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june 15

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Trending Tech: Apple’s WWDC 2012, Cost Cuts & Facebook Exchange

June 15, 2012

Apple dominated another week after it announced new products and updates on the opening day of its Worldwide Developers Conference. In other news, Nokia announced massive layoffs while Dell communicated plans to cut costs to grow beyond PCs. Facebook announced the launch of a real-time ad bidding system to improve its ad revenue in conjunction with plans to join forces with Google, Twitter and AOL to stop “bad ads”.

10. Verizon Wireless unveils wireless plans that cover several devices
Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless communications services provider in the U.S., announced its new ‘Share Everything’ plans that will allow customers unlimited text and phone calls while paying for a finite amount of wireless data shared across multiple devices on the same account. The new plan may save heavy users money as they will be able to attach up to 10 devices to the same account. The plan, effective on June 28, is optional for existing Verizon customers.

9. Dell spells out long-term plans to grow, cut costs
The large PC maker plans to cut costs over the next three years and grow beyond personal computers. Dell Inc. announced its plans to slash more than $2 billion in costs primarily from the supply chain and sales group to sharpen focus on software and services. As part of the belt-tightening plans, Dell will make fewer products and will concentrate its investments on software acquisitions to expand beyond PCs.

8. Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs and close three facilities
Nokia announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs by 2013 and shut down facilities in Germany, Finland and Canada. Unable to make its mark in the competitive smartphone industry, Nokia recently launched a low end ‘non-smartphone’ to prove its commitment to the low-end global market. The company is also expecting huge operating losses in its second-quarter. Seems there are more obstacles ahead for the ailing cellphone maker.

7. Microsoft said to be buying Yammer social site
Speculations that Microsoft will acquire Yammer, a social network platform for businesses, are buzzing in Silicon Valley. Reportedly, Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion for the deal to be finalized next week. With Yammer, Microsoft can add social networking tools to its existing products and increase competitiveness against Oracle and Salesforce.com.

6. Zynga’s ‘Draw Something’ goes global with 12 new languages and celebrity endorsements
Social gaming company Zynga has seen its shares fall below $5 for the first time. In an effort to raise its shares, Zynga announced that it has pushed ahead with plans to go global with its pricey acquisition ‘Draw Something,’ which was a massive hit with Facebook users as well as mobile users. The Pictionary-like game is now available in 12 languages and has also enlisted A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias for promotions. The company aims to show investors that it is still capable of expansions. It is yet to be seen if the global move can increase its shares.

5. More and more Internet domain names on the way
ICANN, the nonprofit group that manages the Internet domain names released a list of nearly 2,000 applications for new internet suffixes.  Among the companies making a wild grab for new domains are Google and Amazon. Google was among the “most prolific applicants seeking to register 101 names at an application cost of $18.7 million.” The tech giants are claiming rights for same domain names. ICANN will soon decide which applicants should be the rightful owners of the domain names.

4. Here’s one thing Google and Facebook can agree on: fighting scam ads
Corporate giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and AOL are joining forces with the Interactive Advertising Bureau to protect Web surfers from ads that serve up malware or scams. The nonprofit group StopBadware, which will be backed by the team of companies, will launch the Ads Integrity Alliance to counter “bad ads” and share best practices and relevant trends to policymakers and law enforcement agencies.

3. Facebook about to launch Facebook Exchange, real-time ad bidding
Facebook will soon launch a real-time ad bidding technology called Facebook Exchange.  A potential moneymaker for the social networking giant, the new technology will enable advertisers to reach users based on their browsing history elsewhere on the Web. While Google, Yahoo and AOL are already using real-time bidding technology, it’s a first for Facebook. It will use cookies to track the sites that users are cruising to help third party ad brokers target ads. Yet again, the move raises privacy concerns.

2. Amazon Web Services slashes cloud prices and offers free support
As established enterprise vendors HP and Oracle play the cloud game, Amazon Web Services steps up its support. On Thursday, Amazon Web Services announced a revamp to its support offerings.  The company has extended free support to all cloud service users and slashed prices for its premium tier services. It has also rebranded its support tiers with new, descriptive names going from Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum to Basic, Developer, Business and Enterprise.

1. WWDC 2012: Apple updates laptops and mobile software
Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference kicked off with a keynote event where CEO Tim Cook and others talked about recent successes and announced a series of upgrades to the company’s products. Apple announced the launch of a new version of its mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads that will bring a host of new features including 3D maps and a smarter Siri. It also announced updates to its ultra-light Macbook Air and introduced a higher-end Macbook Pro laptop. The reviews for the new Macbook Pro are focused on the sharp retina display and its high performance speed.

Disclosure: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Verisign, and Verizon Wireless are Weber Shandwick clients.