Apple has managed to stay in the limelight for over a decade now and has achieved some resounding success after becoming the most valuable technology company on the planet. Not surprisingly, Apple has made many enemies in the process. Amazon.com, Google, Adobe, and Microsoft are just a few competitors that have filed complaints and engaged in lawsuits against Apple. With Adobe's recent injunction against Apple and Amazon.com's recent complaint about Apple telling record labels to not take part in a promotional deal they were offering, or Apple would pull all the marketing support for their songs, has motivated the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into their music service and possibly their video services as well. The details of the investigations are not yet known but it seems likely that some anti-trust issues will surface and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
The talks last week about Yahoo! teaming up with Nokia turn out to be true this week, as the two companies announced their partnership that will further a connection between mobile users around the world.
Building on more than five years of collaboration, Nokia and Yahoo! (R) will leverage each others' strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services, to provide consumers with access to world-class experiences on both PC and mobile devices.
As part of the alliance:
- Nokia will be the exclusive, global provider of Yahoo!'s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, branded as "powered by Ovi."
- Yahoo! will become the exclusive, global provider of Nokia's Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services branded as "Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!"
- Nokia and Yahoo! plan to work on ID federation between their services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user IDs across select Yahoo! properties to easily access the online content and services they need.
Last week we were privileged to speak with Brandon Watson, Microsoft's Director of Developer Experience about creating applications for Windows Phone 7 Series. Last month we were also able to chat with Microsoft's Gian Wilson on gaming for your Windows Phone 7 Series device.
Because Watson was on video conference, we are able to bring you the questions that were submitted to him and then provide a brief summary of his responses to those questions.
An application uses its own file format. The only way to transfer files to the app on the phone I see in the SDK is via web. Will a user be able to open an email attachment in my app?
No, email attachments will only be available to native applications, with no third party support at this time. We hope to relax those constraints in the future, as the ability is in the operating system. With WP7, we look to ensure no user has a bad experience with any of our apps, such as memory loss or battery drain. In the end, our goal is to make the devices perform in an outstanding way. Users won't ever get mad at the developer but instead will blame Microsoft for their bad experience.
This week marked the pinnacle of the most impressive turnaround in the history of the technology industry. Apple, who only 10 years ago was thought to be out of the game and on the verge of shutting its doors, became the most valuable technology company in the world.
The valuation is based on an increase in Apple's stock price on Wednesday spread across the number of shares outstanding. That value, $222.12 billion, is higher than Microsoft's value, calculated the same way at $219.18 billion. The only American company to have value above these two giants is Exxon Mobil, valued at $278.64 billion.
Now, this number has nothing to do with the real-world value of these companies but only perceived market value. To illustrate this point in their last financial years, Microsoft had net income of $14.6 billion while Apple's net income was only $5.7 billion.
Research firm NPD Group has released a report this week that indicates consumers aren't buying boxed software online anymore. Digital downloads made up over 66 percent of the total online software purchases in 2009, which is up just a little from last year.
NPD broke the numbers down into new purchases, software subscription rentals and trial-to-paid conversions, among other categories. The largest of online software purchasing was in subscription renewals, at 34 percent, with new purchases coming in at 23 percent and trial-to-paid at 8 percent.
A large reason subscription renewals were down this year can be attributed to consumers not trusting online merchants as much as they have in the past. Over 40 percent of those surveryed said they did not renew specifically because of spam of unsolicited offers from merchants or their affiliates, while 5 percent said they did not renew because they felt the merchant would not renew their service correctly. 33 percent were misinformed, however, and stated they did not trust merchants with their credit card information, even though merchants have this information at one point or another prior to renewal.
Earlier this month, I talked about how the music industry is on the rise, yet countries like South Korea and Sweden are taking copyright infringement crimes to the max. This week, we can add Ireland to the list.
Ireland has decided to enforce their rendition of the "three strikes" rule when it comes to media piracy. One of the country's largest ISPs, Eircom, has committed to processing over 50 content complaints each week and will turn off the Internets of those accounts who reach three complaints.
The company has planned to do this for several months now, ever since Eircom was sued by several large music labels and challenged on their data privacy practices.