Saudi Prince Buys Stake in Twitter

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has bought $300 million worth of stake in Twitter, which is unofficially 3.5% of its total worth. Alwaleed bin Talal heads Riyadh based Kingdom Holding Company, which is one of the largest companies in Saudi Arabia. Prince is a nephew of Saudi king Abdullah and is one of the top business magnates in the world.

Twitter has raised a lot of money from investors including DST Global earlier this year and has claimed that it expected to raise at least $800 million from investors in 2011. After this giant investment by Saudi Prince, we can assume that Twitter has surpassed the $800 million mark.

According to some sources and other news portals, Saudi Prince is planning to expand his public holding business via social networking website. That is a pretty good tactic as in the recent years, social media has revolutionized the business sector throughout the globe. It should be noted that Twitter has played a significant role in the Arab uprisings this year as the protesters communicated mostly through ‘tweets’.

Twitter has not disclosed any details of this investment but this news can be read on the Kingdom Holding Company’s official website, which in our opinion is plainly advertising this investment.

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Salesforce.com Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Rypple

Salesforce.com has acquired Rypple, a provider of social software to the big tech giants like Facebook. The terms of the acquisition have not been made public yet. With this acquisition, Salesforce.com has entered the venture of human resource software and this is being seen by many as an attempt to challenge the huge user base of SAP AG and Oracle Corp, both of which occupy the top positions in this sector.

According to the official website of Rypple, it helps managers ensure their teams get the continuous feedback they need to stay aligned, learn faster, and consistently achieve their goals. Plus since most of its clients are the big players in the tech and social industry, we cannot doubt about its capabilities.

According to Executive Vice President of Salesforce.com John Wookey, they are developing HR software which can be used by various companies for recruiting, training and monitoring their employees. Salesforce.com will become a major player in the social media after this acquisition.

On the other side, when asked about this acquisition, the executives of both Oracle and SAP AG declined to comment.

Both Oracle and SAP AG see Salesforce.com as a major rival as they have spent a lot of money and resources in past to compete with Salesforce.com in the area of web based programs.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus hits the market

Good news for Android fans! One of the most awaited Android phones has arrived in the smartphone market today. Yes, we are talking about the Galaxy Nexus which features Android 4.0 commonly known as Ice Cream Sandwich. It is available on Verizon Wireless for $299 on contract.

It should be noted that Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is the first Android phone in the United States to feature Ice Cream Sandwich. Galaxy Nexus is a thin smartphone featuring 4.65 inch Super Amoled display. It runs on a dual-core processor and has a 5 megapixel rear camera which can record HD videos upto 1080p. It also has a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera which can be used to make video calls.

Apart from these cool hardware features, it has got the Ice Cream Sandwich, which is renowned for its superb features. It enhances multitasking and is overall better than the previous versions of Android in terms of simplicity

Since Galaxy Nexus is available on Verizon, users will be able to use Verizon’s fast 4G LTE network. Though it is not a great deal, but still, it can be a bliss to the users who want high speed internet connection.

With the launch of Galaxy Nexus, the ongoing battle between Android based smartphones and the iPhone will surely get some more fuel. Currently, Apple Inc. and Samsung, which is the hardware manufacturer of Galaxy Nexus, are in the middle of lawsuits over the so called patent infringements by Samsung in its Galaxy range of products. And the rivalry between Google and Apple dates back to the release of the Android platform.

It will be interesting to see whether the coalition of Apple’s rivals pose any threat to its products.

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Angry Birds Developer To Trade In Baby Merchandise

The most widely used game which is present in every single smartphone and tablet will be soon seen on baby merchandise. Rovio, the developer of Angry Birds, has decided to move into the baby product business.

Rovio is keen to expand its business and seeing the success of its Angry Birds game, it can be said that the gaming company will succeed in its goal. Angry Birds toys are already available in the market and they too are being liked by a lot of people.

The Finland based company was started by 3 students and was sponsored by Nokia and HP in its initial stage but now it has become a multi-million dollar company.

Ville Heijari, vice president of franchise development, said that the company’s top priority will be game development for sure but at the same time it wants to enter merchandising venture as it is one of the fastest growing businesses.

Baby Merchandise will include a lot of products like a 42-inch square blanket having images of angry birds. Apart from baby products, Rovio will also provide flip-flops, bags and the iPhone cases with images from its game.

Will you get your baby an Angry Birds product?

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Google+’s Real Name Rules Are “Abuse Of Power”: A Microsoft Researcher

A Microsoft researcher by the name of Dana Boyd openly criticized the “Real Name” policy of Google+ calling it an “abuse of power” by the tech giant. This news comes amidst the so called “bogus patents” feud between Google and Microsoft.

According to the “real name” policy of Google+, users cannot use pseudonyms or nicknames in their profiles. Earlier, Google+ used to delete the accounts which were found to violate this policy but now a days it has started giving the users a chance to provide their real name if they don’t want their account suspended.

Dana Boyd said that,” ‘Real names’ policies aren’t empowering; they’re an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people.” She stated that the people who use pseudonyms are the ones who are most marginalized by power structures.

Though the statement of Dana Boyd is genuine but it has come at a time when Microsoft and Google are playing the “blame game” openly.

Furthermore, Microsoft is also rumored to launch its social platform in the coming months. Hence this statement though not of Microsoft, is being seen as a declaration of social war.

We think that this “Real Names” policy is rubbish and there is no need of such kind of dumb “policies” especially on a leading social network.

Do you agree with Dana Boyd or support this “policy” of Google+?

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Windows Phone Down 38%

Microsoft has tried its best to boost its smartphone sales but recent data from comScore shows that Microsoft’s share in US smartphone market has decreased from 7.5% to 5.8%, nearly 38%, which is not a good sign for the company’s future in smartphone sector.

Recently, Microsoft’s Mango OS, which is said to be the best software update by the tech giant till now, was deployed in Fujitsu-Toshiba’s IS12T and it is expected that major manufacturers will also be using this OS in their future handsets.

But the thing here is that “Mango” is yet not widely available in the market and even when it does, there is no guarantee that it will be able to create a buzz as experts say that its competition will be with the iPhone 5 and some major Android based smartphones.

Microsoft Windows Phones are quite good but they haven’t enjoyed the limelight as much as the handsets based on Android OS and the iDevices.

Most likely, the reason behind this is that Windows Phones are not advertised as much as its competitors especially in third world countries who are the largest consumers of smartphones. Secondly, it is not as cost effective as Android based handsets.

Will “Mango” be able to boost Windows Phone sales or has it been a bit late to do the needful?

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Gmail Introduces Preview Pane

Gmail has introduced a new feature in the form of Preview Pane which will enable users to browse emails when they are replying to some other at the same time. This feature was long awaited and was finally launched yesterday.

Preview Pane may be a new feature for PC users but it has been there for a while in Gmail’s tablet apps. Users of iPad and Android based tablets are familiar with Preview Pane.

This feature is now available in Gmail Labs and its design is almost identical to that of its counterpart used in tablets.

When a user activates Preview Pane, a three window panel opens up with Preview Pane in between the navigation and email panes.

Users can customize Preview Pane as per their need with the help of a settings button which is present at the top right corner of Gmail.

Users with high resolution screens will get the most of this feature but those with normal resolution need not to worry as Preview Pane will work fine with their screens also.

Though this feature sounds good but a lot of work is needed to make it better. We’ve used this feature and drawn a conclusion that it is still a beta product and it needs a lot of testing. It does not work well with Gmail labels if used in 3 panel mode.

Will you be using this feature?

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