This week, Adobe showed signs that it is ready to jump on the bandwagon moving from Flash to HTML5, Apple unveiled its pricing for iCloud including free storage, RIM touted new BlackBerry phones that would be unwise for nearly anyone to purchase, and Google lashed out after getting sick of everyone suing Android. Take a look at how they all scored.
Here's how the scoreboard works. Each Friday, we pick four of the biggest developments from the past week (Saturday to Friday): two positive and two negative. We grade each development with a score from +1 to +8 or -1 to -8. Then, we total it all up to give a score for the progress of tech civilization for the week.
Adobe releases HTML5 tool (+6)
While Adobe Flash is alive and well and scattered across the Web, its experience on mobile devices is wildly inconsistent and the technology itself is ultimately destined to be replaced by HTML5 in the years ahead. Adobe took a big step in that direction this week by releasing a beta tool called Adobe Edge that helps web designers build animations in HTML5 (instead of Flash). Adobe Edge got over 50,000 downloads in the first 24 hours. This is a important milestone to help sunset the buggy resource-hog Adobe Flash.
Apple reveals iCloud pricing (+1)
Apple opened up iCloud to developers this week, ahead of the full product launch this fall. The company also revealed details on storage and pricing. An iCloud account will be free and will come with 5GB of storage for mail, calendar, contacts, and productivity documents. Apple will also offer additional storage from $20/year for 10GB to $100/year for 50GB. That's better pricing than Dropbox (2GB free, $120/year for 50GB). Apple will also let you keep all of the media that you purchase through iTunes in iCloud for free (although technically it won't be stored in your individual file locker).
RIM announces new BlackBerry phones (-2)
Research in Motion announced next-gen versions of the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Torch this week. The devices will be picked up by multiple wireless carriers in the U.S. and abroad. However, they are running BlackBerry 7 OS, a lame duck platform that is destined to be replaced by phones powered by RIM's new QNX OS within the next year. As such, it's hard to recommend that anyone purchase one of these last-gasp BlackBerry OS phones.
Google whines about its Android patent problem (-3)
Android has been taking it on the chin from lawyers lately as Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple have been hammering away at Google and its Android hardware partners (especially Samsung and HTC) over patent infringement. Google apparently got fed up with all the legal drama this week and its chief legal officer lashed out against the "hostile organized campaign" against Android and accused Microsoft and Apple of conspiring to sue Android out of existence by buying up old Novell and Nortel patents. However, Microsoft struck back with documents showing it had actually invited Google to join in the bidding for the patents. Harry McCracken offers a nice synopsis of the fiasco.
Progress of tech civilization this week: +2
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.