Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Google Phone: Team of 100 working on Blackberry like….?

March 5, 2007

Lets see what Google already has for mobile– Gmail for individuals and Apps, GTalk on Blackberry, Google Maps(driving directions and traffic data), Google Search, Google News, Google SMS. A pretty solid set of offerings which are very targeted to what a user would really need on an mobile. What is missing? The Google mobile OS that preloads all of these apps together giving Google a far bigger reach than possible right now. I was pretty definite this part was already under works, and today’s post by Simeon Simeonov is just another pointer in this direction. According to Simeon’s inside source, Google is working on a “Blackberry-like, slick device” with C++ core w/ OS bootstrap, some VoIP offering, and obviously the above set of services rolled-up.

All this is being developed by the team of around 100 people led by Andy Rubin who had previously founded Android, a startup acquired by Google in August 2005. Not much is know about what was being developed at Android in its 22 months of standalone existence except for few guesses indicating it was a mobile OS.

Besides this, Google had gone through a relatively unknown acquisition of another mobile software developer Skia. Skia team was supposed to be working on a vector-based presentation engine that will deliver “state-of-the-art 2D graphics on low-end devices such as mobile phones, TVs, and handhelds”.

Where does all this information leave us? Well some more speculation for sure. As some of the early reports had indicated, Google is supposed to launch its mobile OS in early 2008. That is lot of time for rumors to go around and Nokias/Apples/RIMs/WM6s of the world to get worried for the first time for real.


Youtube in deal with Independent Label

February 27, 2007

Deal a day is the mantra at Youtube. Yesterday there was news of Youtube getting together with NBA to launch “NBA Channel” that will feature original content from National Basketball Association and user-posted basketball videos. Today Youtube is getting together with a prominent independent label, Wind-up Entertainment Inc, to enable legitimize user of its music and videos. The deal with Wind-up involves more than 225 songs and rev share agreement. As part of the deal, Google/Youtube will pay an undisclosed share of revenue from advertising on the video page that either uses the songs as promotional music or as background for a video created by a user. With most of the major content providers already under the wraps, expanding on to indies, sports, brands is where we will see major thrust from Youtube.

It’s Live: Google Docs @ Google Apps

February 22, 2007

First to Hit

Just as I was finishing my previous post on Google Apps for Enterprise pricing plan, discovered that Google has flipped the switch for Google D&S integration. Below are some snapshots as I went through the activation process.


Google announces pricing for Google Apps

February 22, 2007

First to Hit

Google has come out with the pricing plan for the long awaited Enterprise version of Google Apps for Domain(GApps). GApps would come in 2 flavors, Standard and Premier. With Standard you get everything for free just like now. As for the word “Everything”, it would include Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, Page Creator and Start Page. Premier Edition just blows away the competition- for $50/user/year companies will get

  1. 10GB email accounts instead of the regular 2 GB,
  2. 99.9% uptime guarantee for email,
  3. Email migration tools
  4. 24/7 support
  5. Access to APIs for Single sign-on, user management, and support for email gateway.

Interesting point to note in this release is the focus on Email migration which is clearly aimed at wooing SMBs hooked to Microsoft Exchange. With 99.9% uptime, which even companies themselves find tough to maintain, complete backups, and a browser based toolset available at fraction of cost should make Google a lucrative option to switch to.

No word right now on when the integration will go live. Also Google Powerpoint killer will not be part of the release, which I highly doubted in the first place ’cause Google Apps team will be working hard on getting the integration and scalability of the platform right in the first place.

Another point to note is that there is no limitation imposed on disk space used Google Docs&Spreadsheets(D&S). Maybe Google is still analyzing the usage behavior before setting limits. Also after the integration of D&S, domain owners will have the ability to restrict sharing of documents by users with people outside the domain. Seems like a logical move.

Also, Google will be switching on the mobile access for Google Apps Gmail users as part of the new release for both Standard and Premier users.

If your company is looking to try out the APIs and migration tools, Google is giving trial access for the Premier edition till April 30th, 2007. For rest of us there is no fun in trying out the Premier Edition, since all the basic features remain the same.

Now how I know about all the pricing info? Elementary my dear Watson. Just look at the Google Apps for Domain help pages 😉

Random thoughts- Zlango, CPI, Google RSS plans

February 20, 2007

Zlango: Let me tell you a story that I read in high school in India. I think the title was “Table is a Table”. I might be wrong on the title and even the exact details since this was about 13 years back. Anyway the story- There used to be this old morose guy living all by himself, never talking to his neighbors, or friends, or anyone. Obviously he feels bored and wants to do something new. After quite bit of pondering he comes up with an interesting new plan in which he will call every object with another objects name. So he starts calling table as chair, chair as bed, bed as sofa, sofa as plate, plate as bowl, and the list continues. And you know what, soon enough he is trained in the language and really-really happy on his accomplishment of inventing a new language all by himself. Feeling that he should get the word out in the street he goes out to talk with people, and soon realizes that people don’t understand his new language. So he tells to himself – “never mind, lets get back to the old boring ways”. To his dismay he finds out that he has forgotten his old language itself and there is no way he can tell people about his situation.

The above story makes me think about Zlango. Icons are cool. Idea is great. But I think it is too much of hassle on either side to learn and interpret what is being said. Being one sided expert will make you feel like the man in the above story. Aside from that, one new and interesting calculation point that comes to my mind is – Cost per Icon. Zlango till date has received $18 million in funding for its 200 icons. This gives us a CPI of $90K, which is a very rough estimate, but this is what Zlango has in terms of IP. Picasso, Dali et al might be turning in their graves right now 😉

Google RSS: Google giving out feed subscription statistics for Google IG and Google Reader makes me think that the search giant has no immediate plans around building FeedBurner alternative. I wonder what the reasons are behind this move. Also the Google Adsense blocks for RSS feeds have been under private beta testing for around 1.5 years now. Do the internal Google forecasts indicate that blogs/RSS is not a big enough platform to go after?

Vox on mobile; Metro on Google Maps; NetNewsWire V3;

February 20, 2007

Vox/Xanga/LJ on mobile: UK based users of LiveJournal, Xanga, and Vox will be able to access these social networking and blogging services from their mobile phones. This service will be available to Hutchison 3G users which had entered into partnership with Intercasting, which allows mobile networks to aggregate social networking functionality through its Anthem Social Networking Service Gateway (SNS-G). [via]

Google Maps: Google Maps has added support for showing subway stops and building outline for major metropolitan areas including NYC, San Francisco, and London. However these changes have yet to be rolled onto the Google Maps on mobile where it can be better put to use.

NetNewsWire: Newsgators’s NetNewsWire team has launched the pre-beta(>alpha) release of its v3.0 client. The new release for the Mac based feed reader includes interface makeover, full screen mode, Spotlight searching, many other features. Since I am on windows can’t really say where it stands wrt the FeedDemon.

Google Docs integration with Google Apps this week?

February 20, 2007

Google in planning to add Google Docs and Spreadsheets into its Google Apps offering sometime this week, according to Infoworld. This is going to be the first major upgrade for Google Apps for Domain service since its launch almost 6 months back. At this point there is no news whether Docs and Spreadsheets themselves will get new features added. Also, will Google Powerpoint killer get to see light of the day this week?

As an aside, BlueTie which is another provider of Zimbra/Google Apps like hosted service of mail+calendar+…, is claiming that more than 15k “small businesses” have signed up for its service. I wonder how many of them plan to stay back as the service totally loses out on the feature set as compared to Google and Zimbra.

On the whole seems like an interesting week is shaping up on the collaboration front.


Google to get AdScape for $23 million

February 16, 2007

Google Ad machine is going to get more targets to hit at as it plans to buy in-game advertising company AdScape for $23 million, according to RedHerring. Negotiations for this deal had been under works for past month. With no game publishers signed up for pushing the ads to, AdScape seems to have been bought for the technology it has developed in the last 5 years. Future plays for Google? — off course ads in Mobile Games. What else? Oh yeah paper thin LCD pages with embedded Google Ad chips on your Book covers(even alternate pages), product packages, clothes, walls…. Practically anywhere where ads can be delivered remotely and automatically 🙂

Google Radio Ads stumbles; dMarc founders leave

February 9, 2007

 Google radio ads can face an uphill task as the company today disclosed that dMarc founders, Chad and Ryan Steelberg, have left Google. Google had bought dMarc, the automated solution for managing radio advertising, last year for $102 million in cash , with an estimated maximum pay out of $1.136 billion. From the reports emerging right now, dMarc founders and other members of their management team are unlikely to get more than $200 million. Source of contention seems to be low number of radio stations that dMarc has been able to signup to publish ads. However, dMarc claims that Google’s attraction for higher amount of automation and reduction in sales staff has led to dMarc not being able to meet its publisher acquisition targets.

It was only near the end of last year that Google had started rolling out radio ads through select publishers and has also been in talks with CBS to get  ads on radio. Off course Google claims that it will still continue with the Radio Ads program but it has to seen what will be impact of these changes on the Google’s Radio Ads time-to-market plan.



Mesadynamics converts G-Gadget to V-Gadget

February 7, 2007

Mesadynamics, developer of Amnesty line of widgets today launched Amnesty Generator that can generate a Windows Vista Sidebar compatible widgets from any web widget. This includes Google Gadgets, Grazr RSS reader, and hopefully widgets from Clearspring, MuseStorm, and Widgetbox. All that users have to do is simply copy paste the web widget code to get the Sidebar widget. Since I am on XP, can’t really comment how it works out in real.

Musestorm does have Vista compatibility in plans but hasn’t made official when it will be releasing the integration.