Software

Chris Nuttall

Demo Fall 2012 is underway with more than 75 new ideas being pitched in six-minute presentations by startups at the annual event in Silicon Valley.

Hardware, software and services are being featured covering the social, entertainment, media, commerce, communications, big data, infrastructure, health and education sectors. A sample of the most impressive demonstrations – from a tabloid social-network app to an Instagram for video – is after the jump. Read more

Richard Waters

The hotly anticipated IPO of Workday could help to advance Morgan Stanley’s rehabilitation in the wake of the Facebook fiasco. But given the way other recent tech deals led by the bank have been structured, it is still too soon to pass a verdict on its performance – or to tell how much long-term damage the debacle surrounding the Facebook offering will do to its business in Silicon Valley. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

It’s been the season of high-profile phone launches. Except, sadly, for Acer and Alibaba. Their planned launch of a co-branded phone for Chinese consumers got cancelled at the last minute when Google objected to the version of Android on the phone.

What the last-minute cancellation – and some continued sniping between the companies – shows is how tricky it is to manage China’s booming mobile market. That’s true, apparently, even for Google, whose Android platform dominates in a big way.

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Care.com, the website for finding nannies, pet sitters, and caretakers for the elderly, has raised $50m in late-stage venture capital funding, bringing the five-year old company’s total financing to $111m.

Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and chief executive, said she would use the money to support the Massachusetts-based company’s international expansion efforts. Read more

Chris Nuttall

It’s an open secret that Nuance powers the speech-recognition capabilities of Apple’s Siri personal assistant, whose capabilities will increase this autumn with the iOS 6 update allowing it to answer questions about sports scores, movies and restaurants, as well as opening hard-to-find apps with a voice command.

But Apple has not allowed third-party developers to integrate Siri into their apps yet, something that Nuance is offering from today with its Siri soundalike, Nina, for iOS and Android devices. Read more

Richard Waters

The biggest investment yet made by Silicon Valley’s most-talked about new venture capital firm is in a start-up most people have never heard of.

But if you work in open-source software development, then GitHub is quickly turning into an essential utility – which explains why this mix of social network and content management system could be a model for how to make money from distributed online communities. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple has unveiled Facebook integration with its software as well as a new Maps app to replace Google’s service. Its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco was also shown a new high-end MacBook Pro with a high-resolution Retina display.

The WWDC keynote, led by Tim Cook, chief executive, gave final details on Mountain Lion, the next version of its Mac operating system and unveiled iOS 6 – an update to the iPhone and iPad’s interface and apps.  The improvements to software and hardware – the whole MacBook range was upgraded – will help Apple better compete with Android devices and Ultrabooks that will soon feature Windows 8. The news is detailed in our live blog of the event after the jump. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Just in time for the big computer show of the year – Computex in Taiwan next week – Microsoft is announcing a new version of Windows 8 and its longtime partner Intel has launched new versions of its latest Ivy Bridge-codenamed Core processors.

Both seem certain to be featured in new Ultrabooks later this year, although models unveiled at Computex will still feature Windows 7 and be Windows 8-ready, judging by briefings by PC manufacturers ahead of the show. Read more

Maija Palmer

After the excitement of Facebook’s $104bn IPO and the subsequent fall in its shares, something more modest is coming onto London’s alternative investment market.

Incadea, an Austrian company that provides software for BMW and other car dealerships, will raise around £17m on Friday, in a stock market float expected to value the company at £47m.

It’s a lot smaller than Facebook, but it is a rare technology listing in London, where the tech IPO market has been considered closed for a long time.  Read more

Patent wars

Judith Masthoff, a Dutch researcher in artificial intelligence, was a doctoral student in the mid-1990s when she came up with her first invention.

The outline of the idea – a way of “enabling a user to fetch a specific information item from a set of information items” – hardly hinted at the starring role her brainwave would play in the legal battles sweeping through the technology industry.

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