5 Hot Tech Stories + Why CIOs Should Care

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 07-12-2010

5 Hot Tech Stories + Why CIOs Should Care

iPhone 4 may have lost some consumer hearts and minds after the blame game that's going on between Apple and AT&T over the device's connectivity woes. Meanwhile, one analyst predicts that Apple's iPad will continue to dominate the market, even as Cisco unleashes its Cius tablet targeted directly at the enterprise space. We also saw the debut of Mozilla's Firefox 4 Beta, heard some dark stories about the security of mobile applications and watched as Microsoft went through some major pains. Read on to see why these matter to the CIO and what actions you can take.

All about iPhone 4

iPhone 4 Woes Keep Coming

Last week, Apple continued to say that the iPhone 4's antenna problems were the result of users holding the device improperly. The company also attempted to put the blame on AT&T for the iPhone 4's troubles by saying that the issue has more to do with signal strength than the way Apple calculates a signal. Regardless of which company is more at fault, it is still clear that the iPhone 4 isn't ready for the enterprise until Apple finds a real solution. Of course, that isn't going to stop employees (and your bosses) from demanding to use the device for business purposes. You'll want to align your policies to suit your business needs, and make sure you get buy-in from senior management on how you're going to deal with requests to use iPhone 4 in your enterprise.

Why Firefox 4 Matters

Firefox 4 Makes its Debut

Mozilla finally launched Firefox 4 Beta last week. The build is in its infancy, and there are still some quirks that need to be worked out before the organization delivers the final build. The good news is that is is now robust enough for CIOs to let their IT staff take a look. Mozilla made Firefox 4 faster than its predecessor, reworked the design design, and added support for HTML5 video. Overall, the update is impressive when one compares it to Firefox 3. Yet, it is still slower than Google's Chrome browser. CIOs who are looking to break away from Internet Explorer will be happy to know that Firefox 4 will likely deliver a more secure browsing environment than Microsoft's platform.

Apple Will Dominate Tablet Market

Analyst: Apple Will Dominate Tablet Market

According to an analyst at Barclays Capital, Apple will sell a whopping 20 million iPads next year. That kind of growth should help the company lead the tablet market going forward, the analyst claims. While tablet computing has long held a place in certain niches of the enterprise (for example, in field service or for mobile healthcare workers), this rapidly emerging category of lightweight tablets will become increasingly important to CIOs for those mobile employees who roam the so-called "carpeted halls" of the enterprise. Companies that want these employees to be effective while mobile might opt for a tablet over a netbook. And with Cisco's Cius tablet set to target the corporate world, a battle between the iPad and the Cius for enterprise dominance could ensue. There are many questions to be answered around the total cost of ownership and security of these devices, as well as how they'll be managed alongside the rest of your computing environment. Yet, there is no doubt demand will continue to increase for tablet form factors in the enterprise.

Are Mobile Apps Unsafe?

Are Mobile Apps Unsafe?

There is debate raging over the safety of both iPhone and Android applications. The story started when a report released in early July by SMobile Systems, a mobile security software vendor, stated that as much as 20 percent of Android applications could be unsafe. When Apple's App Store was allegedly hacked by a developer a few days later, it called into question how much users can really trust their mobile apps. It's an important question to ask, especially in the increasingly mobile enterprise where data security trumps all else. The security of mobile applications needs to be front-of-mind for CIOs as they face the growing employee demand to connect an array of smartphones to enterprise applications.

Microsoft Drama Unfolds

Microsoft Quietly Lays Off More Employees

After decades of success, Microsoft has laid off another group of employees. Last year, the company laid off thousands of people. This latest round of layoffs was reportedly in the hundred. The cutbacks are reportedly the result of the company having trouble maintaining budgets in poor-performing divisions. Whether or not the layoffs are further Microsoft is in trouble remains to be seen. Still, considering how integrated the company's products are in the corporate world, it's something that CIOs should watch closely.