What goes up must come down and on Wall Street, billions are made and lost betting on which direction companies are headed. Apple is the most valuable technology company in America by a huge margin so needless to say, it gets plenty of attention on the Street. At some point, be it sometime in the next few years or sometime in the next few decades, Apple will no longer be on top. It is inevitable. The question countless industry watchers try to answer, of course, is when.
According to Microsoft this will be “the world’s first joint research center dedicated to studying and perfecting the social applications of NUI [natural user interfaces].” That’s about as incredibly specific as these sorts of claims get, but still, Redmond’s new Australian facility is an intriguing one – particularly in light of the company’s all-in Kinect investment in the wake of the Xbox One. Of course, the peripheral’s applications have long gone beyond the world of gaming, a matter helped along by a seemingly endless parade of third-party hacks, the development of Kinect for the PC and a move toward gesture-based control in the home. The Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces has a long list of additional spaces it intends to study, including offices, classrooms, museums and healthcare.
If you can’t bring yourself to shell out $10 a month for the privilege of enjoying your Spotify playlist on the go, we have good news for you: the company is apparently developing a free version of its streaming service for mobile devices. This report comes from the Wall Street Journal, which cites “people familiar with the matter.” The publication also shares that three major music companies have signed licensing deals for the new service. Further details, of course, are scant, but the free mobile streaming will almost certainly be ad-supported, echoing the format of Spotify’s unpaid desktop version. We’ll likely know more soon, as an event is scheduled for next week in New York.