Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover the rumors that Samsung offered to buy Blackberry, the pilot of Facebook At Work, Obama’s tech moves, and Amazon and Netflix scoring Golden Globe awards.
Samsung to buy Blackberry?
It’s rumored that Samsung offered to buy Blackberry for a cool $7.5 billion this week. Both companies deny that talks have occurred.
Samsung is the world’s leading smartphone maker but most of its revenue comes from the consumer market, where the company is under attack from emerging low-cost players like Xiaomi. Samsung trails its rivals in the lucrative corporate market, and with Apple making moves to invade the enterprise, purchasing Blackberry would certainly boost Samsung’s profile with businesses.
Samsung is also interested in Blackberry’s vast portfolio of over 44,000 patents, which is worth about $1.4 billion.
Facebook for Work rolls out
Another company looking to gain a foothold in the enterprise is Facebook, and the company rolled out a pilot of its “Facebook At Work” program this week.
The enterprise collaboration tool looks and works a lot like the consumer social network, with standard features like messaging, groups, and events. There are currently no ads on the Work product and Facebook does not track any corporate user data. It’s still early days; the trial is being held with only a few companies, and pricing and additional features are still to be determined.
Obama calls for more broadband and cybersecurity
President Obama was on his tech game this week.
First, Obama renewed his push for increased cybersecurity legislation in light of recent hacks of Sony, Target, and other big businesses’ IT systems. Plans include federally-mandated privacy requirements and increased authority for government agencies to investigate and prosecute cyber crimes.
Next, the President pushed the Federal Communications Commission to lift restrictions on municipalities to build community broadband networks. Currently, 19 states have laws that bar competition from building municipal broadband networks, heavily favoring private broadband companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Obama believes that these private companies aren’t doing enough to provide broadband internet access in many markets, so other companies and municipalities should be able do so.
Amazon and Netflix score Golden Globe wins
On-demand streaming services Amazon and Netflix both won Golden Globe awards on Sunday, putting even more pressure on broadcasters’ and cable networks’ core content businesses.
Amazon won two major awards with Transparent, a show about a transgender father’s experience with his family. The show won awards for Best Comedy or Musical TV Series – the first online show to win said award – and Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical TV Series. Kevin Spacey scored a win for Best Actor in a TV Drama for Netflix’s House of Cards.
The trend of high-quality content being developed by internet-only streaming services is an important one, as these companies can easily distribute these shows across the globe without haggling with local cable providers.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.