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Microsoft, Apple & Twitter News June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

It’s been a busy day in tech and communications news – so far these are a few of the stories worth knowing about:

Microsoft needs to get larger? Scott Rothbort at TheStreet gives us eight companies Microsoft should buy – and you know what, some of these make great sense such as Adobe & Netflix but in reading the article, I wonder if Yahoo! makes sense anymore.

Where Google is Vulnerable to the FTC Probe

June 24, 2011

Google has responded to the FTC probe regarding its potential monopolist practice of directing users to its network of sites and in a blog post from Amit Singhal, a Google fellow they explain that their focus is primarily on users. A salient excerpt follows:

It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.

Avaya's Support Strategy Emulates Successful Cancer Diagnostic Systems

June 23, 2011

It is an unusual occurrence for me to receive a call from any company to discuss their support. Generally the media gets all warm and fuzzy about tangible things like new product launches – scoops and items you can put in the category of breaking news. Ironically though if you ask most companies what differentiates them from the pack, service and support is typically the most common answer. Yet, I can’t remember other companies asking me to meet their new head of global services.

New Google Antitrust Probe and the Obama Connection

June 23, 2011

I asked in January of 2009 if Eric Schmidt was intentionally cozying up to candidate and then president Obama to protect a Google monopoly. The same year I brought the question up again as a response to an article in the Chicago Tribune on the matter.

We may or may not ever find out if my theory on this relationship are accurate what we do know is that today the FTC has served Google with civil subpoenas related to how the search engine directs searchers to its own growing network of sites like YouTube, shopping, local, and numerous others.

There is absolutely no question Google is massively powerful and can destroy companies and industries by directing users to its services. There is no way the company can deny this. The interesting arguments we will likely hear as a result of this case are whether Google is a force of good or bad in the market.



Now You Need to be a Lawyer to Understand Tech?

June 23, 2011


It seemed to start off slowly but now the trend is gaining momentum - lawsuits over patents in tech are everywhere and its tough to make decisions which are best for your company when you aren't sure if the products and services you are purchasing are infringing on the patents of others.

I must say that when the number of stories of tech patents gets to the dizzying level we are seeing today, it isn't good for anyone. Well except lawyers of course. Sure it is great to protect peoples' inventions but at the same time there are some very silly patents out there which are being used to "extort" money out of companies who have successfully put together a suite of products and services consumers want.

Solving the problem is beyond the scope of this entry but to get an idea of what set me off take a look at some recent stories in the patent space:






Are Critics Too Pessimistic on RIM?

June 22, 2011

Obviously RIM has stumbled and the iPhone instantly changed the world of smartphones making fixed-keyboard devices less attractive. Moreover, the fact that the iPhone was more computer than email device opened up the market for serious web browsing and app usage on the go. And until recently, the Blackberry browser experience was awful.

But the PlayBook has changed all that and its interface is slick and its form factor is impressive.

Deep Facebook Integration Coming to Your Smartphone

June 22, 2011

Cablevision Allows E-Mail Sign-ups in TV Ads

June 21, 2011

Yes Virginia, cable companies are innovating

Just yesterday I discussed in an article about Cisco Quad that it is very hard it is to determine who the leaders in tech will be in the future. And today when I learned that Cablevision added e-mail opt-in for its television advertisers, I got to thinking about how this will change the world for companies like Groupon, Yahoo! and Google.

The way the system works is a Cablevision IO TV customer could decide they want to join an e-mail list of an advertiser to receive selected coupons and offers. A screen overlay is presented on the program they are viewing until the transaction is complete.

Quad: The Death of E-mail and Cisco's Social Enterprise Ambitions

June 20, 2011

Quad moves to the cloud, has native Cius tablet support and offers better interoperability

Last week I took a train into the city from TMC’s Connecticut HQ to spend time with the Cisco Quad collaboration team – using Cisco telepresence technology and it was a fascinating look into the company’s foray into a post-email, collaborative enterprise world. First things first, I wrote about Quad and spoke with Murali Sitaram VP/GM of Cisco's Enterprise Platforms unit last September and since then Quad has not been talked about much in the media and has limited buzz in the market. Moreover, Cisco is repositioning itself – lightening up on consumer products meaning much of the company’s messaging has been in other areas of the market including launching consumer telepresence product UMI – something which should never should have gotten the green light.

Spreadable Shuts Down - Why?

June 10, 2011



While reading a blog post from telecom and channel partner thought leader Peter Radizeski, on how small businesses are responsible for much of the nation's hiring I learned about the fact that Grasshopper is shutting down its Spreadable company - an organization focused on word-of-mouth spreading of customer referrals.

I haven't talked with the people at Grasshooper in years - certainly not since they changed their name to Grasshopper - but I have often had conversations with others in the market about how their marketing campaigns seem to be the most untargeted in the space since much of it is being placed on satellite radio. According to the company's competitors, their marketing is as shotgun as it gets because - they seem to be purposefully utilizing mediums which are difficult to measure and they are relatively nonexistent online.

And as more decisions are being made on the web - this is quite a surprising and counter-intuitive strategy.

But when I started to read the first post from the company related to why they shut down Spreadable I could see they understand digital marketing quite well - its just surprising that you rarely see them online. Kind of a paradox I got to thinking. It is worth mentioning Spreadable too relied on Satellite radio among perhaps other mediums for its sales.

Another thought I had while reading is what company shuts down a business and then celebrates its failure in public via a four-part series?









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