Quoted – Amazon vs. Apple: Battle of the books – MSN

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Amazon vs. Apple: Battle of the books

With its new iPad, Apple is taking aim at Amazon’s core business and its Kindle book reader. Can the ‘e-tail’ pioneer keep up as books, music and movies go all-download?

Amazon.com has come out on top in the digital revolution that’s moving sales of books — as well as compact discs, DVDs and lots of other products — online.

But there’s a second digital uprising afoot, and some experts think Amazon won’t fare as well — and could lose a sizable chunk of its core bookselling business.

Any Amazon losses would likely be gains for Apple which could do to its “e-tail” rival what Amazon has been doing to brick-and-mortar competitors.

Apple’s chief weapon in this battle of online giants — the iPad — will be rolled out April 3, with preorders starting March 12. Among the many things people will be able to do with these flat touch-screen computers: download and read digital books from Apple’s new iBookstore.

One of the main reasons Apple dominates music is the popularity of its iPod players and its music-playing iPhone. Lots of companies make music players, but Apple dominates so thoroughly that “iPod” is nearly a generic term.

Though we won’t know for sure until it hits the market, with its smooth interface and bright color screen, the iPad seems sure to be a comfortable way to read books, believes Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in the Philadelphia area and an avid Kindle user. “The iPad is going to blow the Kindle away as far as ease of use and the quality of the screen,” he says.

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Quoted – iPad stoking doctor interest in tablet computers

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If the launch of the iPad has done anything, it has brought legitimacy to the tablet computer, a product that has long been considered the redheaded stepchild of computing.

It could be because of the buzz over Apple‘s latest offering, or because physicians who have grown to love their smartphones also recognize their limitations in a clinical setting. But more physicians than ever — more than 50%, according to a recent survey by Software Advice — say they are now considering buying a tablet. A separate survey by Epocrates, whose medical software has been a popular smartphone download, found that one in five physicians are planning specifically to purchase an iPad.

But experts say doctors shouldn’t jump on the iPad bandwagon without exploring other options.

But even if the device has all the features you want or need, it still might be wise to wait, experts warn.

In the survey by Epocrates, which developed a mobile drug reference tool for smartphones that it plans to expand to the iPad, 9% of physicians said they planned to buy an iPad when it is released in March; another 13% plan to buy it within a year. But 38% said they are interested but will wait for more information before finalizing their decision.

Scott Testa, PhD, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, said he thinks the 38% are doing the right thing. “I think it’s important that they probably not be the earliest adopters.” He advised waiting until Apple has “come out with the second version to make sure most of the bugs are worked out.”

“Usually the first people who adopt these products go through a little bit more pain that those that wait a little bit,” Testa said. “I think that’s true for many technology products.”

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/02/22/bica0222.htm

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Quoted – Microsoft Trots Out Office for Mac 2011 – MacNewsWorld

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Microsoft Trots Out Office for Mac 2011

Though Apple was conspicuously absent, Microsoft showed up at Macworld to give attendees an early look at its Office for Mac 2011 suite. The new version is more closely aligned with the Windows product, giving users who work on both OS X and Windows a more seamless transition. It also includes new collaboration tools and connectivity to Microsoft Office Web Apps.

The updates in Office for Mac were about what the market expected, Scott Testa, a professor of marketing at Cabrini College, told MacNewsWorld.

Coauthoring and collaboration, in particular, are in growing demand for these sorts of applications, he said.

“Microsoft makes so much money off the Office franchise — of course, they are going to keep up Office for Mac. It means a lot to them. Sure, the OSes get publicity, but the Office platform is what drives revenues for Microsoft.”

http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/Microsoft-Trots-Out-Office-for-Mac-2011-69330.html

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Quoted – Motorola’s Super Bowl ad is the beginning of a targeted marketing push

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The Super Bowl Sunday ad featuring actress Megan Fox is a part of Motorola Inc.’s new push to match its upcoming mobile device offerings to specific customers, company officials said.

Rather than seeking a single new blockbuster like its 2003 Razr to regain market share and profitability, Motorola is taking a different approach and is expected to release 20 Android-based devices this year, each intended to appeal to a different demographic or geographic market.

Scott Testa, a professor and wireless industry expert at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, said the company can’t reach profitability piecemeal, but rather needs a huge hit like Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

“It’s hard for a company with stodgy, not-so-stylish phones to change their image immediately. You have to have a really great product,” Testa said. “There’s so many different things out of Motorola’s hands. You really have to have close to a perfect storm: the third party apps, styling and price points.”

Testa downplayed the impact marketing may have for Motorola. Though Fox may pique the interest of young men, the Devour won’t sell if the product isn’t solid as well.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=156270

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Quoted – Can Apple’s tablet spark a textbook revolution? – ESchool News

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Can Apple’s tablet spark a textbook revolution?

Can the release of Apple’s eReader tablet do for textbooks what the iPod did for music: combine an online store for purchasing books with sleek hardware that holds every text a student needs?

That’s the question many educators are asking as anticipation of Apple’s new tablet mounts.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is widely expected to unveil his company’s eReader Jan. 27 in San Francisco, and industry insiders expect the product to have a large touch screen that is smaller than a laptop screen but larger than an iPhone.

Education technology advocates say students’ allegiance to Apple and the familiarity of buying music or applications from the company’s online store and downloading those purchases on an iPod or an iPhone could make the new Apple tablet an instant hit on campus.

“This is huge for electronic print,” said Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College near Philadelphia who tracks campus technology trends. “Ten years from now, the idea of having a physical textbook is going to be very limited. … I really think just having the ecosystem in place for content delivery will be a very appealing aspect for consumers.”

In what technology analysts say is a response to the buzz about Apple’s tablet, Amazon recently announced that developers outside the company could begin making programs for the Kindle—the same way Apple officials encourage outside development of iPhone apps.

Testa said even if the Apple tablet is similar to the Kindle DX, college students could flock to the product simply because it sports the largely beloved Apple logo.

“I think from a marketing perspective, Apple is a spiritual brand,” he said. “Students will buy it based upon their prior experience with Apple. … That can’t be overstated.”

If Apple’s tablet propels the popularity of eBooks the way iPod did for online music, Testa expects illegal web sites for downloading textbooks to proliferate.

This would follow a pattern established with the rise of illegal music downloading sites on campuses to avoid the costs of the iTunes store, and it could create more headaches for university IT officials who have struggled to stop illegal downloading on campus.

“The Limewire of books is coming,” Testa said, referring to the popular illegal music site. “You can count on that.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/01/26/can-apples-tablet-spark-a-textbook-revolution/

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