Techfile

Richard Waters

With the iPad, Apple proved that less really can be more. Despite lacking some basic things, like a built-in keyboard and support for Flash, the iPad has risen above its own limitations.

The challenge for Google’s new Chrome operating system is to prove that it, too, can power a new category of device, one that justifies being judged on its own terms, not compared constantly to the traditional personal computing experience. The first machine to carry Chrome, the Cr-48, certainly goes a long way towards fulfilling Google’s vision of an internet-centric notebook – but this is no iPad. 

By Ralph Jennings in Taipei

Could this be a way to turn any computer monitor into a touchscreen, at least for limited applications like adding a signature to a document?

A company in Taiwan has designed electronic sticky notes that can “melt” everything from a signature to a drawing right through a computer LCD screen and into the system. 

Chris Nuttall

The iMac in 1998 , the iPod in 2001 , the iPhone in 2007, the MacBook Air in 2008.

Steve Jobs has launched one iconic design after another since his return to Apple and today unveiled the Silicon Valley company’s latest creation – the iPad – a tablet device  that promises to shake up the technology and media industries.

Preparations have been underway for the event at the Yerba Buena Center (pictured) in San Francisco all week, and we liveblogged the event. 

Richard Waters

Sometimes it feels like every news story you read is about Apple. If it’s not the iPhone or the phantom tablet, then it’s Steve Jobs’ health.

So to make up for it, today’s headlines are being hogged by Google. There was the first appearance of the much-hyped Android 2.0 on the Droid handset, not to mention what Techcrunch called a “killer app” for the new mobile software platform: a navigation service (see item below).

But that’s not all. In other Google news: the launch of Music Search, and efforts to appease the FCC. 

Joseph Menn

UPDATE: follow it live. Chris Nuttall will be providing live coverage from San Francisco of Wednesday’s Apple event, starting at 10am local time. Follow it here.

Apple is holding a music-themed press event tomorrow, where it is expected to unveil a package of  goodies that will start being attached to sales of full digital albums.

The product, code-named Cocktail by the record labels, will include interactive lyric sheets, photos and other virtual extras aimed at replicating and improving on the old experience of opening a vinyl record sleeve or CD boxed set filled with trinkets. 

David Gelles

  • Barnes & Noble unveiled its challenge to Amazon’s Kindle e-book service with an expanded online store selling more than 200,000 e-book titles for both laptop computers and mobile devices. The chain also said it would provide the e-book store for a wireless portable e-reader being developed by Plastic Logic that is scheduled for launch next year.
  • Texas Instruments, the second largest US chipmaker, reported a surge in demand for its products in the second quarter as it beat revenue and profit expectations. Following Intel’s positive outlook last week, TI gave another boost to the tech sector, forecasting solid growth in the current quarter.

 

David Gelles

David Gelles

  • Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, reported its strongest pick-up in business in more than 20 years, giving a major lift to the PC industry and technology sector. Intel reported second-quarter revenues of $8bn, up 12 per cent on the first quarter and well ahead of analyst expectations of $7.23bn. Its profit of 18 cents a share also easily exceeded a consensus of 8 cents. The chipmaker was the first big technology company to report earnings this season, providing a boost to the sector and the wider market.
  • Dell plans to plunge into the crowded smartphone market and invest in other new areas, fuelling investor concerns that profit margins will continue to erode at the world’s second-largest computer maker. Ronald Garriques, president of Dell’s consumer division, said the company would “work with the top three to four” telecommunications carriers “and see what their needs are”.The declaration follows innovations in recent months from other manufacturers of internet-enabled phones such as Apple and Research in Motion, while spending on other computing products is flagging.
  • Microsoft unveiled pricing details and launch plans for Windows Azure, the “cloud” operating system that Ray Ozzie hopes will become the online analogue to Windows on the personal computer – a platform that supports applications on the internet. The formalising of the plans, with Azure services going on sale in November, caps the first stage in an planned cultural and technological transformation of the world’s biggest software company.

 

David Gelles

  • Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian internet group that has invested $200m in Facebook, will purchase up to $100m in common stock from existing shareholders in the social network. The deal clarifies Facebook’s valuation, giving its common stock a value of about $6.5bn. This is higher than the rumoured valuations last autumn when a similar deal was considered, but lower than the value of Facebook’s preferred stock.
  • Microsoft escalated its battle with arch rival Google, reacting to an assault on one of its core businesses with the announcement of a free online version of its widely used Office software, to be launched next year. While likely to take only a small bite out of Office revenues in the short term, the move represents one of the most radical steps yet by Microsoft as it tries to refocus its software business around the internet, according to analysts.

 

David Gelles