Home Weekly Wrapup, 21-25 July 2008

Weekly Wrapup, 21-25 July 2008

It’s time to review the week that was on ReadWriteWeb. On the product side we compared Nokia and Apple in the Internet mobile phone market, explored the new-look Facebook, checked out MySpace’s moves to open up, and reviewed new products from Google and Microsoft. On the trends side we looked at what’s beyond the API, asked how much downtime is too much for Amazon’s online storage service, and analyzed the DRM implications of Yahoo! Music closing.

Web Products

Nokia vs Apple in The Internet Mobile Device Market

We’ve been as excited as everyone else about the iPhone 3G. But it’s easy to forget that the iphone is just a tiny player in the mobile phone market. Even if it hits Steve Jobs’ target of 10 million iphone sales by end of 2008, that will still be less than 1% of the mobile device market. To put it into perspective, Nokia remains the world’s biggest mobile handset maker with an estimated 40% of the market. Impressively Nokia has a very healthy lead over its competition. However if you look more closely, Nokia is slipping behind in the all-important Internet mobile device market.

See also: Blackberry is Not Microsoft (Sorry Apple)

Like Its Users, The New Facebook Is All Grown Up

Early this week, we told you that Facebook would be launching a new design and we briefly highlighted the coming changes. On Monday we received the official word from the Facebook team that the new profile had gone live. According to the company, access to the new design will be limited at first as it gradually becomes available to all of their more than 80 million users over the coming days. What’s most interesting about the new Facebook design, though, is not just the change in the aesthesis. Instead, the new look reflects the changing needs of their core user base.

See also: Facebook Keeps Growing – Still Far Behind MySpace in US

MySpace Aims to Win Developers’ Hearts With OpenID and User Data Caching

MySpace announced this week that it will become an OpenID authenticating party and offer developers a deeper level of access to user data than was previously available. As Facebook prepares to mark the one year anniversary of its heralded application platform and the new iPhone App Store lures developers with groundbreaking features and customers willing to pay for applications – competition for the attention of the developer community is heating up. Once again, when platforms compete for developers – users win.

Knol: Google Takes on Wikipedia

This week Google opened upKnol, its Wikipedia competitor, to the public after announcing a private beta of the service last December. Unlike Wikipedia, Knol puts a stronger emphasis on authorship and even encourages users to start different ‘knols’ for the same subject. Google is also serving up AdSense advertising on the site, whereas Wikipedia stays away from any advertising on its site.

See also: Take a Walk With Google Maps

Microsoft Makes Calendar Sync Work

For anyone who uses multiple calendars, you know that one of the big issues that’s being addressed by numerous applications is getting your calendars to sync up with each other. We’ve covered some solutions to this problem before, but we had not seen a truly integrated offering that allowed you to sync up a work calendar in desktop software with an onlne calendar without need of a third-party app of some sort…that is, until this week. It seems that Microsoft has finally given the people what they want and have provided a calendar sync tool that actually makes all of Microsoft’s calendaring programs work together.

See also: Live Mesh Goes Mobile and P2P – Mac Version Coming Soon


Web Trends

Beyond the API: Why Companies Should Have a Presence on All Major Platforms

Much has been written lately about the rise of the API.
Offering a programming interface to an online service is now standard practice amongst this generation of web companies. Through APIs, we get to enjoy a range of innovative Twitter clients, wide
availability of maps and location information, custom search engines, and more. However, delivering superior user experience
on major platforms should be as much of a priority as opening up via an API.

See also Alex’s other post this week: Top 10 Concepts That Every Software Engineer Should Know

More Amazon S3 Downtime: How Much is Too Much?

Earlier this week Amazon’s S3 online storage service experienced significant downtime. Allen Stern, who hosts his blog’s images on S3, reported that the downtime lasted over 6 hours. Startups that use S3 for their storage, such as SmugMug, also reported problems. Back in February this same thing happened. At the time RWW feature writer Alex Iskold defended Amazon, in a must-read analysis entitled Reaching for the Sky Through The Compute Clouds. But it does make us ask questions such as: why can’t we get 99% uptime? Or: isn’t this what an SLA is for?

Cartoon: Cloud Computing

The Final Days of DRM: Yahoo Music Store Closing, Will Eat Your Purchased Music

Digital Rights Management technology is dying, it’s becoming understood that hobbling tunes to enforce scarcity isn’t the best way to monetize the music business online. What about all the suckers who bought DRM laden music in recent years, though? When the Yahoo! Music Store closes its doors this fall, the company announced this week, past customers dependent on their music “phoning home” to get license approval before playing are out of luck. They’ll be able to continue playing purchased tracks on a single computer, until they make any changes to their operating system. The rise and fall of the Yahoo! Music Store will make for an interesting story some day, but for now the DRM story is particularly important.

See also: Three Hot Mixtape Services That Are Remaking the Art Form and eMusic Goes Web 2.0


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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