would enable Alibaba’s partners – key people who manage our businesses – to set the company’s strategic course without being influenced by the fluctuating attitudes of the capital markets so as to protect the long-term interests of our customers, company and all shareholders.
It has been said that Alibaba threatens the “one-share-one-vote” principle. Nothing is further from the truth.  We never made any proposal that involved a dual-class shareholding structure. A typical dual-class structure allows those who hold high-vote shares to out-vote the rest of shareholders on all corporate matters.  Our governance structure preserves significant rights of shareholders, including the unfettered rights to elect independent directors as well as rights to vote on substantial transactions and related party transactions.
Why do we insist on our governance structure?  Our overarching objective is to maintain the Alibaba culture. For the past 14 years, Alibaba operated with the ethos of helping the “small guy” to succeed, as embodied in our mission: “to make it easy to do business anywhere”.  This clear sense of mission, long-term focus and commitment to values defines the “Alibaba culture” and it is what makes us successful.
At the same time, we have also noticed that many great companies quickly deteriorate after their founders leave; in the same vein, a number of successful founders have also made fatal mistakes. The final governance structure we have selected is to replace founders with partners. The reason is simple – a group of partners who cherish the same culture and ideals is more likely to carry forward our principles and make good decisions for all stakeholders with a long-term view.  And in the decade to come, those partners will be guided by these principles when grappling with inevitable disruption and competition.
We believe this partnership system is the right way to build a sustainable business: partners are peers and, without bureaucracy or rigid hierarchy, they solve problems through collaboration.  Partners are not just managers but they are owners of the business with a keen sense of responsibility.  The partnership is rejuvenated each year through admission of new partners and, as such, it provides both continuity and longevity because it is a living body. With this system, we believe we can sustain the flame of innovation and constantly improve the talent pool of people who run the Alibaba business.
Those who lack appreciation of our partnership philosophy may view our proposal merely as a founder wanting to preserve control. We could not have a more different objective. Over the past 14 years, we have never sought to control this company through the shareholding structure and we will not begin to do so now. What we want to establish is a mechanism to safeguard the Alibaba culture and we hope that the company’s future is sustainable beyond the life of any one founder. (In fact, Alibaba did not have one or two founders, but 18 founders.  In a sense, we have operated as a partnership from Day One.)  Our hope is to achieve a mechanism for safeguarding the development of the company “to last 102 years,” i.e. spanning at least three centuries starting from 1999, the year we were founded.
imageAs the largest e-commerce marketplace operator in the world and a custodian of a US$150 billion ecosystem of consumers, merchants and business partners, our commitment to openness, transparency, sharing and responsibility is at the core of our value system.
We fervently believe maintaining an innovative culture and company mission are the essence of success in this disruptive world we operate in.  Our governance structure is a creative way to address the core issues that matter to shareholders while staying true to who we are – which we cannot, and will not, change.
As an e-commerce company, we are deeply aware of the disruption that is brought about by the Internet across all industries, and the capital markets are not exempt from this disruption. As a social enterprise, we will strive to drive and promote this type of innovation. We welcome a debate about models of good governance for a business like ours in the 21st century.
We understand Hong Kong may not want to change its tradition for one company, but we firmly believe that Hong Kong must consider what is needed in order to adapt to future trends and changes. The question Hong Kong must address is whether it is ready to look forward as the rest of the world passes it by.
Joe Tsai is a co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group

Background from the point of view of philosophies behind stock exchange regulations:
Breakingviews: Hong Kong’s Alibaba loss is New York’s gain? [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Sept 26, 2013]

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba has chosen New York over Hong Kong for its $15 billion IPO. Breakingviews’ Peter Thal Larsen and Rob Cox debate the pros and cons for the company and the exchanges.

Background on the stakes in question:
How e-commerce is changing China [CNN via TheBreakingNewss YouTube channel, Sept 30, 2013]

The gentleman on the left is David Wei (Vision Night Capital) who was CEO of Alibaba since 2006 till his resignation in February 11, 2011. See: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/02/22/why-alibabas-ceo-had-to-go/

How Alibaba unlocked the door to online shopping in China [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Oct 1, 2013]

Nearly a decade ago Alibaba Group launched Alipay — China’s answer to online payment giant PayPal. Today it’s seen as the magic password at the gate of China’s online commerce treasure trove.

Note that Alipay was “the largest online platform in the world in terms of registered users, transactions and total payment volume” back in 2011 according to Forbes. The above video shows that now it has a dominant position in China (which is also the largest e-commerce market in the world this year):

Background about the Alibaba Group and Alipay relationship (in order to see that the closing statement in the above video of not getting any benefit from Alipay is not true for the would be new shareholders of Alibaba):

Alibaba Group, Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and SoftBank (TYO:JP:9984) today announced they have reached an agreement in which Alibaba Group will continue to participate in Alipay’s future financial performance, including a future IPO or other liquidity event. The agreement is consistent with the two agreed-upon principles established at the outset of the negotiations: structure the inter-company relationship between Alipay and Taobao in order to preserve the value within Taobao and, by extension, within Alibaba Group; and provide that Alibaba Group is appropriately compensated for the value of Alipay.
Key Terms of the Agreement:
The agreement establishes the following:
  • The agreement preserves the existing relationship between Taobao and Alipay. Alipay will continue to provide payment processing services to Alibaba Group and its subsidiaries (including Taobao) on preferential terms.
  • Alibaba Group will license to Alipay certain intellectual property and technology and provide certain software technology services to Alipay and its subsidiaries. Alipay will pay to Alibaba Group, prior to a liquidity event, a royalty and software technology services fee, which consists of an expense reimbursement and a 49.9% share of the consolidated pre-tax income of Alipay and its subsidiaries.
  • Alibaba Group will receive no less than $2 billion and no more than $6 billion in proceeds from an IPO of Alipay or other liquidity event. The exact proceeds to Alibaba Group will be determined by multiplying the total equity value of Alipay by 37.5%, subject to the foregoing floor and ceiling amounts.
“Over the last few months, we have worked cooperatively with our partners at Yahoo! and SoftBank to reach an agreement that serves the interests of all parties,” said Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO. “This agreement is good for Alibaba Group and its stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders. Most importantly, Alipay was able to secure the license it needed to continue operating.”
“This is a good outcome for Yahoo! and for our shareholders, as well as all the parties to this agreement,” said Carol Bartz, Yahoo! CEO. “As a result of this constructive process, we have an agreement that preserves the value of Taobao, provides for profit sharing at Alipay, and creates a structure to allow Alibaba Group to participate if Alipay’s value is realized in an IPO or other liquidity event. Alibaba Group and its management team have an impressive track record of value creation and we look forward to participating in Alibaba Group’s—and Alipay’s—continued success.”
“This agreement was in part made possible by the strong long-term relationship and trust that exists between the principals at Alibaba Group, SoftBank and Yahoo!, and also lays the foundation for Alibaba Group to continue its impressive growth under the dynamic leadership of Jack Ma,” said Masayoshi Son, SoftBank CEO. “Alibaba Group is a clear leader in the China Internet business, the largest and fastest growing market in the world, and the close relationship with Alipay will allow Alibaba Group to strengthen that leadership position in the years to come.”
Alipay provides payment processing services to Alibaba Group and some affiliates, including Taobao, and to third parties. Taobao is China’s largest online retail website. Alibaba Group’s principal shareholders include Yahoo!, SoftBank, and Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai. In May 2011, Alipay obtained a license to operate in China from the People’s Bank of China following the restructuring of Alipay. The license will enable Alipay to continue serving Taobao and its other customers in China.
Alibaba Group management has taken actions to comply with Chinese law governing payment companies in order to secure a license to continue operating Alipay. The Alibaba Group board discussed at numerous board meetings over the past three years the impending imposition of new regulatory requirements on the online payment industry, including ownership structures, as they were being developed in China, and was told in a July 2009 board meeting that majority shareholding in Alipay had been transferred into Chinese ownership. The actions taken by Alibaba Group management to comply with the licensing regulations and to ensure continuation of operations are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. The continued operation of Alipay is essential to the preservation and enhancement of the value of Alibaba Group’s businesses such as Taobao, as Alipay is the payments platform for e-commerce in these businesses.
Kendall Law Group, a national securities firm led by a former federal judge with attorneys that include a former U.S. Attorney, announces a lawsuit filed on behalf of shareholders against Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 concerning false and misleading statements regarding Yahoo’s business prospects.
A class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of California on June 6, 2011. Yahoo shareholders who purchased stock between April 19, 2011 and May 13, 2011 are urged to contact the Kendall Law Group for more information at 877-744-3728 or by email at skendall@kendalllawgroup.com. Any shareholder who purchased YHOO stock during this time period may move the Court to serve as a plaintiff in this class action. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court for appointment by August 5, 2011. A lead plaintiff is a class member who acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision to serve as a lead plaintiff.

From: Yahoo! Inc. Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q [May 10, 2011]

To expedite obtaining an essential regulatory license, the ownership of Alibaba Group’s online payment business, Alipay, was restructured so that 100 percent of its outstanding shares are held by a Chinese domestic company which is majority owned by Alibaba Group’s chief executive officer. Alibaba Group’s management and its principal shareholders, Yahoo! and Softbank Corporation, are engaged in ongoing discussions regarding the terms of the restructuring and the appropriate commercial arrangements related to the online payment business.

Regarding which in Yahoo Discloses Jack Ma Takes Control Of Alipay From Alibaba [Forbes, May 11, 2011]

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan writes in a research note this morning that “there are concerns that the People’s Bank of China will prohibit foreign ownership of a payment solution and having Alipay owned 100% by a domestic entity will be required to obtain the appropriate licenses.”

Rohan points out that Alipay is the largest online platform in the world in terms of registered users, transactions and total payment volume; he’s been estimating the company’s value at $2 billion. The company has 550 million registered users, compared with 94.4 million for PayPal at the end of 2010.

On May 10, 2011, Yahoo disclosed that its $1 billion investment in a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group Holdings Limited, China’s largest e-commerce company, had likely been severely impaired by the misappropriation of Alipay, Alibaba’s most valuable asset, from Alibaba to another private company, controlled by Alibaba’s Chairman, Jack Ma. On May 15, 2011, Yahoo announced that Alibaba, Yahoo and Softbank Corporation were “engaged in and committed to productive negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues related to Alipay in a manner that serves the interests of all shareholders as soon as possible.” News reports indicate that Alibaba received $46 million for Alipay’s assets, which securities analysts valued at $5 billion.
The complaint alleges that Yahoo was informed no later than March 31, 2011 that Alipay’s structure had been shifted from Alibaba, therefore reducing the value of Yahoo’s investment in Alibaba by billions of dollars. The complaint also alleges that Yahoo failed to develop a strategy to recover the value it had in Alibaba, knowing that Chinese regulations regarding foreign ownership had been anticipated to change as far back as 2009, which would require Yahoo or Alibaba to divest themselves of Alipay. As a result of the alleged misstatements and omissions, Yahoo’s stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the class period.
Kendall Law Group was founded by a former federal judge, includes a former United States Attorney, prosecutors and securities lawyers who are experienced in complex securities litigation. The firm has been counsel in numerous merger and acquisition cases nationwide, including some of the largest transactions in the United States.
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/24e22a/china_thirdparty) has announced the addition of the “China Third-party Payment Industry Report, 2010-2013” report to their offering.
Third-party payment refers to an Internet-based means of exchange that provides online (Internet) and offline (telephone & mobile phone) payment channels enabling user-to-merchant online payment, fund settlement, inquiries and statistics, etc.
In 2010, market transaction volume of third-party payment broke through RMB 1 trillion and registered RMB 1.1395 trillion [$176.2B] in China. However, third-party payment market is still in its infancy stage and is expected to develop rapidly in the next several years.
People’s Bank of China issued Regulation on Payment Service of Non-financial Organization on 14 Jun. 2010, with the aim to officially supervise the domestic third-party payment industry. On 26 May 2011, People’s Bank of China granted the first batch of Payment Transaction License to 27 third-party payment companies including Alipay, Tenpay, ChinaPay and 99Bill. In terms of market share, the top three third-party payment service providers in China are Alipay, Tenpay and ChinaPay.
My insert here from the How Alibaba unlocked the door to online shopping in China video above:

China's online payment companies -- 2012 market share - excluding banks

Alipay: Alipay is a third-party payment platform that belongs to Alibaba group. As of Dec. 2010, its number of registered users broke through 550 million, and daily transaction value reached RMB 2.6 billion [$402M] and daily number of transactions hit 11 million. It is expected that the annual transaction value of Alipay will achieve about RMB 1 trillion [$154.6B] in each of the next two years.
TenPay: As Tencent’s third-party payment platform, TenPay accumulated 150 million personal users and over 400 thousand cooperative merchants till Dec. 2010.
ChinaPay: ChinaPay is a third-party payment service provider with diversified business. Its business growth is mainly driven by those monopolistic fields including fund and insurance online payment. However, this monopolistic advantage is gradually diminished. In addition, with limited investment, online payment service is not the core business of ChinaPay, and its competitiveness is weak.
99Bill: As of 30 Apr. 2011, with transaction volume over RMB 100 billion, 99bill has 91 million registered users and over 980 thousand business partners. During 2008-2009, 99Bill shifted its major business to the segment markets, including insurance and fund industries, to get involved in the differential competition.
YeePay: YeePay is an integrated payment platform. Till 26 Nov. 2010, with over 10 thousand large and medium signed merchants, its daily transaction volume and number of transactions exceeded RMB200 million and 1 million respectively. Moreover, YeePay plays a leading role in the telephone payment market. During 2008-2010, it experienced rapid development in the fields of aviation, telecommunication and education.
Chinabank Payments: The lower online payment price is the key competitive advantage of Chinabank Payments. In addition, its offline credit card payment business has the early entry advantage.
Shengpay: With a registered capital of RMB250 million and about 250 employees, Shengpay is an independent third-party payment service provider belongs to Shanda Group. It provides payment solution for Shanda’s business including literature, music, film, recreation and tourism.

Key Topics Covered:

  1. Overview of Third-Party Payment
  2. Market Environment of Third-Party Payment Industry
  3. Market Analysis of Third-Party Payment Industry
  4. Competition
  5. Key Licensed Enterprises
  6. Other Key Enterprises
  7. Market Forecast of Third-Party Payment Industry

Companies Mentioned:

  • Alipay
  • TenPay
  • 99Bill
  • YeePay
  • iPS
  • Chinabank Payments
  • ChinaPnR
  • Shengpay
  • All In Pay
  • KuaiPay
  • Beijing Digital Wangfujing Technology Ltd. Co.
  • Property & Credit (Zihexin)
  • Open Union
  • Qiandai
  • SmartPay
  • Lakala
  • Shanghai FFT Information Service Ltd.
  • China UnionPay Merchant Services Co., Ltd.
  • Beijing UnionPay
  • ChinaPay
  • PayEase
  • Beijing Cloudnet Internet Co., Ltd.
  • Union Mobile Pay (UMPay)
  • BestPay
  • 95epay
  • Ecpss

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/24e22a/china_thirdparty

Dell’s all Intel tablets and laptops targeting the evolving mobile workforce even with their most consumer specific Android tablets

Dell is 100% committed to Intel (“for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency”) from now on which was, nevertheless, not discovered by the media. Otherwise the essence was well expressed by these Oct 2, 2013 media reports (being similar to others):

Read also: The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14-26, 2013]

Conspicuously missing from Dell’s lineup is any trace of Windows RT, the stripped-down version of Windows designed for ARM processors. Dell was the last remaining Windows RT supporter outside of Microsoft, at least until the company discontinued its XPS 10 last month. When we asked Dell’s director of tablets, Bill Gorden, he said the company’s still considering its options. “We’re very happy with the direction of Windows 8.1, and we have multiple screen sizes and capabilities there,” he said. “We’re not sure what our plans are for Windows RT at the moment.”

However, Gorden suggests that we should take the Venue launch as a sign that Dell isn’t planning to abandon the consumer market after it goes private. “I think the introduction of all these devices is really a signal of how important end-user computing is to Dell,” he toldThe Verge. “I think you’re going to start seeing Dell start being prominent in the consumer space.”

What was announced (according to Dell’s press release, available here at the very end):

The Dell Venue 7, Venue 8, Venue 8 Pro, and new XPS 15 will be available from October 18 on www.dell.com in the United States and select countries around the world. The Venue 11 Pro, XPS 11 and the updated XPS 13 with touch will be available in November. Starting prices are as follows:

  • Venue 7 [Android]: $149.99
  • Venue 8 [Android]: $179.99
  • Venue 8 Pro: $299.99
  • Venue 11 Pro: $499.99
  • New XPS 15: $1,499.99
  • XPS 11: $999.99
  • New XPS 13: $999.99

All Dell Venue tablets are based on Intel processing power for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency. The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 [Android tablets] feature Intel Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) processors, while the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro [Windows 8.1 tablets] feature the new Intel Atom quad-core processors, code named “Bay Trail.” The Venue 11 Pro offers up to 4th Generation Intel Core [”Haswell”] i3 and i5 processor options and Intel vPro for manageability.

Dell messages:

From the press release:

  • New Dell Venue tablets offer the ability to connect, share, and access content with ease
  • XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 in the world with the world’s first Quad HD display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1
  • XPS 15 powerhouse laptop offers the world’s first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ display for jaw-dropping visuals and the ultimate experience

Dell Venue tablets are designed to give people on-the-go a wide-selection of sizes and options to meet their varying needs. From 8 and 11-inch Windows-based tablets complete with keyboard and stylus options, to the 7 and 8-inch Android tablets, Dell has created a dedicated brand of tablets to meet the needs of customers who are the epitome of the evolving workforce.

For New Dell Venue 7 and 8 Tablets [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Stay connected with Venue 7 and 8 tablets featuring fast Intel processors and easy to use Android OS.

For New Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Connect to what you need easily, quickly and securely with the Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet [powered by Intel quad-core processor].

For New Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://www.dell.com/tablets
The no compromise tablet for those that expect more and do more [featuring Intel Core processors].

For Enabling the mobile workforce with Dell [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Learn more about the evolving mobile workforce, bring your own device (BYOD) trends and the opportunity they present you as a Dell partner.

For Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet for Work and Home [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

See how the Venue 11 Pro goes from your home life to work life, with no compromises.

Only here, and only inside there is a Microsoft related message (while Intel is everywhere here and especially in the above videos):

    • Stay connected with the Intel Core based Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet.
    • Keep in touch with loved ones across the globe.
    • Portability and performance in one device.
    • Chair projects with the stunning Full HD wide angle screen.
    • Run Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office powered by Intel processors.
    • Interact like never before with near-field communication.
    • Present new ideas with Miracast technology.
    • Designed for on the go or on the couch.
    • Do more with the do it all Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet.

While at least one media source, CNET was much more Microsoft/Windows focussed:

The Dell Venue 8 Pro delivers full Windows 8.1 in a $299 package [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/19ZguLY
Dell’s Venue 8 Pro is a full Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8-inch screen.

The Dell Venue 7 and 8 mark Dell’s return to Android tablets [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1bw0Mdk
Dell finally moves beyond the Streak with two new Android tablets.

Get accessorized with the Dell Venue 11 Pro [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/173mhOm
The 11-inch Venue 11 Pro from Dell features a removable battery and plenty of accessory options.

The Dell XPS 11 and 12 feature unique hybrid designs [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1fJpImK
Both the Dell XPS 11 and 12 are take traditional hybrid design and throws it on its ear.

The Dell XPS 13 and 15 feature high-end specs and thin designs [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1brtC1U
Dell goes ultra high-end with its XPS 13 and 15 laptops.

Press release from the company:

Dell Introduces New Line of Tablets and Updated XPS Laptops: Create, Share and Access Content from Virtually Anywhere [Oct 2, 2013]

  • New Dell Venue tablets offer the ability to connect, share, and access content with ease
  • XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 in the world with the world’s first Quad HD display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1
  • XPS 15 powerhouse laptop offers the world’s first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ display for jaw-dropping visuals and the ultimate experience

Dell today took a bold step in unveiling a new family of tablets and new laptops, including a 2-in-1 Ultrabook. The Dell Venue line of tablets is comprised of four new ultrathin models designed to address the changing way people live and work today. Dell’s “damned sexy” tablets, as described by leading Enderle Group analyst, Rob Enderle, deliver leading performance and quality, backed by Intel processing technology. With compact designs that make it easy to stay connected on the go, the Dell Venue tablets have an exquisite fit and finish.

In addition to the versatile new Dell Venue tablets, Dell is introducing new XPS laptops, each with breakthrough displays for a phenomenal viewing experience with vibrant, crisp images in any available screen size. The new XPS 11, the thinnest, most compact 2-in-1 in the world, also features the first Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1. The XPS 15 multimedia powerhouse boasts a stunningly thin design, and offers as an option the first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ (3200 x 1800) display in the world, which is the highest resolution available on a laptop of that size. Dell is also refreshing its award-winning XPS 13 Ultrabook with faster processors, touch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display and improved battery life. With these three laptops, Dell is leading the industry with the highest resolution displays possible.

“People today expect the best experience possible from their technology – they are counting on it to keep them connected and move with them, wherever they are,” said Sam Burd, vice president Dell Personal Computing Group. “The new Dell Venue tablets and XPS laptops give customers the stellar experience they expect from us, with performance that allows them to work how they want, when they want, in a design they’ll be proud to show off and own.”

Dell Venue Tablets: Connect, Share and Access Content with Ease
Dell Venue tablets are designed to give people on-the-go a wide-selection of sizes and options to meet their varying needs. From 8 and 11-inch Windows-based tablets complete with keyboard and stylus options, to the 7 and 8-inch Android tablets, Dell has created a dedicated brand of tablets to meet the needs of customers who are the epitome of the evolving workforce.

  • The Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro Windows 8.1-based tablets combine the level of performance, design and responsiveness end-users love while giving IT departments what they need – the ability to integrate into an existing corporate environment with full compatibility with current Windows applications and Microsoft Office integration. Both tablets feature optional advanced security features and services such as TPM and Dell Enterprise Services.
  • The lightweight Dell Venue 8 Pro runs Windows 8.1, has a bright HD IPS display, advanced connectivity options and provides long battery life so range anxiety is no longer an issue. People can also stay productive with Office 2013 Home & Student, included with the device, and the optional Dell Active Stylus.
  • The Dell Venue 11 Pro, also based on Windows 8.1, provides ultimate 2-in-1 flexibility with the power of an Ultrabook, convenience of a detachable keyboard and experience of a desktop. Unlike competitive tablets, it has a user removable/replaceable battery, and its large, Full HD display with wide viewing angles makes it easy to read and create content while staying mobile. It is also available with a variety of keyboard and stylus options:
    • Dell Active Stylus makes it easy to annotate, draw or take notes.
    • Dell Slim Keyboard, designed for travel, also serves as a cover for the screen when folded up.
    • Dell Mobile Keyboard with integrated battery provides all day productivity with a full-sized keyboard while extending the battery life.
    • Dell Tablet Desktop Dock delivers full productivity on a desk with USB 3.0 ports, and dual display out ports for display extension.
  • The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 Android-based tablets are affordable, feature-rich tablets for people who want to be constantly connected wherever they are. Both tablets have an upscale fit and finish, and are designed with longevity in mind with the right components so that customers will be just as delighted with their tablet one year from now, as they are on the day they take it out of the box.

All Dell Venue tablets are based on Intel processing power for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency. The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 feature Intel Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) processors, while the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro feature the new Intel Atom quad-core processors, code named “Bay Trail.” The Venue 11 Pro offers up to 4th Generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processor options and Intel vPro for manageability.

Dell XPS Laptops and 2-in-1: The Ultimate Experience with Gorgeous Displays
Dell’s award-winning XPS laptop line just got even better with the new XPS 15 powerhouse laptop, the introduction of the XPS 11 2-in-1, and an update to the flagship XPS 13 Ultrabook. In keeping with the XPS tradition of offering the best computing experience in any product category, the XPS laptops and 2-in-1 feature machined aluminum, carbon fiber, vibrant displays, and Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for performance, durability and the ultimate experience.

  • Starting at 2.5lbs[i] and just 11-15mm thin, the XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 Ultrabook available today, offering a tablet-first design with laptop functionality. It easily transitions from tablet to laptop with a 360 degree rotating hinge design, and an innovative solid surface backlit touch keyboard that provides a superb experience from lap to bag. With a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display, the highest resolution display in an 11.6-inch 2-in-1 today, the XPS 11 has a bright, crisp viewing experience. The display also features True Color viewing powered by eeColor, which enables customers to enjoy true, rich consistent color in nearly any lighting environment.
  • The XPS 15 continues to be a multimedia powerhouse delivering the highest resolution in its class, and incredible power in an ultra-thin, light wedge design, starting at 4.44lbsi. The XPS 15 is the first 15.6-inch laptop in the world to feature a Quad HD+ display, and also available with a touch option, boasts over 5.7 million pixels – five times the amount of standard HD – for jaw-dropping resolution. Designed for creative enthusiasts, the XPS 15 packs 4th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 quad core processor options and NVIDIA discrete graphics options. Every XPS 15 boots and resumes within seconds with hard drive configuration options from 500GB to 1TB[ii], both with a 32GB mSATA SSD, to a 512GB solid state drive, all including Intel Rapid Start Technology[iii].
  • The award-winning XPS 13, with its 13.3-inch, edge-to-edge display that innovatively fits into a footprint similar to an 11-inch laptop, is razor thin and light, starting at under 3lbsi. It is now even faster with 4thgeneration Intel Core processors, Intel HD 4400 graphics, and has longer battery life for the mobile professional who values a sleek design, responsiveness and ultimate mobility. Its Full HD display provides a brilliant viewing experience and is now even more versatile with a touch option.

“Dell appears to have its innovative mojo back,” said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies. “These new products clearly emphasize Dell’s commitment to create innovative mobile solutions for businesses and consumers and I believe represent some of the best products they have made in many years.”

Personal and Professional Content Anytime, Anywhere
The Dell PocketCloud application is pre-installed on all XPS and Venue products, helping users build their own “personal cloud” and remotely manage personal and professional content. By combining PocketCloud with the portability of the new Venue tablets and XPS laptops, mobile workers will be able to enjoy an easy and connected experience with access to all of their apps and content from virtually anywhere.

Get the Most Out of Your Technology with Dell Services
Dell customers can get the most out of their technology with Dell Services, dedicated to keeping them connected and productive, whether they’re using their Dell Venue tablet or XPS purchase for work or home. In addition to the Dell Limited Hardware Warranty, consumers can elect to include additional protection such as Accidental Damage Service[iv], Premium Phone Support and Rapid Return for Repair after Remote Diagnosis[v], which means that their system will be repaired and returned to them within 3-5 business days after remote diagnosis. Likewise, business customers can be rest assured that their devices will fit seamlessly and securely into their corporate IT environment with Dell Enterprise Services like ProSupport[vi] on the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro tablets.

Availability and Pricing
The Dell Venue 7, Venue 8, Venue 8 Pro, and new XPS 15 will be available from October 18 on www.dell.com in the United States and select countries around the world. The Venue 11 Pro, XPS 11 and the updated XPS 13 with touch will be available in November. Starting prices are as follows:

  • Venue 7: $149.99
  • Venue 8: $179.99
  • Venue 8 Pro: $299.99
  • Venue 11 Pro: $499.99
  • New XPS 15: $1,499.99
  • XPS 11: $999.99
  • New XPS 13: $999.99

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell World
Join us at Dell World 2013, Dell’s premier customer event exploring how technology solutions and services are driving business innovation. Learn more at www.dellworld.com and follow #DellWorldon Twitter.

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[i] Weights vary depending on configuration and manufacturing variability.
[ii] Hard drives: GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less.
[iii] Intel Rapid Start Technology: Requires a Solid-State Drive (SSD) or properly configured HDD + SSD.
For copy of Limited Hardware Warranty, write Dell USA LP, Attn: Warranties, One Dell Way, Round Rock, TX 78682 or see http://www.dell.com/warranty
[iv] Accidental Damage Service excludes theft, loss and damage due to fire, flood or other acts of nature, or intentional damage. Customer may be required to return unit to Dell. For complete details, visitwww.dell.com/servicecontracts
[v] Remote Diagnosis is determination by online/phone technician of cause of issue, which may take multiple extended sessions. If issue is covered by Limited Hardware Warranty and not resolved remotely, shipping instructions will be provided. Next Business Day shipping not available in all areas, which may delay repair and return times. Other conditions apply. For complete details about Rapid Return for Repair after Remote Diagnosis Service, visit Dell.com/servicecontracts.
[vi] Availability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visitwww.dell.com/servicedescriptions.