December 30, 2014 Last Updated 8:38 am

Report says Microsoft will launch, new lightweight browser with Windows 10, not WebKit based

Morning Brief: Kodak name lives on in trademark deal with mobile device manufacturer Bullitt Group on a new Android cameraphone to be unveiled at CES 2015 next week

Less than 10 percent of all readers of TNM are using Internet Explorer, a number that continues to fall each year. That a site that is centered on digital publishing would be read by Google Chrome and Apple Safari users is probably not much of a surprise. But IE’s decline has been universal.

IE-logo-155According to StatCounter, in mid-2011 Internet Explorer was used by over 40 percent of consumers, just a couple years later that share was down to around 20 percent, with both Chrome and Safari being the beneficiaries. (Firefox usage also fell, from about 26.5 percent to 16.6 percent over the same time period.)

So, to try and recapture consumers, Microsoft is planning on launching a new browser called Spartan. The new browser, according to <strong>ZDNet, will use not use WebKit, however. Instead, it will use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine and its Trident rendering engine. The idea is to build a new, lightweight browser, so it may end up not being so much of a replacement for IE, but a companion to it.


The Cat Phone

Some legacy brands don’t die off completely, they just become companies that slap on their name to products built by others. RCA, for instance, is still around as a trademark brand owned by Technicolor SA.

Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection about three years ago, continues on despite having sold off its consumer film business. Early last week the company announced that it would launch a mobile cameraphone through a trademark deal with mobile device manufacturer Bullitt Group.

“Kodak is one of the world’s most recognisable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation,” says Oliver Schulte, CEO Bullitt Mobile. “We’ve taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant.”

The Android driven device will be unveiled at CES 2015 next week.

Bullitt Group currently partners with Caterpillar on a branded mobile phone product.

There is an assumption in the press that the Greek opposition party Syriza will win the election on January 25. The vote was forced when the ruling New Democracy party failed to win a vote in Parliament.

Polls show Syria ahead by a few points over the ruling party, and so observers both inside and outside Greece are looking forward to the drama that would ensue if Alexis Tsipras becomes the Prime Minister.

I am not an authority on Greek politics, though TNM has certainly written about political events in Greece as a part of this site’s regular news coverage of business events. Having said that, I don’t see that polls accurately reflect how Greek voters may vote. Like in the U.S. and elsewhere, political views are hard set, and many who say they would prefer Syriza will now be bombarded with messages equating the party with the communists. For a small portion of the Greek population, that may actually be seen as a positive. But for those on the right, that may be all that is necessary to hear to swing their vote once again rightward.

If there was one thing I have seen in the last five years, it is that ex-pat Greek commentators suddenly turn very conservative as soon as the conversation turns to exiting the Euro.

Change is hard, and so a half decade of depression, austerity and high unemployment may not be enough reason for many voters to change governments. In any case, Greece’s vote at the end of January is certain to be the major news story of the month.

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