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Apple’s latest product announcement was preceded by the usual amount of excitement - at last, the long-rumoured video iPod was to be launched. Apple and Walt Disney plan to sell episodes of Desperate Housewives and other television shows over an iPod device capable of playing video, the companies announced on Wednesday at an unveiling of the video iPod in Silicon Valley.
At last count Google News was listing an incredible 1,355 items on the topic, a number no doubt sickening for the likes of rivals Sony and Microsoft.
Fears over piracy and copyright control meant the move was seen as something of a risk for Robert Iger, who has been in the chief’s seat at Disney for barely three weeks.
There were also fears for Apple – namely, that taking on video may be ‘one thing too many’ for the company. Some analysts pointed out that Microsoft had tried and failed to light up the mobile video market, some pointed to the popularity of Sony’s video-capable PSP, but others thought Apple’s ‘fascination’ value would be enough to help kickstart demand.
In more iPod-related news, Apple is pushing for a much bigger percentage of sales from iPod accessories, according to Engadget. “Who was calling who greedy now?” asked Techdirt, reminding readers of Apple chief executive Steve Jobs’ recent accusation that record companies of greed for wanting more royalties for songs sold on iTunes.
Google and Comcast eye AOL stake
Google and Comcast, the biggest cable operator, are teaming up to bid for a stake in AOL - a move that pits them against the might of Microsoft, which was already in talks with Time Warner about buying a piece of its ailing internet service provider.
Collaboration between Google, Comcast and Time Warner could create a headache for the likes of Microsoft and Yahoo - who, incidentally, just announced their instant messaging networks would become interoperable.
The motive behind the collaboration depends on who you read - the AP says that, for Google, it’s a combination of portal content and the advertising partnership which accounts for about 10 per cent of Google’s revenues. The Networking Pipeline blog, meanwhile, says it’s about AOL’s instant messenging software, AIM. Google’s new Talk software is very clean, “but it has one serious problem -- no one appears to use it,” says Preston Gralla.
Either way, we’re bound to hear a lot about synergies in the weeks to come.
And in the meantime, avid Google-watchers can amuse themselves with the SF Weekly’s ‘Is Google Good?’ survey.
Samsung pleads guilty to price-fixing
Samsung, the Korean electronics company, pleaded guilty to price-fixing for its computer chips - the third company to do so under investigation from the US Justice Department.
Intel launches dual-core Xeon
Intel began shipping its first dual-core Xeon processors and only a few months after arch-rival AMD. Intel however said its processors were twice as fast.