As expected, the first day of CES brought a slew of news. Microsoft's keynote was mostly forgettable, except for the announcement of a launch date for the Kinect for PC (Feb. 1st). Other vendors made better use of their time in the spotlight, however. Google, however, managed to re-capture the limelight this morning by announcing its new, highly personalized "Google Plus Your World" search algorithm – the most significant change to its search product in quite a while.
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Here are some of the most important stories to come out of CES and beyond.
Google, Plus Your World: Google's search results are now more personalized based on your personal relationships in Google+. Starting today, you will see more Google+ posts, Picasa photos and results from other Google products when you do a Google search. Google+ pages will also now feature more prominently on search results pages. This feature is rolling out now. (Google Blog, Search Engine Land)
Kinect for PC launches February 1st: As expected, Kinect is coming to the PC. It will retail for around $250 and is available for pre-order right now. New compared to the Xbox version: near mode for sensing objects as close as 50 centimeters and a dongle to improve "coexistence with other USB peripherals."
Apple gains on Android: New data from NPD group shows that the iPhone made huge gains on Android in October and November 2011. Apple's sales made up 43% of all smartphones sales in the U.S. that month and Android accounted for 47%. That's a massive win for Apple, which only had 26% overall in Q3 and a loss for Android, which reached a new height of 60% in Q3 2011. The December numbers should be interesting. (Business Insider)
Google faces $172,000 fine in Korea for obstructing investigation into its business practices: CNET reports that Google will likely have to pay this fine because it deleted "key files from PCs and asking its employees to telecommute from home, which had the effect of undermining the investigation." Google denies this. The purpose of the investigation was to see if Google limited its rival's access to Android. (CNET)
Ubuntu for TVs: On Sunday, Lenovo announced its first TV and now Ubuntu is trying to get into the game as well. There don't seem to be any working examples, yet, but an Ubuntu-based TV could soon make its debut. (TechCrunch)
Nokia Lumia 900 is coming to AT&T: Nokia officially announced the sleek Lumia 900 LTE Windows Phone today. Specs: a 1.4GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera and a 4.3-inch AMOLED display. This is the first Windows Phone to offer LTE support. Available "in the coming month." No word on price. (The Verge)
A Windows 7 desktop on your iPad: I'm not sure this is really useful, but the streaming gaming service OnLive unveiled a free iPad app at CES on Monday that will provide users with access to a Windows 7 desktop with Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as a browser. (OnLive)
Gorilla Glass 2.0 is stronger, allows for thinner displays: Corning's Gorilla Glass is significantly stronger, which allows device makers to produce thinner displays. It's coming to gadgets near you in the next few months. Expect Apple to be one of the first to use it. (CNET)
In Other News
Apple's new CEO Tim Cook made $378 million last year Apple released a proxy statement on Monday, noting that Tim Cook, who became the company's CEO after Steve Jobs' death, got $378 million in total compensation last year. Almost all of it was in the form of stock options. (Business Insider)
Yahoo gears up for bad times: Kara Swisher reports that Yahoo's Q4 results coming later this month will not be pretty. The company also has to fear activist investor Daniel Loeb, says Swisher, who may decide "to wage a proxy fight for control of the company." And the company's board has become "as dysfunctional as the come." Good times. (AllThingsD)
Why MG Siegler hates Android: "I realize that the Android team at Google has a lot of good people doing great work. I know some of them. I respect them. But I cannot respect their decision to continue to work on this platform that perpetuates our imprisonment. I have to believe most simply chose not to think about these things. But they should. They really should."(Parislemon)
An App Worth Trying
Scout.me: TeleNav launched a "personal navigator for smartphones, computers and cars" today. The app is basically a turn-by-turn GPS app, but the cool feature is that it can help you avoid traffic jams by a) telling you when the best time to leave for (or from) work is. Even better, if you own a Ford with support for SYNC AppLink, the app will soon be closely integrated with your car and you can control it either by voice or through the buttons on your steering wheel. Worth a try, even if you don't drive a Ford. (iTunes, press release)
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