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Apple TV/Slingbox lash-up, Apple Corps exit, Microsoft at crossroads

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
The creators of the Slingbox media hub have confirmed they hope to bring Apple TV to mobile phones. Meanwhile, two of Apple, Inc.'s longest rivals in computing and music are facing a critical moment in their lives.

Slingbox to beam Apple TV to cellphones

While Apple has just managed to stream iTunes Store media to TVs, Sling Media today revealed that it's devising a way broadcast that content to mobile phones.

By modifying the software support of its Slingbox devices, which stream music and video from cable boxes and other receivers, the company said it would let anyone using its SlingPlayer phone app view that content on the road using a fast cellular connection such as AT&T's EDGE or Sprint's EVDO.

The modification was still in the testing phase but was all but certain to appear in the near future. "It is definitely something we will support," Sling PR spokesman Brian Jaquet said.

Journalists were quick to leap on the possibility of cellphone viewing, raising the possibility that Apple might have already recognized the potential link between iTunes, its media hub, and its phone. "When the iPhone ships later this year," asked Wired's Charlie Sorrel, "could this be the next part of the plan? ITunes streaming directly to iPhone?"

Aspinall takes final curtain at Apple Corps

Just as Apple's music environment is set to grow, its longstanding challenger in Britain is losing one of its best-known personalities: Neil Aspinall, who headed The Beatles' famous music label Apple Corps, announced on Tuesday that he would step down from the post after 40 years.

"He was there since the inception of the band in Liverpool and has meant so much to the Beatles' family for all these years and still does," the company said today. "However, he has decided to move on."

Aspinall had devoted virtually all his life to the record shop, helping The Beatles release their last few albums before their breakup and ensuring their long-term fame decades later.

This dedicated stance was often believed by many to have presented some of the greatest resistance to digital music and Apple, Inc. in particular, having held out on CD reissues until 1987 and embroiling itself in years-long feud with the computer company that only ended in late 2006 with a settlement.

Microsoft reaching a critical moment?

Another historical opponent of the iPod maker, Microsoft, has also been confronted with its own sea change over the past several days.

Financial institution Goldman Sachs on Tuesday pulled Microsoft from its "conviction" list, an exclusive group that Goldman Sachs reserves for its hottest properties. The latter kept the Windows developer on its "buy" list but said that the market dynamics had made it less relevant in the face of Web 2.0 apps, particularly from Google.

"Google is a competitor unlike any Microsoft has seen before," said Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar. "Googles dominance in search, deep pockets, and 'cool' factor make it a serious competitor to Microsoft as it strives to obsolete the desktop operating system."

The move was relatively timid in comparison to observations from one venture capitalist over the weekend, however. Y Combinator's Paul Graham caused a stir on the web by all but burying the software giant, saying it had been "killed" by web technology -- including some of its own. It was no longer the darling of cutting-edge startup firms and users, he said, as many of them had moved on to Linux or Macs as their systems of choice.

"Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology," he wrote. "Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops."

Apple posts Apple TV ad in HD

After a short delay, Apple today posted a streaming version of its new Apple TV ad to its website.

The ad, which began airing Monday, hopes to draw a connection between iTunes, the iPod, and the new media hub in one near-continuous shot.
post #2 of 42
Very interesting...

I wonder if that means digital beatles sooner than later (if ever...)
i don't understand the need for appletv content on cellphones, but i don't use many of those gadgets anyway, so not my forte to complain about.
And what goes up must come down for Microsoft...
and last but [maybe?] not least, the ad is up (altho the link Ireland provided is better...), and they are definitely trying to show the connection. The bottom of the apple main page shows the imac, the ipod, the man on the couch and then the tv. over and over and over.

oh. so much posting today. good night.
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Journalists were quick to leap on the possibility of cellphone viewing, raising the possibility that Apple might have already recognized the potential link between iTunes, its media hub, and its phone. "When the iPhone ships later this year," asked Wired's Charlie Sorrel, "could this be the next part of the plan? ITunes streaming directly to iPhone?"

I've been saying this is the perfect integration for Apple since Slingbox first arrived and the iPhone rumours first started.

Connect iPhone to iTunes on a Mac. The idea of using the AppleTV is absurd as it's just another satellite to the Mac hub.

What is needed to make this work:
1) iTunes version with integrated Quicktime Streaming Server
2) iPhone
3) .Mac account.

The .Mac account will auto-connect between your iTunes account at home and your iPhone. There will be no need to manage the complex setup needed with Slingbox and remote desktop software alike. It would make the connection using .Mac in a similar way that P2P networks manage hosts, except your .Mac account only has to manage your devices. Once .Mac verifies the config settings and devices are paired then you have direct streaming access to your iTunes content.
I think this is the killer app that will truly set the iPhone apart from the others.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology," he wrote. "Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops."

That rocks!
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post #4 of 42
Well, he's surprised to see those few Windows users in the circle HE works in, which is cool, but he's surely not surprised to find Windows lingering in the world at large
post #5 of 42
That shot where the iPod pans into the scene is so amaturish it looks like a kid from the Art Institute shot it.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

That shot where the iPod pans into the scene is so amaturish it looks like a kid from the Art Institute shot it.

It most certainly does not. I thought it was well done. The DoF (depth of field) changes to the iPod and back, and very smooth motions overall.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I've been saying this is the perfect integration for Apple since Slingbox first arrived and the iPhone rumours first started.

Connect iPhone to iTunes on a Mac. The idea of using the AppleTV is absurd as it's just another satellite to the Mac hub.

What is needed to make this work:
1) iTunes version with integrated Quicktime Streaming Server
2) iPhone
3) .Mac account.

The .Mac account will auto-connect between your iTunes account at home and your iPhone. There will be no need to manage the complex setup needed with Slingbox and remote desktop software alike. It would make the connection using .Mac in a similar way that P2P networks manage hosts, except your .Mac account only has to manage your devices. Once .Mac verifies the config settings and devices are paired then you have direct streaming access to your iTunes content.
I think this is the killer app that will truly set the iPhone apart from the others.




That rocks!

I really like your idea. This setup also eliminates one criticism of
the iPhone, namely that it has too little storage. If a person could
stream content from their iTunes at home to their iPhone, not
much storage would be necessary in the phone itself.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by josa92 View Post

It most certainly does not. I thought it was well done. The DoF (depth of field) changes to the iPod and back, and very smooth motions overall.

Yes, it looked fine. What didn't register at first was that in each room, it's the same kid watching. Maybe if he looked more distinctive from the back? Anyway, why didn't the HDTV look like Lego bricks (if the in-store reports are to be believed)?

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post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I really like your idea. This setup also eliminates one criticism of
the iPhone, namely that it has too little storage. If a person could
stream content from their iTunes at home to their iPhone, not
much storage would be necessary in the phone itself.

More storage onboard is more practical. Otherwise you rely on at&t's network to stream your content and you incur more network usage fees. This makes no sense.

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post #10 of 42
I know, the irony-- Apple posts an HD version of their ad that looks great on my computer and which is capable of depicting a beautiful version of School of Rock on a nice big display, while in fact selling low res low bit rate version of that movie which looks lousy on big displays.

It's like the ad is the fantasy version of what they had in mind, and by God they're just going to keep acting like that's what's really being offered.

Apple, it's like I don't even know you anymore.
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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Well, he's surprised to see those few Windows users in the circle HE works in, which is cool, but he's surely not surprised to find Windows lingering in the world at large

By the circle "he" works in, he means entrepreneurs and engineers at tech startups. Nobody important, just all the people changing the future.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

More storage onboard is more practical. Otherwise you rely on at&t's network to stream your content and you incur more network usage fees. This makes no sense.

I have nearly a TB of media, I don't foresee that much storage hitting the iPhone until, at least, 2008. \

I currently use Slingbox to watch my DVRed content remotely. It's great! If Apple could match that feature with it's usual simplicity I would certainly signup for .Mac again. I already expect Apple to already be adding remote sync services for other features of the iPhone via .Mac.

As for data rates, I pay a flat fee so there are no additional network usage charges. The only thing making this difficult is the lack of HSDPA.

Also, many carriers are already offering streaming TV. Apple would be wise to take advantage of its current software and services infrastructures already in place to capitalize on the new form of revenue and retain a stronger hold on its current marketshare.
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post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I have nearly a TB of media, I don't foresee that much storage hitting the iPhone until, at least, 2008. \

I currently use Slingbox to watch my DVRed content remotely. It's great! If Apple could match that feature with it's usual simplicity I would certainly signup for .Mac again. I already expect Apple to already be adding remote sync services for other features of the iPhone via .Mac.

As for data rates, I pay a flat fee so there are no additional network usage charges. The only thing making this difficult is the lack of HSDPA.

Also, many carriers are already offering streaming TV. Apple would be wise to take advantage of its current software and services infrastructures already in place to capitalize on the new form of revenue and retain a stronger hold on its current marketshare.

What's the value of the company that makes Slingbox? Apple would be wise to buy them out before Microsoft or Google does.

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post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

It's like the ad is the fantasy version of what they had in mind, and by God they're just going to keep acting like that's what's really being offered.

Apple, it's like I don't even know you anymore.

Welcome to the real world. If you shake yourself real hard, you'll realise that Apple's Mac marketing is just as hyberbolic. But interestingly, not as good. I much prefer this style of advertisement over Apple's "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" and the "switcher" series of old. Hopefully they'll do some OS X 10.5 advertising in a similar manner.
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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Welcome to the real world. If you shake yourself real hard, you'll realise that Apple's Mac marketing is just as hyberbolic. But interestingly, not as good. I much prefer this style of advertisement over Apple's "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" and the "switcher" series of old. Hopefully they'll do some OS X 10.5 advertising in a similar manner.

Well, it's one thing to overstate the value proposition of your product, or wax rhapsodic about features, etc.

It's kinda another when you are selling what amounts to a picture, and do so by presenting a picture of that picture which is in fact of much better quality than what you have to sell.

I mean, that kind of gets into selling a Toyota RAV with pictures of an Infiniti FX territory.
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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Financial institution Goldman Sachs on Tuesday pulled Microsoft from its "conviction" list, an exclusive group that Goldman Sachs reserves for its hottest properties. The latter kept the Windows developer on its "buy" list but said that the market dynamics had made it less relevant in the face of Web 2.0 apps, particularly from Google........."Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology," he wrote. "Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops."

AAPL's P/E is 41.5; GOOG's 46.9; MSFT's, 23.7. The fact that the market values every dollar of earnings generated by Apple 75% more than the same dollar generated by Microsoft (100% more in the case of Google) says it all.

It simply comes down to the market's perception of who can can create value from grabbing and sustaining future growth opportunities.

GS is following the market's signals, and belatedly. (Of course, this also implies that Apple and Google had better perform to meet these lofty expectations).
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

AAPL's P/E is 41.5; GOOG's 46.9; MSFT's, 23.7. The fact that the market values every dollar of earnings generated by Apple 75% more than the same dollar generated by Microsoft (100% more in the case of Google) says it all.

It simply comes down to the market's perception of who can can create value from grabbing and sustaining future growth opportunities.

GS is following the market's signals, and belatedly. (Of course, this also implies that Apple and Google had better perform to meet these lofty expectations).

look at the volume of shares. apples and oranges.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

By the circle "he" works in, he means entrepreneurs and engineers at tech startups. Nobody important, just all the people changing the future.

I work in the Valley at a tech startup, amongst entrepreneurs and engineers, and the only ones using Macs are our two product designers (my boss and myself). In my experience, there are a LOT of important people still using Winfuck, not to mention IT managers.

As much as I hate Windows, apps that require a lot of power (ie, video processing at high resolution) still require a local app written in something other than js and/or flash. And Apple has a corner on video distro for OS X, so that leaves a lot of opportunity for new startup developing for Windows.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Well, it's one thing to overstate the value proposition of your product, or wax rhapsodic about features, etc.

It's kinda another when you are selling what amounts to a picture, and do so by presenting a picture of that picture which is in fact of much better quality than what you have to sell.

I mean, that kind of gets into selling a Toyota RAV with pictures of an Infiniti FX territory.

But the ad isn't for the content, its for the apple tv, you can get a high quality version of school of rock from anywhere you want.
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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

But the ad isn't for the content, its for the apple tv, you can get a high quality version of school of rock from anywhere you want.

That's a bit of a stretch, as Apple TV is clearly being marketed as an adjunct to the iTMS, and School of Rock just happens to be one of the limited selection of movies being sold there. If you look at the ATV page at Apple, there's really no doubt that that's the idea.

Sure, we can pretend that they're showing us a nice rip of School or Rock from a DVD, but, come on.
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post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

What's the value of the company that makes Slingbox? Apple would be wise to buy them out before Microsoft or Google does.

Apple, unlike many other companies, constantly allows valuable programs and technology to slide by.

I really hope that they have a specific plan for all of that money they've accumulated, otherwise, it's being wasted, interest or not.
post #22 of 42
Web browser based apps will not kill Office. I suspect web based apps and desktop apps will ultimately co-exist, with basic apps on the web and full-featured, heavy lifting type apps on the desktop.

Office is already the heavy lifting app in the office space. It is the smaller competitors that will be killed by web apps, such as Pages, Nissus Writer etc.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNipponese View Post

look at the volume of shares. apples and oranges.

Look at stock performance over the past couple of years... Google, way up, Apple way up. Microsoft? Going sideways. :



It's night and day. No wonder MS is having such a hard time attracting the best of the best anymore. Guess its understandable why Ballmer throws a chair every time someone leaves to go to Google. \



.
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Web browser based apps will not kill Office. I suspect web based apps and desktop apps will ultimately co-exist, with basic apps on the web and full-featured, heavy lifting type apps on the desktop.

Office is already the heavy lifting app in the office space. It is the smaller competitors that will be killed by web apps, such as Pages, Nissus Writer etc.

Speaking of web apps (& great tools for dev'ing such):

In August 2006, it was announced that Apple will ship Ruby on Rails with Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard," scheduled for release in Spring 2007.

Nice.

.
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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by solipsism:
(snip)
What is needed to make this work:
1) iTunes version with integrated Quicktime Streaming Server
2) iPhone
3) .Mac account.
(snip)

At the keynote in January Steve mentioned .Mac support for the iPhone but never discussed any details. Instead he focused on Yahoo mail. I don't take this to mean that .Mac will be neglected. Rather, I expect interesting new features associated with .Mac soon after the iPhone is released.

That actually raises an interesting question (probably beat to death elsewhere). What we saw at MWSF was in some sense the tip of the iceberg. Just as for years Apple was compiling OS X and their apps for Intel processors without telling anyone I am sure that there are iPhone R&D projects going on that have not yet been made public.
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post #26 of 42
The Reuters article says "Aspinall [...] will be replaced as head of Apple Corps. Ltd. by Jeff Jones, an American music industry executive who specialises in deluxe reissues of classic albums."

So - hmm - it's obvious what is around the corner. What about 1 June - 40 years from the release of Sgt. Pepper.
post #27 of 42
Goodbye Aspinal, you dinosaur - you won't be missed.
post #28 of 42
I like the commercial! It reminds me of one of the first iPod commercials, with that guy starting to dance at home =)
But... I'm not usually picky like this, but let's be picky for a change, hehe:
Has this Apple TV a wireless connecttion to the TV? All I see is the power cable. And the white power-on-diode is not lit. So is the Apple TV on at all? Or perhaps it's powered via HDMI? That would be something =)
post #29 of 42
I don't see MS being at any type of crossroads. When you capture such a large marketshare, sometimes thing may look as if it isn't going well, but how much ore can they gain.

Web based office suites does not compare to MS office suites, it just doesn't. It may be ok for Joe average who only wants to do simple task, but for everyone else, you probably will use Office.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Look at stock performance over the past couple of years... Google, way up, Apple way up. Microsoft? Going sideways. :



It's night and day. No wonder MS is having such a hard time attracting the best of the best anymore. Guess its understandable why Ballmer throws a chair every time someone leaves to go to Google. \



.

Didn't I read that MS cash reserves are down almost by 50% over the last two years too? That is bleeding on a major scale if true.
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post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I like the commercial! It reminds me of one of the first iPod commercials, with that guy starting to dance at home =)
But... I'm not usually picky like this, but let's be picky for a change, hehe:
Has this Apple TV a wireless connecttion to the TV? All I see is the power cable. And the white power-on-diode is not lit. So is the Apple TV on at all? Or perhaps it's powered via HDMI? That would be something =)

I can virtually guarantee that neither the TV nor the AppleTV were on during the shooting of the commercial.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

Has this Apple TV a wireless connecttion to the TV? All I see is the power cable. And the white power-on-diode is not lit. So is the Apple TV on at all? Or perhaps it's powered via HDMI? That would be something =)

Palegolas, you do realize it's a commercail, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

I can virtually guarantee that neither the TV nor the AppleTV were on during the shooting of the commercial.

I can virtually guarantee that the guy in the commercial is the same guy and not triplets.
Off topic: I can also guarantee that Axe Body Spray doesn't work like in the commercials.
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post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Palegolas, you do realize it's a commercail, right?


I can virtually guarantee that the guy in the commercial is the same guy and not triplets.
Off topic: I can also guarantee that Axe Body Spray doesn't work like in the commercials.

You mean ... all those people don't really drink Folgers Coffee?
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post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

You mean ... all those people don't really drink Folgers Coffee?

Of course they do! With vacuum fresh aroma and every low, low prices who wouldn't drink Folgers coffee.
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post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Of course they do! With vacuum fresh aroma and every low, low prices who wouldn't drink Folgers coffee.

Now here is a realistic commercial for Folgers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQI2KlAurOg

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonepilgrim View Post

The Reuters article says "Aspinall [...] will be replaced as head of Apple Corps. Ltd. by Jeff Jones, an American music industry executive who specialises in deluxe reissues of classic albums."

So - hmm - it's obvious what is around the corner. What about 1 June - 40 years from the release of Sgt. Pepper.

Interesting thought. I was wondering if maybe they were waiting for Paul McCartney's divorce to go through so peg-leg couldn't grab any more money off him.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Didn't I read that MS cash reserves are down almost by 50% over the last two years too? That is bleeding on a major scale if true.

Jeez. Last proxy vote held for MSFT, I voted against Ballmer... guess they didn't listen.

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post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Didn't I read that MS cash reserves are down almost by 50% over the last two years too? That is bleeding on a major scale if true.

MS had a major giveback to shareholders a couple of years ago which depleted a large fraction of those reserves.

Right now, their reserves have just dropped to below $30 billion. But, MS has been using them to buy other companies, something Apple only does on a very small scale.

Also, remember that MS does have a dividend,. which Apple does not have, and would consume a good deal of that reserve.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNipponese View Post

look at the volume of shares. apples and oranges.

Huh? Can you elucidate?

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Huh? Can you elucidate?


I think he was confused and didn't appreciate that you were talking about P/E rather than share price.
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