Google’s Quickoffice Acquisition Could Be a Precursor To a Mobile Office Feature War

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Google's purchase of Quickoffice could cause a serious shakeup in the mobile business market
Google's purchase of Quickoffice could cause a serious shakeup in the mobile business market

Google shook up the mobile business landscape by announcing its acquisition of mobile office powerhouse Quickoffice. That move might not seem terribly large, but it creates a very different and unexpected dynamic in the business mobility world. It also sets up a showdown over business capabilities that could have lasting ramifications.

Why is this move significant? It means that every company that produces a major mobile platform now also owns a serious office and productivity solution. Microsoft has Office, Apple has iWork, RIM has Documents To Go (which it acquired nearly two years ago), and Google now has Quickoffice as well as Google Docs. Each company can now ensure that its mobile business customers will have at least one solid option for working with Office files on their smartphones or tablets.

Why Was An Apple Board Member Using A BlackBerry?

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Millard Drexler - J. Crew CEO, Apple board member, BlackBerry user
Millard Drexler - J. Crew CEO, Apple board member, BlackBerry user

RIM has made a lot of headlines lately. Most of them have involved an ongoing exodus of executives leaving the company for greener pastures and/or reports of massive layoffs as the company tried to restructure itself under the leadership of new CEO Thorsten Heins.

There’s one bright spot of publicity for RIM this week, however. J. Crew CEO and Apple board member Millard Drexler uses a BlackBerry Bold 9900 – a fact noted after a CNBC piece about operations at J. Crew.

Is this good news for RIM? Yes and no. It shows that not every major company has abandoned the BlackBerry and not every executive has demanded an iPhone (at least not yet). Of course, if Drexler wasn’t a member of Apple’s board of directors, it’s likely that no one would really care what type of smartphone he used.

RIM’s PlayBook Gets LTE Approval – Does Anyone Really Care?

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RIM gets FCC approval for LTE PlayBook
RIM gets FCC approval for LTE PlayBook

Late last week, RIM got FCC approval to ship LTE models of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The news isn’t a complete surprise. RIM had announced plans for a 4G PlayBook option last year when the tablet originally shipped. Sprint was the targeted as the primary U.S. carrier for the device, which would’ve operated on Sprint’s WiMax network, but the carrier announced it was canceling that plan after the initial Wi-Fi PlayBook shipped (and got less than stellar reviews).

Most Marketing Pros Say iPad Will Dominate Business In 2013

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50% of marketing pros predict iPad continues to dominate business in 2013
50% of marketing pros predict iPad continues to dominate business in 2013

The iPad currently dominates the business tablet market so thoroughly that you can pretty much call it the entire market. A big point of debate in many business and IT circles is how long Apple will be able maintain such a position. One research firm reframed that debate by simplifying the question.

Which operating system do you think will become the preferred business tablet option over the next 12 months?

50% of respondents said that they expect the iPad to maintain its lead in business environments.

BlackBerry 10 Is A Joke, But Only Apple Is Laughing

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RIM tries to entice developers with very unfinished BlackBerry 10 prototype
RIM tries to entice developers with very unfinished BlackBerry 10 prototype

At BlackBerry World this week, RIM began giving prototype BlackBerry 10 phones to developers. The prototype, known as BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha is an effort by RIM to drive developer interest in its upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system with the hopes of building an app catalog for the platform before it launches the first BlackBerry 10 phones later this year.

While that’s a laudable and important idea, the handsets RIM delivered are lacking critical features like the ability to make calls or connect to wireless networks. RIM even pointed out that the actual user interface for BlackBerry 10 isn’t even running on the Dev Alpha devices because the company hasn’t finalized what that interface will look like.