Smartphones

Tech scoreboard: Google's pity party, Adobe goes HTML5

Here is a scoreboard of the winners and losers in tech for the week ending August 5. See why Adobe, Apple, Research in Motion, and Google made the list.

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

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

36 comments
delvideo
delvideo

I've been on the yahoo dole for a long time and for the most part when they have upgraded it has turned out to be okay but this new iteration is clunky and irritating, the mail doesn't scroll the way one expects it to ( the whole stinkin' browser page rolls away) and for some reason it has lost my password and the security questions are ones I have never seen before-so of course all my responses are wrong. I understand the old saw about if it ain't broke don't fix it but for crying-out-loud why would they take something that pretty much works and just break it. I don't get it.

totefrosch
totefrosch

This week's introduction of the NEW YAHOO MAIL wasn't worth a mention? I am very curious because it was a total failure for me.

bigjude
bigjude

I thought only women and children were supposed to squabble

dhohls
dhohls

Ubuntu One also offers 5GB for free; plus $30/year for 20GB storage. That's $90/year for 60GB. Cheaper than DropBox or Apple's offering. However; I am not sure about the quality or reliability of the service? And are there other options that just as (or more) "solid" but cheaper?

billyg
billyg

When I saw Adobe CS 5.5 I was a bit taken aback... then I saw it as their on ramp to an urgent new path. I got it. This is big. When Microsoft admits that Silverlight with all its strengths and advantages over flash is also ready for EOL, then the market will (rightly) focus on the big HTML 5 push. I think this will shape the industry for at least 5 years. Kudos for giving this one its due.

dan.wildcat
dan.wildcat

We live in the times of Technical Patent Wars. Google is running up against what all of these tech giants are facing. Strange company purchases for outlandish amounts are often more about gaining hardware and software patents than anything else. It's the war that sits just below the surface with these companies. The question that has be asked is: will the war over patents eventually bog down development in the tech industry to the point where there's nothing new under the sun? I think this is why the President, congress, and other economic leaders are starting to look more into patent laws as a way to stimulate job growth. It's not a glorious topic to discuss in an article but a very important one none-the-less. Keep an eye on it.

edguyer@hotmail.com
edguyer@hotmail.com

I understand their reasoning for not joining in the bidding for the patents. If they partnered with Microsoft/Apple for the patents, they would have had to automatically pay Microsoft their share of the perceived value of the patents for each device sold. Think of it this way. You and a friend buy a cabin in the woods or at the beach. This home cost you $500,000, your half. Your friend then starts letting people use the house all the time and you lose enjoyment of the home. You still have to pay your half of the mortgage, utility bills, maintenance, etc but you would not get the use of it. You would demand that either your friend start making these people pay or you want him to buy your half out. If Google bought the patents with Microsoft and Apple they would have tacitly been implying the patents were applicable to their technology and had some value. Buy taking Microsoft and Apple on as a partner they would have been putting themselves in a position of having to charge a license fee to fulfill their business obligation to Microsoft and Apple as their patent partner. It was brilliant on Microsoft Apple alliances part. Nearly no way they could lose this in a public fight because most people would not realize the implications.

maj37
maj37

One additional comment but not about the article. I really wish sites would stop using DISQUS for their discussion blogs. I have so much trouble getting signed on to sites that use that junk it drives me crazy(er).

dominoscr
dominoscr

No matter what is written in this article there will be people who have to voice their discontent. I like it!!! Humanity +3 for rage. 8)

maj37
maj37

MikeChablis, Give it up Jason is what he is, if you don't like it read someone else's columns. If you read Jason you are going to get the Apple bias and the Apple rival anti-bias as well. You didn't really expect him to compare Apple's cloud pricing to a rival that had better pricing did you. Same for the Blackbery, why would anyone want to buy a phone with an OK OS keep it for 2 years and then buy a phone with an OS that has had a year to mature, sheesh makes no sense at all. mark

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

And perhaps you should talk with some Adobe Flash Builder developers before confusing the release of an HTML5 graphic motion tool with the end of their commitment to Flash. Flash is far more than animations. I can't even begin to tell you how far you are from understanding what's going on. Each time I read your articles, I wonder whether you are just trying to generate flame traffic with your outrageous statements or whether you are as oblivious as you come across. Either way, this is the worst kind of journalism....Geraldo style.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

Google extra storage $5 for 20GB = $.25 per GB Apple iCloud extra storage $20 for 10GB = $2 per GB Apple price is 800% of Google price for extra storage. Headline: "Apple Storage Cheaper than DropBox" And this one...." buggy resource-hog Adobe Flash".....compared to some other rich client runtime that runs on all platforms???

tilshiloh
tilshiloh

I like the fact that you placed them as winners. Even though their pride must be hurt, since putting up a HUGE fight with Stevy J. Adobe understands that the best thing for your company is to remain profitable. Ignoring developers and hardware makers because of invested interests would not have been the best thing for them to do.

fred64
fred64

I had the same issue with scrolling -- turns out they added options about how you want the screen to scroll. I wish Yahoo would spend more time adding useful features, like an ability to search for more mail from the same sender. I can't even copy their email address to paste in the search bar without a lot of hoops. WTF? I stick with yahoo, because I've had them since their first year. However, if Gmail ever adds sort buttons to their headers -- I'm gone.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Between 'This American Life', 'Morning Edition', and 'All Things Considered', I've heard at least four stories on the subject.

grayknight
grayknight

Now they will have to pay a license fee for any tech that violates these patents, rather than be one of the owners of the patent. So in your example, if they want to use any part of the house, they'll have to pay now, whereas if they had bought with the group, they could use whatever they wanted without paying more.

seanferd
seanferd

How is that relevant here? Oh, and nice job voting down Jason's comment, whomever that was. What was the point of that?

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

We have our own custom community platform (forums) built using open source tools.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

Maybe Jason should try putting some research and facts into his article and then there can be an intellectual discussion about it rather than ferocious reactions.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

I see the headlines, open the article, cringe, imagine the pro-apple, anti-google zealots pumping their fists in the air.... then I feel some weird obligation to say something. If there was anything, and I mean anything of technical value in the article, I'd discuss IT but alas, there is nothing.....nada......just some third hand conclusions about the demise of ..... all the non apple competition. It is hard to believe they gave this guy a pulpit although Jason probably founded the "Tech Republic" and gave it to himself and I am apparently supporting it by WASTING my time commenting on this garbage.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

I actually wanted to mention Google in the cloud storage issue, but I was trying to keep this piece short and to the point. A lot of people are going to think of iCloud in comparison to Dropbox, that's why I chose that comparison. Some people may drop Dropbox once iCloud launches. Very few of them are going to quit using Google services. However, once iCloud launches, I'll likely do a dedicated article that directly compares iCloud against Google's services. Google will obviously stack up well. The biggest thing it's missing is a local sync folder like you get with Dropbox (remember all of the GDrive rumors?).

cjross
cjross

How many time shave you had to clear the temp Java files in the past month on your "platform independant" applications? There is a price to pay for universal functionality. This may be old school, but aren't 500gb portable hard drives going for $70 = $0.14/GB

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

Adobe introduced HTML5 support in DreamWeaver CS5 early in 2010. Despite this, Jason has gotten a big scoop by declaring the release of Edge as an indication of the evidence that Adobe has dropped Flash in favour of HTML5. ..enough breath....keystrokes wasted.......

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

The analogy would be that Google built a house, and then Microsoft and Apple showed up and said, hey, we have blueprints for a house just like that, so you have to let us move in. It doesn't matter that they all use the same architects and subcontractors. 99.9% of these patents are BULL!

SoftwareArchitect
SoftwareArchitect

I rarely bother to read techrepublic material these days, let alone comment. My impression is that it has just about all become link-bait. Throw up a short poorly researched op-ed in the guess of an informational article, stand back, watch to see who flames who and how much searchable link-bait they generate for you; combine this with traffic-based advertising revenue and you have a minimal-effort, scalable profit-generating machine. Of course, there is no real journalism in this business plan. I'm not picking on Jason; he's not a bad person or a horrible writer, he's just participating in a media-machine of dubious real value. I do recall several worthwhile articles he has written, and I think it's too bad that he doesn't do more of that. I believe most anyone would find it difficult to continually create valuable content on a timely basis if they were in the same publishing-grind as Jason is. My personal advice: When you see "trash" journalism, don't bother to reward it with discussion. However, if you do comment, no matter what the topic is or what your perspective is, make your words count! Write thoughtfully and share your viewpoint without resorting to flames, rhetoric, or dogma. Leave every conversation a better one for your participation.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

you IBM lover, you. I'll bet you've never written that first critical word about a System/36. Geez, I'll bet you pee IBM blue and have 'Watson' pajamas. :D

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

reading that article, it makes some general conclusions about what tablets (not any particular kind) are good for and not good for. Is there any particular sentence in there where you criticize Apple?? please point it out to me. On the contrary, here is a quote from your related article: "Some say the iPad???s effect is overblown. I say it isn???t. But just why is the iPad proving so popular, including for business users? Is it because the iPad is a sexy gadget many wish to flaunt at the local coffee house or board room meeting? Hopefully not. Is it because the iPad is typically less expensive than a full-blown computer? That???s certainly not hurting iPad sales, especially during challenging economic periods when organizations are tempted to lower technology costs. Is it because the iPad is an easy-to-use intuitive computer? That helps, certainly. But the primary reason iPads are selling so well and displacing other technology investments is, I believe, because they combine several needed and critical elements into a single flexible platform that easily performs double duty. Don???t forget small businesses constitute the lion???s share of the U.S. economy. There are a lot of them out there." http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/mac/why-ipad-popularity-is-slowing-pc-sales/1235?tag=content;siu-container

MacNewton
MacNewton

Having a full developer App like Edge is not the same thing as just having "Support" Do your homework ;(

fred64
fred64

The problem with searches is they return the results you ask for exactly. I don't always know enough about what I am looking for to enter the exact data or spelling in a search. However, I may recognize other elements in a sorted list. For example, find note about job 124832 that included a request for a memory upgrade. I have thousands of jobs that had to do with upgrades or memory or both and I don't recall the exact job number or user name. Sorting by subject (I always start with job xxxxx) is valuable. I use cloud mail because I'm away from my computer most of the time, so IMAP is out. Google's snobish view of something as simple as a sort button pains me. If they are looking for holier than thou status; Why not enhance sorting, instead of poo-pooing it? Perhaps a simple multi-field sort capability could elevate them enough above the pack.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

I think the first analogy shows one dimension of the issue very well, which is that Google's buying in to the trolling business implies they see the patents as legitimate. Your tuning of the analogy demonstrates the fact that there are some core technologies around that everyone is using and nobody really should own. I remember when AT&T declared ownership of the process of looking up information in a DB to complete routing of a call (you've heard of 800 service?)and then sued the other big telecom providers. It cost hundreds of thousands of man hours and slowed progress in the space, all to give AT&T (rich with lawyers) a leg up. I won't make a blanket statement about all patents in play here but I fully understand Google's reluctance to buy into this game. But the damage will be a slowing of progress, a hinderence to competition, less choice for consumers (anyone buying HTC and Samsung these days). The other side of the coin is if companies stop doing research since it will immediately go to their competitors. Not a huge risk but has to be considered.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

thanks for pointing out where a tool for graphics development, put out by Adobe, somehow shows the demise of flash, with your vague reference to other technologies which have expired. Ooops, you forgot to follow up with any substantive argument for your point.....and you want ME to do MY homework? I think you're confusing snazzy forms and rotating logos with web applications. At least HTML5 is ubiquitous.....like previous HTML versions.....consistent across browsers.....like IE, Firefox and Safari.....hmmm....back to the homework.....

MacNewton
MacNewton

They see the advantages of HTML5 and will use the tools provided. Most programers have no problem learning new programs, its all the same. Right now HTML5 programmers are in demand. People will go where the money is. FLASH along with DVD's,VHS, 8 Track and Windows XP will soon be just a note in the history books.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

Dreamweaver support for html 5 was/is a toolset to build html5 web elements. Edge is tuned for developing using html5 graphics, which is just one small piece of the large standard which may address what, say Flash Builder does, in the distant future. So what is it about Edge that signals the dropping of Flash? You might want to consider the recent release of Flash Builder 4.5 before concluding that Adobe's introduction of Edge is anything more than just continuing support of the HTML standards including support of HTML5. Apple supports HTML5, no? Maybe I should write an article about the demise of iOS?