Monthly Archives: February 2008

Chris Nuttall

Windows Vista Capable logoMicrosoft and Intel have been in such a lockstep for so long in their promotion of the Windows operating system powered by x86 microprocessors that they have earned the moniker Wintel.

But when does such co-operation reach inappropriate levels? Read more

Maija Palmer

The dusty world of technical standards setting is full of excitement and intrigue again as 120 delegates from 37 countries convene in Geneva to discuss whether to accept Microsoft’s new Open Office XML software as an international open standard under the International Standards Organisation.

Standard-setting does not normally arouse much interest. It’s usually a group of five or six engineers in a small room voting on an incremental modification to a piece of code few people are even aware exists. But this time the stakes are high – especially for Microsoft, which could stand to lose out on a great deal of business if it does not get the ISO seal of approval. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Google SitesAre wikis going out of fashion or just being subsumed as an accepted feature of collaborative websites?

Google makes no mention of wikis in its announcement about Google Sites – the fruits of its acquisition of JotSpot, the enterprise-wiki Web 2.0 start-up, in October 2006. Read more

The downbeat report on click-through rates that sent Google’s shares down 4.6 per cent on Tuesday is sure to rub salt in the wounds of shareholders who were already stinging from a sharp drop in the search group’s share price this year. Many will be anxious to determine whether the data from ComScore, which showed flat growth in the rate at which web surfers click on Google’s ads in January, is merely a blip or a sign of something more ominous.

Google chart Read more

Chris Nuttall

Ring of Death - source WikipediaAround 10 per cent of Xbox 360s have been suffering from that irretrievable breakdown known as the “Red Ring of Death”, according to the warranty company SquareTrade, although the figure could be much higher.

The problem forced Microsoft to take a charge of more than $1bn for the cost of repairs in its last financial year, but the company refused to reveal what percentage of its consoles were suffering from the failure. Read more

Chris Nuttall

RoostRising home inventories, falling house prices and tighter mortgage lending do not seem the ideal conditions to be launching a real-estate site.

But Alex Chang, chief executive of, says it is the best of times. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Dead SpaceOne interesting comment from this morning’s Electronic Arts conference call on its proposed take-out of Take-Two was on the subject of games for grown-ups.

“EA is notably underrepresented in M-rated [Mature audience] content, this gives us additional M-rated content, in fact it gives us the world’s best M-rated content,” said John Riccitiello, chief executive. Read more

Richard Waters

Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Not many internet retailers have made it to $1bn in revenues. Amazon got there in less than four years and didn’t look back, but for most others the going has been tough. After the first flurry of dotcom hopefuls it was left to the bricks-and-mortar brigade to invade the internet. Read more

Richard Waters

Yahoo HQ

At least Microsoft and Yahoo can agree on one thing. Noone wants the best brains to bolt (last week Bradley Horowitz, head of the company’s Advanced Development Division, left for Google, joining a brain drain that has been underway for some time – and yes, the A.D.D. acronym seems to have been a deliberate joke, to judge from Horowitz’s blog.) Read more

Richard Waters

Bill Gates has kept out of the public eye on Yahoo, leaving it to Steve Ballmer to lead the charge. So it was intriguing to hear him talk about the situation when I spoke to him on Monday (the conversation had been arranged to discuss Microsoft’s decision to give away its developer tools to students, but how could it not turn to Yahoo as well?)

With Microsoft and Yahoo apparently waiting to see who blinks first (Is a Yahoo alliance with Google or News Corp really just a bluff? Will Microsoft sweeten its bid?) Gates was not about to negotiate in public. But he talked fairly freely about competition with Google. Read more