Applications tone up for Beijing Olympics

Given the impending start of the Beijing Olympics on August the eighth we can no doubt brace ourselves for a flurry of news themed around the fact that XYZ Ltd’s latest application has been refined and toned up to support the technology needs of the event.It’s been competitively quiet so far though.

Given the impending start of the Beijing Olympics on August the eighth we can no doubt brace ourselves for a flurry of news themed around the fact that XYZ Ltd’s latest application has been refined and toned up to support the technology needs of the event.

It’s been competitively quiet so far though. You could almost argue that you have to go looking for this of type news.

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In meetings with Microsoft last week I picked up on the fact that the Silverlight 2 Beta had been rolled out to specifically hit a time frame that would enable NBC to use the technology to support the 3000 hours of live and on-demand video content that it has planned.

Microsoft calls this, “An immersive and interactive video experience that will redefine how sports fans consume content online.”

Gartner says that due to the sheer size of China’s economy, the games will have a “limited impact” on China’s PC market, let alone the applications development that could support these extra users when they start to come online.

A report by China mainland-based Gartner analysts Simon Ye and Eileen He said the August event will have a lesser impact on China than it had on the host countries of recent Olympics.

ZDNet Asia has reported recently that spammers are gearing up for the event and that security vendor Symantec's latest State of Spam monthly report highlighted a series of messages that purport to be from the 'Beijing Olympic Committee'. Suggestions are that applications affected may be more predominantly within the mobile space now.

Mobile application development for Beijing has been going on for sure, but it’s not as easy to find as you might think. I had to Google terms like “Symbian Beijing Olympics” before I could find offerings from Handango and the like.

I did find one tech-focused press conference hosted by the Beijing Olympic Committee, but it was entitled – “Press conference on self-reliance & high-tech innovation used in Beijing Olympic venues” – and the reporters and spokespeople seemed to be more interested in electric vehicles and power consumption than anything else.

It’s only informed (I hope) conjecture, but it appears that China’s all-consuming focus on construction, growth and economic wealth means that it wants the world to see the bigger picture this summer. Perhaps they want us to view a generalised glossy image of prosperity and aren’t so concerned with the minutiae of details that could go to make up the viewers’ experiences.

I travelled extensively in China for three months in 1990 when the country had only been open to tourism for twelve years. Although I survived snake soup, dog with spinach and gravy and a very painful ear infection I adored the country. I hope we do hear good tech stories coming out of the games and with my own particular interest in software application development I hope that many of these tales relate to some cool apps. Birds nest soup anyone?

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