Already one week. Anything new from last week ? Nope.
Here are my quick takeaways from CES 2011 (besides a really hectic week spent waiting for taxis and airplanes) ...
TV manufacturers are thinking that consumers want to connect their TVs to the internet. From a hardware perspective, this is a no-brainer - Add an apps processor, add WiFi and perhaps bluetooth, an android-like RTOS and you are in game. Not really. It's a software story people, hardware is the very easy part. So basically this year, Internet on TV, or PC on TV, marketed as "smart TV", was done not so subtly and poorly with a few widgets and an app store, search-based type of user interface. Best examples are the Boxee debacle, which was not really hot at CES, Logitech playing down its own version of Google TV, and of course, Google itself, who bailed out of CES about 2 weeks before the show.
Pushed by Asian manufacturers for most of the past decade, new generation hits the market during the summer, may turn out to be useful when used in conjunction with pads, NFC, RFID etc. I still use a pen and a paper for my shopping list. Way faster and no need to spend hours to setup through a user interface that reminds a TI 67.
... Are the new netbook. Remember in 2006 when Netbooks would revolutionize the way the world laptops ? Well well. Underdesigned, really bad software, Atom chip with no multimedia capability, slow with windows 7 … New pads are either Windows PCs with no keyboard (no PC with no keyboard, how low can they go ? another reason to turn around and run !!!) or just a big android smartphone with a touchscreen that does not fit in any shirt pocket unless you are a linebacker. Until someone finds a way to get really serious about competing with iTunes, iBooks and Apps Store - and NOT iPad, iPhone, iMac) the end user will be stuck with unexciting geeky hardware bricks with no joy, no fun and no real soul.
Phones (and I am not going to MWC this year): Oh, yeah, and the best marketing award of the year goes to … Atrix phone !!! It is not a computer, not a phone, it is both !!! Awesome ! You can connect it to your TV to watch movies and you can play games !!! Yeah ! I remember seeing this functionality required in Nokia's RFQs as early as 2006. At that time it made me laugh.