Friday, December 30, 2011

Binary Countdown - 2

I like the way the new year is coming in this time. Having the new year start in the middle of the week usually leaves me sort of discombobulated. It neither puts me in the proper holiday mood nor does it feel like much of a change which I suppose moving into a new year should be. The way 2012 is planning to start, though, is the ideal way. It feels good to kick back and say TGIF, you get the weekend to highlight the holiday and on Monday morning your new year can start, prim and proper.

In case you have missed my count-down to the big day, it started with “Places I want to see” on Monday, “Things I want to do” on Tuesday, “People I want to meet” on Wednesday and “Professions I could have been in” yesterday. Now it’s today … errr, I mean Friday, we are 2 days away and keeping to the theme of this series, I have a list of two. Two events to be more precise.
  • The return of Microsoft – Am I nuts or did you miss Microsoft’s demise? Neither, though you could make a case out for the former. I am not talking Microsoft as in Microsoft Windows 7 or Office. Rather I am talking about Microsoft Windows Mobile! MS, I feel, got caught out first by Apple and then by Google in the hand-held device space and has perpetually been nowhere to be found. Perpetually, that is, since the whole touchy-feely devices started flooding the market place. It’s been a good 4 or 5 years now since Apple, a so far non-phone player, hit the collective consciousness with the iPhone. This was followed by yet another so far non-phone player in Google flooding the market with their 'free' Android OS. And while these new kids on the block were out not only making hay but also effectively making their own sun-shine, MS was nowhere to be seen. And to think that MS was the only one among the big three software giants with a full blown presence in the area of handheld devices before the game was changed and they were left out! Recently however MS has been making all the right noises. The marriage with Nokia looks to be shaping up well (The Lumia phones look awesome. Don’t know how they perform though) and from all the scuttlebutt going around, Windows Phone 8 is shaping up to be a cracker. Here is hoping that the mobile market grows from a two-horse race to a three-horse race. Are you thinking why I am interested in this? Well, I am always in the market for a phone and the more I have to look at and decide between, the merrier. :) All the Android phones are starting to look like, well, Androids, there is anyway just one iPhone so it will look and feel like it always has even though it can talk back to me now, Symbian is dead (though I really like the N8 and E7), MeeGo was supposedly brilliant but was a still born baby, RIM is on life support and Java based OS’es have gone the way of the dinosaur. So that leaves MS as the remaining player who I can look up to, to inject the much needed differentiation in a space that is increasingly looking the same whichever way you turn.
  • The US presidential elections – Yep, it’s a strange one for someone in India to be looking forward to, what with all the drama that Indian politics is capable of throwing up (and is indeed doing so right now!). But of late I have been fascinated by the whole process the Americans follow to elect their president. It all seems complicated and downright unnecessary but whom am I to complain. At the heart of it all is their two-party system consisting of the democrats and republicans and come election time, each party will have one elected representative trying to claim the White House for his (or her) own use. The democrats are going with their incumbent, so no sweat for them I guess. The thing that is holding my interest right now is what they call the nomination process to pick a candidate to represent the Republican Party. This process, which involves quite a few ‘debates’ between the hopefuls apart from the traditional campaigning seems like a great system. Given the televised nature of the debates, these essentially provide the presidential hopefuls a platform to reach a national audience from which to hawk their agenda much before they are actually in the fray for the top spot. At least on paper, this seems like a better system than that followed by our politicians which essentially consists of ceaselessly campaigning. Anyway, the main reason for following the US presidential elections is because whether I like it or not, the fortunes of our economy and the company I work in are closely tied to the fortunes of the US market and by extension, to the ideologies, compulsions, whims and fancies of those who make the governing policies for that market.

 Two days to go and that’s my binary list that I am looking forward to which I hope will keep me engrossed well into 2012.

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