5 Technology Observations: 3 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights and random thoughts to start your day for Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 12 items.

12. Mobile World Congress: Want the latest coverage from the massive conference? TWiT's Mike Elgan has live on-site perspectives to keep you (and me) up to date. Join Mike, me and the crew for the latest Tech News Today live video stream from MWC at 1:00 p.m. ET today/10:00 a.m. PT.

11. Google Cuts the Cord: Yes, Google plans to offer wireless service. Or more specifically, Google will likely cooperate AND compete with the four major cellular carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. One of the big focus areas involves next-generation applications. Google wants startups and I.T. entrepreneurs to experiment with new apps on its network. The twist? I think we'd all settle for a reliable cell connection at this point...

10. Amazon Cloud Updates: How does Amazon Web Services (AWS) manage live security updates across its cloud? Check out this blog -- focused on Xen security -- for some clues about Amazon's overall services levels and live update strategy.

9. Good Showing: Palo Alto Networks delivered better-than-expected quarterly results yesterday. Predictably, major IT security hacks and breaches have driven more customers and investors toward the security company in recent months. Next up: Ignite 2015 --  the Palo Alto Networks customer conference (March 30-April 1, Las Vegas).

8. Give It To Me Straight: Google+ is no more, but Google isn't spinning it that way. I've leveraged Google+ to bolster search results. But in terms of real community connections, I continue to lean on LinkedIn (despite all the social spam) and a startup called ComLinked.

7. Wearable Milestone?: Android Wear downloads apparently have crossed the 1 million install mark -- suggesting that more than 1 million people own Android Wear-driven smartwatches. While not overly impressive, the figure still represents some progress ahead of next week's anticipated Apple Watch launch. UBS predicts Apple will sell 24 million smartwatches in 2015. However, many pundits are far more conservative, predicting multiple issues (high cost, limited battery life, limited applications) will limit Apple Watch's success.

6. Big Small-Biz Partnership: AT&T and Microsoft together are promoting mobile and cloud-based collaboration services for small and midsize businesses. Generally speaking, I prefer one throat to choke when adopting SMB services but the lines of delineation appear clear here.  Microsoft is promoting Office 365, Lync (isn't that brand on the way out?), Skype and Windows phones. AT&T provides voice call support and wireless plans. The big question: Who specifically is handling onboard and how is technical support routed? I haven't had time to check.

5. Get Shorty: Short interest in Hortonworks -- the Hadoop software provider -- has grown to 13.4 percent. That essentially means a considerable number of investors are betting Hortonwork's stock will go down. Hortonworks delivered less-than-stellar quarterly financial results last week. The lesson: Big data and Hadoop remain hot markets, but that reality won't lift all boats evenly...

4. Single Sign On: AVG Technologies is the latest company to launch a secure single sign on service (SSO) for small businesses. No matter where my career leads me (small business, midmarket, enterprise), secure SSO is a universal need that few businesses have effectively addressed. Has AVG really come up with a unique solution? Let me know.

3. Spin City: BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the company's turnaround is ahead of schedule. I believe him, though new offerings like the cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Management platform should have arrived sooner.

2. Fresh Money

Let us know your preferred morning brew -- and a bit about your company, too. See item 1.   

Let us know your preferred morning brew -- and a bit about your company, too. See item 1.


1. Fresh Brew and You: Roughly once per week we profile one of our readers, his or her business -- and preferred brew of the day. Here's how your mug (face, cup or both) can land on our website.

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.