Google has made two very interesting moves this week. The first was to close Lively, the company’s version of Second Life. The second was to launch SearchWiki, or personalised search results.
On the surface, these don’t look related. Closing the virtual world Lively might look like a simple investment call, but Google hardly has to worry about cashflow. The company has many projects that on the surface don’t make a great deal of money.
Nokia, the world’s leading mobile handset maker, has been giving some mixed signals about its research direction of late, an area where it spent more than $8bn in 2007.
Bob Iannucci, its first non-Finn chief technology officer, stepped down at the end of September after only nine months in the job. He had been based in Palo Alto and was head of the Nokia Research Center there, from when it first opened two years ago.
Depending how you define them, Finland’s Nokia is by far the largest supplier of smartphones.
But Nokia position in the business smartphone market has been constrained in the past because, unlike BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, it lacked the tools to enable companies to directly connect their corporate email systems to Nokia devices.