FutureFive NZ - The Techday Weekender - Jun 16th 2012

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The Techday Weekender - Jun 16th 2012

Apple and Microsoft showed the right and wrong ways to woo developers to their causes this week – and it will come as no surprise that Apple was on the ‘right’ side of the equation.

The mammoth company held its sold-out Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, taking the opportunity to announce a host of new features that will be included in the next version of its mobile device operating system, iOS 6.

It’s nothing game-changing – closer Facebook integration and Siri for iPad (third-gen only) were the main topics of conversation – but combined with announcements about OS X Mountain Lion and a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the event overall was certainly up to Apple’s usual standard.

At the other end of the scale was Microsoft, which was lambasted for a tragic song and dance routine at its Norwegian Developers Conference over the weekend.

It’s a little bit mean to compare the two events; one was a big-budget affair intended for a global audience, while the other would never have made it outside of Scandinavia had it not been for the phrase, ‘The words Micro and Soft don’t apply to my penis’ (you have to see the video to believe it).

Even so, coming so close to one another it was hard not to draw the comparison. Apple just always seems to get it right – all the way down to the corny jokes cracked by Siri at the opening of the WWDC keynote (each one accompanied by a rimshot from GarageBand).

In local news, Sky TV has predicted the ‘imminent entry’ of ‘major international players’ into the New Zealand online content market.

The company made the prediction in a response to a Commerce Commission draft report on demand for high-speed broadband, in a bid to douse any concerns about its control over content in New Zealand.

At the same time, another submission from TelstraClear fanned those concerns, claiming that they see ‘little prospect of increased competition’ until changes are made.

Speaking of TelstraClear, the ISP was raked over the coals by disgruntled consumers this week following a Fair Go report into the company’s standards of customer service.

The public shaming comes at an awkward time for the company, which is on the verge of a potential sale to rival Vodafone.

In one last piece of ISP news, internet testing company TrueNet released its monthly findings this week, including recently-sold ISP Maxnet in its results for the first time. The company had a mixed performance in the tests, achieving solid download speed but suffering a slow-down at peak times; however, a spokesperson told Techday this problem had already been identified, and should be resolved in future results.

Finally, a Sydney e-retailer caught our attention this week by announcing it would charge a surcharge for customers making purchases through the Internet Explorer 7 browser.

Designing for the ageing browser costs a fortune in development resources, according to the company’s boss, and it’s time those who necessitate that cost start paying their way.

It’s not quite as harsh as it sounds, as users are invited to download a more current browser to avoid paying the fee – but we expect there are plenty of developers out there who would love to be able to implement such a charge themselves.

We’ll be back Monday, have a great weekend!

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