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Arlington Heights Daily Herald Suburban Chicago Newspaper Archives Nov 21 2005, Page 35

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Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Newspaper) - November 21, 2005, Arlington Heights, Illinois Getting Box to Market becomes a High stakes game associated press Colin Plamondon 17, takes a racing game out for a test drive using Microsoft a new Box 360 at the company a Headquarters. Box Microsoft beefs up gaming web site the Wall Street journal starting tuesday millions of video game fans Are expected to flock to stores to buy Microsoft new Box 360 game machine. It is up to Todd Holm Dahl to see that they done to leave empty handed. Holmdahl is the Microsoft vice president in charge of Box manufacturing. He works behind the scenes As the conductor of a global train of component suppliers factories and distributors that Are turning 1,700 different parts into what will Likely be one of the hottest Holiday gifts of2005. One manufacturing misstep a a shortage of graphics chips or a recalled hard drive a could drag Microsoft a unprofitable video game business even deeper into the red. A with 1,700 components All it takes is one not being there and it s an Issue a a Holmdahl says. His task illustrates the fact that no matter How flashy the games and skilled the marketing video game wars can be won or lost on the factory floor. Within the first 90 Days of the Box 360�?Ts launch Microsoft executives expect to deliver As Many As three million Box 360 consoles putting them on track to sell up to 5.5 million units by the end of Lilly. Hitting those numbers is critical for the Box 360 the More machines Microsoft can sell the More game makers will want to design their Best games for the Box 360, starting a Cycle where better games Lead to higher sales of consoles and so on. And higher manufacturing links bookmark our web Page for hyperlinks to More information official Box 360 site volume typically leads to lower production costs. A the faster i can build volume the better off i am a a says Robbie Bach president of Microsoft a entertainment and devices division which includes the Box business. When Microsoft entered the video game console business five years ago with the first Box it was slow to get economies of scale. Miscalculations about the Cost of the hard drive and microprocessor have led to $4 billion in operating losses since 2001, analysts estimate. Meanwhile rival Sony built on its already Strong Lead As previous gaming heavyweights like Nintendo and Sega lost ground. It had proved itself with the playstation which went on Sale in 1994, and in launching the playstation 2 in 2000 had the backing of the Best game makers and the manufacturing experience to stave off Microsoft. Sony was Able to grab a 70 percent share of the Market. Microsoft still holds a smaller than 20 percent share according to analysts. This time Microsoft May have a tactical advantage Over Sony whose playstation 3 won t be out until sometime next year. And this time the company has a better lineup of games and More control Over production costs Holmdahl says. In All 250 suppliers and 25,000 workers worldwide have continued from Page i televisions. While users Are beginning to embrace More sophisticated technology for entertainment Many Are still intimidated by the idea of using a computer to do something As simple As watch television. A the question is will people really store Content on the pc set up a Home network and then Access Content Over the network a said Matt Rosoff with Independent analysts directions on Microsoft. Quot that a still a pretty but Rosoff said other technical advances such As More widespread broadband availability and the increasing popularity of High definition televisions Are helping Microsoft a efforts. With Box 360, Microsoft also is hoping that a More aesthetically pleasing design will help convince americans to move the game console from the Den to the living room. The first Box a boxy Black console tethered by cumbersome wires to a big controller has been replaced by a sleek White design coupled with a smaller wireless controller. Roles in making either the parts or the Box 360 itself. Two chinese factories started rolling out Box 360s in August. Users can also eliminate More wires in the living room with a $99.99 wireless adapter. Microsoft Hopes to eventually break even on the consoles a which will initially sell for $399.99 in North America or $299.99 for a version that does no to include features such As the wireless controller. Lite goal is to make Money on add on such As games and Box live which is also yet to be consistently profitable. A we still think in a Way the console Isnit the Way to make Money a Bach said. But he added that the company also thinks its important not to lose As much Money As it did when it rushed the first Box to Market in the face of intense Competition from Sony playstation 2. Bach said the Benefit of Hindsight a and a Little More time a also allowed Microsoft to Correct some other missteps such As a failed strategy for getting into the japanese Market. Despite the popularity of gaming in Japan Microsoft has not been Able to overcome the Home court advantage of Sony a playstation franchise. In addition to redesigning the Box to better Appeal to japanese tastes Holmdahl says he a confident manufacturing will go Well but on tuesday hell be checking with his team around the world Microsoft has struck new partnerships to develop games it thinks will draw in More japanese gamers. In the ., Microsoft also is trying to soften its image a bit. Quot the first version of Box was about building credibility and proving to the Core gaming audience that we got it a Bach said. A a we be done that in Spades with the Box. In a Way we re almost too associated with hardcore the company has added More overt parental controls to prevent younger children from accessing violent or sexually explicit games. And it is tweaking its popular Box live service to make it easier to play others sharing the same skill level. Box live gives Microsoft a key advantage Over Market Leader Sony which is due to release its playstation 3 sometime next Spring. Quot Microsoft is kind of an underdog but they be also come a Long Way with the Box a said Schelley Olhava a gaming analyst with id. A they Learned a lot of lessons along die Way but that does no to mean that they re going to be Able to take Over the Market because Sony is so even As he celebrates at an Box 360 launch party in Redmond. A everybody has my phone number Here a he says. Assess the year seek advice and move Forward a my a i Iti i k a Uranga Chandra tillage of blink works in the company a san Francisco office. It competes for search engine advertising. Podcast Potzinger Best mines Content unless you re in retail and waiting for Holiday season results you already know whether 2005 has been a Good year for your business. Now its time for some analysis with an Eye on 2006 a if results did no to meet expectations Why not what went wrong what can you change to make 06 better a if you re Happy with �?T05, what will you do to keep things going in 2006? those Are starter questions. The real question is who will Supply the answers a a it a time to get your key advisers together a says David Gay director of the Small business development Center at College of Dupage Glen Ellyn. A buy lunch. Do a half Day Retreat. Talk about where your business has been and where it is key advisers people you can a beyond code learn to distinguish yourself in 9 simple Steps by Rajesh Setty select books inc., $19.95. Stand out or Bland in is this books message its one that should be reread from time to time too. Written by a Geek a Setty is the chairman of Cinex a Sili con Valley firm a for geeks to show them that just doing their Job . Writing computer code was Only one dimension of Job performance the Book applies to All cubicle inhabitants. The reason you must distinguish yourself the people who Are on the radar screen Are the most secure a not Only from a career standpoint but also from their internal Compass. Setty a �?o9 simple Steps Are divided into the inner game ones mindset and Outlook and the the outer game a Contact sport where mindset and Outlook acts and reacts with others. The inner game five Steps i. Learn. Keep a scorecard on everything you do it will come in Handy at performance review time too. What did you learn North to Liberty Street and along Aurora Avenue East to state Highway 34 and West to Eola Road. A starting today Fry a electronics in Downers Grove is expected to carry the yellow machine terabyte storage appliance for talk to in Confidence about your business explain your concerns paint a future although Many Small business owners would like a group of confidants to share ideas and frustrations with relatively few of us have a Core group of advisers. Gay one of the better Small business planners around has some thoughts about who should sit at your table. A bring in your management team your hired guns a Gay says. That might be a your co maybe the sales director and your marketing if you prefer a View from outside the business then Gay says your from whom share what you Learned. Read a person who does no to read becomes no smarter than one who can to. 2. Laugh at your mistakes. If you get Down on yourself when you goof up it takes longer to rebound. Smile make a note on your scorecard of what not to do and move on. 3. Look. See the window not your pane. Look for interrelationships. Done to confine observation to your finn look at what a being done by competitors and in other industries. Ism observation into ideas. 4. Lasting impression. Every task every Contact is an Opportunity to make an impression. What you leave behind often shapes your future. 5. Love. You have to love what you do in order to do it Well. The outer game four Steps i. Leverage. Find people who $999. The company said a few years ago a terabyte of storage Cost in the thousands of dollars. What a a terabyte hold it could be any one of these i million documents 500,000 photos 250,000 mp3 files 128 did full feature films i million minutes of music 222,000 songs or 1,000 hours of video a Fry a spokesman said. Review team should include a your banker your accountant probably your attorney. Maybe your insurance person and outside marketing depending on your business think about adding your it consultant to the group. If your business Structure includes More than one owner a a partnership or s corp., for example a the ownership group is a possibility. Even if the others Are passive investors they should know enough about your business to contribute to a results and planning session. Regardless of the makeup of your review team you might want to bring an outsider in to serve As Facilitator. A a it a difficult for the business owner to be objective a Gay says. A you have your preconceived notions of what went Well and what did t. A Good Facilitator can keep the dialogue know what you Don to use them As resources. Willingly share what you know. Build a Strong internal and external network. 2. Likeability. A can do attitude and the ability to communicate builds the a a like Factor. 3. Listen. Done to listen for what you want to hear. Listen with an open ear for All perspectives you la learn that Way. 4. Lead. You done to Lead by title you Lead by example. A the leaders guide to storytelling by Stephen Denning Jossey Bass $24.95. People done to connect with charts graphs and documents because they generate a collective Yawn. People connect with people. So if you want to energize your audience use stories. Stories create empathy and place the audience in the shoes of the protagonist. They Are memorable and repeatable. Stories communicate effectively. They move people to action. Yet a Story a message can fail for two reasons its the wrong Story for the message or die storyteller does no to know How to Tell a the Cook county circuit court clerks office launched an improved web site at . It includes translation of web pages into French German greek italian portuguese simplified chinese and Spanish languages. The polish translation feature is coming soon. It also provides a new glossary of Tennis that defines on track and give you a written report that summarizes the discussion and recommendations. Who can facilitate talk with management professors at the Many colleges and universities in the Chicago area. Go to the name schools but also put such smaller colleges As Aurora Lake Forest Elmhurst and the various Community colleges on your list. Business coaches and general management consultants Are other possibilities that Gay suggests. Think about Gay and other a Bdl Center directors too. You la Likely have to pay any Facilitator a fee but the Money i just As Likely will be Well spent. Be mail comments questions to Jim Kendall Jkendall 121marketingresources.com. A 2005, 121 marketing resources inc. Tales. Denning does a masterful Job aligning a variety of workplace messages with Story Content but he recognizes that an on target Story delivered by a bad storyteller wont persuade an audience. His solution devote some pages to the Art of storytelling. Good stories Are performances not recitations. A storyteller is a narrator responsible for engaging the audience. There a no hiding behind a podium you can to stand like a wooden Soldier in front of it either. You have to move work the stage. Roving Eye Contact with All the audience is a must. Voice should show inflection and passion. Hand gestures should parallel voice. And remember that persuasion lies with the Teller not with a slide show. Use slides spar j singly. How do you become a great i storyteller the same Way an actor learns each new role rehearsal. A email Jim Pawalkat Biz books hot a i i. Com. The types of cases handled in the office a self help Center for people representing themselves in court hearings and a senior Center about services for senior citizens. A Anna Marie Kukec be Buzz technology column appears on mondays. Contact her at Kukec daily Hera i. Com. Continued from Page i that developed elements of the internet. After tinkering with speech to text programs it created for Intelligence services bin has produced Potzinger a web service that mines the Content of podcasts. A third service pod scope from a broadcast monitoring company called to eyes inc., performs a similar trick but with a twist. Ceo David Ives says pod scope uses some voice recognition technology but mainly scans for phonemes a the individual sounds that make up syllables a rather than full words. America online inc. Is a big fan a its due to begin using pod scope As its podcasting search engine this fall. I tried All three and found by no a Potzinger Best at podcast searches because it offered the most user Friendly options. A Potzinger lets you expand the links in search results to read a podcasts Metadata so i you can quickly Tell what kind of show it is. Pod scope does too blink does not. A Potzinger lets you Stream a podcast if you done to feel like taking on a time consuming download. Pod scope handles i that too blink seems to do it Only for video clips. A the results displayed by Potzinger helpfully include segments of the transcript include the terms you were looking for. Then by clicking on the transcript you can instantly play a Sample of the file from that moment. That turns out to be the big differentiator in my View. Pod scope also lets you jump to moments in which it believes your Tenn is mentioned. But you have to spend time listening to each snippet because the phoneme engine does no to produce a transcript you can visually scan. Blink shows a transcript but you still have to Cue up a clip from the beginning and find on your own the moment you think your subject might come up. Blink appears to search the biggest Pool of material a not Only 45,000 podcasts but also millions of hours of to broadcasts and video clips which Are displayed cleverly in thumbnail images alongside search results. Last week blink added lectures from Harvard Princeton and other universities. Pod scope a podcast scope also is about 45,000, while Potzinger Cata logs Only about 11,000. But that should expand greatly and incorporate video As the site leaves Beta Mode. To be sure none of these Sites has mastered audio recognition a notoriously Tricky beast. Computers still cannot consistently understand All the innumerable accents mispronunciation and other nonstandard diction that colors human speech. Even so considering that the feds pay bin a lot of Money for real time analysis of overseas broadcasts in arabic and other languages i found it funny that Early in my test the phrase a Osama bin Laden got no hits on Potzinger. Neither did a Usama bin Laden a the spelling often used by Federal authorities. To pod scope a credit the same search returned a result in which a pod Caster pronounced the name As a Oosama bin Nice catch. The Good news for speech to text services is that they might improve with use. That a partly because the engines can learn better ways to determine words from their context. Blink co founder Uranga Chandra tillage illustrates the process this Way if a podcast were made about the topics in this Story a computer probably would be right if it detected the phrase a recognize but in a podcast about last years tsunami the computer would do better to hear almost the same sounds As Quot wreck a Nice inhabitants find a Way to get on the radar Kukec Fry a to sell electronic storage device continual from Ohge i Jim Kendall Small business

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