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Microst appeases EU in anti-trust battle

Microsoft on Wednesday appears to have reached an agreement with the European Commission that concludes an antitrust battle that has lasted a decade. A proposal the company offered in July to address charges of monopoly abuse were dismissed as insufficient. But the latest proposal appears to have mollified the Commission. Microsoft has offered to create a new ballot screen inside Windows that lists a maximum of 12 browsers and gives them all exactly the same visibility and ease of use as IE. Meanwhile, Microsoft has made renewed assurances that it will provide rivals, including open source software vendors, ready access to the interoperability information they need in order to make products that work properly with Windows. On Friday the Commission will distribute the new offer from Microsoft to interested third parties in the case, including rival software manufacturers and consumer groups. They will have one month to comment.

Bing loses ground to Google

Meanwhile, As the search wars continue, new numbers are in showing that Microsoft’s Bing slipped while Google inched further ahead last month. Google’s search accounted for 71.08% of all U.S. searches conducted between September and October, said the Internet monitoring firm Hitwise. That’s a 1% market share increase for Google. Google’s latest search rival, Bing, didn’t have as good a month, though. Unveiled in June, Bing slipped 5%, going from 9.48% in September to 8.96% of the market early in October. Holding in second place, Yahoo Search dropped from 16.96% to 16.38%. Analysts have said such back and forth in momentum is typical of a big market battle between big companies.

Facebook admits some technical problems

Social networking site Facebook said on Tuesday that it’s experiencing a technical issue with one of its databases that prevents some users from accessing the site. The admission by Facebook on its site profile comes as a number of users reported problems with signing in to the site and viewing their profiles and other account features. Some users have experienced difficulty logging into the site for several days, Facebook said.  Affected users get an error message that says the site is undergoing maintenance. Facebook is working on a fix and hopes to have the problem resolved within the next 24 hours. This isn’t the first time that Facebook users have had problems accessing the site. Facebook was hit by a DoS (denial-of-service) attack in August that kept some users from accessing the site

Amazon expands Kindle international sales

Amazon plans to start selling its Kindle reader in over 100 countries and territories on Oct. 19, and the company has already started booking pre-orders for the device on its web site.
Amazon is selling the Kindle with U.S. & International Wireless to customers in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, for US$279 for a reader with a 6-inch display and the ability to wirelessly download books and other content globally, the company said on Wednesday. Amazon has been working with publishers for many months to build a vast selection of English language books available around the world. Amazon also has some books in languages other than English, but its focus right now is to provide its customers with the best possible experience for English-language content. The Kindle will not be sold in China, but the company says it is working on it.

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