Fast Company

Today in Most Innovative Companies

Daily news of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Cisco, Spotify, Microsoft, and HP.

Cisco: It seems every tech-company CEO has raced to the blogosphere to respond to the FCC's National Broadband Plan. Cisco chair John Chambers isn't far behind Google's Eric Schmidt (who recently compared the initiative to the 1960s space race) and others in voicing strong support for the plan. "If the U.S. military ranked 17th in the world, you can bet that as a nation we would make strengthening our armed forces a national priority," Chambers said in a blog post. "The national broadband plan sent to Congress on Mar. 16 by the Federal Communications Commission is critical to our economic and national security. Without a plan, we simply cannot compete."

Spotify: At SXSW today, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek boasted that on certain days the cloud-based music service is "consuming more Internet capacity than Sweden as a country." Ek went on to say that iTunes will eventually copy Spotify's cloud model, arguing that Apple's peer-to-peer service will have to switch to subscriptions.

Microsoft: Internet Explorer's market share rapidly declined in recent months, dropping from 62% in January to an estimated 54% this week. On the other hand, browsers like Firefox (now 31%) and Chome (7%) are blazing in popularity, and represent a clear trend in the reshuffled browser market. Microsoft hopes to reverse that slope with Internet Explorer 9, which the company unveiled today at its Mix Conference in Las Vegas. Our own Dan Nosowitz catches you up on IE's latest features.

HP: The third-dimension is all the rage these days, what with Avatar smashing box-office records, Sony and Panasonic selling out their 3-D televisions, and ESPN promising to broadcast its network in 3-D later this year. So it's not surprising that HP would want a piece of this post-2-D action. How? With 3-D printers of course! Remember in The Dark Knight when Batman scanned and reconstructed a bullet hole to get the Joker's fingerprint? Now you too can be like Bruce Wayne with HP's new printers, which can produce solid structures based on 3-D designs. HP hopes to eventually make this "rapid prototyping" technology mainstream. Check out the video below to see the technology in action:

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