This week was quite eventful for the tech sector, with a lot of significant developments related to major companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). We analyze a few such developments which could impact their value in the coming years.
Microsoft’s roadmap for Office 15, Internet Explorer 10 and some other key products was leaked this week. The roadmap details were released to its partners, and outline various development stages for some of Microsoft’s most important products, including Office, Window Server and Windows Phone. Microsoft also announced that it will start charging for access to its Bing Search API, starting at $40 per month.
However, the most significant development related to Microsoft was this — it purchased around 800 patents from AOL for $1.05 billion. While it seems like a defensive play against Google in the mapping space, it may also enable Microsoft to generate additional licensing revenue going forward.
Amazon unveiled yet another product from its cloud factory this week – Amazon CloudSearch. It is a new web service which will offer Amazon’s scalable search technology as a service to cloud-based app developers. It enables developers to leverage Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to add advanced search features to their apps and cloud services. It offers full-text search capabilities which can be easily integrated by developers into their applications without worrying about search volume or scalability, and will pit Amazon indirectly against Google and Microsoft, while further expanding its reach in the cloud computing space.
Amazon also launched its new in-app purchasing service for developers on its platforms, which should enable it to generate additional revenue and reduce the impact of the profit hit it is taking on every sale of the Kindle Fire. Amazon may also see a minor win following the DoJ’s investigation against Apple and top ebook publishers for colluding to fix prices. Though the odds seem to be heavily in the favor of the defendants, if the DoJ wins the lawsuit, it may enable Amazon to go back to its original ebook pricing scheme and gain some more market share through price wars.