Monthly Archives: June 2008

Richard Waters

There was something sweetly ironic in the not-so-veiled threat that a Microsoft-led lobbying group flashed at Google today. The message: Microsoft is learning how to turn the European anti-trust apparatus that has caused it so much grief to its own advantage.

The group in question, called ICOMP, claims to be an industry association formed to address “concerns related to online marketplaces.” Its close links to Microsoft were once less transparent, but these days it carries the following disclosure on its Website: “Microsoft is ICOMP’s initial sponsor. Burson-Marsteller [PR advisers to Microsoft] acts as its Secretariat.“ Read more

Chris Nuttall

Glassdoor “Real life at Google has NOTHING to do with what you read in the papers. Management is mostly useless and doesn’t know how to manage projects, let alone people.”

So says an anonymous product marketing manager for the internet leader on Glassdoor.com, a website launched today that lets employees compare salaries and opinions about the places where they work.

The service provides a fascinating insight into corporate cultures in Silicon Valley, a place whose workforce always seems to have half an eye on the next job opportunity. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Voodoo EnvyHewlett-Packard sold nearly 2m more notebooks than Dell in the first quarter, according to a DisplaySearch report today, and it will be looking to maintain that advantage with a new portfolio of products just unveiled.

HP showed off 17 new notebooks at its Connecting Your World event in Berlin today. It gave me a sneak preview of them in San Francisco last month. Read more

Richard Waters

Depending on how you look at it, the news that widget-maker RockYou has just raised $35m is either a sign that boundless hope continues to rein supreme in Web 2.0 financing, or that at least some degree of caution is creeping into the sector.

Like Slide, which raised $50m on a $500m valuation at the end of last year, RockYou is only just at the start of trying to work out how (if) it can make money from its little “social” applications, which users can embed into their Facebook page (as we reported before, these widgets don’t make much money yet.) The fact that RockYou has now raised more than $50m in all points to the high level of confidence that where audiences go in social media, advertisers will eventually follow. Read more

Richard Waters

If Carl Icahn expects Yahoo shareholders to hand him their company on a plate, he’ll have to do better than this.

The war of words with the Yahoo board that stuttered along for much of this week has looked like a naked attempt to get the issue back into the headlines. For all his blustering and supposed outrage, though, Icahn seems to have few ideas up his sleeve for what to do if Microsoft really doesn’t want to buy the company. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Henry NicholasA big news week for Broadcom, with several wireless chip announcements at the Computex trade show, has been somewhat overshadowed by extraordinary allegations made against its former chief executive.

Henry Nicholas, a co-founder of the chip company and chief executive from 1998 to 2003, was indicted on Thursday on charges of engaging in drugs violations, including spiking an industry executive’s drink with ecstasy. He was also indicted on charges of participating in a stock options backdating scheme, which forced a $2.2bn writedown at Broadcom. Read more

Richard Waters

loudonextra.jpgHow local does local have to be? That’s something the Washington Post is probably asking itself as it tries to breathe new life into its experimental local online service (we wrote about it here last year. According to this report in the Wall Street Journal today, it hasn’t been faring so well.)

The Post’s idea was a site that could get under the skin of Loudon County (population: 300,000), which lies to the west of Washington. Tapping into local advertising as it moves online could be an important business for newspapers. But it seems that Loudon is too big and disparate a place – it has five disconnected population centres and no single local identity. The Post tried to use high-end production and journalistic values to bring life to local news. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Robert Scoble with his Qik-enabled phoneRemember Justin Kan? A year ago, you could follow his life 24/7 on Justin.tv through a webcam attached to his baseball cap.

No more. Justin has hung up his hat, webcam and the backpack with cellular data card, laptop and long-life battery that allowed him to roam anywhere and stream his life live online. Read more