Archive for December, 2005

Best Web Companies and Innovators of 2005

December 27, 2005

Read/WriteWeb by Richard MacManus writes about Best Web Companies and Innovators of 2005.

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Microsoft and the New Internet

December 26, 2005

Washington Post writes:

The center of the computing experience is rapidly moving from the desktop of the PC, which Microsoft largely owns, to the Internet, which it does not. With Internet connections getting faster and more able to handle large volumes of information, whole software programs can be delivered or used online.

Thus, in what is known as the Web 2.0 world, a start-up aptly named Upstartle LLC offers an online program for creating, writing and sharing documents. Whereas the Microsoft Office suite that includes such tools costs more than $140, Upstartle’s Writely.com service is free, with add-on features to be made available for a subscription fee later.

“Where I do my word processing, how I collaborate, maintaining my social network . . . those things are shifting away from Microsoft,” said Tom Bittman, a research fellow at Gartner Inc., a market research company.

George F. Colony, chief executive of Forrester Research Inc., which analyzes market trends, argues that companies that serve consumers via Web pages will begin to do so using actual software programs, to increase the services they provide.

Dubbing the trend “X Internet,” for executable Internet, Colony said it is a revolution being led by Google, at the expense of Microsoft’s hegemony.

The Software-free Computer

December 23, 2005

Release 1.0 has placed article by Rafe Needleman:

The idea of software as a service has been around for years. The first business computer terminals, of course, had no application software on them at all – they were service clients, “dumb terminals” driven completely by applications running on mainframes. The current computing model for productivity software is the exact opposite of this: Applications run on powerful local machines, and don’t rely on network resources to function. The model has started to shift back…sort of.

2005 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

December 23, 2005

Google pubished 2005 Year-End Google Zeitgeist:

Google.com – Top Gainers of 2005
1. Myspace
2. Ares
3. Baidu
4. wikipedia
5. orkut
6. iTunes
7. Sky News
8. World of Warcraft
9. Green Day
10. Leonardo da Vinci
 
 
Froogle – Top Searches in 2005
1. ipod
2. digital camera
3. mp3 player
4. ipod mini
5. psp
6. laptop
7. xbox
8. ipod shuffle
9. computer desk
10. ipod nano

Leadership by Andy Grove

December 22, 2005

Fortune had a story by Richard Tedlow about Andy Grove.

By analyzing the decisions he made on the road to becoming a great leader, you can learn to hone your own leadership skills. Because there’s no gain in being able to recruit great employees, handle a board, dazzle Wall Street, or rally your cavalry for a glorious charge at dawn’s early light if you haven’t figured out which way to point the horses.

Pentop Computer

December 22, 2005

Walter Mossberg writes:

The FLY Pentop Computer comes from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. — a respected and well-known company that makes educational toys for kids. This $100 digital toy, geared toward kids aged eight and older, is a thick ballpoint pen, with a brain. Using built-in software, it reads, and reacts to, certain things you write with the pen. In effect, it turns paper into an interactive medium.

With FLY, you can hand-draw a calculator or a simple musical keyboard and actually use them — the calculator really does math and the keyboard really plays notes. You can practice math and spelling and geography; and play educational and noneducational games. The pen offers extra instructions, sound effects and encouragement through a tiny speaker. There’s no shooting, no sex, and nobody dies.

Web Access on Gadgets

December 21, 2005

WSJ writes about the mobile Internet:

The overall move to Web pages designed for small screens is still in the early stages. In many cases, when you access any Web site from a mobile device, you may see the text and graphics of the normal page awkwardly condensed. But such distorted layouts are becoming less common, as companies take advantage of faster wireless networks and more powerful mobile devices.

Sites tailored for mobile — the availability of which varies depending on the device and carrier — typically have only a few links listed on the home page and few or no graphics clogging the screen. The URLs of these sites may be identical to their parent sites or may require adding “mobile” or “wireless” somewhere in the address.

Internet giants Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL are leading the mobile Web push, but other sites are gaining popularity as well. Among them are mobile versions of ESPN, Mapquest, sites that list movie show times, such as Hollywood.com, and a range of travel sites.

Cisco Bets on Web Video

December 21, 2005

WSJ writes:

Mr. Chambers predicts the demands of video will transform the Internet over the next decade. Network traffic should increase fourfold to sixfold annually, instead of the 100%-a-year gains now seen in the U.S. and Europe, he says. Beyond the heavy traffic is the technical challenge of moving video, Mr. Chambers says. “Making work is really, really, really difficult.”
Scientific-Atlanta’s products help Cisco expand its offerings by bringing it closer to the consumer market for movies and other videos. The set-top box becomes a valuable piece of real estate as video becomes more widespread, Mr. Chambers says.

Cisco’s recent $61 million purchase of Kiss Technology AS, a Danish consumer-electronics company, was in anticipation of a push into video like the one with Scientific-Atlanta. Kiss “may have been one of the most aggressive moves we made,” says Mr. Chambers.
Web.

Google Base and Vertical Databases

December 21, 2005

Bill Burnham writes that the combination means the death of walled gardens:

Much like the delusional King in the Holy Grail, many of the Internet’s biggest and most profitable “Walled Gardens”, sites such as Monster.com, Realtor.com, Match.com, and even EBay, appear to be in denial about the ultimate destiny of their sites, which is, that they are bound to be subsumed by the larger Internet.

With Google Base fully in place (and ultimately similar services from Yahoo, Microsoft, and Amazon), why in world would anyone pay to have their listings displayed or pay to have to access to a database of listings? After all, if you publish the listing on your own site Google will automatically index it and then list it within Google Base within the next few days and if you want to make sure they get it immediately, you can just submit if directly to Google Base or register your RSS feed with them (a feature I’ll bet they are likely to add). Instead of charging you (or its end users) for the privilege, Google will make money off of the advertising it sells around the listings. Perhaps you may even be able to pay a fee to have your particular listing “advertised” in a preferential position.

This reminded me what Paul Graham said about emerging Web 2.0 marketplaces:

Odd as it might sound, we tell startups that they should try to make as little money as possible. If you can figure out a way to turn a billion dollar industry into a fifty million dollar industry, so much the better, if all fifty million go to you. Though indeed, making things cheaper often turns out to generate more money in the end, just as automating things often turns out to generate more jobs.

Two-tier Internet?

December 18, 2005

The Boston Globe writes:

AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp. are lobbying Capitol Hill for the right to create a two-tiered Internet, where the telecom carriers’ own Internet services would be transmitted faster and more efficiently than those of their competitors.

The proposal is certain to provoke a major fight with Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Microsoft Corp., the powerful owners of popular Internet sites. The companies fear such a move would give telecommunications companies too much control over a fast-growing part of the Internet.

The proposal supported by AT&T and BellSouth would allow telecommunications carriers to offer their own advanced Internet video services to their customers, while rival firms’ online video offerings would be transmitted at lower speed and with poorer image quality.

AT&T and other telecoms want to charge consumers a premium fee to connect to the higher-speed Internet. The companies could also charge websites a premium to offer their video to consumers on the higher-speed Internet. That could mean that a company like Yahoo might have to pay AT&T to send high-quality video to AT&T subscribers.