What the IT big boys will be doing in 2015

Amazon

"Relentless.com"

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos (US. Still boss). Originally an On-line bookshop – now sells everything
Pioneered on-line selling (use your credit card on-line) and on-line reviews.
Still top on-line seller in US, Europe and Japan
Makes relatively little profit, - low prices.
Focuses on customers, not competitors
Most profits are from Amazon's marketplace (helped many small business go on-line)

Salaries relatively low:
(2012) None of the company’s five top officers earned more than $175,000 in cash a year. Bezos took $81,840 in salary and hasn’t had a raise since 1998. He has raised at least $750 million since 2010 by selling Amazon shares.

Focus on "Prime" customers who spend 4 times more
Bought HBO movies which Prime customers can stream at no extra cost. Also gives access to 12 million songs. Borrow a book a month if you have a Kindle and Faster delivery

New products:

FireTV

Streaming set-top box costing £49 for customers who have an Amazon Prime membership and £79 for those without.
Checked what customers disliked about the existing set top boxes, and set out to beat them. Box includes: Voice search called "ASAP" preloads content while you search..

Amazon Studios - making pilot TV shows – for Prime customers . Can vote on the ones worth making into series.
http://studios.amazon.com/

Kindle Direct Publishing expanded to support needs of Children's books writers.
https://kdp.amazon.com/?language=en_US

Fire phone
• Uses cloud computing to provide user with information on anything the phone sees or hears. (Firefly)
• 3D effect, multiple front-facing cameras
• Shop front including especially digital video.

Amazon Web Services - cloud services for business startups

Google

Last year Google made $55.5 billion in advertising, which is about 90% of their profit.
However, like Amazon Google is not a company primarily motivated by profit. They are investing many times this amount in research to improve the availability and relevance of information and to improve the quality of life for people throughout the planet.
Search
Google makes its money when people do commercial searches for products. As Amazon grows in power and ubiquity, consumers are going straight to Amazon.com to do searches for stuff instead of Google. To fight back, Google has tried to improve its shopping results.

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Online Shopping
Google—has managed to build up its own online shopping power thanks to a variety of apps and services.
Google Shopping Express:. Slide3.Buy something online from the likes of Costco in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and parts of Los Angeles, and Google Shopping Express will get that order to you the same day.
Also Sponsored shopping see next week.

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Delivery via drone?: Late last year Amazon floated the idea of home delivery via drone? Apparently, Google didn’t think that idea was so crazy: Google has spent the past two years working on a drone delivery program of its own.

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They are also developing drones to help with Google Maps and other products.

Information

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Mission to make information universally available and acceptable
In Kansas City, Google divided the region into areas of a few hundred homes it called "fiberhoods" and asked residents to pay $10 to preregister for a service that would operate at one gigabit per second, about 100 times the U.S. average. The service now costs $70 a month.

Trans-Pacific cable system.
The technical design calls for a high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable supporting optical transmission technologies and an initial capacity of 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs).
Each project brings its own problems, like physical bugs in the first computers and mice eating the cabling in computer rooms… Shark attack

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“Of course, this all assumes you are one of the 2 billion people who have access to the Internet. That leaves five billion other people. It’s a tragedy that with so much information available today, two-thirds of the world’s population lack even the most basic Internet connection.” Google is a $60 billion-a-year company. It needs to find new businesses that will generate billions, not millions, of new dollars. And that seems to mean finding billions of new customers in developing countries where the internet doesn’t yet exist.
Project Loon Slide7 looks to use a global network of high-altitude balloons to connect people in rural and remote areas who have no Internet access at all

Encryption

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Not only is Google making the internet more widely available, it is also making it safer even at the expense of its own revenue. Gmail is now encrypted by default. Slide8 It is also encouraging other email providers to encrypt emails. End to end encryption will be available in Chrome soon.

Health

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Google's project to 'cure death,' Calico, announces $1.5 billion research centre
Calico will work with big pharma to create and market new drugs for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's
Add tiny circuits to a contact lens, Slide9 and you might be able to measure glucose levels in tears. Google is working on just such a contact lens to help with the management of diabetes or to restore the eye’s natural focus in people who can no longer read without glasses.

Wearables

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Earlier this year, Google launched Android Wear, since then, the first watches powered by Android Wear, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, have gone on sale, developers have already built thousands of apps enhanced for Wear, and great new watches are becoming available from more partners.
Our goal with Wear is to build technology that helps you connect with others and get stuff done. So often, technology can become something that gets in the way of everything else. But we want to build devices that you can use when you need and forget about when you don’t—technology that's built for your sake, rather than its own sake. Coming throughout the rest of this year, we're making some updates to Wear that will help you get even more out of your watch—and the rest of your life, too.
First, we're bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You’ll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

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The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your watch's home screen to show the information you want to see most—like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play
Some features on the horizon include the ability to pair a smartwatch with a Bluetooth headset,

Android
The next version of Android – L series will feature a revised user interface called Material Design, more details which Google says is based on basic shapes and sheets of paper.
Android’s primary buttons are also seeing a change into simple geometric shapes. See photos on web page. The changes also affect the dynamic way the UI works so need to look at video in link.

More Cool stuff about Google

10 Coolest Google R&D Projects
Another 10 Cool R&D projects
Larry Page: Where’s Google going next? | Video | TED.com
Google founders on the future of health, transport – and robots

“I think the actual amount of knowledge you get out of your computer versus the amount of time you spend with it is still pretty bad. So I think our job is to solve that, and most of the things we're doing make sense in that context,” Sergy Brin.

Microsoft

Microsoft - click for presentation

Apple

Founded by Steve Jobs – 1976 (died 2011) - New CEO – Tim Cook
Strategy:
• to offer a small number of products.
• Focus on the high end
• Give priority to profits over market share
• Create a halo effect that makes people starve for new Apple products
• Control sale prices (Minimum Advertised Price)

The average time between new category products from Apple is ~6 years:
The Macintosh arrived in 1984, The iPod launched in 2001. The iPhone appeared in 2007 The iPad landed in 2010.

Sept 9th 2014 saw:
Apple watch – 2 sizes, 3 versions: Watch, Sport and Edition. (Apps:health, messages and wallet) – but tethered to iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 iphone 6 and 6 + – larger screen 4.7 and 5.5. inch Phablets (there are no new small screen phones), very thin. review

Apple Pay – few retailers geared up yet, only works with iPhone 6
Uses Near Field Communications to connect the phone to the point-of-sale sensor, layered on top of that is Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint identification technology that replaces the credit card number with a one-time-only code. If a hacker broke into the retail database, they wouldn’t find a credit card number or anything worth stealing.

Samsung

Huge Korean conglomerate – shipbuilding, aerospace, theme park….Founded 1938
Includes Electronics and Display divisions Electronics – "Galaxy" smartphones; Display - TVs
High end smartphones– compete with Apple
Low end smartphones– compete with Chinese

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has just been released (sept 3rd)
Galaxy Note 4 – 5.7 inch Quad HD Amoled display, fast charge battery – 4 types of processors.

…and a curved phone - Samsung Galaxy Edge and virtual reality mask - put the phone in the mask to make a VR Headset . Powered by Oculus Rift software.

Also: Samsung Gear Sbold text – a watch which makes calls, dictate messages. Not tethered to a smartphone.

..Samsung plans to move away from Android …It can't compete with cheapo Chinese phones
Moving away from Android to its own OS "TIZEN" also because it needs an OS for its wearable technology. Problem: lack of apps for the OS
Focusing on high end products in competition with Apple. Has recently been more innovative than Apple: Large format phones (Phablet), 6 (!) watches, AMOLED bendy screens.

Latest TV: 105inch bendable UHD TV

…and here's something for Jacki - a curved soundbar to go with her curved TV !

“anything’s possible – whether it’s 3D without glasses or other technology. But some features consumers will adopt and others they won’t. We are led by that.”

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