Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo October 26, 2013

It has certainly been an interesting week. A number of anticipated events took place, the most interesting of which had to do with mobility and mobile devices and services - with Nokia, Apple and Microsoft leading the charge. Let's start with the biggest event of the week. Apple introduced a number of new Mac and iPad devices - among which was the long awaited Retina Display iPad mini and the new iPad Air. Apple also officially released Mac OS X Mavericks and…announced that Mavericks upgrades and entire suites of its software - among them, iLife, iWork - would be free to anyone buying new hardware. Apple has also placed a limited but highly functional version of GarageBand on the App Store free of charge as well, for anyone to download - this is very cool! We provided an in-depth look at all of this.

The real star of the show in our opinion is the entirely new and innovative iPad Air. The new 9.7" iPad replaces the iPad 4th Generation that was released in late 2012 and betters that device in many ways. How about reducing its weight by .4 pounds?! And delivering a bezel along its long sides that is now 43 percent thinner? We've already decided to acquire one to go with our other iPads. Should you? Maybe. Perhaps the iPad mini with its new retina display is a better option for you - it's due out in "later November," but you may find it hard to get hold of one before early next year.

Or perhaps you might decide that a Windows-based tablet will be much more to your liking. Perhaps you are considering Microsoft's new Surface 2 tablets…but wait - earlier this week the still independent Nokia, holding what will be its very last Nokia World event in far flung Abu Dhabi, announced its own very cool new Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet. This strikes us as having the potential to grab a lot of interest. Nokia also announced new giant Lumia smartphones - how about a 6" display? Well, there are now two new such devices, the Lumia 1520 and 1320. Nokia also announced a lot of new software, and also noted that the long awaited Instagram for Windows will also finally appear. We've provided all the Nokia details for you.

None of these devices will deliver a rice point in the range of Amazon's latest tablet - its Kindle Fire HDX, which delivers greater pixel density than the just announce iPad mini with retina display for $170 less than the iPad mini! We've taken a closer look at the Kindle Fire HDX to scope out whether or not it truly delivers a viable option to any of the new mobile toys noted above.

This week Microsoft announced its Q1 2014 earnings. Unlike the general outlooks underscored by a string of previous earnings reports, this time around Microsoft delivered quite a sweet collection of booming businesses that drove significant revenue. Not surprisingly, the company also reported that its pure Windows licensing business revenue was down nearly 8 percent, but its overall enterprise revenue shot up substantially with a huge 10 percent revenue gain. Clearly - very clearly - there is a ton of life still to be found in Microsoft's enterprise business. The newly formed Devices and Services group managed to also deliver revenue, registering 4 percent growth and delivering $7.2 billion. That number in fact bodes well for Microsoft's future, and investors agreed, driving Microsoft's shares to a level it hasn't seen in 6 years. Is it the end of Microsoft seemingly being down on its luck?

Another company that is most assuredly still down on its luck is Hewlett-Packard. The news out of HP has not been good in a long time, and though CEO Meg Whitman has made lots of pronouncements about HP getting much more heavily into mobility…well, it hasn't. Now we hear news out of Asia this week that HP is going to enter the 3D printer market. Details are totally vague on the type of devices and markets HP will be targeting. Is HP going big or small or somewhere in between? Is it a revelation perhaps that HP still isn't in this booming market? CEO Meg Whitman is excited about 3D printing and wants to lead in the business. Of course we heard exactly the same thing about HP and mobility. Will the company get its act together this time?

Back in July, domain name registrar giant Network Solutions experienced a significant Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Given that this was the second time in recent months they had been a target, they seemed to us to be ill-prepared: we noted a lack of preparation before the attack to assure rapid remediation, a lack of transparency during the attack in terms of keeping customers informed, and what appears to be a lack of ability to learn from their mistakes in anticipation of what had to be assumed would be continued testing by those with malicious intent. Well, this week the website went down yet again! We'll sign off with that comforting thought.

Have a great weekend!

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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