Wireless operators say they face a crisis if they can't get additional wireless spectrum to fuel the growth of mobile data usage. What does it mean for the average cell phone customer? As some wireless operators scramble to get their hands on additional network capacity, they've rejiggered their data plans to put some heavy data users on a mobile data diet. A couple of years ago the two biggest players -- AT&T and Verizon Wireless -- eliminated all their all-you-can-eat plans for new customers. And this year, Verizon made it harder for existing Verizon customers to … Read more
Apple and Samsung's patent fight may have received the most attention about intellectual property litigants, but they were hardly the only ones. In fact, it may be easier to name big tech companies not engaged in a patent suit than it is to name the ones that have taken their intellectual property disputes the courtroom...or at least threatening to do so. The so-called balance of terror where big companies amass stockpiles of patents in order to discourage litigation turned into a legal free-for-all. Barely a day passed when a tech company, from Facebook to Microsoft, wasn't named … Read more
If it just didn't work, the thought on some people's minds became whether quality at Apple has begun to slip with the intensely detail-driven Steve Jobs no longer at the helm.
Some examples of flubs included an ill-received overhaul of the built-in maps software in iOS, which CEO Tim Cook later described as something the company "screwed up"; some very bad TV commercials featuring one of the company's "Genius" support crew; and changes to Apple's retail operations which brought cut hours and -- in some cases -- layoffs at the company's … Read more
If you need proof that tablets are the go-to gadget of choice, consider this: 2012 was the year that saw three new iPad releases, along with the first-ever branded tablets from rival tech titans Google and Microsoft.
The wave of ultra-affordable 7-inch Android tablets became a torrent, with products like the Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook joining the Google Nexus 7, all delivering a great casual computing and media experience for a mere $199. October saw the release of both Apple's first-ever iPad Mini, as well as Microsoft's Surface leading the charge for an entire … Read more
Marissa Mayer's ascent to the top chair at Yahoo this summer made journalists everywhere giddy. The celeb CEO's many faces--geek, business shark, mother, savant, debutante--make her a fascinating subject for profiles and speculation.
After a seemingly endless parade of Yahoo CEOs proved unable to paste together the crumbling Web giant, the tech world responded to Mayer's appointment with largely pleasant surprise. The 20th engineer at Google and Stanford grad maintains a reputation for extreme intelligence blended with canny people skills, both welcome at the fading Yahoo, which has long struggled to decide whether it wants to be … Read more
Windows 8 was the crowning achievement in a distinguished career of shipping quality products for Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky. That's why his exit from Microsoft just weeks after the Windows 8 launch seemed so surprising.
But Sinofsky, a strong-willed executive with a reputation for butting heads with those in other divisions, had even been battling with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The company's senior leaders were increasingly concerned about Sinofsky's ability to collaborate with other groups at a time when Microsoft needs more cross-product synergy to better compete against Apple and Google. So once Windows 8 shipped, Sinofsky … Read more
2012 was a year Mark Zuckerberg will remember vividly -- and not just because he turned 28 and married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan. The year will go down as the one in which Zuckerberg came out from under his hoodie and began to prove his talents as a leader of one of the titans of consumer tech. His rock-star persona helped as he wooed Wall Street and pulled off the biggest Internet IPO in history, raising $16 billion. But we all know what happened next: The stock cratered and Zuckerberg quickly went from idol to villain -- at least … Read more
Over the last 18 years Amazon's Jeff Bezos has built an empire that redefined commerce in the digital age, and in 2012 his mastery of e-commerce continued. The company is expected to generate $62 billion in revenue this year, up from $48 billion in 2011. Fortune crowned Bezos the 2012 businessperson of the year, characterizing him as the "ultimate disruptor."
His disruptiveness first destroyed the traditional retail book industry, and now he is competing with Apple, Netflix, Google, and others to dominate digital music, movie, TV show, and app sales. In 2012, Bezos got more serious about … Read more
Most entrepreneurs are lucky to see a single business succeeding. Jack Dorsey is watching two companies he co-founded succeed -- simultaneously. Twitter became ubiquitous in 2012, with hashtags slapped on seemingly every movie, television show, and sporting event. They became integrated into Apple software at the system level, set new records for the most tweets about a single event, and notched its 500 millionth registered account. Also: the Pope joined up. Meanwhile, payment processor Square signed an important deal with Starbucks that brings Square's seamless payment technology to more than 7,000 stores. Along the way, the three-year-old company … Read more
Facebook's Chief Operating Officer doesn't shy away from ongoing industry chatter about the role of women in technology and business. She fuels it.
Now famous for her success at Facebook and her ultimate ascent to the Facebook board (previously a dudes-only affair) in June, Sandberg's past successes are many, including stints as an economist with the World Bank, chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department in the Clinton administration, and as a top ad sales executive for Google.