Roundup of the Week (w/e 20/02/2011)
February 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Last week’s tech headlines were filled with the endless stream of model releases and general hullabalo of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. To mobile vendors and resellers alike it was certainly a key event, but remarkably little news of substance emerged – predictably given the difficulty in getting one’s message heard above the noise.
No doubt about it though, Google’s made a huge impression with their sushi-bar style display with Android handsets passing tantalisingly by the assembled journalists, the mainfold shapes and sizes of Google’s challenge to Apple. Whilst this year will continue to be Apple’s in mobile and tablet terms, something tells me that next year will be Google’s.
- Mobile Subscription Wars – Apple Demands 30% Share of in-App Purchase Revenue, Google asks for 10%
Apple is now demanding a 30% cut of any revenue passing through its market place (gross, not net). If content providers want in on Apple’s platform, they can’t offer their content cheaper anywhere else. The predictable reaction from content providers suggests that many of them will simply look for alternative platforms…In a direct counter to Apple, Google announced it’s One Pass subscription model with a more modest share of 10% going to Google and the user data passing to the content provider – a deal that is clearly going to be much more attractive than Apple’s for publishers and the music industry. Over the long term, I can’t help thinking Apple have got this badly wrong. For the analysis in full see http://takenobabble.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/that-30-revenue-cut-subscriptions-and-the-end-of-apple%E2%80%99s-empire/.
- Q4 2010 shows Mac Sales Growing Massively in Enterprise
Whilst PC sales to business grew 9.7% for the quarter, Macs were up 65.4% – showing that Apple are making significant inroads into business – which is even more significant when it comes to IT departments deciding whether to use iOS devices later on for their mobile workforce.
- This Weeks Punch-Up – Mozilla v. Microsoft over IE9
Last time round Microsoft received a savaging from Google over the ownership of search results and Bing. This week, Mozilla suggested that IE9 was not a truly modern browser, given its poor support for HTML5 and its second-rate CSS compliance. Anyone in the web design business could tell you a tale of woe about time, effort and money wasted on the non-compliance of IE6/7/8 – let’s all pray that in practice Mozilla are wrong – and certainly this hasn’t put off the 2 million who downloaded the release candidate within a week of being published.
- HTC Welcomes Microsoft / Nokia Tie-Up
It is unusual for a company to welcome the mergers and acquisitions of key rivals, but CEO of major phone manufacturer HTC has welcomed the Nokia / Microsoft tie up on the basis that it will stabilise the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem, helping to provide a more secure footing for HTC’s own Windows 7 offerings.
- $25 Million Injection for Android Marketplace Alternative GetJar
Android Alternative marketplace GetJar gets $25 Million funding – innovative cross-mobile marketplace shows that Google’s own market place won’t get everything its own way.
CMS / Knowledge Management
- WordPress 3.1 Release Immanent
WordPress 3.1 due immanently, with a number of worthwhile enhancements relating to the admin toolbar, and enhanced search.
- IE9 Offers “Pinning” to the Task Bar in Windows 7 as a Key Traffic Builder for Sites
With the advent of IE9, it is now possible to have your site, rather than just the web browser, pinned to the task bar on Windows 7. This is already proving a major traffic booster to sites that are using it, even though IE9 is still only in Released Candidate.
- Google Nearing Completion of Google Native Client for Browsers
Anyone who attempted to use Microsoft’s ActiveX client plugins for delivering complex functionality to the web in years gone by may well have some apprehensions about the complications of using a similar platform. Google, however, assure us that the new Google Native Client will have none of the complexity and security concerns of Microsoft’s aged technology. If Google pull it off, it will herald the advent of full-powered low-level code running at high speed as proper apps within browsers – let’s hope they succeed.
- Twitter banished UberMedia, then readmits them
Twitter doesn’t often make the news for reasons other than growth or potential mergers and acquisitions. This week, however, Twitter suspended use of its API by UberMedia’s popular Twidroyd Twitter app, citing irregularities in manipulation of user posts for money. This caused somewhat of an outcry, as it immediately led to the blocking of access to Twitter, through the app, of a large number of users. Twitter has relented on the basis of reassurances offered by Ubermedia – though this will require an application update to be released by the publishers.
- Apple Creating Touch Panel Shortage for Tablet Competitors
Apple is currently occupying about 60% of global touch panel production – leaving precious little capacity for the competition. This will make it very difficult for smaller suppliers who don’t have the muscle of Dell, HP, Motorola, Samsung and the like to compete – which is surely bad for the consumer.
Android Market Growth Outstripping Apple Store
- The App Genome Project by Lookout Security compared in detail the development of the Android Market with that of the Apple Store, highlighting some eye catching trends. Over the period since August last year, the Apple Store has grown by 44% and the Android market by 127%. The proportion of paid apps, and particularly paid apps over 99 cents in the Android Market has also markedly risen. As one might expect, as a more mature market, the Apple Store is nearer to saturation – but if these comparative rates of growth are sustained, the Android Market will surpass the Apple Store at some point mid-2012.
- Sony to Release 9.4” Android Tablet
Sony building a games and entertainment focussed 9.4” Honeycomb tablet – September launch – c. $599.
- When do you Make Ice Cream out of Gingerbread and Honeycomb?
The next Android OS, rumoured to be called “Ice Cream”, will bring elements from both current generation of Mobile Android (Gingerbread) and its new tablet OS (honeycomb) to both mobile and tablets.
- Samsung Gunning for iPod touch
Samsung will be releasing 4” and 5” wi-fi only Android devices based on the Galaxy S Smartphone – pricing set to be “competitive with iPod touch”, release date not yet announced. This is significant because as yet the iPod touch has not yet faced significant competition.
- Mac App Store off to Good Start – Microsoft an Early Publisher!
The launch of the Mac App Store is yet another significant move for Apple, bringing the tendency of users to buy fragments of functionality, rather than major app suites, to the desktop. To a lesser degree this experience already exists in the form of Browser Plug-ins, particularly on Chrome, but the move by Apple is sure to be duplicated on other platforms, thus changing the dynamics, not to mention the economics, of the purchase of desktop software. Ironically, Microsoft were in on the game early, providing a Mac based version of software to connect to Windows 7 mobile.
This Week I got Excited About
I have tried all manner of personal knowledge management tools – but have only recently tried Evernote – and I’m mightily impressed – specifically because the variety of apps and browser plug ins available means that you can capture virtually anything you are up to on the fly, and have it synced via a web account with all of your devices. For a good overview of what you might want to do with it, see http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/the-world/article/14-practical-ways-to-use-evernote-guy-kawasaki
- Twitter Search + Google Reader = Twitter Archives
Ok, so you are plugged in to endless Twitter feeds to get the low down on what’s going on – but how do you turn this into a useful research resource? See my blog post to find out how – http://takenobabble.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/turn-twitter-searches-into-research-archives-using-google-reader/