Monthly Archives: November 2010

Richard Waters

Google Instant provides the clearest evidence for years that Google is still prepared to throw its engineering might – and its wallet – into raising the stakes in the search business.

This turns out to be more than the one-off launch that we wrote about last month. Rather, Instant has become a rolling series of changes that together amount to a very sizeable challenge to anyone else who wants to stay in the search business long term (are you listening, Microsoft?)

This is how Johanna Wright, director of product management for search, described the latest twist to Instant, unveiled on Tuesday: “We’ve had to take images of every page on the Web, and to know where every word on the internet sits.” Read more

David Gelles

When Facebook Deals launched on Wednesday, an impressive raft of launch partners were already signed up. The Palms in Las Vegas was giving away a third night free, Chipotle was giving away a second entree on the house, and Gap said it would be giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans on a date to be determined.

When I arrived at work this morning, it was clear that the Gap promotion was happening today. More than a dozen people were lined up outside the Gap across the street from our office.

After dropping my bag, I grabbed a notepad and my iPhone, and darted over to see if I could be one of the lucky ones to claim the Deal. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has finally arrived, allowing operators around the world to take on the iPad in the tablet stakes, only for Apple to move on to “the future of notebooks” with the new MacBook Air.

I followed up early reviews of the Tab and the Air with a fuller look at these category-bending products in this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. Read more

Facebook keeps powering its way toward an initial public offering as the  winner of the battle for dominance among social networks. I wonder how worried Mark Zuckerberg, its founder, is when he considers the ranks of his fallen rivals.

The most recent is MySpace, the music-dominated social network that was also growing rapidly when it was bought by News Corp for $580m in 2005. Things have changed – News Corp is now warning that MySpace faces a harsh fate if it does not do better soon. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Aliph, the San Francisco company that brought style and better sound quality to Bluetooth headsets with its Jawbone series, has reinvented the boombox with the launch of its second major product.

The Jambox is a small, wireless speaker, with a minimalist design and speakerphone functionality added with a built-in microphone. Read more

Given how much consumers seem to resent donning a pair of glasses to enjoy 3D content on televisions screens, manufacturers around the world are working hard towards the day when special eyewear is no longer needed.

That day just got closer with Taiwan’s AU Optronics, one of the world’s biggest flat-panel producers, announcing on Wednesday a glasses-less, all-angle viewing 3D panels. Read more

Richard Waters

Pulses quickened in a Federal courtroom in Oakland, California on Tuesday when a lawyer for Oracle promised jurors in the Oracle v SAP trial that they would get to hear evidence from Léo Apotheker, now the boss of HP.

So does that mean Mr Apotheker has accepted the challenge thrown down last week by Larry Ellison, his counterpart at Oracle, to turn up and face the music? It sounded as though Mr Ellison’s taunt, about how the HP CEO might choose to stay “far, far away” from the courtroom, had paid off.

Alas, it turns out that a showdown is still not guaranteed. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft’s video game triple-play for the holiday season is Halo: Reach, released in September, its Kinect motion controller out this Thursday in the US and the just-launched Fable III.

Exclusive among consoles to the slimmed-down Xbox 360, these could give Microsoft a winning edge over Sony’s PlayStation 3 and its new Move controller and the Nintendo Wii over the Christmas period. Read more

The rise of Android, the open source smartphone operating system pioneered by Google, continues apace. According to figures from NPD Group, Android was installed in 44 per cent of all smartphones sold in the US in the third quarter, compared with 23 per cent for Apple’s iOS.

Apple has already responded by agreeing to Verizon, which has the most solid US mobile network, selling a CDMA version of the iPhone from next year. Read more