A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.
Banks are not prepared for the digital age – need to embrace mobile and social banking
Given the pressures the financial crisis has had on the banking sector, banks have been slow to embrace the digital innovation customers now expect, PwC warned the Irish Banking Federation Conference last week.
Ciarán Kelly, financial services partner, PwC, said digital banking is set to become the primary relationship channel for personal and SME banking customers by 2015.
As consumers continue to embrace social media for brand evaluation and purchase options, the banking sector is increasingly recognising that this channel will play a significant role in defending its existing customer base from non-traditional competition sources.
Kelly said payment providers are invading the space of traditional banks. The escalation of mobile is changing the way consumers think about payments. Mobile payment providers are acting as a catalyst for change in the retail banking space.
Google earnings blunder costs it dearly – share trading suspended
The accidental leakage of Google’s third-quarter results which revealed GAAP operating income fell sharply in the quarter has resulted in shares in the company falling 13pc in value despite the company surpassing US$14bn in revenues for the first time. The company has temporarily suspended share trading.
It is understood that financial printer RR Donnelly accidentally released the financial results ahead of schedule.
During the quarter, Google reported revenues of US$14bn and earnings per share of US$6.53.
Apple reportedly acquires HTML5 marketing start-up Particle
Apple has reportedly bought a digital creative consultancy called Particle, which specialises in web applications and marketing using HTML5.
According to CNET, the Apple deal with the San Francisco, California, start-up happened a month ago. It said not all of Particle’s employees have stayed on to work at Apple.
"HTML5 and the WebKit rendering engine already drive the web experience on devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android, but are increasingly becoming the lowest common denomination on the desktop web in next-generation browsers like Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari,” Particle said.
"Particle has chosen to focus on this technology so intensely because we believe it will soon be the rendering engine that powers a new universe of lightweight and embedded applications, from set-top boxes to game consoles to Chrome OS and Android devices to portable telephony and media devices of all kinds."
Microsoft reaches agreement to acquire StorSimple
Software giant Microsoft has struck a definitive agreement to acquire cloud-integrated storage solutions (CiS) firm StorSimple for an undisclosed sum.
The addition of CiS is expected to enhance Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision and help customers adopt hybrid cloud computing more efficiently.
StorSimple solutions combine the data management functions of primary storage, backup, archive and disaster recovery with cloud integration, enabling customers to optimise storage costs, data protection and service agility.
Newsweek magazine to end print edition, going digital instead
US news magazine Newsweek will end its print edition at the end of the year for an online-only format named Newsweek Global beginning in early 2013.
The 79-year-old magazine’s final print issue in the US will be dated 31 December.
Editor-in-chief Tina Brown and Baba Shetty, Newsweek Daily Beast Co’s chief executive, explained the switch to a digital edition in a statement on the Daily Beast website.
“This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism – that is as powerful as ever," they wrote. "It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
“Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the web, with select content available on The Daily Beast,” they wrote.
Yahoo! nabs Google executive as its COO
Internet giant Yahoo! has hired vice-president of Google’s worldwide Partner Business Solutions group Henrique de Castro as its chief operating officer.
De Castro will join Yahoo! on or before 22 January 2013, or as soon as he wraps up his obligations to Google.
In his new role, de Castro will report to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and will be responsible for strategic and operational management of Yahoo!’s sales, operations, media and business development worldwide.
Digital lock image via Shutterstock
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