Week in review: Jobs stokes fans and foes

Apple's chief criticizes competitors then unveils new MacBook Airs. Facebook faces new privacy flap. Also: Microsoft loses key exec.

Steve Jobs had a busy week, entertaining fans and inciting competitors.

Apple's CEO unveiled a new line of MacBook Airs that are thinner and lighter than the prior model, while aiming to offer the instant-on and long battery life found in the iPad. Available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, the machines range from $999 to $1,599 depending on the combination of screen, processor, and storage. All use flash memory rather than a hard drive , boasting anywhere from five to seven hours of battery life in "wireless Web use," Apple said.

Jobs also announced that Mac OS X Lion, the next installment of the Mac OS, will be available next summer. The new version is designed to take some of the features found in iOS, such as multitouch gestures, and bring them to the Mac.
• Why Apple's new MacBook should worry Microsoft
• A look inside the new MacBook Air
• Apple gets 'Back to the Mac' with iLife '11, Mac OS X Lion

But it was Jobs' remarks during a surprise appearance on Apple's earnings call that generated the most buzz in tech circles. Jobs explained the rare dial-in as a tribute to Apple's first $20 billion quarter--it had been two years since his last earnings call visit, but the true purpose of the appearance was apparently to deliver a rant regarding the fragmentation of Android, Google's alleged obfuscation of "open" versus "closed" platforms, and the shortcomings of 7-inch touch-screen tablets.

His targets took little time in responding.
• A misguided rebuttal to Steve Jobs' Android attack
• RIM: Steve Jobs is telling half the truth
• TweetDeck CEO: You're wrong, Steve Jobs

More headlines

Report: Facebook apps sharing user info

Many of the massive social network's most popular apps are sharing users' personally identifiable data with ad and Internet-tracking companies.
• Has Facebook lost control of the Platform?
• Politicos press Facebook CEO over privacy flap

Porn studio a step closer to revealing pirates' IDs

A niche movie producer has provided a court with the IP addresses of 1,568 people it accuses of sharing one of its titles. The next step: attaching names to the numbers.
• Accused pirates to indie filmmakers: Sue us
• China pledges to crack down on pirated software

Google ditches all Street View Wi-Fi scanning

Canadian government report says Google plans to use only crowdsourced data, obtained primarily through mobile devices, to compile its Wi-Fi location database.
• Canada slaps Google for Street View Wi-Fi intercepts
• Nearly 3 percent of Germans opt out of Street View

Intel to spend billions on new fab, plant upgrades

Company will pour between $6 billion and $8 billion into building a fab in Oregon and upgrading four other U.S. manufacturing plants as it shifts toward 22-nanometer designs.
• A peek into the future of Intel processors
• AMD's new 'Llano' chip targets sleek designs

Ray Ozzie stepping down from Microsoft

Redmond's chief software architect is exiting the company. The move leaves the software company's technology architecture in question.
• Assessing Ray Ozzie's impact at Microsoft

Another blow-out quarter for Apple: $20 billion in revenue

Apple sells 4.1 million iPads, 14.1 million iPhones, and 3.9 million Macs for another record-setting quarter. iPad sales are lower than analysts expected.
• IBM raises outlook on solid third quarter
• Lowered expenses help Yahoo beat Q3 expectations
• Amazon posts strong quarter, but margin woes emerge
• PayPal growth helps eBay beat the Street again

Also of note
• Google's 'Double Irish' tax scheme saved it $3.1B
• Kleiner Perkins fund to boost 'third wave'
• Google chosen to digitize Dead Sea Scrolls

 

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