The last few months have seen a bit of an uproar around Airmiles, a rewards program that is used by several retailers to try to retain customer loyalty. The company had decided to start expiring the points/miles collected, effecting giving them an “expiration date”. They backed off, but not after some considerable damage to their image, and new legislation in one province banning the practice. Basically, Airmiles may have overlooked who all their customers are.
Recently, Microsoft announced that is has joined the Linux foundation, that SQL Server is now ready for testing on Linux and a preview for Visual Studio on Mac is available. This is a transformation that cannot be underestimated. They reinforce the direction that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella started a couple of years ago. And they are the right things for the company to do.
My most recent post discusses the real story behind the disruption of the music business. In it, I assert that the iPod and the iTunes Music Store were instrumental in putting Apple on the path they are on today. Are they really that important? Are the iPod and iTunes really central to Apple’s eventual success?
A common narrative about the music business is that Apple single-handled disrupted it. It was Apple, and in particular Steve Jobs, that used iTunes to “break the back … of music majors” (see JLG’s Monday Note). My problem? It isn’t actually true, at least not in the form the myth has taken. It’s close, but it isn’t the whole picture.
The newest MacBook Pro has radically changed the available ports on a laptop. Is it good? Is it bad? Some think it is good, that Apple is moving forward. Others think it is bad, claiming that you’ll need “so many adapters” (and ignoring the other Windows and Linux machines that offer Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C only). Frankly, I don’t buy the “need lots of adapters” argument.
Apple announced a new app called TV, and they announced new MacBook Pros. The TV app does not surprise me. The new MacBooks look pretty nice overall (with some caveats), and didn’t really have anything we didn’t expect. It was an “okay” announcement, and about what we have come to expect from Apple today.
There were two reports on Re/Code about Twitter, and they would seem to be at odds with each other. One talks about the upcoming layoffs, the other about how Wall Street is reacting positively to Twitter’s recent earnings. Coupled with this was the announcement that Vine, Twitter’s short-form video service, is shutting down, which likely result in a stock price bump. So why is bad news also good news? Well, it depends on where you sit and what you are looking at.