The move to mobile devices and away from personal computers took a dramatic turn recently when Intel, the world’s computer chip giant, revealed that CEO Paul Otellini plans to retire this month.
According to industry experts, Otellini’s early retirement is a sign that Intel is desperately seeking newer, more tuned-in leadership to help it change direction and begin to capture the mobile market without eroding its base business model as the world leader in computer chip development.
With more and more mobile devices powered by rival chip makers, Intel has seen its once dominant market share erode. The company’s marriage to software powerhouse Microsoft also appears to be in jeopardy. WinTel, this self-proclaimed strategic alliance of two industry powerhouses, has helped both companies to dominate and control the personal computer market.
Microsoft entered the mobile market with a big splash earlier this year, introducing the Microsoft Surface tablet, aimed at overtaking the Apple iPad as the tablet leader. All this was accomplished without the formal help of strategic partner Intel, even though versions of the Surface use an Intel chip.
The bigger picture here is the leveling of the playing field for other chip manufacturers, usually left to eat the crumbs that fall from the technology table occupied by Intel and Microsoft.
The shift from desktop to mobile device is shaking everything up, including the leadership at the top. Business owners need to understand the impact this shift is going to have on the future of their business. Here are a few “must know” facts about smartphone and tablet usage for business owners:
• 45% of Americans now own a smartphone (49% of men and 44% of women)
• 45% of the white population owns a smartphone, 49% of the African-American population and 49% of the Hispanic population
• In terms of age breakdown, 66% of 18–29-year-olds own a smartphone, 59% of 30–49-year-olds, 34% of 50–64-year-olds and 13% of age 65-plus individuals.
• Smartphone users are also highly educated, with 61% of college grads owning a smartphone. Only one quarter of non-high school graduates own one.
• Smartphone users are also affluent, with 68% of households with incomes of more than $75,000.
To reduce malware on your computer, search less (especially on Bing).
By now, everyone knows that searching for something on the Internet can make you a target for malware. Our lives are just too short to be interrupted by those nasty pop-up ads for important commodities like pajama jeans and chia pets.
Malware continues to grow, with a recent study recording more than 110 million pieces of malware in March across the major search engines. So what’s a savvy searcher to do? “Know thy search engine malware ratio” has become the first commandment for safer search.
Microsoft’s Bing returns results with five times as many malware-ridden web sites as Google, which achieved the best results. However, malware infiltration isn’t just a search engine problem. Large web sites and online ad networks are another source, along with e-mail attachments.
And yes, the rule still stands. Never, ever open an e-mail attachment from an unknown source.
‘Dumb and Dumber’ in Cyberspace
It could be Hollywood’s next sequel to the popular “Dumb and Dumber” movies: The adventures of two guys surfing the Internet and social networks, posting and commenting at will and then wondering why their lives have tumbled into the digital void.
There is no real privacy on the Internet, and even with the White House threatening to veto the controversial CISPA (Cyber Intelligence and Privacy Act), web companies are still apt to make your private information public. Unless, of course, the information is contained in an e-mail, which may soon require a search warrant before it becomes public information.
Of course, the real issue here is a much more serious one. There is a lot of information available on the Internet that can help law enforcement officials protect us from criminals, including terrorists. The question for us as American citizens is how much freedom and privacy we are willing to give up in the name of staying safe.
Will allowing Big Brother to monitor the Internet Super Highway really afford us a higher level of protection, or will it strip us of our privacy? This certainly gives us a lot to think about.
Ken Mays is president & creative director of Mays & Associates (www.ad-mays.com), a web site development, online marketing and graphic design company located in Columbia. Mays specializes in responsive web site designs that automatically adapt to mobile devices, SEO, online advertising, e-mail and social network marketing. An award-winning writer and designer, he can be reached at 410-964-9701 or at email@example.com.