Monthly Archives: July 2012

Microsoft office on microsoft surface

Microsoft Office 2013
Rating: 4/5

It may seem hard to think of getting touchy-feely with a spreadsheet or sociable with a word processor but a more connected, collaborative, mobile, app-ified version of Microsoft Office seems set on converting us to new ways of working.

 

Tim Bradshaw

On Marissa Mayer’s first day as the new chief executive of Yahoo, a heartfelt plea from a neglected corner of the struggling web portal lit up social media. 

Fed up with labouring in the shadow of Silicon Valley, two Hollywood studios have belatedly woken up to social media with the launch of two new ventures that take advantage of their own in-house technology.

Dreamworks Animation, the studio behind the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda films, today launches Ptch, a mobile app that lets users create 60-second movies using pictures and video shot with their smartphone – and then share them via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. 

First, the good news: Yahoo’s latest appointment of a chief executive was handled with the minimum of chaos. The arrival this week of experienced Google product manager Marissa Mayer wasn’t preceded by the usual barrage of leaks and second-guessing.

The bad news is that given the turmoil Yahoo has been through recently, the hapless internet company has had too much practice at getting this sort of thing right. Including interim holders of the title, she is the fourth CEO in less than a year. Yahoo was overdue, finally, for a smooth transition.

 

Tim Bradshaw

Yahoo’s appointment of Marissa Mayer as its new chief executive had already been lauded by many in the technology industry as a “coup” for the beleaguered internet company.

But as more details emerge of the appointment, the oft-criticised Yahoo board is likely to win praise from a wider constituency – one that normally only pays attention to Silicon Valley to point out the dismal ratio of male to female executives.

Ms Mayer, 37, is six months pregnant with her first child. “Another piece of good news today,” she tweeted.  

As news broke that the social news sharing site Digg had been sold for less than it raised in funding, several tech commentators suggested it served as a cautionary tale for hyped start-ups and widely used social media services.

 

PC-maker Acerhad said that it could post as low as zero per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships this year.The announcement sent its shares tumbling 3 per cent, even though news that PC sales are freezing should hardly be surprising given the global economic slow down.Acer, the world’s third-largest computer vendor, had previously forecast 10 per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships. That has now been trimmed to zero to 5 per cent growth, according to a company source.

 

Powershots x260HS

For anyone heading off to a major sports event, such as the London Olympics, here are three personal tech items – digital camera, iPhone add-on and binoculars – that may be worth space in your luggage along with, or instead of, the suntan lotion.

 

Chris Nuttall

A major investor in Gaikai, the cloud gaming service bought by Sony for $380m last week, has said the console maker could do something revolutionary with its acquisition that would transcend its hardware business.

“I think [Gaikai] will really show its true promise in the hands of Sony,” Mitch Lasky, general partner at the Benchmark Capital VC firm (pictured left), told the GamesBeat 2012 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “My hope is that we are going to see ‘PlayStation as a Service’,” he said. 

Spotify

This week marks the first anniversary of Spotify’s much-hyped invasion of America.

The Swedish digital music service took two years of negotiations with labels to reach the world’s largest music market. But although the music industry has warmed to streaming services in the past year, Spotify has yet to prove whether it can achieve the massive popular success of fellow countrymen Abba – or if it must settle for the critical international acclaim of a more niche band such as The Cardigans.