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Google

Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Conferencing is Broken and UberConference Wants to Fix it

September 11, 2013

Many conference calls in the corporate world start with lots of beeping and questions. “Did someone just join?” “Hello?” “Who just came on?” Occasionally you also get the stray person from another corporate department that joins by accident. All of this non-core communication to get to the actual call is wasteful and kills productivity. Of course it gives the people on the call extra time to update their Facebook profiles and check out the day’s news but most companies likely are looking to reduce this time-wasting taken for granted as part of the typical conference.

Predicting Recession: Google's Real Competitive Advantage

September 5, 2013

Being able to determine global trends before others is an amazing way to increase your chance for success and no one has better access to the needs and desires of the world users than Google. In 2003 just before blogging became all the rage, the company reached out and purchased Weblog software to help create its Blogger platform. Just before video became super-popular on the web, the company launched its own video search service to compete with YouTube. Google determined this move did not slow its competitors growth so the search engine company purchased the leading video distribution company.

John Battelle summed up Google’s access to people’s wants and desires very well in his book The Search which I reviewed in 2006.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

7 Areas of Microsoft Focus Post-Ballmer

August 23, 2013

Steve Ballmer has just announced he will be stepping down from Microsoft in the next twelve months and for his many critics, this is triumphant news. The happiest critic will likely be the author of the Mini-Microsoft blog I first reported on in 2005. The author, a Microsoft Employee was never a fan of the management and in a post today outlined the challenges regarding the timing of this announcement – it follows a restructuring which may have to be restructured yet again under another CEO. Moreover he goes on to suggest the next leader actually have programming experience.

Despite Complaints, Tech Wealth Helps Society

August 14, 2013

The pace of entrepreneurial activity fueled by tech wealth isn’t slowing down… In fact it is accelerating at dare I say “Internet speed.” Just last week I discussed how Tech Leaders Brin, Zuckerberg and Bezos are changing everything as the seek to revolutionize newspapers, immigration and meat production.

The Financial Times seems to agree as they just published a piece yesterday which discusses many of the same issues I brought up with the addition of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop and asteroid mining.

The FT correctly discusses the pervasive pessimism about the lack of investment from just a few years back from people like PayPal’s Peter Thiel as well as Tyler Cowen.

Here is a salient excerpt:

The upshot, according to supporters of this billionaire-fuelled quest for the next big technological breakthroughs, will be an age of discovery that creates the industries of the future: private space exploration, new forms of transport, robotics, new medicines and advanced materials.

MightyHive Achieves Contact Center and Web Ad Integration

August 12, 2013

The contact center is a billion dollar channel but has yet to exploit its true potential. Contact center data can now drive demand through another channel, online. To drive brand and business equity today, marketers must leverage consumer insights to create seamless experiences across channels where each interaction, regardless of channel, is relevant and consistent to lead consumers along the path to purchase.

In the late nineties it was fashionable to say the web would kill the contact center as people would no longer need to speak on the phone when purchasing.

The Apple Board is Complaining About Apple's Lack of Innovation

August 9, 2013

Apple, We Need a Larger iPhone as I have asked for since 2010



It’s getting to be laughable – the phone choices in the Android camp are literally becoming infinite from Samsung alone – let alone when you throw in Google, HTC and others. Apple popularized the mouse, the GUI, fonts, desktop publishing and so many things yet they eventually got killed in the late eighties and nineties because of the competition and their lack of correct response to it.

In other words the price/performance curve got so out of whack that when PCs became commoditized and Apple lost its software ecosystem advantage, it didn’t make financial sense to buy an Apple product.

In 2010 I predicted this would happen to Apple in the smartphone market when I saw the gloriously huge Motorola Droid X. At the time I said the following (bold added for emphasis):

And this gets us to the headline of this entry...

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