Does the xBox Announcement Matter

Microsoft has finally made their next generation console announcement. You can watch a replay here. This got me thinking, does it matter? The basics are an improved processor, more cloud integration, improved Kinect, and better media center capabilities. As more and more people are become cord cutters, and more and more gaming is happening on hand held devices, it does seem that Microsoft is realizing it must pivot the value of the console, but is this enough?

To me, the cloud parts could be interesting, if they allowed me to seamlessly transition from playing my favorite MMO on my desktop and then shift onto the big screen in the living room without missing a beat. But other than that, it doesn’t hold much interest. The Kinect part; however, may be the game changer. Improved fidelity and speed in processing may bring us one step closer to the seamless interfaces of science fiction. Add strong Google Now / Siri like capabilities, and perhaps the new xBox One will be the one interface you need to run your house.

Google Developer’s Conference

*** It seems that this post didn’t go up when I thought it would..not sure what happened (I am sure it is a users/poster error).

I was lucky enough to have a very long drive during the Google IO keynote so I had time to listen to the livestream of all three hours while driving down the highway. There were a couple of key items that I found very cool and I’d like to share them now..

1) Google is finally getting social right. Their use of Google Now, Google Hangouts, and their new features of Maps are all great examples of how they are leveraging social and location data to create incredibly cool results.
2) Google is making a great play for the education market. One of the things that Apple has been historically good at, is addressing the K-12 markets, but their premium pricing have become a bit of a challenge in today’s highly sensitive budgetary environments. The Google Play store for education sounds amazing: teachers able to push apps to their students, centralized financial control, but teacher lead purchases, and many other features.
3) Larry’s speech was amazing. I am sure part of it was the tenor of his voice driven by his vocal chord paralysis. His vision of the value of technology and engineering and how we all as developers are going to change the world, was not only compelling, but also inspiring. Yes, I can easily point out the self serving nature of some of his platform comments. Yes, I can talk about how his “open” comments are again a bit disingenuous. But it still was a great speech.

The net was, I can’t believe I didn’t order my Google Glass last year, I will have to do it when they become more generally available.

What did you find interesting?