There was front-page coverage to Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, but what could be worse news for Microsoft wasn’t as broadly reported.
Last week, Apple and IBM announced a partnership aimed at the business world.
Apple for a long time has wanted to loosen Microsoft’s hold on the desktop office computer with little success.
Businesses have been allowing employees to use iPads and iPhones, but the IT departments of many businesses are not enthusiastic about the practice. The reasons for that are the same reasons that Apple has not cracked enterprise computing — the lack of a sales force, a support network and expertise in secure networking.
In its posting on the partnership, Apple said it expects to get from IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration; new AppleCare service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise; and new packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management, support, sales and networking — just what Apple could not offer businesses.
In addition, the newest version of the Apple operating system for its Mac desktop, due in the fall, will concentrate on linking its mobile products, iPhone and iPad to the desktop. This gives Apple a direct line to business desktops from their mobile products. But the desktops must be Macs, so maybe Apple has finally unlocked the door to the cubicle.
When “free” doesn’t mean “free”: Google has said that by the end of September, it will cease to advertise games as “free” when they include in-app purchases, according to The Verge. Many of us have had the frustration of downloading a free app, then finding out you can’t do much with it unless you buy features from within the app. Google took this action at the behest of the European Commission, so it is unclear whether it will apply outside of Europe.
Load up your Kindle: Amazon has announced Kindle Unlimited, an unrestricted reading and listening service for $10 a month that offers more than 600,000 books for reading on Kindle and Kindle-reading apps as well as thousands of audiobooks from Audible, according to TechCrunch. The big five — the major publishers — are offering some of their best and most popular titles on the service. The service also features Whispersync for Voice, which allows you to move from reading to listening without losing your place in the book.
All aboard the cheaper train: Microsoft with its partners plans to launch a $199 Windows-based laptop that is designed to compete with Chromebooks, according to Tech Times, and a $99 tablet designed to compete with cheap Android-based tablets. The $199 laptop will be made by HP.
Back to just being just sand: IBM is getting ready for a future in which chips are not made of silicon, says Wired.com. The components of silicon chips are getting so small that they are reaching a point where they can no longer maintain a reliable on or off state, so IBM will spend $3 billion to find alternatives. In the wings are carbon nanotubes and silicon nanophotonics, which use light instead of electrical signals to send data around the chip.
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