Quickies: iPhone, Apple TV, Windows Home Server, More…

Way behind on things that I’d like to blog, so I figured I’d hit a few real quick.


Apple iPhone:  Cool.  I’m a big fan of my Motorola Q, but there are many things about the iPhone that made my geek sense go all tingly.  The full touchscreen is awesome.  I share the same concerns as others about the lack of tactile feedback, but I’ve never been able to use my Q’s keyboard without looking, so this probably wouldn’t be too bad.  Other than that, the thing is just pretty.  Now I’m not sure I’d ever want to fork over the money that Apple wants for the iPhone, but the innovation that this is going to drive into the smartphone market will be welcome, considering the most innovation we’ve seen lately is new hinge designs and endless Treo clones.  For those who seem to be down on the iPhone as a mobile web platform, consider yourself outside the target market.  I browse the web on my Q, and want the UX for this mode to get better, not go away.


Apple TV: Maybe cool.  I’m not sure on this one yet.  Really all I want is a generic way to push PC-based content to my TV.  Yes, a really lond S-Video cable would do this, but I like the idea of a simle browsable interface that has a remote control.  Not sure if it’s worth $299, especially when the functionality is a subset of most new game consoles.  If the price came down by a third, and it had a totally open interface, then it might be compelling.


Windows Home Server:  Anyone who is a longtime reader of my blog knows that this is one of my favorite ideas.  I’m not sure how much it will live up to my original hopes, but it’s a good step in the right direction.  My main questions right now are about how much it integrates user and security management, and how good of a job they have done managing data, and if they have included email, im, and other user data that is typically profile dependent (in anything other than a backup scenario).


 


Now for some really old stuff:


Mac OS X to feature portable user accounts: In my mind, the nirvana for any OS is for all of my user data to be able to be saved to a thumb drive, or to online storage, and for me to be able to take it with me wherever I go.  Music, email, contacts, favorites, RSS subs & read status, wallpaper, program settings.  Everything.  The current mode where my “data” is spread accross multiple directories, registry hives, config file, etc. is unacceptable.  While I’d hate to be on the comittee, it’d almost be worth taking a couple of swipes at developing an XML schema that would encompass the generics of “user data”, with extensions for different OS’s and programs.  Then the challenge of coming up with a Sync implementation would seem more managable.


New Media is going to kick the mainstream media’s ass (or perhaps it already is)


Hotmail Is Not Push Mail – Why?: I think this is coming with the new G2 client.  Can anyone confirm?


 


 

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Windows Server Home Will Finally See The Light

High profile bloggers including Mary Jo Foley, Ryan Block and Daniel Fleshbourne are confirming that the project known as Quattro is finally going to see the light of day at the upcoming CES.  I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that it’s going to be a cornerstone of Gates’ keynote speech.


The speculation about what exactly Quattro is ranges from a beefed up Vista MCE build, to a consumerized Storage Server build.  Whatever Quattro ends up being, I’m hoping that it addresses at least some of the concerns from my original Windows Server Home Edition post.


From the scarce information that has leaked out, it looks like this product is going to focus more on the storage and media side of the problem, and less on the users and management side.  Either way, making it easier for consumers to realize the benefits of Microsoft’s server technology is a good thing.  If people get used to the idea of a centralized box in their home, it will be easy to incorporate more functionality in the future.