'The full harm to Apple cannot be calculated'
Plus LightSquared's rage as the FCC 'changes its mind'
Quotw This was the week when MySpace, which some of you may remember as once being a social network, came back from the dead thanks to its reinvention as a "meaningful social entertainment experience around content" with a million new users signing on since December last year.
Google locked up its Wallet service for now, after two different attacks showed that the electronic purse was not quite the safest place in the world.
And an angry American Dad emptied his pistol into his teenage daughter's laptop after she complained on Facebook about the "slavery" of having to do chores like (gasp!) making her own bed. Unfortunately for the hapless teen whiner, her father is in IT, so he not only discovered the social network rant – he then shot up her laptop with a .45 and posted a video of it on YouTube.
This was also the week when Apple got a little taste of what it might be like to come out on the losing end of the Great Patent Wars when Chinese shops started pulling its iPads off the shelves after it lost a trademark infringement case brought by Proview International Holdings.
Proview, which claims that it thought of the name "IPAD" ages ago, won the suit, despite the fact that Apple says it knows they thought of it ages ago, that's why they bought the name off them.
The fruity firm said:
We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honour their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.
All this hasn't stopped Proview from going all out and trying to get Chinese customs officials to ban imports and exports of the fondleslabs – thereby choking off Apple's global supply.
However, so far, the government is none too impressed with the thought of trying to separate Asian fanbois from their beloved iDevices, cause they're just too darn popular.
So popular, in fact, that they're even all the rage in Samsung's home territory of South Korea.
Frost & Sullivan's Asia Pacific vice-president Jayesh Easwaramony told The Register that Apple has around a 70 per cent market share in the country because of its totally awesome user experience:
Apart from that the positive word of mouth and the appeal as a must-have product for its target segment is greater than the rest. Consequently more apps that optimise the screen have further enhanced the value of the product.
But why rely on the crowd-pleasing wonder of your products when you could be lining the pockets of patent litigation lawyers in an attempt to oust your opponents? In the latest round of Apple v Samsung, the fruity firm is now seeking a ban on the Galaxy Nexus phone in the US.
Apple wants the Ice Cream Sandwich-packing flagship phone pulled from the shelves ASAP, because if it's not, there's just no telling what could happen:
Absent preliminary relief, by the time Apple prevails in this case – and Samsung's infringement is so clear there can be no serious dispute that Apple will prevail – Samsung will have rushed the Galaxy Nexus, which misappropriates many patented features from the iPhone, to capture market share from Apple that Samsung will be able to retain long into the future.
Even worse ... the full harm to Apple cannot be calculated, making it impossible for Apple to be compensated by money damages.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is hoping to get people interested in its sites by using content from Facebook and Twitter. The tech giant has launched a new site, msnNOW (catchy), which will pool updates from the two social networks with its Bing search results to help people stay on trend.
It's typically annoying aspirational marketing bumpf extolled:
It cuts through the clutter of the web, providing an up-to-the-minute view of breaking trends and the hottest social conversations, what people are saying about them, and why they matter.
With the influx of content today across the web it can be challenging to ensure you’re seeing the relevant and credible content that matters most to you. msnNOW is the trusted source that will help make sense of the noise, anytime and from anywhere you’re online.
These "credible" issues that "matter" included, in one snapshot of the site, stories that Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton didn't know who she was dating, Twitterers telling off Chris Brown because of his "harsh words" to the "haters" and Kobe Bryant, basketballer with the LA Lakers, snogging his wife at a game despite the fact that she's filed for a divorce. And they were in the top four stories.
Microsoft was also in the news this week because its web store in India was reportedly hacked by a Chinese group with the comic-book-villain name, the Evil Shadow Team. The hackers are supposed to have posted a V for Vendetta mask on the site along with the message: "Unsafe system will be baptised".
Giving nothing away, the site's holding page read:
The Microsoft Store India is currently unavailable. Microsoft is working to restore access as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Long after Microsoft slurped Skype, Cisco has decided that it might be a bit worrisome for its own communications offerings and complained to the EU that Redmond could lock Skype into its platforms.
Marthin De Beer, Cisco vice president, said on the corporate blog:
The industry recognises the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators. Microsoft’s plans to integrate Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders to a Microsoft-only platform.
But Microsoft doesn't seem too upset by its sometime partner's complaints:
The European Commission conducted a thorough investigation of the acquisition, in which Cisco actively participated, and approved the deal in a 36-page decision without any conditions. We’re confident the Commission’s decision will stand up on appeal.
Over in America, wireless broadband provider wannabe LightSquared was scrambling to save itself after the Federal Communications Commission decided that its network couldn't co-exist with GPS and therefore it shouldn't have one.
In response, CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said:
After years of receiving regulatory approvals, the FCC approved LightSquared to build its ground network in 2005. In 2010, the FCC amended that plan, requiring LightSquared to build a national broadband network that reached 260 million Americans. At the government’s mandate, LightSquared began investing billions of dollars in America’s infrastructure – without asking for any money from the American taxpayer. Yesterday, after LightSquared had already spent nearly $4 billion, the FCC changed its mind. There can be no more devastating blow to private industry and confidence in the consistency of the FCC’s decision-making process.
The firm is now looking to swap some of its unusable broadband spectrum for the reserves of the Department of Defense. ®