• Microsoft Advertises Vista on YouTube
    Microsoft Corp. has turned its attention to viral video to get the message out about its Windows Vista operating system. Unlike the $500 million flop that was last year's "Wow" campaign, the company has gone for the lower budget (only $300 million), lower-key viral approach. Blogger Long Zheng reports that last week Microsoft began uploading short videos/demos of its Windows Vista, Windows Live and Office 2007 products to Google's YouTube -- quite an interesting strategy shift, considering Microsoft's bitter rivalry with the search giant. Zheng provides links to each of the YouTube videos, which he describes ...
  • Gmail To Add News Feed?
    Google Operating System (GOS), a blog/rumor site, alleges that big G is planning on serving Gmail users status updates from their contacts. Gmail already displays contacts that are online, accompanied by a status message of their choosing. While it's not yet clear what kind of updates these will be, the blog surmises that they might be related to your friends' latest actions within Google's network--a la Facebook's news feed. Upon reading some Google code, Ionut, another blog, says there will be a universal opt-out for the new feature. Even so, GOS claims the ...
  • Kiddie Virtual World Is Exploding
    "Get ready for a total inundation" of kiddie-oriented virtual worlds, says eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. Webkinz, Club Penguin and the like have been a smashing success where adult-oriented counterparts Second Life and There.com have not. According to comScore, Disney-owned Club Penguin attracts seven times the traffic of Second Life. Webkinz, a site where children create and care for virtual stuffed animals, has seen its traffic soar 342 percent in the last year. In all, eMarketer estimates that 20 million children will be part of a virtual world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today. Disney, ...
  • Apple Plans Ecommerce Coup
    Apple has applied for a patent that would turn its Web enabled devices into an intermediary in ecommerce exchanges. The application describes a wireless system that would allow consumers to order products and services from their cell phone or media player, the goal being to avoid an "annoying wait in a long queue if the purchaser arrives before completion of the order." Say you wanted to buy a drink from your local Starbucks. Instead of waiting in line, you could just press a button on your iPod or iPhone and the system would alert you when your order is ...
  • Digg Focused on Features in '08
    This holiday season, Digg.com has once again been in the news for shopping itself around. Rumor had it the content-sharing site was on the block for around $300 million, but then, on Christmas day, other rumors surfaced that Digg was on the acquisition trail, linked with buys of fellow content sharing sites coRank and Spanish-language Menéame. Digg CEO Jay Adelson squashes those rumors and reveals that the company is focused on adding new personalization features in 2008. One of the biggies is a new "story suggest" feature that recommends articles and other content based on stories users have ...
  • Former Googlers Turning into VCs
    Former Googlers who've already made their multimillions are fast becoming Silicon Valley's next VCs. Not unlike the wave of former PayPal employees who've now either funded or started countless startups, Google alumni are either directly or indirectly putting their wealth into a series of Next Big Things. Among them is Chris Sacca, Google's former Wi-Fi guru who left the company last month. "I had one of the best jobs in the world," proclaims 32-year-old Sacca. "But there is a world of opportunity." Google's employee base of 16,000 isn't for everyone. Sacca, who now runs his own venture fund, ...
  • Microsoft Co-founder Challenges For FCC Spectrum
    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is one of many competitors Google faces in its quest to win a portion of the 700 MHz spectrum that goes up for auction next month. His holding firm, Vulcan Spectrum LLC, stated its intention to bid at the Jan. 24 auction in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission last week. Vulcan already owns twenty-four 700 MHz licenses acquired through an FCC auction in 2003; these are based entirely in Washington and Oregon. The question now is what Allen plans to do with his spectrum holdings. Analyst Tim Sanders believes Vulcan is holding onto the ...
  • NetSuite IPO Raises $185 Million
    Software company NetSuite raised $185.4 million in its initial public offering--nearly double what the company had originally forecast. NetSuite sold 6.2 million shares of common stock at $26 per share via a Dutch auction; the company's underwriters opted to buy an additional 930,000 shares. The New York Times says NetSuite's success is a good sign for business-to-business Web-based software, which is also a crucial growth area for companies like Google and Salesforce.com. It was the most closely watched IPO in the tech sector since VMware, a virtualization software provider, went public earlier in the year. NetSuite B2B software offerings include ...
  • Video Gaming 2.0
    The progression of what's popular in video gaming is starting to mirror that of other media, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The most popular games this holiday season--like "Guitar Hero III," "Rock Band," and all things Nintendo Wii--share an element of interactivity. They come with or require a special controller--like a guitar--that allows you to interact with the game differently than you would with a standard console controller. Similarly, traditional media has had to adapt to the consumer demand for greater interactivity. Later, that demand evolved into consumer-generated content sites like YouTube and MySpace. Sensing this, game companies ...
  • Google Takes Google Reader Public
    It may sound un-Google, but it's true: Google Reader users today are complaining about a recently introduced feature that automatically shares items with everyone in your Gmail account. In other words, so-called "shared" items are being sent to everyone in your contact list --but what if you don't want certain contacts to see certain items? Mashable points out that a more useful feature would be for Google Reader to generate a personal shared items mini blog that would allow users to customize what they send to people while keeping an archive of their actions. Is "Google stomping on your privacy?" ...
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