At the conclusion of this year’s WWDC, I remarked that the Apple of 2014 was starkly different from the Apple which had showed itself at events in prior years. For the first time, Apple had let its guard down with iOS, inviting developers to build third-party keyboards, invade the Notification Center drop-down screen, and talk openly about the changes in iOS 8. Refreshing doesn’t even begin to describe it.
But, as they say, actions speak a lot louder than words on a Keynote slide. This week’s blockbuster deal between one of the most influential outfits in consumer electronics (Apple) and an absolute behemoth in the enterprise space (IBM) speaks volumes about the former’s willingness to look beyond Cupertino for solutions. Pundits have been wondering where Apple’s next revenue hike would come from, and as it turns out, it may arrive from solutions created in conjunction with companies it used to call rivals. More →
Apple and IBM used to be the bitterest of arch-rivals in the personal computer market in the ’80s but now they’re teaming up to help bring iOS to more enterprise customers than ever before. Re/code reports that Apple and IBM have agreed to an exclusive new partnership that will “help companies deploy wireless devices and business-specific applications to run on them” using iOS as the primary platform. More →
IBM’s famous Watson supercomputer might be able to pummel the competition at Jeopardy, but the intelligent computer isn’t exactly a champion when it comes to generating revenue. In a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, the paper says that IBM CEO Virginia Rometty projected on a conference call this past October that Watson will generate $1 billion in revenue annually by 2018, and $10 billion in total sales over the next 10 years. On the same call, however, Rometty said that Watson’s cumulative revenue as of October 2013 was just $100 million despite the fact that the company has spent the past three years trying to turn Watson into a moneymaker. WSJ says that IBM remains confident that Waston will become one of its most important innovations ever, though, and current use cases include using Watson to power customer service systems and as the brains for various cloud-based apps and services.
Remember how excited many in the tech world were when a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers unveiled new legislation that would curb the power of patent trolls? Well it doesn’t take long for good ideas to die in Washington and The Washington Post reports that a key part of the proposed legislation has already been cut due in large part to lobbying from tech giants Microsoft and IBM. Apparently the two companies were particularly upset by a provision that would have made it much easier to invalidate low-quality software patents and they succeeded in getting the House Judiciary Committee to scrap it from the reform bill. More →
The days of IBM’s Watson supercomputer being satisfied with being a Jeopardy champion are over. IBM announced on Thursday that it is creating a cloud-based open platform for Watson that it hopes will “enable a worldwide community of software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with Watson’s cognitive computing intelligence.” Among the many apps that IBM’s platform partners are launching alongside the Watson platform are Fluid, an online retail app that “calls upon Watson’s ability to understand the nuances of human language and uncover answers from Big Data,” and Welltok, a health application that will let consumers have “conversations” with Watson and let it develop a series of health itineraries to meet their needs. IBM’s press release follows below. More →
IBM spoke of shrinking its intelligent supercomputer Watson down to smartphone size last summer, and now it appears that the company is getting close to achieving that goal. Watson, which gained notoriety by famously trouncing two champions on Jeopardy, will not initially come to smartphones as a stand-alone app like Siri or Google Now, though it could eventually give both services a run for their money. Instead, IBM will partner with a number of companies including ANZ Bank, Nielsen, Celcom, IHS, and Royal Bank of Canada, Forbes reports to have Watson power customer service systems for these companies. Watson will initially be accessible though Web chats, email, smartphone apps and SMS, and voice recognition functionality is expected to come in future versions of the offering. Apps that include this new “Ask Watson” feature are expected to begin rolling out in the next few months.
The iPad isn’t just the most popular tablet in the world right now, it’s also the most popular way to do your early holiday shopping on a mobile device as well. AllThingsD reports that new data released from IBM (IBM) shows that Apple’s (AAPL) iPad accounted for “nearly 10 percent of online shopping” traffic over the weekend, generating “more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone” among online shoppers. The iPhone came in second place with 8.7% of all online shopping traffic, followed by Android-based devices, which accounted for just 5.5% of all online shopping traffic.
Apple (AAPL) introduced its Siri voice assistant with the launch of the iPhone 4S last October and since then, a number of copycat apps have been made available. While all these services show potential, in their current state they are just too limited for everyday use. IBM (IBM) is looking to change that, however, with the help of its supercomputer Watson. Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, said that he always envisioned a voice-activated Watson that would answer questions based on location data, historical trends and scientific studies. More →
Bloomberg is reporting that IBM (IBM) is currently weighing considerable interest in Research In Motion’s (RIMM) enterprise services. This could include RIM’s network infrastructure the company uses for BIS and BES delivery, device to device encryption, network compression, and much more.
IBM made an informal approach about possibly acquiring the division, which operates a network of secure servers used to support its BlackBerry devices, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.
No party has shown interest in buying all of RIM or the division that makes its phones, and the Canadian company is inclined to wait for the rollout of BlackBerry 10 phones next year before making any decisions on a sale, the person said.
Facebook on Thursday acquired 750 patents from IBM in an effort to boost the company’s defense and counter new lawsuits, according to Bloomberg. The patents reportedly cover various technologies relating to software and networking. The acquisition would more than double the size of Facebook’s portfolio, which currently includes at least 56 issued patents and 503 filed U.S. patent applications. The patent acquisition comes after Yahoo, a business partner of Facebook, filed a massive patent infringement lawsuit against the social networking site. More →
Owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch can now enjoy a remake of the first-ever PC game, co-written by Bill Gates himself, which came pre-installed on several IBM computers in 1981. First released late last month, XVision’s DONKEY.BAS is a terrific recreation of the PC game by the same name. Players control a race car as it advances up the screen. Donkeys repeatedly come into view, and the simple goal is to switch lanes before colliding with any curious creatures. “We did this game as a tribute to the original,” XVision founder Johnny Ixe told BGR, noting that the firm added a number of new features to the game in order to distinguish it from the original. The spirit of the game remains, however, and gamers looking for a bit of nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better blast from the past. DONKEY.BAS is available now in the App Store for $0.99. More →