February 7, 2011 News Roundup

Sports fans were talking about the battle between The Steelers and the Packers, but several equally charged battles raged in the tech world this week.

First up: Google vs. Microsoft. A team at Google who monitors search results noticed some striking similarities between its own results and those in Bing. Google suspected theft and, being good detectives,  decided to conduct a sting operation. The team manually highly ranked a page so it would show up when users entered an unusual search string. Lo and behold, the same results showed up in Bing a week later.

Microsoft denied Google’s accusation, but allowed that a small part of their algorithm involves data from anonymous users about what sites they click on when conducting searches. Is it theft? Leave that to a linguist.

Google is also sparring with Apple, on two different fronts.  Google showcased its new Android based tablet, The Honeycomb, the most promising rival to the iPad, and rumors are buzzing that their competitor to iTunes, Spotify, could be launching in the US soon. The cloud-based software, already available in Europe, may be delayed stateside though, as Google has not been able to secure agreements with many of the top record labels.

Meanwhile, AT&T battled Verizon, who is releasing their version of the iPhone on February 10th, preorders having already begun this week. Verizon unveiled it’s new iPhone commercial with some not so subtle jabs at AT&T, putting extra emphasis on their catchphrase: “Yes, I can hear you now.”

Meanwhile, AT&T fought back with ads reminding users that only on AT&T can iPhone users surf the web and have a telephone conversation simultaneously. Apparently, googling mindless trivia while not listening to your mother is a good thing.



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