Will Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Be in the Number Two Spot by 2015?

International Data Corp. (IDC) released its statistics for cell phone use for the year 2011, which it believes will increase by 50%. What is of interest and being discussed around the Internet is its prediction that Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will take the number two position for cell phone use. What is raising the eyebrows of some is that the prediction seems to place Apple in the number three spot with its popular iPhone.

Since Nokia and Microsoft have joined forces recently, with Nokia agreeing to use Windows Phone 7 on future phones, rumors are circulating at a fevered pace. There is only one problem with all of the rumors and all of the predictions. Until Microsoft can show the world that its phone OS is a real contender, everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

What is not surprising is that few, if anyone, are buying this prediction. Citing the problems Microsoft had in developing an OS that can truly compete against Apple and Google, the problem is further exacerbated since Microsoft received a lukewarm reception in the tablet market. While Apple iOS and Google Android are blowing the competition away, why would anyone believe that Microsoft and Nokia can pull off a miracle?

Nokia will not have a Windows Phone 7 model available until at least 2012. With an industry that can change in a heartbeat, how can anyone know just how well the Windows Phone 7 will be accepted by the masses? Predicting four years down the road is an amazing feat that makes many wonder what is behind this.

Will it really be the superior hardware by Nokia and a Windows Phone 7 software that in combination together will make a super phone?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – ZDNet

Does Microsoft Windows Need To Do More Or Less In Future Versions?

There is little doubt that over the years we have seen Microsoft Windows continue to grow, into what some claim is now bloated beyond belief. Some have claimed that Microsoft has followed a pattern in their growing spurt as hard disks grew bigger, processors became faster and memory became cheaper. Microsoft also had no qualms in sharing the super sizing even for their prized software Microsoft Office.

Some have stated that this increase in size was needed as the operating system carried more of the load, offered my options, included more software such as DVD writing and other applications. Microsoft Office was also called upon to do more for their clients which in turn added to its growth in size. So if you run both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office latest editions, you saw a definite increase in size.

What also is bringing attention to Microsoft is that while the bigger computer cousins like desktop and laptops can handle the load, smaller hardware like netbooks and tablets struggle pushing the Windows code. Even though Microsoft has shrunk Windows down to a bare minimum these devices still struggle. While over at Apple and Google their operating systems thrive on lean hardware.

However, if it was that simple to compare Microsoft Windows to Apple iOS or Google Chrome, the argument would be easy. Except that there are distinct differences that separate these operating system for the specific needs of the consumer. So putting this argument aside and also the argument that Windows contains outdated code etc. , is Windows too bloated?

Hold on say some to this notion. They like the way Windows 7 functions plus they enjoy all of the new bells and whistles. They argue that they do not care how big Windows is because Windows works just fine on their desktop or laptop computers. In addition some want Windows to increase what it does and add more features. With the new hard drive sizes they feel that Windows getting larger is a none event.

One comment that I found of interest was from those who have chosen to put Windows on a SSD drive and store their data on a traditional hard disk. They complain that this type of system doesn’t function perfectly since Windows seems to feel that all software should be installed in the Programs file directory. Microsoft would have to address this problem, which some feel will not happen anytime soon.

How this idea? The user gets to choose what gets installed on a system and where it gets installed? This suggestion, coupled with a modular type of Windows, seems very popular.

Personally I don’t care. Windows 7 runs great on my systems and I have no complaints. The days of calling Windows or Office bloated make no sense, since the hard disks we have become so huge, and performance hasn’t suffered because of faster processors and more memory, the argument is a moot point to me.

So what do you think?

Source – Windows 7 News Forum

5 Great Free iOS Apps

Modern mobile platforms have changed the way many look at mobile computing. Your social interaction, finances, planning, time management, and entertainment can travel with you in your pocket instead of forcing you to use a bulkier notebook computer. To date, the iOS platform has brought millions of users to this environment previously dominated by pricey PDAs and business-class smartphones.

Below is a quick list of five apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) that have become a big part of my daily routine.

Pandora Radio
Everyone has their own taste in music, and in the past we used to rely on local radio stations to hear something new. With the growing popularity of the Internet, music took on a new form and online radio stations began bringing new sounds to people all over the world. Even with this fantastic leap forward, the music you heard was typically limited by the disk jockey’s selection and personal preferences. This is where streaming music services like Pandora come in.

Pandora uses an algorithm to match your personal musical taste to a specific style. It learns what you like and what you don’t through a Digg-like up or down system allowing you to tell it when you like a particular song or don’t care much for it. You can also tell it the name of an artist or song and it will find similar matches and work from there.

With their iOS app, you’re able to take this customized music stream on the road with you and enjoy it wherever you are as if you were listening to a purchased song collection of your very own. If you really like a particular track, you can purchase it with a click.

TweetDeck
Being able to manage one social network account is easy, two is more difficult, three is a big hassle. TweetDeck allows its users to manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts in a format that’s a little easier than having to switch between multiple programs.

While TweetDeck, in my opinion, certainly isn’t the best Facebook client, it does a good job of keeping the news feed in order. Being able to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously without having to use apps that can send updates meant for a single network to both accidentally is another big plus of the program.

WordPress
Managing your blog from the road can be a real pain if you have to drag the notebook out, find a Wi-Fi signal, and make sure you have an outlet nearby because your notebook is constantly running low on power. One solid solution to this for me has been the WordPress app. It allows me to moderate comments, edit old posts, create new ones, change publishing options, and view articles on the fly.

In some ways, this app on the iPad is easier to manage and use than the WordPress administrative dashboard you log in to from a desktop or notebook PC.

Wikipanion
Out of all the reference apps currently installed on my iPad, none has had more impact on how I do quick checks than Wikipanion. Wikipedia is a giant source of information and having an app optimized to present its information on a mobile platform is incredibly useful.

Dropbox
This app is a quick way to get to your files from the road when you’re away from your system and need to check something on the go. The free 2GB of storage Dropbox offers customers allows you to sync your photos, documents, and other important files in the cloud as well as on your local drive. Using this app, you are able to access all of these files from your iOS device without having to open a laptop, remote in to your home machine, or bother with maintaining a home server.

I’ve used this app on numerous occasions to transfer a file from a private folder on Dropbox to a public one allowing me to download the file from a machine I didn’t trust with the password to the entire account. Once the file was downloaded to the machine, I got back on my iPad and moved the file back to its original place secured on the Dropbox server.

While these are my top 5 free iOS apps, they may not be everyone’s favorite. It comes down to the individual and what they want to get out of their mobile experience. Comments are more than welcome.

What are your favorite free iOS apps?

Apple Releases iOS 4.3

During last week’s iPad 2 event, Steve Jobs announced the release of iOS 4.3 with the shipment of the iPad 2. Although iOS 4.3 was announced to be released on Friday with the iPad 2, Apple gave us a small present of releasing it two days early.

iOS 4.3 has numerous updates to speed up the device considerably and include tethering on the AT&T iPhone 4. One of the main features Apple wants to highlight is the new Nitro JavaScript engine, which will increase Safari’s browsing speeds. Included in this update are enhancements with AirPlay and iTunes Home Sharing.

One of the features iPhone 4 owners will be anxious to get their hands on is the Personal Hotspot used for sharing Wi-Fi to other devices.

iPad owners will be joyous to find in iOS 4.3 that allows them to use the hardware switch on the side of the iPad to lock the orientation. Apple built in the ability to change that button to mute the audio with this newest update.

It is easy to update your iDevice to iOS 4.3: just plug in your device to iTunes and click “Check for Update” on the device menu.

This update contains new features and improvements, including the following:

  • Personal Hotspot*: Share iPhone 4 cellular data connections with up to 5 devices (combination of up to 3 Wi-Fi, 3 Bluetooth, and 1 USB)
  • iTunes Home Sharing: Play music, movies and TV shows from a shared iTunes library on a Mac or PC (requires iTunes 10.2)
  • New AirPlay features**: Play videos from the Photos app including the Camera Roll album, iTunes previews, enabled third-party apps, and Web sites on Apple TV; play slideshows from photos on Apple TV using transitions available on Apple TV
  • Faster Safari performance with Apple Nitro JavaScript engine
  • HD video out using the Apple Digital AV Adapter***: View 720p HD videos from Videos app, iPod app, Photos, YouTube, Safari, Keynote, and enabled third-party apps on an HDMI display
  • Ping features: Push notifications for comments and follow requests; post and like songs directly from the Now Playing screen; parental controls
  • New Settings: Messages setting for number of times to repeat an alert; iPad side switch setting to lock screen rotation or mute audio notifications and sound effects; single tap conference call dialing with a pause to send a passcode
  • Bug fixes

*Requires iPhone 4 with tethering data plan
**Requires Apple TV (2nd generation) running software version 4.2 or later
***iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch (4th generation)

Having Trouble Calming a Newborn? There’s an App for That

New parents are often hit with the reality that calming a newborn isn’t always easy. Rocking, cuddling, patting, holding, changing, feeding, and even singing doesn’t always work. What if there was an app that recreated sounds a baby hears inside the womb? A couple in Cedar Park, TX did just that with amazing results.

Baby Shusher is an app made for the iOS (Android coming soon) that plays a shushing sound very similar to the one a baby would hear inside the womb as their mother breathes. The noises of the real world are incredibly different and often stressful for a newborn to feel comfortable in, which can cause nighttime fussiness.

This app isn’t intended to replace the parent, and it is only effective for the first four months of childhood. There is a concern among some that an app like this can become a crutch for new parents, replacing the need to check their newborns to see if there is something else causing the fuss. Still, this app can be an interesting tool in the parental toolbox, and if there is one thing geeks love it’s having many tools for the job.

The app is available for $4.99 in the App Store and has become an instant hit in the Austin area. While the app isn’t free, imagine what it could save you in coffee the next morning.

Apple Reduces Original iPad Prices by Over $100

While you might be shaking your head at the slightly less impressive second generation iPad, you may want to take a glance at the Apple store online where 16GB Wifi iPads are selling at $350 for refurbished models and $399 for factory fresh. In my experience, refurbished Apple products are just as reliable and shiny as their newer counterparts. Screens are typically replaced, and testing is done to make sure the product works exactly like it should.

Whether you’re looking for something brand new or refurbished, the announcement today didn’t give much reason for an upgrade unless you really want to use the iPad as a camera or make video calls. The faster processor is a plus if you use the iPad for a lot of video editing and/or heavy gaming.

Here are some of the new prices for the original iPad:

  • Wi-Fi Models
    • 16GB – $399
    • 32GB – $499
    • 64GB – $599
  • 3G + Wi-Fi Models
    • 16GB – $529
    • 32GB – $629
    • 64GB – $729

Below are new prices for refurbished original iPads:

  • Wi-Fi Models
    • 16GB – $349
    • 32GB – $429
    • 64GB – $529
  • 3G + Wi-Fi Models
    • 16GB – $479
    • 32GB – $559
    • 64GB – $659

Apple iPad 2 Launch Recap

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was on stage today introducing a completely new design of the iPad — the iPad 2. As he said in his statement this morning, this is not a tweaked or slightly improved device: this is something new.

The event was booming with Steve Jobs boasting about the 2010 iPad success, selling nearly 15 million iPads in the first year of sales.

Finally, something us iPad owners have asked for since iOS4 came out, users can now set the iPad 2 to use the button on the side to lock the rotation or mute the device.

One surprising turn of events is the number of colors available. Along with a black version, it will also come in white, with the 3G version available on Verizon and AT&T from day one. Launch day is March 11 in the US, March 25 everywhere else.

The iPad will run on iOS 4.3 and features improved AirPlay settings, which let you share media between the iPad and other devices. As always, iTunes sharing is built-in when you are on the same network as your computer.

More highlights from Steve Jobs:

  • 33% thinner than the first iPad, 8.8mm thick, down from 13.4 mm.
  • Comes in both black and white.
  • Dual-core processor — that’s twice as fast as the first.
  • Graphics are nine times faster.
  • Both front and rear-facing cameras.
  • Six different versions: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB that come with and without 3G support.
  • Same battery life as the original iPad.
  • HDMI compatible

[Thanks to Macworld for image]

Free iPhone Dice Roller Apps for D&D Players

You are sitting in a dark room surrounded by elves, dwarves, mages, clerics, and even the occasional paladin, “What do you do?”

This is a question that typically would be followed by a handful of dice being shaken furiously, dropped, and quickly counted to determine if the action taken is a success or a miserable failure. In today’s fast-paced D&D sessions, counting a 10d6 roll (10 6-sided dice) can take too long. This is where technology comes in.

Below is a short list of free apps available for the iPhone that can help streamline your game.

Dungeon Dice Roller
This free app is about as simple as it gets. You have a choice between a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Once you select the kind of die you wish to use, you hit roll to generate a random number within the die’s range. Unfortunately, you can only roll a single die at a time making the app pretty weak for high die-count rolls.

Dice Roller Touch
This app adds a bit more support for rolls requiring more dice than the Dungeon Dice Roller, though its interface certainly isn’t breathtaking. It does the job though, and works fairly well. If you’re looking for an interface that you can touch a d20 button three times to roll 3d20 then this app might just be for you.

Dice Bag
Dice Bag is, like Dungeon Dice Roller, a single-roll at a time app. You have photos of the different roll sets you can choose from including all of the traditional D&D die styles including d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d100, and a set of 3d6. A simple touch on the style of die you wish to roll gives you a canned roll sound the GM can be happy about as well as a color-coded result to insure there isn’t any funny business. This is one of my personal favorites to have with me when I go to a D&D game.

PocketDice
PocketDice gives you the ability to roll different styles of dice at the same time. You can do a roll of 3d6 or 4d6 + 1d20 or any other combination you can fit on the table. This app also utilized physics to create a MotionX style rolling experience. The downside is that a total isn’t automatically displayed on the screen so this app doesn’t really have much to offer in terms of time savings over traditional physical dice. In fact, the use of colors makes it difficult to read. I’m also noticing an issue with crashing on the iPod touch.

Feudz Free Dice Roller (Matt’s Pick)
Perhaps my favorite in this list is the Feudz roller. Everything from coin flips to D100 and custom rolls are supported in this free app. In fact, you can save frequently used formulas to keep from having to reenter them each time you launch the app. This is a brilliant tool for any table-top gamer whether you’re in to slaying dragons or hacking corporate systems in a CyberPunk 2020 setting.

Crit d20 Dice Roller
Crit d20 gives you a simple interface without a lot of hassle. You can mix and match dice styles and see individual counts as well as a grand total. For players that want a fast app that has a powerful set of features, Crit d20 is a strong offer.

Quick Roll
Quick Roll gives you a list of common saves you roll throughout a typical D&D game. Initiative, spell resistance, attack, defend, and many skill rolls are supported with this app. This is a great choice for players that are new to D&D and just want to enter their information once with only occasional updates.

Things to Do with Your Old iPad When iPad 2 Arrives

The iPad 2 is rumored to be announced on March 2nd and many avid Apple fans are already checking their savings accounts in preparation for the new device. I thought I might put together a list of ways to repurpose your old iPad instead of putting it away in the closet.

Digital Photo Frame
Thanks to apps like Hulu Plus and Netflix, many are already using their iPads for media consumption, however one easily overlooked feature is the built-in ability of the iPad to work as a digital photo frame. Since you probably wouldn’t carry two iPads around with you everywhere you go, setting the old one up at home or work on outlet power and configuring it as a photo frame should be a breeze.

Family Message Center
Leaving messages for family members is often done on a notepad attached to the refrigerator, by the front door, and even stickied to computer monitors. You can free yourself from a mountain of paperwork by setting the old iPad up somewhere in the house as a message center. You can make it really easy to leave a message by moving Notepad, a voice memo app, and a sketch book app to the dock.

Recipe Appliance
We generally don’t bring the iPad in to the kitchen during food preparation in fear that something might get inadvertently slung on the device that would require extensive cleaning before we can take it to another room. This fear is greatly diminished with the iPad set up in a nice protective case that can be easily cleaned. Sadly, these super  protective cases are rarely the ones that you want to carry around with you all day. They can be bulky and cumbersome. Having a new iPad frees up your old one for this important and productive role.

24/7 Live Stream Viewer
I love watching live streams on the web. Chris Pirillo, TWiT, and other shows offer live streams that have a tendency to take up valuable screen real-estate. Stopping the live stream every time I check email on the iPad is annoying, but not so much with a dedicated device. The same repurposing can be used with Netflix and Hulu Plus in mind. Sometimes, you just want to have media playing on the side of your primary desktop rather than being a part of it.

How to Choose Between Android and the iPhone

When considering a choice between one mobile platform and another, there are a lot more factors to consider than your carrier will mention. Sure, they’ll tell you one platform is taking off and the other isn’t. They’ll try to lure you in with processor speeds and storage capacity and even bring you the latest batch of gibberish about screen size. These are important factors, but sometimes it’s what isn’t said that makes a difference.

When reading the points below, I’m sure more than a few Windows phone users will want to point out where that platform is better or worse. Fact is, I haven’t had the opportunity to try one of the new Windows mobile devices yet, so I’m sticking to what I know.

Do you like the OS as it is, or will you expect regular updates?
When the Samsung Galaxy S series came out, customers flocked to what appeared to be the most powerful and robust device on the Android platform, myself included. I purchased the Samsung Captivate which featured a 1ghz processor and a giant screen running on Android OS 2.1. At the time, Samsung and AT&T had both mentioned the phone would quickly be updated with the current version 2.2 OS as soon as it was ready. It’s been almost a year now and this update never came. Problems that linger from 2.1 are still an issue on this phone and I’m pretty much stuck with it for 2 years.

The iPhone, on the other hand, has updates immediately available to everyone across the board as long as they have a phone within the past few generations. In the realm of keeping the software up to date, the iPhone pulls out ahead.

Do you expect apps to run consistently no matter what hardware you purchased?
One thing about the Android platform that stunned me when I actually purchased one of these phones is how hard the software is to make compatible across different devices. In my day-to-day job, I occasionally have to conduct interviews where an audio recording can come in handy. Having purchased “the most powerful” Android device of its time, I expected just about any voice recorder app to work just fine. I purchased five of them, and not one of them was compatible with the Samsung Captivate. They work great on the EVO and Nexus One but apparently they don’t run so well on others. Not having the ability to upgrade my OS also causes severe problems when it comes to purchasing apps.

The iPhone has a particular set of hardware developers are able to work with so their code is expected to work across the board on their phones. One drawback, however, is that some of the more complex programs that take advantage of the 3Gs and the iPhone 4’s more powerful processor can choke on the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. Thankfully, you can see this issue clearly on the app’s summary page that lets you know which devices are compatible.

Do you want to completely customize your UI?
Probably the best feature on the Android platform for me was the ability to use widgets on your main screens. A Google search bar, Pandora player, Facebook summary, and Twitter all run side-by-side with shortcuts on the GUI. Within an hour of owning an Android phone I was easily over my loss of the iPhone based on this feature alone. For me, the user experience is about seeing data quickly and easily without having to search for and launch programs.

The iPhone has come with a lingering promise to make this possible down the line, and they’ve made a start with the media player controls on iOS 4 being  accessible with a double-tap of the home key and a swipe. Rumor has it that iOS 5 will step up the multitasking a bit and allow for widgets, but I wouldn’t base a purchasing decision on a rumor.

Do you run Windows, OSX, or Linux?
This question is never asked by the carrier rep when they’re attempting to pair you with a new phone. It’s a very legitimate question considering some phones don’t sync well with some operating systems. When I got my Android 2.1 phone home I was a little shocked to discover that it didn’t Sync with Mac OSX out of the box like it did with my Windows machine. There is a workaround that makes this possible, though in the world of user experience, having to do a workaround to make a mobile device sync with a desktop isn’t good.

The same applies to Linux users, though they tend to be a heartier crowd that gets a case of the giddies when faced with a compatibility obstacle. Sorry Linux lovers out there but I run Fedora 14 on my work laptop and nothing makes my IT guy happier than being able to show off his skills by debugging the kernel when the video card stops functioning.

The iPhone syncs where iTunes is present. Linux users have found workarounds and jail breaking tends to make life easier for them. While iTunes isn’t everyone’s favorite program, I’ve found it to be a lot more pleasant and easy to use then Samsung Keis, which only runs on Windows.

No matter what platform you choose for your mobile experience, it’s important to look at a lot more than just the screen size or processor clock speed. You need to make sure that your phone fits your expectations. For some, Android is a brilliant platform that gives users more choice. To others, the iPhone represents a solid user experience that is consistent across the board. Which platform works best for you?

Microsoft Suggests 6 Ways To Speed Up Your PC

With all of the television advertisements from companies claiming to have the secret cure to speed up your PC, Microsoft has six easy ways to do it on your own. These six easy steps are nothing new and have been used for years by most people who consider themselves guru’s. In addition to these suggestions, there are also other free software for you to use to keep your computer running fast.

Step #1. Remove spyware from your computer. I recommend using the free version of Malwarebytes. You will also need a good anti-virus program and I am using the free edition of Avast on my Windows 7 boxes. Others like the free program from Microsoft called Security Essentials. Another program that gets mentioned is AntiVir personal edition.

Step #2. Free up disk space. Microsoft recommends using their Disk Cleanup tool. I personally like CCleaner or Glary Utilites. Both of these tools do a very good job of cleaning out the junk and gunk that can clog up your operating system.

Step #3. Use the Disk Defragmentation built into Windows. This according to Microsoft will speed up access to your data. There is much controversy as to the benefits of defragging a hard disk. My personal opinion is that I recommend doing it. There are free programs such as Defraggler or Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Step #4. Also recommended is checking your disk for errors using the check disk utility. Here’s how:

  1. Close all open files.
  2. Click Start, and then click Computer.
  3. In the Computer window (My Computer in Windows XP), right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check Now button.
  6. In the Check Disk dialog box (called Error-checking in Windows 7), select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.

Step #5. If you are using Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft recommends using Ready Boost. According to Microsoft, Ready Boost can help speed up your system. IMO your results may vary.

Steps #6. Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 7. This suggestion is of course, if and only if, your computer can support Windows 7.

I have read and suggest to those who are new to computers to read the free .pdf manual, ‘Windows On Speed: Ultimate Acceleration Manual’. You can get your free copy here.

Windows On Speed: Ultimate Acceleration Manual

What suggestions do you have to speed up a Windows computer?

Comments welcome.

Source – Microsoft

What’s The Difference Between CDMA and UMTS?

Now that the Verizon iPhone is being sold on a different network, questions arise on the difference between Verizon and AT&T’s 3G networks. AT&T happens to use a wireless technology called UMTS and Verizon uses CDMA.

AT&T’s method uses Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. UMTS is built on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, which is the basis for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE). AT&T network shares lots of these traits so the iPhone and other phones on the AT&T network are able to travel around the world and be compatible on almost any network.

GSM and UMTS technology is used worldwide. Meaning, UMTS phones can easily be moved from one UMTS network to another, making them perfect for international use.

On the flip side, Verizon uses Code Division Multiples Access (CDMA); this type of network utilizes bandwidth more effectively than other network times and is often considered more efficient. The advantage CDMA has over UMTS callwise is soft handovers. Instead of switching from one tower to the other, CDMA can receive signals from multiple towers simultaneously. This not only lowers dropped call rates, but the switch is smoother and almost undetectable.

Both phones have advantages and disadvantages. For one, CDMA can’t use a SIM card and switching from handset to handset is difficult. UMTS devices also tend to have faster download and upload rates over CDMA. Where CDMA ultimately lacks is the ability to carry voice and data simultaneously. It cannot be done; AT&T phones can have a call and surf the Internet, but Verizon phones can only do one at a time.

A vast majority of the users on both networks will not notice any difference and only the most advanced users will be able to notice the differences. Calls in general will not drop as frequently on the Verizon network. AT&T does have slightly faster 3G speeds but it isn’t noticeable. And last, AT&T network is only able to take voice calls and surf the Web at the same time.

These results and differences won’t last for long. Verizon’s new LTE network is supposedly able to handle both voice and data at the same time and will bring even faster 4G speeds to the table. For now you have your information and users can decide which service they find better.

Apple Now Worth More Than $300 Billion

Apple this last year has turned out to be a great success, with the launch of the 4G iPod Touch, iPhone 4, and iPad their marked capitalization has sky rocketed. Not to mention all the attention rumors that have been encircling the company Apple is seeing a huge profit margin and is gaining day by day.

Going into this new year Apple has surpassed $300 billion in market capitalization. This is a huge title for Apple to place on their wall of success because only one other company has more than $300 billion in market capitalization. This is achievement in relation to the number of new Mac sold is out standing, last quarter Apple reported it sold 3.89 million Macs, that works out to about 1 Mac sold ever 2 seconds! Think! By the time your read the end of this sentence another Mac will be sold.

At last check on this Monday at about 5pm EST, the current price of Apple Inc. shares is 329.75, up 7 point from the start of trading. This gives Apple Inc. an approximate market capitalization of $302.47 billion.

Apple has had record earning throughout this year, thanks in part to the booming success of the iPad and iPhone 4. Their estimated reported units sold pans out to 3.89 million Macs, more than 9 million iPods, 14.1 million iPhones, and 4.19 million iPads in Apples fourth quarter alone.

For those looking over the past numbers, just eight months ago, Apple Inc. estimated worth was around $223 billion, making it the world’s most valuable technology company, putting them ahead of rival Microsoft.

Another comparison is that Apple Inc. is now worth roughly six times the value of Facebook, which was just recently rated at $50 billion.

Apple is in total the world’s second most valuable company, topped only by Exxon Mobil Corporation, which is valued at $376 billion in market capitalization. No fear, Apple is hot on their heels and could see a major change in earnings towards the end of 2011.

Bankers With iPads Signals The End For RIM

If I was Research In Motion, I’d be selling the farm. Despite every new phone, every valiant effort they’ve pushed forward to make their phones and devices to look more business friendly that iOS offering, Apple continues to destroy them.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have much love for the BlackBerry devices…of yesterday. But rather than doing something completely new and different like Windows Phone 7, the latest RIM devices feel like a bad replica of something using Android. Worse, was the invention of the app store. Something RIM has to compete against with both Apple and Google now.

The takeaway here is that bankers with iPads is signalling the end of RIM and I am fairly sure the stock market is going to be reflecting this in a strong way here very soon despite apparent gains made today. The problem isn’t so much the devices themselves, rather the walled garden for messaging that is BES and the competition with mobile apps. An area where the biggest competitors were once Palm, Microsoft and RIM has blown up to Google, Microsoft, RIM and Apple. RIM cannot compete and even Microsoft, has their work cut out for them.

At this point RIM’s only prayer in my book is to make a Palm like move and dump the BlackBerry experience as we once knew it. But unlike Palm’s (now HP) WebOS approach, logic would dictate begging Microsoft for access to their wares or at best, look to Android. Why? Simple, because RIM needs a real app market place in order to have a hope in the world of competing. Apps are now defining the success of mobile devices, not just the experience and usability they provide.

Apple’s Explosive Holiday Season

There is really no question that Apple products are selling like they’re going out of style. Unfortunately for some people in the tech industry trying to compete, they are not going out of style. Apple is simply explosive this holiday season.

What’s driving this trend of Apple success? The iOS related products and the apps that run on the platform. Despite Android’s success, Apple has managed to centralize their sales into a select number of great products. With other mobile platforms, things are spread amongst a number of different devices.

As to whether or not Apple can keep hot on the holiday trail remains to be seen. But something tells me that so long as no major recalls take place, Apple is in a strong position to keep strong sales continuing through the new year.