Friday, January 25, 2008

Virgin Beta Experience

beta0.jpgThe other weekend I flew back from Las Vegas to San Francisco on Virgin America, there has been no end of hype about their new planes and the software so I was interested to what it was all about. It all runs on a linux box hidden in the belly of the plane, I know this to be true because I got to watch it boot on my screen while we were backing away from the gate- that didn't feel right somehow. They call it "Red(beta):An interactive environment" and invite you to touch anywhere to begin; an offer I couldn't refuse.

The On demand Movies worked fine, the live TV was a bit patchy the satellite signal kept going down, so I settled down to some music there's thousands of tracks to select on demand.


Then I thought I would order myself a drink.


they tempt you with nice pictures of good things to drink and then...


I know it is only the entertainment system but if this is in beta, I wonder what else they were rushing to finish? Do you imagine that they pulled some dude off the drink ordering system to have him help on some of the navigation software because that project was slipping? You can imagine a pointy haired boss saying, how hard can navigation system programming be? Have you seen how pretty he made the drinks ordering menu? This guy is a genius he'll get you back on schedule. It's best not to think about these things too much before you fly!


Another thing still beta, with new features coming fast, is Oracle Mix and I found the perfect place for the party when the beta tag is removed. A trendy top floor bar called MIX at Mandalay Bay, the views will take your breath away and the bar bill may do the same. So come on AppsLab dig down the back of your sofa for some spare change and throw us all a launch party. I suggest you call it Overpriced cocktails 2.0 and see if marketing will pick up the check.

Did anybody notice that seamless segway into an Oracle topic?

1 comment:

Jake said...

Wot, no Microsoft Surface? I thought that was the market-leading, touch-screen, drink-ordering platform. No wonder Virgin is still in beta.

It does make you wonder though. Touch-computing is huge and both awesome and freaking scary.

Your point about resource allocation is a funny one. Let's just hope those project teams didn't overlap.

I'm all for a launch party, dot-com style, but we have no revenue. What's that business model we need? Oh yeah, ads, ftw! Ads on Mix = Overpriced cocktails 2.0