The period from the 15th to 19th August turned out to be exceptionally eventful, and, frankly speaking, it was really hard for me to pick out the most important issues to share with you in this article. You are welcome to judge if I succeeded in this tough task.
While the British Government is hurling young desperados into prison for trying to provoke another whorl of riots in London via Facebook, the rest of the world keeps enjoying tech advancements from all over. This does not, however, concern personal computer makers, who are gradually losing profits. The year to August showed a significant decline in personal computers delivery volumes, while securing increase in the number of media tablets sold. The only manufacturer to experience growth in personal computers sales, although not substantial either, was Apple. The overall ranking remains the same: first comes Hewlett-Packard with around 3.2 million computers shipped, followed by Acer and Dell.
Despite this success, HP has decided to phase out its PC department, as well as shut down its future WebOS developments, mimicking the similar decision made by IBM. We can only guess what effect it will have on the company's business, but many expect loss of trust and, consequently, of the market share. The top managers have tried to take care of recompensing for this by acquiring Autonomy (for only $10 billion), a British software developer, which is expected to 'accelerate the vision to decisively and profitably lead a larger win space which is the enterprise information management space', according to HP CEO Leo Apotheker.
This week was marked with another big announcement. Google's trying to conquer the world again, this time by acquiring one of the world's largest mobile devices producer, Motorola. The issue caused a great stir, since this marriage is supposed to significantly distress Apple, which is not feeling quite well itself and is now doing its best to keep its market share, mainly by suing everyone from minor developers to such giants as HTC and Samsung for allegedly illegal use of Job's patents (you can read about it in our previous article). By the way, Apple has finally managed to find a new supplier of LCD screens for its high-end devices. It will be Sharp, and the bid cost Apple $1 billion.
The war between Google+ and Facebook is still in progress, however boring it could be for you to read about it again. This time, the race bears upon instant messaging software and takes the shape of Skype vs. ICQ war. After Skype released the update with the implemented Facebook client last week, Google made an attempt to catch up and teamed up with Mail.ru Group to create a new version of ICQ that would allow users to communicate on Google+ and use GTalk protocol without switching to the browser window. Later on, Google's representatives took another dig at Facebook and accused Zuckerberg of ickie actions performed by his programmers. Google claimed that Facebook tweaked its code to prevent users from visiting Google+ by blocking all the links to the rival social network. Google fans failed, however, to prove the fact of unfair marketing with further tests, but they've still managed to attract attention to themselves once again, thus drawing another silver line in the future of the project.
You have certainly noticed that YouTube's renewed design and its music section have moved to the stable platform. Yet there's another new feature, and guess what? It is also connected with Google+. Remember Google+'s hangouts, the video conferences inside the social network? Now, having found an interesting video on YouTube, you have the opportunity to not only share the link with your friend, as before, but also to watch and discuss the video simultaneously with up to 10 of your friends right there on the page by hitting the "Start the hangoung" button or link. The feature is aimed at making conversations more spontaneous and relaxed. This step is said to be only the first one in the row of hangouts implementations. Soon it will be possible to transmit games, sport events and so on.
Microsoft isn't going to stick in the mud as well. Right after the announcement of the possible leadership of Windows 7 among the existing operating systems in the fourth quarter of 2011, we get the news on the proposed pre-release of Windows 8. This operating system is supposed to change the whole concept of a PC, as well as that of portable devices. I truly hope that this news won't turn out to be another malarkey, which have become increasingly popular lately, and the pre-release (not even a beta release, by the way) will actually take place.
Incredible news comes from IBM. They created the first chip that simulates the activity of human brain. It is called neurosynaptic, and it combines the working principle of a human brain with a silicon processor. The chip can be programmed, just like a regular one, but it is also able to learn itself. Its performance is based on the BlueMatter algorythm developed by IBM two years ago, and contains 256 neurons alike those in our craniums. Although its opportunities are surely still far from what is possible with a real brain, this invention is really capable of boggling one's mind.
As for the software news, it is essential to mention a new development by Adobe: a web design tool Adobe Muse is in its beta . The creator claims the program will free web designers from the necessity to use Photoshop, Dreamweaver or whatever. At the moment, there are a lot of reports concerning deficiencies in the application, but I'm pretty sure Adobe will manage to make the tool the most powerful and convenient means of creating websites, thus allowing even pre-schoolers to put themselves on the Internet's record.
The relay baton in the universal competitive race was picked up by Mozilla. They have rescheduled their Firefox releases, have speeded up the sixth version of their Thunderbird. But you will have the chance to read about all these innovations in detail in one of our next articles.
So, here I finish my tale by wishing you all a nice weekend and inviting you to stay with us and, as usual, be updated!