I usually try to promote the underdog as much as possible, especially when it comes to those that always seem to get squashed by the big corporate machine. So it’s no surprise that I was a big fan of Mozilla Firefox for a while. Its cleaner look, tabbed browsing, and increased security made it a worthwhile adversary to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. But with the introduction of Windows Internet Explorer 7, I’m having second thoughts about knocking Microsoft. After using it for a couple of days, I’m really impressed.
First of all, I’m a big fan of tabbed browsing. IE 7 not only offers tabbed browsing, but offers it in an intuitive way. Instead of downloading a special plug-in to make windows open in separate tabs instead of windows, IE gives you the option, and it actually works. It even offers a thumbnail/mosaic view of all of your open pages. And there is a special blank tab that allows you to open a new tab, in addition to using CTRL+T.
Mozilla Firefox has been a major contender against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer since it released version 1.0 almost two years ago. Now Mozilla is preparing to introduce Firefox 2.0 tomorrow. I was a big fan until about a year ago when I noticed problems with its speed and usability. I am still a big fan of tabbed browsing and really like a lot of the features, especially with stronger security than Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer. But I may have a hard time adopting the new version if the fixes are not resolved.
However, with Windows Internet Explorer also releasing a new version of its browser (now available) with tabbed browsing and beefed-up security, it may retain its share or possibly regain some fans in the browser market.
PC World article: Firefox 2.0 Scheduled For Release on Tuesday
Wikipedia article: FireFox
Spread Firefox Web site
Windows Internet Explorer 7
Apple’s iPod has been on the market for the past five years, and there doesn’t seem to be any slow down in its staying power. That’s significant, seeing how it not only was a pioneer, but also remains the leader in the market. I think this has to do with Apple’s ability to realize what customers want and makes efforts to deliver.
I remember purchasing my first iPod just three years ago. Back then, you had three choices: 10 GB, 20 GB, or 40 GB. The screen had one color, and it only came in white. Since then, new features were added; screens are now in color, larger ones can play video, anything with a screen can show pictures, and they come as small as a binder clip. In the past five years, the iPod has evolved significantly.
The significance of the iPod is not based only on the device, but also on the business model that Steve Jobs (CEO, Apple Computers) and Apple developed. Apple developed iTunes, the first on-line music store with industry buy-in. It developed a device that commands a high price when others are available at lower prices. The iPod is a very simple device to use and has an intuitive interface. And making iTunes available for Windows opened availability to a greather market. Although not the first on the market, it was certainly a pioneer in making the mp3 player more portable and easier to use.
So, happy birthday iPod!
Newsweek on-line interview with Steve Jobs: Good for the Soul
ABC News/PC World Analysis: iPod at 5 is Still the Top Dog
It wasn’t just another clothing seller; it was a new way of doing business. Gary Comer, Lands’ End founder, built his business on the idea of developing a relationship with his customers. Lands’ End did not achieve its excellence only by the quality of its casual and professional clothing, but also for its excellent customer service. He once stated, “We believe that what is best for our customer is best for all of us.”
Working for Lands’ End as a part-time service associate, I am sad to see Comer’s passing. He was a true pioneer in both developing a better product and developing better service. His achievements should not be overlooked, and his spirit should continue to live on within the Lands’ End product. Anything short of excellent quality and customer service is an insult to his name and to the brand.