For the life of me I cannot put my finger on why technology writers fawn all over the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. When it comes to defining or redefining the technology gadget industry– led by the likes of Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch– both are failures.
Think about it. How many of anything tech with an Amazon logo on it has Amazon sold? Amazon won’t say because sales are dismal relative to whatever Apple sells. Likewise, Microsoft’s highly touted Surface line has too little too late technology and reliability problems– which might explain why sales have dropped for a year. Here’s another look at the PC future that will never be.
The only reason I can think that Amazon and Microsoft get such good press for such lousy products that fail to catch on with the masses who buy similar products from Apple is the obvious. They’re on the take. Yeah. They get paid by technology giant wannabes to hawk their goods. I’m not saying that’s exactly what happens but I don’t have a better explanation other than nattering nabobs of negativism, members of the technorati elite politburo all, remain mostly anti-Apple because they’re paid to do so (by somebody).
Here’s a perfect example with the headline ‘The Echo Show looks like the desktop PC of the future.’
No it doesn’t. It doesn’t look like, act like, or perform like, or is used like a personal computer, and I’ll expand the definition to include smartphones and tablets. The writer is writing about Amazon’s newish Echo Show, a little box with a little screen and little brains. Based upon how things ended up in the last general election, maybe that’s the secret. Little brains.
Echo Show is Amazon’s Echo with Alexa and a screen. A murky, fuzzy, little screen set inside a little device, priced about $150 less than a new iPad. Echo Show is no PC despite voice recognition, despite a color display, despite Wi-Fi, and despite a handful of cute parlor tricks for the gee whiz crowd. Move along. There’s nothing to see here.
$229 gets you a white or black Echo Show so you can watch Amazon video, YouTube, listen to music, view security cameras, look at photos and weather forecasts and do it all– hands free. Send a $229 Echo Show to mom or dad or your grandmother or grandfather and they can talk to you face-to-face FaceTime-like or Skype-like, and all you or they need to do is tell Alexa who to call.
Sounds good except this isn’t exactly new hands-free technology since over 1-billion iPhone and iPad users can do exactly the same things– hands free, if necessary– but also, by using hands, can travel wherever you go, a luxury not yet built-in to Echo Show.
I love this sort of thing.
- Alexa, call Dad
- Alexa, show my photos
- Alexa, show the front door camera
- Alexa, show my calendar
- Alexa, play our Game Night playlist
- Alexa, what’s the weather this week
Apple’s customers can do much the same thing by erasing the word Alexa and inserting the word Siri. But we can do all that while driving, while walking, while reading, while doing anything Echo Show and Alexa can do but we’re not stuck at home.
Voice responses from Alexa are now enhanced with visuals and optimized for visibility across the room. Call or message your family and friends that also have an Echo or the Alexa App, get the news with a video flash briefing, see your Prime Photos, shop with your voice, see lyrics with Amazon Music, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All you have to do is ask.
Uh huh. Excuse my dubious nature, but what does Amazon do with all that information it collects about what customers do with their various and sundry Echo products? More ads.
How does the technology work?
Echo Show has eight microphones and beam-forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo Show is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive audio powered by Dolby. When you want to use Echo Show, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo Show responds instantly.
Hint: do not use if you have children named Alexa.
Here’s the deal as Ms. Brannan sees it. Technology websites fawn all over anything Amazon. The stock market, too. Such praise is not worthy. Amazon struggles to make a profit despite being the big dawg on the online shopping block. Amazon’s technology gadgets seem more like ideas of mud thrown against a stucco wall to see what sticks, than a cohesive ecosystem of gadgets and services that honor my privacy and enhance my security.
Is Echo Show the future of desktop PCs? That’s a sad future because the post-PC era is here. Desktops and notebook sales are going down while mobile computing devices are about to hit 3-billion in use, with Apple touting over 1-billion iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Watch units in the wild.
How many anything named Echo or Fire has Amazon sold?
Silence is golden.