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January 15, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 15, 2013

Google Launches Digital Coupon Service

Google has launched a digital coupon service that allows U.S. retail stores and manufacturers to reward loyal customers with coupons.

Dubbed Zavers, the initiative ensures customers receive coupons that are relevant to them “so dog owners don’t get cat food coupons and parents of teenagers don’t get diaper coupons,” Google Commerce director of emerging platforms Spencer Spinnell wrote in a blog post.

Zavers offers real-time data so manufacturers can better measure coupon redemptions and analyze consumer preferences. This allows users of Zavers to better manage distribution, tailor campaigns and optimize budgets for maximum ROI, Spinnell said.

“With Zavers, shoppers find manufacturer discounts on their favorite retailer websites, and save the digital coupons to their accounts,” Spinnell said. “Then they simply shop for those products and check out as usual. Redemption occurs in real time, with savings automatically deducted at checkout when shoppers provide their rewards cards or phone numbers—no scanning or sorting necessary. Manufacturers only pay when a product is moved off the shelf.”

Zavers has recently partnered with New York’s Original Grocer, D’Agostino and expects to announce partnerships with a number of other major retailers in the coming months.

Samsung Axes U.S. Launch of Windows RT-Run Ativ Tab

Samsung has axed its plans to launch its Ativ Tab based on Windows RT in the U.S.

The decision is based on demand, or lack thereof to be precise.

Retailers’ interest in Windows RT is only “modest,” Samsung senior vice-president Mike Abary told CNet.

Windows RT is an offshoot of Windows 8 designed mainly for portable systems.

“When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was,” Abary said. “And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment.”

Abary said customers could be confused by the OS, which can only run software preinstalled by Microsoft or apps downloaded from the Windows Store.

Abary said Samsung may still launch the tablet in some international markets.

Samsung’s decision is bad news for Microsoft, which also entered the tablet market last fall with its Surface RT.

RIM Garners 15,000-Plus Apps Over Weekend

Developers submitted more than 15,000 apps to Research In Motion for its BlackBerry 10 during two events the Canadian company ran over the weekend.

Vice-president of developer relations Alec Saunders said the two Portathons — with one geared toward the BlackBerry 10 developers and the other toward Android developers — were a success.

“Well there you have it. 37.5 hours in, we hit 15,000 apps for this portathon. Feel like I’ve run a marathon. Thanks to all the devs,” Saunders tweeted.

Developers were urged to port their previously developed applications to BlackBerry 10 with the promise RIM will reward $100 for each approved app.