Research In Motion will lay off 2,000 of its employees, or about 10% of its total workforce, as part of a cost optimization program. “The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone,” the company said in a statement. The BlackBerry maker is also reorganizing several of its top management positions. RIM’s company statement does not mention any changes to the Co-CEO and Co-Chairman roles held by Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. RIM recently lost several executives, including the Vice President of digital marketing and media and the BlackBerry PlayBook senior product manager, to competitors including Samsung. Read on for the full press release. More →
Notice anything different with Google today? No? Neither did we. As announced back in January, Google co-founder Larry Page re-assumed his role as CEO of the Internet search giant today. The company’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, will move to the position of Executive Chairman. “We’ve been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time,” said Schmidt during the company’s Q4 earnings call back in January. “By clarifying our individual roles we’ll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I’m excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come.” Page briefly held the position of CEO in 2001 before turning the reins over to the more seasoned Schmidt. More →
According to patent filings discovered by Patently Apple, Cupertino-based tech company Apple may be working to bring a Spaces-like feature to its iPad tablet. Spaces, which first debuted in Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) back in 2007, allows users to manage multiple, virtual desktops to aid window organization and management — the feature has been standard in a handful of various Linux window environments for nearly a decade. It is unclear if the function will be used as a card-based application switcher, like the ones found on webOS and the BlackBerry PlayBook; as a true, multi-desktop, multi-tasking application; or if this is just another one of those things Apple decided to patent just in case. Either way, the feature looks interesting… we wouldn’t be opposed other tablet operating systems manufacturers re-engineering a feature like this for their own OS. More →
In a recent press release, mobile device giant Nokia announced a tentative, signed agreement that will jettison the commercial licensing rights of the Qt development platform to Digia. “Through the proposed acquisition, around 3500 desktop and embedded customer companies from various industries are targeted to be transferred to Digia,” reads the announcement. “The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March 2011.” Digia notes that Nokia will continue to “invest in the future development of Qt,” which has been under the LGPL license framework since 2009. The deal will hand control of commercial licensing and service operations over to Digia, who will broaden its global reach by opening offices in both the U.S. and Norway. The full release is after the break. More →
At an event last week in Boston, RIM VP Pete Devenyi said the company is exploring the possibility of introducing cross-platform solutions that would allow IT professionals to manage smartphones made by companies other than RIM. “BlackBerry is and will continue to be dominant in most corporations,” Devenyi said in an interview. “It’s not going to be the only device, given the fact that consumers have the choice to bring in their own devices, and IT departments are often letting them in. So there’s a question there: do those corporations have to manage those devices differently or is there the possibility that RIM might extend capabilities to make it easier for those corporations to manage those devices as well?” This is hardly the first time RIM has explored its competitors’ platforms as a possible way to widen its net. For years, RIM has been experimenting with a variety of cross-platform tools that might help the company develop new revenue channels. The most well-known example is likely RIM’s BlackBerry Application Suite, which we showed off exclusively two years ago. BAS would have allowed BlackBerry software to be installed on platforms like Windows Mobile and Symbian so that companies could deploy BlackBerry services on a variety of popular smartphone operating systems. The current state of RIM’s BAS software solution is unknown. More →
Today, Winamp announced a new, desktop version of its popular music management software, Winamp 5.6. When paired with Winamp for Android, the company boasts that its software is a “complete end-to-end music management solution for your desktop and Android device.” As the press release explains:
Winamp 5.6 features a new device management interface that supports wireless syncing of media, simple management of multiple connected devices and faster encoding and transferring of media to your devices over USB or WiFi. Stream media from a connected device without the need of transferring media to the local library. Wireless device syncing and streaming only available with Winamp for Android installed.
If you have an Android device, a Windows-based PC, and no particular allegiance to a media player, give the Winamp system a shot. After all, it really whips the llamas ass. More →
Will Dan Hesse’s woes never cease? In a sudden move this past week, yet another member of Sprint’s top management decided he had enough and went running for the hills. John Garcia, the now-former head of Sprint’s CDMA business, abruptly parted ways with the carrier and left Keith Cowan, president of strategy and corporate development, to pick up the pieces in his place. Sprint has made no official statement on the matter, which leaves the press to fill in the cracks with speculation – never a good thing. Garcia’s departure is the latest in a continuing trend of turnover, both voluntary and involuntary, among Sprint’s top dogs. After posting a staggering $326 million loss this past quarter and internally announcing a voluntary separation program, the last thing Hesse needed was yet another higher-up heading for the hills. Hopefully Cowan will turn out to be a bit less of a flight risk and Hesse can go back to figuring out how to keep the remainder of his 50.5 million subscribers from jumping ship.
We don’t cover many web apps here on BGR but every now and then we come across something we think a large number of our readers would really enjoy. This just so happens to be one of those times. We discovered this service last week and we have to say, we were impressed from the start. In a sentence, Soshiku is a management tool that allows users to schedule assignments, outline tasks, manage courses and collaborate on group assignments online – for free. Ahh, we love that last word and if you’re a student so do you. The Soshiku site is simple and well organized; within 10 minutes of signing up you’ll already have your courses entered and assignments lined up. The service even includes free configurable email and SMS notifications to communicate impending deadlines or tasks. Beyond that, Shosiku adds an extra layer of accessibility by allowing users to add new courses or assignments via email or SMS. In our testing, we really couldn’t think of anything the site creator didn’t cover – and did we mention he’s a 17-year-old student himself? We might not go as far as to say Soshiku makes schoolwork fun, but it will definitely keep you more organized than you’ve ever been before. Organization leads to increased efficiency and increased efficiency leads to more time to par… Well, more time to do whatever it is you enjoy doing.