AsOf9: Your everyday technology news brief is here. In today’s edition: Apple Kicks AppGratis Out of the Store for Being Too Pushy, Global crowdfunding volumes rise 81 percent in 2012, HP launches Project Moonshot, powered with Intel’s Atom at first & more top stories.
Microsoft planning Xbox event for May. Microsoft had originally been planning to unveil its next-generation Xbox details at an event in April, but The Verge has learned that the company has pushed this back to May. Windows watcher Paul Thurrott revealed recently that Microsoft is planning an Xbox event for May 21st, and we understand this date is accurate. This is the tentative date for a next-generation Xbox announcement, but Microsoft had originally planned an April 24th event. Full story here.
Apple Kicks AppGratis Out of the Store for Being Too Pushy. Apple has ousted a popular app-discovery application from its iTunes App Store, claiming the app circumvented App Store rules preventing applications promoting other apps and direct marketing. More here.
Just Six Months After Being Acquired, Twitter’s Vine Hits #1 Free Spot On Apple’s App Store. Twitter acquired the mini-video-taking app Vine last October before it ever launched, sending everyone into a frenzy about the company getting into the video space. In late January, Twitter finally launched the app to much applause. Since then, it’s gone from being temporarily removed from the featured section due to an issue over adult content to being used in interesting ways by brands and celebrities. Today, it all paid off, as it hit the top of the charts for free apps in the U.S. More here.
Intel announces next-gen Thunderbolt with 20 Gbps throughput, 4K support. Intel just introduced the next generation of its Thunderbolt interface, which promises a data rate of 20 Gbps in both directions (on each of the two channels) as opposed to 10 Gbps for the previous version. Of course, the company stepped back for a moment first, boasting that Thunderbolt currently has about 200 licensees, and more compatible devices — along with new, thinner cables — should be coming out in the following months. More here.
HP launches Project Moonshot, powered with Intel’s Atom at first. Hewlett-Packard launched its Moonshot server line with an Intel-based Atom system available today and more chipsets planned in the future. The promise: HP will create Moonshot hyper scale software defined servers for custom workloads and an ecosystem. The bet for HP is that it can launch new Moonshot systems at three times the product cycle of traditional servers. More here.
App Stores In Q1 2013 Hauled In $2.2B In Sales On 13.4B Downloads, Google/Apple Duopoly Leading The Way: Canalys. Apple’s App Store and Google Play on Android continue to set the pace for the overall performance and fortunes of mobile apps worldwide, while BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Phone remain “distant challengers.” Figures out today from Canalys note that in Q1 2013, the four top app stores worldwide collectively accounted for 13.4 billion downloads, with $2.2 billion in paid app sales, in-app purchases and subscriptions. More here.
Google + Popularity Growing in Social Logins.
Facebook may still be the most popular social login for users signing into websites, but according to a recent report by social login provider Janrain, Google Plus is quickly gaining ground. The report found that Facebook dropped from the top choice for social login from 49% to 46% of people from Q4 to 2012 to Q1 of 2013 while Google’s share went from 31 to 34%. More here.
HTC Posts Record-Low Profit After Latest Smartphone Delayed. HTC Corp, Taiwan’s largest smartphone maker, posted its lowest quarterly profit on record after the delay of its newest flagship phone caused revenue to miss the company’s target. First-quarter net income plunged 98 percent to NT$85 million ($2.8 million), the sixth straight decline, according to data released by the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company yesterday. The average of 19 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit of NT$600 million. More here.
Ericsson to buy Microsoft IPTV business. Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson struck a deal on Monday to buy Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Mediaroom IPTV business, which makes software used by phone companies to deliver television over the Internet, making it the world’s leader in a growing business. More here.
Citi files claim with Nasdaq for compensation from Facebook IPO: sources. Citigroup has filed a claim with Nasdaq OMX Group to potentially receive compensation for losses associated with Facebook Inc’s glitch-ridden market debut last May, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Full story here.
In Europe, New Protest Over Google. European antitrust regulators have received a formal complaint about Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices, even as they move to the final stages of their inquiry into the company’s search practices. The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, a group of Google’s competitors, including the mobile phone maker Nokia and the software titan Microsoft, and by other companies, like Oracle. More here.
American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI. Hearkening back to Cold War anxieties, growing signs of spying on U.S. universities are alarming national security officials. As schools become more global in their locations and student populations, their culture of openness and international collaboration makes them increasingly vulnerable to theft of research conducted for the government and industry. Full story here.
Does WebKit face a troubled future now that Google is gone? Now that Google is going its own way and developing its rendering engine independently of the WebKit project, both sides of the split are starting the work of removing all the things they don’t actually need. This is already causing some tensions among WebKit users and Web developers, as it could lead to the removal of technology that they use or technology that is in the process of being standardized. More here.
Global crowdfunding volumes rise 81 percent in 2012. Crowdfunding websites helped companies and individuals worldwide raise $2.7 billion from members of the public in 2012, an 81 percent increase on the previous year, data showed on Monday. More here.
U.S. VC Fundraising Up 22 Percent To $4.1B In Q1 2013, But Number Of Funds Raised Down. According to an NVCA and Thomson Reuters report , U.S. venture capital firms raised $4.1 billion from 35 funds in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 22 percent. But compared to Q4 2012, there is a 14 percent decrease by number of funds. More here.