iFive: Microsoft's Finances, U.S. Ends India Embargo, Facebook's Groupon, Twitter's Ads Expand, Daily iPad Newspaper App

1. Microsoft's due to report its latest quarterly earnings, and analysts are expecting a few surprises: Microsoft may post lower profits than Apple for the first time in 21 years, and sales of Windows 7 are expected to be acceptable, but lacking "fireworks." Essentially the financial world is expecting to see a picture of a Microsoft that's no longer world-leading or massively growing. Is it time for CEO Steve Ballmer to go?

2. The U.S. has decided to end export restrictions to Indian space and defense industries after a decade-long embargo. The ban was originally in place thanks to India's nuclear weapons program, but the government in Washington is now confident that nuclear escalation with Pakistan is unlikely, and the way forward is to partner India instead. The promise of access to a huge, and growing, market will also have played its part.

3. Facebook may have revealed its answer to the daily deal/coupons phenomenon: "Buy with Friends." Speaking at the Inside Social Apps InFocus conference, Facebook manager Deb Liu described the new service as a way to share details on virtual goods purchases with your friends. But the speculation is that it'll quickly expand to real-world goods, and that if you "unlock" a deal, you can share it with your Facebook friends.

4. The latest step in Twitter's monetization plan is here: The site has begun testing a self-serve advertising platform. This system gives advertising partners access to an engine that helps them build, then activate both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns. It's a way for Twitter to begin to compete with Google and Facebook more easily, and it means that as end-user Tweeps we may start seeing a lot more ads.

5. News Corp.'s James Murdoch has spilled the beans on the highly anticipated Daily iPad-only newspaper app: After technical delays it's due inside two weeks and will cost $0.99 per week. Expect to see much discussion about the potential success, failure and game-changing nature of the app in the press for the next month.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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