While Jerry Yang may feel he has achieved Nirvana today, some of the chief executive’s fellow Yahoos may soon be reaching a nadir.
Mr Yang made a presentation at Advertising Week in New York, giving an official launch to Apt, the renamed Amp online advertising platform, with the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News becoming the first to deploy it.
Michael Dell was in London yesterday, and held a Q&A with a group of journalists. And I must admit that although he came across as very likeable, his ability to avoid answering questions (well, the ones he didn’t want to answer) was superb.
VC money ought to be hard to come by in these credit-crunched times, but games industry start-ups still seem to be scoring big.
Trion World Network announced $70m in third-round funding on Tuesday, after Big Fish Games landed an $83m round earlier this month.
Time is running out for the internet companies to decide if they want to plough on regardless or put their deal on hold, possibly for good (as we explained here.) Today comes a white paper from the American Antitrust Institute calling on the companies to give an undertaking about their future behaviour before the deal is cleared:
The government should insist on a consent decree which preserves Yahoo’s incentives to remain in the paid search market. If such a consent decree cannot be achieved, then the government should seek an injunction to prevent Google and Yahoo from implementing their agreement.
My colleague Paul Taylor will be writing a fuller hands-on review of the first Android phone, T-Mobile’s G1. For now, though, here are some initial thoughts from the press conference to unveil the phone, which has just ended in New York:
- The G1 looks like a playground for Google services, though T-Mobile has suppressed the Google brand in some cases. For instance, click on an address in the address book and go straight to a Google map. Click again, and see a Google Street View. If you pull down a separate Window and start a chat with a friend the familiar Google “Talk” bubble appears on the screen. In none of these cases, though, does the Google name itself appear.
To most people, the setting of technology standards sounds like an arcane and generally dull pursuit best left to the experts. But tech companies have long realised that influencing the standard-setting process can bring huge competitive advantage: getting your technology preference adopted by the world at large brings immediate home-field advantage.
Which is why the new row that IBM is trying hard to whip up over international standards is so important.
Will Android turn out to be a dud for Google?
That question has been percolating ever since November, when the mobile software plan was unveiled. It didn’t help that the early Android developer tools got a thumbs down from one of the key groups Google was hoping to win over with its “open” platform. With launch delays this year, the suspicion has been growing that this was a half-baked response to one of Google’s most pressing needs (to promote the use of mobile advertising) rather than a carefully thought through strategy for a new mobile internet platform.
While Spore, the evolution game from Electronic Arts, gives players the freedom of the galaxy, it has been accused of imprisoning them with restrictive digital rights management when they install it.
A protest campaign on Amazon.com, where more than 2,500 reviewers have given Spore one star out of five, appears to have borne fruit.
Yahoo has put much emphasis on it being the “starting point” for the internet and has been revamping its home page this week to boost that strategy.
But Yahoo’s content is dependent on delivery through browsers and how users configure them, and the latest versions of these appear to erode the notion of a home or start page.
Microsoft knows it has a real fight on its hands this time. That is the only conclusion to draw from its highly unusual decision to start advertising downloads of IE8, even though the software is still in beta (the banner on the left was just spotted on Valleywag, leading to this landing page.)
That puts the beta IE8 up against the beta Chrome in an early battle for the hearts and minds of an influential group: the technology crowd for whom any internet service past beta is already starting to feel old hat.