Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending April 15 include the end for Cisco's Flip camcorders, reviews of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, developer previews of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Phone software, and Google's first quarter 2011 report.
Cisco kills Flip Video Cameras
Cisco pulled the plug on its popular handheld Flip digital video cameras, the top-selling camcorder brand in the US, stating consumer cameras are no longer part of the company's overall strategy. Bloggers were shocked ("my jaw hit the floor" on hearing the news, said one journalist) and lamented the decision but added, "Why buy a cheap camcorder if you could buy an iPod Nano that shot video, too?"
BlackBerry PlayBook Reviews
Reviews of the soon-to-be-released BlackBerry PlayBook tablets revealed that RIM is racing its iPad competitor to the market prematurely in fear of missing out on the tablet craze. While the 7" BlackBerry Playbook tablet is light, portable and sports a user interface that is getting rave reviews, it is missing key features such as native email, calendar and messaging apps, a standalone 3G or 4G network connection and out-of-the-box support for additional applications, said reviewers.
Microsoft IE10 preview
Microsoft unveiled a developer preview of its next-generation browser, Internet Explorer 10, at its MIX 11 developer conference. IE10 is based on the HTML5 standard and adds support for new web standards such as CSS3 Gradient Backgrounds, and CSS multi-column layout modules.
Windows Phone multitasking, updates
During the MIX 11 developer conference, Microsoft showed off new features from the next version of its Windows Phone software, dubbed "Mango." The updates include multitasking and deeper application integration within the phone's operating system, and will give developers access to the device's camera and sensors so they can create more feature-rich apps.
Google first quarter 2011 results
Google announced its Q1 earnings. The company spent more than expected on hiring and marketing causing its profit to fall short of estimates and its shares to drop. Google also noted in its earnings call that Android app downloads were up by 50 percent from Q42010; there are now 3 billion Android apps installed around the globe, and 350,000 Android devices are activated every day.