Rob Enderle

About the Author Rob Enderle


IDG Contributor Network: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations: undoing a huge 1990s mistake

Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.

Microsoft has made many critical mistakes over the years. Something not uncommon in any firm. But one that seemed to me to be one of the most foolish was to take Windows NT, which was initially uniquely focused on Servers and Workstations, and fold elements of Windows 9x into it to create a more common code base. That made sense from a cost standpoint but created problems for all three groups. Windows Server had to then overcome consumer messaging and elements, workstation users seemed to lose focus entirely, and desktop users got more complexity then they’d ever wanted or needed. 

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IDG Contributor Network: Windows 10 finally has become an adult product with a child’s heart

I became an industry analyst during the ramp to launch for Windows 95 and, as luck would have it, I owned operating systems for Dataquest at the time. The success of the product was directly tied to my own success and I doubt I’d be where I am today were it not for that timing and responsibility. As a result, I’ve watched Windows closely over the years, almost as if it was my digital brother and both of us have had some impressive ups and downs. (Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.) 

Initially Windows was designed to be Microsoft’s alternative to the MacOS from Apple and it resulted after Steve Jobs refused to license that OS to Microsoft. In that way, its birth wasn’t that different than Android’s was, given Android resulted from what appeared to be a similar, though not identical, disagreement decades later between the Google founders and Steve Jobs. 

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Tech Buzz

While You Wait: 4 Potentially Higher-Status Alternatives to the iPhone 8

At a rumored $1,400 sale price the coming iPhone 8 likely will test just how much people are willing to pay for a new phone — particularly, how much parents are willing to fork over for their kids. While iPhones once conveyed status and sense of luxury, similar to a brand like Cadillac, pretty much everyone and their brother has iPhones today. The first few customers who get their hands on the latest model will be envied for about a week.

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Why Facebook’s Willow Beats Apple’s Saucer

Facebook knocked it out of the park with its financials last week, and a lot of its success comes from Zuckerberg’s unique focus. Unlike other firms that jump from project to project, ranging widely from what makes them money — like Google — Facebook stays close to what made it successful. There is no stronger evidence than when you compare the two office projects from Apple and Facebook.

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Tech Buzz

Could Tech Nerf North Korea?

When a hostile country regularly lobs missiles into the ocean with the stated objective of transforming a U.S. state into a radioactive cloud, we have a problem. One “oops” and we could suddenly become a 49-state nation again. Approaches to North Korea tend to be in-the-box thinking, but there are new technologies that effectively could neutralize the threat it poses.

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The United States of Amazon

Amazon’s significant expansion into yet another market — this time, grocery stores — dominated many of my conversations last week. Clearly, Amazon warned us. I’ve been here before — back in the 1990s, when Amazon was just books, I was running the company’s e-commerce unit. I got into an argument with one of the analysts focused on Amazon, who believed the company wouldn’t go beyond books.

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The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

Last week, I listened to an economist talk about Apple’s complaints that Qualcomm had charged Apple too much for access to patents. What was fascinating was that Apple had folks focused on the 5 percent Qualcomm had charged it instead of on the massive profit that Apple made on each phone. The price of the iPhone 8 likely will be well over $1,000 — but it could cost well under $500 to build.

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Hearing Crickets at Apple’s WWDC and a Pin Drop in the Senate

The two mammoth events last week were the Apple WWDC keynote and ex-FBI chief James Comey’s appearance at a Senate committee hearing. Now I’m sure a lot of folks didn’t have the time to watch both events — and particularly for the Comey event, I’m sure the coverage has the right and the left believing very different realities. Apple is becoming more and more like a typical tech firm.

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Tech Buzz

Will Future Autonomous Cars Fly Like Birds or Tunnel Like Moles?

It is kind of amazing how much advancement is going on in the autonomous car space. A year ago, we were mostly talking about cars that seemed comparatively boring, because they just drove on the surface. How quaint — how 2016. Now when we mention “boring,” we may be talking about Elon Musk’s new underground tunneling idea. However, a little company called “Airbus” disagrees.

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Tech Buzz

Dell’s ‘Alice’ Will Guide Women Through VC Wonderland

One of the interesting things at Dell EMC World came from Karen Quintos, the most powerful woman at Dell. Karen is responsible for its Entrepreneur in Residence program, which focuses on equipping and helping woman entrepreneurs. Dell Technologies apparently has created “Alice,” a female-focused artificial intelligence focused on helping support and drive innovative firms backed by women.

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Tech Buzz

What People Don’t Get About Tesla

Tesla is like Apple in that it represents a revolution in thinking. Although everyone seems to focus on the electric power plant, that is really a small part of the Tesla revolution. If Musk were to launch an almost-identical company but with gas engines, it would cut through the market like a hot knife through butter. The electric part isn’t as much a sales accelerant as it is an impediment.

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What People Don’t Get About Tesla

Tesla is like Apple in that it represents a revolution in thinking. Although everyone seems to focus on the electric power plant, that is really a small part of the Tesla revolution. If Musk were to launch an almost-identical company but with gas engines, it would cut through the market like a hot knife through butter. The electric part isn’t as much a sales accelerant as it is an impediment.

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Why Is It OK to Abuse Customers?

I don’t know about you but I can’t seem to get out of my head the image of that poor Asian doctor who, seemingly unconscious, was dragged off that United flight. The fact that the airline did that to a 69-year-old doctor just so it could save money moving employees around is nearly as unbelievable as the initial tone-deaf response from United’s CEO, who blamed the passenger.

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Why VR Is Failing

As a market, we seem to have trouble learning that three key elements are necessary for a new technology to take hold: It has to appear complete, it has to be compelling, and it has to seem like a value — that is, be affordable. Compared to what we have today, the car that opened up the automotive market in the U.S. was none of those things — yet it was incredibly successful.

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Tech Buzz

Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 8: Winning Has Little to Do With Phones

The new Samsung Galaxy S8 has launched, and its target of choice is the as yet unlaunched Apple iPhone 8 Anniversary Edition. These phones are critical for both companies. Apple survives largely off the iPhone today, and Samsung is trying to recover both from its burning phone problem and from its top executive being arrested on bribery charges. Neither firm can afford a big loss to the other.

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Don’t Let the Next Catastrophic Phishing Scandal End Your Career

What I think is amazing about all of the massive data breaches we hear about is that we know most are not reported. For every email, customer record, or financial theft in the news, there likely are hundreds that remain in the shadows. Yet another incident came to light last week. A clever Lithuanian individual was able to pull a whopping $100 million from a bunch of unnamed Internet companies.

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Why Tech Can’t Help Donald Trump and Most CEOs

The new president is making almost the identical mistake President Obama made during his first two years. Trump has picked a major entitlement to hang his hat on — the same major entitlement, healthcare — and shortly will discover what most CIOs know: You don’t mess with anything that touches everybody. The likely outcome will be that like Obama, Trump will lose the house in the next election.

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