Monthly Archives: August 2010

One of the trickiest challenges for a company is continuous innovation – to keep updating and refreshing its products when the excitement of a product launch is past – so I take my hat off to Google.

In contrast to Microsoft, which in the past let products such as Internet Explorer and Hotmail get overtaken by newer rivals, Google is devoted to updating its online software suite, including Gmail and other applications including Google Calendar.

 

Chris Nuttall

Like the slideshows they display, digital photo frames have been going through a number of transitions.

From single-purpose devices, they have changed to screens that not only show photos but also can wake you up with a weather report and a stock quote. With Kodak’s Pulse frame, the move is back to a purer, simpler concept, backed by cloud-based intelligence. 

While many online retail start-ups use traditional discount tactics, today’s Lex writes that there may be an easier way: “Facebook is in a good position. Selling valuable consumer information is far easier than actually trying to use it.”

Read the rest of “Online Retailing”

Paul Taylor

How well do you look after your laptop? Never dropped it or spilt coffee on it? Keep it safe in a neoprene sleeve?

The Panasonic Toughbook F9 might not be for you then,  but this ruggedised laptop reviewed in the Personal Technology column of the FT’s Business Life section is also exceptionally light considering its wide screen and has excellent battery life. 

Chris Nuttall

Any number of tablet rivals to Apple’s iPad will be launched, running Windows or Android operating systems or even both, at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin next week.

We’ll be there to give you the details, but if you can’t wait for a tablet running Windows, then a new app from DeviceVM turns the iPad itself into a Flash-playing Windows machine. 

The outlook for consumer PC sales for the rest of the year is getting murkier and murkier. A drop-off in US sales in July, followed by continued weakness in early August despite the traditionally bountiful back-to-school season, has already started ringing alarm bells among analysts.

 

Now there’s additional evidence, from the world’s biggest notebook casing manufacturer, that any quick uplift in end demand is unlikely . Ju Teng makes the outer shell of a notebook – a manufacturing process that involves more than 300 steps and 400 different materials – for all the world’s top PC brands.

 

The website Orkut is displayed on a screen in a cybercafe in BrasiliaFacebook seems to be everywhere these days: it reached half a billion users in July, its value is soaring and the inevitable film is coming out in October.

While the site has become synonymous with social networking in the US and Europe, the story is very different in Brazil, where Google’s Orkut is king of the hill. But as Brazilians become more globally connected, Facebook is making inroads into Latin America’s largest economy. 

Joseph Menn

Dell on Tuesday began selling its first US smartphone, a model using an older version of Google’s Android operating system and seen as a lower-end entry that will be followed by more sophisticated models.

The Dell Aero joins a throng of competitors, even among Android phones, which now collectively outsell Apple’s iPhone. 

Chris Nuttall

Netgear is set to announce 11 new products next week, all on the theme of helping consumers move or stream digital content onto their TVs.

A router, switch, media players, powerline technology and various adapters are being officially unveiled on Tuesday by the networking specialist. 

Joseph Menn

A second credible Taiwanese publication has weighed in with a report that Apple will introduce a 7″-screen iPad mini for the winter holidays.

The Chinese-language account in Economic Daily News, summarised by IDG here, follows a similar DigiTimes article and names multiple suppliers said to have won contracts, though they declined to comment themselves.