The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.
This week members of our London team have been working out of the New York office leading to many interesting conversations about technology, development and the future of creative digital work. Mostly because during this week, and next, a lot of industry changing announcements are taking place. This week the D9 Conference is happening and next week is Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned so far:
• In a rare and unexpected break from their absolute secrecy Apple pre-announced the content of their WWDC keynote. We now know Steve Jobs will be back for the presentation. There will be no new hardware, certainly no new iPhone announcement. The keynote will focus on software, specifically Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5, and will introduce iCloud, a potential replacement for MobileMe and music locker. They also released iPhone versions of the iWork suite of apps ahead of the conference. They have certainly gone out of their way to manage expectations. If all the rumors floating about are to be believed Apple is up to something big.
• Microsoft demoed Windows 8 (video) which introduces a new tile-based interface based on the Windows Phone.
• Twitter introduced the Follow button, which allows one click follows without having to leave the page you are in. It also introduced photo and video sharing within Twitter (video,) a full of potential extension to the service that transforms hashtags beyond keywords and trends into galleries. Twitter may even be baked into iOS 5.
• Google releases the +1 button to the web. One more button to add to pages, to blogs, to the online ecosystem. Although it comes late to the social media party the +1 button has the advantage of actually influencing the Google search algorithm, possibly leading to improved SEO. For that reason alone it may be embraced.
• Former Google CEO and current Board member Eric Schmidt introduced the phrase “The Gang of Four,” or how he refers to Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. This cabal of frenemies has highly successful partnerships in some areas and aggressively competitive pursuits in others. And together they are inventing the future. Notably absent from Schmidt’s “Gang” – is Microsoft…
• If you were in Jonathan Kaplan’s shoes and experienced Cisco buying your Flip line of consumer cameras only to abruptly discontinue them, what would you do? He is going into high-tech grilled cheeses.
• And speaking of dairy products, is White Power Milk a joke, performance art, political satire, a student project, a viral for Yakult? Only Nate Hill knows for sure.