Archives: February 2008

ooVoo: Video Chat Like Brad Pitt

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 29

I am hearing that some Skype enthusiasts are migrating over to a new cool service called ooVoo. The start-up specializes in free, high-quality video conferencing via the Web. And while, today, it’s not a big threat to Skype – ooVoo enabled a mere 1 million video calls last month – it could yet emerge as such.

Sprint's "Simply Everything" Plan: The War is On

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 28

The move wireless industry has feared just took place. Today, Sprint Nextel announced its "Simply Everything" plan, which, for $100 a month, offers users unlimited access to voice, the Web, e-mail, texting, Sprint TV and other services. An all-out price war in wireless is on.

Jotspot Returns As Google Sites: Wiki-Style Collaboration

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 28

Ever since Google bought the wiki-based online application startup Jotspot in late 2006, people have been wondering if it had disappeared forever inside the bowels of the search giant....

John Chambers has Caught the Blogging Bug

Posted by: Peter Burrows on February 26

The video-blogging bug, to be precise. Since last June, he's done a dozen three-to-five minute vlogs that are posted on Cisco's intranet for the benefit of Cisco's 64,000 employees. Entitled...

Has Google Peaked?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 26

That seems to be the central question on investors' minds today as they digest news from comScore that clicks on Google's paid search ads were down 12% in January from...

Network Management Practices -- Now There's a Cause to Make You Stand Up and Cheer

Posted by: Peter Burrows on February 25

A very strange thing happened at the closely-watched FCC hearing that was held at Harvard today to discuss Net Neutrality. The supposed bad guy got the biggest cheers. I wasn't...

Verizon 1.0: Coming March 19

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 25

On March 19, we'll find out more information about just how open Verizon Wireless's network will become. That day, at its Open Development Device Conference, the company will release Version 1.0, a set of technical specifications for new wireless devices that will work on its "Any Device, Any App" network-only service. This is a good first step toward open wireless networks -- but only the first step.

Nokia: Looking at Flexible, Stretchable Cell Phones

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 25

On Feb. 24, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened its "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibit, which explores the relationship between scientific breakthroughs and design. Of particular interest is a video from Nokia, which outlines its vision for the phone of the future.

How Vulnerable Are Encrypted Hard Drives?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 24

It looks more research is needed before we find out just how safe new disk drives with built-in hardware encryption are. A group of researchers at Princeton created a stir...

Microsoft's Letter to Employees: Another View

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 22

My colleague Catherine Holahan has her own take on the Kevin Johnson letter to Microsoft employees. Here's her guest blog: With all the discussion of the fear and loathing in...

Microsoft's New Message to Employees--and to Yahoo

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 22

Microsoft is going to get the Yahoo deal done, proxy fight or not, and it sure would like the cooperation of Yahoo employees and shareholders to make it happen. That's...

T-Mobile: Move Over, Vonage

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 21

Today, T-Mobile USA introduced its first home phone line replacement service. For only $10 a month, plus the price of a $50 router, T-Mobile's existing wireless customers with high-speed Internet connections can make unlimited calls over the Web. This plan is priced so attractively, it spells trouble to Vonage, cable companies and to telcos like AT&T and Verizon, currently charging about $40 a month for residential lines.

With Proxy Fight Threat, Is Microsoft Boxing Yahoo In--or Itself?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 21

As everyone waits for Yahoo to make the next move in Microsoft's unsolicited bid to buy the Internet portal, I'm starting to wonder if the ball's actually still in Microsoft's...

And It Keeps Getting Worse......

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 21

In additions to the problems with Windows Home Server backup, Microsoft now says a different problem with file corruption is much worse than originally reported. Microsoft today reissued a technical...

Windows Home Server--The Drama Continues

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 20

My ups and downs with the Hewlett Packard MediaSmart Windows Home Server server. But the latest incident suggests Microsoft might want to do some serious rethinking of the design of...

Wireless Goes Unlimited: Implications

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 19

It's a historic day in wireless. Today, Verizon Wireless unveiled its first unlimited calling plan. Within hours, AT&T and T-Mobile USA followed suit. The moves could carry huge implications for the wireless carriers, as well as for Sprint Nextel, Leap and MetroPCS.

Microsoft-Yahoo Water Torture Trickles On--But For How Long?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 19

So now, Microsoft's putting out signals that it's ready to rumble, with plans to authorize a proxy fight to replace Yahoo's board if it doesn't accept Microsoft's first and only...

Lenovo X300 versus MacBook Air

Posted by: Steve Hamm on February 19

I really lucked out when Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Air at MacWorld. I had been following the development of Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 since it was first conceived back in...

The Ultimate Navigation System

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 18

In-dash satellite navigation systems are becoming much more common in cars and they are pretty cool. But they are nothing compared to Honeywell’s Integrated Primary Flight Display/Synthetic Vision System. I...

Adieu to Analog (Phone Edition)

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 15

On Monday, most of the analog wireless phone networks, the ones that gave birth to cell phone service in the 1980s, will go dead. The Federal Communications Commission has given...

Kodak's Comeback

Posted by: Steve Hamm on February 14

A year ago, when Kodak made a risky bet on entering the $50 billion consumer printer business, Chief Executive Antonio Perez warned that if the company didn’t launch its first...

Google Debuts a New Version of Android

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 14

Google, which has been hard at work enhancing its Android operating system for cell phones, just came out with a new version of the software. The biggest change: A new digital menu design.

Vonage: Better, But Not In The Clear

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 13

We got some good news from Web-calling provider Vonage today. For the first time ever, Vonage reached operational profitability in the fourth quarter -- actually ahead of schedule. Is Vonage out of the woods? Not quite.

Vultures Feast on Yahoo Before It's Even Dead

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 13

The feeding frenzy around Yahoo seems to intensify with every new daily development, making me wonder when this injured animal is going to make the one-way transformation into a...

Sometimes, Low Tech Is the Best Answer

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 13

Accoring to this Reuters story, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration wants to build a system that could use cell phones or other technology to wake up sleeping Americans to...

Yahoo Layoffs Begin

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 12

It's pink slip day at Yahoo's purple-and-yellow digs, I'm told by a Yahoo executive. More coverage of the expected layoffs here, here, and here. But from what some of them,...

Mobile World Congress--Hands On With Android

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on February 12

Here I was, wandering through the halls at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona, waiting for my moment in the sun. Chip licensing company ARM Ltd, you see, was...

Mobile World Congress-Microsoft's Danger-ous Liaison

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on February 12

A lot of industry watchers were scratching their heads yesterday at news from Microsoft that it was buying Danger, the maker of Sidekick handset software, for an undisclosed sum. The...

Best Microsoft-Yahoo Blog Headlines

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 11

Some people are managing to have fun with the Microsoft-Yahoo battle: Best we can figure, sir, they seem to be including sentimental value --John Murrell/Good Morning Silicon Valley We’ll See...

AT&T Nabs Wi-Fi Perks at Starbucks

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 11

Starting this spring, AT&T will be replacing T-Mobile as the official Wi-Fi provider at Starbucks stores, with all 7,000 locations expected to be switched over by the end of 2008. This could have a big impact on T-Mobile and AT&T's future Wi-Fi strategy.

Microsoft Buys Danger--The WebTV Gang Strikes Again

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on February 11

I wonder if Danger Inc. founder Andy Rubin kept any of his stock in the mobile phone software developer? If so, Microsoft's announcement today that it was buying the maker...

Yahoo Rejects Microsoft's Bid, Of Course--and Microsoft Responds (Of Course)

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 11

(Update: Microsoft on Monday afternoon lobs the ball back into Yahoo's court with a content-light letter that neither mentions a counter-offer nor ups the language threat level as far as...

Mobile World Congress--Take That, Apple!

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on February 11

What's the big message out of the giant Mobile World Congress cellular trade show in Barcelona this week? If press conferences from Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung are any indication,...

Can WiMAX Save Sprint?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on February 11

Will WiMAX become Sprint's savior or albatross? It's a question that the beleaguered company most likely wishes could be foretold in a crystal ball as it reportedly is seeking additional...

A Cheaper Alternative to a Mobile TV Phone

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 11

On Feb. 11, mobile software company PacketVideo has released a much less expensive alternative to a dedicated mobile TV phone. Its PocketVideo Mobile Broadcast Receiver (MBR) is a tiny gadget the size of a matchbox. The device, which is expected to sell for around $100, lets any phone receive mobile TV and audio programs.

Yahoo + AOL: Another Negotiation Ploy, Or a Grasp at Straws?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 10

Honestly, I don't know whether Yahoo seeking to acquire AOL, as reported by the Times of London, is just a way to jack up Microsoft's unsolicited bid, or a real,...

So, What Now for Microsoft and Yahoo? More Fancy Footwork

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 10

I'm no M&A expert, but I've seen enough not to be surprised by Yahoo's apparent, imminent rejection of Microsoft's offer to buy the company. So why are so many people...

Yahoo Moves to the Negotiation Phase: A Web Roundup

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 09

Yahoo's board is set to send Microsoft a letter Monday rejecting the software giant's $45 billion bid, according to the Journal on Saturday. From the apparent wording from a source--that...

The Yahoo Death Watch

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 08

Yeah, it's practically a done deal, but despite breathless impatience of many people, mating dances take awhile to result in consummation. Especially when one party not only was hoping to...

Auction 73: Winding Down?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 06

A closely watched auction of the airwaves needed to build a wireless network may be winding down — and the outcome bears faint resemblance to what analysts were expecting. For starters, the Federal Communications Commission has so far received nearly $19 billion in total bids, compared with $15 billion to $18 billion that Wall Street had forecast. What's more, an open wireless network expected to be built using a chunk of the spectrum being auction may look quite differently than expected previously.

zzzPhone: A Dell of Cell Phones

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 05

Folks at zzzPhone.com allow consumers to customize their cell phone orders the way Dell allows people to customize their PCs. This could mark the beginning of a new trend in deep cell-phone customization.

Wall Street's Hoping for a Yawn from Cisco

Posted by: Peter Burrows on February 05

In this Internet Age we're living in, few companies are as clear a bellweather for the health of tech than Cisco. So all eyes are on tomorrow's earnings call--hoping CEO...

Google Tries to Turn Microsoft's Yahoo Pursuit to Its Advantage

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 03

The ironies keep piling up, but Google's blog post today about Microsoft's unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo looks to me like a smart chess move by the search giant. In...

Yahoo's Response to Microsoft: We'll Take Our Sweet Time

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 01

Reading between the lines of this FAQ from Yahoo released today... FAQ: Unsolicited Proposal From Microsoft Q1. How is Yahoo! responding to Microsoft’s proposal? The Yahoo! Board is undertaking a...

Why Did You Purchase an Unlocked iPhone?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 01

There are many different reasons for why consumers are snapping up unlocked iPhones. What's yours?

Microsoft Finally Makes Its Move on Yahoo

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 01

For all the reasons a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo! doesn't make sense, one factor trumped them all: a bargain. Early this morning, Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for the Internet...

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. 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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