google

War of the Halloween Videos: Google Goes for Cute, Microsoft Bets on Horror

I guess there are three ways to approach Halloween: you can go for cute, scary or sexy. Every year, both Google and Microsoft like to produce something Halloween-themed and this year is no exception. As in so many other areas of their competing businesses, he difference between their attemps’ attempts to bring some Halloween fun to the Internet couldn’t be more different: Google produced a family-friendly video-doodle of its employees carving pumpkins and Microsoft went all out to produce a short horror video featuring its Kinect controller.

News

The Microsoft Punchard: Bing Wants to Bring Loyalty Back to Daily Deals

Daily deals weren’t much of a category two years ago and the oversaturation of the market today threatens to push it back into obscurity once more. One of the reasons why many vendors are tired of Groupon, LivingSocial and similar programs is that they don’t actually generate a lot of repeat business. Consumers just move on to the next deal instead. Microsoft wants to change this. As part of the full launch of its Bing Deals daily deals aggregation service today, the company is also rolling out a loyalty program called the Microsoft Punchard Program.

Reviews

Wajam Wants to Make Your Social Search More Social

Social search is, without doubt, one of the hottest topics in the search engine business today. Google and Microsoft have made it the central focus of their latest search engine features and numerous small players are also trying to get a foothold in this nascent business. Among these smaller players is Wajam, a Canadian startup that lets you easily add social search results to virtually all of the search engines and shopping sites you use today, including Google, Bing, Amazon, Tripadvisor, Wikipedia, and Yelp.

Reviews

Hands-On With Windows 8 on the Desktop: A Confusing Jumble of UIs

Today, Microsoft made the first developer previews of Windows 8 available to all who would like to try them out. I couldn’t help myself, of course, and immediately grabbed a copy once it was available to install it on my test PC. During its public keynote demos, Microsoft mostly focused on showing the Windows Phone-like Metro UI and tablet devices. How does this first public build of Windows 8 work on a traditional desktop (or laptop), though?

News

Skype WiFi Comes to iOS: Get Online for $0.06 Per Minute

If you’re a frequent traveller, you know how much of a hassle paid WiFi networks can be. For a while now, recent Microsoft acquisition Skype has been trying to make things a bit easier by giving its users the ability to pay for WiFi access with the money that already have on their Skype accounts. Even better, Skype WiFi access is metered by the minute, so you don’t have to pay for an expensive hourly or daily pass just because you need to send an email from your laptop. Until now, Skype Wifi was only available for Windows machines and Macs, but starting today, you will also be able to use Skype’s new Wifi app for iOS to get online.

Opinion

Ubuntu Founder: “The Stranglehold of Windows on the Platform Itself Seems to be Coming Unstuck”

If you have watched the Linux community long enough, you know that every year is inevitably proclaimed to be the year where the Linux desktop finally breaks through. Sadly, though, that has never happened. Mark Shittleworth, the founder of Ubuntu developer Canonical, thinks that a major seachange is currently happening in the corporate world that could give Linux a chance. Ironically, what’s giving Linux on the desktop another chance is the fact that the desktop itself is slowly becoming less relevant thanks to virtualization and the move towards productivy computing in the cloud.

Opinion

The Internet Explorer IQ Hoax and the State of Tech Blogging

Last Friday, the tech blogosphere was enamored by a study that claimed that Internet Explorer users had a lower IQ than users of other browsers. The study by AptiQuant found that the average IE6 user only scored just over 80 on its IQ test – a test score that is, in terms of real-life accomplishments, generally associated with elementary school dropouts and unskilled workers. The study was a hoax.