Skype said Thursday that it had acquired streaming video service Qik for an undisclosed amount, believed to be around $100 million USD. The VoIP provider says it plans to use Qik's technology to enhance its own video calling functionality.
Qik was founded in 2006 and is compatible with about 200 phones across several platforms including the iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile platforms. The company has also struck several partnerships to have its applications come preloaded on select devices.
The concept is simple: the user shoots video with his or her camera phone, which is then uploaded to Qik's servers and delivered in near real time via the company's website. The user also has the option to share the video via social networking.
Every year, the average megapixel count of consumer mobile devices takes an incremental hop upward. Last year, the most common mobile phone cameras hovered around 5 megapixels. The phones being debuted at CES 2011 seem to be sticking around 8 megapixel with 720p video capture capabilities.
But at the same time as their internal sensors are getting more sophisticated, they're also becoming more sophisticated remote viewscreens. Today, Samsung launched a line of "DIY" video security cameras that can broadcast to smartphone or connected TV apps located either within the camera's local network, or remotely.
"Our new Samsung DIY Security Systems provide the advanced technology and sleek design that Samsung is known for and offers homeowners and SMBs an all-in-one solution to protect their most valuable assets" said Mike Palazzolo, vice president of sales and marketing, consumer products at Samsung Techwin America.
Microsoft is taking notice of industry trends, and told attendees Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the next version of Windows would run on ARM chips. The move is an acknowledgement of the changing face of consumer electronics -- that smart phones, tablets, and portable devices are indeed the future.
The move is also significant for another reason -- up until now, Microsoft on ARM was relegated to the stripped down versions of Windows, either Windows Mobile, CE, or Embedded. Having the capability to run a full version of the operating system natively on these mobile processors opens up more possibilities for manufacturers in developing compact devices, the Redmond company believes.
"We've reached a point in technology where everyone really does want everything from their computing experience," Windows chief Steven Sinfosky said in explaining the decision. "Today's demonstrations will highlight the work we have done on the architecture of Windows to enable the richness of the Windows platform to run natively on the ARM platform."
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a free antivirus software product created by Microsoft that provides protection against different types of malware such as computer virus, spyware, rootkits and trojan horses for Windows XP (x86), Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (both x86 and x64). Microsoft Security Essentials replaces Windows Live OneCare, a commercial subscription-based antivirus service and the free Windows Defender, which only protected users from adware and spyware. Unlike the Microsoft Forefront family of enterprise-oriented security products, Microsoft Security Essentials is geared for consumer use.
Rival processor makers Intel and AMD may not agree on much, but they are of one mind about the future of the venerable VGA graphics port: it doesn't have one. The two chipmakers are joined by Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and LG in an industry-spanning agreement to phase out VGA entirely by 2015, and to standardize solely on HDMI and DisplayPort.
"DisplayPort and HDMI allow for slimmer laptop designs, and support higher resolutions with deeper color than VGA—a technology which is more than 20 years old," the companies wrote in a joint press release. "Additionally, as laptops get smaller and their embedded flat panel resolutions increase for more immersive experiences, the power advantages, bidirectional communications and design efficiency benefits of DisplayPort make it a superior choice over LVDS, the previous standard for LCD panel inputs."
Web security company AVG has issued an apology to its customers after its most recent update caused a significant number of Windows 7 crashes.
The update in question, 3292, caused a number of systems running on the Windows 7 64 platform to become bricked and continuously reboot and has since been pulled by the anti-virus providers.
"AVG has identified a potential conflict between one of our recent updates (3292) and a significant number of systems running on the Windows 7 64-bit platform.