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Google Session at Cloud Expo Apple is beginning to know how Xerox PARC felt. Like Apple did to PARC, Google has lifted from Apple again this time on behalf of Google Apps and set up a Google Apps Marketplace where third parties can sell business programs that integrate with Google Apps to the two million companies and 25 million users that have reportedly adopted Google Apps in the last three years. The marketplace, which will irritate Microsoft, launched Tuesday with some 50 programs from companies like Intuit and Atlassian and more reportedly coming from companies like NetSuite and SuccessFactors. Skytap is kicking in its cloud. Google appears to want a $100 listing fee and 20% of the take “in return for the streamlined purchase and install process and integration features exclusive to installable apps.” It will be setting up a billing service that manages the sh... (more)

Windows Phone 7 Series Developer Experience

Today at Mix10, Microsoft released the developer tools for Windows Phone 7 Series.  I’m excited about seeing what apps will get built now that there is general availability of the Windows Phone dev tools.  That’s general availability, as in for everyone! Charlie Kindel (if you aren’t, you really should follow him) was nice enough to get me access to the tools about 3 weeks ago, despite the fact that he and his team have had plenty on their plate since going public with WP7.  I have spent some time in the last few winks building and tinkering. A little background on my dev skills.  I can write basic applications, and have been known to favor Python when trying out new ideas.  I have dabbled a bit with our ASP.NET MVC (MVC v2 just released – way to go guys!!) and taught myself enough C# to be dangerous.  What coding I do, I do for fun and in my free time.  I call it m... (more)

Apple Market Value Now Exceeds $500B

Wow Apple! The market value exceeded $500B and now everyone is speculating if it will reach One Trillion, which no company has ever aspired. As I look into the valuation this morning, Apple is at $505B. Microsoft is almost at half of that at $266B. Look at the other big ones in technology sector – Oracle ($146B), Amazon($82B), Cisco ($107B), IBM ($229B), Intel ($134B), Google ($201B), and HP($50B). Other stalwarts for comparison are – Wal-Mart($202B), GE($202B), and Exxon Mobile($408B). Someone commented that if Apple was part of the Dow Jones, then the value would have exceeded 14000 few months back. Apple is an American pride institution that symbolizes great creativity, innovation, and visionary leadership in planning and execution. Once written off as a “has-been”, Apple came back with a vengeance largely due to the dynamic leadership and imagination of the lat... (more)

Cloud Computing: Apple Wins Second Injunction Against MMI

Apple Thursday won an injunction in Germany against all Motorola Mobility devices that infringe a photo gallery patent. If Apple enforces it, MMI will have to destroy all the implicated widgets in its possession and recall those out in the channel. That currently means the Xoom tablet and two smartphones. The FOSS Patents blog says MMI's only recourse is to modify the Android operating system, drop the zoom-in feature and degrade the user experience. MMI successfully defended the zoom-out mode. It's the second injunction Apple has won from the same Munich Regional Court against Motorola in the last two weeks, making Apple's score two for two. It'll cost Apple a €35 million bond to enforce both injunctions. ... (more)

Foxconn Hiring Freeze Sends Apple into a Tizzy

Word that contract manufacturer Foxconn had stopped hiring across its Chinese plants sent Apple stock into a tizzy this week on an assumption by the Financial Times that the bottom had dropped out of demand for iPhones, Apple's bestselling and most profitable product. Foxconn claimed the hiring freeze had nothing to do with iPhone 5 production, which Apple has already said should be less this quarter than last, but happened because more workers came back to work after the Lunar New Year than usual or expected. UBS analysts Steve Milunovich thought maybe it had to do with cutbacks in orders from HP, which represents about 8%-10% of Foxconn sales, ya know, desktop PCs, printers and some servers. During his last earnings call Apple CEO Tim Cook warned about conflating a single data point or two from the supply chain and Foxconn denied the hiring freeze was related to... (more)

Press Unites to Unseal Apple-Samsung Filings

A coalition of news organizations and media advocacy groups including Bloomberg, The New York Times and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has asked the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold District Court Judge Lucy Koh's order that Apple and Samsung unseal financial documents filed in Apple's patent infringement litigation against the Korean giant. Reuters says such a decision "would set an important precedent for high-level intellectual property cases" where sealing documents to keep them from the press is a knee-jerk reaction. At a hearing Tuesday a three-judge panel reportedly appeared skeptical with one of the judges saying, "You really seem to be saying that a trade secret is the formula for Coke and not much else." Another said, "Most of the world would be shocked to find out that your financial data...for products on the market today is n... (more)

Apple Borrows Billions for Next to Nothing

Apple has started borrowing money to underwrite the three-year $60 billion share buy-back program it promised stockholders last week. The company is also going to pay out $55 billion in dividends through 2015. It's issued floating-rate notes maturing in 2016 and 2018 and fixed-rate securities due in 2016, 2018, 2023 and 2043, it said in a regulatory filing, starting with a bond offering worth $17 billion on Tuesday, reportedly the largest non-bank bond offering ever. It was swamped with orders reportedly worth $50 billion. Apple will pay around 0.5% on three-year notes, 1.07% on five-year notes, 2.42% on 10-year notes and 3.88% on 30-year bonds. Next time the yields could be lower. Apple has $145 billion in cash but $102 billion of it is overseas and effectively out of reach because the company doesn't want to pay the taxes to repatriate it. Apple has no debt but s... (more)

My Thoughts on the Apple iPad

iPhone Apps on Ulitzer iPhone Apps on Ulitzer - The Apple iTablet or iSlate is due to be shown off to the world January 27th, and unleashed on us sometime in March. The blogosphere has been buzzing about the topic. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews.com said “The world doesn’t need an Apple Tablet, or any other” (full post here). MG of TechCrunch followed up with “The World Doesn’t Need Someone Telling Us What We Don’t Need In Tech” (full post here).  I think both writers make some good points, but I wanted to give my thoughts, and ask the readers of CTOvision theirs. The Apple Tablet is rumored to cost $1000. So the first word that comes to my mind is “overpriced.”  When you can purchase a decent netbook for under $300, a solid ultra-portable 12-14″ (laptop) for $500, and a good business laptop for under $700…why would you ever pay $1000 for a simple tablet?  Quite frankly, I... (more)

Apple iPad Reminds Us How Brands Succeed by Transforming Experiences

iPad on Ulitzer To borrow a line from Scrooge, "I'm as giddy as a drunken man." With today's Apple iPad intro, it feels like Christmas. I was glued to Engadget's live blogfeed of the announcement. Apple is leveraging its iPhone technology in a new tablet format, adding bells and whistles like unlocked, no contract, and cheap 3G data plans, a keyboard dock and the iBookstore. But once again, as we've seen in the past with Apple, the whole is larger than the sum of the parts. In the tech industry we pay homage to "innovation" as the ultimate springboard for leadership positioning and killer differentiation. Who does it better than Apple? Lots of companies make products, but only a few reinvent how we learn, communicate and experience. Remember trying to use a pre-iPod Mp3 player? Mine was a Diamond Rio; frustrated and ticked off are two reactions that come to mind. ... (more)

iPad on Ulitzer - I’ll Buy iPad. But What For?

iPad on Ulitzer I’m proud to consider myself an upper middle class American . Why am I so proud about it? Because I haven’t been born in an upper middle class American family. I came to the USA 18 years ago with $200 in my pocket on a visitor’s visa. Don’t rush reporting on me to the Immigration authorities. I was legal in this country each and every day since. Then came the work visa (H1B), after that the green card, and back in 2001, I became an American citizen. Our family consists of me (silver 15” MacBook Pro), two sons (black 13” MacBook and a silver 13” MacBook) and my wife (post World War II Windows PC own by her employer, a filthy rich international bank). I also have an iPhone. To complete the picture, I need to mention, that occasionally I’m getting separated with my MacBook Pro. For example, last week I’ve been skiing in French Alps and didn’t get it wi... (more)

The iPad Is the Ultimate Thin Client

In my earlier post, when I railed against the iPad, it was mostly personal disappointment and letdown.  I was disappointed by the technical specs, most notably the aspect ratio, and the exclusion of USB, HDMI, and webcams.  Those items can all be added on in later iterations (which I firmly believe they will – perhaps the iPad HD?).  And when they are released, people (Nerds/Geeks – maybe even I) will pay the upcharge for them.  A lot of blogs have been posted that talk about the iPad as the optimal stepping stone (gateway?) for the technologically challenged.  They are right (but might not know why). When Matt (commenter MGD) posted that if he were to buy a computing device for his 9-year old daughter, it’d be an iPad, it got me thinking.  It would be hard to pick a better device for kids.  Parental Controls are becoming a very key discriminator for operating syst... (more)