Archives: April 2009

Windows Mobile: Losing Ground at Motorola?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 30

Motorola reported its first-quarter results this morning, and not once did co-CEO Sanjay Jha mention his company's plans for Windows Mobile. I think that's significant.

Another Google Ad Exec Leaves; Tidbits from an Interview with David Rosenblatt

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 29

Google has lost yet another top ad executive. David Rosenblatt, president of global display advertising for the search giant, emailed friends and colleagues to say he's leaving the company a...

Letter: Read the Terms of the Google Book Settlement Agreement

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 29

Today, the New York Times published a story reporting that the U.S. Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over...

Google Book Search Deal Probed By Justice Department

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 28

The Justice Department is looking into whether a 2008 settlement between Google and authors and publishers over the search giant's Book Search service could be anticompetitive. Reports in the New...

Microsoft, Apple, and Pink: A History Lesson

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 28

Rumors that Microsoft is developing a multimedia smart phone heated up again today when The Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required for full article) that Microsoft was talking to Verizon...

Juniper: App Stores to Generate $25 Billion in Sales

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 28

Direct and indirect revenues from mobile applications should exceed $25 billion by 2014, "with growth fuelled by a raft of store launches targeting both high-end and mass market handsets," according to a new report from Juniper Research issued on April 28. Can this be right? You bet.

Facebook.com: Future Ghost Town?

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 27

On Monday, the world’s largest social networking site opened parts of its code to the public. Now, third-party developers can build Facebook applications that will let users post status updates,...

Amazon Acquires LexCycle

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 27

LexCycle, the maker of the popular Stanza application for the desktop, iPhone and iPod touch, announced it's been acquired by Amazon.com today. The move is an interesting one.

Qualcomm Sees Orders Stabilizing

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on April 27

Is Qualcomm calling a bottom to the wireless industry downturn? In the company's second-quarter earnings statement today, CEO Paul Jacobs suggests he never saw much of a downturn to begin...

Samsung Does Android With I7500 Smartphone

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on April 27

When's the first Samsung Android-powered smartphone coming? The standard refrain from the folks at Samsung recently has been "soon." In Europe, at least, that timeframe has been narrowed a bit...

UPDATED: Twitter & Swine Flu: All Noise, No Signal

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 27

Updated 4/28, 10:30 am EDT The discussion, if you can call it that, of swine flu under the #swineflu hashtag at Twitter is growing more inane as developments get scarcer....

Netflix: Why the Disappointment?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on April 24

Is Netflix too succesful for its own good? That certainly seems to the view of investors after the mail-order movie rental company reported boffo earnings today, including record subscriber growth...

Is There an Ultra-Widescreen TV in Your Future?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 24

Just when we are getting used to wide-screen TVs, it looks like they may been getting even wider. Last week, at a preview press conference in Malta for for the...

Rep. Mike Honda on Immigration, Education, and More

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 24

On this weekend's The Communicators show on C-SPAN, I interview Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) on key issues technology issues, including H-1B visas and other immigration policy questions and federal action...

Facebook and Users: Peace at Last?

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 23

Weeks after the dust settled in the controversy over Facebook’s terms of service, the episode is getting a neat and happy ending. Or is it? In the first instance of...

Microsoft's Tough Third Quarter.

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 23

Maybe the most striking news is Microsoft's crisp cost-cutting. Who knew this Midas of the computer industry knew how to scale back so well?

Bluetooth Headset Wars

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on April 23

Who knew the mobile headset market could be so contentious? With Bluetooth wireless headsets becoming as trendy as iPhones and Blackberry's, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the increasing...

No Silver Bullets @ MySpace: Sacking Chris & Tom Was Easy; Now What?

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 23

So the new surprising news is out that MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson are leaving the helm of the pioneering social network. The two big questions here are:...

Wireless Carriers Help Jobless Consumers

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 22

Lost a job? Your wireless carrier may be able to help you out. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel can move people who've lost their jobs to lower-cost service plans without charging extra fees. Virgin Mobile USA has recently announced it will wave three months of service charges to certain customers who become unemployed.

Oracle and VMware: Rising Competition?

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on April 22

VMware pulled out the stops for the launch of its latest software Apr. 21. Executives at the Silicon Valley company shared a stage at an outdoor theater with Cisco Systems...

RealDVD Gets Its Day in Court

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 21

Remember RealDVD from Real Networks? The software, which let you rip a copy-protected DVD to a hard drive for viewing on your computer, barely made it out of the door...

LIVE: Yahoo Second-Quarter Earnings Just OK, Q2 Guidance Light; 5% Layoff Announced

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 21

Yahoo managed to hit earnings expectations on slightly lower-than-expected first-quarter revenues. It also announced it expects to lay off about 5% of its staff. Based on the 13,600 employees as...

Oracle Buys Sun: Who Are the Winners And Losers

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 21

Get past the happy merger talk, and what we have here is a company that's famous for ruthlessly maximizing profits, buying one that is famous for ruthlessly minimizing them by refusing to make the huge cuts Wall Street has begged for over the years.

The State of the Internet Sales Tax

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 20

Companies like online retailer Amazon.com, iTunes service provider Apple and software maker Microsoft have been fighting Internet taxes for years. Back in 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill vs. North Dakota that states can't make companies with no physical presence in their states to collect those states' sales taxes. That means that Amazon.com may only be required to collect sales taxes in states like Washington State, where it has facilities, and not in others. Well, there's an effort under way to change that.

LIVE: New Stuff from Google Labs

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 20

Today, Google's introducing some early-stage new products and services coming out of Google Labs at a press gathering hosted by R.J. Pittman, director of product management in search properties. I'll...

Hulu's iPhone App To Bump Up Cell-Phone Bills?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 20

Video Web site Hulu is developing an iPhone app, according to a report. The application will allow users of the iPhone and iPod touch to stream movies and TV shows via cellular or Wi-Fi connections. But while a Hulu app is sure to become a hit, I wonder how it will affect Phone service provider AT&T.

Obama's Surprise Choice for Chief Technology Officer

Posted by: Dan Beucke on April 18

By Spencer Ante On Saturday morning President Barack Obama announced a surprising choice for the new position of U.S. chief technology officer: Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra. "In this...

Google Book Search and the Dog in the Manger

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 18

The proposed settlement of a lawsuit against Google Book Search by publishers (including the McGraw-Hill Companies, owner of BusinessWeek) and the Authors' Guild has drawn a lot of fire from...

Winners of the Rosetta Stone IPO

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 17

Hard to believe but there was actually a successful venture-backed IPO yesterday--the first in many months. Rosetta Stone, a profitable and fast-growing maker of language software, went public. The shares...

T-Mobile Sidekick Goes Social

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 17

On April 17, T-Mobile USA unveiled a new version of its popular Sidekick device. Besides improvements in hardware, the new Sidekick LX features a slew of cool social-networking features that aren't yet widely available in the U.S. The phone will pop up Facebook, MySpace and Twitter status updates and notifications directly into an application a user is in. They will appear as screen overlays. You'll be able to see the full text of a tweet, for instance.

YouTube: New Look, Old Content

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 16

In its most recent bid to make YouTube more attractive to advertisers, Google is introducing new sections to the online video site that will be reserved for TV shows, movies,...

LIVE: Google's First-Quarter Earnings: Revenues Down, Profits Beat Forecasts, Investors Yawn

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 16

Google's first-quarter earnings are out, and while it managed to beat profit expectations thanks to cost-cutting, revenues were down 3% from the fourth quarter, about what analysts had forecast. From...

Google Goes to Carnegie Hall

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 16

As I settled into my seat Wednesday evening for the debut of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York’s most regal of music venues, I had no idea...

OpenX Launches Online Advertising Exchange

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 16

Online ad exchanges, which work like the Nasdaq stock exchange to match buyers and sellers of ads, are nothing new but they're starting to heat up again. In the past...

Cell-Phone Multi-Player Gaming Posed for Take-Off?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 15

Today, developer Smule announced a new multi-player game for the iPhone. With Leaf Trombone World Stage, which is available from the App Store for 99 cents, users can play virtual instruments for other players. They can also judge each others' performance. Depending on the app's popularity, thousands if not millions of players could potentially take part in these music contests.

Enter Washington's Cybersecurity Critics

Posted by: Keith Epstein on April 15

While Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee (and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee), is going around declaring cybersecurity the top threat facing the U.S., some...

More Layoffs Coming at Yahoo

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 14

Well, nobody really thought new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz would simply dial up Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with a deal proposal and leave it at that, did they? And so...

Intel Calls A Bottom In PC Sales: "Returning To Normal Seasonal Patterns," Otellini Says

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on April 14

Intel has called a bottom, but it doesn't seem like the tech sector is quite out of the woods yet. Reporting quarterly earnings for its first fiscal quarter, the company...

Twitteriffic! Why I am Bullish on Twitter (and Why it Shouldn’t Focus on Making Money)

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 14

Today, BusinessWeek.com and the New York Times published features about Twitter. Not to be outdone, Kara Swisher published an interview with Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams on AllThingsD....

HP's MediaSmart Server: Reasons for a Second Look

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 14

Hewlett-Packard's MediaSmart Home Server is a very good product that has had a tough time justifying its existence. But a new software refresh is making the job easier by adding...

Marketers Cut Search Ad Spending But Reap Higher Returns

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 14

As investors look ahead to Google's first-quarter earnings report Thursday, they'll be looking for further signs of how much search advertising has been hit by the tanking economy. Here's an...

Twitter: Keeping the Bad Guys at Bay

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 13

Twitter, it turns out is more than just a way to keep up with what's going on in the world, or among your acquaintances, in 140-character micro-blog posts. It's...

New Venture Capital Investment Nearly Comes to a Halt

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 13

It's official: Institutional investors have put the kibosh on investing in new venture capital funds, though established firms with track records have been able to scare up some money. That's...

Yahoo and Microsoft CEOs Finally Talking About a Search Deal; Maybe More?

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 10

In a development that can't be too surprising but may help revamp the Internet landscape, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have started talking about forging Internet...

Another "Laptop Hunter" Ad From Microsoft

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 09

Microsoft just posted the third of its "Laptop Hunter" ads, in which the cameras follow consumers as they shop for a free laptop. Here it is: Video: Laptop Hunters $1500...

The AT&T Outage: Sabotage vs. Hacking

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 09

There has been a lot of buzz this week about hackers, possibly sponsored by the Chinese government, mounting cyber-attacks on the U.S. power grid. Today we learned that there's more...

Does Facebook’s Business Plan Include Premium Memberships?

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 09

The world’s largest social network sometimes gets flack from bloggers and industry pundits for not having much of a business model. It’s true that for now, Facebook is more focused...

YouTube Announces Music Video Service with Universal Music Group

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 09

In the latest of several announced and rumored deals with major studios, Google's video sharing service YouTube has just announced a partnership with Universal Music Group. Set to launch later...

Facebook COO on Gideon Yu’s Departure

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 09

Facebook has yet to provide a clear explanation for why Gideon Yu resigned as Facebook’s chief financial officer on Mar. 31. In a statement issued that day, the company said...

Conficker Worm Continues to Baffle the Experts

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 09

The Conficker worm, which did not bring the Internet to its knees or do much of anything else on April 1, continues to evolve in ways that have security experts...

Facebook COO: Never a “Substantive Change” to Terms of Service

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on April 08

In an interview with BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, held this week at New York’s 92YTribeca, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg insisted that updates the company made to its terms...

Upbeat Signs for Windows 7

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 08

A new survey suggests that this fall's introduction of windows 7 could provide a badly needed boost to Microsoft's corporate sales. A poll by ChangeWave reported by ZDnet found that...

Knewton Raises $6 Million from Bessemer Venture Partners and Accel Partners

Posted by: Spencer Ante on April 08

Yesterday, New York-based online education startup Knewton announced a big fundraising win with a $6 million B round. Bessemer Ventures led the round and original investors Accel Partners, First Round...

Could Apple App Store Enter Mainstream Faster Than iTunes' Music?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 07

Researcher ComScore today came out with its first report on demographics of Apple App Store users. Turns out, 35% of all App Store users have a household income of at least $100,000. And 54% of buyers of mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch have household incomes of $75,000 or more. What does that say about App Store's traction? The App Store seems to be attracting a wider swath of users than the iTunes music store, which debuted in 2001, did in its early years.

Fusion-io Lands A Big Round Of VC Funding

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on April 07

Last week I published a story on Fusion-io, a fascinating startup company that is applying flash memory to large-scale enterprise storage products like Storage Area Networks. The company has a...

The Return of Scott McNealy?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 06

I've wondered more than a few times in recent months how former Sun CEO and current chairman Scott McNealy has managed to stay so quiet since handing the reins to...

Note to Sun's Board: Don't Be The Next Yahoo

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 05

If any board should have known not to follow in Yahoo's footsteps, it should have been Sun's. The two companies have too much in common, including a weak negotiating position.

Enterprise BlackBerry Users and AppWorld: Not So Fast

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 03

BlackBerry users who get their e-mail from a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) may have trouble using the new BlackBerry AppWorld store. Of course, many enterprises prohibit the installation of any...

Report: Google in Talks to Buy Twitter? Update: Probably Not

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 03

Google is in talks to buy the hot microblogging service Twitter, according to Mike Arrington at TechCrunch, who cited two unnamed sources in a post late Thursday. How far along...

A Sign of Slowing Search Ad Spending

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 02

Search advertising is finally feeling the full impact of the weak economy, according to a new report out this morning from online marketing analytics firm Covario. In fact, search spending...

Twitter to Expand Search Via Discovery Engine

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 02

Twitter, the microblogging phenom, has been testing a search function for several weeks with a few selected users, so you can find out what people are talking about right now....

CTIA: Palm Pre Anticipation, Frustration Grow

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 02

Not since the gap between the announcement of the original Apple iPhone and its release has the waiting been as hard as for the Palm Pre. At the CTIA Wireless...

Google Reveals Some Data Center Secrets.

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 02

For years, Google hid details regarding the type of servers it uses in its data centers to deal with all those queries as though it were a government hiding launch...

Rackable's Plan For Silicon Graphics

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 01

I spoke with Rackable CEO Mark Barrenechea an hour or so ago, about the SGI acquisition. While Rackable won't announce detailed plans until after the bankruptcy process is concluded, he...

The Sad Saga of Silicon Graphics: The Final Chapter

Posted by: Peter Burrows on April 01

There was a time when Silicon Graphics Corp. was the Apple Inc. of corporate computing. It received coverage out of all proportion to its size, certainly by BW. And...

New Bill Would Regulate Business Cybersecurity

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 01

Business expected tougher environmental, financial, and labor regulations from the Obama Administration, but it looks like the feds may be getting ready to move into a new area: the information...

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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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