TechZone360 Week in Review

June 23, 2012
By: Susan J. Campbell

The fast pace of technology never disappoints and this week was no exception. Microsoft (News - Alert) is ready to give Apple tablets a run for their money, Oracle announced early year end results that quieted tech spending concerns, Intel found that Americans can’t travel without tech – surely that surprised no one, Twitter (News - Alert) experienced an outage, and graduates of all ages explored the latest app options.

Referred to as the Zune II (which could be an omen), the new Microsoft tablet could be considered the iPad killer – when examined on paper. Execution and sourcing have never been a strong point for the software giant, however, when it comes to competing with the iPod maker. Three distinct advantages could have Apple (News - Alert) worried, including support for Microsoft Office, a unique optical display and compliance with security and management tools. Only time will tell if there is real competition in this new tablet.

Oracle (News - Alert) made positive waves when it announced positive year end results three days early. Net income was reported at $3.5 billion, compared with $3.2 billion for the previous year; earnings on a non-GAAP basis were $4.1 billion; revenue increased by one percent overall and 37 percent for software licenses; an extra $10 billion in share buybacks; and a quarterly dividend of six cents per share. With such strong results coming out of this giant, whose positive results were stymied only by the weak dollar outside U.S., the tech industry is poised for a strong comeback.

In a recent survey, Intel (News - Alert) discovered that Americans can’t stand to travel without technology. The survey, “Intel Survey: Tech Norms for Travelers,” found that travelers within the U.S. report feelings of anxiety when traveling without their mobile devices. Anger was reported when a power source was unavailable to charge their devices. This emotional bond – or dependence – on mobile devices even causes some to feel less stressed and calmer when technology is accessible while on vacation.

As much as we rely on social media, the outage of a platform can render our marketing and sales efforts stagnant for a time. Such was the case this week when Twitter experienced an outage. Anxiety may have been running rampant given the site was down for 60 minutes on Thursday. The carnage could have been worse as MarketWatch suggested errors were posting on the site at 11:03 a.m. and wasn’t back up and running until 1:08 p.m. ET. 

Finally, Rich Steeves explored the best apps for graduates of all ages. Elementary school kids can explore goodies to improve academics, while middle school students can start to hone their SAT testing skills. College-bound high schoolers can explore ways to get more organized, and college grads gain access to the best job searching tools. For those with an advanced degree, the best suggestion is to, “Fire a few Angry Birds at some pigs already!” Enough said.

For more technology news and updates, check back to TechZone360 each week!