Welcome to the second episode of the 'Week in a Nutshell’ series.
It was a busy week in the tech world, especially Microsoft stealing the stage with the Windows 10 announcement event.
Let's get to the list:
- The next generation of Windows: Windows 10 and Microsoft HoloLens
- Box Stock Soars 70% At IPO.
- Uber's revenues in San Francisco is more than three times the size of the taxi market.
- SpaceX confirms $1 billion funding round with Google and Fidelity.
- Netflix wants to expand to 200 countries within the next two years
- WhatsApp finally launches on the Web.
I respect Satya Nadella and his vision to re-invent Microsoft by setting audacious goals. His attitude of 'mobile first, cloud first' and his efforts in making Windows (and Microsoft) lovable again are crucial for the future of Microsoft.
Microsoft announced the new version of Windows operating system, Windows 10. You might notice Microsoft skipped the version number 9. I think it makes sense since that there many important improvements in this launch. It is much more than an incremental change.
I believe there are two features standing out:
- Delivering Windows as a Service and a Free Upgrade to Windows 10
This is very interesting because, if I'm not mistaken, it is the first time for Microsoft to offer the new Windows version for free. Windows users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free within the first year of its launch. This is a proof of Satya Nadella's vision to position Windows not as a product anymore but as a service. I believe this is the right strategy considering the similar progress going on the Chrome OS and Mac OS side.
- Windows 10 for phones and tablets
Microsoft took the first step of converging their desktop and mobile device operating systems into one single system. To be honest, I was expecting this from Apple, converging MacOS and iOS sooner than Microsoft. I believe this is another proof of Satya Nadella's leadership to act fast and ship fast. This is very important for the end user experience because as we switch from one device to another for numerous times throughout the day, it is becoming more important to have a seamless experience. I'm very curious about the initial feedbacks on Windows 10 for phones. If you have the chance to test it, please add your comment below.
Microsoft HoloLens looks amazing and it could be the most exciting product that I've seen for a while. Please check out the link and watch the video. These type of initiatives will definitely get Microsoft back in to the ranks of exciting places to work for. I cannot wait to test it. Again, if you had the chance to test it, please share your experience in the comments.
Long awaited Box IPO happened on Friday. Congratulations to Box CEO Aaron Levie.
There were or still are lots of doubts about the economic stability about Box. But, I think stock market gave the best response to those question marks. Box stock was trading at $24.24 in the Friday afternoon, which is 73.12% from its list price of 14$ per share.
Box is one of the first great examples of consumerization of the enterprise solutions. Most of the tools and products people use at work are actually pretty complex and not end-user friendly. However, when you look at products like Box, Asana and Slack, they are proving that enterprise software can and actually should be end-user friendly.
I believe Box will continue to be laser focused on their efforts of verticalization across different industries and deliver tailored cloud storage solutions for top companies among each vertical. Their sales strategy will shape their stock market performance.
Uber's business ethics might be questionable. But, I think it does not change the fact that Uber disrupted a huge market, taxi market.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spoke at the DLD Conference in Munich last Sunday. He stated the taxi market in San Francisco is about $140 million per year. What's more shocking is Uber's revenue in San Francisco being around $500 million per year and still growing at about 200% per year.
- Uber's rides in San Francisco are growing 3X per year.
- Uber's rides in New York are growing 4X per year.
- Uber's rides in London are growing 5X to 6X per year.
Yes, I hear you. Uber is crushing it.
Elon Musk. Many say that he could be the best applied physicist living on Earth right now and I think he is the modern world's Nikolai Tesla.
SpaceX stated this $1 billion funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.
Reusability is an interesting concept in this area — launching rockets and satellites into space and bringing them back to Earth in one piece so that they can be used couple of more times. This would reduce the cost of building a rocket launcher or a satellite from scratch for every single expedition. Instead, that budget could be used to elsewhere, such as conducting more research and expeditions.
Maybe, more billionaires should donate a part of their retirement money to inventors like Elon Musk, who can actually change the world, rather than to a philanthropic organization.
Just like Uber, Netflix has also disrupted a big industry, TV (cable) industry. Netflix changed the way we consume TV material. It lets you stream movies or TV series on demand on any device (TV, tablet, smartphone and gaming consoles).
Some might argue that the video archive in Netflix is not good enough to cancel their cable subscriptions. But, Netflix's own productions (original series) like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Marco Polo are becoming so popular that people started to subscribe to Netflix just to watch these original series. Netflix also airs the whole season of an original series at once so that you can please your binge watching habits. This method is also a great differentiator compared to watching weekly episodes on regular cable networks.
Netflix will become even more relevant as Generation Y and especially Generation Z start to run away from TV and cable subscriptions. Cable networks like HBO are aware of this so they also launched their own version, HBO Go, to allow their subscribers to stream HBO shows over multiple devices. However, big problem for HBO Go is you won't be able to subscribe to HBO Go unless you are already subscribed to their regular cable network. This has to change if HBO wants to challenge Netflix in the long run.
Netflix announced their Q4 2014 earnings and it is clear that the international expansion strategy is paying off. In Q4, Netflix added 2.43 million subscribers from outside of the US, and now has 18.28 million members in its 50 international markets. In the US, Netflix ended 2014 with 39.11 million subscribers, compared to 33.42 million in 2013. Netflix ended the year with a total of 57.39 million subscribers, compared to 44.35 million at the end of 2013.
I'm curious when Netflix will enter to the Turkish market as they keep on growing internationally. Turkish market could be very tricky in terms of regulations but with its 13 million young population (as of mid 2014, ages 18-24), it could definitely boost Netflix's global expansion strategy.
I've been waiting for this for a long time. I was the only one insisting to use Hangouts or Facebook Messenger among my friends since these two give me the ability to continue to chat as I switch from mobile to laptop and then to tablet many times throughout the day.
It was really painful for me to use WhatsApp before the web app launch. I needed to stop whatever I was doing and switch from my laptop to my mobile just to read or respond to a new message. It was a serious context change for me and I didn't like it. Now, it is much smoother with the web app as I can pin the tab in my Chrome and then I can just change the tab whenever I want to check WhatsApp. However, I still believe that launch of the web app will not lead to a transition of WhatsApp's mobile users towards web. I think web app is more relevant to the power users. I agree to my friend, Huseyin's tweet that I embedded below.
All my friends who are reading this, now you can reach out to me over WhatsApp.
Hereby, we came to the end of the second episode of ‘Week in a Nutshell’ series.
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