Last week was marked by two interesting announcements concerning instant messaging (IM). First, BlackBerry announced that its signature Messenger app is gaining a Channels functionality that comes across as a Facebook/Twitter mash-up, and that it’s coming to Android and iOS this summer. Later, Google announced their revamped Hangouts strategy to unify and enrich IM across its different platforms and offerings. In this post, I explore some of the commonalities between both strategies, as well as single out my perceptions about the main drivers behind these changes at both companies.
Nearly two months ago, Google launched its first internally built laptop, the Chromebook Pixel. Reviews have been polarized (and polarizing): what exactly is the target market? Who is willing to put down ~1,400 dollars for a laptop that can basically only run Google Chrome? The debate had me take a hard, long, critical look at Chrome OS – I have previously done little more than deride it in 15-second rants, tangentially mentioning Google TV and Android. This time, after careful pondering (but not without hesitation), I ended up buying the $249 ARM-based Chromebook. These are my thoughts after finally getting my mitts on Chrome OS.