Breakfast Briefing: YouTube streaming service, Microsoft browser ballot fine, Raspberry Pi DDoS attack

Today's technology stories include Google's push into streaming music, EU officials set to hit Microsoft with fine, Raspberry Pi under attack, and PC maker woes

Stewart Mitchell
6 Mar 2013

Today's technology round-up includes a close look at Google's music plans, Microsoft sweating on a browser ballot fine and Raspberry Pi under attack. Plus, more woe for PC makers and Azure opens the door to Android.

Google music services – more trouble for Apple?

Google is at the heart of many people's smartphone and web experiences, but thus far it's largely missed out on digital music. That's likely to change as the web giant plans subscription services for YouTube and the Android mobile platform, which could put more pressure on Apple.

Forbes reveals the company's plans for a streaming service, while All Things Digital has a detailed look at Google's intentions, and the ongoing negotiations with right holders.

Browser ballot D-Day for Microsoft

Reuters reports that European officials are due to levy a fine on Microsoft for its failure to offer the browser ballot - a screen showing rival browsers to Windows users - which was part of EU efforts to improve competition in the market.

According to sources, EU anti-trust chief Joaquin Almunia is expected to announce the fine this morning, although there's nothing published as yet. The fine could run into hundreds of millions of euros and be used by officials to make an example of Microsoft, after the company set an unwelcome precedent of being the first company to renege on a promise made to end an antitrust probe.

Raspberry Pi under attack

Raspberry Pi has been the unlikely target of a DDoS attack, with the education-focused charity reporting via its Twitter feed how it's been struggling to keep the website up and running and identify the perpetrators.

"It's as likely to be an angry and confused kid," the feed suggests. "Annoying, but not the end of the world, and they can't keep it up forever."

More doom and gloom for PC makers

Research group IDC says the PC industry's best efforts to generate interest in computers are failing, with total shipments expected to be down again in 2013 following a weak 2012.

Despite the introduction of Windows 8, global sales fell 3.7% last year and the research firm believes the overall market will shrink another 1.3% this year, with even developing markets slowing down.

"The PC market is still looking for updated models to gain traction and demonstrate sufficient appeal to drive growth in a very competitive market," said IDC in its briefing. "Growth in emerging regions has slowed considerably, and we continue to see constrained PC demand as buyers favour other devices for their mobility and convenience features. We still don't see tablets (with limited local storage, file system, lesser focus on traditional productivity) as functional competitors to PCs – but they are winning consumer dollars with mobility and consumer appeal nevertheless."

Microsoft opens Azure to Android

Microsoft has added Android support to its cloud-based Azure Mobile Services, a back-end support platform for mobile applications. The services launched last year, but had until now left Android users out of the club. TechCrunch notes that Microsoft is openly seeking community contributions, with tutorials for developers interested in connecting their Android apps to Azure.

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