Betamax was better than VHS (smaller tapes, better color reproduction, APS, 250 lines vs. 240 lines of resolution, superior sound, a more stable image, and better HW (recorders) construction).

HD DVD was better than Blu-ray, from a production scaling perspective: a fact that would have proved even more profitable given the lack of wholescale Blu-ray adoption for which Sony et al were hoping. While Blu-ray picture quality is superior to HD DVD, the cost for upgrade (to studios, manufacturers, and consumers alike) will have proven too great, once we look back and see how non-existent the transition from DVD to Blu-ray was.

History is littered with the corpses of superior or more reasonably positioned systems, all killed by the same disease: poor strategic marketing. Herewith, another one bites the dust:

The Windows Phone OS family (WinPhone 7 – Windows 10 Mobile) was a fluid, elegant, sophisticated OS group, murdered by marketing failures galore (as well as by the marketing successes of the opposition). For more than 6 years, I have been writing about Microsoft’s failure to effectively position or market their mobile platform and operating systems. A lot of good that did!

What are the lessons learned, and has Microsoft burned their mobile user base enough times now, that their Windows Core OS offering will fail to elicit enthusiasm from mobile consumers who carry too many scars?

I still maintain that anyone (individual or company) looking for short to mid-term revenue injection should consider developing applications for the Blackberry platform, especially with the imminent 6.1 platform (Open GL-ES2.0; Windows API; Magnetometer/Digital compass APIs; Event based geo-tagging location APIs; Enhancement to barcode APIs, and a lot more). The Apple and Android platforms are increasingly overcrowded, and any applications developed in to that space will simply be part of the crowd, with an intensely rare few breakouts. It will be another couple of years before the glut of useless apps begins to fall by the wayside to a degree worthy of note.

Meanwhile, over in Blackberry App World, users are dying to get their hands on utilities and apps that make them proud to own a Blackberry once again. That RIM is not doing as good a job as it might in marketing its platform to developers is just one part of the puzzle that seems in dire need of burnishing. With the advent of Blackberry’s Playbook tablet, application development for the Blackberry ecosystem now has a truly compelling attraction. The window is open for a short period (as Motorola’s Xoom, Notion Ink’s Adam, and Samsung’s Galaxy jostle to get through, among others), and Blackberry needs to get aggressive.

The smart app developer AND brand manager will play the odds, and seize this opportunity to develop their apps in a space with far less competition, and far more demand for quality applications (just bear in mind that Blackberry users are a different demographic than Apple and Android users: know your market).

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Over the past 10 years or so, we have been subject to an escalating swath of socially suffocating technological wizardry. It seemed as if we had to “adopt” a new piece of hardware or software every day, and it has been boggling our minds on an ever-overwhelming basis. Many have opted to “opt-out”, and are happily ignorant of many or all the fantastic advances available to them: the mobile weather apps, Smartphones, advanced networks, streaming media, 3D TVs, ebooks, tablets, subcutaneous bar codes (ok, I made that last one up…maybe).

The point is, Moore’s law and its associate exponential trend markers are suffocating us with advances, to the point where the next generation is looking at us with bemusement, and wondering why we are swimming so hard upstream. They want the tools, plugins, add-ons, extensions, gadgets, gewgaws, and apps to serve them with utility, and not the other way around.

And I say “Hear! Hear!”

It has been a thrilling, albeit exhausting, ride: keeping up with the cyberjoneses, as I educated myself about all the latest multiplatform, multi-browser apps and extensions and add-ons; as I tested all the diversity of mobile devices, and patiently spent hours per week updating all my software applications. I marveled at my friends and associates who could not exercise any modicum of patience, and spent top dollar to add another hardware device to their growing arsenal, until they had a desktop computer with triple monitors, networked to their HDTV, augmented (but not replaced) by a laptop and Smartphone, and then accompanied by an e-book reader, Internet TV, and – most recently – tablet.

It is this latest device, however, that gives me the greatest cause for rejoicing (perhaps prematurely). I’m not just referring to the iPad, but to the imminent explosion of tablets that the iPad has facilitated, by dint of being the prettiest, although not the first.

I believe that because of the very fact that we are simply overwhelmed by technology, the tablet has presented us with a new challenge: do we add yet another device to our asphyxiating arsenal of gadgets, or do we identify what current tools it effectively replaces, and dispose of a whole hardware subset or two? The decline of the Netbook is testament to the subconscious desire of consumers for a return to efficient and manageable technological lifestyles, and I predict (again) that – with the right marketing and product innovation – tablets will eventually replace laptops as well. This time, I have pretty pictures to back me up: