D Preview: Apple, Microsoft, and Palm

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The Wall Street Journal's increasingly influential technology conference is about to begin, and may bring multiple announcements from industry giants -- though Apple isn't talking.



The annual D: All Things Digital conference has become more and more pivotal for the technology industry since its inaugural event in 2003. Typically centering around a series of interviews by columnists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the event has typically served as a platform for more outspoken company heads that want to outline their grander visions or reveal previously unknown facets of their company culture.



Perhaps the most important of these to date, however, is set to take place Wednesday night. Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft chair Bill Gates will both be subjects of a joint interview by the journalists. It will represent the first time the two will take the stage together for an extended period and should free both executives to talk openly about themselves and each other: as in earlier years, the 2007 D conference will avoid scripts and other conversation filters.



Either firm will also have its own time to speak candidly about its own future in separate events. Jobs will appear onstage separately in advance of the interview to discuss Apple's strategies, while Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take a similar approach for his company.



More immediately relevant to those not present at the sold-out gathering, however, will be a likely flurry of product announcements that have been a staple of more recent conferences.



One of these is now known to be coming from Microsoft itself, courtesy of a company mistake. The Redmond-based firm on Tuesday unwittingly sent news site Gizmodo e-mail confirming that Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division intends to release "something totally new" at the conference. While details are vague at best, the company is said to be sparing little fanfare and is promising nothing less than changing "the way people interact with technology" -- a significant claim by the same Microsoft branch responsible for both the Xbox 360 game system and Zune media player.



If Microsoft has been only reluctantly vocal about its plans, however, Apple has said even less. The Mac maker has said nothing of its plan of attack for the conference and has publicly revealed nothing of what products, if any, will be released to accompany its CEO's stage appearances.



Even so, Jobs has already established a brief but identifiable track record of matching his appearances with announcements. The CEO in 2004 revealed Airport Express, and just a year later showcased podcast support in a look at iTunes 4.9 weeks ahead of its official debut.



Whatever may stem from Apple, the company will invariably become a subject of comparisons thanks to one of the few officially validated announcements. Palm intends to preempt Apple and Microsoft alike by unveiling a "new category of mobile device" through a press conference to be held Wednesday morning. Company founder Jeff Hawkins is heavily favored to launch a handheld so far known only as the "Hawk" -- which has been rumored to be anything from a direct challenger to the iPhone to a cross between ultra-mobile PCs, smartphones, and other communication-savvy gadgets.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Can't wait to see what MS have, my money's on the Launch-O.



    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/59345
  • Reply 2 of 48
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,474member
    Time to hawk that Palm...... (the shares too).

  • Reply 3 of 48
    jbelkinjbelkin Posts: 73member
    This is what they once said about a WATCH ... yes, a watch,



    "Smart Watches for MSN Direct are a fun new way to receive the information you care about, delivered conveniently to your wrist," said Bill Mitchell, founder and vice president of the SPOT initiative at Microsoft."







    For $10 a month, MS will tell you what the weather is 2" north of your wrist ... I'm sure their TV device will be as "revolutionary."
  • Reply 4 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Not Steve Ballmer !! ... Heh.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Oh, I was also going to say, Palm will probably introduce some "OMFG iPhone KILLER". And Microsoft will do a "super duper Vista running ultra-portable PC/Tablet/Laptop/Some rubbish or other..."...
  • Reply 6 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,383member
    Well, joking aside, I'm looking forwards to all of this. Whatever comes of all of these announcements, and interviews, it should at least be interesting.



    I happen to like Palm, and for their sake, because we do need competition, I hope that whatever they do come out with is good. I do like my Treo 700p.



    But, I'm wondering if both Steve and Bill will be on their best behavior, and will avoid saying anything bad about the other's company.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Maybe MS is finally going to announce their long-unawaited 'ZunePhone'?



    With the catchy motto, "Buy one, or Ballmer will throw a chair at you", natch.



    .
  • Reply 8 of 48
    ronnronn Posts: 252member
    Forbes: Surface introduced.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Looks quite nifty (especially the object recognition -- very cool), but.... 5-10K per unit?? Wow.



    Apple is well, well ahead in producing a bona fide consumer multi-touch product here.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hobbes View Post


    Looks quite nifty (especially the object recognition -- very cool), but.... 5-10K per unit?? Wow.



    Apple is well, well ahead in producing a bona fide consumer multi-touch product here.



    If's Apple's patent application about putting a camera as part of the screen somehow works out, Apple could do it.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post






    One of these is now known to be coming from Microsoft itself, courtesy of a company mistake.



    I bet it was
  • Reply 12 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ronn View Post


    Forbes: Surface introduced.





    Wow that was a ridiculously biased article. but anyways if you want to see surface computing in action check it out here in WMV form.



    I think this is cooler than the iPhone especially the video puzzle and with what it can do with the zune or other wifi capable devices. Unlike what the forbes guy said this can have a future in the home as a Windows Media extender / ultra-hip coffee table. No more would you have physical books to browse now you'd have digital books, family videos or pics, a fun painting program or whatever all in a cool UI!!
  • Reply 13 of 48
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    PlayTable aka Project Milan aka Surface.



    Now I just have to buy one... Looks FITRish.



    Vinea
  • Reply 14 of 48
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danielsmi View Post


    I think this is cooler than the iPhone especially the video puzzle and with what it can do with the zune or other wifi capable devices. Unlike what the forbes guy said this can have a future in the home as a Windows Media extender / ultra-hip coffee table. No more would you have physical books to browse now you'd have digital books, family videos or pics, a fun painting program or whatever all in a cool UI!!



    It is indeed very cool, but IMO making something very cool in the $500 range is considerably more interesting than making something very cool in the 5-10K range.



    MS thinks it'll take 3-5 years for Surface to come down in price before it hits the consumer level. That's quite a while, in the world of technology. I mean, kudos to MS for innovating and making something extremely cool-looking, but I'm not sure it's 100% wise to show your cards when the vast majority of people can't come close to affording your product.



    It will be interesting to see in 12 days just how ambitious Leopard is, and what Apple's been cooking up for the past few years. My pet (slightly fanciful) theory is multi-touch gestural commands tracked via a built-in iSight, but we'll see.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    If's Apple's patent application about putting a camera as part of the screen somehow works out, Apple could do it.



    That patent just boggles my mind. I still can't believe it can really be done, but I'd *love* to be proven wrong wrong wrong.



    Anyway, yeah, if that technology is doable, Apple could offer much of what Surface does at what could only be a far lower price.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    chrleonchrleon Posts: 6member
    Deleted
  • Reply 17 of 48
    if i were steve jobs, i would completely avoid what's likely to be a technological catfight and unveil nothing. sure, ballmer's head would grow three sizes, but so would apple's integrity.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    chrleonchrleon Posts: 6member
    when is this conference today?
  • Reply 19 of 48
    spindriftspindrift Posts: 674member
    MS make me laugh. Have they no shame at all? Why they try and pass this off as their own I have no idea. Do they really think that 'people' are that blind? Jeff Han must be cringing. Surface even uses 'CoverFlow' as a crucial element of its UI! Smells like the mid 80's all over again!
  • Reply 20 of 48
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    God bless Palm. This is no "me too" iPhone competitor.



    For those who aren't aware, Hawkins is probably one of the only people who can match Jobs' talent for product usability and design decisions. And Hawkins has been working on this "third business" for Palm for two years.



    With Palm unveiling a likely strong product and Microsoft being...well...Microsoft, Jobs will be under pressure to announce something, even if it is only a strong hint of things to come.



    Today's gonna be fun!
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