On Tuesday's edition of Daily Debrief, our Microsoft-Yahoo watcher Dawn Kawamoto talks with me about what has happened since Yahoo's well-documented August 1 shareholder meeting. Yahoo's stock price is nearing a 52-week low this week, but the herd of press and analysts covering the company are either on summer vacation or allowing Jerry Yang and his somewhat new board of directors a respite from their attention. Like other public companies, Yahoo lives by the financial quarter, so the watchers will be hovering as the quarter ends in September, speculating on how Yang and company perform now that … Read more
At this juncture OpenSocial version 0.7 has an addressable market of more than 300 million social network users, including the social networks that have delivered OpenSocial applications or are actively developing them, according to Joe Kraus, Google's director of product management. Friendster, which claims 75 million users including 55 … Read more
Nielsen yesterday released a study it conducted on the popularity of the top 10 search engines for July. As expected, Google sat atop the list, commanding more than 60 percent of the market after enjoying 16 percent year-over-year growth. Trailing behind, Yahoo and Microsoft captured 17.4 percent and 11.9 percent of the market, respectively. More importantly, both companies lost ground to Google--Yahoo witnessed an 11 percent decline, while Microsoft suffered through a 10 percent decline.
And although countless tech pundits will chime in and discuss exactly why Google has been able to run roughshod over its competition, few will point out one basic fact that is too often overlooked: Google search is designed to get rid of you as quickly as possible.
Surely, some will attribute Google's success to its better search results or Yahoo's management troubles or Microsoft's poor offering, but it goes far beyond that. Search isn't simply about relevant results or the competition. Instead, search is all about getting you to your destination as quickly as possible.
And so far, it's quite apparent that only Google understands that basic premise.… Read more
The Guardian had a fantastic set of articles this weekend addressing the role of Google in the world. One particularly intriguing piece comes from Adam Curtis, a documentary director, who notes:Google is a paradox. It gives us the feeling we are wild and free individuals, powerfully reinforcing an idea of us as heroic figures in the consumer age. Yet at the same time it is powerfully proving the opposite - that we are completely predictable. Out of that is going to come some very interesting political ideas of how to organise society and also new artistic ideas.
I think we're going to see Google given a run for its money, with more and better ways of filtering information to consumers and businesses. Each of these, however, will take us one step closer to becoming assimilated into a Borg-like information-dense existence, one largely devoid of privacy and meaningful, individual choices.
I've been very fortunate to get to spend some time with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, during my trip to Argentina. Mark and I spent the day skiing in Las Lenas, with some soft snow by the middle of the day and a lot of great conversation throughout the day.
One question we discussed at length: what is Mark's ambition for Ubuntu?
In trying to get at the answer to this question, InternetNews today asks: why doesn't Canonical work with SAP and Oracle to get them to support Ubuntu? But this sort of question doesn't get anywhere near Mark's ambition for Ubuntu. It doesn't anticipate the intersection of the web and the desktop.
The more I talk with Mark, the more I think he's a very, very smart person. He recognizes that Ubuntu needs to be more appealing on the desktop than the Mac to generate user adoption, but that's not really where his attention is focused, so far as I can tell. He's thinking bigger than desktop bits.
During a CNBC interview Wednesday with Mad Money's amped-up Jim Cramer, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about placing ads on the home page of the leading search engine. He said Google wouldn't allow ads on the home page, even though it could bring in "some number of billions of dollars."
Let's say that some number of billions is $2 billion annually, which would be close to a 10 percent bump in revenue for violating the home page with ads.
"People wouldn't like it. We prioritize the end user over the advertiser," … Read more
The Register is reporting that Google's Android should see ship with its first (T-Mobile) phone within five weeks, and that the phone will require that buyers sign up for a Google Gmail account. Shades of Microsoft and its Passport service.
First things first, however. Google is still struggling with an unhappy crew of Android developers, its primary crime being a lack of transparency.As it readies its long-anticipated open mobile OS for public release, Google is behaving in a way that threatens to permanently taint its relationship with many Android developers. The company's actions--including restricting access to key development tools and allegedly treading on open source principles--have created, if not a full-fledged revolt, at least a sense of disappointment and disillusionment among many in the tightly knit Android development community.
This, however, is not a difficult problem to solve. Google doesn't necessarily need to invite the world to contribute to Android...yet. Though it's not the traditional open-source way, it does make sense for Google to try to exercise some quality control with access to its Android SDK to ensure high-quality applications out of the gate.… Read more