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SuperSite Blog Daily Update: October 19, 2010

A short post on the Windows Phone Secrets blog about Marketplace expectations.


A few thoughts on Apple's quarterly earnings:

WSJ: Apple earns more profits ($4.31 billion) than IBM ($3.59 billion), presumably for the first time. Apple's results make it the second-most profitable US technology company after Microsoft. "CEO Steve Jobs' gamble on consumer gadgets is paying off." That's for sure.

The NYT says that the 6 percent stock slip was caused by "a decline in gross profit margins." I'm not sure that's accurate. Apple's gross profit margin did slip from 39 percent to 39 37 percent, but come on: That's still really impressive, and not much of a fall. I think disappointment in the iPad sales was a much bigger factor.

I'm not a big fan of most Apple-centric blogs. But Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt is doing the world a great service by highlighting the stark difference between analysts and how they "predict" Apple's quarterly results. Here is the before and after. Very credible. Good job.

There were two big surprises in Apple's earnings, for me: The unfathomable strong showing of the iPhone 4 and the iPad unit sales shortfall. I expected the iPhone to do much worse and the iPad to do much better.

As I noted today in WinInfo, the Mac now owns 4.25 percent of the worldwide market for PCs. Assuming 50 percent of those Macs are sold in the US (Apple won't say), the company owns about 10 percent of the US market for PCs as well.


I need your help! I recently received a Sony Internet TV, the Google TV-based HDTV, and I'll be reviewing it soon. The Google TV stuff is interesting, and odd, but I'm more concerned with some TV behavior I've not seen elsewhere and I'm curious if anyone knows how to explain this.

The version of the set that I got is the 24-inch model, NSX-24GT1, which aside from the screen size appears to differ from the other models in one obvious way: It features CCFL backlighting, as opposed to LED backlighting on the other models. But it's a beautiful display, crisp and clear and utilizing a true 1090p (1920 x 1080) resolution.

So here's the thing. Connect an HDMI-based set top box (Apple TV, WD TV, whatever) to the screen (it has four HDMI ports) and everything works (and looks) great. (The speakers are so-so.) But when I connect a PC (using the Sony as a second screen) or the Xbox 360 (for gaming) and ... the performance is terrible. It just slows down. You can see it on the PC by moving the mouse left to right, from the primary display (normal performance) to the Sony display (slow).

But it's worse in video games, which are unplayable because of what appears to be a sub-second delay in every control click. That doesn't sound like a lot, but in a shooter, that's the difference between killing and getting killed, and between walking through a virtual doorway and bumping into it. It's frustrating and odd, and this is the first time I've ever encountered this. (For the record, the Xbox 360 looks amazing on this display. It's just that the actual games are unplayable.)

So ... my question to you is simple: Is this is a common issue that I've just never run into? And what is the issue? Why doesn't this TV work well for video games? I would freak if I had bought such a set for video gaming only to discover this behavior. Fortunately, that's not the case, but it's still concerning.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide here. --Paul

Update: Thanks guys. Wikipedia has an article about LCD input lag. My previous Xbox 360 usage on HDTVs have been on plasma-based screens, which may explain this. I will see if this thing has a game mode or whatever. The documentation is non-existent and the onscreen menus are almost impossible to find. Classic Sony.

Update 2: There's no game mode. There is, however, a way to "name" what's on each HDMI port, and "Game" is a choice. This didn't, however, improve the performance. So my guess at this point is that this screen is simply unacceptable for video gaming. I will look a bit further, but this is hitting "half hearted" stage.


Remember the promised announcement from Microsoft today? It's about a rebranding of Microsoft's cloud based productivity solutions to Office 365. Here's the word:

Earlier this year, the launch of Office, SharePoint and Exchange 2010 ushered in the future of productivity. Together with Lync, these products provide the productivity backbone for modern businesses. Building on our history of delivering cloud services at scale for more than a decade, Office 365 is designed to meet the needs of organizations of all types and sizes. And, today, we are opening a limited beta program for a few thousand organizations in thirteen regions, and Office 365 will be available worldwide in 2011.

It's not live yet, but will be available starting at 3pm ET. At the time, you'll be able to sign up for the beta.


HP/Palm announces Pre 2, webOS 2.0. Explain how this headline is not, "HP kills the Palm brand." Thanks to Theodore for the link.


Netflix is finally dropping the disc requirement for using its service on the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3.

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