Review Category : the competition

Microsoft today announced their participation in a cross-industry coalition dedicated to the creation of an effective European unitary patent system. This coalition includes 14 companies and users of the European patent system. Find the list of signatories below. adidas AG Apple Inc. BlackBerry Limited Bull SAS Cisco Systems Inc. Deutsche Post DHL Deutsche Telekom AG European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) Google Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company Intel Corporation Microsoft Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Syndicat de l’Industrie des Technologies de l’Information (SFIB) Telecom Italia S.p.A. Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft along with all the above member companies have been working collaboratively for several months to suggest solutions that support the creation of an effective, balanced and harmonized Europe-wide patent system. You can read the letter sent by this group to European policy makers on recommendations to those solutions. Read about it in detail here. ...

Read More →

Google is dropping support for ActiveSync for all new accounts, switching to “open” protocols which are not supported on Windows and Windows Phone. Their announcement reads as follows: Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won’t be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement. The synching service will continue to work for existing accounts, but will mean when users connect their new Windows Phone or Windows tablet their Google ...

Read More →

A survey of US broadband subscribers by Parks Associates has shown significant interest in the Microsoft Surface, pegging in Q4 2012 at nearly half that of the iPad. The survey found 44% of consumers planned to buy an iPad, vs 21% a Microsoft Surface. This was nearly double of the interest in the Google Nexus, which scored only 12%. Parks notes interest in the Microsoft Surface was down from Q3 2012, before full details of the Surface, including the somewhat high price, was revealed. In some bad news for Apple, when given the choice between the iPad and the much cheaper iPad mini, 40% of consumers who intended to buy an iPad chose the cheaper device, which will place Apple’s iPad margins under pressure.  It is of note that the presence of the iPad mini did not increase the percentage of users who were opting for an iPad – in ...

Read More →

It seems the browser mark has been reset a year, with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer hitting its highest market share since August 2011, and Google Chrome its lowest since October 2011. As the graph above shows, the last 3 months have been particularly good for Microsoft and bad for Google, with IE gaining month on month for the last 3 months in a row, while Google’s Chrome’s market share slipped by 1.3% over the same period. The news does suggest that Microsoft’s efforts to improve Internet Explorer, especially with IE9 and now IE10, is bearing fruits, something which has not been clear given the intense competition from Google Chrome, which was previously one of the fastest growing browsers. Google’s Chrome however appears to be losing favour with many. The browser has been experiencing intense stability problems recently, related mainly to Flash-heavy websites. Firefox has in fact re-established itself as the alternative ...

Read More →

According to Bloomberg the FTC may not bring Google to trial for the most serious allegations of abuse of their dominant search position. The issue is apparently that the FTC is unsure that they have enough evidence to successfully prosecute Google for giving its own services top billing and pushing down the offerings of rivals. The FTC is also apparently  looking at whether the ranking system’s benefits to consumers outweigh any harm suffered by rivals including NexTag Inc. and Kayak Software Corp, an argument Eric Schmidt put forward to defend surfacing information without directing browsers to the source of the information. The FTC may still extract concessions from Google to resolve their concerns, but it seems main thrust of the investigation, which was threatened to break up Google, has been lost. The European Union has however not shown any indication to be flagging in their pursuit of Google. A final ...

Read More →

MacWeekend posted this video which was meant to reflect the traffic of Microsoft Stores vs Apples Stores on Black Friday. They labelled the Microsoft shopped are merely shopping, while the Apple buyers were engaged in Worship. If is of note however that in terms of actual traffic rather than simply crowding (the Apple Store is much smaller than the more expansive Microsoft Store) 3 adults entered the Apple store while 2 entered the Microsoft store, so the discrepancy is not as great as it may appear from the video, and of course even now Microsoft is still working on establishing its stores as a destination, especially with the Microsoft Surface being exclusive to their stores. Do our readers think the Microsoft Stores will ever become destinations like the Apple Store? Let us know below. Via CNN.com ...

Read More →

There is a belief that a higher PPI display is always better, but in the above video review of the screens of the Google Nexus vs the Microsoft Surface Armando shows that increasing the PPI without improving the resolution of the assets simply results in a fuzzy, pixelated mess in many occasions. See part 1 of his review here, and keep an eye on his channel for the next episode. ...

Read More →

Armando posted part 1 of his comparative review of the Microsoft Surface RT vs the Google Nexus 10 tablet. His video interestingly shows that the super-high res screen on the Nexus 10 is in fact a disadvantage due to image upscaling, and that IE10 is generally a better browser than Chrome on Android. Keep an eye on his channel for the next 5 videos in the series. ...

Read More →

The US Consumer Watchdog has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission demanding Google be largely dismantled, to prevent the company from abusing its monopoly position. Noting ”Google hardly blinked when it paid half a billion dollars to the United States to settle an illegal drug sales case” and that “the proposed $22.5 million fine for violating the “Buzz” Consent Decree is but pocket change for the Internet giant” the WatchDog proposes the $40 billion per year company needed a much tougher remedy to reign it in. The Consumer Watchdog proposed the following treatment: Google should be required to divest Motorola Mobility, whose standards essential patents it is using unfairly by not making them available for license on a fair basis. Google should be broken into different companies devoted to different lines of business so there is no incentive to unfairly use search to promote other services. Search ...

Read More →

In the 18 days since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest desktop and tablet OS, the operating system has grown rather nicely. Statcounter, which measures the OS’s web presence by examining website logs in real time, has found as of yesterday the operating system now has 0.88% of all web hits, more than the 0.86% of Linux or the 0.6% of Android. This is in fact not the first time Windows 8 overtook Linux, but last it occurred over the weekend, when the OS appears to see its heaviest use, and Linux its lightest. On this occasion it occurred in the middle of the week, indicating that this is simply part of the overall natural growth of the OS. The week-end spikes does however indicate that the OS is having more traction with home users than in business, a not unexpected result. The next stop is iOS, which with ...

Read More →

TechCrunch spoke to Steve Wozniak at spoke at TEDx Brussels this week, and in response to a question about whether he thought Microsoft was more innovative than Apple he listed a number of new innovations by Microsoft which caused him to worry that Apple may lose ground for “making the same thing as they used to make.” There is no denying that Microsoft is making a huge bet with Windows 8– one that if it pays off will certainly make Microsoft look very prescient. Do our readers think Microsoft is more innovative than the richest company in the world? Let us know below. ...

Read More →

Microsoft and Google will be battling it out in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week starting Tuesday. At issue is Google’s subsidiary Motorola’s unreasonable license fees for FRAND-related patents. The trial stems from a lawsuit Microsoft filed in November 2010, claiming that Motorola breached its contract to provide, at reasonable rates, use of its patented technologies that have become part of industry standards in online-video viewing and wireless usage.I Microsoft claims that Motorola was asking too much for use of some of its industry patents: 2.25 percent of the sale price of each Xbox and Windows which would amount to Microsoft paying Motorola $4 billion annually. Motorola is seeking from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) an import ban on Xbox consoles because the consoles contain some of the industry-standard patents under contention in the Seattle trial. Motorola had also sought — and won — an injunction from a ...

Read More →

Microsoft has not released much Windows 8 sales figures, merely saying that they have sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in 3 days and tens of millions of licenses to businesses. There are however other places we can look to see how the OS is performing. Statcounter has handy daily stats on web traffic from their thousands of sensor sites on the internet, and from there we can plot the above graph, which shows the web presence of Windows 8 has more than doubled since its release on the 26th October, and that its web presence has decisively overtaken that of Android 3 days ago. While we know there are hundreds of million Android phones out there, the data clearly shows these phones are not being used for much more than phone calls and text messages, which developers should bear in mind when they are deciding which platform to support. ...

Read More →

There is an increasing impetus to get work done on tablets, and that usually means a keyboard. The best keyboard/case combination for the iPad is the ZagFolio Keyboard Case, which certainly does the job, but weighs 1.2 pounds and adds nearly an inch of thickness (0.8 inches) to the product. Comparing this to the 3mm (0.1 inch) thickness of the very effective Surface Touch Cover, and the built-in stand in the very durable Surface,  and one can clearly see which product has been designed for work from the start and which one has been shoe-horned into the role. No wonder businesses are increasingly planning to move from the iPad to Microsoft Surface products. Via Product-reviews.net ...

Read More →