The case for Windows 8

While the rest of the world was waiting with bated breath for the release of the new iPad, my company was focusing our efforts a very different direction: building a version of our app for Windows 8’s Consumer Preview.

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

Here are some of the stories that ran on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more articles exclusively in the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat, particularly when they’re mainly of interest to our game readers. The broader-interest posts will continue to run on VentureBeat as well. Please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on the latest game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find a larger amount of deeper news at GamesBeat.

Make a difference, then a profit: building startups that do social good

A cursory glance through the top apps in the Apple App Store or Android Market reveal solutions to a variety of first world problems – from shopping dilemmas and cooking catastrophes to simply too much free time. But with so much technology out there to make our lives easier and more entertaining, what about some that address real problems, like a solution for world hunger, an app for purifying water, or a tool that gives a voice to those who have been silenced?

The DeanBeat: How developers can avoid a bloodbath in fighting for new users

In the past month, what app makers have to spend to get the attention of Apple device users has risen out of control. That’s a tough fact of life that could make survival hard in the Darwinian mobile app ecosystem. Solving this problem is going to require a lot of innovation and clear thinking. And if it isn’t solved, we’re going to see a number of mobile app companies start to die. If Apple and others in the ecosystem don’t handle it right, it could be a bloodbath for developers.

HTC takes a beating, Q1 profits down 70 percent, revenue drops 35 percent

It was only a few years back that Taiwanese phone maker HTC was the unstoppable rising star of the smartphone manufacturing business, but things can change very quickly. The company released its audited first quarter results this morning, and they were not pretty: revenue declined 35 percent to $2.3 billion and profit fell 70 percent from $501 million to $149 million.

Kony 2012: Part II debuts in a defense against internet critics

The Kony 2012 video, a slick production whose aim is to use the internet to stop an African military leader with a host of human rights violations, took off like wildfire on social media after it debuted on March 5. The video generated more than 100 million views on YouTube and Vimeo, and it started a huge social media campaign to put an end to the reign of leader Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army that operates in four African nations.

JOBS Act becomes law, but questions linger about potential for fraud

President Obama signed the Crowdfunding Bill, aka the JOBS Act, into law today. It will change the way startups do business in a lot of ways, most notably by making it easier for them to accept smaller investments from a larger number of investors. Chance Barnett, chief executive officer of crowdfunding service provider Crowdfunder, sent us the nifty infographic below helping to explain.

Forget Hollywood — U.S. startups are in dire need of copyright protection

The recent debate over SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN has left a bitter taste among those who think the tech industry is in desperate need of intellectual property reform. Add to it the recent shutdown of Megaupload and big-time patent disputes, and it’s easy to see how IP enforcement has become a weapon that threatens technological innovation in a way like never before. Despite the mess, a recent trend has left many startups crying out for greater copyright/IP protection: the rise of copycat kings like Rocket Internet in Germany, Fast Lane Ventures in Russia, and others in China, who are quick to “clone” successful U.S. businesses like Pinterest, Fab.com, Airbnb, Groupon, and Zappos in overseas markets. And I’m not just talking about taking an idea and tweaking it; this is about copying a site’s entire design, layout, and logo almost pixel for pixel and coming up with some uninspired derivative name (e.g., “Pinspire” instead of Pinterest, “Zolando” instead of Zappos) that reeks of being a cheap knock-off.