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Rob Minto

Rob Minto is a writer / editor on the FT's emerging markets desk in London. He was previously Head of Interactive, in charge of the multimedia output of FT.com. He has also been Technology correspondent, as well as a news editor, and joined the FT in 2004.

Richard Waters gives his thoughts on the Microsoft / Yahoo deal – listen below:

Google Chrome has had a strange start to life. The browser is undoubtedly fast, and given it’s very new, has a lot of good features packed into it.

But where are the users? As Google took Chrome out of beta today , it revealed that the browser has gained 10m active users in its first 100 days. That sounds like a lot – until you compare it to others. Firefox – a rival browser that is more firmly established as the main alternative to Internet Explorer – has around 20 per cent of the browser market, compared to Chrome which is yet to break 1 per cent. Read more

How much does spam cost? It’s hard to quantify in terms of bandwidth, time and effort blocking it, and general nuisance. But here’s a figure to mull over: $873m.

That’s how much Facebook has been awarded in damages against a spammer in a US court for sending unsolicited messages on the Facebook network. And if it sounds trivial in this era of multi-billion dollar bailouts, it’s a lot more than Facebook’s expected revenues for 2008 – more than double, in fact. Read more

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. Read more

We all know that Google collects a phenomenal amount of personal data – a perennial question is whether it’s healthy for one company to know so much about us all.

But what if all that collective data could be used to spot disease epidemics before they take hold? Good thing or bad thing? I’d say good. 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

LeeWilliamsThe 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

I’m a PCMicrosoft 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

Technology is usually seen as empowering, allowing us to do more with less, whether it’s money, time or effort. But we tend to forget the restrictive side of technology. This week two great examples have emerged.

The first is a setting for Google email, which is called Mail Goggles, and stops you emailing people late at night on specific days by setting you some arithmetic questions. You can configure it for any time or day of the week, but the defaults are Friday and Saturday between 10pm and 4am, so it’s clearly aimed at social drinkers. Get one of the 5 questions wrong or fail to complete in the time allowed, and it says: “Water and bed for you.” Ouch. Read more

michaeldellMichael 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.

Example 1:  Read more