Archive for July, 2003

Microsoft bets on Web Services

July 31, 2003

By offering Map Point services as a Web Service Microsoft moves one more step
closer to aligning its bets on Web Service. It is an interesting development
to watch. Map-based services will dramatically imprve thanks to Map Piont

Americans continue to say a resounding “No” to cold calls

July 30, 2003

In my Weblog of June 30, 2003 (Americans say no to cold calls),
I had mentioned that the “Do Not Call Registry” had million users registered
within 24 hours of the legislation on June 27th (that bars cold calls and in
turn partly controls database marketing). Interestingly, the trend was
followed up and by July 26th there were 27 million users who had registered
(as per Economist). Intereting isn’t it? With 65 million calls a day and $ 100
billion in sales tele-marketing for sure will be different; while the
corporate sector may NOT be happy, the millions of consumers will have a
good uninterrupted dinner, and a healthy life too

Fuddy-duddy Turns Cutting Edge – the changing face of printers

July 25, 2003

Fuji Film recently introduced one of the lightest printers in the market, one
which weighs just 250 grams. This printer prints high resolution pictures that
have photorealistic quality. Also, it is easy to carry, communicates
wirelessly and works without a PC. There are similar printers from Sony,
Kodak, Canon, Zebra, Epson, Olympus and even Hewlett-Packard (considered a
computer and instruments company). What is interesting about these printers is
the paradigm shift in the thinking of the end consumer about the
role of the printer and the deep inroads made by digital technology in
the consumer space. (my Column in Financial Express that appeared on July
25, 2003)


Mobile printers

July 22, 2003

Printers started as Peripherals to computers. The Laser printer changed the
relative role; many people in DTP arena viewed PC as a peripheral to Laser
printer. With Mobile phones, Digital Camera and PDA wih great photographs
printers are emerging as centre-stage devices!

Hardware needs a Task Force – Karnataka does it again

July 21, 2003

I see no reason why people feel hardware cannot be done in India. True, China
has built infrastructure with a vengeance and taken manufacturing away from
Singapore, Taiwan, Hong kong and even Thailand & Malaysia. But Moser Baer,
Celetron, VXL Instruments, HiCal Magnetics and D-Link show that hardware can
be done in India. It just needs a little Policy push; that is where
Karnataka’s Hardware Task Force fits in. Hopefully Karnataka can replicate its
software succes in hardware too!

Billion watches from Timex

July 14, 2003

Timex created history by selling billion watches in 2002; according to
Timex, this is a feat unmatched by any other manufacturer.
This represents
a major turning point in the history of watches.

Timex sells billion watches; sees Microsoft as threat

July 13, 2003

Timex is the first company to cross the 1 Billion mark in sales of watches.
Interestingly it also crossed 1 Million sales in India. What is most
unexpected is the emegence of Microsoft as their competitor! Microsoft had
partnered with Timex earlier to offer DataLink (Outlook Calendar) through
watch (using synchronization) But the recent SPOT initiative of Microsoft does
not have Timex as partner but as a competitor!

Branch transactions a minority in ICICI Bank

July 12, 2003

During IIIT-B Board meeting today KV Kamath of ICICI Bank was talking about
the adoption of technology by Indian consumers. According to Kamath Internet
banking is a reality with millions of Internet account holders and half of
them being active. With ATM accounting for another siginificant portion, the
cash transactions in teller counters is a minority in ICICI Bank; in which
case, branches in their traditional role to do just transactions, that too
cash transactions will soon cease to be a competitive weapon – a message that
public sector banks would be well worth taking note of!
Though ICICI
Bank’s customer-base can be termed Yuppie Indian (urban youth) other Indians
will not be behind for too long.

Larry Ellison talks of Oracle, SAP & Microsoft

July 11, 2003

Larry Ellison of Oracle is so much in the news. His offer to take over
PeopleSoft (which was in the process of acquiring JD Edwards) would make it,
according to Oracle, the No 1 in Enterprise software (which for sure will be
contested by SAP!). What is most interesting is Larry’s admission (his
strong views on Microsoft are too well known) that after the consolidation
it will be just three vendors – Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, a company
that was nowhere in the reckoning until recently. That shows the “underdog”
capability of Microsoft. They were nowhere in Server Operating Systems
sometime back. They were nothing to count in the DBMS market in early
ninetees. Microsoft was just not there in gaming market. At one time they were
nowhere in Encyclopaedia business. Today with Windows Server, SQL Server, XBox
and Encarta respectively, they are a force to reckon with. They are emerging
slowly in Mobile Telephony (Windows Mobile), Embedded Systems (Win CE,
PocketPC) and even Wristwatches (SPOT – Smart Personal Objects Technology).
An interesting, company indeed! They will be there in Enterprise
Software too
(thanks to Great Plains & NaVision)

ATM transactions pip credit card transactions

July 10, 2003

A recent Economic Times article talks of Indian ATM transactions moving past
credit card transactions – a statistics that many will find hard to believe!
More interestingly 90% of retail cash transactions in banks are through ATMs!
It should make the banks sit up and listen. ATM’s are growing fastest in India
with 400 added every month. Companies like Diebold have started assembling
them in India. Less expensive and less space consuming ATM’s will soon find
their way. All these point to a technology-driven shift in Indian