Parallels 4.0 for Mac released on tuesday

www.parallels.com

With this release my need to run a seperate windows laptop has come to an absolute end.

Parallels allows me to run my last remaining XP licence in Leopard and use the 3 or 4 Windows products i cannot get replacements for, and I have to use, Access, Live writer and Neverwinter Nights 2 (It runs beautifully).    So while parallels is running NWN keeps dyeing post the movie.. Ian, Frank, sorry guys no D3D support as yet.

Improvements include speed boosts, (havent tried these yet), An intelligent Hypervisor Load balancer and a virtualisation engine that consumes 15-30 percent less resources. (I have noticed previously too, running a virtual machine on osx is less stressfull than on my Mac)

I can play games as DX9, Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2 are now properly supported (hopefully)

Coherence is also cleaner, with the items in the windows tasjbar, moving to the Mac menubar.

The best feature in my opinion though is the Safe mode, a Kind of Sand box if you will. Everything runs exactly as normal, except at the end of the VM session you get an option to save the changes to the VM or not….

I guess I will be downloading the trial tonight and trying it out… The Migration to the Mac is hopefully complete.

@Twitter – an effective marketing channel – as told by the Mars Lander.

The NASA Mars Lander was a highly watched experiment, by the world’s scientific, space faring and geological community. The possibility of life on the Red Planet, and any fears of attacks from Martians, due to constant jibes by Bugs Bunny have to be inspected! (And kids if you don’t know what I’m talking about here, you need to watch some Looney Tunes – the Original ones )

It is another fact of this whole operation that the digital marketing community should also look at this project, as a correct way of how to propel a subscription based model of providing information.

Ok let me give some details, Phoenix – the Mars Lander – created a Twitter profile and was twittering away through all of the 5 months of its mission, till its demise on the 10th of November. Ok so it wasn’t twittering itself, the Mission crew created the profile, but the point is that it was a simple way to bring the mission to the people and to add some relevance & mass appeal to what may be a defunct agency.

So what were the statistics – Over 5 Months, 39,032 Unique Subscribers (Twitter calls them followers) who received 605 updates. That a willing receipt of 4 messages a day on avg. WOW!!

What marketer, traditional or digital should ignore a channel where you can get a willing subscriber base that is willing to receive this much communication.

Not that this is an isolated example, in the recent US presidential elections, The Obama faction (sorry my quirk, I like to call all political parties everywhere – factions) also made relevant use off Twitter, giving campaign updates and sending campaign messaging.

CNN also uses twitter to publish live news with a link to the story

So, how should you use twitter.

Well the very first thing is to establish, can your brand and product utilize the short message system that is twitter and its clones. The next step Рand this is the toughie Рis to generate the content. You cannot pollute the  content stream with generic branding messages, the messaging has to be crisp, concise and relevant. After all by subscribing to you, people are giving you their mind-space.

As an aside to this story… The Mars Lander also wrote a final guest blog on Gizmodo. There was a constant series of guest posts on Gizmodo, while the mission was on.

Oh and by the way if you thought the twitter feed  was dreamt up by a top dollar Media agency, think again, this was all the brain child of one Veronica McGregor at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. I guess we can all learn from her.

Will you get an iPhone legally?

On the 22nd of August, Apple in conjunction with Telecom partners worldwide will be releasing the iPhone in 15 Nations worldwide. India, Singapore and the Philippines lead the rush in Asia while the Czeck republic is added in Europe not forgetting 8 Latin American Countries.We can truthfully¬† say that Apple is truly taking over the cell phone market…

What is hard to understand about this phenomenon is the price difference though, and speaking from an Indian consumers pointof view,I will possibly not be purchasing the iPhone 3G, I am very happy with my Nokia e71.

When the iPhone was first launched, almost a year ago, it was something exciting, frankly something worth having, and it was a desirable piece of technology…

It was so desirable that it was available Jailbroken and illegally and very easily in India. And the best thing about this was that the price was actually quite reasonable, – an unlocked 8GB iPhone could be had at a street price or Rs 20,000 – 22,000 (approx $400) which was almost the price it was available for in the US (After the first price slash). If you had someone coming from the US, even cheaper…

So when people heard that with the launch of the 3G and the $199 price,¬† customers expect a similar if not the same pricing… It was a big surprise to consumers, – infact even causing a bit of international attention by pcworld – when the pricing for the 8GB and the 16GB models was announced at Rs 31,000 & Rs 36,100 respectivly.. And while no one has mentioned you can bet on the fact that there will be a VAT on top of this, not to count usage charges.

Wow…

This puts the price of the iPhone solidly at $823 Far above the price that just about any country is paying for it… Bear in mind that these prices are for the phone only.. No data or voice OR ANY OTHER SERVICE THAT MAKES THE 3G GREAT, as India does not have any 3G yet, and no visual voicemail. Both the carriers who are offering the iPhone, Vodafone IN and Bharti Airtel have mentioned that all of the iPhone services will not be available, without mentioning which services in particular will be affected. No special data plans for the iPhone have been released either.

Another problem is that, both carriers would be selling the phone locked to the network. The first experience for Indians with this was with the Blackberrys which were not subsidised in price either. The carriers are getting away with basically screwing the customer… Its a known fact that worldwide a network locked phone is made available at a far more subsidised rate that its unlocked varient, hence the whole point of network locking.

Apple is not helping either, while the Apps store is available in India, ( It has been available since the launch of the app store for purchasing apps for the iPod Touch) the iTunes store for purchasing music is not enough available.

India’s economy may be driven by the desire to “Keep up with the Joneses”. It is this attitude that is fueling the unmitigated desire of companies to drive this type of pricing without providing a Quality of service. Sharninder over at Nomadic Rider made a valid point that Fanboys will be just that… but I think Fan Boys also gotta wakeup…