Research In Motion, the Canadian manufactuer of the BlackBerry family of smartphones, has quietly acquired Dash Navigation, the US-based startup which was forced to change its business plans in November after its internet-connected GPS unit failed to attract a large enough user base. The deal was first reported by GPS Business News.
Dash, which was backed by Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia, pioneered the idea of a network connected personal navigation device that logged the position and speed of users and then fed users back real time traffic reports based on the data. While the concept, built into Dash’s first and only windscreen-mounted GPS unit, attracted considerable interest, its success was inevitably dependent on building a large enough user base. Read more
With Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference just days away, the technology community is eagerly anticipating the company’s next product launch, and puzzling over the fate of its founder.
The FT’s Joseph Menn reports that Apple plans to introduce a cheaper version of the iPhone as soon as Monday, in a move that could dramatically increase the company’s share of the smartphone market. Apple declined to comment, but the company typically introduces major products at its developer conference, which begins on Monday.
Chief executive Steve Jobs, who has traditionally introduced new products during the conference’s keynote, is not expected to be in attendance. Read more
The FT’s Paul Taylor examines Microsoft’s Bing search engine, designed to improve on rival offerings:
With Google synonymous with internet search engines, it might seem foolhardy if not futile for a rival to try to outdo it – even if that rival is Microsoft. Nevertheless, that is just what the world’s biggest software company is attempting to do with Bing, its new search engine, which was made publicly available on Monday.
That was the verdict of Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s top software guru, when I got to ask him last night what he thought about Google’s hugely ambitious attempt to remake email, IM and, um, just about everything else.
He was speaking at the Churchill Club in San Francisco about his efforts to prepare Microsoft for the architectural shift to cloud computing (commenting on the PC-centric view of the world that dominated thinking at the company when he arrived, he confessed: “It was a bit scary”).
But it is his deep thinking and original work around collaboration that has defined most of Ozzie’s career, from Lotus through Groove Networks. So isn’t Wave the culmination of what he himself had been working towards – a collaboration tool with the power to transform the way groups of people work together? Read more
Nintendo tried and rejected the motion-sensing camera technology that Microsoft and Sony are now adopting to try to catch up with their rival in the home console market.
Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president, told the FT’s Robin Harding that Nintendo obtained better results from the accelerometer that was eventually incorporated into its Wii Remote handheld controller. Read more