(A Javascript-enabled browser is required to email me.)

TBTF for 1995-05-09: Software as bestseller; laser displays

Keith Dawson (dawson@atria.com)
Tue, 9 May 1995 09:53:01 -0400

>>From Innovation:

Good question. The answer may be: "When it starts selling operating
systems." Microsoft executive Steve Losch says, "Windows 95 should act like
a best seller. And it should be sold like a best seller -- in bookstores
that will feature it as part of an intense season, somewhat like a tie-in to
a movie or a holiday." Booksellers could have an advantage in selling
Windows 95 to customers intimidated by computer stores, and could also use
the sale to show off their multimedia sections and do some cross-selling of
resource books. Is there a "Windows 95 for Dummies" out yet? (Publisher's
Weekly 1995-04-24 p.31)

[The line has been blurring for some time now. Numerous bookstores and pub-
lishing companies have Net presences. If Barnes & Noble can set up to sell
latte, why not Calendar Maker? I'll believe the trend is established when
Windows 95 appears as no. 13 on the NYT list, right below the new Belva

A new crop of business is sprouting up to serve the growing market of
time-deprived workers. These companies specialize in making things easy,
providing oil changes or gift shopping at the job site, or hot gourmet meals
at the train station. "Two people come home and they're tired, that's it.
That's what's creating all the opportunities for these new little niche
firms," says the chief economist at the National Federation of Independent
Businesses. Building on the concept, one new firm acts as a phone referral
service for after-hours crises. 1-800-ALL-NIGHT has 700 businesses on its
list, all of which are available 24 hours a day. "The concept that you
can't get something done at any given time of the day just doesn't exist
anymore," says a business guide publisher. (New York Times 1995-05-01 C12)

[You can think of TBTF as a service for the time-deprived.]

Advanced Laser Technologies Inc. is developing a display for computers and
televisions that uses laser beams instead of liquid crystals or cathode ray
tubes. The patented approach bounces laser beams off a small, spinning
36-sided polygon similar to those glittering globes that used to light up
dance floors. The facets are angled so that each one directs light to a
different stripe on the screen. The prototype screen is 4 1/2 inches thick,
but a company insider says it's possible to make a full-color version that's
only an inch thick. Advanced Laser hopes to use the technology in other
products, including a 300-to-1 video-compression device. (Business Week
1995-05-08 p.96)

[I hope the device contains several spinning polygons; 36 lines is about half
an inch on screen. How long before the moving part is replaced by a phase-
changing crystal of some sort?]

TBTF alerts you 3 times a week to bellwethers in computer and communications
technology, with special attention to commerce on the Internet. To subscribe
email me at either address below.
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.