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Apple’s restructure to accommodate the departure of Jony Ive led to some concern that Apple wasn’t giving design quite as high a profile in the past – amid claims and counter-claims about the run-up to it.

But this shouldn’t be cause for concern; quite the opposite …

Apple’s restructure already makes sense

As my colleague Bradley Chambers observed, it already makes a lot of sense to have design report to operations.

Whenever people question design and COO, I want to point them to the MacBook keyboard issues.

Because Jony Ive had such power at Apple, he was able to push through a design that was beautifully slim but which couldn’t be manufactured with the required level of reliability. Hence the report today about Apple abandoning the butterfly design. Having operations able to push back against design decisions which look good in the lab but won’t scale to mass production is an extremely important change.

As Steve Jobs himself said:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!” That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

But the restructure goes further than this

One key point that I missed in [my first take on Ive’s departure] is that having design chiefs Evans Hankey (Industrial Design) and Alan Dye (Human Interface Design) report directly to COO Jeff Williams does make sense organizationally. What I had missed is that coincident with the announcement of Ive’s departure, Apple promoted Sabih Khan to senior vice president of operations. Apple hasn’t had an SVP of operations since Jeff Williams held the title, back when Tim Cook was COO under Steve Jobs. Back then Williams ran operations while Cook ran the company and Jobs devoted his remaining time to new products.

Williams still holds the title COO, but titles don’t mean much at Apple. Rank matters, of course, and SVP is an elite level at Apple — there are only 13 executives at that level, and one of them is still Jony Ive. But the literal titles don’t necessary describe what executives do. Eddy Cue’s title — senior vice president of internet software and services — comes to mind. I don’t know where one would begin crafting a succinct title that accurately describes Cue’s domain, but that’s not it. That just doesn’t matter at Apple.

This means Sabih Kahn is running operations now. Jeff Williams’s title hasn’t changed, but he’s effectively now running product development. He’s led the Apple Watch product team from its inception; now I think he’s overseeing product for everything. Cook and Williams did run operations while holding the COO title, but what “COO” really means at Apple is “second in command”. Tim Cook didn’t move design under operations; he promoted Williams to a new position, effectively “chief product officer”, and as such it makes sense that Hankey and Dye would report to him.

Either way, Apple’s restructure means we now have someone with immense operations experience making the final call on design decisions, and that’s got to be good news when it comes to product reliability.

There’s a reason Williams keeps his COO title

As for title, there’s likely a very good reason Williams remains COO on paper, whatever his real responsibilities. That title does indeed say ‘second in command,’ but more specifically it means ‘CEO designate.’ At some point, Williams is going to replace Cook.

That raises the question of when Cook will go, and what he will do. The ‘what’ is, I think, clear. Cook said back in 2024 that he plans to give away all his wealth, and to take a thoughtful approach to the way that money is used.

He plans to give away all his wealth, after providing for the college education of his 10-year-old nephew […] Cook says that he has already begun donating money quietly, but that he plans to take time to develop a systematic approach to philanthropy rather than simply writing checks.

The most obvious way to do that would be by establishing a foundation, and then running it himself. To do exactly what Bill Gates did, leaving his role as Chairman of Microsoft to establish the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Cook doesn’t have the same sums of money to play with, of course, but he’s still the kind of man who would want to take an extremely active role in ensuring that the money is spent in a way that achieves the biggest impact in the areas which matter most to him.

Cook also frequently speaks out on social issues, and has taken a certain amount of flack for doing so. There are those who feel that he should be focusing less on activism and more on his role at Apple, and I can see a time where he decides that the activism is more important to him. Right now, his role as Apple CEO amplifies his voice, but there will come a time when he feels his profile is high enough to maintain media interest without the job title.

When that will be is harder to predict. Cook clearly cares immensely about Apple, but that doesn’t mean he will necessarily want to continue running the company indefinitely. If he feels Williams represents a safe pair of hands – something already demonstrated by this restructure – then that makes it possible for him to hand over the reigns with a clean conscience sooner rather than later.

Apple can’t afford another major upheaval in its senior leadership anytime in the immediate future, but two years down the line? I could see that.

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Judge Questions Tim Cook Directly Regarding App Store Policies

Today is the final day of the Epic Games vs. Apple antitrust trial, and it looks like the judge overseeing the case wanted to lean into Apple’s chief executive a little bit.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers wrapped things up today as the trial came to a close, opting to ask Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, some questions directly. Interestingly, while the trial has offered up plenty of evidence for both sides of the argument, the judge’s questions seemed to be on point for a very . . . Epic Games-side argument.

Specifically, it’s the way the questions are worded. For instance, the judge asked Cook, “You said you want to give users control, so what’s the problem with allowing users to have a cheaper option for content?” Cook responded by saying that the company wants to make sure that users have control over their data, while if they are looking for an alternative to the App Store and the digital storefront’s policies, they can always switch over to Android devices.

The judge did not seem all that fond that response from Cook, though. She went on to ask Cook what the issue really is when it comes to offering customers the ability to buy cheaper V-Bucks — the digital currently that Epic Games offers within Fortnite for buying in-game content. The judge suggested either in-app or allowing Epic Games to provide an obvious link to outside of the game itself.

Cook broke it down to the bare minimum, saying that if Apple did that then the company would be giving up its monetization. The chief executive pointed out to the judge that Apple has fees associated with the App Store, essentially to keep things running. That includes developing APIs for developers to use, processing fees, and a variety of other developer tools as well.

Judge Gonzalez-Rogers just kept piling on:

It’s almost as if they’re subsidizing everyone else.

That’s the judge drawing a line between apps that don’t offer in-app content, to those that do. So, in the judge’s eyes, those apps that do have in-app purchases (or an outright cost) are subsidizing other apps that don’t. She added:

You don’t charge Wells Fargo, right? But you’re charging gamers to subsidize Wells Fargo.

Cook said that having free apps in the App Store boosts traffic in the digital storefront, which can lead those same customers to discovering other apps that aren’t free, in one way or another. But Judge Gonzalez-Rogers did not appear to be having it, saying that Apple’s moves with the App Store, especially as it relates to charging some developers and not others, is a “choice.”

Cook admitted that, yes, there are other options the company could take to charge for access in the App Store, or just in general. However, the chief executive also said that he believes Apple has already made the best one, and that’s why they’re doing it how they are now.

Judge Gonzalez-Rogers conceded that Apple does do work to get people to those games available in the App Store. However, if customers stick with those games, and opt to spend money within them, then it’s the developers of those apps keeping them. Not Apple. The judge said that Apple is simply profiting off that relationship between the customer and the developer.

Cook argued:

I view it differently. We’re creating the entire amount of commerce on the store and we do that by getting the largest audience there. We do that with a lot of free apps, those bring a lot to the table.

Things got even more interesting when the judge brought up Apple’s decision to drop App Store fees for certain developers, don’t to 15% from the standard 30 percent. The judge told Cook that she believes Apple made this change not because of the coronavirus pandemic (which Apple cited at the time as one reason for the new rules), but rather because of the pending litigation against Apple.

For his part, Cook said that the decision was indeed because of COVID-19, but, also, he had the lawsuit in the back of his mind, too. From there, Judge Gonzalez-Rogers said that Google’s decision to drop fees within the Play Store was more about competetion, while Apple’s wasn’t.

At the tail-end of the questioning, the judge brought up potentially dissatisfied developers:

Cook said he wasn’t aware of the survey, but said that a lot of apps are denied from the App Store on a weekly basis (which is accurate), and that can cause friction between developers and Apple.

Based on how the trial ended, especially with how the judge overseeing the trial leaned into Apple’s chief executive, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this turns out.

The Price Of Solar Panels Just Went Up—Here’s What That Means For You

For the last decade or so, solar energy’s future was so bright, you needed sunglasses to look directly at it. Thanks in large part to the Solar Investment Tax Credit enacted in 2006, the solar sector has seen an average annual growth of 68 percent over the last decade. In 2024, the cumulative capacity of American solar energy surpassed 40 gigawatts, which is enough energy to power 6.5 million households. Some 374,000 people held solar jobs as of 2024 and solar panel installation has been the fastest-growing occupation in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But solar providers worry their perspectives may have suddenly dimmed.

In January, President Donald Trump announced his approval of a 30 percent tariff on all imported solar modules and cells. As many predicted, the subsequent months have seen a seismic shift in the industry, with Reuters reporting in June that approximately $2.5 billion in solar installation projects have been cancelled since the tariffs were finalized. Looking at this news, you might feel (sun)burnt by the fallout over Trump’s decision—and left with quite a few questions about solar technology.

What are solar panels made of?

Solar panel technology has evolved substantially in the last few years, but the basic premise remains the same. The panels are a collection of photovoltaic cells. These crystalline silicon cells are typically formed by encasing slices of silicon in glass. When sunlight hits the cells, the electrons flee the silicon. When the electrons are trapped, they create voltage. Once they’re transported through wiring, those volts are pure energy.

Where are these panels produced?

The majority of solar installations in the United States—roughly 80 percent—use imported panels. Most come from Malaysia (36 percent) and South Korea (21 percent), with China, Thailand, and Vietnam each contributing 8 to 9 percent. The raw materials are sourced from all over the world, a reflection of the industry’s globalized supply chain.

While China supplies just a small fraction of American solar panels, it’s one of the biggest producer of photovoltaics globally—and has been subjected to solar tariffs before. China’s success in this particular manufacturing sector has a fairly long history. Back in the 1990s, Germany established a solar incentive program that caused an explosion in the nation’s demand for rooftop panels. China saw this need and ran to fill it. Soon, other European countries were instituting similar programs and finding themselves with increased demand, which China sought to fill. By getting in on production early—and doing so aggressively, with enormous semi-automated factories—China outstripped its competitors. Over the last decade, global prices for photovoltaics dropped by almost 90 percent, in part because of China’s efficient production system and market dominance.

What is the rationale for this new tariff?

For many worried about air pollution and climate change, access to inexpensive solar arrays from China was seen as an essential to the industry’s growth and with it the slow replacement of fossil fuels with green energy alternatives. “[The panel] is effectively the resource. In the oil and gas business, you go and find low cost and oil and gas,” Francis O’Sullivan, MIT Energy Institute’s director of research, told PopSci. “In the solar industry, you go and find the lowest possible panels you can.”

The Trump administration views China’s manufacturing success as a hindrance to the domestic U.S. effort to produce competitively-priced domestic solar supplies. That’s what these tariffs purport to correct. By bumping up the price of photovoltaic imports, the administration hopes American manufacturers will fill the void and begin to dominate domestic solar sales themselves.

However, the low likelihood of this has led others to wonder what the administration’s true motivations are. O’Sullivan and other experts argue that these new renewable energy roadblocks are just another way of driving consumers to fossil fuels like coal. Notably, the policy also looks “tough on China,” which is a familiar Trump talking point.

How is the new tariff likely to affect the U.S. energy market?

Strangely enough, while these tariffs are pricey enough to reduce installations, they are probably not significant enough to bolster American manufacturing. That’s because building up the infrastructure necessary to produce abundant solar panels would be time-consuming and expensive. “It takes time to build a value chain that’s that efficient,” O’Sullivan says.

Analysts predicted the most likely outcome would be a destructive chain reaction: Tariffs would cause a shortage of panels. That, in turn, would drive up prices. And those price hikes would reduce demand for solar energy. It was estimated 23,000 solar installers, who just a few days before the tariffs were announced had the fastest-growing job in the country, lose their jobs. The intervening months have seen some of these predictions borne out. According to the June report in Reuters, many executives decided their utility-scale solar projects were no longer cost-effective, leading companies to put the kibosh on new installations—and the jobs that come with them. And the fallout could continue. “I think on balance, the likely job losses that will come from a slowdown of 10 percent or more in deployment would probably significantly outweigh any gains,” O’Sullivan says.

The tariff could have farther reaching economic impacts, too. “When it comes to something like electricity, which is a pure commodity, it’s really important to offer the lowest cost option,” O’Sullivan says. “You can smelt metals, you can run data centers, you can do whatever you want.” If solar energy declines, costlier alternative fuel sources will have to replace it.

What will this cost?

For residential systems, like rooftop solar panels, we’re likely to see a 3 percent increase in price, according to analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate. For solar farms, which produce solar energy to feed to a utility or shared grid, the cost hike is likely on the order of 10 percent.

“At the utility scale, which is really where the bulk of installations happen, the cost of the panel is a much bigger contributor to the overall cost of the system,” O’Sullivan says. “Adding 10 percent really has a cost on competitiveness in many markets. That’s where you’re going to see projects put on hold.” (Installers seem to agree; they’ve been been hoarding equipment since last year

Why is this happening now?

This ball started rolling back in April 2023 when Suniva, a Chinese-owned, Georgia-based solar cell manufacturer, filed bankruptcy. The company attributed its decline to the low prices of foreign panels. In June, it filed a trade suit asking the U.S. government to consider placing import tariffs on foreign manufacturers to give Suniva and its ilk a leg up.

In October 2023, the International Trade Commission released the result of its analysis of tariffs on imported panels. The commission recommended tariffs as high as 35 percent. Initially, Bloomberg reported, “[t]he U.S. solar industry let out a collective sigh of relief” after these numbers were released, as many installers feared much worse. On Monday, the Trump administration announced it had settled on its own final number: a tariff of 30 percent.

Is there precedent for this kind of tariff? ?

In 2012, then-President Barack Obama created his own tariffs on solar panel imports. Those “anti-dumping tariffs” were instituted because the administration believed China was selling solar panels that had been heavily subsidized and then sold significantly below fair market value. Much to the excitement of SolarWorld Industries America, Obama’s policy placed tariffs of 31 percent and up. While American manufacturers may have been excited, the tariff failed to stimulate much domestic production of solar panels, raised prices on solar panels, and resulted in retaliation from the Chinese.

Beyond solar, plenty of presidents have tried to use tariffs to bring manufacturing back to the United States. In 2001, the steel industry employed then-President George W. Bush to impose tariffs on imported steel. Bush’s steel safeguard had the opposite of its intended effect: American manufacturers cheered, but industries that relied on that cheap imported steel lost jobs.

What role should the United States play in solar? What does it mean for the consumers?

If you’re already invested or employed in solar manufacturing, this could be good for your bottomline! If you’re in the majority of solar employees who works in installation, however, you’re probably seeing business slow, or even come to a halt. And if you’re just an average homeowner looking to switch to green energy, well, you’ll have to spend more green to get it.

Windows As A Service And What It Means

After the success of offering Microsoft Office as a Service – in the form of Office 365, is it possible for Microsoft to offer its operating system, Windows as a Service? The article tries to find out answers while talking about the possible implementation models. Please note that there are already Microsoft PaaS services such as Azure, but the scope there is limited. I am talking about offering the entire OS as a service that can run in a browser and call upon other programs – local or cloud.

Windows as A Service – The SaaS Model

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. You might already have been using OneDrive Desktop that serves as an example of SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS is clearly a software provided by some cloud service that you can use as and when required and as long as required. OneDrive desktop, for example, is a software that you download from Microsoft and use to synchronize your files on the cloud with the local storage.

But this is not about OneDrive desktop. The implementation of OneDrive desktop app is much easier compared to offering Windows as a Service. We all know Windows as an operating system. How is it possible to offer an operating system as a service? An operating system is required to fire up a computer. If the service is provided on cloud, how can one boot his or her computer to connect with the service? Will it still be called an operating system? Or will it be an extension of the operating system?

I can assume we have the basic bootable Windows copy on the computers. With that copy, the computer boots up. This basic bootable Windows copy does not have many options as it is not a full-fledged operating system but a compact, or rather, stripped-down version of the Windows operating system.

Once fired, the computer can then connect to the Internet and login into the cloud offering of Windows that has all the other programs necessary to keep a computer running properly and to help in launching other applications. These applications could be local or cloud-based such as Office 365 (Office on the Web: Office Web Applications) and Adobe Creative Cloud etc.

Benefits of Windows As Service (Software As a Service)

To keep it compact, safe and reliable, Microsoft may consider providing a basic, stripped-down version of the Windows operating system in a chip – or as we call it, firmware. If it is firmware, chances of getting any virus or worm will reduce significantly.

We may assume the firmware copy will always be safe and people need not add anti-virus to their computers as the only job of computers would be to boot and to connect to Windows. These will be Windows computers and may not run other operating systems. In turn, the hardware would be light – somewhat like the Netbooks.

The cloud copy of Windows is always updated so users get to use the latest version. As of this date, the latest is Windows 10 and everyone who is using Windows as a Service (SaaS) on Windows computers would be easily working on Windows 10 without having to buy each edition separately and just by paying a monthly fee.

Finally, there will be no piracy. An online version of Windows cannot be stolen and used on individual computers. I cannot see any way people can use it without a subscription. The subscription charges have to be low else people may move to other operating systems.

Restrictions of Windows as a SaaS

Coming back to the SaaS implementation of Windows as a Service, I find it good enough until the user is restricted towards using the Windows-based software only. That is, the default program that comes with the operating system. Of course, Microsoft can add many more programs and I am sure people will welcome that software as they are part of the entire Windows that they can use for a small fee per month. Likewise, the other programs such as Adobe Creative Suite, etc. can also be used by the same computers but they won’t be part of Windows as a Service.

This type of implementation may not provide enough facilities to run local apps such as Photoshop, Adobe Premiere and Corel Draw, etc. We know Adobe too has gone to the cloud and is available in form of SaaS: Adobe Creative Cloud, but consider a person using Corel Draw that needs to be installed on the local computer before it can be used. A typical implementation of Windows as SaaS (Software as a Service) cannot provide that. That is where we need it as a platform.

Windows as a Service – The PaaS Model

PaaS or Platform as a Service sounds much better as an operating system is basically a platform where other programs and apps can run. We can use the same Windows in firmware concept or we can use any kind of operating system to get the computer to boot. Once the boot process is completed, the users can get into the Windows cloud and from there, run programs like Photoshop, Premiere, Corel Draw, etc. Though most of the companies are already going cloud to counter-piracy (that is one of the benefits too: people cannot steal a cloud-based copy of Windows), some are still providing the desktop/laptop/standalone versions.

Now suppose you booted using Linux or the stripped-down Windows version (firmware version that we talked about above). You can then connect to Windows as a Platform for a nominal fee per month, still enjoy the latest versions without having to pay extra for them, and then you can also use desktop/standalone versions of different software by invoking them via Windows as a Platform Service. That sounds good but needs to be worked upon as to how to call a program from your computer to the cloud-based platform. It is possible with some thought and proper implementation of the platform.

One option is to use the cloud versions of other software – such as Adobe Illustrator in place of Corel Draw. So far, Corel has not gone into the cloud but seeing the way Adobe and other creative suites are now part of the cloud, it may soon be a part of the cloud. If part of the cloud, it will be easier to invoke those apps. But if the app is installed on your computer, and you logged on to cloud Windows, there should be a method to be able to use the installed programs.

The basic method of working on a computer is just the interaction between objects in RAM and CPU. Your input, resident programs, etc. go into the RAM and from there, to the CPU, get processed and the results are sent back to RAM from where you can see or print the output. The objects in RAM change as and when needed, to run the installed program but for a large number of programs, the only thing to be taken care of is to carry instructions and data from RAM to CPU and back to RAM. Hence, it is not non-implementable. The Windows on cloud is resident on your RAM for processing the local apps. Possible? Yes.

When I say Windows as a Service, I am talking about the entire operating system as a service and not the likes of Windows Azure or Office 365. A look at both the formats: SaaS and PaaS, makes the latter more feasible for the SaaS part may need Microsoft to enter into an agreement with different software providers to provide their software as a service via the Windows subscription. This article can go on and on with different possibilities, but I will stop it here.

While allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, Microsoft has made it clear that version numbers will not matter anymore. Windows will be Windows 10 on all devices. Rather than a standalone operating system that has to be upgraded manually after every major release, Windows 10 will become Windows As A Service. Thus, it becomes like a cloud computing structure – however not the very same. We cannot yet call it Software as a Service (SaaS) literally but the functions of SaaS would be coming to the new operating system.

Windows 10 As A Service

So then, will Windows come as a subscription model? No! Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge.

Microsoft has made it clear that the future of Windows operating system is going to change the entire scenario of how computers work. Along with a range of features in Windows 10, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be same across every device: from PCs to tablets to smartphones. Plus Windows 10 will be a device lifetime service. By device lifetime service, I mean that Microsoft will continue providing updates and upgrades as long as a person is using a device running Windows 10.

Whether a user buys a device preloaded with Windows 10 or upgrades to Windows 10 from 8.1 or Windows 7, he or she will continue receiving updates as long as the device is working. Later, when the user buys or switches to another device, he or she will receive the operating system with the latest features (Read as “the latest edition of Windows 10 with latest updates and upgrades”) and will again continue to receive unlimited support on the new device.

The pricing system will sure change if Microsoft means what it said. Because there won’t be any need of purchasing new Windows releases after Windows 10, they may implement “pay as you go” method as is the case with most Software as a Service (SaaS) systems. Further, the two different marketplaces for Windows 8.1 for PC and Windows 8.1 for phones will merge to offer similar apps on all types of devices. These apps can fetch in revenue as Microsoft plans to import Android apps to the Windows marketplace.

The pricing system for Windows 10 is not clear at the moment, but merging both marketplaces and creating Windows version of Android apps is certain to bring in good revenue as the choice of apps will be wider compared to what it is currently. It will also make it easier for people to migrate from Android to Windows 10 and enjoy the new features of Windows 10, without losing out on their favorite apps.

Now read: Windows As A Service to Enterprise users.

Please share your thoughts on the implementation of Windows as a cloud-based service, rather than a local installation. Would you like that?

Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Craig Federighi Talk New Iphones, Ios 7, Collaboration In Interview

Just before the new iPhones launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Design chief Jony Ive, and Software head Craig Federighi have sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek for a wide-ranging interview. The interview does not reveal any breakthrough new information, but this seems to be the first time that Apple’s leadership has sat down for a joint interview…

(note: get a year of Businessweek for $4.50 at 9to5toys)

The trio, which was in charge of Apple’s major iOS revamp, discuss designing iOS 7, collaboration, the new iPhones, and competition from Google’s Android operating system. First things first, Cook discussed the recent claims that “Apple is doomed:”

None of this rattles Tim Cook. Oh, he’s heard it, of course, but his soft-spoken, deliberate manner in interviews is not cover for how, say, Apple’s share price affects his mood. “I don’t feel euphoric on the up, and I don’t slit my wrists when it goes down,” he says. “I have ridden the roller coaster too many times for that.” When asked about the rise of low-cost manufacturers, he’s equally even-tempered. “It happens in every market I’ve seen,” he says. “It happens in all consumer electronics, from cameras to PCs to tablets to phones to—in the old world—VCRs and DVDs. I can’t think of a single consumer electronics market it doesn’t happen in.”

The Apple CEO also discussed the pricing of the iPhone 5c, saying that Apple never intended to make a low-cost iPhone. The iPhone 5c is simply last year’s iPhone 5 in colors – at $100 off on-contract.

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Ive and Federighi both discussed their (sometimes unhealthy?) love for Apple in context of their collaboration. The duo noted that, while their work together became noticed with iOS 7, their offices are actually close in proximity. The two shared some details on the thinking behind the iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint scanner and iOS 7:

What makes that collaboration work is the two men’s shared focus on usability and simplicity. Sit down with top executives from, say, Samsung’s mobile division, and you’ll probably hear a great deal about how much the company listens to the market and can move to address global needs with astonishing alacrity. Ive and Federighi will spend 10 minutes talking about how hard they worked to perfect iOS 7’s blurred-background effect. “I think, very often, you can’t call out by attribute or name areas of value,” says Ive regarding what people look for when using a product. “But I do think that we sense when somebody has cared. And one thing that is incontrovertible is how much we’ve cared.”

The line against Apple is that its pace of innovation is off, but Ive and Federighi dismiss that. The two are keen to point out not just new features, but also the deep layers of integration that went into each one. Of the 5S’s fingerprint scanner, Ive says, “there are so many problems that had to be solved to enable one big idea.” Without mentioning competitors (Samsung), it’s clear the two executives think some of what passes for innovation is illusory at best. “We didn’t start opportunistically with 10 bits of technology that we could try to find a use for to add to our features list,” Ive says.

Cook also discussed Android:

In Cook’s view, the incompatibilities between various Android versions make each an entirely different species. The Android operating systems are “not the latest ones by the time people buy,” he says. A recent survey of smartphones sold by AT&T showed 25 Android handsets; six did not have the latest operating system. “And so by the time they exit, they’re using an operating system that’s three or four years old. That would be like me right now having in my pocket iOS 3. I can’t imagine it.”

The entire interview is worth a read over at Bloomberg. We have an exclusive deal on a 1 year subscription to Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine for just $20 today. It is available for up to 3 years and comes with digital access as well. Head over to 9to5Toys for all the details.

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9 Best Free Business Email Accounts For Company (2023)

Following is a handpicked list of the best free business email hosting providers with popular features and official website links:

Best Free Business Email Address Create for Company Best Email Hosting Providers To Create Free Business Email ID

Best for personal as well as business communications.

#1 Top Pick

Gmail

Mailbox Size: 15GB

Email alias: Yes

Attachment Size Limit: Send up to 25 MB

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Scheduled Emails: Yes

Learn More

Features:

The software enables you to connect with other people via Google Meet and Chat.

This professional email address works with other software like Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.

It provides nudges that help you to follow up and respond to messages.

Gmail blocks phishing emails automatically.

You can view attachments, snooze messages, and open attachments without opening emails.

Key Specs:

Email alias: Yes

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Calendars: Yes.

Scheduled Emails: Yes

Ads in Email: No, it is Ads-free

MailBox size: 15GB

Attachment Size Limit: Send up to 25 MB

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

It has an excellent spam protection feature. Dealing with folders and labels can be puzzling.

It offers a 14-day free trial.

You can manage other accounts like Yahoo, Outlook, or any other POP email from the same interface.

Provides 24/ support.

Dynamic Mail makes Gmail more interactive.

14 Days Free Trial

Best email encryption and security in a free service.

ProtonMail is an open-source and secure email service for business. It has easy to use secure email service, having an end-to-end encryption.

#2

ProtonMail

Mailbox Size: 20GB

Email alias: Yes.

Attachment Size Limit: 25 MB per email.

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Scheduled Emails: Yes, it supports.

Learn More

Features:

This free business email address is protected by Swiss privacy law.

The app is available on your web browser and through Android and iOS apps.

You can send and receive confidential emails.

It is one of the best email for business and provides full support of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).

ProtonMail enables you to easily manage your organization with the admin console.

No personal information is needed to create your secure business email account.

ProtonMail is optimized to help you better organize read, as well as send an email.

Key Specs:

Email alias: Yes. It supports Email alias, which can be made in two ways.

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Calendars: Proton Calendar beta

Scheduled Emails: Yes, it supports.

Ads in Email: No, they don’t show Ads

Mailbox Size: 20GB

Attachment Size Limit: 25 MB per email. Can attach up to 100 files.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

It can be accessed on any device without installing the software. Only 150 messages per day and limited storage for the free account.

Highly encrypted

Allows you to set email expiry date

It is easy to use

Lifetime Basic Free Plan

Godaddy is a modern webmail portal that offers ad-free emails. Unlike most email hosting providers, Godaddy provides data security and spam filtering facility. This application enables you to preview your attached files.

#3

Godaddy

Mailbox Size: 10GB

Email alias: Yes, it supports.

Attachment Size Limit: 20 MB

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Learn More

Features:

This app helps you to schedule appointments, get reminders, and send invites on all the devices.

It offers email address that matches your domain.

Godaddy stores emails in a secure database.

The software offers a mobile-friendly interface.

Godaddy business email works with any email app of your choice.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Grab attention with a sleek, mobile-friendly design. The economy plan does not allow for unlimited websites.

Edit your site from anywhere, on any device.  

Make sure people find you on Google and beyond.  

Lifetime Basic Free Plan

Namecheap is a secure and fast email hosting system designed for business and personal needs. It helps you to collaborate with other people with ease. This mail hosting service provider allows you to manage multiple email accounts under one roof.

#4

Namecheap

Mailbox Size: 75GB

Email alias: Yes, it supports.

Attachment Size Limit: 50 MB

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Learn More

Features:

Offers HTML signature.

You will get protection from spam.

Support of IMAP, SMTP, and POP3.

Compatible with Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

Key Specs:

Mailbox Size: 75GB

Email alias: Yes, it supports.

Attachment Size Limit: 50 MB

Mobile Apps: Android and iOS

Ads in Email: No, they don’t show Ads

Scheduled Emails: Yes

👍 Pros 👍 Cons

User-friendly interface Limited storage

Strong security features

Offers mobile app support

60-Day Free Trial

ScalaHosting offers affordable secured email services with unlimited mailboxes for corporates. They offer free migration from your existing email hosting provider with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Features:

50GB to 150 GB of email storage space

Isolated environment and dedicated IP

Advance Spam protection over all incoming and outgoing emails

Webmail options for easy remote email checking

Free shared SSL certificate

24/7/365 professional support via live chat and ticketing

👍 Pros 👍 Cons

Custom email addresses Limited features

Affordable pricing options

Offer free & effortless migration

30-day Money-back Guarantee

Outlook is one of the best business email service provider that includes Exchange Server, Exchange Online, and Office 365. It allows you to access email, shared calendars, and contacts anywhere.

Features:

It protects your confidential information.

Outlook gives Bcc warning when emails are blind copied.

This software provides intelligent reminders.

It helps you to find the needed information quickly.

Outlook offers keyboard shortcuts for ease of access.

It allows you to create rules to prioritize and organize emails.

Outlook has a built-in calendar that enables you to schedule and manage meetings or events.

You can see contact information when you hover over its name.

It provides a simple way to find people, and messages, documents in email.

👍 Pros 👍 Cons

Easy access to other Microsoft Apps Loading takes time

Allows you to recover deleted emails

Customer support by phone or web

Free Forever

Bluehost is easy to use professional business email service provider. It allows you to customize mail in less effort. This web application has shared working documents and integrated video meetings.

Features:

It offers one the best email accounts and allows you to manage your email from the web on any device.

This free company email id provides an intuitive, user-friendly dashboard.

Bluehost provides 24/7 expert support.

The software enables you to collaborate with other people via Microsoft teams.

It automatically updates the application.

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

No hidden charges. Does not offer any premium tech support.

Simple and easy-to-use control panel. Does not support for Windows OS

Offers Bluehost WordPress focused hosting service.

FTP account and File Manager.

Offers free domain name for 1 year when you signup.

14 Days Free Trial

8) Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is a secure email hosting service provider for your business. It allows you to set up a custom email address with no hassle. This software has a control panel that helps you to manage group aliases, add users, and set up policies to moderate business email content.

Features:

You can integrate with Zoho CRM (Customer Relation Management) to manage your sales.

It follows the e-Discovery process that helps you to discover emails quickly.

Unlike most email hosting providers, Zoho offers protection against fake emails.

Zoho enables you to read mails from a mobile device.

Key Specs:

Email Alias: Yes

Mobile Apps: Android, iOS

Calendars: Zoho Calendars

Schedule Email: Yes

Advertisements In Email: No

Mailbox size: 100GB

👍 Pros 👍 Cons

Totally Ad-free service IMAP/ POP/ Active Sync are not included in the free plan.

The free version allows 5 users to use with a storage of 5GB/user.

Simple and clean design

FAQ:

Yes, you can use a custom business email address with any mobile email apps or desktop. Many apps can automatically figure out mail settings.

Here are some of the best email to use for business:

Gmail

Proton Mail

Godaddy

Namecheap

ScalaHosting

Outlook

Yes, you need to first set up a professional email address using the steps mentioned above. Then you can use email forwarding to auto-forward any incoming emails to your Gmail, Yahoo, or other free business email accounts to your newly created custom domain email address.

You can then use the new business email to correspond with clients while ensuring that any messages to your old email account are also received in the new account.

Here are the top selection criteria’s to check when you select any email provider:

Reputation: Your business email service provider should have a good reputation. A business email address is one of the first aspects that your clients see.

Archive Capabilities: Good business email providers enable you to save, store, archive, and search your messages.

Security: You should look for strong security measures while choosing a business email provider. It helps you to keep your message safe and protects from unauthorized access to email account.

Integration: Some email services work fine with other business software like productivity suites and calendars. If your business depends on such tools, you should go for the email package that integrates them.

Spam Filter: Spam messages waste your time, and you do not want to read them. Thereby, you need email service having a system to detect and filter out spam messages.

Reliability: Your business email service provider should be running when you actually need it. The downtime of Email can result in unhappy or lost customers.

Storage: Storage is one of the important aspects When selecting an email service provider. It would help if you kept in mind that the amount of enough storage space included with your account.

Ease of Use: Your staff member needs to create and use email account as your business grows. You have to look for the email service provider, which is easy to use, so it reduces staff training time.

Advanced Features: Advanced features like the ability to schedule tasks or recall messages depending on your unique business need.

Yes, you can create a free professional email address without developing any website. However, you will still have to pay for business email domain name registration. Domain name registration and email hosting service come free with a web hosting package. You need to sign up on the website of the hosting service provider, and then simply create your email address.

Email storage space is the total amount of data, in megabytes, that your email messages occupy on the server. Each character written in your email message is equal to one byte of space. The size of your email attachments like PDF, images, slides, etc. are also included while calculating the storage space used.

All professional email providers have a fixed storage space that they allocate to each email account. Once this limit is breached, all incoming emails will bounce. Also, you will not be able to send any new emails. Hence, it is important to monitor the current storage space consumed by your email account to prevent the loss of important incoming client emails.

The admin features supported by Google Workspace are:

It allows you to add new users.

Update user details in bulk.

Reset password.

Rename user.

Add any user to a group.

Download user details.

You can suspend the user.

It allows admin to restore data.

Delete user.

Change the organization unit.

The admin features supported by Google Workspace are:

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a protocol for validating email, which is designed to find and block email spoofing.

DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) is a method for authenticating email. It enables a receiver to know that email was sent and authorized by the domain author.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is a protocol for email authentication. It is specifically designed to give email owners the ability to safeguard their domain from unauthorized use. It is important to set SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for your email accounts to avoid spoofing and spam.

No, you cannot create a free business email without domain registration. If you do not want to register a domain, you can create a free account with Yahoo and Gmail. It will not have your business name. Therefore, it can’t be considered as a business email address by other businesses and customers.

You can achieve a subject line which is spam free by considering the following points:

Avoid overused words.

Include localization/personalization when possible, for example, first name, city, etc.

Write a short subject line below 50 characters.

Avoid exclamation marks, all caps, and other special characters like @, #, and %.

Your email structure includes the basic elements like first and last name, title, email address, phone number, company, and a link to your website.

The answer to this question depends on your unique choice and preferences. However, if your business is looking to find the best value and the user-friendly tools, the Google Workspace is a better option for you.

Gmail is a very known email service for businesses. The domain name and business email come packed with a range of features. It has built-in security, which protects you and your inbox. It offers collaboration and productivity tools such as Google Sheets, Slides, Docs, and more.

Gmail for business is called Google Workspace. Here are the key differences between Gmail and Google Workspace:

Gmail

Google Workspace

It is designed for personal use.

It is designed for business.

Gmail access right is owned by a user who has the password.

Google Workspace access right is owned by a business administrator.

You need user permission when requesting for individual resources.

It has default rights.

Loss of access to services and data requires rebuild.

The data can be easily saved and transferred; the service can be continued to be accessed.

MX (Mail Exchange) records are DNS records which are needed for delivering email to your address. It is used to know which email servers accept incoming mails for your domain name and where they should route to.

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy of sending a commercial message to a group of people using email. It provides higher conversion rates as a business is targeting the people who already have an interest in their brand.

IMAP: IMAP or Internet Message Access Protocol is a mail protocol that is used to access email on the web server from the local PC. It stores messages on a server and synchronizes the mails across multiple devices.

SMTP: SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an application to send messages to the mail server for relaying.

Microsoft Exchange is an email server solution that manages all your mails. It performs different activities related to your incoming, outgoing, and drafts messages, & calendars. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution to handle your mail, you might want to consider a virtual mailbox service, which could further streamline your mail management needs.

Here is a step by step process on how to make a business email:

Step 1) Visit any good hosting service provider website

Step 2) Choose a hosting plan for your domain

Step 3) Choose your domain name

Step 4) Now, create your business email and confirm changes

Step 5) Now, you can access your business email

Below is a step by step process on how to get a free business email:

Step 1) Visit any of the above-listed business email service providers

Step 2) Sign up with your business details like domain name, website, contact details, etc.

Step 3) Set up your business email account and confirm the final changes

Step 4) Now, you can use your free business email

Best Business Email ID: Top Free Professional Email Picks

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