July 25, 2009

Bing Users Are 55 Percent More Likely to Click on Ads

Microsoft's new search engine Bing has been a relative success for the company, if not in user numbers, which may have risen slightly in the past month, though sources are often contradictory, then by the large amount of mostly positive press it has been getting almost two months since it was launched. And now there seems to be another reason why Microsoft execs should be patting themselves on the back as data from search-advertising network Chitika shows that Bing users are 55 percent more likely to
click on an ad in a site they are visiting, compared to Google users.

“We at Chitika are quite fond of search engines: since all of our ads serve only to search traffic, they’re our bread and butter in the online world. So with Microsoft’s new Bing decision engine making so much noise, we thought we’d take a closer look at the clickthrough rates of visitors from the three major search players: Yahoo!, Google, and Bing,” Dan Ruby, director of marketing at Chitika, said about the reasoning behind the study.

The study looked at ads on 50,000 sites in Chitika's network, which generated 32 million impressions in a week this month. The findings show that users who landed on the sites coming from a Bing search were more likely to click on an ad, with clickthrough rates of 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, only 1.24 percent of those coming from Yahoo's search engine clicked on ads on the sites, with Google users coming dead last following on ads only in 0.97 percent of the cases.

While the data is interesting in itself, does it really say anything about the ad market or Bing for that matter? One could assume that the fact that Bing users are more likely to click on ads is a characteristic of the whole group and not just an unrelated coincidence. One could even speculate, like TechCrunch does, that they are using Bing in the first place because they are more susceptible to ads, as Microsoft has been pouring tens of millions in an ad campaign for the search engine. Still it may not have anything to do with the product itself but rather with the fact that it has such a small audience.
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Samsung to Launch Tegra-Based Smartphone

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung will come to the market with a smartphone that packs an Nvidia Tegra chip, a company representative has confirmed recently, as reported by laptopmag. While the Tegra computer-on-a-chip has already been known to come in a series of smartphones in the near future, this time it seems that things are moving closer to becoming reality.

The platform should offer a lot of performance in terms of graphics on a mobile phone, yet other capabilities are also enhanced with the use of the chip, it seems. While one of the first devices to come to the market with Tegra inside will be Microsoft’s Zune HD, it seems that a handset to include it won't make us wait too long either.

As many of you might already know, the first Tegra-based mobile phone has already been reported to be on its way to the market in the fourth quarter of the ongoing year, while the possible carrier to have it is either AT&T or T-Mobile. Until now, there were no exact details on which maker would step up first with such a device, yet it seems that Samsung might be the winner.

Some of the details that are available concerning a Tegra-based device, regardless of the maker, include a possible $199 price point, as well as the great support the platform can offer to Windows CE and Android. In case these prove true, we should have on the market a Samsung handset based on Nvidia's Tegra chip that will run either under Microsoft or Google's operating system, while being priced the same as Apple's iPhone.

In case Samsung unveils such a device, users might very well receive an AMOLED touchscreen and a wide range of TouchWiz widgets along with it, which should enhance the user experience quite a lot. The chip can deliver a lot of performance, so everything is for the best, it seems. Hopefully, the phone will arrive this year, so stay tuned to learn more
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July 19, 2009

177 Million Windows 7 Copies to Be Shipped by the End of 2010

Microsoft will sell approximately 180 million copies of Windows 7 by the end of 2010 is the forecast IDC offered in a study assessing the market impact of the next iteration of the Windows client that was sponsored by Microsoft. The market analysis company indicated that Windows 7 would catalyze a brisk uptake, and that 177 million units would be shipped in the first 14 months on the market. Windows 7 is currently planned for RTM by the end of this month, and for general availability on October 22, 2009.

The numbers offered by IDC indicate that Windows 7 will perform better on the market compared to its precursor, but not by much. According to statistics from Microsoft, over 180 million Windows Vista licenses had been shipped by mid-2008, at approximately a year and a half since the operating system was introduced.

Personally I think that IDC's numbers are a tad conservative, and that Microsoft will ship more than 177 million Windows 7 licenses by the end of 2010. Still, the global economic downturn is indeed a factor that can deliver a heavy impact on Windows 7 shipments.

“Windows 7 will be shipping into a relatively harsh environment. But the launch of a new and better operating system will necessitate new applications, new hardware, new planning, deployment and training, and new services. These will drive much-needed investment that will, in turn, fuel stronger growth in subsequent years,” IDC noted.

Windows 7 Shipments
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The success of Windows 7 in comparison to its predecessor is intimately connected with that of new OEM computer sales. For the time being the market is not doing all that well. IDC revealed that worldwide PC shipments dropped by 3% in the second quarter of 2009. Over 80% of the revenue of the Windows client division comes from Windows copies pre-installed on new computers from original equipment manufacturers.

“For Microsoft, the launch of Window 7 suggests strong growth in client operating systems again. But the impact of Windows 7 will reach far beyond Microsoft, driving revenues and growth for many of the IT companies worldwide that sell hardware, write software, provide IT services, or serve as IT distribution channels. This growth will do its bit to help economies around the world climb out of the current economic crisis,” IDC added.

IDC expects Microsoft to ship 40 million Windows 7 units in 2009, namely in October (starting with Thursday 22), November and December. This number is forecasted to grow to over 272 million in 2013. Of course, it is important to note that the term “ship” is used, and not “sold,” an indication of the fact that all the Windows 7 copies available into the channel are taken into consideration and not specifically those acquired by consumers.
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Better Virus Filtration in the Future, Symbian Foundation Says

The Symbian Foundation admitted recently that it needed to improve the process of testing the applications digitally signed for the Symbian-based mobile phones due to the fact that it had allowed a botnet-building Trojan to slip through the filtering process. The Trojan horse program that managed to pass the security test is called “Sexy Space,” and has been available for download up until this week.

Symbian's Chief Security Technologist, Craig Heath, stated on Thursday that the Foundation's process that kept malicious applications off Symbian OS-based phones should be improved, so that situations like this would not occur again. “When software is submitted, we do try to filter out the bad eggs. When apps are submitted, they are scanned. We are looking at how they could be scanned better,” Heath said, cited by ZDNet UK.

In order for an application to be accepted by Symbian devices, the developers need to submit it to the Foundation, where it goes through a checking process. Each software solution that passes the security tests is then digitally signed, so that users are assured that the application they are downloading is a rather safe one.

The testing process has a few stages that applications must go through. The first one is an antivirus scanning, after which random samples are sent for human examination. According to Heath, the Sexy Space Trojan, which is reportedly a low-risk malware, was disguised as ACSServer.exe, a legitimate application, and hasn't gone through the human inspection phase.

Although the Foundation discovered that the app was a Trojan two weeks ago and revoked the digital signature, it seems that it remained available for download until this week due to an error on the servers. Heath also explained that the automated scanning processes would be enhanced, and that the Foundation also planned to improve the human auditing, though it would not expand it due to leveraged costs and the delays it would add to the digital signing process.
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New Android Update Unleashed, Android Donut might arrive this summer

Android mobile phone users that own a T-Mobile G1 device should already know that a new software update has been released for their mobile phones. The new firmware version is reportedly coming with “permissions fixes and other bug fixes,” which means that there might not be visible things included in the package. Moreover, Android Central states that the fixes are not meant to influence the regular use of the phone, but that they are something that developers will most certainly notice.

This is supposedly one of the already announced updates that Google's Android operating system is expected to receive during the ongoing year. As already reported, the Android developing team plans to come to the market with a series of major updates for the platform during the ongoing year, while also intending to release a minor one in the meantime.

One of the upcoming updates would be Android 2.0, also known as Donut, which is supposedly heading towards users sometime before the end of the summer. As the new minor update is expected to be rolled out until July 20, this might be the software that preps the Android devices for the near deployment of Donut, some voices over the Web have suggested.

Those who will receive the new update should notice that the build number has moved from CRB43 to CRC1. At the same time, we should also note that this is one of the three Android updates that were reported to come during 2009. As soon as Donut becomes available, users should see another minor update heading their way, one that will most probably fix some of the bugs that Android 2.0 will come with.

Assuming that all goes according to plan, Android should get ready before the end of the year to receive the future updates the developing team has in store. Two of the major Android updates that will come are Eclair and Fran, yet they wil
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