Daily Archives: August 24, 2009

Richard Waters

“Good enough” used to be Microsoft’s mantra: why pay more for corporate IT when Windows on the server works well enough in most situations?

That same argument has been turned against it by a succession of rivals, from Linux to Google Apps. These and many others have exposed Microsoft’s feature-creep and often left it defending the higher-cost option (and led it to look to defensive alliances like one with Nokia – see note below).

In emerging markets, though, Microsoft has less of an entrenched business to defend and is freer to innovate. Take today’s news from Redmond, of a Java-like environment with the potential to turn hundreds of millions of standard mobile phones into simple internet-connected devices. Read more

David Gelles

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, like so many private company bosses, is notoriously coy when it comes to numbers. He only periodically provides updates on the all-important number of active users (250m was the last official tally). And don’t bother trying to get Mr Zuckerberg to estimate revenues (unofficial estimates are $500m for the year). But in a rare moment of candour, Mr Zuckerberg provided Bloomberg with two interesting figures.

He said that Facebook plans to expand its headcount by as much as 50 per cent this year. The recession has resulted in a surplus of talented engineers, and Facebook plans to scoop up some of these workers while they are on the market. Though the engineers at FriendFeed were gainfully employed, Facebook’s acquisition of FriendFeed two weeks ago clearly fits into Mr Zuckerberg’s bulking-up strategy. Read more

Richard Waters

The unveiling of Nokia’s new Booklet 3G is the second piece of news this month to highlight the striking change that has gone on in the relationship between the once implacable enemies from the mobile and PC worlds. For both companies this makes eminent sense – up to a point.

The first development was the agreement to put Microsoft’s Office on Nokia’s handsets (though timing and product details were entirely absent). This involved the tacit admission from Microsoft that its Windows Mobile platform was losing ground. With RIM, Apple and Google making the running, it was time to seed its software on other platforms, even if that meant cozying up to Nokia. Read more