Apple has topped the list of world’s most valuable brands for the third straight year in a row, and is now worth almost twice as much as any other brand on the planet, Forbes reports. The Cupertino company is now valued at $104.3 billion, up 20 percent over last year, which puts it way out in front of Microsoft, Samsung, and even Google.
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Yesterday Apple announced that all of its consumer software, including OS X Mavericks, is now free. Customers who buy Apple’s hardware will have full access to the completely new versions of iLife and iWork at no additional cost. It’s a bold move that The New York Times called a direct attack on Microsoft Office.
The decision to make iWork free wasn’t Apple’s only jab at Microsoft during yesterday’s keynote, and now the Redmond giant has gone on the defensive.
What is the point of the iPad now that the iPad mini is on the cusp of going Retina? It’s Apple’s pro device: the iPad for people who want a tablet to replace their laptops, not just be a more fully-functioning e-reader.
Why is why the latest rumor to come down the pipes makes a lot of sense. It says Apple is intending on launching its own keyboard cover for the iPad at tomorrow’s event, a la the Microsoft Surface.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed that Microsoft Office will come to the iPad just as soon as it’s ready for devices with a touchscreen. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Florida today, Ballmer said, “iPad will be picked up when there’s a touch first user interface.”
That user interface is “in progress” Ballmer added, but it’s likely to come to the Windows version of Office first.
Nothing makes Microsoft happier than seeing an iPhone user ditch their device for a Windows Phone smartphone. In fact, the company will even buy your iPhone off you if you promise to make the switch.
Starting this Friday, you’ll be able to take your old iPhone 4s or iPhone 5 into select Microsoft stores across the U.S. and Canada and receive a minimum of $200 in-store credit for a new Windows Phone device. The move comes weeks after Microsoft kicked off an iPad trade-in program to encourage consumers to switch to its Surface tablet.
Dreams of an Android-powered Nokia were well and truly quashed today when Microsoft announced that it has reached a deal to acquire Nokia’s Devices and Services unit for $7.2 billion. The move will see Microsoft take ownership of the Finnish firm’s entire smartphone lineup, giving it complete control over both hardware and software.