Tech Week in Review 5-27-2011
Microsoft Gets $5 Everytime HTC Sells an Android Phone
Windows Phone 7 may not be the hottest mobile platform out right now, but at least Microsoft can make some change off Android. Wait…What?! According to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, this is exactly what’s happening. Microsoft makes 5 bucks for every Android device sold by HTC. This is due to a patent settlement with HTC over intellectual property infringement. They aren’t stopping there, though. Microsoft is seeking anywhere from $7.50 to $12.50 per device against other handset manufacturers. Why not go directly after Google? Probably because the actual manufacturers are easier to pick on. There is also the fact that Google isn’t actually selling the phones, just providing the OS.
Twitter Officially Buys Tweetdeck
In a deal finalized on Tuesday, Tweetdeck has officially been acquired by Twitter. It’s both exciting and scary, kind of like when Microsoft acquired Skype. It means that TweetDeck will now have abundant resources to do what they do, but there is really no telling what Twitter will do with it. They haven’t exactly been to keen on third-party clients and developers. TweetDeck could very well be scrapped for parts to bolster the #1 Twitter interface: Twitter.com. Remember, TweetDeck has already created a multi-column HTML5 version of the popular TweetDeck client that works in Chrome.
Quora Launches SMS Support
You can now search and add questions to Quora via SMS on your mobile device. No fancy iPhone or Android app. No fancy HTML5 mobile website. This is straight up text messaging. Might sound archaic, but the fact is that most people still do not have a smartphone. Most of those people can text and they probably have questions they want answered. Holden Page says this move is pure genius, citing chat only 17% of Gen X and Y folks have a smartphone and pointing to Twitter’s rise being powered by initial SMS support. This now puts Quora in competition with services like ChaCha. If you are not already using Quora, will this make a difference?
HTC to Unlock Bootloaders
Due to consumer feedback, HTC will soon make it much easier to install custom ROMS on their Android phones. You know, the ones they pay Microsoft $5 a piece to sell (see above). ROM creators like @Cyanogen, who develop the popular (and totally awesome) CyanogenMod, had to resort to hackery and other mischief to get their product onto HTC devices. Now, this process will be much easier. After outcry from the HTC community, HTC CEO Peter Chou’s released the following statement:
There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we’ve listened. Today, I’m confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.
Square Moves Towards Mobile Wallet
The app that lets anyone accept credit card payments using their mobile device has taken things to the next level. Their Card Case feature turns your mobile into a virtual wallet, eliminating the need to actually pull out a physical card to pay for anything when you visit a trusted business.
Card Case is a new venture by Square that essentially puts a mobile wallet on a consumer’s iPhone or Android smartphone that they can use at any Square-enabled business. Users can store credit card information for each business they frequent. Upon entering the business, users can enter their name, select their virtual card from the Card Case app, order their stuff, and Card Case takes care of the rest.