Last week, Microsoft announced that its newest browser, IE10, set to launch when the Redmond software giant releases Windows 8 later this year, would ship with its 'Do Not Track' feature turned on by default.
The announcement attracted a lot of attention, and for good reason.
Given IE's marketshare, adoption of Windows 8 and Microsoft's new browser could create a troublesome scenario for advertisers, advertising networks and publishers as large numbers of users would be opted in to Do Not Track without any action required.
Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled to the world its Windows 8 Release Preview. The release will be the last before Microsoft ships Windows 8 later this year.
The Release Preview contained plenty for industry observers and the curious to digest. There are performance improvements, more apps, better support for multiple monitors and so on and so forth.
According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Windows 8 represents a "rebirth" of Windows and it's the "deepest, broadest and most impactful" version of the operating system his company has yet created.
Those are strong words from a man whose legacy may hinge upon Windows 8's success. But Ballmer apparently isn't afraid to use them, or to offer up bold predictions about how fast Windows 8 will find its way onto consumer devices.
The other day I eavesdropped as a pretty girl faced the teenage boy seated across from her and sang, “Tonight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fire”.
Frustrated by his blank stare, she said, “Don’t you know the song? It’s from that Chevy commercial”.
If that example doesn’t convince you of the power of music and marketing, nothing will.
CAPTCHAs or conversions? While just about every business hopes to boost its conversions, the ill effects of spam bots and screen scrapers have driven countless companies to implement CAPTCHAs on their websites.
In some cases, CAPTCHAs are poorly implemented, leaving users (and potential customers) scratching their heads as they try to decipher text so distorted as to be incomprehensible.
When it comes to large tech companies and how they've fared with social networking, one could argue that Microsoft is the most successful.
Google has struggled to build viable homegrown social networks, Yahoo has largely done little of note, AOL purchased Bebo for $850m only to drive it into the ground, etc.
Microsoft's claim to success in the social space? A $240m investment in Facebook in 2007 which valued the social network at $15bn.
Windows 8 is coming, and Microsoft isn't the only company hoping that its newest operating system is a hit with consumers.
Chip giant Intel is betting big on ultrabooks -- thin, lightweight laptops similar to the MacBook Air -- and is investing big bucks to ensure that a slew of them hit store shelves as soon as Windows 8 is released later this year. The good news for consumers on a budget: some of those ultrabooks could cost as little as $699 if manufacturers have their way.
Following Microsoft’s acquisitions and “partnership,” palm greasing is getting more exciting by the hour.
The headlines have been coming fast since the end of Q3 11: $8.5b Skype acquisition. $250m quarterly infusion to Nokia. $24m in subsidies for Windows Mobile app developers. $1b Aol patent grab – now flipped to Facebook for $500m. Vague, behind the scenes dealing with Comcast. And now this: a $300m investment in Barnes & Nobles’ Nook division.
Something is up.
Thanks to Amazon's dominance, it's easy to forget that traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) has managed to build a decent digital portfolio of its own.
In the past, that has sparked speculation that B&N would eventually spin off its NOOK division, freeing its digital business from the baggage of its brick-and-mortar business.
After years of waiting, Google finally launched Google Drive this week.
Naturally, Google's entry into the online storage market raised questions about some of the companies that have established themselves in the space, such as Dropbox. Will Google make it harder for them to grow and thrive, or will it fail to gain traction?