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Tech News: RIM's BlackBerry 10 Launch Has a Lot of Questions to Answer

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Also, Microsoft's strategy with Office 2013 is not a winner.

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This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology every day, so buckle up!

VentureBeat
Link: BlackBerry 10: Don't Count RIM Out (But Don't Expect Any Surprises)
"BlackBerry 10 is late. And I'm not just talking about missing a few release dates. It could very well be too late for Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) to make an impact in today's smartphone market with the iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) reigning supreme - where even Microsoft has a several-year head start.

"But that's not stopping RIM from holding a massive launch event for BlackBerry 10 in New York City today. There the company will finally unveil its new smartphones, discuss how popular apps like BlackBerry Messenger will live on, and explain how BlackBerry 10 is different from the competition. Ultimately, RIM will try to prove why it's still relevant."

TechCrunch
Link: The 'Windows First' Strategy for Microsoft Office 2013 is Not Working
"Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is pinching CIOs by not providing an easy way to run the just-released Microsoft Office 2013 except on Windows RT, the operating system for its Surface tablets. With little cross-platform integration, Microsoft is creating an opening for vendors that have a clearer path for a complete mobile workflow.

"Outlook is the killer app for Microsoft, but the company has not shown any interest in releasing it for Office on the Surface or any other mobile device, said analyst Esteban Kolsky, founder of ThinkJar. Instead, Microsoft makes the case for Office365 in the cloud. But so far it only has 20% to 30% of the functionality that a customer would get with the desktop version of Microsoft Office."

Wired
Link: Amazon's Growth Looks Like Walmart in the 1990s, But Even Better
"Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) doesn't make a lot of money in the profit sense, which is typically the only sense that matters. But the investors who sent Amazon's stock soaring after-hours last night were likely looking at a different set of numbers.

"For the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday season, Amazon reported $21.27 billion in sales. Sounds like a lot of money, but compared to what? How about 2008, when Amazon sold less than that ($19.17 billion) for the whole year. But that's not the only big total. Amazon also reported its total sales for 2012 topped $61 billion, up $13 billion from last year. In 2007, Amazon's annual net sales were $14.84 billion. In other words, Amazon's sales have quadrupled over the past five years."

Ars Technica
Link: Nexus 4, Optimus G Do Wonders for LG's Fourth Quarter Revenues
"LG (LSE:LGLD) announced both its fourth quarter and annual revenues for the 2012 financial year ahead of the earnings call slated for later this evening. The Korea-based electronics company posted consolidated revenues of $45.22 billion and a net profit of $80.75 million for 2012. While LG's appliance and air conditioning divisions were stable, its smartphone and television sales flourished during the quarter.

"LG reported record sales in flat-panel TVs, coming in at $5.91 billion with over 9.3 million units sold in the fourth quarter. Strong revenues stemmed from LG's 3D and Smart TVs lineup, though profit could have been stronger had it not been for lower-than-average television prices. LG states it will continue to aggressively market 3D and Smart TVs in the coming year, especially as it ushers in its premium television lineup with Ultra HD TVs and OLED TVs."

GigaOM
Link: Facing Facebook Opposition, Yandex Presses Pause on Wonder
"When Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) says no, that means no. After launching a beta version of its Wonder app, which aims to give users voice-driven access to information about their contacts' activities across various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Yandex has put the app on hold.

"When Wonder launched in the US, Russia's Yandex was keen to maintain that it wasn't a 'search engine' – it just helped people search for information from within specific networks. Facebook, which recently launched its own network search capabilities, didn't see things that way, and shut off its Graph API to Wonder almost immediately."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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