TechCrunch takes a closer look at Delighted -- a brand new start-up that hopes to close the consumer feedback loop for businesses. “Usually, [businesses] interact with the 5% to 10% who need customer support, or who post complaints and questions on Facebook and Twitter, but from everyone else there’s silence,” TechCrunch writes. “So Delighted is developing new ways to collect [all kinds] of feedback from customers.”
Google’s new wireless gadget synchronizer, Chromecast, has so far been well received by the tech and advertising community. But, what does Walt Mossberg make of the device? “Chromecast is a winner,” Mossberg writes in AllThingsD -- at least for those consumers who don’t want to pay a premium for AppleTV, and have patience for Google to develop Chromecast’s app ecosystem. Mossberg said he did run into a few “minor” issues with Chromecast. “In some cases, it was a little slow to get the content onto the TV.”
Microsoft’s Surface tablets, which started rolling out last fall, have brought in $853 million in revenue, Microsoft revealed in an annual report released Tuesday. Alas, “that is less than the $900 million charge Microsoft announced earlier this month to write down the value of unsold Surface RT -- the first model -- still on its hands,” Reuters points out. “On top of that, Microsoft said its sales and marketing expenses increased $1.4 billion.”
Facebook is reportedly preparing to start sell TV-like ads (but on its site) for upwards of $2.5 million per day. “The world’s largest social-networking site … expects to start offering 15-second spots to advertisers later this year,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. “The move would follow efforts by Facebook’s online rivals to capture ad dollars that have traditionally gone to TV networks.”
Google this week is rolling out a new Zagat desktop portal, as well as iPhone and Android versions of the service. Zagat ratings and reviews will also now be available for free without registration for the first time. Thus far, Google and Zagat hasn’t been a match made in heaven, according to ZDNet. “The addition of Zagat to Google services such as Maps, Plus and Now hasn't quite lived up to any expectations,” it writes.
Spotify this week started promoting a new “Official Comedy” app built by Bedrocket and SMPapps, which is designed to highlight its best humor content. “Spotify’s scope keeps growing as it tries to attract free listeners and show it’s worth a subscription,” TechCrunch reports. “Spotify didn’t do anything beyond provide the content and platform as it’s done for other developers.”
Troubled game developer Zynga has reportedly lost three top executives in the last month. John Osvald, a senior vice president of games, Jesse Janosov, a vice president who ran Zynga’s casino division, and Nathan Etter, a vice president of games, are all gone, sources tell Bloomberg. “The departures are the latest of more than a dozen top managers who have left since the company’s December 2011 initial public offering, as waning demand for Zynga’s games.”
Video networks are lining up to support Chromecast, Google’s new streaming video adapter. “Vimeo told us it wants to support Chromecast, and we have learned that Redbox Instant is going to support the device as well,” GigaOm reports. “The makers of the Plex media center are also hinting strongly at plans to support Chromecast, and code found by Chromecast hackers seems to stem from efforts to bring HBO Go to the platform.”
Yahoo is reportedly close to buying e-commerce app platform Lexity. “While it is not clear how close the deal is to fruition, it would return to Yahoo one of its well-regarded techies, Lexity CEO and founder Amit Kumar,” AllThingsD writes. “He had worked at Yahoo for many years, focusing on search and semantic advertising, including inventing SearchMonkey there.”
Marking another end of an era for Apple, Bob Mansfield is stepping down from his role as technologies chief. Mansfield will now work on special projects, but no longer be part of Apple’s executive team. “Mansfield presided over some of Apple’s toughest hardware-engineering jobs in the past decade, including a transition of its Mac personal computers to chips and development of the iPad tablet,” Bloomberg writes.