It's the end of an era and the beginning of the next one.
Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the world's most valuable tech company. On Thursday, Apple's $222.1 billion market cap topped Microsoft's $219. billion.
A decade earlier, Apple had been given up for dead, along with its co-founder and visionary CEO Steven Jobs. But after one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, Apple now is the tech leader, while Microsoft depends on maintaining the status quo.
Steve Jobs has created the best desktop and laptop computer, the best portable music device, the best smartphone and the best tablet.
Both companies have comparable revenue, with Microsoft at $58.4 billion and Apple at $42.9 billion. But in their most recent fiscal years, Apple had net income of $5.7 billion, while Microsoft earned $14.6 billion. Microsoft has more cash and short-term investments, $39.7 billion, to Apple’s $23.1 billion.
"No technology company on the planet is more profitable than we are," said Microsoft’s chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer. Yes, we cannot forget that Windows software runs 9 out of every 10 computers, while more than 500 million people use its Office software to perform their daily tasks.
While Apple is at the top of its game, it faces a new and powerful competitor in Google (with a market cap of $151.43 billion), which is battling Apple in mobile devices with its Android operating system, and mobile advertising.
The battle has shifted from Microsoft against Apple to Apple against Google.
Several large media companies, including Time Warner and NBC Universal, told Apple they won't retool their extensive video libraries to accommodate the iPad. They argue that such a reformatting would be expensive and not worth it because Flash dominates the Web.
The media companies' refusal to cave in to Apple marks a setback for Steve Jobs.
The launch of iPad's rival touch-screen tablet devices, such as the ones coming form Dell and HP, and next Google TV software product, that enables viewers to watch online video on their big-screen TVs, could weaken Apple's ability to dictate terms.
Newsy.com video aggregation website has launched a cool iPad app (it has also an iPhone and Android app).
Founded in 2008, Newsy multisource video news analyzer seek to set itself apart from other video news aggregators, such as 1Cast, by providing a layer of analysis on top of the video news it covers.
Newsy doesn't just distribute the source video from news content partners. It analyzes video news from multiple sources, compiling reports on hot news topics and producing short video, two-to three-minute that tackle multiple sides of an issue. As a result, they use news coverage from outlets that range from international media companies to national cable news networks to local evening news broadcasts.
The Internet environment in which businesses compete is changing at a rapid pace, and keeping a website unchanged (or keeping a new one that underperforms) is a big mistake. Gone are the days of the simple brochure, one-communication-way, website.
Increasingly experts recommend to take a holistic approach when developing and promoting a website in today´s competitive landscape. Holistic means emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts, according to Dictionary.com.
We have created a list of disciplines and professionals required:
Web Design / Development:
Graphic Designers to create a visually appealing website.
Programmers to ensure that various design and process elements work together.
Web usability experts to ensure site visitors are able to complete task intuitively.
Conversion optimization specialists to ensure maximum conversion potential by website visitors.
Writers and copywriters to develop content.
Photographers and graphic designers to create appealing visual content.
Video and audio content developers due to the increasing popularity of podcasts and online videos.
Search Engine Optimization professionals to improve the website's visibility in organic search results.
Search Engine Marketers to implement and manage pay-per-click and other online advertising marketing.
Social Media Professionals to leverage the power of social networks, community sites and other social media tools.
In this holistic approach, the business owners, management team, marketing and PR professionals must participate.
What else is required?
First, a clear understanding of the business's goals and objectives. Second, a budget for the new or redesigned 2.0 website/community and strategy. Third, strong management skills due to the extensive number of professional disciplines required to complete the project. Fourth, determine team members and their specific requirements.
Key concept in development and promotion is ROI. And key philosophy is a holistic methodology.
Site visitors (clients and potential clients) have high expectations of what every online presence should deliver. And ensuring that you meet those expectations requires the implementation of a holistic approach. Convinced?
See what Hulu.com -which doesn't support it- says:
HTML5 lacks maturity in reporting, advertising and content security.
“Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user.”
In other words, Hulu plans keeping its video off the iPad, but there's still a good change it could launch a paid video app.
My view: HTML5 might not be ready for Hulu and its complex revenue model. But, hey, use abc.com iPad app (+400.000 downloads so far) and you will watch superb, spectacular video quality.
An increasing number of web industry leaders are quitting Facebook after the social network's perceived privacy transgressions.
"The issue is that users should have real control over what is shared, that's all. Facebook keeps taking that away," co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo explained.
At the same time, a project working to create an alternative social network outside of Facebook's control called Diaspora is getting substantial financial support.
The people of Diaspora -four NYU computer science students; see them in the video below- are building an "anti-Facebook", that is, a private and decentralized open source social network that puts you back in control of your personal data.
Adobe has begun a print and web advertising campaign to criticize Apple's refusal to allow Flash on its iPhone / iPad OS, expressed on Steve Jobs' letter.
The campaign includes an open letter and an explanation on the subject, below's screen shot, and other considerations.
Chuck Geschke, an Adobe founder and chairman of the board, said yesterday in a radio interview that all this is "an effort by Steve Jobs to control the iPhone's operating system and marketplace."
More politely, the two co-founders of Adobe wrote on their letter:
"We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web — the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.
In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company."
And here is a video with the reactions.
It seems that this fight is not going to be settle anytime soon.
Clicker has added live streams to its online video programming guide, enabling users to search for events as they happen or view a calendar of upcoming live video events.
Clicker Live catalog all the premium live shows that are being broadcast for free on the web and come from legal sources (like ABC, CBS News, CNN, Fox, Fox Business, ESPN, MLB, CBS Sports and Fox Sports.)
In addition, Clicker Live will have live shows that appear on YouTube, Ustream, Livestream, Justin.tv and Stickam, as well as streams from celebrities like Ashton Kutcher or Shaq.
Forrester is predicting Internet marketing spend will almost double over the next five years -from $2.3 billion in 2009 to $4.8 billion in 2014. Much of that will be invested in social media marketing.
Those enterprises that understand the importance of SEO and social media will receive the most traffic from search engines and social networks and therefore the consumer.
Our advice: bring along all the SEO techniques and tactics you've learned and mastered over the years and make social media really work for your enterprise. The Internet is plenty of tutorials, starting with the site of Google's Webmaster Tool and its video tutorial. (More resources here).
With Google expecting to open-source its VP8 video codec later this month, providing an alternative to H.264 that support Apple and Microsoft's next Explorer 9, the video ecosystem can be messy soon.
VP8 will be used in Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers, as well as in Android smart phones and in upcoming Google TV products.
In a way, it is like 2004, when media companies had to choose between serving video in Windows Media Player, RealPlayer or Quicktime. Then it was Flash that helped bridge the divide. Now in the mobility era and in the middle the war between Apple, Google, Microsoft and Adobe, the complexity is back.
With that in mind, publishers need to pick and choose which devices, codecs and plugins they're going to support, or they need to find a way to deliver to all of them with minimal investment in encoding.
At this point, Jeremy Allaire, the founder of Brightcove and the creator of Flash video, says that it's not a plugin or the application that will solve the problem of how to reach consumers on various devices, but the publishing platform itself.
These platforms will help to drive more video across more devices, either they support Flash, HTML5 video encoded in H.264, VP8 or any other codec.
Because until May 28 Apple won't sell iPads outside the U.S., eBay is the solution to avoid living without the device.
eBay has been observing a brisk trade in iPads, with 65 percent of those sold on the site going to international buyers. Usually they are willing to pay $269 above retail.
However, if you are patient enough, know that the iPad will be available for pre-order on May 10, in Spain, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Those in Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore will have to wait until July.
After its successful Indian Premier League’s webcast series, now Google is shopping for other live events and live sports to show on YouTube.
To date, online sports viewing has been hampered by slow broadband speeds and the reluctance of sports leagues to cannibalize profits that come from traditional broadcasters.
Some of them, like ESPN, mainly use the Web to show events they do not carry on television.
Even YouTube has concentrated on amateur user-generated content, music and promotional videos. The only major international event it carried live was the U2 concert in Pasadena last year.
"Live sports have several obvious advantages over television –they can be watched anywhere, including an office cubicle. And fans can discuss plays with other fans from around the globe through comments and posts,” The New York Times writes.
For now television controls the business. But what if local sports can aggregate a huge global audience by going online (even with some delay)?
Cyber-criminals use “phishing” techniques that trick users into disclosing their passwords. Then they sell those accounts, or use them to send spam, distribute malicious programs and run identity theft and other scams.
What can I say? As soon as you smell a fraud, report it to Facebook, change the password, shut down you account...
One million iPad sold in 28 days, since its release, according to Apple. Not bad. Steve Jobs for president!
Apple noted that “demand continues to exceed supply.” Sales outside the U.S. are delayed until the end of May. So my fellows Spaniards need to be patient.
Apple also said iPad users have downloaded more than 1.5 million ebooks and more than 12 million apps.
Last weekend Apple begun selling a 3G version of the device. Around 300,000 iPad 3G were sold that weekend, including preorders and online sales.
And this year iPad sales can reach five million units, according to some analysts.
I don’t think this phenomenon comes from early adopters and tech-savvy consumers. This gadget fits stunningly well in your daily live, especially if you like to read online news or watch video after an exhausting working day. You are not in the mood of opening up your laptop, but you feel good with your iPad.
On a separate note, Amazon’s Kindle released an update that will let users access Facebook and Twitter.
The Washington Post is launching an innovative platform for hundreds of reporters to host their own programs live from their desks on a Webcam, via a simple interface with the Post's content management system.
The videos will appear in sections and in the paper's archives. The format allows reporters to talk about news of the day while taking live text questions from viewers.
YouTube has rolled out a new version of its Flash video player, with a cleaner design.
Features that aren't available for certain videos (like closed captioning or higher resolutions) don't appear in the interface for those videos, and inactive buttons turn a light gray so they're less likely to distract you.
The new volume slider is the best improvement. It unfolds horizontally and it saves pixels.
Fon now, the new player doesn't work with videos that have ads and are embedded elsewhere.
And a third key claim that kills definitely Flash as a web format and predicts the success of H.264 format.
"iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren't missing much video."
"YouTube, with an estimated 40 % of the web's video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others."
"Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. This is true. Fortunately, there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store, and many of them are free. There are more games and entertainment titles available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any other platform in the world."