Archive > July 2009

Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal: The Most Important Facts (And Some Opinion)

admin » 29 July 2009 » In Microsoft, Search Engines » No Comments

Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal: The Most Important Facts (And Some Opinion)

Now that the search deal struck between Microsoft and Yahoo has been officially confirmed by both companies, by means of a press release and a website dubbed ChoiceValueInnovation.com, let’s take a step back and analyze the most important tidbits from the announcement:

As expected, Microsoft will power Yahoo Search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ advertisers.

This will have major repercussions for the online advertising industry, where both Microsoft and Yahoo carry a lot of weight. Likely, it will take months if not years to align these important businesses. On the flip side, as Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz indicated in the press release, advertisers and publishers would benefit significantly from a unified platform and the promise of scalability all around. I believe this is indeed the core advantage of the deal in terms of being able to compete with the dominant rival to both companies, Google.

Of course the companies didn’t spell out Google in the official announcements made this morning (except for a link on the Yahoo blog post), but which other company “dominates more than 70 percent of all search”? We actually thought it was more like 65%, but the reality is that this difference in statistics isn’t nearly as important as the obvious fact that Google controls the large majority of search market share on one hand and even more of the advertising dollars that flow through search, on the other hand. Clearly, Microsoft desperately wants a piece of this cake, and it won’t settle for a small one.

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Microsoft, Yahoo! Come Together

admin » 29 July 2009 » In Microsoft, Search Engines » No Comments

Microsoft, Yahoo! Come Together

It’s been a rocky relationship, but the marriage is finally here: Microsoft and Yahoo! are uniting in Internet search.

After months of back-and-forth–and the installation of a new CEO at Yahoo! ( YHOO – news – people )–the two companies announced a search partnership Wednesday, to help counter industry giant Google ( GOOG – news – people ). Advertisers will “no longer have to rely on one company that dominates more than 70% of all search,” said Yahoo! and Microsoft, as they announced a ten-year agreement to join forces.

The deal got a chilly reception from Yahoo! investors: Shares of the portal were down 7.3%, or $1.25, to $15.97, during pre-market trading in New York. Shares of Microsoft ticked up 0.4%, or 9 cents, to $23.56.

Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, will become the default search engine on Yahoo!’s site, as reported in the press on Tuesday, and Microsoft will also get an exclusive license to Yahoo!’s search technology. Meanwhile, Yahoo! will become the exclusive sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers. “Self-serve” advertisers will be catered for by Microsoft’s AdCenter platform, which will also set prices by automated auction for all search ads.

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Are Bing Users Twice As Likely To Click On An Ad Than Google Users?

admin » 27 July 2009 » In Google, Search Engines » No Comments

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Are Bing Users Twice As Likely To Click On An Ad Than Google Users?

Are people who search on Bing more commercial than Google searchers? According to a study by search-advertising network Chitika, visitors who arrive at sites from organic search results on Bing are 55 percent more likely to click on an ad than if they arrived from Google.

Chitika looked at the clickthrough rates from 32 million ad impressions across its network of more than 50,000 sites in a week in July. Visitors from Bing clicked on an ad 1.5 percent of the time on average, versus a 0.97 percent clickthrough rate for Google visitors and a 1.24 percent clickthrough rate for Yahoo.

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Google Predicting Youtube Profitable Soon

admin » 17 July 2009 » In Google, Youtube » No Comments

Google Predicting Youtube Profitable Soon

The popular online video Web site YouTube may finally become profitable soon, executives at Google Inc. said Thursday.

“In the not long, too-long-distant future, we actually see a very profitable and good business for us,” Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said in a conference call on his company’s earnings.

“YouTube is now on a trajectory that we’re very pleased with,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said during the same earnings call.

Google has lost money on YouTube since buying it for $1.65 billion in 2006, but hasn’t detailed just how much red ink that involves.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s chief of product marketing, said during the call that the number of videos supported by advertising that people watch on the service has tripled in the past year. “We’re now monetizing billions of views of partner videos every month.”

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Google’s Growth To Slow

admin » 16 July 2009 » In Google, Microsoft, Search Engines » No Comments

Google’s Growth To Slow

The search giant isn’t immune to the economy but it’s held up well so far.

The Internet search leader Google reports earnings after the bell on Thursday as rival Microsoft has recently launched a competitor search engine called Bing and the two Web giants seem poised to go head-to-head with cloud computing apps.

So far as the core search business is concerned, Microsoft is still in the spend and launch phase of Bing and the early reports are that it’s taking share not from Google but from rivals like Ask and America Online. It’s not that Bing isn’t as good as Google, it’s that replacing Google is like replacing a car that works really well and that you really like.

Microsoft aside, Google has to contend with a vast recession that’s brought down ad prices in all mediums. On that front, Google is holding up better than most says Yousseff Squali, an analyst at Jefferies & Company. Squali expects that Google’s global paid clicks will grow by double digits globally, exceeding Street forecasts. Though growth has been declining over the past five quarters the performance is pretty solid considering the economic environment.

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Litigation Over Johnson & Johnson Antibiotic Levaquin Designated N.J. Mass Tort

admin » 15 July 2009 » In Levaquin, Mass Tort » No Comments

Litigation Over Johnson & Johnson Antibiotic Levaquin Designated N.J. Mass Tort

The New Jersey Supreme Court has designated mounting litigation over the Johnson & Johnson antibiotic Levaquin as a mass tort and has assigned it to an Atlantic County, N.J., judge. The suits charge that the drug, which is prescribed for bacterial infections of the lungs, urinary tract and skin, has caused Achilles’ tendon ruptures and other damage.

The plaintiffs law firm that sought mass-tort status, Douglas & London of New York, maintains that the litigation will likely involve thousands of cases with the same defendants, similar complex issues of law and fact, and plaintiffs with a high degree of commonality in their injuries and damages.

The firm, which has filed six Levaquin suits in New Jersey, also said Atlantic County is appropriate because its docket is less crowded than those in Bergen or Middlesex counties, the other venues hearing mass-tort cases.

Levaquin, made by J&J subsidiary Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996, but in July 2008, the FDA warned that Levaquin, and other drugs in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, put users at heightened risk of developing tendonitis and tendon ruptures. The FDA ordered Ortho-McNeil to include on Levaquin’s label a warning about the incidence of those injuries.

The most common injury associated with Levaquin, a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, may require surgery to repair and frequently entails two months of immobility, then surgery and a rehabilitation period of six months or more, says Michael London of Douglas & London.

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FDA Warns of Levaquin Tendon Rupture & Injuries

admin » 13 July 2009 » In FDA, Levaquin » No Comments

FDA Warns of Levaquin Tendon Rupture & Injuries

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Microsoft Gazelle Could Take On Google Chrome OS

admin » 13 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Microsoft Gazelle Could Take On Google Chrome OS

Microsoft’s ace in the hole in its upcoming battle against Google Chrome OS, the search giant’s new browser-based operating system, could be a browser-OS hybrid project code-named Gazelle. As more and more applications move into the cloud, the need for a browser-based OS, one that can intelligently interface with a PC while managing Web resources, may become more intensive than ever for both Microsoft and Google as they compete for market share.

The media cycle of past few days has been dominated by word of Microsoft’s apparently imminent demise at the hands of Google Chrome OS, the search-engine giant’s newly announced operating system initially intended for mininotebooks, known popularly as “netbooks.”

While predictions of the death of Windows may be premature, Microsoft may already be in the midst of developing a competitor to Google’s stripped-down operating system, a project code-named Gazelle.

Microsoft has offered no official comment on Chrome OS, nor has it mentioned any potential release dates for a netbook-oriented operating system. However, it may feel pressure to respond to Google in order to hold its substantial market share in the netbook arena, which may erode if Chrome OS provides a satisfactory user experience.

“Google Chrome OS is not a full-frontal assault on Microsoft Windows, but instead coming at it from one side,” Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner, told eWEEK. “Google’s usual approach is to narrow the scope and solve one part of the problem in a deep way. We saw that with Google Maps and to a lesser extent with Gmail and Chrome browser.”

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Is Voicemail Dead?

admin » 09 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Is Voicemail Dead?

Taylor Davis, 20, a college student waiting tables in Wellesley for the summer, waits days to listen to her voice mail messages and, even then, checks her inbox only when she’s bored.

“Usually it’s from my boss or people wanting me to pick up shifts,’’ she said, shrugging off missed opportunities, “or from my mom or my aunts. They like to talk a lot.’’

Ja-Nae Duane, 32, CEO of Wild Women Entrepreneurs and Ja-Nae Duane Ventures, in Woburn, deletes many of her voice mails without even listening. “What I really hate are the soliloquies,’’ she said. “I spend more time listening to your message than I do responding to it.’’

Brian Walshe, 32, a Boston-based international art dealer, keeps his phone’s mailbox full to ward off new messages. The maneuver annoys those who want to reach him, but he estimates it saves him 30 minutes a day. “People complain,’’ he said. “Everyone likes to leave a message.’’

The problem is, these days, not many people like to listen to them.

In an age of ever-speedier communications, a growing number of people are unwilling to endure voice mail’s shortcomings. Some can’t stand the endless prompts just to hear a longwinded – and often pointless – message. (Hi, it’s me. Why aren’t you picking up? I’ll call you later.) Others dislike voice mails that can’t be searched, easily forwarded, or surreptitiously played during a meeting or lecture. And on the off chance a message does contain key information, it’s often left at the end of a ramble and spoken rapidly, forcing the recipient to listen all over again. And then write it down, of course.

In other words, after the beep, please don’t leave a message. Or do so at risk of being ignored.

More than 30 percent of voice mail messages remain unheard for three days or longer, according to uReach Technologies, which designs voice messaging systems for Verizon and other phone companies. And more than 20 percent of people with messages in their mailboxes rarely check them, said Saul Einbinder, the firm’s senior vice president for marketing and business development.

A little more than 25 years after it caught on in offices and homes, voice mail has developed what could be called a Norma Desmond problem. “I am big,’’ the silent-screen star famously says in the film “Sunset Boulevard.’’ “It’s the pictures that got small.’’ The same idea applies to voice mail. “Traditional voice mail hasn’t changed,’’ Einbinder said, “but it has become less acceptable because everything around it has changed. We’ve been very conditioned these last few years with instant forms of communication.’’

A survey done for Sprint by Opinion Research Corporation found that with the exception of people age 65 and over, adults respond more quickly to a text message than to a voice message. Those under the age of 30 are four times more likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice mail. Adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice message, according to the survey.

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Google to launch Chrome operating system

admin » 08 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

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Google to launch Chrome operating system

On Tuesday night, Google announced plans on its blog to launch Google Chrome OS, an operating system designed to directly challenge Microsoft’s Windows. The software is projected to be available to the public in about a year.

“This is a direct attack on Microsoft’s revenue base,” Rob Enderle, a technology analyst in San Jose who consults for the Seattle software company, told the L.A. Times. “Microsoft’s Windows operating system platform and its Internet Explorer browser are the keystone products the empire is built on.”

But how will it work? Our tech blog reports:
Google Chrome OS, the operating system, is designed to work with the company’s Chrome Web browser, launched nine months ago and downloaded by 30 million users. Google said the software will be optimized for small, lightweight laptop computers called netbooks, a fast-selling category of inexpensive machines that sell for as little as $250 and are used primarily to surf the Web and check e-mail.

In a blog post announcing the product, Google’s vice president of product management, Sundar Pichai, and engineering director Linus Upson made heavenly promises about speedy start-up times and a minimal, out-of-the-way user interface. But the really exciting — or, if you’re Microsoft, unnerving, thing was this:

We are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Microsoft has been so plagued by security issues that they have their own, regular security intelligence report that tracks which of its operating systems is the most vulnerable to attack. (Good news for Vista owners, bad news if you’re using Windows XP).

With all of the troubles Microsoft has had, you might think it’s impossible to build a secure operating system. But since Apple has managed it, why shouldn’t Google be able to do the same?


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