More Tech Excitement in New York’s Silicon Alley: In the past year, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Zynga, and other technology players have opened offices in New York, hiring software coders and product designers in addition to the marketing and salespeople many already had in the city. New York also has a strong community of homegrown tech outfits, from Gilt Groupe to Foursquare. Entrepreneurs and investors say the influx of big-name companies will give that local tech community a big boost. “The talent pool will increase, there will be more startups, and the tech industry in NYC will grow and develop,” says Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in New York. Fewer recent grads “will make a beeline to Silicon Valley.” Bloomberg Business Week
Amazon Preps for Major Seattle Expansion: Amazon will buy three blocks in downtown Seattle and has filed preliminary plans to build one million-square-foot office towers on each of them. The deal includes options for Amazon to buy even more of the seller’s downtown real estate holdings. If built, the three buildings would contain nearly twice as much office space as the Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest building. They also would more than double Amazon’s already substantial footprint on downtown’s northern edge and mark the first time that Amazon has owned, rather than rented, its headquarters. The Seattle Times
Apple Strives for Extreme Green at New Data Center: Apple’s new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, is the first of its size to get an LEED Platinum certification and the highest rating the U.S. Green Building Council gives out for new projects. The center will have two sources of power: a gigantic 100-acre, 20-megawatt solar array on the surrounding land and a five-megawatt fuel cell system. When finished, the two power sources will provide 42 and 40 million kilowatt hours of power annually, enough for 7,400 homes. There will also be a water chilling system that shifts most of the chilling work to off-peak hours, high-voltage power distribution for reducing power loss, and a heat-reflecting white roof. The Verge
Microsoft Office for the iPad Will Shake Up IT: A Microsoft Office application suite will soon be submitted to Apple for approval. A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software showed that the user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system. Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited locally and online. It’s not clear if Microsoft will support other Office apps at launch or at all. An exact launch date is unknown, but the design team has since wrapped up the project, meaning it could be released in the coming weeks, giving IT little time to decide if the software’s arrival will change its tablet deployment strategies for 2012. The Daily
Mobile App Revenue Poised to Soar: In 2016, total global mobile application revenue will reach an estimated $46 billion, according to ABI Research. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2011, ABI Research says. “The vast majority of current in-app revenue is being generated by a tiny percentage of people who are highly-committed mobile game players. We don’t believe the percentage of mobile game players making in-app purchases will grow significantly, so for in-app purchase revenues to grow, mobile developers other than game developers must adopt it.” Last month, IHS iSuppli reported that in-app purchases accounted for 39 percent of total app revenue last year, and by 2015, that figure should grow to 64 percent, or $5.6 billion. CNET
Roche Will Put 90,000 Workers on Google Apps: Pharmaceutical giant Roche Group is transitioning all 90,000 of its employees to Google Apps. Dr. Alan Hippe, Roche’s CFO and CIO, said the apps will let Roche focus more on its business and less on data centers. “Being able to deploy Google Apps by simply enabling them via a control panel versus planning for and deploying complex infrastructure in our data centers will help us focus on our core business—helping save patients’ lives,” he wrote. Employees will be able to collaborate from practically anywhere on web-enabled devices without setting up VPNs or taxing Roche’s IT support teams. Datamation
HCA Expansion Yields IT Jobs in Nashville: HCA, a Nashville-based hospital chain, will create 155 IT jobs over the next five years at a new data center it will build in Antioch and in an expansion of its existing IT locations in the region. The company plans to invest $200 million in construction and expansion, and Governor Bill Haslam is pleased. “We appreciate the company’s continued investment in our state and its commitment to being such a valuable community partner over the years.” The Tennessean
300 New IT Jobs for New Orleans: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and GE have announced the creation of a major new corporate office in New Orleans with 300 new IT and software development jobs. The GE Capital Technology Center will provide support for the company’s financial services business. The project will produce jobs with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000, plus benefits, that will support GE Capital’s growth. The Donaldsonville Chief
Upcoming Tech Events
March 7-8—San Francisco
40 cutting-edge, never-before-seen technology companies will debut at this tech festival, and panels of experts with evaluate each of them.
South by Southwest offers an amazing gathering of thought leaders in independent music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. The Integrated Media Association conference will be held in conjunction with SXSWi, and there will also be a Tech Career Expo for new media job hunters on March 9 and 10.