Following this week's five-year commitment to the Mac platform, Microsoft said it is working with Apple to bring Virtual PC to the new Intel-architecture, although it didn't provide details about the release date. The company, however, said that it would not run under Rosetta, Apple's emulation environment that allows older PowerPC programs to run on Intel-based Macs. The company said that it would wait on receipt of the new shipping machines to better evaluate Virtual PC for Intel-Macs as well the final release date of Mac Office and Messenger for Intel-Macs; however, the company this week said it has dropped all development of Windows Media Player for the Mac.
In Brief: MacNN has posted a new podcast that features an interview with Larry O'Connor, the founder and CEO of OWC, about his company philosophy and favorite products.... A Japanese site has posted photos of the disassembled iMac Core Duo, which is available now from the Apple Store (as pre-order from Amazon), along with iWork '06 and iLife '06--both of which ship in new "mini packaging" ... The Flux iPod Film Festival has announced prizes (MacBook Pro, iTunes cards, and t-shirts) for the fest as well as an extended deadline (February 20th) due to international interest in the festival.... Smalldog debuted its CarTune FM transmitter/charger.... XtremeMac debuted new NBA Iconz for the iPod video/nano...Jansport promised a wide range of backbacks and totebags that feature both Bluetooth and iPod integration in its Fall Collection 2006.
The iPod ecosphere is growing fast, helping out both Apple and a wide variety of other computer peripheral manufacturers, such as Belkin, Griffin Technology, Harmon Kardon, and Bose as well as high-end designers such as Kate Spade, according to MarketWatch. The report says that iPod products will contribute more than $200 million, or more than 20% of its 2005 sales of $800 million, to the 2006 fiscal year revenue of Belkin. "NPD does not yet have figures on the market for iPod accessory sales alone, but that during the first nine months of 2005, total portable digital player accessory revenue reached $412 million in the United States-a 370% increase from the same period in 2004-with accessory sales generating nearly 26 cents for every $1 of digital player sales. Of those sales, speaker systems made up the largest piece of digital player revenue, with 26.5% of the U.S. accessory sales, while player cases accounted for 18% of the market's revenue and sales of FM transmitters made up 16%."
The "Golden Apple for Jobs" is coming in March, ahead of the company's 30th anniversary on April 1st. Following a series of all-time highs during Expo week and Apple's passing of Dell's marketcap, Bloomberg News reports that Steve Jobs will be able to cash in on more than $800 million from his restricted stock grant he received in 2003. "Jobs exchanged worthless options on a split-adjusted 55 million shares for 10 million shares of restricted stock three years ago. The shares, the 50-year- old's entire stake in Apple, vest in March. Right now, they are valued at $808.6 million."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl