Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week of February 5: Google's Nexus One customers receive multitouch support via an over-the-air update, Amazon disputes e-book price hikes but succumbs to major publishers, Microsoft gets red-faced when questioned about its future research and development plans, Amazon invests in a touchscreen company in the hope of refreshing its Kindle e-reader, and rumors suggest the future version of Apple's iPad will come with an inbuilt camera.
Nexus One gets multitouch
Technology bloggers and Nexus One consumers rejoiced when Google made the announcement it was sending out over-the-air firmware updates that would give Nexus One users the ability to use multitouch gestures in the smartphone's Maps, Browser and Gallery applications. Bloggers insinuated that the "gentleman's agreement" Google may have previously had with Apple (whose mulititouch patent was believed to be the original reason multitouch gestures were not implemented on the Nexus One until now) has been abandoned as the two companies step up rivalry.
Amazon e-book pricing
Technology blog Headlines sounded out sad news for e-book consumers; "The $9.99 EBook Is Dead". Amidst the news that Apple was announcing a tablet, Amazon was busy facing another battle with their major e-book publishers. During the week technology journalists feverishly covered the developing story that saw Amazon change their e-book pricing structure to accommodate Macmillan's demands. Bloggers reported that the other major publishers are starting to join Macmillan, insisting e-book prices are marked up to match physical editions.
Microsoft's creative destruction
A New York Times article written by former Microsoft employee Dick Brass caused a great reaction in the technology blogs. So much so it had Microsoft's PR reps trying to save face. The February 4 article, entitled "Microsoft's Creative Destruction" labelled Microsoft as a company that didn't encourage inventiveness or innovation. It is rare that a high-profile company would respond to an article posted on a blog, but Microsoft obviously felt a strong need to protect its dignity and to reiterate its research and development plans for the future.
Amazon to buy touchscreen company
A February 3 article in the New York Times revealed that Amazon was in the market to purchase a touchscreen company called Touchco. The purchase, wrote the New York Times, would bring its e-reading device into the future and put it in a better position to compete against Apple's iPad. Neither company would provide additional information to the press, leaving them to speculate about the future of e-readers and the integration of touchscreen technology. "Here's why we're excited," wrote technology blog Engadget. "[T]he startup claims its interpolating force-sensitive resistance tech can be made completely transparent, works with color LCDs, and can detect ‘an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points.'"
iPad to get a camera?
A post on Mac, iPhone and gadget (and soon iPad) repair specialists Mission: Repair's blog had technology writers hoping that Apple's iPad will be released with a built in camera. "iPad Camera rumor becoming a reality? We think so," read the blog post. Mission: Repair posted photos of the internal iPad parts which quickly circulated around the web. Gizmodo' article entitled "Proof" of Apple iPad Webcam Is Dubious" questioned the authenticity of Mission: Repair's iPad parts saying, "The question here is: How some obscure repair shop got parts for the Apple iPad when nobody has the Apple iPad itself?"