Archive for November, 2009

Google and Adobe

November 26, 2009

Google needs Adobe Flash because, as anyone who has used YouTube knows, this software is currently the prevalent method for playing and authoring Internet video – there was a multi-million agreement signed between the 2 companies in 2006. The question whether Google will acquire Adobe was asked almost 2 years back for different reasons.

Early August this year, Google announced they would acquire On2 Technologies for $106.5M. While the deal is not expected to close until sometime in the fourth quarter, many wrote about this were already declaring that Google will disrupt the online video industry by speculating that Google will open source On2’s VP8 technology. BTW, On2 markets video compression technologies that power high-quality video in both desktop and mobile applications and devices and also holds a number of interesting patents

There is also speculation that this acquisition will force Adobe to open-source its Flash Player.

Now, Google released Chrome OS earlier this month as well as Android 2.0 SDK.

It is a well-known fact that Google goes behind all the monopolies of the software world and create their own products – remember Google Docs against Microsoft, Android against Apple iPhone. In the world of video, Adobe has a huge monopoly – all desktops come mostly pre-installed with Flash Player.

What does all this mean? Some questions do arise from the recent events.

  • What will Google do with their On2 acquisition? There has been no news about it for the last 3 months. Google is known for coming up with strategies that will ensure their acquisitions are positioned adequately in their technology roadmap.
  • This acquisition is nothing to do with their ads per se – unlike their recent acquisitions of Teracent or Admob
  • In Google’s Chrome Operating System, will they still go for a Flash Player that is not open-source?
  • What are the odds that Google will use the codec technology of On2 to come up with an open-source video player for Chrome?
  • Like someone asked earlier, will Adobe open-source Flash Player?
  • How can Google avoid Flash Player on their Chrome OS?
  • Flash Player is not supported on iPhone – why should Google support it on Android, even if it is free?

Read between the lines and I am sure you will also agree that it is going to be interesting times ahead. Let me know if you have any other thoughts around this.

Thanks Peter, for the links.


Social, Startups and Mobile

November 25, 2009

Social network games seem to be on the up – the numbers of (active) users seem to be pretty high and the gaming companies are coming up with small innovations to leverage their user-base into millions.

A good article about start-ups having many founders who were ex-CISCO-ites!!! That says a lot about the company itself – they have the environment that allows employees to think about innovations and new products – obviously, there must have been many internal initiatives that came about as well.

e-commerce via mobile was something I wasn’t sure of – how secure is it and how end-users get their confidence to transact on the mobile. Of course, I might be sceptical but that was my initial thinking. Look at the numbers being talked about by eBay – that says a lot!!! Opera Mini, Opera’s mobile browser, grew its monthly users by 11 percent to nearly 40 million users in October from 32 million users in August. In terms of page views, Opera Mini delivered 17.2 billion last month, a 238 percent annual increase, indicating that mobile web usage is growing fast. Since September’s report, page-views have gone up by nearly 15 percent.

Google, LinkedIn and Wikipedia

November 24, 2009

Google buys another one – Teracent. Teracent’s Intelligent Display Advertising technology creates display ads entirely customized to the specific consumer and site. The startup’s proprietary alogirthims automatically pick the creative parts of a display ad (images, colors, text) in real-time determined by like geographic location, language, the content of the website, the time of day or the past performance of different ads. Google says that Teracent’s technology will now be offered to its display advertising clients who run campaigns in Google’s Content Network and to DoubleClick clients. What all Google will do to capture (no monopolize) the ad market?

And then, they team up with TiVo. There seems to be a bit of analytics involved in the backend – Google promises that advertisers pay only when their ads are seen. But TiVo lets viewers fast-forward through commercials. Now, with TiVo’s data, collected from millions of digital video recorders across the country, Google can tell exactly which of those commercials are being bypassed. If all the commercials are being skipped, the channel gets no money. Wow!!! Google can then place the ads at the adequate location (based on the data) so that they maximize their revenue.

LinkedIn API’s are open – finally!!! It took a long time coming for the site to start sharing their APIs to public – previously, only few priveleged ones were given the option to add ‘applications’ that hooked into the millions of users registered in LinkedIn. This article talks about how startups are linking to LinkedIn.

Sad to read this one – Volunteers log off from Wikipedia!!! The website built by millions across the world is facing heavy attrition. It needs a buyer or better for the community, a sponsor.

News about Second Life and others

November 23, 2009

News about Second Life – where is it now? The hype seems to have worne out. The novelty was there but probably Linden Labs did not continue to keep it innovative. They should have worked quickly on the millions of users and developed other applications on top or along with the base version. Looks like this will fizzle out very quickly. A case of missed opportunity.

The fight between Google and Microsoft is getting messier now – there is news being reported that Microsoft is in fact in discussions with News Corp. and other publishers about the possibility of paying them to remove their sites from Google’s search index. Remember, some time back, Rupert Murdoch was threatening to blacklist Google. Wonder what will be the reaction from Google now – they will just ignore this, as far as I am concerned.

Google and eBay in the news

November 20, 2009

Google Chrome OS was releasedseems to be a good strategy adopted by the Google folks. This OS is aimed at low-cost netbooks – most of them were anyway using Linux. All applications are designed to run in a web browser and the user’s data is stored on Google’s servers – this has been Google’s promise for a long time that in the future, everything will run on the internet. This model is just an extension of the vision. The first computers running the system would be available before the end of 2010 – that is another 1 year down the line. What will happen to the netbooks market by then? Interesting to watch.

eBay completes its acquisition of Skype for $2.75 Billion – will be interesting to see how the strategy is built after the formalities are completed. There is no overlap between the two companies. I guess the buyout is good for Skype to further expand its portfolio of services it offers to customers.

A very good use of iPhone for healthcare application – this is what technology must do – helps an eye hospital to provide faster diagnostics and recommendations to patients.

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