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Google Voice now available in UK

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Aeron M. Peterson

Almost a year now, August 26 to be exact, Google Voice became available for free at US and Canada for free. Today, Google Voice has been rolled out to UK finally.

Google Voice, known for being direct competitor of now Microsoft owned Skype.

According to various media reports, Gmail users (from where Google Voice can be access) in the UK are now able to make low-cost calls from the email client to landlines and mobile phones.

At first Gmail-to-Gmail voice calls in the UK became available but on Tuesday Google said in a blog post it was opening up the paid-for Google Voice functionality to users outside the US for the first time.

“You can now buy calling credit in your choice of four currencies (Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or US dollars) and there are no connection fees, so you only pay for the time you talk,”

Gmail product manager Pierre Lebeau said in the blog post. He added that the service is now available in 38 languages.

Google Apps users will have to get their domain administrators to enable Google Voice and Google Checkout in order to use the service, Lebeau noted.

With this Google move, it has made itself even stronger competitor to Skype.

Skype is currently crowned as the world’s leading voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider.

For example, calls made from Gmail to mobile phones in the UK, France or Germany cost eight euro cents (7p) per minute. Calls made from Skype to the same numbers cost around 15p per minute.

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Mark Zuckerberg, number one in MediaGuardian’s top 100

Posted on 26 July 2011 by James Campero

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, took the first place in the Guardian’s annual listing of the 100 most influential people in UK media.

Following Mark is Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, reflecting the growing power of social networking sites.

As the two leads both coming from a social networking industry, traditional tech industry leaders Steve Jobs of Apple and Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer went down.

The compilation of the MediaGuardian top 100 has been assisted by experts from the fields of technology, PR and media.

Although social media figures occupied the two top spots, one of the medium’s greatest advocates, prominent tweeter Stephen Fry, dropped out of the top 100.

Stephen Fry who became popular using Twitter was dropped from last year’s number 64, which is

Also went out from the top 100 was the government’s “digital champion” Martha Lane Fox whose job it is to raise public awareness of digital technology, including the internet.

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange rose from 58th position in 2010 to 32nd in 2011. His profile was dramatically elevated following the release of leaked US diplomatic cables last November.

Spotify founder Daniel Ek arrived at 40th place, as his music streaming website service launches in the United States.

Steve Jobs was dropped from first place to 5th, but nothing worse than Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer who experienced the most precipitous fall.

Ballmer was at 5th in 2009, dropped to 29th in 2010 and is out of this year’s list entirely.

His exclusion may reflect the fact that Microsoft’s only asset which impacts the media directly is MSN news.

Although Apple does not have similar site with Microsoft, its influence in tech products such as iPad, iPhone on active presense in online such as iTunes made Jobs stick to the list.

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ie9-released

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Internet Explorer 9 web browser goes live

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Aeron M. Peterson

Leading tech company Microsoft makes its Internet Explorer 9 web browser available for downloads.

IE, which has been leading the browser wars among its competitors like Google and Firefox has its version 9 available for public testing. Microsoft, has been losing its lead and was dethroned in EU last year at number one position after Firefox took took it from IE. Though, IE still rest at number one spot in North America says Statcounter.com with market share of 48.92% followed by Firefox (26.7%), Chrome (12.82%) and Safari (10.16%).
ie9-released

“This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “This appears to be happening because Google’s Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share.”

After IE8 beta was downloaded 25 million times, the IE seems to hold back its position again. IE9 release candidate is the final test drive of its version before it’ll have its fully operational version.
Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president of Internet Explorer said to BBC News
“This release is one that is playing catch up [on past releases], but it leapfrogs everything and now you see the other folks on the back foot trying to catch up with us,”.
“This is a real race again in terms of browsers,” said Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of PCMag.com.
“To some extent, Microsoft had ceded that race, but when I first heard about IE9, my initial reaction was ‘oh the game is on’.

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microsoft-vs-apple

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Microsoft vs Apple over ‘app store’

Posted on 16 January 2011 by Aeron M. Peterson

Microsoft asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to reject the application of Apple to trademark the words “App Store”.

microsoft-vs-apple

"The term 'app store' should continue to be available for use by all without fear of reprisal by Apple."

The software giant points out that the ‘app store’ is generally use by other software companies for Apple to use the term.

Russell Pangborn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel said:

“An ‘app store’ is an ‘app store’,”

“Like ‘shoe store’ or ‘toy store’, it is a generic term that is commonly used by companies, governments and individuals that offer apps.”

“The term ‘app store’ should continue to be available for use by all without fear of reprisal by Apple.”

Meanwhile, even Amazon, one of the popular e-commerce site recently announced plans to open its own retail channel called Amazon Appstore.

Aside from Apple, Microsoft have their store for Windows phones, Google’s Android apps and Nokia also have their own similar site.

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Acer, yet another iPad challenger

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Aeron M. Peterson

Undeniably, iPad already established reputation when it comes to tablet computing having about 95% market share under the gadget category. However, StrategyAnalytics warned that  “Apple’s huge lead will be shortlived, as a wave of Android models is set to flood the market in the fourth quarter.”acer_logo

After Samsung’s Galaxy Tab launched two months ago, it is expected to lessen the market share that iPad for the last quarter of this year.

Acer will join the tablet computing industry next year since it is expected to be available in public April of 2011. Acer is optimistic to gain a at least 10% market share as they analyzed that the computing industry under the category is yet to be explore.

Jim Wong, Acer’s head of information-technology products, said yesterday

“This is a market that’s still not fully known, not fully satisfied,” . The company expects 40 million to 50 million tablets will be sold worldwide next year.

Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co. backed Wong’s statement saying:

“It’s a wide-open market and an opportunity for Acer to make itself better known to a North American market,”

Next year, Microsoft’s challenge to iPad will also be available tentatively in February. Will the year 2011 be the year of tablet computing? Tell us your thoughts by leaving your comments below.

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ray_ozzie-resigned

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Microsoft’s Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie resigned

Posted on 19 October 2010 by Aeron M. Peterson

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announces the resignation of their Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie, proponent of  the “cloud computing” through internal email to employees.

ray_ozzie-resigned

Microsoft 's Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie

Ray Ozzie, chief software architect who have taken the role of Bill Gates since 2005 when Microsoft bought out Ozzie’s company. After a year of his arrival, he pressed on the use of “cloud computing” in the company. With cloud computing it will allow resources to multiple computers via the web.

According to Ballmer’s email, Ozzie will still be onboard to assist for the transition but no plans of replacing him in the meantime saying “I won’t refill the role after Ray’s departure”. As for Ozzie’s tasks, “Ray will be focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment where Microsoft has many ongoing investments. We have tremendous opportunities in the entertainment space overall, and I’m excited about what we can accomplish.

After the news went out, Microsoft shares dropped 2.2%.  According to BBC, Ozzie’s decision to leave his position was followed by a number of other seniors at the company. Stephen Elop Business head already left in September to head up Nokia while Robbie Bach head of entertainment and devices is also planning to leave.

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