Tech wrap: Amazon’s storm cloud
Amazon.com faced a backlash from the music industry after it introduced Cloud Drive, an online “music locker” that lets customers store music files on the company’s Web servers instead of their own hard drives and play them over an Internet connection directly from browsers and on phones running Google’s Android OS. Sony Music was upset by Amazon’s decision to launch the service without new licenses for music streaming.
Amazon’s Cloud Drive “is an amazing value and pretty easy to use”, but won’t kill rival Dropbox just yet, Business Insider’s Steve Kooch wrote. The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Kafka thinks Amazon’s cloud move isn’t earth shattering and “if you’re a music lover looking for a paradigm shift in the way you consume tunes, this won’t be it”.
Mozilla released its Firefox 4 Internet browser for Android phones, which allows desktop users to synchronize their history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords, according to Mozilla.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who returned this week to the company after a two-year absence, said he wants to make the microblogging site more approachable to the masses, acknowledging that the service is “something that people can’t immediately get their head around”.
AT&T’s $39 billion bid to buy T-Mobile USA came under scrutiny from New York’s attorney general, who said he is looking into its possible anti-competitive impact.
Separately, News Corp said that an increase in new, paying digital subscribers to its UK paper The Times has more than compensated for a drop in print circulation.
A seemingly esoteric spat between Google geeks and their Facebook cohorts over the search engine giant’s change to the way contacts from Facebook appear on its next-generation handset, the Nexus S, raises questions about Google’s increasing dominance in the mobile handset market — and whether it can resist the temptation to abuse that power, writes Rob Cox.
The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow nearly 50 percent in 2011, according to market research firm International Data Corporation. Engadget’s Vlad Savov took issue with IDC’s 2015 market share forecast, citing IDC’s report last year that predicted Symbian, an operating system now headed for extinction, would run the majority of smartphones into 2013. IDC now says that in 2015, Google’s Android will have 45.4% market share; Microsoft Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile: 20.9%; Apple’s iOS: 15.3%, RIM’s BlackBerry: 13.7%; others: 4.6%; and Symbian: 0.2%.