Category Archives: Apple

Apple Buying Stake In AMD Fox Business Reports

2007 Fail:

At 9:27 this morning, Fox Business Morning for Breakfast co-anchor Alexis Glick eagerly reported Apple (AAPL) had taken an 8% stake in AMD. Fox’s guest contributor, Charles Payne, immediately analyzed the deal and pronounced it a brilliant move for both parties.

The problem? It wasn’t Apple buying AMD.  It also, unfortunately, wasn’t a mysterious pan-Arabian country called “Abu Dubai,” as Glick announced when she corrected the Apple report. (It was Abu Dhabi.)

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Bing and Google : Smoke a Fatty and Chill

David Coursey | Friday, October 02, 2009 7:35 AM PDT

Tech Inciter– PC WORLD

bing_google

OK, so after the hoopla, Microsoft‘s Bing search engine may have fallen back to earth. Is Microsoft supposed to just give up? Not hardly.

New statistics show Microsoft’s share of searches is down below 4 percent, having risen during the previous three months. Google, meanwhile, captures 90 percent of search traffic.

I am not sure I totally believe these newest statistics, from NetApplications and StatCounter. Nielsen’s numbers are quite different, as are Comscore’s — both giving Bing a much larger share of the search pie. Let’s give it a month or two before declaring Bing’s honeymoon to be over.

Bing was introduced in May as the successor to Microsoft’s previous search engines.

Microsoft continues to spend heavily on search technology research and development. Bing is only the tip of the iceberg, though progress is slow because search is such a huge problem. Anything you develop that improves search must be almost infinitely scalable and able to be offered for free.

That’s a pretty tall order. You need innovation in all areas, including the business plan, to take search to the next level.

Bing is an example of what I call a “demographic” search engine, tailored not to be all things to all searchers, as is Google, but to attract a defined audience. In Bing’s case, that means shoppers.

I believe but cannot prove that Bing may generate more revenue per search (in terms of customer spending as a result of searching) than Google. Even if that were true, however, it would only dilute Google’s leadership by just a smidge.

The Yahoo/Microsoft deal, should it pass regulatory muster–and it deserves to–will help Bing’s share, but won’t do much to reduce Google’s numbers.

While Google is today, for most people, the first word in search, I don’t think it’s the last word. Even with ongoing changes to improve accuracy and make results easier to manipulate and digest, Google searches still return way too much of what I don’t want.

If it takes looking through three pages of results to find what I wanted, Google has failed me. I know I am expecting Google to be psychic–essentially to understand what I want even when I have a hard time explaining it–but with all Google knows about me, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request.

Maybe Google will meet this challenge. Maybe it will be Microsoft. The betting favors Google, but you never know what will happen. The Netflix prizewinners are examples of what can be done to match users with improved search results.

Bing is wise to follow its current course. It will probably never challenge Google in overall numbers, but it could easily find a place in the market as the search engine that does specific things better than Google and generates traffic as a result.

It is too early to judge Bing’s success or failure. Its share drop was to be expected. Its progress will be slow. But, it is still a player and should Microsoft’s R&D create a breakthrough, Bing will be there to launch it.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web page.

Apple to Podcaster: No App Store for you

Apple’s App Store policies are really starting to frustrate application developers.

Over the weekend, a good old-fashioned Internet-style kerfuffle arose over Apple’s decision to reject Podcaster–an iPhone application that lets people download podcasts directly to their devices without going through iTunes–from the App Store. The developer of the application said that Apple told him the application “duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes,” apparently making it unfit for the App Store.

This has been a persistent question hanging over Apple’s decision to vet every single iPhone and iPod Touch application sold through the App Store, the only official source of iPhone and iPod Touch applications. How will Apple choose to wield this power? The rejection of Pull My Finger and I Am Richexecution of NetShare, but the exact parameters remain a mystery. didn’t cause as many waves as the

Back in March, the company said it would prohibit applications that took up a lot of bandwidth, or delivered porn, but they have never explicitly stated what is permissible and what isn’t. And without any guidelines, developers have no way of knowing whether their application will be included in the only official market for iPhone applications until after they’ve done all the work on it.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Soup Nazi, brought to life by Bill Gates’ new best friend Jerry Seinfeld. Watch the clip if you don’t remember, or were in grade school when that came out, but if you didn’t order soup from the Soup Nazi in the exact right way, without asking any questions or voicing concerns–procedures that you were somehow just expected to know–no soup for you.

On Friday, Fraser Spiers, creator of Exposure, lashed out at Apple’s lack of explicit policies regarding iPhone application development. “Apple’s current practice of rejecting certain applications at the final hurdle – submission to the App Store – is disastrous for investor confidence. Developers are investing time and resources in the App Store marketplace and, if developers aren’t confident, they won’t invest in it. If developers – and serious developers at that – don’t invest, what’s the point?”

It’s understandable that Apple might want to control the development of iPhone applications with an iron fist, given that the company attempts to control absolutely every last detail of its activities with an iron fist. And there are benign reasons for wanting to control application development so tightly, such as ensuring quality and security.

But in another example of what we’ve seen so far this summer, Apple’s recent mistakes involve communication, or the lack thereof. If the company would just come out and explain to developers what type of applications will be rejected, and why, developers could make a conscious decision about whether to invest their time and money in developing their application.

Instead, Apple is giving developers a choice: they can take the risk of guessing whether their application will pass muster, or they can steer clear of developing any application that might infringe on Apple’s current or future plans; without knowing what those might be, of course. As Harry McCracken put it (via Daring Fireball), “Way back when, if software distribution for the Mac had been handled via a Mac App Store with a don’t-duplicate-Apple-products policy, Photoshop might have been refused distribution on the grounds that it was too similar to MacPaint.”

The end result is that Apple’s attempt to control third-party development might be re-encouraging the growth of the jailbreaking market once again: iPhone OS 2.1 is already open to jailbroken applications.

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