Archives: October 2008

Will the Google-Yahoo Deal Happen? Who Knows?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 30, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Search, Yahoo, advertising

According to a just-posted story in the Journal, the likelihood that Google and Yahoo will walk away from their controversial search advertising deal has risen, as talks with the Justice...

PC Manufacturers Recall More Sony Batteries

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 30, Categories: Dell, Gadgets, Hewlett-Packard, Portables

Remember the brouhaha a couple of years ago when Sony took the heat for failing to tell consumers immediately about a problem with its notebook pc batteries? The electronics giants...

Consumers Dropping DSL, Cable for the iPhone?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 30, Categories: Apple

Less affluent consumers are jumping onto the iPhone bandwagon. According to a new comScore report, since June, iPhone adoption has risen 48% among those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 per year and by 46% among those earning between $25,000 and $75,000. These growth rates are three times those of people earning more than $100,000 per year.

Why So Little Hoopla Over Windows 7? It's Partly By Design, Says Windows Engineering Chief Steve Sinofsky

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 30, Categories:

their "> So where’s all the fuss that usually accompanies the announcement of a new major release of Windows? The raging debate about each every last feature? The endless analysis...

Q&A With Ray Ozzie On Why Windows Has Its Place In The Cloud

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 30, Categories: Microsoft

I interviewed Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie earlier this week at the company's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, about the company's many announcements. I put a couple of...

TiVo Does Netflix

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 30, Categories: Tivo

It's deja vu all over again. Back in 2004, TiVo and Netflix announced they would be joining forces to deliver movies and other video from the mail-order rental company directly...

Why Does Windows 7 Think It's Windows 6.1?

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

Microsoft is a bit schizoid about Windows 7. On the one hand, it of course wants to promote it as something new and different. But it is also making...

Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists Gather to Figure Out What the Heck Happened

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 29, Categories: Innovation, Transitions, Web 2.0, e-commerce, startups, venture capital

... and what comes next. Crowded into a small meeting room in a Silicon Valley hotel this morning is an overflow gathering of entrepreneurs at VentureBeat's Downturn Roundtable. They're here,...

Facebook in a Suit: LinkedIn Launches Applications Platform

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28, Categories: Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Web 2.0, social networks

More than a year after Facebook electrified the Web community with a platform for running applications on top of the social network, LinkedIn is announcing its own platform. And...

Windows 7: Usability Testing

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 28, Categories: Microsoft

There was a surreal moment at the end of Microsoft's Windows 7 reviewers' workshop on Sunday. During the question-and-answer period that closed the sessions, a participant asked Microsoft SVP Steven...

Subscribers to Trim Wireless Spending?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 28, Categories: wireless

Wireless services were the one bright spot during the last economic downturn. Americans cut down on cable TV, cars, house purchases. But they'd kept their cell phones. This time around could prove to be different.

Google Settles Book Search Lawsuits with Authors, Publishers

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28, Categories: Google

UPDATED with more detail throughout... After three years of wrangling, Google has settled two lawsuits from publishers and authors that claimed its book search program violated their copyrights. Under the...

Windows 7: A First Look

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 28, Categories: Microsoft

In sharp contrast to past development efforts, Microsoft has kept its plans for the next version of Windows, now officially designated Windows 7, under tight wraps. At its Professional...

Cox to Enter Wireless Services in 2009

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 27, Categories: wireless

Cox will enter wireless services market in the second half of 2009, according to an announcement out today. The news that the cable company will effectively start to compete with AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel is hardly surprising: Cable companies including Cox and Comcast have made no secret of their wireless ambitions. Several years ago, they even acquired billions dollars worth of wireless airwaves needed to build a wireless network. What I am surprised by is that Cox is going ahead with these plans.

For Web 2.0 Startups, What's Next Beyond Ads?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, Categories: Transitions, Web 2.0, advertising, startups, tech jobs, virtual goods

If online advertising is headed for a fall, as many people are assuming, what are all those hundreds of Web 2.0 startups doing to contend with the possible loss of...

Sirius Shareholders Petition Mel Karmazin

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 23, Categories: satellite radio

Today, I heard that more than 180 Sirius XM shareholders have signed a petition demanding that company CEO Mel Karmazin explain how he plans to raise money to fund more than $1 billion in debt coming due next year. "If the plan is to muddle through without a plan. We need to know," the petition says.

Why I Stopped Using Google's Chrome Browser... and Why I've Started Again

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, Categories: Chrome, Firefox, Google, Web browser

Like a lot of people, I loved the speed of Google's Chrome browser, so I used it a fair amount when it came out. But soon I discovered that it...

Google's Android Market Jockeys For Carrier Support

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 23, Categories: Google

Google just announced that it will share revenues from Android Market with wireless carriers. Developers will get 70% of the revenues from selling their applications through the marketplace. And, once Google's costs are covered, carriers will get the rest. That's quite different from Google rivals' business models. As you'll recall, Apple pockets that 30% revenue share from selling apps on its iTunes service.

Cable Speeds Up to Deal a Blow to Telcos

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 23, Categories: Internet access

Yesterday, cable service provider Comcast announced it will offer super-fast broadband speeds to its Internet access subscribers in Boston and Philadelphia. To become available in 10 major markets in the next few months, the service will offer speeds of up to 50 Megabits per second. Essentially, the provider will double most subscribers' speeds at no extra cost. That's bad news for telcos.

LinkedIn Stockpiles More Cash

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on October 23, Categories: social networks, venture capital

Professional networking site LinkedIn is storing up more cash for the winter. The company, which commands some of the highest ad rates on the Web, announced on Oct. 23 it’s...

Stock Market Losses Bad, Say Investors. Stock Market Volatility Good, Says Equinix.

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 22, Categories: Data Centers

Equinix, the largest pure-play maker of data centers, announced plans to build two pricey new facilities today, along with solid quarterly earnings which rose 77% from the year before. The...

BlackBerry Bold Finally Lands at AT&T

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 22, Categories: wireless

The long delayed BlackBerry Bold will finally arrive in the U.S. on Election Day. Research In Motion announced today that AT&T will have the Bold in retails stores on Nov....

LIVE: Yahoo Earnings Not As Bad As Feared, But Layoffs to Begin

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 21, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, advertising, tech jobs

Not surprisingly, Yahoo just reported third-quarter earnings that were weak but not as awful as some might have expected. However, the company said layoffs of at least 10% of the...

Lala Plays a New Song.

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 20, Categories: Digital Music

Tomorrow, Lala Media Inc. will announce an interesting new approach to selling digital music. It's based on a new type of license it secured with the four major labels and...

Doh! Venture Capital Investment Dips 7% in Q3

Posted by: Spencer Ante on October 20, Categories:

Venture Capitalists are taking their foot off the gas pedal ever so slightly. In the third quarter of 2008, VCs poured $7.37 billion in venture capital into 583 deals, 7.2%...

Sirius XM's Management Seeks More Wiggle Room

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 17, Categories: Sirius XM

Yesterday, Sirius XM took a preventative step that could help the company to avoid getting delisted from the Nasdaq in the future. In a preliminary proxy statement issued on Oct. 16, Sirius proposed that shareholders approve a reverse stock split at its December annual meeting.

Handango: The First Third-Party Android Store

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

Handango just made a brilliant, counter-intuitive move. This independent provider of applications for BlackBerry devices as well as for Windows Mobile- and Symbian-based smartphones just launched its own marketplace for applications for phones based on Android software.

LIVE: Surprise! Google Beats Third-Quarter Profit Forecasts

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 16, Categories: Google, Internet, Motorola, Yahoo, advertising

UPDATE: More from the call after the jump, which I'll keep updating as it proceeds... Google just reported third-quarter results, and it managed to defy skeptics who thought it might...

Unlocked Android? No So Fast

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

T-Mobile has said the buyers of the new G1 Android phone will be able to unlock it 90 days after purchase so it can be used on other networks. But...

FCC's Kevin Martin Supports Freeing White Spaces

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 15, Categories: wireless

The push by the likes of Google to make a bunch of airwaves available for free, unlicensed use gained additional momentum today. On Oct. 15, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced his support for using white spaces, which are airwaves that will be freed up in the upcoming digital TV transition, for unlicensed use, similar to Wi-Fi.

AT&T to Service Devices Other Than Phones

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 15, Categories: wireless

Today, AT&T announced a new initiative to offer wireless service plans to devices other than handsets. The announcement could signal that this huge market opportunity is finally ripe for picking.

The Next $1 Billion Business Idea?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 14, Categories: Cisco

Today, my colleague Rachael King is guest-blogging here. Check out her entry: Anna Gossen, a graduate student in Germany, has plenty of cause for celebration, but it has nothing to...

Welcome, Distress Discount Packages

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

Ranjan Mishra, founding partner of consultancy ESS Analysis, has an interesting idea: To help out customers stuck between a rock and a hard place in the current financial crisis, he suggests that wireless companies start offering "distress discount packages." Various assistance programs could be modeled after what's already implemented by utility industries and gyms, which have long given a free month or two of membership to customers who have lost their jobs.

VCs to Entrepreneurs: Seed-Stage Startups OK. Others? Not So Much

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 09, Categories: Entrepreneurship, startups, venture capital

Just for fun tonight, and hoping to view a potentially entertaining mass freakout over the market, I decided to attend one of those ubiquitous Silicon Valley panels where entrepreneurs can...

Is That the Sound of the Silicon Valley Web 2.0 Bubble Bursting?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 09, Categories: Innovation, Web, Web 2.0, bubble, startups

Om Malik at GigaOM has the news of a grim meeting that leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital held yesterday for its portfolio firms. The CEOs were greeted...

Xohm WiMax: A First Look

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 08, Categories: wireless

Sprint and ClearWire officially launched their Xohm (pronounced Zome)WiMax service today in Baltimore, the only city where the service is officially up and running. I didn't get to spend a...

WiMAX Goes Live; Now Comes The Hard Part

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 08, Categories: Intel

It's official: the fledging WiMAX broadband network is finally getting rolling, with companies such as Lenovo, Toshiba and Nokia announcing a number of products (or extensions of previous products) that...

Teens: Going Gaga for the iPhone

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 08, Categories: Apple

Teens are going gaga for iPhones. According to a Piper Jaffray survey of 769 students conducted in several U.S. schools in the past few weeks, 8% of teens already own iPhones, up from 6% this spring. And 22% of the students say they will buy an iPhone in the next six months, up from 9% this spring.

Obama's Gore-Like Gaffe On Computers

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on October 08, Categories: computers

During the presidential debate last night, Barack Obama made a slip reminiscent of Al Gore's infamous gaffe from 1999 about how during his years in Congress he "took the initiative...

Jimmy Wales' Wikia Search Project Launches Apps

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 08, Categories: Google, Search, Social Media, Social Software, Wiki, Wikia, Wikipedia

In the latest of many attempts by a wide variety of players to improve search results beyond Google's iconic 10 blue links, the community information service Wikia Inc. on Oct....

BlackBerry Storm: Full Details

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 07, Categories:

Here is Research In Motion's datasheet (PDF) for the new BlackBerry Storm....

How the BlackBerry Storm Became the Storm

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 07, Categories: Smartphones

There’s been a lot of confusion about the name of the new BlackBerry Storm. During development, it was known by the two code names, Storm and Thunder. This led to...

YouTube Debuts Click-to-Buy: E-Commerce for Video

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 07, Categories: Google, YouTube, advertising, digital media, video

When even Google CEO Eric Schmidt and cofounder Larry Page admit their YouTube video sharing site might take awhile to make more money than the sub-$200 million in revenues...

AMD: Keeping Competition Alive

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 07, Categories: Chips

Advanced Micro Devices' announcement that it is spinning out its chip fabrication operations to a new Abu Dhabi-financed company is good news for the future of competition in the...

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: Big Opportunity for Brand Advertising Online

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06, Categories: Facebook

I never would have thought magazines like BusinessWeek and fast-rising social networks like Facebook have much in common. But during an interview with BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Steve Adler today at the...

Why Bill Me Later Said "Buy Me Today" To eBay

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 06, Categories: e-commerce

The timing of eBay's $945 million purchase of electronic payments up-n-comer Bill Me Later is certainly interesting. After all, the outlook for e-commerce sales is looking more dour by the...

TiVo's Fortunes Rise on Echostar Win

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 06, Categories: Tivo

Amid a sea of red Oct. 6 on the U.S. stock exchanges with the Dow plunging below 10,000 and the Nasdaq faring no better, TiVo was one of the few...

Google, Yahoo Delay Search Ad Deal, Still Discussing With Justice Department

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 03, Categories: Google

Google and Yahoo, which had been slated to start their controversial search advertising deal in the next couple of weeks, have agreed to a "brief delay" to continue talking with...

NetApp To Miss Its Revenue Growth Projection, Says CEO. Slowdown Is "Like A Nuclear Chain Reaction"

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 03, Categories: Tech Spending

NetApp Inc. CEO Daniel J. Warmenhoven tells BusinessWeek that he thinks the corporate data storage maker's sales for the year "won't be anywhere near our [projected] growth rate." The company,...

Freescale Getting Out of Mobile Chip Market Amid Financial Troubles

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 02, Categories: Chips

Chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has had its fill of the mobile-phone chip business. The privately-held company says in a statement that it is doing the dreaded "sharpening of strategic focus" by...

Can Vudu Save Itself With Full HD Movie Downloads?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 02, Categories: digital media

As many a failed technology company has found, the fledgling digital download-on-demand market is a tough nut to crack. Consumers have balked at paying for a dedicated box in the...

Sony Reader e-Book--Third Time's The Charm?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 02, Categories: Gadgets

The timing of Amazon's update to its Kindle e-Book may be uncertain, but for Sony it's full speed ahead with its Sony Reader. The company on Oct. 2 unveiled its...

T-Mobile G1: Early Orders Indicate Strong Demand

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

T-Mobile USA has stopped taking orders for T-Mobile G1, the first phone based on Android software. Last week, the carrier said that customers who preorder the device will find it at their doorstep as early as Oct. 22. Supposedly, T-Mobile has run out of its first batch of units within a week of the G1 announcement.

Google's Green Agenda

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 02, Categories: Data Centers, Google, Green technology, energy

A few hours after Google issued a clean energy manifesto, CEO Eric Schmidt on Wednesday night held forth on the search giant's plans and hopes for setting an entirely new...

Google's Andy Rubin on Android Market

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 01, Categories: Google

Andy Rubin, who heads up Google's Android efforts, spoke to me yesterday about his vision for the Android Market. In particular, we talked about how the market will be different from Apple's iTunes App Store and some other efforts, which also peddle software for cell phones.

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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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