Category Archives: Operating Systems

HTC 7 Trophy Review



Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll have heard about Microsoft’s return to the mobile phone space with Windows Phone 7.  And boy, have they returned.  Combined with the hardware of the HTC 7 Trophy, it delivers in spades.

Initial impressions were good; not only am I fond of the mini-tablet format, the design very much reminded me of Sony’s Clie TH55, probably the greatest PDA of all time, so the Trophy had some big boots to fill.  Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint; this is a lovely smartphone.

When you get the phone out of the box and into your hand, there’s a little weight to it, giving a quality feel.  It’s a relatively big device at 62 mm x 119 mm but this is a benefit when you start using the Trophy for more than making phone calls.

The 3.8″ screen has a lovely silver bevel which I initially thought was refraction at the glass edge.  It’s not; it seems to be the milled edge of the metal casing and I think it looks great.  As you’ll see from the picture, aside from the HTC logo, there are just three buttons at the bottom of the screen for back, home / start and find.

Round the back, there’s a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. The Trophy is the first phone I’ve used that has the shutter button in the right place – when you hold the phone in landscape to take a picture, the button falls perfectly under the right forefinger, just as if it was an ordinary camera.

The sides and back have a soft rubber touch to them, giving a bit of grip.  The last thing you want is for the phone to slip out of your hand and plunge to the floor, which will inevitably be concrete, tile or solid wood.  It’s never a sheepskin rug.

Finishing the exterior, there’s a power button on the top, plus volume buttons on the left side. A micro USB port and 3.5 mm earphone jack complete the physical connectivity.

In use, the phone is fabulous.  The 480 x 800 pixel screen is bright and detailed – there’s only the slightest hint of “jaggies” when you look very closely.  The response to the touch screen is excellent and the scrolling is super smooth.  I guess that’s where the 1 GHz processor comes in.

When it comes to the Metro user interface, you can choose your own adjectives.  I thought it was a stylish mix of two dimensional buttons contrasted by three dimensional effects.  One colleague suggested Fisher-Price and another thought it was bit like a tourist map where you’re not quite too sure what the symbols mean as there’s no legend.

However, there is no denying that the overall presentation is luxurious.  Screens appear as if they’re a page being turned.  Deleted emails drop into oblivion off the bottom of the screen.  Screens can present as if they’re part of bigger montages, with individual elements scrolling at different rates. I like the equivalent of the hourglass – it’s now a couple of dots that zip onto the screen, dawdle in the middle and then zip off again.

Certainly, there is a bit of initial head scratching or accidental discovery of features.  “How do I….?” becames, “Ahh, so that’s how it works.”  And I’m still not 100% certain about whether apps run in the background.

I’m not going to review every single app in turn because pretty much everything that you’d expect is there.  Email – check, calendar – check, address book – check, Office support – check, maps – check, web browser – check.  So what are the highlights and lowlights?

Regarding email, there’s no consolidated application.  Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. are all treated as apps in their own right but I was able to use EAS without any trouble, with emails, appointments and contacts all synchronised perfectly with Exchange.

Contacts are brought into a single place “People” but it’s not perfect with regard to duplicates brought in from different sources, e.g. Gmail and Hotmail.  Sometimes phone numbers are repeated even though they’re the same.

The Phone app is very responsive when you are tapping out numbers – I didn’t get any missed digits or double digits when I was dialling.  An iPhone-toting friend thought that the phone app was much better than the iOS equivalent.  Call quality was good.

I was unable to connect to my workplace’s wifi network because there’s doesn’t appear to be any way to make adjustments to the security settings etc.  To be fair, it’s not possible to connect on an iPhone either.  Connecting up at home was a doddle.

The virtual keyboard is ok.  I’ve got fairly large fingers but on the whole I was able to tap out the odd short email or enter search terms without too many mistakes.   Definitely more successful in landscape than portrait (obviously) but nowhere near as good as the keyboard on a Palm Pre, for example.

The Zune side of things was a hit.  The sound quality was good and reproduction was well-defined.  While the bass could be a little better, it was better than average for a portable device (and the limitation is often the encoding of the track).  I was listening using Sennheiser eH 1430 headphones, not the the supplied ones.

The Zune hub was easy to use and great for browsing.  Videos were smooth and easy to watch. I’m not a big gamer so I didn’t really pursue the Xbox Live side of things but the Trophy is the gamer’s phone in the HTC line-up.  What I did see was pretty slick and it was easy to download games, although it seemed to be quite slow at downloading, even over wi-fi.  I tried a few of the usual suspects such as Bejeweled and they played well.

Obviously the application marketplace isn’t nearly as big as the equivalents for iOS, Android or even WebOS.  But for an OS that’s months old, there’s a fair selection of apps and more will come over time.

Web browsing was excellent….as long as the web page didn’t have Flash.  The big screen and Internet Explorer reproduced most web sites really well and with the hi-res screen, you didn’t have to constantly zoom in and out.  Even quite small text was still legible.  I did find a couple of websites that had mobile or PDA versions and these recognised that the web browser was on a smartphone.  However they didn’t recognise the particular browser on Windows Phone 7 and consequently defaulted to a very basic version.  Switching to the full website version usually solved the problem.

Battery life was perfectly acceptable for a device of this type. I found that I could go a day or two without recharging the Trophy and by that I mean a couple of phone calls, email from EAS, some music listening  and a bit of surfing.  Once I started playing games and watching video, the battery life took a hit, but this is hardly unexpected.

That’s about it. The HTC 7 Trophy is a very good phone and Windows Phone 7 is impressive.  The whole feel of the device  is quality, the screen is great and the OS is modern.  Consequently I would recommend that anyone thinking of a new smartphone should give the Trophy a very long look.

Thanks to HTC for the loan.


Do Frequent Phone O/S Updates Make Sense?



I’ve had my HTC Evo for a couple of months or more at this point. When I first turned it on, there was an update waiting. The update installed. So far, so good.

Over the next few weeks I heard there was another update available, but it turned out there was a problem with the update. It took HTC and Sprint about a week or more to fix the problem update, but since the Evo was still in very short supply, I chose not to update it right away. What if there was a problem with the update and it bricked the phone? How would I get an immediate replacement? Better to wait.

A few days ago, Sprint and HTC started releasing the “Froyo” or “Frozen Yogurt” Android 2.2 update for the Evo. I decided it was time to take the plunge and accept the update.

There were two updates. The first one downloaded and installed, and then the second. No problems.

Now I’m asking myself, did the upgrade to Android 2.2 live up to all the hype? Android 2.2 on the Evo might be a little bit more snappy, but it’s hard to tell since the Evo already had excellent performance with the version of Android it shipped with. There are a few changes here and there that improve usability, some of them somewhat worthwhile, but was it really worth the trouble? The phone was a great device before the update. It’s a great device after the update.

Are updates to existing smartphones enough reason for consumers to get really excited over? As I see it, if lots of new basic usability and reliability can be added with a particular update, then it’s likely worthwhile. Smartphones are still evolving devices.

It seems to me that the job of adding new functionality to smartphones falls primarily to apps, and not necessarily the operating system itself. The operating system should be a stable, functional platform that offers basic functionality and services to those apps.

Once smartphone operating system design begins to mature however, the danger of updating and changing things just for the sake of change is always a potential risk. Also keep in mind that on average people replace cell phones about every 18 months, which is a much more frequent replacement cycle than desktop and laptop computers.

In the realm of desktop computer software, Microsoft Office is a great example of mature software design. There are only so many things word processing software can do. Microsoft Word and Excel both had good design and usability for me starting way back with Office 95. With subsequent releases, Microsoft seemed to sometimes arbitrarily change things just for the sake of change, which is a huge usability mistake. Computer software design is not the same as car styling design.


Becoming More Familiar With Android



I’ve been living with my Sprint HTC Evo phone for a while now, and I am still learning some interesting things about Android – at least the HTC/Sprint version.

Overall I’m still extremely pleased with the Evo. This is still one of the coolest gadgets I’ve ever come across.

I was having a bit of a problem with stability. Sometimes the phone would reboot for no apparent reason, usually after a few hours of leaving the WiFi hotspot feature turned on. One time it rebooted for no apparent reason while I was in the middle of a call.

I started experimenting with a free app called Advanced Killer Pro. I started looking through the list of running processes, and I was surprised to find quite a number of processes tied to installed programs I have never ran, many of which came preinstalled on the phone.

So, I simply started going through the list and killing various processes that I wasn’t using. That really did the trick – Android has been rock-solid since then and at this point a few days have passed since the last reboot. In the interim I’ve been making heavy use of the phone and the WiFi hotspot feature.

To be fair to HTC and Sprint, there is an available system update that I’ve been putting off installing that might fix some of these issues. Initially when this update came out there were many reports of bricked Evo’s, and even though HTC has since come out with an updated version of the offending system update, I am leery of installing it.

What if the update hopelessly bricked my phone? Evo’s are very difficult to get right now. Most Sprint dealers are waiting for new stock, and most of that stock is probably already sold to waiting customers. Why take the chance?

Over the years of my geekdom, I’ve had my share of updates gone wrong, bricking a few devices such as motherboards, mp3 players and aircards, not to mention countless Windows updates that have caused serious heartburn.

So, in the meantime I’m likely going to continue to wait for a while until Evo’s become a bit more plentiful before I run the system update. I might even wait for the 2.2 “Froyo” update or even beyond. Killing unused processes makes the phone super stable and everything is working perfectly, so the old adage “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” seems like good advice to follow for the moment.


Living With The Sprint HTC Evo



I’ve been living with my HTC Evo now for a few weeks, long enough where I can make a few informed observations about the device.

The Evo’s 4.3 inch multi-touch screen is superb. I’ve been surprised by the brightness and readability of the Evo’s screen even in a vehicle or outdoors in sunlight. The screen is big enough to be useful, yet the device still fits into a regular shirt pocket.

The Evo is fast and responsive. It seems that no matter what programs are open, the Evo remains just as responsive — there’s no wait for programs or configuration screens to pop open. The other smart phones I’ve owned in the past are dog-slow and sluggish by comparison.

The HTC’s “Sense” user interface that sits on top of Android is a winner. Popular social networking sites are slickly integrated right into every aspect of the phone’s functionality, making it possible to share most everything you can think of with a couple of taps.

The WiFi hotspot feature is also a tremendous convenience. It does have its quirks though. I’ve found that if I have opened up a bunch of different applications in the course of using the phone, if I then open up the WiFi hotspot feature, something will go wrong after a few hours and turn off the battery’s charging circuit. Something I have installed and am running may be causing this to happen. If I reboot the phone and then run the WiFi hotspot feature, this problem doesn’t occur and the battery keeps charging when it’s plugged in to AC power.

The integrated GPS is able to quickly find a signal. There are two GPS navigation choices that are included – Google Navigation and Sprint Navigation. Both work exactly as expected. I find myself making the most use of Google Navigation and Google Maps. The ability to search for businesses in a local area based on the phone’s own GPS location is extremely useful and I typically find I use that feature several times a day.

4G is currently not a good reason to buy an Evo because 4G coverage is currently extremely limited. This situation is in the process of changing. In the meantime, I’m happy with Sprint’s 3G coverage. I knew about this 4G limitation going in to getting this phone, so it’s not a problem for me. In reality, it’s likely going to take two or three years before 4G is widely deployed. I’ve been a Sprint data customer for more than 5 years, so I’ve witnessed (and lived with) the process firsthand of them going from 1XRT service that was limited to the eastern half of the country to widely-deployed EVDO Rev “A” 3G service.

Android is light years better than Windows Mobile 5, 6 or 6.5. When Android needs to pull data from the Internet it quickly pulls it without fuss or muss. All the versions of Windows Mobile I’ve dealt with have a “Dial-up Networking” routine they have to go through just as if it was a desktop computer connecting via a modem, which is slow and sometimes prone to fail. Windows Mobile data connections must be manually closed when not in use or they can drain the battery. Android just does what you expect it to without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

The Evo’s main 8 megapixel camera is very good, and the interface allows instant uploading of photos to services such as Flickr and Facebook. The front-facing camera will work with a free program called “Fring” that will allow two-way video conferencing, but I’ve found Fring’s interface confused and somewhat unreliable.

Sprint appears to be blocking the uploading of videos recorded on the phone even through the phone’s integrated browser when signed in to YouTube. However, I was able to email a video as an attachment to my YouTube account.

The Evo’s “HD video” recording capability is not anywhere close to HD standards. Furthermore, the sound quality of recorded video and audio is quite poor. The Evo is not a replacement for a real video camera. It is only fair to note here that all iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads have superior audio recording capabilities. Also the iPhone 4’s HD video recording capabilities are obviously quite superior to the Evo’s.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the HTC Evo. That being said, keep in mind that it requires expensive voice/data plans if you wish to take advantage of all its capabilities. Furthermore as a two and one half year plus Sprint customer I’m satisfied with the quality and speed of the Sprint network.


Technology leap frog – Developing countries are skipping the PC



leapfrogI have spent the last 10 months in the developing country of India.  You see a combination of 1st and 3rd world lifestyles here.  However the most amazing sight is the technology leapfrog you witness.  Let me explain.  Two years ago I visited here and was amazed at the number of cell phones.  A person could be on an ox-driven cart transporting wood. . . and talking on the cell phone.  On that trip two years ago, the paper ran an article describing the leapfrog.  It detailed a village without power or generators.  The people took turns every few nights walking the 10 kilometers to a neighboring village to charge the mobiles.  Amazing leapfrog.  Never had a land line, television, maybe even radio.  Straight to the cell phone.

Recently at the All Things Digital Conference, Steve Jobs talked of how traditional PC makers, including himself, had to face the uncomfortable truth that the world is going mobile.  For the developed countries that is just the next step.  For most of the world it is giant leapfrog.  In India people still live on $3/day.  They have a cell, but they will never own a computer.  The internet is growing in India, and most of it is on the mobile phone.  Many, perhaps most of the world, will access the internet only on their phones.  They are skipping the PC and not even blinking or thinking twice.

So how important is the mobile OS market?  It will rule the digital world sooner than you think.


Could Android Suffer The Fate Of Windows?



Windows AndroidThe beauty of Google Android is that it operates on a wide variety of devices that appeal to differing market segments, yet those devices can utilize the Android Market Place and run general apps written for Android. This is similar to what happened with Windows on personal computers. It’s an analogy worthy of exploration, however there are a few noteworthy differences that are actually rather revealing.

Android is nimble, stable and solid, unlike many attributes of the various versions of Windows. Over the years, something went horribly wrong with Windows. Is it possible that Android could eventually suffer the same fate?

Perhaps one difference is that phone manufacturers have a direct incentive to make certain that each Android phone model has a solid implementation. After all, phones simply have to work. Computer manufacturers, on the other hand, have often had a tendency to churn out new computer models without always fully vetting the hardware/Windows OS combination. Google seems to have taken the approach with Android of providing a basic, bare bones phone OS, whereas over the years Microsoft has taken the kitchen sink approach with Windows.

Another difference in the Android/Windows/open hardware analogy rests in the fact that Android is an embedded OS. Hardware manufacturers are forced to make it work. The better it works, the more phones they can sell. If a particular phone model is buggy, word spreads quickly and the model is a bust.

If a particular computer model has problems, its manufacturer often points the finger of blame at Microsoft, and Microsoft typically points back to the manufacturer, leaving the troubled consumer with a spinning head.

The consumer is also partly to blame. If you think about it, we tend not to look at particular computer models running Windows in the same way we look at particular phone models. We tend to look at boxes running Windows as just that – a box of hardware based on price.


Palm, Windows, Slate and HP’s Revitalized Future in Mobile.



Toward the end week, HP made some major moves. First, they bought Palm for 1.2 Billion. HP then mentioned that the Slate tablet will be put on hiatus (first thought cancelled). Now there are reports that a “Web OS” will most likely be put on the Slate. Wait a minute – wouldn’t that be “Palm”?

Of course, earlier in the week, we heard that Palm OS was purchased by HP for 1.2 billion. While some say it cost too much, there may be some good reasons why it happened this way. One big reason: HP might have been in a bidding war. Still, Palm OS could become the mobile OS HP has been looking for and that 1.2 billion might net them 20 times that amount.

HP Owns 20th Century PDA

I know that doesn’t like much, but think of it this way – HP Jornada, Compaq iPaq, Handspring Visor, Palm OS. That is what HP owns now. The only early PDA assets HP doesn’t own is those from  Apple (Newton), Casio (Cassiopeia), Sony (Clie) or RIM (Blackberry) – Casio ended their PDA run and Sony changed focus to mobile gaming. So HP now has the majority of technology for early PDA and the patents within. While this won’t be a shield to any patent infringement lawsuit, one would definitely need a good iron clad case for legal action.

Slate

We are entering into the “Keyboardless” era – where you don’t need any peripheral attached to use a machine. iPad shows we can have a decent computing experience without keyboard or mouse. iPad also feels that you don’t need to connect USB devices, so they left all those items off their tablet.

In the meantime, what was first thought as full cancellation, turned out to be more of a “restart” for the Slate tablet. Windows is out, that is for sure. The obvious reality was that Palm OS is in. A good move for HP, but why not have 2 versions?

An engineer at HP was overheard saying Windows 7 was a powerhog. That may be true, nonetheless, are people going to see Palm OS as a good alternative OS? I suppose only time will tell.

Palm’s future: Where else will we see the OS?

With the idea that iPad runs a mobile OS, some are starting to realize the versatility. One OS for your phone, tablet, TV,  car, etc.

Last month I went out to HP to talk about Converged infrastructure. In layman’s terms: a fancy way to say “Server administration”. The idea that you can set up a server room and have anyone administer from anywhere on the planet. However, as I was interviewing presenters, one mentioned something I hadn’t thought about:

… there is no good way to administer a printer….

Most printer problems require physical attention: replace a cartridge, fix a paper jam, etc. But beyond the web page administration of a printer, there has not been much innovation to printer OS technology. What if something like Palm OS was ported to a printer?

Let’s take another approach. HP has another OS called HP-UX; It’s their Unix solution. In a “Converged Infrastructure” world, connecting to servers like the HP-UX is important. So why not have a moble OS solution that can really integrate with this idea?

Consumer Level OS

HP has really pushed their lines of consumer products in the last couple years. From netbooks to touchscreen machines, they have brought a lot of innovation to the machine. But they still rely on other Operating systems to really power the experience.

With a mobile OS solution, they can bring an experience to all these devices, some with option to have both on the computer. If you need Windows or just a device that can access the internet to make a Skype call or send an email.

So there are a lot of places Palm could become integrated. Items that HP could have implemented already with other Operating Systems, but they would still be other companies OS’s. This Palm acquisition can give the mobility HP is looking for in more than one way. That, might be worth the 1.2 billion.


Palm & WebOS 1.4 – We’re Getting There



Late last week Palm pushed out an upgrade to its WebOS operating system for the Palm Pre and Pixi phones, taking them to version 1.4.  In the past few weeks, Palm has taken a fair amount of flak, primarily from analysts but also from users.  Its performance in Europe hasn’t exactly been stellar though it seems to have done well enough in Germany and even the US numbers weren’t as good as expected. 

However, with WebOS 1.4 I feel the phone and the platform is really getting somewhere and Palm is starting to get it right.

First of all 1.4 was pretty much released simultaneously to all phone users.  Previously, there were weeks between the CDMA version coming out and then the GSM version being released.  As a GSM owner, nothing irked more than a new version coming out on CDMA and everyone talking about features you couldn’t yet have.

Secondly, not only are bugs being fixed, but new features are being added.  For example, in addition to video recording, there is now video editing on the phone.  Brilliant for taking videos of the kids,  removing the rubbish parts and forwarding to the grandparents.  I played around with the video recording over the weekend and it’s surprisingly good.

Thirdly, the WebOS is ready for Flash, which is coming Real Soon Now via a download from the AppCatalog.   And by the way, the browser scores 92/100 on the Acid 3 test.

Fourth, the AppCatalog is filling up nicely (albeit there still aren’t paid apps in Europe yet either.  That’s coming RSN too.)  I’ve got to the point where I’m only waiting on two apps to be released before I can leave the legacy PalmOS apps behind and one of these is already available in the US.  The other – DataViz’s Documents To Go – is hotly anticipated by many Pre and Pixi owners.

Fifth, Palm Synergy might be Palm’s unique selling point tying on-line calendars, contacts and email back to the phone and merging them seamlessly, but it’s also encouraged others to think similarly.  For example, RSS readers that sync with Google Reader (Feeds Free), finance apps that link with an online version (ClearCheckBook), info organisation (Evernote),  task tracking (Outline Tracker) and so on.  I love being able to do stuff when I’m out and about on my phone and then have access to exactly the same information when I sit down at my desk.

Finally, multitasking.  WebOS has always had this but the ability to have more than one app open at a time is the only way to go.  Right now, I have Tasks, Feeds Free (an RSS reader), Tweed (a Twitter client),  DrPodder (a podcatcher), Email, Videos and Outline Tracker, all open at once.

For awhile there, I was really kind of “take-it-or-leave-it” about Palm and WebOS.  I’d felt a little let down that the features and programs I’d been used to on my Treo 680 just weren’t there.  With the release of 1.4, I’m feeling better about the Pre and what it can do for me.  We’re getting there.


Capacitive Touch Screens – A Step Backwards?



Ever since I bought my first PDA (a Palm III) back in the late 90s, I’ve used the kind of touchscreen which needs you to give it a slight press, typically with stylus but a finger will work just fine too.  Apparently these are resistive touchscreens and work by having two thin transparent parallel sheets which are brought together by the press.

Newer mobile phones such as Apple’s iPhone, the Palm Pre, Google’s Nexus One, use capacitive touchscreens which use distortions in electrostatic fields to detect fingers on the surface of the screen.  Frankly, I think they’re a step backwards.

Why? One – you can really only use your finger.  Things like styluses don’t work anymore and, two – the accuracy or resolution is really poor.  Let’s be honest, your finger isn’t exactly the most precise pointing device.  My finger tends to block out the very thing I’m trying to tap on.

The last time I did any finger writing, I was probably about 5 years old.  I then learnt how to hold a pen and write block letters, graduating to joined-up script when I was seven or eight.  Finally, after a couple of decades in adulthood, it’s back to finger painting on a 3″ screen.  Does anyone else think this is wrong?

“But you don’t have to get your stylus out each time now to tap on the screen.  It’s so much more convenient”.  But the problem in the past was not the screen – it was the user interface.  It expected more precise pointing than a finger.  On PalmOS I could very easily start applications with my finger and choose from dropdown menus but editing Excel cells was too challenging.  If you had a modern phone OS with a resistive screen it would work just fine.  And you could have the best of both worlds; finger pointing for basic operation and the stylus for fine work.

“But you can scroll through lists with a flick”.  Yes, you can and it’s great, but I find that too often I select an item instead of scrolling and it’s incredibly irritating when you’ve just dropped an email into completely the wrong folder.  Could we please just have scroll bars back?

“But what about multi-touch?  That’s only available on a capacitive screen.”  True enough, but this is a phone not Microsoft Surface.  I don’t even find the gestures that easy to do one-handed so I’m quite happy to give up multi-touch.

I have tried the Pogostick stylus but it’s not much better.  I still end up stabbing at the screen rather than gently tapping, the resolution or accuracy is no better and the stylus head is pretty big.  HTC appear to be bringing out a capacitive stylus but it’s not yet available in the UK and it’s quite expensive.

My point is that a capacitive screen would be fine on a larger screen, where there’s greater room for bigger buttons and multi-touch with two hands would bring benefts.  But on a small 3″ phone screen,  I needed better accuracy, not worse and I’m fully on-board for a hybrid of finger pointing for dialling and quick selection, but with the finer control of a stylus to select text, edit cells and generally be productive.  A resistive screen can provide this far better than a capacitive screen as far as I can tell.

I think we’ve been sold a dummy.


IDC Predicts Big Change in IT and Telecoms



The analysts over at IDC reckon that 2010 is going to be a year of “recovery and transformation”.  On the recovery side, they’re expecting global IT spending to increase by 3.2%, returning to 2008 levels but a large chunk of this spending is going to occur in the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

But more interestingly, the transformation part is going to be increased adoption of  cloud services and the arrival of “enterprise-grade cloud services” and complementary application platforms.  IDC thinks this will be the most important development for the next 20 years particularly when linked in with the growth in mobile devices.

Regarding mobile, IDC sees these competing with PCs as user’s main devices, with over 1 billion mobile devices, fuelled by increasing adoption of smartphones and Apple’s iPad tablet.  They predict over 300,000 iPhone apps and 5x growth in Android apps.  Interestingly, they also predict “apps stores” for netbooks, which I think has already been evidenced by moves from Intel.

Other predictions include “socialytic” apps which mashup business apps with social networks, further reductions in CO2 through IT solutions and more mergers, acquisitions and partnerships.

Personally, I think the cloud services linked to mobile devices is right on the money.  I’ve recently started using a Palm Pre and it links to several on-line services including Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote.  Looking at just Google, there are connections to Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reader and I’m expecting Tasks, Documents and Notebook to be available before long.  So I’m already living in the cloud and I love it.

The whole press release is over at IDC.