Thursday, April 19, 2007

Project San Dimas

eBay seems to finally be rethinking their user experience with the announcement of a new Apollo application currently called "Project San Dimas." The new application is meant to make buying and selling items on eBay more efficient, competing with third party “Power User” auction service. "No word on whether it was named after the patron saint of reformed thieves (fraud detection?) or referencing the quiet suburb that served as the backdrop to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”."(Ajax Blog)

San Dimas features a user interface created by Effective UIand uses eBay’s API’s to make creating, and managing auctions easier and faster. Because it’s written in Apollo, the program can improve performance by cutting down on repetitive requests for data, caching it locally instead. The application will also feature real-time auction monitoring and allow sellers to add in pictures directly uploaded from webcams and cameras.

Now the application is pretty remarkable in itself, but the real significance of this release is that it highlights an increasingly competitive marketplace, which previously had one major player; Adobe. Now Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are in a broader battle over how Internet services and software will be built in the future. Both want to be the key supplier of cutting-edge software that handles functions like video and animation on the Web.

Just like any competitor trying to save face (by thinking the best defense is a good offense), Adobe made an announcement about moving into Microsoft's Windows Media Player Space with their own Adobe Media Player. Unlike the "Freddy Vs. Jason" or "Alien Vs. Predator" films where "No matter who wins, earth loses" attitude, this Adobe vs. Microsoft competition can only make our media experience more enjoyable.

Because it is so unpredictable who will win with both sets of products (if I had to guess, Adobe Flash and Windows Media player are the winners in their respective groups) I would Leverage Long both of these products and make up the loss from the premiums on the gains from the winner.

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