How long should Microsoft sit by while Research in Motion and Nokia burn?
That question has become increasingly urgent amidst the stock market meltdown of the one-time smartphone leaders. With nearly enough cash parked outside the US to buy both companies outright – and the risk that rivals will pounce – Microsoft may finally have to make some sort of move.
Could it finally be time to wave goodbye to passive TV advertising?
A year ago at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, Microsoft demonstrated the first in-game ads to use Kinect, its motion-sensing Xbox 360 controller. It was rudimentary but there was clearly huge potential for advertisers in having a camera, microphone and internet connection plugged into the TV.
This week, back in Cannes, Microsoft took a big step forward to unlocking that potential with “NUads”.
Television is learning some lessons from the web.
At the Cable Show, the television industry gathering in Chicago last week, technology buzzwords like “apps”, “cloud” and “social” were bandied about with much excitement. But it wasn’t Apple, Google or Facebook showing off their latest wares. Instead, it was stalwart cable television companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and ESPN seeking to exploit advances in mobile communications, remote storage and software design in a bid to stay relevant to today’s consumer.
Joe Kennedy, head of the latest young internet company to light up the stock market, has made the trip from Silicon Valley to Wall Street before.
As president of E-Loan, an online mortgage lender created during the late 1990s dotcom boom, he had a front-row seat for one of the great investment bubbles. E-Loan’s stock market value soared to nearly $3bn following its 1999 listing before falling rapidly back. The company was eventually sold after the dotcom crash for a 10th of its peak value.
Tech news from around the web:
Dropbox, the data storage site, has suffered a security issue that allowed users to log into accounts using any password for about four hours over the weekend, Techcrunch reports. The bug, which was spotted and fixed by the company, would have allowed anyone to log into into someone else’s account simply by typing in their e-mail address.
With the wholesale expansion of its top-level domain name system, ICANN, the internet’s addressing body, has just taken its boldest – and riskiest – step yet.
Make no mistake: there is no shortage of political opponents hoping that this initiative will blow up in its face, and ready to use it to push again for a new system of international oversight of the internet’s core addressing system.