Growing a Business in a Recession

Knowing that the next generation of Intel chips will be there on time -- indeed, many have already appeared on the market, along with those of other competitors such as AMD and Samsung -- has meant that electronics manufacturers, from servers to consumer electronics makers, have been able to continue pursuing new product development without worrying about being stuck (as happened to Dell and HP when Microsoft was months late with Vista) with a supplier who can't meet the deadline.

And that, with great confidence, is just what they've done. And now we're starting to see the results. Consider the news items that have leaked out just this week:

AT&T has hinted that it plans to upgrade its current HSPA 3.6 standard for 3G networks, to the new 7.2 standard by 2011. What does that mean? It means doubling the speed of wireless networks from the current 3.6Mbps to 7.2Mbps. That's impressive enough; but the big story behind the news is that 7.2 will likely mean a whole host of cool new applications for 3G smart phones -- not least, the Apple iPhone, which could soon sport such features as video chat.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the smart phone world, the companies that have adopted the Google Android platform are feverishly at work, as well. HTC, which pioneered Android smart phones, is now gearing up to introduce its new "Magic" phone, a gorgeous-looking little device complete with a trackball and an eye-catching display. It's just the kind of design leap Google was hoping for when it created Android and made it available to developers as an open platform.

Let's not forgot that this is also the week when the world finally got a chance to play with the new Wolfram Alpha "computational search engine." It's not exactly what people thought it would be, but it does represent a noble attempt at rethinking the entire notion of Internet search. Alpha, combined with similar initiatives by Yahoo and Microsoft ("Bing"), hints that this market, long owned by Google, soon may find itself back in a competitive war.

Did I mention Microsoft? Even the aging barons of Redmond, Wash., seemed to have used this downturn to rouse themselves from slumber. Not only is System 7 on its way to replace the much-maligned Vista, and not only does the company appear to be in full stealth mode on the aforementioned Bing, but it also seems to be readying its iPod Touch "killer," the Zune HD. This new device, which features HD radio, wireless Wi-Fi, and a great-looking, organic LCD screen, probably won't make much of a dent in Apple's dominance, but it will likely make Microsoft a real player, at last, in the handheld electronics world.

Oh, and lest we forget, Guitar Player 5 is coming this fall as well …

That's just one week folks. Now, add to that the new Amazon Kindle of a couple weeks ago, and the announcements from the electric car makers, including Tesla. And we've still yet to hear from some of the other big players in tech, including HP, Motorola, Cisco, Nintendo, Sega, Samsung and Oracle. Put it all together and you get an idea of just how big the 2010 Tech Juggernaut is going to be.

And it all starts this autumn. After the last six dreary months, I can hardly wait.

This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

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