• Could Their Be a Microsoft, RIM Alliance?

    Will Microsoft get into the Blackberry business? Crazy as it sounds, such a scenario could come to pass as an increasingly desperate Research In Motion's reportedly considers various options, including bringing Microsoft into the fold.
    “One of these options is for RIM to abandon its own operating system and adopt Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8,” Reuters reports, citing sources. “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had approached RIM in recent months, looking to strike a partnership similar to the one the software giant has with Nokia Oyj, the sources said.”
    In such a scenario, RIM could also look for Microsoft to ...

  • Apple To Overhaul iTunes

    With its music-sharing service Ping reportedly doomed, Apple’s social future has been in doubt. Now, however, sources are suggesting that the company sees big social promise in iTunes.
    I“Apple plans an overhaul of iTunes that would mark one of the largest changes to the world’s biggest music store since its 2003 debut,” reports Bloomberg, citing sources.
    Along with greater reliance on its iCloud file-storage service, sources say that Apple is planning new features for sharing music. One source tells Bloomberg that Apple has been in talks with record labels to let users send each other songs and listen ...

  • Google To Launch A Tablet

    Not to be outdone by Microsoft and its new tablet, Google is reportedly ready to unveil a tablet co-branded with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. Unlike Microsoft’s Surface, however (which is expected to cost more than an iPad), Google’s new device will likely be priced to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

    "It's targeting Amazon,” an unidentified Asustek executive tells Reuters. “The Kindle is based on Google's platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too.”

    Amazon's Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Google's Android operating system, sells for $199. Google already has its own ...

  • Microsoft To Buy Yammer

    Confirming earlier reports, Microsoft officially plans to buy enterprise-focused social networking provider Yammer for $1.2 billion.

    “Yammer will join Microsoft's Office division, with the team continuing to report to its current CEO David Sacks,” The Verge reports. “It sounds like the service will continue on in its current form, at least for the near-term … with (Microsoft) looking to accelerate Yammer's adoption alongside complementary offerings."

    “Launched in 2008, Yammer has been the most promising of the social enterprise companies not named Jive,” as AllThingsD puts it.

    “The purchase could give Microsoft a social dimension to its popular corporate software products,” ...

  • Facebook Bows Mobile Friend Finder

    Facebook has often been criticized for its poor “discoverability” tools, or those that help users discover and meet new friends. In response, the social network has developed a new feature that lets users find friends and potential friends nearby. “It’s another step in Facebook furthering its reach into mobile, and creating services to meet new people -- rather than building up more connectivity with the ones you already know,” TechCrunch writes. “And, in keeping with Facebook’s emphasis on being as ubiquitous as possible, for now it’s not being delivered in a native app, but via the mobile web.”

    Apparently already accessible ...

  • Will Microsoft Tablet Cost More Than IPad?

    Unconfirmed reports suggest that Microsoft’s new tablet could cost around $599 for the standard model, and $799 for the “Pro” version. These price points wouldn’t exactly help Microsoft compete with the current tablet king, Apple. “It really would be poetic justice if the Windows-based post-PC solution was more expensive than the iPad,” VentureBeat writes. “One of the arguments for years in favor of Wintel-flavored PCs has been cost -- less of it, that is.”

    Taiwanese trade journal Digitimes is reporting the prices for Surface, which Microsoft unveiled just this week. All things considered, “It would not be shocking if the ...

  • Facebook Creates 'Like' For Mobile

    Still trying to make its mark on mobile, Facebook is inviting third-party developers to use a new “like” action (for mobile), which more closely integrates their apps with the social network. 

    “You can use the new like action to implement your own like button for a more integrated experience with your app on web and mobile platforms,” Facebook engineer Andrew Rothbart explained in a Wednesday blog post.

    “Previously, when you liked someone's post inside an app like Instagram, the like would stay inside that app,” The Verge writes. Now, “the mobile ‘like’ action … will connect the dots between ...

  • Ford, Coke Endorse Facebook

    Who needs General Motors? On the heels of losing the carmaker’s support, Facebook is getting separate nods from Ford Motor Co. and Coca-Cola Co. -- each of which say they are finding value in Facebook advertising. Ford, for its part, said it plans to expand its use of the social network with more advertising.

    “The remarks amounted to major-player endorsements for Facebook's advertising business in the wake of the social network's disappointing initial public offering last month,” writes The Wall Street Journal. Ford's global sales and marketing vice president, Jim Farley, said the automaker is deepening its use of social ...

  • Spotify Gets Real Radio Service

    Spotify -- which already lets users listen to music for free and on demand -- has finally launched its own bona fide Web radio service. “That is, this is a ‘real’ Web radio service, that comes with advertising, unlike iterations Spotify has released in the past,” AllThingsD points out. The service is a lot like the one already offered by Pandora, which as AllThingsD notes, is bad news for Pandora.

    “Here’s the key takeaway: Spotify now has an option that lets people use the service for free, on mobile devices. Up until now, the only way to get Spotify on ...

  • WIll Microsoft Unveil Winnable Tablet?

    Rumor has it that Microsoft will use today’s press event to showcase a tablet developed and built with Barnes & Noble. The obvious question, therefore, is whether Microsoft and B&N have what it takes -- particularly from a hardware perspective -- to take it to Apple.

    Sources tell TechCrunch that the device will likely serve as a rival to the Kindle Fire rather the iPad, and will emphasize entertainment, possibly offering Xbox Live media content streaming.

    Unlike Microsoft’s previous hardware missteps, AllThingsD says failure is no longer an option for the company. This time around, the stakes are much ...

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