There's more bad news for Microsoft's struggling line of Surface tablets: Apple is said to be working on a 13-inch iPad that could be used as a productivity device, not just for entertainment. If true, it could just about kill off any chance the Surface has for success.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has asked its suppliers for prototypes and designs of 13-inch screens for its iPad. The current iPad sports a 9.7-inch screen.
At that size, it's not likely that users will merely want to run apps, check email, and watch video. A 13-incher would certainly cost more than a 9.7-inch iPad, which already comes with a premium price tag. Instead, it would likely be a "two-in-one" device, that is, do double-duty as a tablet and a laptop. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy told Computerworld:
"A 13-in. iPad would be an improved productivity device, particularly when connected by a wireless keyboard, [and] would be like a Windows 8 detachable. he improvement in content creation and editing [would come from] being able to see more of the content." Read more...
Given Android and iOS together control 90% of the worldwide smartphone market, what chance does Mozilla have to find success with its new Firefox OS for smartphones?
Will Firefox OS even matter, given the struggles Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other operating systems are facing to gain market share against Apple and Google?
Despite such questions from skeptics, the Firefox OS does matter, insists Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich.
In a press conference on Monday, Eich acknowledged the odds facing Firefox OS, but then laid out a strong argument for the platform.
Eich described keen interest shown by 8 million Web developers in the OS, and said that 20-plus smartphone makers and wireless carriers plan to offer new Firefox OS-based smartphones to first-time buyers globally, initially in markets where low-cost phones are in demand. Read more...
Apple's personal computers remained fixed in fourth place during 2012's second quarter, a spot it's occupied most of the year, a technical support franchise said today.
The cause, ironically, was the very success that Apple has had selling Mac laptops and desktops.
"It's due to Apple's increased market share," said David Milman, founder and CEO of Rescuecom of Syracuse, N.Y., in explaining Apple's spot in his company's repair and reliability rating.
"That increase has put some stress on their systems," Milman argued. "They've done a great job with their retail stores and the [in-store] Genius Bar, but Apple owners are telling us that they sometimes have to wait two, three or four days for an appointment, even when they have AppleCare. [Apple's] not as responsive, so some people are bypassing AppleCare because they don't want to wait."
The number of Mac owners who turn to Rescuecom for support directly impacted Apple's score. Read more...
And indeed, until very recently, Android was Linux's main contender in the mobile world. Yes, there have been others coming and going -- LiMo, Maemo, Moblin, and MeeGo, for example -- but none of them have even approached Android in terms of traction.
That's why this year's Mobile World Congress has been so striking. Announcements coming out of the show have made it perfectly clear that mobile Linux's days of being more or less completely dominated by Android are coming to an end. Read more...
Apple has found a lot of success in adding the voice-activated personal assistant software Siri to its iPhone 4S. Apparently, other companies are taking notice.
At the Mobile World Congress this weekend in Barcelona, Spain, Mercedes Benz rolled out plans to integrate Siri into its “Drive Kit Plus” program. This will essentially allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using only their voices while driving.
The story comes from the International Business Times. Mercedes Benz, the publication reports, already has a software program that projects the iPhone screen onto an in-car system to allow users to make use of their smartphones without having to divert their attention from driving. Drive Kit Plus interacts with the existing systems to allow a hands-free method of accessing lots of different iPhone systems while driving, like music, text messaging and email. Drivers can even send updates to Facebook and Twitter with Siri’s help.
On the iPhone 4S, Siri also is capable of handling navigation commands, bringing up directions to specific places when asked questions as well as when given instructions. It’s not hard to see how well the technology behind Siri can translate into being used in a car, and it sounds like hands-free navigation will be one of the biggest selling points for Siri and Drive Kit Plus. Read more...
It has been a little over a year since Google first showed off ChromeOS, and around six months since the first commercial systems were released for sale by Samsung and Acer. There’s new hardware scheduled for later this year, but the operating system – indeed the very notion of a browser-based operating system – appears to have found little traction in the wider industry.
However, according to Caesar Sengupta, product management director at Google, the company is playing the long game with ChromeOS, making steady improvements in the system as it stands and letting it find its market.
“As Google we haven’t really pushed these devices yet,” he told The Register. “This is so important to us, we can’t rush it.” Read more...
It isn't exactly your cliche of two bald men fighting over a comb, but victory in the battle royale between Netflix and Amazon's Lovefilm might not mean much to the eventual 'winner'.
Both of these video-on-demand offerings have their roots in the DVD-by-post business; in fact, that's the service that Netflix pioneered in the US, and which LoveFilm copied in the UK. Both will stream to your laptop, fondleslab or games console. Both are also members of DECE, the consortium behind UltraViolet, and hope to piggyback onto the aforementioned anti-piracy system in the long-term. Their prices are similar, too. LoveFilm has cut its fee to £5 a month, while Netflix launches at £5.99 with the first month free. Read more...
This year's Web 2.0 Summit will focus on the critical role that online data plays in the Internet economy and on how its use and misuse can make the difference between success and failure in markets like online gaming, Web advertising, search, social media, and mobile.
The CEOs of Intel, Microsoft, eBay, Salesforce.com, Twitter, and Dell, along with officials from Facebook, IBM, Google, and LinkedIn, will be among the speakers at the conference, an influential and select gathering of 1,000 executives, entrepreneurs, and investors.
O'Reilly Media's Web 2.0 Summit, which runs from Monday through Wednesday in San Francisco, will identify best practices for leveraging online data and pinpoint pitfalls and challenges related to its use, such as privacy concerns.
Susan Etlinger, an Altimeter Group analyst who plans to attend the conference, said organizers chose an important and timely topic to explore. Read more...
Meanwhile, Microsoft used the same data from Net Applications to tout the success of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) on Windows 7, where the new browser is now the second-most-popular behind the 15-month-old IE8.
Total IE share fell by six-tenths of a percentage point in June -- the fourth consecutive month that Microsoft's browser slid by that amount or more -- to end at 53.7 percent, a new low for the browser. The drop was less than the previous three months, when IE's decay accelerated , and more in line with the average decline over the last 12 months.
At its current pace, IE could slip under the 50 percent bar before the end of this year, ending the majority Microsoft has enjoyed for more than a decade. Read more...
In the big picture world of project management, ensuring the overall success of a project is a project manager's top priority. If a project goes wildly over-budget (as they often do), it will not be considered a success, even if it's delivered on time and meets end users' needs. That's why project managers need to meticulously manage their budgets.
Here are four strategies for maintaining control of your project budget and preventing massive cost overruns.
1. Continually forecast the budget. A project run without frequent budget management and reforecasting will likely be headed for failure. Why? Because frequent budget oversight prevents the budget from getting too far out of hand. A 10 percent budget overrun is far easier to correct than a 50 percent overrun. Your chances of keeping the project on track with frequent review of the budget plan is far greater than if you forecast it once and forget about it. Read more...
Geeks of the world, rejoice on this fine Geek Pride Day! Society has come to value your smarts to the point that most people consider the label a compliment and equate geekiness with success, according to a survey conducted by Modis. But if there's any cause for concern, it's that nongeeks tend to view you as socially awkward, which could translate to a barrier in your professional life (and beyond).
The rapid proliferation of technology and social media in mainstream society over the past 15 years is the likely catalyst driving geek acceptance, Modis notes. Millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) are more than twice as likely as any other age group to consider themselves geeks, and 66 percent of that age group consider "geek" to be a compliment. By contrast, baby boomers (folks aged 65 and up) still consider "geek" an insult. Read more...