Thursday, 24 October 2013

Apple's newest biz strategy: Free, free, free

Apple software engineer chief Craig Federighi announcing updates to the Mac, including a free upgrade to OS X Mavericks.
(Credit: James Martin / CNET)
Apple revealed lots of new things on Tuesday during its product event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, but the most intriguing among them was not on the product list -- its newest business strategy: aggressive pricing.
"Today we're revolutionizing pricing," said Apple's senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi, right before announcing that the company would be giving away OS X Mavericks, Apple's new flagship Mac operating system. On the screen behind him, the word "Free" appeared from behind a glimmer of light, one of the hokey slide animations that Apple has used in its keynote slides since Steve Jobs was the ringmaster.
On a day where Apple announced a slimmer, faster, renamed iPad Air, and an iPad Mini with Retina Display, the biggest story may have been in dollars and cents, with the company electing to give away some of its marquee software offerings.
Aside from Mavericks, Apple also announced that its iLife and iWorks suites -- with revamped versions of key apps like Garage Band and Pages -- would also be free with new iOS or Mac purchases. It's not an insignificant sum for consumers. iWork apps like Pages and Keynote currently cost $20 a pop in Apple's app store.

Internet begins its move beyond .com, .net, and .edu

ICANN logo

Think .biz and .mobi are a little weird to see at the end of an Internet address? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Because on Wednesday, the first 4 of a planned 1,400 new Net-address suffixes -- called generic top-level domains, or GTLDs -- were built into the fabric of the Internet. The first four new GTLDs, taking advantage of the newer ability to extend beyond Latin character sets, are the Chinese word for game, the Arabic word for Web, and the Russian words for online and site.
"In addition to facilitating competition and innovation through the New gTLD Program, one of ICANN's key aims is to help create a globally inclusive Internet, regardless of language or region. For this reason, we elected to prioritize the processing of IDN applications and their delegation," Akram Atallah, ICANN's president of generic domains, said in a blog post.
The years-long process is overseen by ICANN, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which proceeded despite complaints from trademark holders worried about an explosion of new destinations where they must worry about trademark protection.