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Archives: October 2009

Droid & iPhone: Platform vs. Integration

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 30

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with Andrew Lees, senior vice-president for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business unit to talk about Windows Mobile and the future of smartphones. Lees...

Droid Shatters the Competitive Landscape

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 29

Not since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 has the announcement of a new product had as dramatic an effect on the competitive landscape of the smartphone business...

Google, Garmin, And Free Navigation

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on October 29

Six years ago this week, and before I worked for BusinessWeek, I wrote this profile of the GPS company Garmin in Forbes Magazine. (I have a scan of the print...

Zong Debuts Payment Service Linked To Cell Numbers

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on October 29

For year I've been waiting for the day when I can pay for something with my wireless phone. Technically I guess that day has been here for awhile -- you...

Google Maps Takes All the Marbles

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 28

The inclusion of the free Google Maps Navigation app on the new Verizon Droid isn't the only thing shaking up the until-now lucrative mapping and business. Google, which seems to...

Inside the Droid Launch: A New Motorola?

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 28

Who was the big winner of today's much-hyped Droid launch? Sure, the warm reception that the new Android-based smartphone is receiving is a big win for all of the parties...

Google Maps Navigation: Another Shot at iPhone

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28

Amid rising competition between Google's Android mobile operating software and the iPhone, Google this morning is sending another shot Apple's way. It's debuting a free beta version of a new...

Can Android Market Catch Up to the App Store?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 27

The number of applications such as games and calendars that developers have begun working on for cell-phone operating system Android has jumped 94% between September and October, according to Flurry, which provides in-app analytics software for mobile devices.

U.S.: Leading the World in Mobile eBook Use

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 27

A year ago, most U.S. ebook publishers predicted a bright future for ebook reading on mobile phones -- in other countries. The going assumption had been that, in the U.S., people will buy special ebook readers, like the Amazon Kindle, instead, while mobile ebooks will become a hit in emerging markets, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, where people don't have the money to buy specialized devices. Well, it looks like the publishers had been wrong.

Google Voice Lets You Use Your Own Phone Number

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 27

Google Voice, the phone management service the search giant launched the invite-only service earlier this year, has gotten some rave reviews, as well as its share of controversy. You can...

Update: World's Most Intriguing New Companies

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 26

On Sept. 1, BusinessWeek put out a call for entries to help us on an exciting new package called "The World's Most Intriguing New Companies." We were heartened by the...

Verizon Still Wants the iPhone (Despite those Droid Ads)

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 26

Despite a recent slew of negative ads dissing the Apple iPhone in support of Verizon's new Android-based device, Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg told investors on its earnings...

Windows 7: The First Blue Screen

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 26

My main Windows 7 system, which has been rock solid since I installed the shipping version of the operating system in early August, presented me with my first Blue Screen...

Why Amazon Rules Retail

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 25

My wife's ThinkPad, which runs Vista Business, would benefit from an upgrade to Windows 7. So over the weekend, I stopped by my local Micro Center to pick up a...

Carl Icahn Exits Yahoo Board. Do You Care Anymore?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23

Carl Icahn, the activist investor who helped goad Yahoo into finally doing a search deal with Microsoft, has left the board of the Internet portal. Why's he leaving? Icahn says...

Does Microsoft Have Its Mojo Back?

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 23

Here is a clip of my appearance on CNBC Power Lunch today in which I hash over the state of Microsoft with CNBC anchors Dennis Kneale and Sue Herrera and...

Amazon's Kindle to Benefit AT&T vs. Sprint?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 23

It looks like Amazon may be dropping Sprint Nextel as the primary wireless service provider for its Kindle e-reader device. Its new international Kindle, which can download e-books in the U.S. and more than 100 other countries, is powered by AT&T. While Sprint continues to support and sell Kindle DX, that device, which features a larger display, is $230 more expensive than the international Kindle and, thus, is likely to enjoy lower sales.

Symbian: Regaining Momentum?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 23

There are signs that Symbian could stage a come-back in the coming year. Attendance at next week's Symbian Exchange & Exposition in London is expected to rise 20% to 25% from year-ago levels, says Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation. Despite the global recession, Symbian also expects to see more exhibitors on the show's floor. And Symbian Foundation's membership is up 60% since the beginning of the year, to 160 members, including some of the world's largest carriers and handset makers.

Million-Dollar Apps

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on October 23

In the course of reporting my feature story on apps for the Web and mobile phones, I asked developers how much money these little pieces of software are actually bringing...

Zynga: Inside the App Factory

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on October 22

I recently spent a day touring Zynga, the creator of FarmVille and other social games that have the tech world talking. With nearly 500 employees, the place is humming with...

Required Reading: Mary Meeker's Web 2.0 Presentation

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 22

On Oct. 20 Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker delivered her annual "Economy + Internet Trends" report. For techies, this is required reading, so I am posting an embed of the...

UPDATED:Verizon Cracks Telcos' United Front on Net Neutrality

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 22

UPDATE As expected, the FCC today adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that begins the process of formalizing network neutrality rules for the Internet. Here's a link to the full...

LaLa's Big Day

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 22

Earlier today, I spoke with Lala Media founder Bill Nguyen as he stood in the lobby of Warner Music's headquarters in New York. The always animated Nguyen was more animated...

Regulating Venture Capital: OK For Now, "Far From Finish Line"

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 21

Earlier this year, Silicon Valley freaked out when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress that large venture capital firms should be declared as systemic risks and put under tight...

Microsoft's "Seven Days of Windows 7" Promotion

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 21

Attention, Would-Be Mac Shoppers: Check out these killer deals on Windows 7 PCs. Judging from this promotion, that just showed up on Best Buy's website, this is going to be...

LIVE: Microsoft Announces Twitter, Facebook Deals

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 21

UPDATE: Big news below: Microsoft has signed deals to get full feeds from Twitter and Facebook. Shortly, a dedicated beta site,, will have the ability to search full Twitter...

LIVE: Yahoo Beats Q3 Earnings Forecasts; Q4 Outlook Up

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 20

Yahoo managed to beat third-quarter profit forecasts easily on slightly higher-than-expected revenues. Shares rallied in after-hours trading by about 3% 6% (the higher number coming as the conference call proceeds)....

Have Apple-Verizon Talks Broken Down?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 20

Talks to bring the Apple iPhone onto Verizon Wireless's network might have broken down, according to an Oct. 20 note from Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett.

Technorati: Many Bloggers Get Paid

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 19

Today, blogs tracker Technorati released a new report on the state of blogging, and it appears that a respectable number of bloggers out there manage to eek out a living.

Maine Bill to Mandate Cell-Phone Warning Labels

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 16

Early next year, Maine Rep. Andrea Boland plans to introduce a bill that would require all cell phones and their packaging to carry a warning label, advising children and pregnant women to keep the device away from their heads and bodies.

Tech M&A Hits 20-Month High

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 15

Recently, I wrote a story about the return of risk-taking to the U.S. technology sector. The story included M&A data that was current through Sep. 23. Well, I just got...

LIVE: Google Beats Q3 Earnings Expectations

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 15

Google beat third-quarter earnings expectations easily, posting a 7% rise in net revenues excluding payments to advertising partners, to $4.38 billion. Profit was $5.89 a share, handily beating forecasts. Google...

Google vs. AT&T: Gaming the System

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 15

The squabble between AT&T and Google over Google Voice and call blocking is descending into a familiar Old Economy pattern: Competitors trying to game the regulatory system for their own...

Will Moto Cliq Sell as Well as Palm Pre?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 15

In a research note released today, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry reports that Motorola is prepping to produce 25,000 to 30,000 units of its new Cliq handset per week.

Barnes & Noble Taps Kindle Designer For Its Athena e-Book Reader

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 14

Yes, it's true. The much-anticipated device from Barnes & Noble, which has been eliciting oohs and ahs since leaked photos appeared on Gizmodo , was designed by Ammunition Partners, a...

Finland: Broadband Is a Legal Right

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 14

Come July 2010, every Fin will have access to a 1 Megabit-per-second broadband connection. Finland just became the first country in the world to sign a law that provides every citizen of the country with a legal right to a broadband connection. Other nations could follow suit.

With Starent Acquisition, Cisco Focuses More On Wireless

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 13

It seems Cisco Systems is turning its sights on the biggest, nastiest network-related problem facing the world's Internet users: the inability of wireless carriers to handle the burgeoning traffic to...

Search Ad Spending Improves--and Boosts Google Shares

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 12

Hit by the economy early this year, search advertising looks to be on the mend. For the second quarter in a row, two search marketing firms say U.S. spending on...

Could Windows 7 Create More "Switchers" For Apple?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 12

Strange question, you ask. But there are those (many of them in Cupertino) who believe that once the PC owners that are still using Windows XP (which is around 70%...

AT&T vs. Google: Updating the Status of Call Blocking

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 12

The history of the dispute over carriers blocking calls to some rural phone exchanges to avoid high fees is somewhat more tangled that what I described in an earlier post....

Google Voice, AT&T, and the FCC: Fighting Over the Wrong Thing

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 11

What do Google Voice, AT&T, sex chat lines, and New Deal efforts to provide rural telephone service have do do with each other? Quite a bit, it turns out; the...

Can VoIP Providers Block Certain Calls?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 09

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission sent a letter to Google, asking the search giant to explain how its Google Voice service works, how many people are using it, and how much money it makes -- information Google has not disclosed publicly. The inquiry was launched a couple of weeks after AT&T sent a letter to the FCC, alleging that Google may be "systematically blocking telephone calls.... in certain rural communities."

Google Books: Back to the Drawing Board

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on October 07

A mountain of objections to Google's proposed book settlement prompted New York District Court Judge Denny Chin on Wednesday to call for a revision. Google and its ally in the...

Will Moto Fracture the Android Market?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 07

On Oct. 6, Motorola introduced its so-called signature apps for its upcoming devices based on Android software for cell phones. Created by third-party developers including Accuweather, Comcast Entertainment Group and Barnes & Noble, the apps have been especially tailored to Moto devices' menus. And they could offer a glimpse into a potential problem facing Android.

Amazon Kindle Goes International

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 07

Amazon just unveiled a Kindle that will allow users to download e-books wirelessly not only in the U.S. but also in more than 100 other countries. The company is going after business travelers and international e-reader buyers.

Forrester Raises Outlook on E-Reader Sales

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on October 06

Santa will be filling his sleigh with a lot of e-book readers this holiday season. In a report released Tuesday, technology researcher Forrester estimates 900,000 e-readers will sell in the...

LIVE: Google, Verizon to Develop Android Handsets, Services

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06

Google and Verizon, often at odds in the past, this morning announced a deal to co-develop handsets and other services using Google's Android operating software. (Full release is below.) In...

Lifesize's New Portable VideoConferencing System

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 05

Last week, Cisco stole the headlines with its $3 billion purchase of Tandberg, the second-largest player in the videoconferencing market Cisco was number three. If the deal closes, Cisco will...

Matt Cutts: How Google Deals With Web Spam

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 04

It’s up to Matt Cutts and his team at Google to keep search results as free as possible from Web spam, those pages full of Viagra ads or even malware....

Google's Scott Huffman: Many More Search Features Coming

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 03

Scott Huffman runs one of the least-known units at Google: the evaluation team that measures the impact of every little proposed change to the leading search engine. And with some...

Google Search Guru Singhal: We Will Try Outlandish Ideas

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 02

Inside Google’s search quality group, Amit Singhal runs the core ranking team, which is responsible for those algorithms you hear so much about. The team ran some 6,000 experiments last...

Google's Udi Manber: Search Is About People, Not Just Data

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01

Udi Manber, Google's vice-president of technology for core search, joined the company almost four years ago after stints running’s A9 search project and serving as chief scientist at Yahoo....

Can Google Stay On Top of the Web? An Inside Look

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01

Google's search engine is often described as a black box thanks to the veil of secrecy the company places over the mathematical formulas that determine what results we see in...


Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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