Archives: October 2007

Don't Hold Your Breath for Macs in Business

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 31, Categories: Apple Computer

With the release of OS X Leopard, the best has gotten even better and you'd think that enterprises that remain distinctly cool to Windows Vista might want to give Mac...

Google's OpenSocial: Take That, Facebook!

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 30, Categories: Facebook, Google, social networks

Google has just announced its long-expected blast back at Facebook, whose social applications platform has taken off like wildfire since its debut in May. Google tonight outlined plans for a...

Cards, Cash, and iPhones

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 30, Categories:

Can Apple really refuse to accept either cash or its own gift cards as payment for iPhones? In an effort to stop the sale of the hot phones to folks...

The Shadow Knows

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 29, Categories: wireless

For those of you who are frustrated seeing all the hottest handsets (other than the iPhone, of course) make there appearence in europe or Asia months before making it to...

Another $500 Million for Facebook? OK, This Is Getting Ridiculous

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 25, Categories: Facebook, Microsoft, social networks

And I don't mean ridiculous for Facebook, which might as well take any money that's green. But I can't understand why two hedge funds would invest an additional $500...

Microsoft Nets Piece of Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 24, Categories: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, social networks

OK, the deal's done: In one of the most anticipated tech deals in recent years, Facebook just forged a deal with Microsoft Corp. that values the privately held social networking...

Saving Palm

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 24, Categories: mobile computing

Since writing a column about the new Centro and the future of Palm, I've been thinking a lot about what the struggling handset maker must do to ensure its future....

Google Enlists Nielsen in TV Ad Push

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, Categories: Google, TV, advertising

We haven't heard much of Google TV Ads since it was announced last April, with a deal to run ads on EchoStar Communications' DISH network. The search giant is hoping...

The Ups and Downs of Being Amazon

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, Categories: Amazon.com

Easy come, easy go: First, investors figured Amazon.com was going to beat third-quarter earnings estimates, so shares jumped 10% by the close of trading today. Then Amazon reported that profits...

Jerry Yang Speaks: No on Facebook?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, Categories:

If you're expecting Yahoo! to make a bid for a piece of Facebook, the Internet's hottest property, you might be disappointed, if Yahoo CEO and Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang's comments...

ProQuo Gives Consumers New Power Over Marketers

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 22, Categories: Privacy

If you're like me, you probably don't think that much about junk mail anymore except when you get fed up periodically with having to recycle all the paper. But hiding...

AT&T Slaps Vonage With a Lawsuit

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 22, Categories: VOIP

Just when things began looking a little brighter for Vonage, which recently settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Sprint, the Web-calling company got hit with another lawsuit. The way things look, Vonage will have humongous legal expenses for months -- if not years -- to come. And it might have to adjust its cost structure further for that prospect.

Solar Winner from the Land of Grey Skies

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 19, Categories: Green technology

It seems a bit ironic that the team from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, a place not known for its sunny blue skies, won the U.S. Energy Dept.'s annual...

Another Intel WiMAX Win

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 19, Categories: Internet

Another very big win for Intel's WiMAX ambitions: The International Telecommunications Union, an influential world body that sets guidelines on wireless technologies, has officially certified the technology behind WiMAX as...

MySpace: Great Expectations?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 18, Categories: MySpace

Rupert Murdoch appears to expect lesser revenues from social-networking site MySpace next year. It seems a bit premature to lower 2008 forecasts. Could this hint at a weakness in online advertising?

Google Extends Upside Web Earnings Parade

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 18, Categories:

Like Yahoo! and eBay did earlier this week, Google reported third-quarter earnings that outstripped expectations. Google said profit rose 46%, to $1.07 billion, or $3.91 a share, on a 57%...

Viacom's Bet on Web Diversity

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 18, Categories:

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, whose company sued Google last year for $1 billion for alleged copyright violations on Google's YouTube video sharing site, journeyed into the belly of the beast...

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer: Checkbook Open for Acquisitions

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 18, Categories:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the first speaker at the Web 2.0 Summit today, said the software giant's checkbook is still open for buying about 20 companies a year, between $50...

Take That, Facebook: MySpace to Open Up to Outside Applications

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17, Categories: Facebook, MySpace, social networks, web2summit

MySpace CEO and cofounder Chris DeWolfe just announced officially at the Web 2.0 Summit minutes ago that it will indeed open up its platform to outside developers' widgets, as rumored...

Mark Zuckerberg: Financing "Almost Wrapped Up"

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17, Categories: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, social networks, web2summit

On the $15 billion question of the moment, that being the valuation Facebook is believed to be seeking in a private funding, Mark Zuckerberg had some brief but interesting answers...

eBay Beats the Numbers Despite Skype Writedown

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17, Categories: eBay

No surprise that eBay logged a third-quarter loss thanks to its $1.4 billion writedown on its $4.1 billion Skype acquisition in 2005. But not including those and other onetime charges,...

The Sirius-XM Merger Puzzle

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 17, Categories: satellite radio

In an effort to boost the chances of their merger going through, satellite radio companies Sirius and XM just unveiled.... a puzzle. That's right, a crossword puzzle.

Skype and MySpace Link Up

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 16, Categories: MySpace, Skype, VOIP, eBay, social networks

It's such a natural that some blogs had predicted in recent weeks it should happen: eBay's Skype and News Corp.'s MySpace are going to share their DNA, as it...

Yahoo! Manages an Upside Surprise, For Now

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 16, Categories: Yahoo

In founder Jerry Yang's first quarter as CEO, Yahoo! managed to surprise investors on the upside, sending its stock up 9% so far in early after-hours trading. That followed a...

Why an Internet Tax Moratorium?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 16, Categories: Curmudgeonly

With House passage today, it appears we are well on the way to enactment of a four year extension of a moratorium on state taxes on Internet service charges. Both...

The VCs are warming to Video Fingerprinting

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 16, Categories: digital media

Google's announcement yesterday of a new content recognition system for spotting pirated video clips on YouTube was one more sign that this technology is coming of age--for venture capitalists, anyway....

The Analog TV Problem

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 16, Categories: TV

Today, the Federal Communications Commission fined a number of retailers including RadioShack, Fred Meyer Stores and Boscov's for failure to post special labels on their analog-only televisions notifying consumers that their TVs will stop working in a year because of the analog-to-digital technology transition.

YouTube Intros Video I.D. System; Will Studios Go Along?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 15, Categories: Google, YouTube, video

YouTube, under fire from movie studios and television networks for letting pirated versions of their creations loose on the popular video site, finally is announcing a system to help content...

Social Television at Current.com

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 15, Categories: TV

The timing could hardly be better for CurrentTV. Just days after board chairman Al Gore won a share of the Nobel Peace Price, the fledging youth-oriented news and information cable...

The Fallacy of Internet Ad Spending Growth

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 12, Categories: advertising

If there's one thing I hear almost as often among Web companies than "It's different this time" and "Our product is really viral," it's something like what I read once...

Virgin Mobile IPO: A Surprising Moderate Rally

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 11, Categories: IPOs

After pricing in the low-end of the range, Virgin Mobile IPO has made its debut. And the stock has already posted moderate gains. Why have investors taken a shining to the stock? One possibility: They see promise in Virgin's experiments with an ad-supported business model.

Web Startups: Silicon Valley's New Components

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 11, Categories: Facebook, Innovation, TechCrunch, startups

I just took a stab at figuring out what's up with some of these seemingly crazy Web valuations and buyout deals, from $10 billion-plus for Facebook to (and I really...

700 Mhz Auction: Looking Pricier and Pricier

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 10, Categories: wireless

Yesterday, AT&T shelled out a cool $2.5 billion to buy Aloha Partners' 700 Mhz spectrum. This purchase price could have huge implications for a wireless airwaves auction slated for early 2008, when more 700 Mhz will become available for sale.

Helium: Striving for Accuracy in Community Journalism

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 09, Categories: Internet

Community journalism sites, allowing users to write and publish stories, are flourishing. But their biggest problem is accurancy. One site, Helium, has an interesting way of attaining it -- by paying bloggers believed to write high-quality entries.

Rubicon Project Aims to Automate Online Advertising

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 08, Categories: Google, advertising

Fivetime entrepreneur Frank Addante is hoping to shake up online advertising even more than Google did with his new company, Rubicon Project. Today, he's launching it in beta with 500...

Surprising Signs of Life For Solaris

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 05, Categories:

When I began reporting this week's story on Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, one question rose above all others in handicapping Sun's future: is Solaris getting any traction? Two years after...

If You Can't Pay the Fine, Don't Do the Download

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 05, Categories: Digital Music

A jury verdict awarding the music industry $222,000 in damages from a single mother who illegally downloaded 24 songs has inspired a lot of silly commentary, including the Gizmodo headline...

Strange Economics at TechCrunch

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 04, Categories: Digital Music

A post by Michael Arrington on TechCruch today makes a rather odd argument to support the otherwise plausible conclusion that we are inevitably headed for free distribution of downloaded music....

Enough With The Money Obsession, OK?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 03, Categories: Silicon Valley

Seems like everybody's talking about how much more tech companies are worth than you think they are. Henry Blodget--yes, that Henry Blodget--thinks Google could hit $2000 a share. Facebook might...

Prime Time for Google Apps

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 02, Categories: Google, Microsoft, software, software as service, web services

Starting Oct. 3, companies using Google Apps Premier Edition, the for-pay version of Google's suite of online office-productivity applications, will see a new button to add security and compliance services...

Skype: A Social Network?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 02, Categories: Skype

Should eBay turn Skype into a social network? One expert I talked to believes the answer is yes -- and that it won't take much to turn Skype into a serious rival to MySpace and Facebook.

For eBay, Is It Skype -- or Jajah?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 02, Categories: Skype

Yesterday, eBay not only announced a major write-off involving Skype, but it also struck a deal with Skype's rival Jajah. eBay users are now allowed to embed Jajah buttons, allowing buyers to contact sellers, into its auction listings. To me, this deal indicates that eBay is no longer committed to Skype.

Google's Search Rivals Keep Trying Harder

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01, Categories: Ask.com, Google, Microsoft, Search, Yahoo

... or are they just tilting at windmills? In recent weeks and months, Google's major rivals, such as Microsoft and IAC's Ask unit, not to mention upstarts like Powerset...

65,536 Lashes for Microsoft

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 01, Categories: Microsoft

Microsoft should be more abashed than it seems to be about a bug in Excel 2007 that causes certain multiplications that produce results very close to 65,535 or 65,536 to...

Proximic Aims High with New Search and Ad Technology

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01, Categories: Google, Search, e-commerce, web services

We're all so trained to typing a couple of keywords into Google that we forget there are other ways of searching for and finding stuff online. A few upstarts such...

eBay's $2.6 Billion Bet on Skype Doesn't Pay Off

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01, Categories: Instant Messaging, Skype, VOIP, eBay

eBay mystified me and many other people when it bought Skype, the Internet telephony startup eBay bought in late 2005 for $2.6 billion plus a potential $1.7 billion incentive payout....

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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