• Good News Expected from Google's Earnings
    It's all eyes on Google today, as Yahoo, eBay and Time Warner's AOL division all reported solid fourth-quarter earnings. Wall Street is expecting another stellar quarter from the NASDAQ's Internet darling, though the Web giant will be presenting its results in front of already high expectations. Google continues to be measured by a different yardstick than its online brethren. However, Credit Suisse Internet analyst Heath Terry points out the search leader currently trades at a lower multiple (28 times 2008 earnings) than Yahoo and eBay, both of which turned in a tepid 2006. Terry told CNBC this morning that ...
  • E-commerce Plateaus As Web's Purchasing Influence Surges
    Does the Internet spell doom to today's brick-and-mortar shops? No, says new research from JupiterResearch. Ecommerce will probably hit a wall in the not-too-distant future, eventually leveling out at between 10% to 15% of total retail sales, according to the report by Patti Freeman Evans, Jupiter's senior retail analyst. However, despite the sales slowdown, online advertising will continue to grow as a huge influencer of offline sales. The Jupiter study predicts that by 2010, nearly half of all U.S. sales will have been influenced by and/or purchased through the Internet. "Even though sales online may plateau at 10%-15%, the ...
  • Gates: Customized Web Key To Microsoft's Future
    Microsoft's Bill Gates won't go away when he steps down as the firm's chief next year, he'll just recede into the background, so no more media interviews with the tech guru. Till then, he says, the company has a new strategy to shape. That would be moving more heavily into the world of ad-supported Web services, like search, maps and Web communications. We know all about adCenter and Microsoft's (lofty) goal of one day stealing Google's search throne, but what ever happened to Windows Live? Gates says Live will work in concert with the new Windows Vista, ...
  • Yahoo's Puzzling "Brand Universe"
    After a decidedly unsuccessful foray into the content generation business (which led to the departure of several top executives), Yahoo got the bright idea to construct pages using content created by others. In an effort to exploit the Web giant's good standing with major entertainment brands, Yahoo is building a "Brand Universe." It includes popular celebrities, video games, movies and TV shows with dedicated pages decorated with nice graphics and aggregated content from Flickr, Del.icio.us, Yahoo Answers and other Yahoo properties. What exactly is the Web giant hoping to achieve? Is this a marketing platform? Is anyone paying them ...
  • Newspapers Look To Web Sites As Future
    Despite posting generally deteriorating revenue, newspaper companies still make lots of money. However, expected growth is the major measure of Wall Street. Realizing this point, James O'Shea, the new editor of Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times, adopts an AOL-esque approach to reshaping the newspaper business. Consolidate print and Web operations into a leaner, sleeker business that reaches fewer people, but does so more effectively. In merging operations and focusing more intently on its Web business, overhead costs will be scaled back tremendously. The task is easier said than done. While print content in the future will undoubtedly be ...
  • Apple Points Way For Web TV
    Apple may be ticking the technology world off with its insistence on limiting the files played on its iPod, but it's taught its competitors that simplicity sells. Cool design helps, too, but Apple devices can be connected with relative ease, one of the main reasons for its success. This is the lesson tech companies' are applying to their Web TV efforts. Companies like Sony, HP and others are creating software that can be used across devices like PCs, TV's, video-game consoles, handsets and DVD players. Connected software also makes it easier for third-party developers to develop products for ...
  • Operating Software Offers Biz Lessons
    Salon.com co-founder Scott Rosenberg calls Microsoft's Windows Vista "a sad software lesson." It took the software giant five-plus years to finish Vista--the U.S. hadn't invaded Iraq when the project started. However, the bigger question isn't that why it took so long to complete, but rather, what should this tell us about our dependence on bulky software? The main problem is that essential underpinnings of a software app, like Office or Windows, are static, having to be "painstakingly written line-by-line" and cannot be replaced. The digital world moves so fast Microsoft had to press "reset" and start writing the OS ...
  • YouTube's Ad Video Shift Was Inevitable
    YouTube is changing, something the online video provider must be worried about. Until now, the company never had to pay a penny to get users to upload content. But it also never made any money. Video advertising is coming to YouTube, and Google is hoping this doesn't tick off its user base, which delivered 1.75 billion page views in December, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. YouTube had to move in this direction eventually; monetary incentives will soon be necessary to keep the good content creators around. In being acquired by Google, YouTube has bought itself more time to tinker ...
  • Microsoft Chief: Time To Zero In On Google
    Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer offered some fresh words on the software giant's struggle to compete with Google in the world of online advertising. Now that Vista is out, Ballmer says Microsoft's next big challenge is to tackle Google's territory. But wait a minute? Hasn't Microsoft been saying that for years? Ballmer says that heretofore, the threat of open source software has been Microsoft's principal concern. Well, Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie may have been piping on about the Google threat since mid-2005, but this time, Microsoft is serious. Ballmer underlines the importance of Internet search where MSN's ...
  • OfficeMax Takes A Page From CPB Playbook
    OfficeMax, an online office-needs retailer, took the bold step of eschewing television advertising altogether, taking what it would have spent on a TV spot to develop 20 Christmas-themed microsites. The idea was to promote its stores as a gift-giving destination for that special worker in your life, but the microsites were mostly created for fun. If executed properly, "fun" can catch a "viral wave." One of its sites, ElfYourself.com, became a sensation, generating 11 people per second, 36 million in total (it was taken down after Christmas). The result: a 20% bump in holiday traffic. Of course it's ...
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