Top Stories of the Week – April 28, 2012

Cisco to include IM software to enterprise IP communications system

Cisco will add Jabber instant messaging and presence software at no extra charge with its Unified Communications Manager Enterprise IP communications system, the company said recently.

The move follows Cisco's findings that IM and presence have become essential collaboration capabilities to enterprise users, and a necessary complement to the voice and video capabilities that their software offers.

Time Warner to bring its live streaming TV service to Roku boxes

After its release on iOS and later expanding to web browsers and Android, Time Warner's live streaming TV service, TWC TV, may soon be available for Roku set top boxes. Tech blogs say that company representatives are currently being briefed on the software, but cautions that a public rollout could still be months away. With Comcast's Xfinity app appearing on the Xbox 360 last month, potentially reaching millions of new users via Xbox Live, the race is on for Time Warner to offer its streaming service on more Internet devices.

Regional telecom company Bell Aliant helped by digital TV, Internet in early 2012

Bell Aliant Inc. increased its profit to US$87 million for the first quarter of 2012 as its digital TV and Internet services helped boost earnings.

The Halifax-based company's net earnings in the same quarter of 2011 were US$84 million. Revenue was still the same in the quarter at US$682 million year-over-year, Bell Aliant said Wednesday.

Samsung becomes cellphone market leader

Increasing sales of smartphones buoyed Samsung Electronics Co.'s profit to a record high in the first quarter and apparently pushed the South Korean company past Nokia Corp. as the world's largest cellphone seller.

Samsung may also have passed Apple Inc. as the world's number one seller of smartphones, though many analysts disagreed on that, giving widely varying estimates of Samsung's output. Other cellphone makers disclose unit shipments of their products, but Samsung stopped doing so some time ago.

However, its overall financial announcement underlined the importance of Samsung's transition to smartphones, which, after a sluggish start, is now moving faster than the industry average. Samsung recently reported first-quarter profit of US$4.45 billion, up 82% jump the year earlier. Sales were up 22%.

Huawei financing R&D to develop innovative products like touch-free phones

Huawei's continuing to make a major move for the consumer market. Media reports say that the company is increasing its 2012 R&D budget by about 20 percent to US$4.5 billion in order to bring "disruptive technology" to the marketplace. Once such innovation suggested by John Roese, Huawei's country manager for its North American R&D center, was the concept of a smartphone that recognized hand gestures without the user having to touch the device. As Roese stated, "So imagine instead of touching a smartphone, you can actually have a three-dimensional interaction with your phone." Roese also explained some of the technical requirements behind such a phone system, noting that such a device will need powerful graphics processing and two front-facing cameras; he also said that Huawei is likely to use it for tablets first.

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