Google announced yesterday that it is going to start charging all businesses that want to use Google Apps – Google’s online version of Microsoft Windows.
Previously, Google Apps had been free to use for businesses smaller than 10 people.
This news might mean that Google is sick of flushing money down rat hole and finally wants to cover its cost, despite the reduction in usage this will cause.
But it also might mean Google is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously. It might Google is going to start trying to make Google Apps something that all businessess find worth paying for.
If that’s the case, it has to make Microsoft nervous.
Microsoft is in a very precarious place at the moment.
It’s just released a new operating system that’s very different from its old one.
The new operating system forces enterprises and consumers around into a choice: what kind of new OS do they adopt?
In years past, there was really only one choice: Microsoft.
But now, consumers are bringing their iOS devices and Android devices to work. They’re used to them. They love them. Meanwhile, consumers are not rushing out to buy Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface.
So now, enterprises have three choices: Microsoft, Google, or Apple.
The big advantage! Microso ft has had for years now is that its software suite for doing business, Microsoft Office, is far superior to anything Google or Apple had to offer.
But if Google is going to charge all clients for its Office clone, that might mean it is about to take Apps development a whole lot more seriously.
Maybe Google will finally build a real rival to Microsoft office’s crown jewel, Excel.
Every year management consulting Booz & Co. puts together a comprehensive report on the world’s 1000 biggest spenders on research and development, and the connection between that spending and performance.
Booz & Co. senior partner Barry Jaruzelski told us that “in the US, Europe, and Japan that’s fairly easy to put together, but to do it on every market, to get South Africa, China, India, Brazil, Russia, Israel, etc. takes a fair amount more effort.”
There’s an incredible amount of money in R&D. The top 20 companies alone spent $153.6 billion last year, which is more than a quarter of the total $603 billion by the world’s 1000 biggest spenders.
Here are last year’s top 20 spenders:
Read the full report here
Finland’s fortunes are affected by one firm. What about other countries?
NOKIA contributed a quarter of Finnish growth from 1998 to 2007, according to figures from the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ET LA). Over the same period, the mobile-phone manufacturer’s spending on research and development made up 30% of the country’s total, and it generated nearly a fifth of Finland’s exports. In the decade to 2007, Nokia was sometimes paying as much as 23% of all Finnish corporation tax. No wonder that a decline in its fortunes–Nokia’s share price has fallen by 90% since 2007, thanks partly to Apple’s ascent–has clouded Finland’s outlook.
Are any other economies so reliant on one company? The researchers at ETLA calculate Nokia’s value-added to work out its importance to Finland, but such data are not widely available. A look at firms’ sales as a percentage of GDP (see table) offers a cruder indication of clout. We used the Dow Jones Global Index to identify firms whose revenues ranked highest in the country of their listing.
Firms like ArcelorMittal, Essar Energy and China Mobile make the top ten because of their choice of domicile; their economic activity mainly takes place elsewhere. Oil-and-gas firms feature heavily, although that may simply show that certain economies are dependent on a certain type of activity rather than a specific firm. Lower down the list the presence of Sands China, a casino developer and operator whose sales are 13% of Macao’s GDP, reflects the importance of gambling to the territory.
Strip these sorts of firms from the list and only one resembles No! kia: Tai wan’s Hon Hai, an electronics manufacturer. Yet Nokia made 27% of Finnish patent applications last year; the corresponding figure for Hon Hai was 8%. Although numbers are falling, Finland is home to the greatest number of Nokia employees; Hon Hai’s staff is mostly in China. It is a similar story with other firms. Sales of Nestlé, a consumer-goods company, weigh in at 15% of Swiss GDP but its share of Swiss jobs is punier than Nokia’s in Finland. Samsung, whose revenues are twice Nokia’s, has half its clout as a share of GDP: South Korea’s economy is more diversified. The importance of Nokia to Finland looks like a one-off.
For months, there have been rumors that the next iPhone would have a thinner screen. Several reports have said that Apple’s supply partners were developing a new process called in-cell technology, which integrates touch screen sensors directly into the LCD screen, thereby eliminating a layer from the screen.
Now, we have the biggest proof yet that this is in fact happening.
“We had some hard times (in developing the new in-cell technology) at first…but it seems those hard times have finally ended,” said Han Sang-beom, LG Display’s CEO, according to The Journal. “The in-cell technology is the industry’s latest development. (But) we will be able to supply the panels without any fail.”
LG has supplied display panels for Apple products in the past, and previous reports claimed that LG would be one of several companies producing the new thinner screens for the next iPhone. Given that LG’s announcement comes just a couple weeks before Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhone, it seems a pret! ty safe bet that the screens are for that.
So, what will a thinner iPhone screen actually mean for users? Two things, probably:
- A thinner phone, overall.
- A more expensive repair, if the screen breaks. That’s because the touch sensors will be built into the glass. If you crack an iPhone 4 screen, you can keep using your phone. That probably won’t be the case with the iPhone 5.
A thinner screen may also make more room for a bigger battery.
We’ve known for some time that Amazon is planning to make original TV content. But now Bezos and co have announced that Amazon is turning its back on the US, instead choosing to develop a center in London to spearhead its move into media.
The Telegraph reports that the Seattle-based firm has named London “the obvious choice” for the new “digital media development” center, because “Britain has led the way in pioneering on-demand services which allow users to rent films and television over the internet.”
Amazon has announced today that it’s taking over an eight-story, 47,000 square foot office near Barbican tube station, in the heart of London. Speaking to the Telegraph, Paula Byrne, the center’s managing director, explained:
“I wouldn’t underplay the value that the UK has brought to this sector. When you look at the specialist skills that are available here, it is the obvious place to come… Innovation is part of the Amazon DNA and we are creating a centre of excellence to design and develop the next generation of TV and film services for a wide range of digital devices.”
Amazon currently owns two London-based on-demand media services—LoveFilm and Pushbutton—and the staff from those are excepted to move in to the new building right away. From there, who knows what direction Amazon will head in. [Telegraph]
Image by gothopotam
Amazon made news this week with their acquisition of 3D mapping startup UpNext.
In a news note on BI Intelligence, we analyze what Amazon is up to with this acquisition. We:
- Look at the increasing importance of bringing native apps to the Kindle Fire tablet.
- Describe why we think this is the latest evidence of pointing to the development of an Amazon phone.
- Give a brief overview of the other clues over the last year that lead us to conclude an Amazon phone is in development, including Amazon’s purchase of Yap last November.
- Outline the potential revenue opportunities an Amazon phone represents that in many ways is a natural extension of its core online business, including media sales and ecommerce.
For full access to the news note, sign up for a free trial subscription today.
Note: BI Intelligence is Business Insider’s new research and analysis service focused on the mobile industry. Trial subscribers gain full access to a library of research, data, and charts, as well as all news notes.
Traditional console makers have often sworn up and down that mobile doesn’t make money for game development. That might still be true for some developers, but you’ll get a very different answer if you ask Epic Games. Co-founders Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein have collectively described the currently iOS-only, Chair-developed Infinity Blade as the “most profitable game we’ve ever made” when considering the amount of money and time invested relative to the money coming back. Yes, that includes even the Gears of War series, which most consider Epic’s primary cash cow. Sweeney, like his long-time competitor Johh Carmack at id Software, is also taken aback by the power stuffed inside the latest generation of mobile devices — a 2012 iPad is nearer the performance of a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, he tells Gamasutra, and the pace is only picking up. Even more insights await in the interview with Sweeney; click below if you want a hint of what one of gaming’s pioneers has to say about where your tablets, phones and (yes) PCs are going.
Epic Games: Infinity Blade on iOS more profitable by the pound than any other game we’ve made! ori ginally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 19:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Business Insider Intelligence a new research and analysis service focused on mobile computing and the Internet. The product is currently in beta. For more information, and to sign up for a free 30-day trial, click here.
Microsoft announced yesterday that just more than 100,000 apps have been now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace. In comparison, Apple had over 725,000 apps in the App Store as of February (meaning its even higher now) and Google Play had more than 500,000 apps as of last month.
As we have argued before, the real network effect in the mobile platform wars is with developers, who create the apps that draw consumers to phones. On the one hand, Microsoft badly trails its rivals. On the other, it’s impressive that they have managed to convince developers to write 100,000 apps with such a small user base—at last mark, Windows Phone had less than 2% global market share, putting it in last place among major smartphone platforms. But while Microsoft lacks the “long tail” apps of these other platforms, at least it has been whipping out its check book to underwrite development of the most popular apps.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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