Roundup of the Week (w/e 06/02/2011)
February 7, 2011 5 Comments
- Microsoft and Google trade blows over the ownership of search results after Google leave a “honey trap” for Microsoft
but was this a smokescreen to draw attention from Google’s legal proceedings in Europe over the alleged manipulation of search results? http://www.techmeme.com/110201/p22#a110201p22
- Microsoft announces that it’s web version of Office Apps will go worldwide in March
How compelling will the online experience be – we’ll just have to wait and see. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20030755-75.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20
- Chrome continues to increase its share of the browser market, as IE continues its marked decline
although champions of standards compliant HTML rendering will still be disheartened by IEs total market share of 56% across all versions (Firefox at 22.75%). http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/02/chrome-takes-10-usage-share-ie-continues-to-haemorrhage.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss
- Hotmail Add Alternative Emails – up to five aliases
A relief for those who use hotmail addresses for testing, or junkmail, or just for specific sign-up purposes
- RSS central to easy-access Cloud Data?
Cloud hosting and data is a hot topic, but does it concern the everyman? Dave Winer – creator of RSS introduces thinks it does. He introduces his vision of a more accessible paradigm for backend storage and functionality on the web, glued together using RSS – enticingly named EC2 for Poets project – http://www.webmonkey.com/2011/02/take-back-the-tubes/
- IPv4 addresses running out
For all you geeks out there (and me too) – a significant milestone is the allotment of the last available IPv4 blocks – with IPv6 to receive a publicised promotional day of its own in June.
- Honeycomb previews and features
Everybody got a good look at the preview of Android 3 Honeycomb, primarily aimed at tablets – though rumours have been back and forth as to whether and when it will be on smart phones. The preview looked exciting, with features such as Fragments API allowing control of behaviour of encapsulated chunks of UI – to help deal with maximizing compatibility and use of different screen formats. For a good run down of features noted during the previews, seehttp://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/android-3-0-rumours-and-latest-updates-706243?src=rss&attr=all.
- Google displaces Nokia as number 1 seller of smartphones (by OS on phones sold)
For anyone, particularly in the corporate sector, who has been trying to ignore it – Android is now officially impossible to ignore – as number one OS on new smartphones. This very success, however, is the main challenge to Google – the sheer diversity of suppliers and device formats involved means that Google will have to work very hard to avoid the obvious danger of fragmentation of its market – a problem that Apple clearly does not face.
- Google launches web based Android market to compliment the in-phone market
Clearly a vital step in the right direction, but the consensus seems to be that it is lacking a bit of polish, and certainly needs to address the wild-west feel. For a tour, see http://news.cnet.com/2300-1035_3-10006502.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20
- Android 2.1 and above now on 90% of Android devices
Which means that developers are unlikely to be losing too much sleep over older versions, focussing on the capabilities of the newer OS versions.
iPhone / iPad
- Apple Enforcing Rules on e-Book Publishers
Hard to avoid the big Apple story of the week – namely its enforcement of its policy that if you sell items used in an app outside of the app, they must allow them to purchase through app as well. This seemed focussed at eBook providers like Sony, and could well be a key mechanism for ensuring Apple’s dominance over the iOS platform as a commercial money maker. However, I wonder how long it is likely to be before we see a case brought in the European Court on the basis of anti-trust legislation – as Microsoft faced a while ago over its packaging of Internet Explorer with windows.
- Apple iAds twice as effective as TV commercials
An interesting report from a Campbell’s soup campaign suggested its Apple iAds made twice as much of an impression on users compared with the TV commercials, whilst being much cheaper (c. 5% of the cost of the broadcast campaign) see http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/03/nielsen-apple-iads-more-effective-than-tv-ads/
- Android takes 22% of Tablet Market
So far, with the exception of the Galaxy Tab, there has yet been a compelling Android based rival to the iPad – despite this, Android already has a 22% share of the tablet market – which is sure to rocket when the next generation of Android pads, like the Motorola Zoom, become widely available – see http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/content/android-takes-22-cent-tablet-market
- Samsung Galaxy Tab – disputes over reliability and sales
Over the last week there have been stories claiming that the return rate on the Galaxy Tab has been 13% (according to ITG Investment Research), whilst Samsung have claimed only 2% – comparable to the return rate of the iPad. At the same time, Samsung claimed a massive rise in sales of the Galaxy Tab whilst then later ‘clarifying’ that the sales quoted were to distributors rather than end-users. A case of lies, damned lies and statistics?
- RIM release BlackBerry AppWorld 2.1
Which features in-app payments, allowing developers to create ‘lite’ versions with in-App upgrades. Could this provide a significant stimulus to the BlackBerry app market?
- RIM India Ban Unlikely
India still wants access to messages through Blackberry platform but now look unlikely to introduce a ban. Interesting to see how the issue of privacy is shaping up not just in developing economies, but around the world more generally.
- 40% of Consumers Reach for Mobile When they see and interesting Ad
Looks like mobile is quickly become the platform of choice for people wanting to know more about products and services – which is obvious given that they are likely to have their smart phone on them, see – http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/content/40-cent-reach-their-mobile-when-they-see-ad-they
- Mobile Web Traffic doubled in 2010
According to Mobile Marketing Magazine, although a Cisco’s study suggested a massive 150% increase over the same period. There is no doubt about it, mobile is likely to be the preferred option for accessing the web outside of work, where the choice of platform is likely to be out of the users’ hands. Over the same period, the consumer expenditure on online entertainment was up 23% – which only goes to show that early adopters must be disproportionately high consumers compared to later adopters. See http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/content/mobile-web-traffic-doubles-2010
- Nokia and Microsoft Up a Tree?
Now deposed as top seller of smartphones, and with Symbian effectively being declared dead, though on temporary life support, Nokia is realigning strategy apparently, with an announcement due regarding a tie up with Microsoft next week, possibly involving Windows 7. Could be a good tie-up for Microsoft who have had quite poor initial market share – Q4 2010 only 2%.
- Marie Curie and Salvation Army with firsts for Charities in mobile
Whilst Marie Curie were the first to release a virtual collection tin, allowing their volunteers to encourage donations via SMS to contacts. The Salvation Army enjoyed 190,000 downloads of its Virtual Cup app, highlighting issues of health and social inequality. Interestingly, for the iPhone, the Virtual Cup has been implemented as an advanced web app to get around Apple’s ban on in-app donations – although it is available as a native app on other platforms.
Social networks for corporates seems to be flavour of the week, if not the entire year. A lot of action to be seen in this area over the coming year, both as add-ons for Enterprise platforms, and for third-party SAAS providers:
- Salesforce release Chatter.com
a free social network that can be used by anyone with a business address
- Microsoft Dyamics CRM acquires Vibe as Option in Market Place
Enterprises implementing Dynamics now have social networking option
- BranchOut Grew 2500% In January
The LinkedIn style corporate networking Facebook app is experiencing a meteoric rise in traffic, going From 10K To 250K Monthly Users
- Microsoft offers H.264 plug-in for Chrome
interesting Microsoft play which undermines Google’s own choice to not adopt H.264. Could plugins and add-ons provide a useful mechanism for platform providers to wrong-foot each other’s strategic plays on standards adoption?
- W3C addresses touch screens and semantic web
The consortium release a rough draft of specs targeting touch screens and tables, and announce the formation of a working group to update the foundations of the semantic web
What I got Excited About this Week
In no particular order:
- Google Body
Glide through the layers of skin, muscle and viscera with Google Body, mainly aimed at schools and children – see http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/
- Yahoo Pipes (Feed Aggregation and Filtering on Steroids)
if you like to use the web as an active research tool, then you’ve got to see this to believe this – an easy online interface for clever aggregating, filtering, translation and coding of feeds and web content, which you can then publish as another feed!http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/
- Google Timeline
Can’t believe I haven’t come across this before – using Google Timeline you can get a historical perspective on the number of stories on particular searches over time, and then narrow the search down to particular points in time – if you want to blog about the emergence of trends, then this is a vitally useful tool! For info on how to use, seehttp://convergedmedia.wordpress.com/research/search-using-google/search-using-googles-timeline/
- Yojimbo – Personal Knowledge Manager
I’m trying out this personal knowledge management app for the Mac – I’ve tried PersonalBrain, but I wanted something quick and easier – which it seems to be http://www.barebones.com/products/yojimbo/
- Ubuntu – OS OS (Open Source Operating System)
having been mainly PC and Mac based, I thought it high time that I tried out Ubuntu properly – given one of my colleagues is a bit of an evangelist. Now I have Ubuntu, Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard on one box – the world is my oyster! Ubuntu is great – once past the apprehension about geeky command lines, it is actually a breeze to use and fantastically easy to set up new software! www.ubuntu.com