Morning Briefing: The other stuff that’s not Google Drive – Apple’s earnings, and Gmail bumps up storage

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Welcome to the Morning Briefing for 25th of April 2012, where we highlight the tech stories from across the web that broke while you were sleeping and what we are watching here at TECHGEEK.com.au.

It’s ANZAC Day today in Australia and New Zealand. Lest we forget.

Here’s what we are watching:

  • If you haven’t heard Google Drive is out. Chris Southcott has the announcement and written up a little comparison with SkyDrive – and Microsoft/Google fanboys, don’t worry, it’s not a biased comparison.
  • Google+, if anyone still uses it, has a new toy. There’s now a full “Share” button, meaning that +1 is about to go away. And like always, you can share it with just friends and add your commentary – just like Facebook does it.
  • Google also has bumped up your free storage in Gmail from 7.5GB to 10GB – so expect a huge jump in data. It will still continue to deliver incremental storage, so you’ll probably find yourself next year with 10.1 GB – hopefully.
  • Apple’s earnings are out, and it pretty much beat all Wall Street’s expectations. It sold 35 million iPhones and 12 million iPads; and managed to return all of its losses before its earnings announcement – it had dropped 13% of its stock value since its April 10 peak (or, nearly $80 billion in market value – pretty big numbers there).
  • Speaking on patent issues – Motorola has another victory in the International Trade Commission. It found that Apple did violate one of its patents in relation to Wi-Fi. It was, however, one of four patents that Motorola claimed Apple to be infringing – but it’s enough to get a potential iPhone and iPad ban. Yes, you heard that right, one patent and Motorola can ban the entire lot.
  • Tim Cook also has some interesting words on its patent suits – he’s announced that he preferred to settle its patent issues with Android manufacturers (Motorola, Samsung and HTC), not battle them. “I’ve always hated litigation. We just want people to invent their own stuff,” he said in an earnings call.
  • And, on Windows 8 – he says that “anything can be forced to converge”. He’s referring to Windows 8’s dual tablet/laptop strategy (hint – it also ignores the Desktop experience). “But the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point what you have left doesn’t please anyone.” Microsoft should probably listen to him more often – because that’s what Windows 8 on a desktop is pretty much like.
  • Yammer, the business-focused social network – has announced brand new features including Premium Yammer Groups, more content sharing options and Universal Search. Basically, it’s a private Twitter where employees can communicate throughout the day – and it’s proving successful with Ford, GE and Shell as some of its clients.