Breakfast Briefing: the ISP that blocks ads, faster USB 3, Google admits Maps block on Windows Phone
In today's tech news round-up, learn about the ISP blocking all ads and much more
Today's trawl through technology's news highlights includes a French website taking on Google over ad revenue, faster USB 3 and why Google blocked Maps for Windows Phone users.
How ad-blocking ISP put wind up Google
French ISP Free has never been one to shy away from the limelight, but the disruptive communications company has cranked up the controversy by blocking all adverts on its broadband services.
The company offered the service in a bid to force web advertising giants to redistribute some of the money they make from advertising to the companies that carry the costs of the traffic – the ISPs. The New York Times reports how the decision was a direct attack on Google and the bandwidth the company's products consume.
"The pipelines between Google and us are full at certain hours, and no one wants to take responsibility for adding capacity," Free's chief maintains. "It’s a classic problem that happens everywhere, but especially with Google."
Faster USB 3 on horizon
The Verge reports how data transfer rates on USB are set to increase next year. The site covers an announcement from the USB 3 Promoter Group, which details an updated specification that will offer double the data performance of existing devices, with speeds reaching 10Gbits/sec.
"We recognise that more mainstream client computing applications are going to need higher throughput to user-connected peripherals and devices," said Alex Peleg, VP of architecture at Intel, which has been working on the standard, as well as the competing Thunderbolt.
Google admits blocking Windows Phone users from Maps
The relationship between Microsoft and Google is like watching Alex Ferguson dance with Arsene Wenger – open contempt masquerading as a working relationship. Business Insider has the latest in the companies' ongoing spat, describing how Google has admitted to blocking Windows Phone from Google Maps, instead redirecting WP8 users through Google.com. Having initially denied any strategy of blocking Microsoft-based handsets, Google now claims the Internet Explorer used on WP8 handsets was not up to scratch.
"In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality," the company said, although it said it plans to change policy and allow mobile IE access.
Red faces for Microsoft as raiders nab company iPads
Microsoft's tablet credentials have been dealt a blow by burglars who broke into a company research centre in Mountain Springs, according to a local paper clipping spotted by the Paris Lemon blog. Although it's unclear what Microsoft gadgets and future technologies were kept in the facility, the robbers saw nothing of interest other than five Apple iPads. Even the burglars don't want a Surface.
Poor Windows 8 sales – blame netbooks
Windows 8 sales figures have been under scrutiny with suggestions that the OS is not selling as well as Microsoft would like us to believe. The Supersite for Windows blog has an in-depth look at the figures and argues much of the damage was done during the Windows 7 era, where sales were boosted by ultra-cheap netbooks. Having grown used to paying peanuts for Windows machines, consumers are unwilling to dig deep even for hardware that makes the most of the newer features in the OS.
"Now consumers expect to pay next to nothing for a Windows PC. Most of them simply refuse to pay for more expensive Windows PCs," the blog contends. "And this isn’t my opinion, it’s a fact. Despite being created as a 'touch-first' OS, only 4.5% of Windows 8 PC sales including multi-touch capabilities. When you couple this with the fact that statistically zero percent of PCs that were upgraded to Windows 8 included touch capabilities, you can see that even in the tiny current market of Windows 8 users, virtually no one is using multi-touch."