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Tech News: Apple Plays Up iPad's Value as a Classroom Tool

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Also, Microsoft is keeping oddly mum about its expectations for Windows 8.

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This column highlights the most useful and interesting business and financial commentary on technology every day.

TechCrunch
Link: Report: Apple To Highlight iPad's Educational Value at Tuesday's iPad Mini Event
"Apple (AAPL) (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives will put the spotlight on the iPad's educational value tomorrow at its planned San Jose event, according to a new Bloomberg Businessweek report. The report cites 'a person with knowledge of the planning' of the event as the source, but doesn't go into further detail about how specifically they'll be promoting it from an educational perspective. But if Apple's introducing a lower-cost iPad mini as expected, the benefits in terms of institutional purchases are obvious."

PaidContent
Link: Amazon Apparently Discontinues Kindle Touch in Favor of Paperwhite
"It appears that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is no longer selling the Kindle Touch, the touchscreen e-reader that preceded the front-lit Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon also seems to have discontinued the large-screen Kindle DX last week.

"The change leaves consumers who want a Kindle right now with limited options. The Kindle Paperwhite has been sold out since early October and its product page still says it won't ship for four to six weeks. The bare-bones, non-touchscreen Kindle, $69 with ads and $89 without, is available, as is the old Kindle Keyboard, $139 with 3G and ads."

ReadWriteWeb
Link: How Is Windows 8 Going to Do? Microsoft Doesn't Want to Talk About It
"How well does Microsoft (MSFT) (NASDAQ:MSFT) expect Windows 8 to do? Oddly enough, the company doesn't want to talk about it. And while maybe the company is just being careful, this is not an encouraging sign.

"On a conference call Thursday afternoon, Wall Street analysts pressed Microsoft executives for specifics about expectations for the forthcoming version of Windows. But Microsoft refused to make any predictions.

"Analysts have reason to be concerned. Windows 8 represents a radical overhaul of the company's flagship operating system, one that that some fear may be so radical that it will turn customers off."

GigaOM
Link: Google Confirms Verizon Customers Will Get Carrier Billing for Google Play
"Verizon (NYSE:VZ) customers can soon pay for their Android apps as well as any media content purchased on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play with their phone bill: Google confirmed rumors that it was rolling out carrier billing in partnership with Verizon Thursday.

"Rumors about a carrier billing partnership between Google and Verizon first surfaced earlier this week when Droid Life published an internal Verizon screenshot that hinted at a launch this Thursday. It now looks like most Verizon customers won't be able to make use of the billing option that quickly. The feature will be rolled out over the next few weeks, according to the Google+ announcement post."

VentureBeat
Link: Marissa Mayer's Grand Vision for Yahoo Is in Technology, Not Media
"With revenues drying up in online content creation, sources say that Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) will revert back to a technology company.

"For years, the Silicon Valley company has been caught between an online content and news provider, and a supplier of technology tools. If it embraces the latter, the company will inevitably butt heads with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google.

"As originally reported by Reuters, Marissa Mayer, the company's audacious CEO, is slowly steering the giant back to its tech roots. A source told me that Mayer has been taking meetings with promising startups in the mobile and social media space, evidence of an aggressive M&A strategy."
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