August is typically a slow month for the tech industry, but this month we’ve seen new product releases and upgrades, and Hewlett-Packard has certainly grabbed headlines.
Here’s a breakdown of three tech stories worth noting:
Google certainly made headlines last week for its acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Larry Page, co-founder and CEO, stated, "The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences."
The move, say some industry-watchers, may also help Google defend against patent infringement lawsuits filed by competitors, including Apple and Microsoft.
In other Google-related news, the search giant announced that it has expanded and improved sitelinks, which are a group of links from a website displayed on a search results page that Google displays to help users better navigate a website (read a related column).
Last week Twitter released its new link service (http://t.co). Twitter states that the link service "is used to better protect users from malicious sites that engage in spreading malware, phishing attacks, and other harmful activity." I find this new application to be extremely intriguing, and it should have a huge impact on analytics.
In the past, it was difficult to measure traffic generated by Twitter to your websites, and this new service will make this easier.
Also, you can now just paste a full URL into a status update and Twitter will automatically shorten all links longer than 20 characters. Don’t worry, you can still utilize your favorite URL-shortener service, such as TinyURL or bit.ly. The real estate industry, myself included, loves Twitter and this is big product release for the microblogging service (view details on this new application).
In other big tech news, Hewlett-Packard (HP) confirmed that the company would be discontinuing its webOS operating system. If you remember, HP acquired Palm just last year. HP also announced that it was discontinuing its PC division and acquiring the British software company Autonomy.
HP has officially made the decision to ditch consumer products and focus its energies on enterprise platforms, a move that has certainly worked out for IBM. If you would like to learn more, check out "A simple explanation for why HP abandoned the Palm and is getting out of the PC business," written by John Gruber of Daring Fireball.
The TouchPad, HP’s tablet that runs on webOS, was supposed to genuinely compete with the iPad. That certainly didn’t last long. Apple has set an awfully high standard for the tablet industry and it’s going to take serious innovation to compete. That’s a good thing for consumers.