The aim is certainly an admirable one: to make democracy totally transparent. Read more
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I have to confess: Google’s mobile phone platform is getting off to a much better start than I had expected.
The generally favourable reviews of the first Android phone, the G1 made by HTC for T-Mobile, were notable (our own Paul Taylor found “many strengths offsetting a few weaknesses.”) They showed how well Google had done from a standing start in just a year and half – though my own brief exposure to the device left me cold. It arouses none of the instant emotional reaction you get from the iPhone. Read more
I am not a big video gamer, but one of the new features that will be introduced on November 19 by Microsoft’s Xbox team as part of a user interface redesign dubbed the ‘New Xbox Experience’ (NXE) could help bolster the consol’s claim to a place in the living room.
The software upgrade, which the Xbox team has been working on for the past nine months and which will be automatically downloaded like any other system update, will bring streaming Netflix movies to the Xbox 360 instantly transforming the device from ‘simply’ a games machine into a new distribution platform for the movies-by-mail pioneer. Read more
Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles (its first in three years) is classic Ray Ozzie. Historically, the software company has always trailed important technology developments far in advance of their availability – a tactic that has the benefit of securing mindshare among developers, but also opens it to the criticism of talking up “vapourware” in order to undermine competitors.
That is not Ozzie’s style. When I caught up with him for a few minutes this week, the Microsoft chief software architect said that there had been some pressure internally to talk about aspects of the company’s new “cloud platform” earlier, but that’s not the way he likes to do it. He wanted to wait until Microsoft had something concrete to demonstrate. Read more
Why? Because these are both fine vehicles with plenty to recommend them. But tastes and customers’ needs change, and no company wants to be caught with the wrong vehicle line-up or get passed by a competitor with better styling. Read more
Can Microsoft possibly live up to the expectations it has built around it’s Professional Developer Conference, which starts here in Los Angeles today? As Microsoft-watcher Mary Jo Foley says, virtually any question put to an exec of the software company over the past year has been met with the response: “You’ll find out more at PDC.”
This is meant to be Ray Ozzie’s coming-out party. Three years after joining Microsoft, he needs to prove that he has a plan capable of shifting the company’s centre of gravity to the Web. Read more
Amazon is featuring a trailer of her Friday show on its site with Oprah talking about her new “favourite gadget” which is “life changing for me”. From a side-on view, the product she is talking about looks very like a Kindle. Read more
We all know that Google can count. The company based its IPO on a billion times the mathematical constant “e”, so I don’t doubt the arithmetic credentials at Mountain View.
So the launch of the Android market, the application store for the new G1 phone, indicates that the Android team needs to check their calculations. Read more
It’s not all doom and gloom among Sequoia-backed start-ups.
LinkedIn, which raised $53m in June at an eye-catching $1bn valuation, is at it again. This time the social network for professionals has pulled in another $23m – and at the same valuation, despite the collapse in stock prices since then, according to CEO Dan Nye. Read more
The news from the Symbian smartphone show in the UK was that Lee Williams (pictured) was announced as the new head of the Symbian Foundation, the provider of the mobile software platform supported by many industry players.
But the recent annoucement of iPhone App store rivals by RIM and Google makes the European side of the mobile platform market seem a little behind the curve. While the US is making a marketplace for developers, questions over the Foundation’s independence are still being raised. Read more
As we intimated in last night’s blog post, Rim has been on the verge of launching its own “App Store” for the BlackBerry and it made the official announcement this morning at its first developer conference.
More than 100m copies of applications and games were downloaded in the first 60 days of the store being opened, adding to the appeal of the handset and the iPod touch. Read more
Things certainly aren’t getting any better over at Sun Microsystems. Wall Street had been expecting revenues to decline 2-3 per cent in the latest quarter. Instead, Sun just pre-announced figures that suggest revenues are down roughly 7 per cent from a year ago. No IBM silver lining there.
The red ink is also starting to flow again: a pro-forma net loss of 2-12 cents for the quarter, according to Sun, which will release the full gory details on October 30th. Read more
If you’re a journalist, you have to love Steve Ballmer. Something quotable always seems to be falling out of his mouth. In public, he is a mixture of loud-mouthed bully, bumbling reasonableness and calculating shark.
So which persona was responsible for his comment today at a Gartner technology symposium in Florida? According to a Bloomberg report, the Microsoft CEO said that a deal with Yahoo “may still make economic sense for shareholders of both companies,” though there are no talks going on at the moment. Read more
Microsoft marketing has an identity crisis. Which means Microsoft doesn’t know how to talk to its customers, and that’s a big issue for the company.
Leave aside issues of desktop vs cloud software, Google vs Live search, and whether Yahoo was worth $33 per share. Instead, let’s look at how the company actually engages the public. Read more
The latest internet earnings season has got off to a decidedly unappetising start.
eBay kicked it off today with two memorable firsts: the first-ever fall in the value of goods sold through its sites (which slipped by 1 per cent in the latest quarter) and a fourth-quarter financial forecast that predicts its first-ever revenue decline (yes, decline – and this is a company that was growing at 30 per cent this time last year.) Read more