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Archives: September 2008

Widget Mania Lives: Gigya Raises $11 Million

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 30, Categories: Social Media

Even though the IPO market is kaput and mergers and acquisitions activity is drying up, startups with a good idea and some momentum continue to raise money. Case in point:...

Sign of the Times: Tech's Repo Man Is Back

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 30, Categories: Entrepreneurship, Green technology, Tech Spending, startups, venture capital

Actually, Marty Pichinson never left. But the co-founder of Sherwood Partners, a corporate restructuring firm based in Mountain View, Calif. (home of Google), is seeing an uptick in his business....

Hollywood Tries To Block RealDVD; Real Networks Strikes Back

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 30, Categories: digital media

That didn't take long. Today, Real Networks made RealDVD, a program that lets non-techie folks copy DVD movies and television shows to computer hard drives. available for download. As I...

Socialtext 3.0: Will Wikis Finally Find Their Place in Business?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 30, Categories: Cloud Computing, Social Media, Social Software, Socialtext, Web 2.0, Wiki, software as service

For years, Socialtext has helped pioneer the use of wikis, or group-editable Web pages a la Wikipedia, inside companies. Today, it's launching Socialtext 3.0, a collection of three applications built...

Nero Does TiVo

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on September 29, Categories: Tivo

Nero, the private company most known for its CD- and DVD-burning software, wants to manage a lot more of your digital life. The company on September 29 took the wraps...

Apple Plunges; Is It Cheap Tech's Time?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 29, Categories: Apple Computer, Gadgets, consumer electronics, e-commerce

Apple's stock plunged a rather stunning 18% today, which is all the more amazing since the Dow fell only--only!--7%. Analysts are worried consumers will cut back, and it's not a...

Beam Me Up, Scottie: Consumer Telepresence May Arrive Sooner Than You Think

Posted by: Peter Burrows on September 26, Categories: video

I wrote a story this week about high-def corporate videoconferencing and "just like being there" telepresence systems. Turns out interest is picking up,(as we predicted back in early 2007) thanks...

BlackBerry Storm To Beat Bold to U.S. Market?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 26, Categories: mobile computing

If present trends continue, it looks like the touchscreen BlackBerry Storm might hit the U.S. market ahead of the more traditional but very good Bold. The Bold is available in...

Visa and Google Team Up on Mobile Payments

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 25, Categories: wireless

Mobile commerce was one of the most over-hyped trends during the dot com boom. And it still has yet to gain any significant traction in the U.S.--despite a surge in...

Will Digg Use New Funding to Get People Like Me Interested Again?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, Categories: Digg, Social Media, Web 2.0, Yahoo

After months and months of rumors that it would get acquired, the collaborative news site Digg has apparently dug in for the long haul and raised a third round of...

Crisis Schmisis: Mayfield Raises $395 Million Fund

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 24, Categories: venture capital

The world's most powerful banks and financial companies can't raise money if their life depended on it. But for the premiere venture capitalists, money still seems to be falling out...

Yahoo's Display Ad Platform APT Launches; Will It Matter?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, advertising

Yahoo just launched its long-awaited display-advertising system, now called APT. As I wrote in a story last week, the system, known more recently as AMP, is Yahoo's latest (maybe...

Wireless Plans Go Month to Month

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 24, Categories: wireless

A huge sea change just happened in the wireless industry this week. Verizon Wireless has stopped requiring subscribers to sign up for long-term service contracts. It's voluntarily giving up on a very effective way to retain its subscribers.

White Spaces and Block D: Dead In the Water?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 23, Categories: wireless

Tomorrow, execs from Google, Microsoft and Dell will converge onto Washington, D.C., to promote allocating certain airwaves for unlicensed use. Their idea is for the public to use this spectrum in the same way we already use Wi-Fi and cordless phone frequencies -- for free. Well, whether you are a proponent or an opponent of this move, chances are, a decision on these so-called white spaces will not come down this year. And neither will a decision on block D public spectrum, expected to be discussed Friday.

The Sun is Still Shining in Silicon Valley: Venture Capital Counter-attack

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 23, Categories:

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to host the National Venture Capital Association's 35th anniversary gala at Microsoft's Mountain view campus in Silicon Valley. I gave a reading from my...

Five More Android Phones to Come?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 23, Categories: wireless

I just got off the phone with Jason Bremner, a director of product management at Qualcomm, whose chips power the new T-Mobile G1 phone, the first phone based on Android software developed by Google and its partners. He says Qualcomm is actively working on additional Android phones with five different handset manufacturers.

Android Details: The T-Mobile Fact Sheet

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 23, Categories:

Here's my story this morning, and below you will find the full T-Mobile fact sheet on the HTC/Google G1 phone, the world's first Android-powered smartphone: Introducing the T-Mobile G1 with...

AT&T HomeManager: Digital Photo Frame Meets Home Phone

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 22, Categories: Digital Imaging

Digital photo frames are about to turn into full-fledged Internet appliances, competing with the home PC, TV and mobile for users' time and attention. AT&T's new HomeManager product, announced today, is a 7-inch photo frame that also offers e-mail access, visual voice mail and home phone calling. It could usher in a new era, of telcos distributing photo frames that do more than show photos.

Fired Up: Intel Chairman Barrett says America is Throwing its Future "Down the Drain"

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 22, Categories: Tech Spending

Intel chairman Craig R. Barrett is a frustrated man. Barrett, who visited the BusinessWeek office today, sat down with a group of editors and aired his views on the financial...

American Consumers Cut the Cord

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 18, Categories: wireless

Consultancy Nielsen Co. estimates that 17% of all Americans -- 20 million of us -- already rely on cell phones to make all calls. They have cut the cord, and are no longer paying for landlines. And their numbers will only increase in the next few months, as consumers battle rising gas and food prices.

T-Mobile USA Provides Revenue Share Details to Developers

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 18, Categories: wireless

T-Mobile USA just announced the financial terms that will govern its new developer's program. Applications submitted through the program will be featured in an app store, due to come online in the fourth quarter. But developers can already use T-Mobile's special revenue calculator to figure out how much money they will make.

Google's Sergey, Larry and Eric Talk Yahoo, Energy, Android, and Floating Data Centers

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Web 2.0, Yahoo, advertising, bubble, energy

A week after Yahoo executives defended their controversial search advertising deal with Google, the search giant joined the fray today with its own rationale. The deal, announced in mid-June, faces...

Instant Books from the Library

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 17, Categories: Education

I spent a good part of my college years in what was then called the Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan. Getting your hands on a book that was...


Posted by: Catherine Holahan on September 17, Categories: MySpace

MySpace is going into politics. The leading U.S. social network launched today. The site will stream the presidential debates live to Internet audiences as well as provide tools to...

Samsung Goes Hostile in Bid For Memory-Maker SanDisk

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on September 16, Categories: storage

Consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics is taking off the gloves in its bid to acquire flash-memory maker Milpitas (Calif.)-based SanDisk Corp. The company revealed it has made an unsolicited offer...

Android Sales Guessing Game Begins

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 16, Categories: Google

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, this year, HTC expects to ship 600,000 to 700,000 units of the first smartphone based on Android operating system and due out this fall. Android is a software package built by Google and a number of other companies, a package that a lot of developers are super excited about. HTC estimate is way above analysts' estimates of 300,000 to 500,000 units sold. So who is right -- HTC, or the analysts?

Skype: Wireless Networks Are Not Opening Up

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 16, Categories: wireless

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission dated Sept. 12, Chris Libertelli of Web-calling service Skype reported that he believes that U.S. wireless carriers have had a change of heart about opening up their networks.

Wall Street Fall-out: Why the Financial Crisis is a Blow to Tech

Posted by: Spencer Ante on September 16, Categories:

This Friday, as I sat in my office on the 43rd floor of 1221 6th Avenue, just around the corner from the fancy new headquarters of Lehman Brothers, I was...

Brand Marketers Keep Spending Online

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on September 15, Categories: Facebook, Google, MySpace, advertising

With Wall Street in crisis and a recession looming, it follows that marketers would slash budgets--particularly for newer forms of brand promotion such as social network advertising. Not so,...

HP To Cut Nearly 25,000 Jobs

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on September 15, Categories: Hewlett-Packard

The bad news keeps coming for America's workers. Hewlett-Packard announced Sept. 15 it plans to slash 24,600 jobs, or 7.5% of its global work force, in the next three years...

Redeem Your DTV Coupon Now -- Or Be Sorry Later

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 15, Categories: TV

It looks like the government is running out of funds designed to help Americans transition from analog to digital television service. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration administering the converter box coupon program has asked Congress for extra funds.

Seagate Gets More Savvy With External Drives

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on September 15, Categories: storage

About 18 months ago, hard drive maker Seagate tried to make a big push to sell more external storage to consumers by introducing its FreeAgent line. They flopped. People hated...

The HTC Touch Diamond Reviewed: Good Touch Gone Bad

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 14, Categories: wireless

What were they thinking? The HTC Touch Diamond from Sprint ($250 after mail-in rebate, with two-year contract) is a richly featured smartphone, thin and light, with a big and gorgeous...

Would You Buy a 3G Laptop?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 12, Categories: wireless

Later this year, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo will put out their new 3G laptops. While these will likely first debut in Europe, U.S. carriers I've spoken to are seriously considering rolling these devices out as well, and possibly selling them through their stores. The big question is, Will U.S. consumers take to 3G laptops better than they have in the past?

T-Mobile USA to Launch Mobile Developer Program

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 12, Categories: wireless

Remember we told you that T-Mobile USA is prepping an iTunes-like App Store? Back then, T-Mobile wouldn't confirm this assertion. But it turns out we were spot on.

Treo Pro Second Look: Good Makes It Better

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 12, Categories:

When I took a look at Palm's new Treo Pro in a column, my enthusiasm for the sleek hardware design was restrained by general unhappiness with the Windows Mobile 6.1...

A Surprise Victory for the Broadcasters in the Anti-Piracy Olympics

Posted by: Peter Burrows on September 12, Categories: video

So maybe online video piracy isn’t as inevitable on the Internet as broadcasters fear it is. That’s the claim coming from NBC Universal, given the success of its anti-piracy efforts...

Yahoo Defends Google Deal

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 11, Categories: Google, Search, Yahoo, advertising

As part of a three-hour media day today, a Yahoo executive offered an interesting defense of the company's pending search deal with Google. That deal, which was supposed to start...

Apple vs. Motorola: Moto Phone Users Browse the Web More?!

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

Today, we assume that users of Apple's iPhone access the Web far more than users of other devices. Not true, according to AdMob's data. Surprisingly, users of Motorola's Razr V3 are more than four times as likely to access mobile Web sites (as measured by the number of ad requests they submit whenever they access sites in AdMob's network).

BlackBerry Flip Phone Arrives

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 10, Categories: Smartphones

I had a quick look at the new BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, announced Sept. 9 and available later in the fall from T-Mobile in the U.S. Think of it as...

Firefox First: A Browser Trend?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 09, Categories: Firefox

At least two of the Web-based services launching at DEMOfall 2008 are launching first in Firefox-only versions, with Internet Explorer support to come later. Giftag, an online gift registry from...

Look Out, OLPC: A Microsoftie Jumps to nComputing

Posted by: Peter Burrows on September 09, Categories: digital divide

"There's been so much bluster [about low-cost computing for the masses], but we just went out and did it," says Dukker. Unlike OLPC, he says, "We’re profitable, and we’re growing like a weed.”

VIDEO: Marissa Mayer on Newspaper Archives, Future of Google Search

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 09, Categories: Google, Search, advertising, techcrunch50

Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products & user experience, introduced a new Google feature Monday, a project to bring historical print newspaper archives online. Using the scanning technology...

Is Justice Planning to Go After Google?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 08, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Search, Yahoo, advertising

So it sounds like in a story in the Wall Street Journal, which says the Justice Dept. has just hired a hotshot litigator to look into Google's power in online...

Smartphone Prices Fall

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 08, Categories: wireless

The going assumption is that Apple's iPhone's has reinvigorated the smartphone market. Everyone wants an iPhone in order to look cool, and to be able to surf the Web and answer e-mails. That's certainly true. But there is another reason why U.S. consumers snapped up 9 million smartphones between January and July -- that's up 84% year over year, according to consultancy NPD Group. Simply put, smartphones are getting cheaper.

TechCrunch50 Gets Underway

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 08, Categories: TechCrunch, Web 2.0, techcrunch50

Despite purposely scheduling at the same time as the venerable Demo conference in San Diego, the TechCrunch50 startup conference is packed with an overflow crowd in San Francisco. The show,...

Electronic Paper for Business

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 08, Categories: Digital Imaging

I have been hearing about "electronic paper" for business documents for about as long as I can remember, but none has come close to making the grade. A new reader...

Is the Google-Yahoo Deal Really a Bad Thing?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 08, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Search, Yahoo, advertising

That's what advertisers think, according to the trade group Association of National Advertisers. The ANA on Sunday filed a letter to the Justice Dept., recommending against the deal under which...

Show of Hands: Love or Hate the New Microsoft Ad?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 05, Categories: Microsoft, advertising

The new Microsoft ad with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates has sure stirred up a blogstorm today. People either sort of like it or hate it. Mostly the latter,...

Comcast Appeals the FCC Decision

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 04, Categories: Net Neutrality

In a long-expected move, cable services provider Comcast appealed Federal Communications Commission's recent decision today with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In a Sept. 4 statement explaining the brief filing, Comcast claims that "the Commission's action was legally inappropriate and its findings were not justified by the record."

iPhone 3G vs. Samsung Instinct

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 04, Categories: wireless

There's an interesting section dominating the top of Sprint Nextel's Web site. It offers users a comparison between Samsung's best-selling Samsung Instinct and AT&T and Apple's legendary iPhone 3G. According to Sprint, the Instinct often comes out on top.

3 Makes Mobile E-Mail More Affordable

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 04, Categories: wireless

Ask anyone what the wireless killer apps are, and they'll tell you: voice and e-mail. Well, for years now, mobile e-mail has been the prerogative of the well-to-do: You had to buy a BlackBerry or another expensive smartphone and an expensive data plan to use it. Well, that's about to change.

VIDEO: Sergey Brin on Why Google's Launching a Browser

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 02, Categories: Cloud Computing, Google, Microsoft, Web, Web browser

Google's Chrome browser is now officially available here. I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to try it, though I hope to a little later; meantime, here's an early review...

LIVE from the Googleplex: Chrome Browser Launches

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 02, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Search, Web, Web browser

Google's about to brief a gazillion of us reporters about its much-discussed Chrome Web browser, now ready for download here. I wrote my initial thoughts yesterday, and you can get...

New iPods on Sept. 9?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 02, Categories: Apple

Apple has just sent out email invitations for a media event next Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Art in San Francisco. And since September is...

Google to Release Web Browser Tuesday; Should Microsoft Worry, or Mozilla?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 01, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Web, Yahoo, web services

In its latest bid to remain ascendant on the Internet, Google is about to release its own Web browser, long a key online battleground. It just announced its plans for...


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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