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Is Microsoft Prepping Office for iOS and Android?

Get ready, iOS and Android device owners. Microsoft may be readying its Office suite for you. Online reports circulated Wednesday that Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek confirmed native iOS and Android versions of the popular business productivity applications will be released for those platforms in March of next year. His comments were initially reported Wednesday by the Czech site IHNED, which quoted Bobek's comments at a recent press event in the Czech Republic. 'Not Accurate' There have also been Web reports that a press release from Microsoft's Czech office confirmed the news, although the actual press release has not been presented online. The release reportedly said that Office 2013 for those platforms will become available for businesses in December of this year, followed by a consumer launch in February. Officially, however, Microsoft's Frank X. Shaw, head of corporate communications, tweeted on Wednesday a statement that the "information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate," and added that "we do not have anything further to share at this time." Some Microsoft watchers have contended that "not accurate" does not completely deny the possibility of native versions for iOS and Android, since it could refer to some erroneous detail, such as release dates. A version of Office for the iPad in particular has been rumored for months, and there have been reported sightings of a purported working prototype. Those rumors contend that Office for iPad will be a full-featured version, not one stripped down for the tablet. Why Now? Another eyebrow-raising issue, assuming the Office suite of applications for iOS and Android is released in first quarter of next year, is the timing. Tablets and convertible laptop/tablets models, using either Windows 8 or Windows RT, are now rolling out, and the holiday season is expected to witness a variety of devices based on Microsoft's newest OS. Apple's...
BII MOBILE INSIGHTS: Here Are Some Common Mobile Marketing Mistakes

Mobile Insightsis a new daily newsletter fromBI Intelligence.It is delivered first thing every morning exclusively toBI Intelligencesubscribers.Sign up for a free trial of BI Intelligence today. Mobile Devices Medium Of Choice To Access the Internet (Accenture)The use of mobile devices to access the Internet is becoming the medium of choice, with more than two-thirds (69%) of all Internet users surveyed doing so daily, according to Mobile Web Watch 2012, a study of consumers in Europe, Latin America and South Africa conducted by Accenture. In addition, consumers are using multiple devices to connect to the web, including smartphones (61%), netbooks (37%), and tablets (22%). The study found that emerging economies such as Brazil, South Africa and Russia are front-runners in the adoption of mobile devices (more than 70%, on average) to access the Internet. And a growing ecosystem of mobile apps is fueling the rapid growth of the mobile Internet, providing consumers easy access to services they consider important. Reasons Behind Amazon's Massive Mobile Success (Econsultancy)Part of Amazons success on mobile is obviously attributable to its reputation as a trustworthy online retailer, but that doesnt tell the full story. Here are reasons why the retail giant has had success in mobile: It has a mobile site Easy repeat purchases It got in early Consistent design across platforms Big calls-to-action And the list goes on.... Here's How To Fail At Mobile Marketing (WebSEO Analytics)It can be easy to fail at mobile marketing when you do not have an insight into what is needed to actually succeed. To ensure you do not fail, here are some of the most common mobile marketing traps people fall into: Overall laziness Random text messaging (aka spamming) Confusing mobile marketing with traditional internet Opt-out instead of opt-in Your attitude The more expansive the mobile marketing concept, the more likely it will be for you to find a niche or approach you can make work to your benefit. Be sure to check out Best Practices For Your Mobile Strategy. The Difference Between Mobile Web And App Shoppers (Mobile Commerce Daily)Marketers are increasingly using mobile to drive both online and in-store revenue. However, with the bulk of mobile commerce coming in through applications and sites, marketers need to realize that there are key differentiators in how consumers shop on their mobile devices across both platforms. In order to figure out which channel is best to use, marketers need to first tie their commerce initiatives to a strategic goal. Shopping habits also differ significantly from smartphones to tablets. "Mindset precedes toolset," said Eric Feinberg, senior director of mobile, media and entertainment at ForeSee. "The mindset of the customer visiting a tablet is decidedly different than a mobile phone visitor." Read the article for various studies around this topic. Restaurant Strategies Differ For Smartphone, Tablet Apps (Nation's Restaurant News)Case in point. Restaurant patrons are turning to their mobile phones much more to search for their next place to eat, and their usage patterns for mobile web browsers or apps on smartphones and tablets all differ to the point that food service brands need separate strategies to accommodate everyone. People searching for restaurant information on mobile phones or tablets also exhibit a greater sense of urgency, the study found. While 90% of those users look to convert their search into a restaurant visit by the end of the day, 64% of smartphone users do so immediately or within an hour of searching and 44% of tablet searchers visit a restaurant immediately or within an hour. How To Choose The Best Platform For Your App (Inc.)Bottom-line: There is no simple answer or checklist. You have to understand how the following factors affect you: Your need for a mobile app Where your users can be found Development resources available to you Required complexity of the app Likelihood of being frozen out of a given platform Time-to-market implications You'll need to juggle all these constraints to understand where your company comes out and what your mobile strategy should be. The Enterprise Mobile App Market Is Going To Be Huge (BI Intelligence)The enterprise is the new hot corner of the mobile app market. According to mobile device management firm Zenprise, the fastest growing enterprise mobile app categories experienced triple-digit quarterly growth in the second quarter. Despite Microsoft's and Windows' dominance on the desktop, Microsoft has been a late comer to the mobile revolution. Apple is primed to dominate the enterprise mobile app market. Zenprise found that iOS accounted for 58% of devices enrolled in its device management program, well ahead of Android at 35%, and Windows Mobile at 7%. Click here to read our interview with Zenprise CMO Ahmed Datoo. How Apps Are Shaping The 2012 Election (EngineYard via Mashable)Here's how the U.S. has used mobile apps, in both sending and consuming information, during the 2012 election season so far: 70% of the most active iPhone states (New York, California, Illinois) tend to vote Democrat, while 70% of the most active Android states (Colorado, Arizona, Georgia) tend to vote Republican. And, of the approximately $1 billion spent on the election by both parties, around $54 million has been spent on digital advertising, including mobile. Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story
Data Can't Beat a Salesperson's Best Tool

NIST Scientist Wins Nobel For Quantum Computing Work

National Institute of Standards and Technology scientist David Wineland shared a Nobel Prize for Physics for work that could help the development of powerful quantum computers.
BlackBerry 10 Launch: Is March Too Late?

RIM's next-generation smartphone platform may arrive even later than hoped, dimming the BlackBerry maker's chances for a turnaround.
IBM, AT&T Team On Secure Cloud Services

Business customers can opt for secure connection to IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud services via AT&T VPN network.
Memo To Oracle, SAP: Listen To P&G's Language

Oracle and SAP keep fighting a war of words over whose technology is bigger and better. They could learn a lot from Procter & Gamble CIO Filippo Passerini's big data work.
Article: How Tablets Affect TV Viewing

Posting to social media most popular activity among tablet-TV multitaskers
Survey: E-Commerce Customers Generally Satisfied

Netflix customers were cranky for much of the year, but online shoppers in general are a contented bunch, according to an annual customer satisfaction survey. The customer satisfaction score of the embattled video rental company fell 14% in the last year, says the American Customer Satisfaction Index's annual e-Commerce report released today. It's one of the largest drops in the index's history. The index, founded at the University of Michigan but now run as a privately held company, measures customer evaluations of products and services for 225 companies in 47 industries in the U.S., based on a 100-point scale. Customer satisfaction with e-commerce Web sites inched up 1% to 80.1. "Consumer expectation continues to increase" for e-commerce companies, says Larry Freed, author of the report and CEO of consulting firm ForeSee. However, "When you walk into a retail store, you don't expect to get better service," he says. Total e-commerce sales rose 16% to $194.3 billion in 2011, say data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Amazon remains the top online retailer in customer service, though its overall score dropped slightly. The company invests heavily in subsidizing the cost of shipping and new technology, such as its e-readers, to keep consumer prices low. "It's the gold standard for e-commerce in many different ways," says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research. Netflix's score reflects the turbulent changes it introduced last year by raising prices and announcing a plan, which it eventually dropped, to split its DVD and streaming rental services. "Netflix shot themselves in the foot," Mulpuru says. Newegg, an online retailer that specializes in electronics, registered the fastest rate of growth in satisfaction scores. Online travel agencies' average score, at 78, was slightly lower than retailers. But the sluggish economy has unleashed a flood of deals and new Web features to attract more customers, says Douglas Quinby of...
Verizon Loses Latest Stage in ActiveVideo Patent Dispute

Convergys: Call-Center Agents Still Critical to Customer Care

But the rapid growth of alternate channels means companies must excel at managing the customer experience across multiple platforms.
Taking stock of 2011's top mergers & acquisitions

What were the most important mergers and acquisitions in 2011? This year was a wild ride for the wireline segment of the telecom industry, with carriers and service providers jockeying for position in the fast-expanding business services market. It made for some interesting and even surprising M&A moves. Windstream's (Nasdaq: WIN) deal for PAETEC was certainly an attention-getter, a move that positions Windstream as a nationwide business services provider. But even more interesting was Level 3 Communications' (Nasdaq: LVLT) acquisition of Global Crossing, a move that gave Level 3--which provides transport for a number of companies including online video provider Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)--direct reach into 50 countries and connections to over 70 countries. It wasn't just the large carriers making acquisitions in 2011, either--smaller independent providers made buys as well, with most, just like the larger telcos, looking to bolster cloud and managed service portfolios to become more attractive to business customers. Warwick Valley Telephone (Nasdaq: WWVY) and Twin Valley Telephone made strategic acquisitions in purchasing, respectively, Alteva and ISG. Both gained cloud and managed services assets that will help them bring in regional businesses and keep them competitive in the ever-shifting wireline market. As it has in the past, consolidation became a watchword for 2011 among service providers. But unlike past M&A flurries, providers are making far more strategic moves, rather than consolidating just because their neighbors are doing so. Getting a piece of the cloud and managed services market isn't just a hot trend; it's becoming a must-have for providers of all sizes. Paul Lidsky, CEO of Datalink (Nasdaq: DTLK), pointed out in a recent FierceTelecom interview that 2011 is the year that businesses are seriously looking at implementing cloud services. "I think in 2011 you see a lot more implementation, or at least serious planning for it," he said. That's a factor that telcos and service providers are looking to take advantage of, by becoming the go-to source for cloud services. Take a look at our Most Important M&As of 2011 feature, and tell us in the comments: Which do you think were the most important? Are there any that you think we missed? Let us know.--Sam
Towerstream bullish on Wi-Fi hotzones, but carriers aren't--yet

At the beginning of this year, WiMAX provider Towerstream announced it was getting into the Wi-Fi hotzone game with the aim of becoming a wholesale provider to operators desiring to offload heavy mobile data traffic. Today, Towerstream's Manhattan market is nearly complete with 1,000 access points. Moreover, Towerstream typically sees more than 100,000 unique devices on its network per day, and each hotspot is backhauled by a 400 Mbps radio, which can be programmed to jump to 800 Mbps, allowing Towerstream to offer nearly endless capacity. But Towerstream has yet to sign an offload deal with an operator. The company's case highlights a continuing issue for carriers: Do they build their own Wi-Fi-offload networks or partner with others? Special feature
Oracle aims to flatten mobile silos, simplify billing

New solution creates a 'digital content retailing' that service providers can use to deliver and monetize an array of digital content
New sampling machine can gauge your age and sex

A new product sampling machine that can determine if you're the right age or even the right sex to receive a sample.

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