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The internet platform explosion

There was certainly a time, not that long ago, where making your business available over the web was a point of differentiation. Today it arguably runs the other way - that is, the lack of a decent web presence is likely to quite starkly define your business in the market place.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the new ways in which my customers will be communicating with their customers. What will the next strategic differentiator be in the technology space? I thought I’d blog a bit of a brain dump of some of the things that I’m seeing over the horizon as I travel and speak with colleagues around the world.

The three key themes I’m going to talk about are:

  • The explosion of internet capable and internet connected platforms
  • The role of social networking sites and other virtualised communities
  • The ever complicating nexus between software and advertising

I thought I’d cover off the first of these in this post.

For many people, the World Wide Web and the Internet are terms used almost interchangeably but increasingly we’ll see consumers accessing resources and content over the internet using a far broader range of platforms. These will range from mobile phones to gaming consoles to consumer appliances to automobiles. Let’s drill down into some of these in detail.

Gaming Consoles

Love them or loathe them, computer games are enormously popular. Newer consoles such as the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are targeted squarely at internet connectivity. These platforms represent a new way of accessing the internet and a new way of reaching customers. Have a think about some of these points.

  • Burger King, a US based fast food chain, sold over 2 million copies of its Burger King branded Xbox 360 games in just 4 weeks.
  • Xbox Live is the fastest growing subscription service ever, surpassing listed giants America Online and CompuServe.

Here at Intergen we’re talking and working with customers to bring their products and services to users over the Internet and onto gaming platforms such as the Xbox. Do you market to Generation Y?

Computers in the Lounge Room

Though it’s been available in various guises for several years we are starting to see an explosion in the use of computers in the lounge room - primarily as a personal/family entertainment hub. With the release of Microsoft Vista and Apple TV both of the major consumer operating system vendors have a position in this market. These PCs, almost always internet connected, represent another fantastic opportunity to influence the eyeballs of consumers. From basic textual or video advertising through to fully interactive shopping and ordering applications, the lounge based PC, or the 10 Foot User eXperience, as it is often referred to, will become an increasingly important channel for communicating over the internet.

It’s an exciting time in the new technology space, and I’m only scratching the surface here. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the possibilities that are opening up to us. And don’t worry, there will be  a lot more from me where this came from, so stay tuned.

Posted by: Chris Auld, Chief Technology Officer, Executive Director | 06 August 2007

Tags: Social Networking, xBox

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