Tuesday, April 24, 2012
  • Gavin O'Malley, April 24, 2012, 11:38 AM
  • Netflix Calls Out Comcast (Again) In other Netflix news, CEO Reed Hastings is once again suggesting that Comcast is competing unfairly in the streaming-video sector. "Comcast caps its residential broadband customers at 250 gigabytes per month," Hastings explained in a letter to investors, this week. "On the Xbox the Netflix app, the Hulu app, and the HBO GO app, are all subject to this cap. But Comcast has decided that its own Xfinity Xbox app is not subject to this 250 gigabyte cap. This is not neutral in any sense." In other words, Hastings believes Comcast is giving its own Xfinity Web-video service a competitive advantage, explains CNet. Not the first time, however, “Hastings has begun to regularly complain in public about Comcast's decision not to count Xfinity's data against the company's cap,” CNet notes. “Netflix doesn't typically criticize competitors in public, so this is likely a sign that the issue is important to the Web's top video service.” Recently responding to one of Hastings’ broadsides, Comcast explained that the data caps don't apply to Xfinity because its data travels over its own private IP network, and not over the public Internet. According to Hastings, however: "The Xbox is a pure Internet device with a single IP address, works over a consumer's home Wi-Fi, and data to the Xbox is Internet data," Hastings wrote.   Read the whole story...
  • The Matter With Mobile Microsoft How goes Microsoft’s big mobile comeback? By some measures, not so great. In the three months ending in February, for instance, Microsoft's share of U.S. smartphone subscribers was 3.9% -- down from 5.2% last November and 7.7% last February, according to comScore. “Even now, more than a year after Microsoft started shipping Windows Phone 7 devices, U.S. mobile customers are getting rid of Microsoft devices faster than they're buying new ones,” remarks ReadWriteWeb. “Longer term, Microsoft's share has been in a freefall: comScore had it at 18% at the end of 2009, and 36% in late 2007, the year Apple introduced the iPhone.” Since then, Apple and Google have secured the bulk of the smartphone market, with more than 80% of U.S. smartphones, by comScore's latest calculations. What’s the matter with Microsoft? For one, “Microsoft's phones -- though decent -- just aren't good enough to demand attention,” suggests RWW. “They're certainly better now than they used to be -- especially the new Lumia series from Nokia -- but that isn't enough. To cause any real damage to Apple or Google, Microsoft's phones would have to be dramatically better than the competition, and they just aren't.”       Read the whole story...
  • Chirpify Brings Commerce To Twitter Chirpify -- a platform that transforms Twitter from a broadcast platform into a transactional, ecommerce-friendly one -- has secured $1.3 million in series A financing, led by Voyager Capital, with participation from Geoff Entress, BuddyTV CEO Andy Liu, former Facebook exec Rudy Gadre, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, and TiE Oregon Angels. Until recently known as SellSimp.ly, the startup is pioneering a Twitter-based commerce platform that lets brands and consumers buy, sell, donate and transact through tweets -- all without leaving Twitter. “Since launch,” TechCrunch reports, “Chirpify has seen growing traction, thanks, in part, to a promotional campaign launched at SXSW, called ‘Tweet-a-Beer,’ which used the startup’s API to allow people to buy each other a pint over Twitter.” According to Chirpify Founder Chris Teso, the campaign was so successful that, for a time, two new users where signing up every second. Adds TechCrunch: “Although it’s slowed down a bit since, the campaign proved that direct commerce over Twitter was not only possible, it was so easy a tweet could do it.”   Read the whole story...