Care to take a stab at guessing this one? I'll give you a hint: it's fabulous news. As you may have gathered from Sony's abandonment of SonicStage, the company is giving its Connect music store the ax as well. Considering the new Walkmans are now PlaysForSure devices capable of playing both purchased and subscription WMAs--and they support unprotected AACs purchased from iTunes--it only makes sense to get rid of the faltering (and horrifically designed) store. For my part, I'm pleased as punch by the death of SonicStage and Connect. Yes, I'm a little bit sadistic...… Read more
Microsoft's planned Vista Service Pack 1 may not be adding many features, but it sure does take up a lot of space.
Based on current test versions, the operating system update will be a 1GB file when uncompressed. By way of comparison, Windows XP--the whole thing--shipped on a CD, which only holds about three quarters of a gigabyte. On the plus side, systems that already have the latest Vista patches can be brought up to the Service Pack 1 level with only a 50MB compressed file through Microsoft's online Windows Update utility.
Also notable, installing the OS will … Read more
It is fascinating to see how people are using open source. I'm part of the "old guard" of open source, I suppose, delivering an open-source alternative to a tired market ripe for commoditization and innovation. But other companies, like OpenAds (open-source advertising server), Path Intelligence (tracking shopper flow based on the open-source GNU radio), Chumby (open-source consumer electronics/hardware), etc. are taking open source into new markets.
Today, I was fortunate to meet one of the most interesting open-source companies I've seen in a long, long time: Marketcetera. Marketcetera provides an open-source trading platform that hedge funds and others use to process and deliver trades through a brokerage to an exchange (like NASDAQ). It's like proprietary, expensive FlexTrade, only not proprietary...or expensive.
The market for this kind of platform is not huge today, as the founders, Toli Kuznets and Graham Miller, told me today (roughly $500 million for custom development, but probably not including packaged software like FlexTrade). But with more and more trading moving from people to algorithmic processes (30-40% in the US today, jumping to 50-60% by the end of the decade), the market will grow accordingly.
Besides, I can think of a range of other uses for this sort of technology beyond hedge funds.… Read more
Need to take out a book depository? This U.S. Secret Service Urban Assault SUV should do the trick.
The GMC-mounted mini-gun accompanies the presidential cavalcade, at least here at home. Apparently it's not a welcome guest in some host countries. England, for instance, asked the prez to leave his miniguns at home. Note the rotating turret.
The days of PayPal's dominance over casual payments online are changing rapidly. A little over a year ago, Google unveiled its Checkout service, which has become an increasingly popular way to purchase items from various online retailers using a single account. Today, Amazon.com is unveiling its own payment program that lets Amazon.com users purchase items or services using their Amazon.com account credentials and billing information.
Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie provided a fresh take of the technical components at the heart of its online services push on Thursday.
During the next 12 to 18 months, Microsoft will introduce software and hosted services designed to enhance its current product line and derive more revenue from advertising-supported Web services, Ozzie said.
Echoing comments he made in an interview with CNET News.com earlier this year, he said Microsoft is preparing a … Read more
After Amazon.com reported a 250 percent leap in second-quarter profits on Tuesday, CEO Jeff Bezos plugged its Amazon Web Services business and shined some light on the company's rationale for continued investment in it.
In response to a question from a financial analyst about the traction on the company's hosted computing and e-commerce Web services, Bezos argued for Amazon's long-term commitment to the nascent business.
"So we're very optimistic about the long-term potential. It's still very early, but we're working very hard on this, and we think it's, in the long-term, … Read more
Savio has a point, much as I don't want to admit it. However, it might not be the point he's thinking that he's making. Or, rather, the data points to an entirely different point.
Wayne Waddoups of SAIC sent this slide deck along to me from a presentation delivered by Michael Cusumanoa (MIT) at Carnegie Mellon University, and I found it fascinating. The data clearly shows a (strong) decline in enterprise software sales over the last few years, with the only exceptions being "hits" and "platform leaders." In other words, those who get lucky and those who have built a massive lock-in ecosystem.
As shown, software is clearly on the decline, while services revenue is on a strong upswing. This, as Cusumanoa posits, may well lead the industry to invest in the next big area of innovation: Services innovation.… Read more
IBM on Wednesday reported strong revenue and income growth for second quarter 2007, in a sign that the company has improved profitability in its giant professional services division.
Excluding a one-time gain from the sale of its printing division, IBM reported diluted earnings of $1.50 per share, beating analysts' expectations by 3 cents.
A 10 percent increase in Global Services helped fuel second-quarter revenue of $23.8 billion. Income rose 8 percent to $2.2 billion, excluding an $81 million windfall from the sale of its printing division.
IBM Software--a crucial part of its revenue growth strategy as IBM … Read more
If you were paying attention to Crave back in March, you may recall my first expedition to South by Southwest. While I was there, I attended a panel titled The Ultimate Music Recommendation Smackdown, which turned out to be much more letdown than smackdown. Based on the description of the panel, I was expecting a competition of sorts between various Internet-based music recommendation engines, such as Pandora and Last.fm. Unfortunately, there was no real competing and, well, that's just kind of sad, don't you think? Me, too. So I decided to take things into my own hands … Read more