Microsoft's 2012 CES swansongWho in the world spends the most time online, which Facebook games have captivated our dollars and minutes, and why Microsoft will be saying goodbye to the Superbowl of tech, the Consumer Electronics Show.
It's Thursday, December 22nd, 2011. I am Kara Tsuboi on CNET.com, and it's time to get loaded for the final time this year. As 2011 comes to a close, those of us in the tech world are looking ahead to the annual Consumer Electronic show in Las Vegas early next month, but for one major player, the 2012 show will be their last. Microsoft has announced that they will be pulling out of CES. This will be the final year they'll rent booth space and have CEO Steve Ballmer, deliver a key note speech. The company says that it wants to debut products at their own events on their own schedule. A similar decision to what Apple made years ago. Speaking of Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal has reported that the Seattle based company and Nokia were trying to make a joint take over bid for Research In Motion, the makers of the Blackberry. As we reported yesterday, RIM has seen a significant drop in revenue and has received multiple buyout offers including one from Amazon. While no deals have been inked, people close to the subject have said that future changes including a possible management restructuring are likely for the new year. On Wednesday, RIM's stock surge at 10% at this possible buyout news. The Android market place has always have to play catch up to Apple's more developed app store and now the figures for 2011 downloads reinforced that point. According to Distimo, a website that monitors activity for app developers, the Apple store generates roughly 4 times the revenue that Google store churns out. Also have note in this report is the number of app downloads in China. For the iPhone, China represents 30% of all downloads for the iPad 44% both represent dramatic increases over last year's numbers. Another study has recently been released, a document to how people around the world spend their time online. According to comScore 1 out of every 5 minutes online is spent on social networking sites. Compare that 20% this year to just 7% back in '07. This study also breaks down social media usage by country and region. For example, people in the Philippines are the most connected logging well over 8 hours a month on social networking sites whereas us for a nation it's less than 3 hours per month. There's also all sorts of interesting nuggets in this survey. Women continue to lead men when it comes to time online and that 80% of Facebook and Twitter users are now outside of the US. Now one reason why Facebook is so captivating is all of those games, but somewhat surprisingly Zynga did not have the most popular game. Nope. It was Gardens of Time by Playdom. Of course Zynga did have 4 in the top 10 with Words with Friends and Cityville but it was Electronic Arts', The Sims Social claiming the number 2 spot. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Kara Tsuboi for CNET.com wishing you a very happy holiday season. We'll see you in 2012.