Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Amazon Outages Could Lead To Lost Customers

Amazon could see customers defect to competing providers if it continues to suffer outages of the sort that took down several high profile ecommerce sites last week when Amazon Web Services went down, according to a cloud computing analyst.

"Major vendors who run their entire businesses on AWS, such as Netflix, Foursquare, Pinterest and’s Heroku platform, were affected in the October 2012 outage," Jillian E. Mirandi, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said in a research note. "If major companies such as these continue to experience outages, they will be tempted to move services onto competing IaaS products.

"TBR believes that the market spotlight is on AWS when it comes to outages as it is the biggest IaaS vendor and supports well-known customers," she added.

Key Apple Exec Departs In Wake Of iOS Maps Fiasco

Apple announced that iOS software chief Scott Forstall is leaving the company, reportedly because he refused to apologize for the glitch-ridden new Maps app in iOS 6.

Forstall oversaw the project to replace Google Maps with Apple's homegrown maps app, which ended up being one of the biggest disasters in the company's history. Users found themselves following wrong directions and were understandably upset, and when Forstall refused to sign a letter from Apple executives apologizing for the mistake, Apple CEO Tim Cook went ahead and released the letter anyway, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Apple is still flying high as a company, but this episode has some ominous implications for a company that embraces the "it just works" ethos in all of its product development.

Google Could Face FTC Lawsuit Over Smartphone Patent Shenanigans

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering a lawsuit against Google for violating antitrust law in its legal tussling with Microsoft and Apple, according to a report from Bloomberg. Google has been trying to block U.S. imports of smartphones from Apple and Microsoft on the ground that they violate the patents Google now owns by virtue of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. According to the Bloomberg report, the Microsoft and Apple products in question use industry standard technologies which fall outside the purview of patents. Now, $12.5 billion is a lot of scratch, and everyone knew Google would end up wielding these smartphone patents at some point, but the FTC takes a dim view of this sort of thing and may decide to make an example of the search giant.

Facebook Plugs Security Hole That Put User Accounts At Risk

Facebook has fixed a glitch that reportedly made it possible to access the accounts of more than a million users without a password. It all started with a post to the Hacker News Website, which contained code that could be entered into Google in order to obtain a listing of 1.32 million Facebook accounts and email addresses of users, according to a report from the BBC News.

While Facebook moved quickly here, this episode did nothing to quell the already widespread security concerns associated with the social networking site.

Microsoft Says It Ran Out Of Time With Windows Phone 8 Notifications

Microsoft's all-in stampede to get Windows Phone 8 out the door resulted in the operating system shipping without including a notification center, according to a report from the Verge. This feature gathers the alerts that mobile apps send on a regular basis to give users a sense of which ones need updating.

At Microsoft' BUILD conference for developers, Thomas Fennel of the Windows Phone 8 team acknowledged that Microsoft "ran out of time" with the notification center but suggested it will eventually add this to the OS.

"It's very very important to me… we get tons of feedback from developers that they want something like that as well. I promise we're thinking very very hard on that one," Fennel said at the event, as reported by The Verge.