Step aside, OS X and Vista. The makers of the Firefox web browser have released a concept called Aurora, a future web surfing tool that embeds social media functionality to allow you to debate and share data with friends.
Aurora is a beautiful concept. As you surf the web, you see an Apple OS X-type fluid interface, in which data are grouped into objects and float in three-dimensional spatial views. You can call friends for video chat, manipulate web objects inside the browser, and most important collaborate in sharing, updating, or building information sets. The concept video shows two farmers debating weather and crop conditions by tossing charts easily at each other over morning coffee.
This all points to three things:
1. The future that Charlene Li predicted, in which social media will become “like air” and a simple utility you can plug into, not a web site you visit, is coming.
2. The makers of software or computer operating systems such as Vista are doomed, as more powerful web browsers turn the entire internet into the free software you need to do anything.
3. Consumers will embrace this as they spend more time creating and sharing content, and less time passively receiving it. That doesn’t bode well for advertisers who rely on intercepting consumers as they watch things, as consumers find it easier to create and click away.
More details at adaptivepath.com/aurora.
Microsoft’s Vista operating system has a bad rap. Word is machines can’t handle it, even though it comes in five flavors. It’s slow. It crashes. It tries to cram 10 pounds of GUI into a 5 pound laptop. Installing Vista is like having dental surgery performed by your proctologist.
To counter these perceptions, Microsoft has launched a microsite that unveils a “new” operating system called Mojave to consumers, who are delighted and then surprised that it’s really Vista. A brave move, to take the heat head on. Also a great case study in how once brands go sour, it’s tough to bounce back.
Tx Matt Hunsberger.
So last Christmas we bought a high-end digital camcorder that is gradually collecting dust as we try to decipher how to convert and edit the video. And our friends over at Plaid have a simple $150 Flip camera that, well, actually makes it easy to record life. Like their agency creatives chucking pumpkins off a roof (we heard they were really, really angry at a client).
This points out two trends in technology — on one end, we get higher orders of complexity, of computer operating systems such as Vista that do everything but don’t quite work, of bloated software, 1,000 cable channels, BMW iDrives, overwhelming us with choice. On the other, we get simple tools downstream, like the camera on your cell phone that you actually use, or the sweet little Twitter that suddenly connects you to the world.
We’re going to buy a Flip. Lesson learned. Now will someone please simplify our damn TV remote.
Remember the first business job you had where you put on a tie and walked into the office and felt like a total geek except you realized the entire culture you were joining, this Corporate America thing, was filled with geeks and it was OK if your shirt collar chafed and the suit pants stuck to your legs because you were making money and whatever the product was or even if the product sucked it was all kinda cool so what the hell let’s high-five everybody?