Daily Archives: 28 May, 2009

Thousands download Skyfire’s new 1.0 version for smartphones

This week the mobile browser Skyfire released it’s long awaited 1.0 version, for use with smartphones, taking the company out of a hugely successful beta period that has seen 1 million people downoad the free service.

Skyfire is free to download at: www.get.skyfire.com

The service is currently available in the UK, USA and Canada, and runs on Windows Mobile (smartphones and PPC) and Nokia N and E Series (Symbian S60, 3rd Edition) phones. With its release yesterday, thousands of people lit up on fire with excitement for Skyfire and have been reporting their experiences on Twitter, with many tweeting that the service is the iPhone for other handsets. Skyfire is feeding the strong popularity and desire people have to get connected to the internet by their mobile phones, for instant access to social networking sites, viewing videos and reading their RSS feeds, among other features. Skyfire describes its service as bringing the full web experience to handsets, and it is the only mobile browser that supports Flash, Silverlight and Ajax, technologies that normally crash when attempting to access the internet from a handset. 

Skyfire’s 1.0 release means millions more people will be able to catch up on Facebook, Twitter and watch YouTube, BBC iPlayer from their mobile, and this rich-media content experience bodes well for brands who are increasingly using the mobile internet for advertising and marketing. The excitement for this new milestone in technology captured the attention of mainstream media and bloggers, who have given the service rave reviews. Here’s what some have said:


“You see, Skyfire isn’t a ‘proper’ browser, more of a
content viewer, with all the serious processing handled by the company’s proxy
servers, the pages then being ‘rendered’ onto your phone. Just like the Opera
browser in fact, but with more whistles, bells and streaming video.” – T3’s
David Walker


“The release
brings with it a host of improvements, such as improved navigation, zooming and
interaction and a faster launch, lower power consumption, and new search
functionality. Also, while the new version of the browser starts up, you can
begin typing URLs or search queries into the box at the top, saving time. The
company is operating a closed alpha for the BlackBerry platform, so that’ll
likely be next for release.” –Pocket-lint.com’s Duncan Geere


“Their browser is fast and responsive, and Skyfire’s goal is
to give a faithful representation of web pages that is equivalent to the
desktop browsing experience.  One
important focus for Skyfire is in the area of video rendering… Skyfire’s
approach is to introduce their own video-crunching servers between, say,
YouTube and your Nokia N95.  These
servers take full Flash (Flash 10) and then video transcode the signal in
real-time, giving a lower frame rate (8 frames per second), and a smaller
screen rendering for mobile.   The
result is that the Skyfire browser can render an original YouTube page or Vimeo
page, or even blogs with embedded video, so that you have access to the entire
video catalogue, live on line.” –Martyn Davies, The Really Mobile Project


Watch The Phones Show hosted by AllAboutSymbian.com’s Steve Litchfield, for an interview with Skyfire’s VP of
Business Development Raj Singh, who offers extra insight to the browser’s features
and hints of what’s to come.



CNET was among the first outlets to announce the news yesterday, and just prior to Skyfire’s 1.0
launch, The New York Times named the browser as “App of the Week”.


My consultancy the Hai Media Group handled the UK/EU media outreach for Skyfire, teaming up with our fantastic US media partners VSC Consulting to orchestrate this highly successful PR 2.0 outreach programme.


Still finding more and more coverage results for Skyfire,










Della; doomed to fail or destined to succeed?


My WARC conference presentation stressed that the best way to market
to women is to be inclusive rather than to simply overtly exclude men.
Nevertheless, most marketing activities aimed at women do so simply by
shutting-out the other gender. It’s a mirror-image of the current
marketing worst-practice. Della, the new netbook sales portal from dell
is a pastel-pink feminized counterpart to the unapologetically
ultra-masculine Dell.com. It’s a perfect example of the current trend
of exclusion marketing.

I remember interviewing one Lady Geek who told me in no uncertain terms that the ‘Dixons Women’s Only night’ was her idea of hell.

“What are they going to do, give me cheese and pineapple on a stick and tell me how to turn the telly on?”

Not exactly the response that Dixons were looking for, and in my
experience a strategy which never works quite as well as the men who
invented it might expect.

Marketing to women should not feel like “an initiative” i.e that a
group of 40 something balding marketing men have been sitting in the
boardroom and some bright spark says ‘We need to appeal to women. I know, lets create a portal for women, pink up and dumb down our products…we could even call it Della…(guffaw guffaw)

I admire Dell’s intent. Its brave. It shows that they recognizes
that in the current environment, its a smart strategy to improve your
bottom line by targeting women. I’m skeptical that Dell will achieve
their objectives for two reasons:

Firstly,  do they really have a long-term commitment to growing the female market?
Dell has a history of superficial and short-term business strategies
such last year’s half-hearted flirtation with Linux . Is there any
commitment to go beyond the shell of rebranding and create something
which will profoundly appeal to this new market? As Elisabeth Kelan
states, when you open the Inspiron artistic shell, its just an ordinary
dull Dell laptop underneath.  How much of the products and community
parts of the site have been specifically developed with women in mind
rather than been re-skinned to appeal to women?

Secondly, I do not think that Dell have achieved a depth of understanding of their new female audience.
Evidence of this is the handy lifestyle tips which state the
excessively obvious. We also find the usual marketing copy cliches such
as ‘giving extension to your digital life’ (I don’t want a digital
life, I want a life with technology in it) and ‘enhance your life with
technology’ and the ‘giving’ section – it’s the kind of vacuous text
that means absolutely nothing.

From a product perspective, the site makes a big deal of their
pretty new Inspiron Netbooks, however there’s not a whole lot else on
the site – yet another echo of Dell’s failed Linux strategy which also
presented an absurdly limited subset of Dell’s quite massive portfolio
of products.

My research conducted with Jupiter found that a third of British women are frustrated, alienated and bored by the way tech companies market to them.
Despite this most tech marketers are in denial about what must be done:
There is plenty which can be done- it just needs to be executed and
approached in the right way.

Strategies tech brands need to apply;

1) Go for an implicit strategy appealing to women rather than
creating an overt exclusive ‘silo’. Overt branding such as Della,
Dixon’s Women’s Only nights and Comets Angels give out wrong signals.
Nintendo spent hundreds of dollars understanding women and their
fitness regimes but never overtly positioned Wii Fit as ‘gaming for

2) Make women the heart of your strategy not the icing on the cake.
Nike Women has invested millions and is part of a strategy which
demonstrates Nike’s long term commitment to women. It goes beyong
flogging products and starts to offer real benefits.

3) Develop an authentic understanding of women and what they want before
you embark on women only strategies. Employ experts such as the Lady
Geeks (shameless plug) who will help you go beyond the superficial and
can deliver your proposition in a way that is not going to get women
irritated. Dell have lost touch with the reality of those women its
trying to sell to.

4) Position technology as entertainment rather than a female or male pursuit.
Jeremy Clarkson, has equal appeal and ratings amongst both sexes.
Rather than talk about the technical aspects of a car in a dry way, he
has used humour and entertainment as a way to make cars appealing.

Della is a somewhat superficial step in the right direction. Lets
just hope Dell listen to their customers and radically overhaul Della
the concept before it becomes yet another of Dell’s six-month