Thoughts on Recent Publishing News

March 27, 2011

The New York Times announced their pricing model last week, to take place at month’s end. I have no issues with their minimum free content, 15.00 and 20.00 per four weeks (not monthly) subscriptions and am glad that they won’t be making an effort to prevent Twitter and Facebook from linking to their content.

Regarding the book publishing industry — Did we really expect that the major publishing houses would price their electronic books at a minimal discount from their paper counterparts? Other than major bestsellers, Kindle savings are minor. Let’s see if we have to pay sales taxes on digital downloads!

I’m as disappointed as I am glad that a federal judge denied Google’s plan to digitize every book ever published. There will be time to come up with a settlement. No one should be in a hurry to have Google become the world’s bookstore.. .


It’s the Economy, Stupid.

August 21, 2009

Even for high quality brand name products, pricing is an issue in tough economic times. Despite the popularity on college campuses of the ubiquitous MacBook, students are accepting less expensive Netbooks for their computer needs and may never look at a $999.00 laptop again.

I’m not one to take away the cool factor of a MacBook, but Netbooks from companies like Acer are economical, attractive and effiecient. d that money that you’re saving? Maybe it’s time for your first smartphone.

Netbook Hopes

April 1, 2009

The New York Times acknowledges what we knew was coming…

Netbooks (cont.)

March 27, 2009

Well, it looks like netbooks (those cool, minimalist laptops/notebooks that were discussed in an earlier post), are being taken seriously by business. With the development of their new 3G technology, AT&T recently began a relationship with Radio Shack, whereby the retailer would sell netbooks at a reduced price, albeit with a subscription plan from the carrier. Not to be outdone by the competition, Verizon has just announced that they will begin a similar service, by early summer.

The phone companies continue to see a decrease in profits as more and more users continue to replace their “hard” line subscrptions with mobile plans (80% of people in the US now use a wireless device). It’s important for AT&T and Verizon to be creating new revenue streams as the technology continues to evolve.

As they do already with cell phones, the carriers will subsidize a large part of the netbook cost (most are in the 300-500 dollar range) in exchange for a service contract.

This may not be a bad idea on the part of the carriers. With the total PC market continuing its’ decline (remember when we would replace one every two years?) and the inevitable crossover of the smart phone beyond business to the consumer user, perhaps the time is right for a transfer of hardware. I’ll keep you posted.

Those Funky Little Laptops

February 12, 2009

Have you seen those funky shrunken laptops (they call them “netbooks”) from companies like Acer and Asus with 10″ screens, SSD or HD storage and high speed Wi-Fi connectivity? I want one.