Canadian telecoms firm Research in Motion (RIM) has finally launched a 3G version of its 7in BlackBerry PlayBook mini-tablet in the UK. In addition to improved connectivity, the device has also upped its standard on-board storage from 16GB to 32GB, and offers an improved dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz (vs. a 1GHz clock speed on the Wi-Fi-only PlayBook). Interested parties should be able to get their hands on the product in time for Christmas 2012, so things must be looking pretty good for RIM, right? That would be a fair assumption until you take in the pricing of the refreshed BB PlayBook. Given that even Apple only dares to charge an extra £100 for cellular connectivity and Google's Nexus 7 3G refresh still doesn't breach the £200 mark, RIM's latest play is daring, risky, and outright ill-advised. Just how much are we talking? Follow the link above and find out more about why the latest BlackBerry tablet proves RIM has lost touch with consumer markets.
The tech world isn't all about greed and exploitation of our consumerist society, you know. Projects like the Shape the Future scheme launched by RM Education shows it can be a force for good. Microsoft and Intel have thrown their technology behind the new initiative, which offers government-funded schools the opportunity to buy discounted laptops and tablets that can be passed on to children to take home. Research has shown that some people could earn up to £300,000 more over their lifetime if they have home computing available from a young age, and the Shape the Future team hopes to “close the opportunity gap between rich and poor by putting technology in the hands of every child.”
More on Microsoft, which took a rather decisive step last month with the almost-simultaneous launch of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the Windows RT-based Surface tablet. But is that enough? The company is in the midst of an identity crisis and must reach a decision about its future, says Grant Brunner. More specifically, he warns that Microsoft can't straddle both the software and hardware worlds, and must decide whether its essence will be that of a hardware company like Apple or of a software company like it's been since its founding. "The Xbox was successful because it was a distinct product with a clear vision driving it. The Surface is not, and that is why it has an uphill battle to fight," Brunner says. Follow the link for Brunner's take on Microsoft's future and the need for it to reconcile its identity.
Chinese hackers have been infiltrating Coca-Cola, it was revealed today. According to Bloomberg, the soft drinks giant was breached when a malicious link was emailed to senior executive. The hackers, who reportedly have links to the Chinese government, then sought to pilfer details regarding a potential takeover of the China Huiyan Juice Group, which at the time was considered the largest foreign takeover of a Chinese company. In defiance of US regulators, Coca-Cola remained tight-lipped on the incident, which happened in 2009, for fear of a negative impact on its share price.
Apple has managed to shift a whopping 3 million iPads over the weekend according to a statement released by the company earlier today. The fruit-themed firm released the first official sales figures of its new line of tablets with the 3 million including both the iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad. However Apple did not show its full hand as the individual sales of the two models where not disclosed.