With its Bluetooth-based iBeacons turned on in all its U.S. stores, Apple is both attempting to improve customer experience and demonstrate its new location-based notification service. While retail is a natural fit for iBeacons, the teachnology has potential well beyond the store or mall. Here are ten other industries and spaces where iBeacons could deliver killer value.
Google cozies up to businesses with extended Chrome support for XP
Google this morning said it will continue to update and patch security holes in Chrome for Windows XP until April 2015, a full year after Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP.
That’s one way to get in good with the enterprise. By pledging to support Chrome beyond the end of life of XP, Google lets businesses put off their investment in a new operating system. As importantly, it also lets businesses put off the accompanying decision about which new operating system to choose. More time could work in Google’s favor.
Windows XP still has huge market share -- 31 percent of the desktop operating system market, according to researchers at Net Applications. Windows 7 is the only OS ahead of XP, with 47 percent share.
It’s hard to say how many of those XP machines are used by consumers compared to those supported by businesses. It’s likely that the bulk are businesses, though, given that many are notoriously slow to upgrade.
Also, Google’s short blog post about the extended Chrome support sure seemed targeted to businesses. In it, Google noted that many organizations still run “dozens or even hundreds of applications on XP and may have trouble migrating.”
It also helpfully pointed out that IT managers can set Chrome as their primary browser and limit users to accessing unsupported browsers with only specified web apps.
While businesses have known that XP’s life would end soon, some may be happy for the option of buying some more time by using Chrome. Some may not be using Chrome and would switch. If they like it, Google will have scored new customers.
Plus, the longer businesses wait the more time Google has to improve its Chrome OS. Google is gradually blurring the lines between the Chrome browser and Chrome OS -- "packaged" Chrome web apps can now run directly on the Windows desktop, and the latest dev build of the Chrome browser for Windows 8 takes up the full screen and is literally indistinguishable from a touch screen PC running Chrome OS.
Who knows, by 2015, Chrome OS might be strong enough that some businesses could consider buying Chromebooks instead of Windows 8 laptops.
BlackBerry has a lot of hurdles to cross to stage a comeback but one in particular might be especially tough to overcome: the operators. My experience getting started with the Z10 shows AT&T, at least, doesn't seem to find the Z10 a priority.