The signs of spring: Birds, flowers and new tech

Back in the dark ages, when the only way to get onscreen entertainment was by tuning in a television set at a specific time (get home late miss your favorite show too bad for you!), networks had a habit of scheduling similar shows opposite each other. The notion was presumably, that the competition would cause one show to win out over the other, which would eventually drop in the ratings and get cancelled. The idea that viewers might be interested in seeing both apparently was not in the networks' psychology.

While (thankfully), we don't have to worry about this kind of push anymore, it looks like smartphone vendors have decided that what was good enough for NBC, ABC and CBS back in the day is now good enough for them. Both Samsung and HTC have announced new flagship smartphones within a few days of each other. All three (the HTC One M9, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Edge S6) are high-end phones with smart new designs, new features and a eye toward capturing the tech-savvy need-a-new-phone-every-six-months crowd.

This doesn't mean that it's necessarily bad for the consumer, of course. If you're looking for a new phone and a bunch come out at the same time (rather than spaced out over several weeks), it means that you don't have to sit around wondering if you should buy now or wait for the next announcements -- you've got the latest bleeding-edge devices being compared all at the same time. (It can be a little difficult on reviewers like JR Raphael, though, who have to try to do each new device justice while trying to cover them on a nearly simultaneous basis.)

And it's not just phones. Spring is the time when flowers are budding, birds are building nests, and Microsoft is planning for its slow introduction of Windows 10 -- which, it presumably hopes, will wipe out all memories of its Windows 8 problem child. (We will soon have a review of the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview by long-time Windows-watcher Preston Gralla.)

And there are a lot of other interesting tech devices on their way this year -- including Chromebooks, MacBooks and Windows laptops. So stay tuned. Here at Computerworld, we like to take a really close look at the latest products before we pass judgment -- but, at least for the new 2015 products starting to show up, judgment day is near at hand.


Barbara Krasnoff

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