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Apple News & Analysis

How to Mine Gold from the Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been an idea at the edge of market disruption for some time now, and a lot of companies are jumping into the game.

Google acquired Nest to elbow its way into the smart home market. Samsung is pumping out smart watches at breakneck speed to stake its claim on the wearable tech market. Companies are jockeying to take advantage of technologies like iBeacon in the retail space, and a new NFC payment system seems to pop up in tech news each week. 

And I am sure everyone has seen the weekly rumors about Apple's unconfirmed, unannounced, often speculated smart watch, which is supposed to be its own entry into the wearable market.

Perhaps it's time to stop reminiscing about the "gold in them thar hills" — and start thinking about the gold waiting to be mined in the IoT.

Microsoft Takes Office to the Chrome Store

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Only two weeks after Office landed on iPad and about eight weeks since it made it easy to find through the launch of Office.com, Microsoft is chasing users wherever it can find them -- and in this case it's Chrome Web Store, right in the middle of Google’s own stomping ground.

It also appears to have quietly retired its Scroogled campaign.

It would probably be a bit silly to overestimate the real impact of this, given that users were always able to access Office apps through the Office.com in the Chrome browser. But with a new CEO on board, any sign of changes in the way Microsoft is doing business should be paid attention to. 
 

Finally! Office for iPad: Still Want It?

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Let's cut to the chase. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first press conference since he started 52 days ago was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, he finally announced the launch of Office for iPad, along with the new Enterprise Mobility Suite — surprising just about no one.

But all of those who expected something more from Nadella, like detailed insight about his plans for the company, left disappointed. Aside from discussing his Mobile First, Cloud First strategy and those plans to push all Microsoft customers into the cloud, he didn't say much.

But give him points for being poetic, in person and online. As he noted in a blog post, "As long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit."

Microsoft May Release Office for iPad

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If Microsoft press conferences are always a matter of intense speculation and conjecture, the conference that has been announced for next Thursday (March 27th) in San Francisco will be, by anyone’s standards, an exceptional event -- not least because it will be the first conference hosted by new CEO Satya Nadella. 

Of course, excitement is also being driven by speculation that, finally, Microsoft will be announcing Microsoft Office for iPad. 

Think the PC is Dead? You May be Right

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Wall Street must be pretty muted today. It has been a bad week with a lot of big companies calling out some pretty miserable results. IT companies are no exception, but we’re not going to talk about Twitter here. Instead, we’ll simply say Sony’s figures were so bad, that it has decided to pull out of the personal computer market.

It has also decided to pull out of the television manufacturing space, but we don’t really care about that. But PC’s are different though and the announcement by Sony comes just a day before Gartner published figures to show that the European PC market is down another 4 percent.

There are no recent figures for the US market yet, but they should land soon. While analysts will be looking desperately to find a silver lining, it’s a good bet that those figures are going to be pretty poor, too.

All that stuff about the death of the PC ... Maybe it really isn't exaggerated.

Wozniak: Apple Could Build Droid Phones, Warns of 'Police State'

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak captivated a tech-savvy audience in San Francisco today by warning that society is moving towards "a police state," calling for public resistance to the unrestricted collection of marketing data, and speculating that Apple could produce iPhones that run on Google's "not-so-fenced-in" Android operating system.

Reach Out and Touch for Better Collaboration, Customer Experiences

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From repeated assurances that "your call is very important to us" to an anonymized stream of corporate communications … Isn't there anything that can put some humanity back into collaboration and communications? The quantified self – breaking down human behavior into data sets – could help companies inject some personality into their customer service.

Apple, Android and Windows Phones Set For Enterprise Mobility Battle

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Ahead of today's Apple earnings announcement whatever the sales for last year's models all the gossip is about company's "plans" for larger iPhone and iPad devices, as its enterprise and worker battle with Android and Windows Phones heats up. Are competitors poised to take a bite from Apple?

Or will Apple's expected larger-screens satisfy an insatiable mobile marker and even help improve productivity? What more can Apple do to drive its presence in the enterprise as Intel's Android Device Protection Technology drive starts up, with CIOs becoming increasingly concerned about mobile security? And, with Microsoft's wide-ranging enterprise play, can the revamping of iWorks help it become an enterprise winner?

Location, Location: Reinventing the Customer Experience with a $10B a Year Digital Marketing Technology

Mobile commerce.jpgBrace yourself for the next evolution of digital marketing — indoor location and place-based marketing, a fast-growing segment that could be worth more than $10 billion annually in the US by 2018.

Indoor location technologies bring Internet-style tracking to physical spaces. And their development is changing the way retailers, venue owners, manufacturers and brands think about operations, place-based marketing and the customer experience, according to a new report from San Francisco-based Opus Research, an IT industry analyst firm.

That's no surprise to people like Asif R. Khan, founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association, or Don Dodge, a Google executive who has invested in several indoor location companies. Indoor location and positioning technology is the next big thing — "bigger than GPS” or online maps, Dodge contends.

So do you know enough about the technologies and the companies developing them to effectively incorporate it in your digital marketing plans over the next few years?

What You Need to Know Microsoft's New Surface Tablets #CES2014

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Microsoft doesn't have an official presence at the International CES in Las Vegas this week. It stopped participating in the opening keynote and abandoned its booths on the show floor two years ago.

But it still conducts behind-the-scenes meetings with partners, hardware manufacturers, mobile operators and developers at the giant consumer electronics show. And it left the biggest footprint among an onslaught of systems from of Lenovo, HP and others. 

Among the Microsoft show news: leaks about the Nvidia-powered Surface 3 and Mini tablets — which topped rumors on gadgets like Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Toss Your iPhone: Windows Phones Could Rule the Enterprise by 2015

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Despite iOS and Android's huge consumer mobile sales and the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) policies, Microsoft still has a shot at becoming the dominant force in mobile enterprise. 

Business connectivity, SharePoint and Office integration for Windows Phone 8 will earn it many friends in the enterprise. And Microsoft will place increasing emphasis on its mobile offering as the desktop market continues to stagnate. As sales rise, developers are returning to populate the app marketplace.

Long Road Still Ahead in Microsoft-Nokia Deal

steve_stephen.jpgThe US Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have given their blessing to the merger of Microsoft and Nokia. Now the European Commission has followed suit, all but green-lighting the deal.

But what will happen to Nokia once the merger is complete? And how will Microsoft manage its increasingly integrated chain of operating systems and devices? Perhaps we'll know more once the company picks a new CEO whose first job will be to integrate the two giants.

Why Apple Needs Topsy in a $200 Million Way

Apple to Buy Social Analytics Company TopsyApple bought social analytics firm Topsy for more than $200 million, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Topsy is one of the few companies that has access to every tweet generated since 2006 and has the proven ability to analyze them all, both historically and in (near) real time, as they come in. While some see Topsy’s services primarily in the social realm, it’s also important to recognize its big data and analytical capabilities.

#BlackFriday Tech Winners, #CyberMonday Deals

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As the focus shifts to digital sales on Cyber Monday, you may be wondering: What products scored wins on Black Friday?

Retailers are already seeing how shopping on mobiles and tablets is changing our buying behavior. Whatever your perspective, the results make for interesting reading as stores plan for future sales to drain us of yet more cash.

Apple's #BlackFriday US Sale Offers Gift Cards with New iPads

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Apple's one-day Black Friday sale rolled out from midnight around the world, offering gift cards in most places instead of discounts on major items and accessories. Europe is a little luckier with discounts on the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Major retailers, meanwhile, continue to do all they can to attract customers with big deals — for the second consecutive day.

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