Order Now iPhone SE | iPad Pro | Apple Watch | Apple TV


When it comes to ecosystem, Apple proves size does matter

I've argued for a while that iTunes was the tip of Apple's sword. Being able to take payments and sell content in more countries than anyone else let them push the App Store farther, faster than any of their competition. Now, years later, no one else is even coming close, and when viewed as an ecosystem play, there still isn't any viable competition. To make matters worse, Apple's model allows them to sell the iPad (and soon, the iPad mini in 90+ countries. And, because they make their money off hardware, they can even sell it where there's still no or limited iTunes support. That lets them seed the market so hardware is in hand when iTunes eventually, and inevitably follows.

By contrast, Amazon's content appliance strategy with its heavily discounted hardware doesn't allow them to sell the Kindle Fire line in any country without an Amazon content store to subsidize it. They literally can't afford to. That means no seeding, and since Amazon has been nowhere nearly as successful as Apple in pushing their content store internationally, very limited distribution.

Here's why that matters...

More →

Microsoft announces Xbox Music iTunes competitor, coming to PC, Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Android and iOS devices

Microsoft has launched a new music service which it hopes will offer significant competition to Apple’s hugely successful iTunes service. The new Microsoft music offering will be called Xbox Music and will debut on its own Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices initially but will also be rolled out for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch a well as certain Android devices too; very soon afterwards.

More →

Microsoft Office once again reportedly on its way to iOS

Microsoft Office may finally be making its way to iOS. Yes. Again. This time the rumors come courtesy of a press release from Microsoft’s Czech Republic team, as well as Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek.

More →

Microsoft might be making their own iPhone competitor. Again.

Despite Steve Jobs teasing Bill Gates about the benefits of software lovers wanting to make their own hardware, and Gates rage-laughingly retorting with PC market share numbers, Microsoft has often flirted with the integrated device model. From Xbox to Zune, Kin to Surface, they've done their fair share of melding atoms to bits. And according to Daniel Rubino over at WPCentral they may be ready to do it with phones. Again.

More →

Microsoft unveils new logo, signals the future by clinging even more tightly to the past

Microsoft's new corporate logo has updated their corporate logo for the first time in 25 years and... it looks more like a Windows logo than a Microsoft logo. As a Windows logo, it would be brilliant. Clean, square, solid, and Microsoft's new logotype, Segoe, is really nice. It's so nice, it could easily stand alone without the Windows logo next to it. And they really should have let it.

More →

Microsoft goes gunning for Gmail with Outlook.com web-based email service

Microsoft has announced Outlook.com, a free, web-based email service that clearly has its sites set on Google's hugely popular Gmail service. Of course, Microsoft already has Hotmail, who's very name meant HTML mail (HoTMail), and live.com, but they've never been shy about multiple, seemingly redundant offerings. But this seems different. Rather than doubling up, Outlook.com seems to be a new layer -- a way to offer something new without forcing old users to just take it. According to the Office blog:

More →

Microsoft announces all new 10.6-inch Surface, a tablet competitor to iPad

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has just announced the all new Microsoft Surface, a Windows 8 tablet competitor to Apple's iPad. Microsoft's original Surface was a "big ass table" that mainly gained traction as a product placement on TV shows. This ain't that.

More →

Microsoft's SmartGlass to turn your iPhone and iPad into secondary Xbox screens

Today at E3, Microsoft announced SmartGlass, a new app that will let any mobile device, including iPhones and iPads, provide secondary contextual content to what you're playing on your Xbox. Daniel Rubino and company from our sibling site WPCentral were on hand at the press conference, and brought back word of Microsoft demoing the system. It worked while watching Game of Thrones with world map information, as well as with Halo 4, where you could check match statistics and join multiplayer games from your tablet. Xbox will also be getting Internet Explorer (IE 10), which you'll be able to control from your mobile device.

More →

Microsoft wants to put OnLive's Windows 7 iPad service "into a properly licensed scenario"

OnLive recently expanded from the realm of cloud gaming to providing virtual access on your iPad to a hosted Windows 7 machine, but it sounds like Microsoft isn't too thrilled about the idea. Apparently OnLive isn't currently paying licensing fees, making it hard for other cloud desktop hosting services to compete.

More →

Office on iPad: Why it matters to Microsoft, Apple, and us

Why would Microsoft make Office for iPad, and why would Apple want it?

There's been a bit of a brouhaha this week over the possibility of Microsoft Office coming to the iPad. It's been teased, denied, rumored for a keynote spot at the anticipated iPad 3 event, summarily dismissed and otherwise masterfully debated everywhere from blogs to social streams and back.

But does it even matter? Is it merely the significance and symbolism of the idea itself -- having Office on iPad -- that's important, or is anyone actually expecting killer software when years of Office on Mac still haven't provided a truly excellent, fully compatible experience?

More →