Friday, May 30, 2008

Is Microsoft Repeating Vista Mistakes with Windows 7?

In the world of technology, success is linked to perceptions. Microsoft its multi-touch technology in a Windows 7 demo at the D: All Things Digital conference this week, and the software giant may have hoped to overcome the perception that Apple owns touchscreen interfaces. Instead, some observers are wondering if Microsoft is making the same mistakes that now plague Windows Vista.

"We are always looking for new ways to deliver great experiences for our customers," Chris Flores wrote on the Windows Vista blog. "This is especially true of Windows -- where we're constantly examining trends in hardware, software and services to ensure that we continue to drive the innovation."

Copying Apple

But Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch, is among those who are scratching their heads about Microsoft's moves this week. He has one overarching question after viewing the demo: Is Redmond making the mistakes it made with Vista all over again?

"Some of the mistakes Microsoft made with Vista were talking up the next version of Windows way too early, showing off features out of context with the rest of the operating system," Gartenberg said. "The second mistake was focusing so much on multi-touch."

Apple didn't invent touchscreen technology. In fact, Microsoft was working on the concept long before Apple publicly demonstrated its efforts. However, touchscreen technology has become almost synonymous with Apple and the iPhone, Gartenberg said, and he wonders why Microsoft is showing off a feature that makes the company appear as if it is copying Apple instead of innovating on its own.

"Yes, Microsoft wants to recapture the notion that Apple didn't invent multi-touch, that they have their own implementation of it, but is that really the right way to go about this?" Gartenberg asked. "It's a perception issue. It makes Microsoft look like it is chasing after Apple. Microsoft probably is working on some innovative technology in the back room somewhere that they could have shown off at this conference, and didn't."More>>

Monday, May 26, 2008

Microsoft loses a Zune retailer

GameStop, a leading video game retailer, has decided that it will no longer stock Microsoft's Zune players, citing poor sales. And while I don't quite agree with my fellow-blogger Don Reisinger

that this is the beginning of the end for Zune, it's hard to see any silver lining in the news.

Microsoft's entry into the consumer electronics space came with a thorny channel problem. Microsoft sells the vast majority of its products through PC makers, who bundle Windows (and often Office and other software) on new PCs, and through well-established partners who specialize in selling to large organizations and businesses. Microsoft had a retail channel for selling Windows and Office upgrades and other consumer products (like Money, Encarta, and keyboards and mice), but for the most part these products were sold through computer specialty stores like CompUSA. To succeed in capturing a broader audience, Microsoft had to broaden its retail channel.

The Xbox business helped take care of that problem: once Microsoft proved that it was serious about developing and promoting the first Xbox, and once it began to show reasonable sales figures, a new class of retailers--including game-specialty stores like GameStop--were happy to make shelf space for Microsoft's consoles and games, right alongside Sony and Nintendo.

These retail partners are an important part of Microsoft's Zune strategy. Microsoft figured that the mostly young male audience who buys game consoles and games might be a natural fit for a new MP3 player from the same company that produces the Xbox.

Apparently, after giving it a year and a half, GameStop has found that's not the case. Looking at recent NPD figures, it's easy to see why--compared with the first Xbox, the product just isn't moving nearly as many units (2 million in 18 months) or capturing enough market share. Moreover, if a retailer sells a customer a console, that customer might come back again and again for games. Where's the equivalent attach for Zune? Peripherals, maybe, but I don't think a customer will buy 10 periperhals at $60 a pop like they might with games over a console's lifetime.More>>

Google Docs the Latest Spam Vehicle

Spammers have proven themselves as creative as they are tenacious. We've seen image spam, PDF spam and MP3 spam, and now the latest trick involves using Google Docs to get by spam filters.

Sending attachments like JPGs or Word .doc files has proven less than successful when compared to just sending the user a link in the hopes they will click on it, but spam with just a URL isn't foolproof, either. Spam filters have relied on checking the links in e-mails and blocking them based on suspicious Web addresses.

So by adopting Google Docs, spammers gain the credibility of Google's domain, since no spam blocker is going to automatically declare a Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) link to be spam. That's what they are hoping for, according to Matt Sergeant, an Anti-Spam Technologist at MessageLabs, which found the new misuse of Google Docs.More>>

Microsoft to end Web search program for digitized books

Microsoft Corp. is ending a program that lets Web users search through digital versions of books, ceding the market to Google Inc.

The move will allow Microsoft to focus on other types of Internet searches, such as travel listings, Senior Vice President Satya Nadella said in a blog posting Friday. Spokesman Scott Trepanier declined to say how much Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft had spent on the book project.

"We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners," Nadella said.

Microsoft is making changes to its Internet business as it chooses battles with Google, owner of the dominant search engine. Microsoft said this week that it would offer rebates to shoppers who buy products through its search system, taking a different tack from Google's.

The company started making digital copies of out-of-print books in December 2006, later making deals with publishers to scan their books, after Google started a similar program with libraries. The Microsoft program digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles, Nadella said.

The book-search site didn't get enough users to justify Microsoft's investment, said Clifford Guren, the company's senior director of publisher evangelism for the project. Major publishers are digitizing their own books, he said.

"We had to ask if it was right for us to do this or the publishers," Guren said. "For the publishers, it is in their long-term best interest."

Microsoft owns the third-most-popular U.S. search engine, trailing Google and Yahoo Inc., according to research firm ComScore Inc.

Google's book-search project, which began in 2004, works with Harvard University, the New York Public Library and other organizations to scan books. The company also works with about 10,000 publishers to digitize their books.

Google is "absolutely" continuing the project, spokeswoman Jennie Johnson said in an e-mail.

Though Google hasn't detailed how it will turn book searches into a profitable business, it could use the feature to run ads alongside query results or to share profits with publishers when users buy books or portions of books, said Jim Milliot, news editor at Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

eCommerce Shopping Cart with Easy Setup

Nowadays there is lot of Shopping Cart products available in the market to choose for our website. Choosing a better shopping cart will result in the increase of your sales and profit. Badly designed shopping cart makes user unhappy and then he runaway from your website. I have been reviewing few shopping carts for my client and I find one product with more user friendly features.

The product name is Boss Cart eCommerce softwares. They are specialised in eCommerce shopping basket system development for small to medium sized enterprises. A common website owner needs a basic shopping cart, but to survive in the competition website owners looking for more customized softwares where they can set the preferences and customize according to their business requirements. Boss Cart provides custom shopping basket to fulfil the every webmasters.Also they are providing a free shopping cart with basic features. This will be more suitable for very small webmasters where they can't afford spending more money to buy the shopping cart.

If you are a experienced webmaster with lots of transaction running on your site, then you would think about spending some money to setup a advanced shopping cart with more features. Boss Cart provides premium php shopping cart with 30 Days money back guarantee. It has some good features like Search engine friendly,Social marketing enabled,Advanced spam control,Supports over 20,000 products,etc.

These are the requirements to Install:
* Apache 1.3x or Apache 2.x Server
* PHP 4.2x (Recommended the 4.3.4 Stable) or the PHP 5.x (recommended stable version)
* Zlib, SSL, XML, mySQL support
* MySQL 3.23 (Recommended 4.x) or 5.x (stable)
* about 20 Mbyte space (it will dynamical grow in accordance with the product number)

What makes Google better than Microsoft?

Read the excerpts from Microsoft and Google's letter to the investors:
Microsoft CEO says
"Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer, and content partner. For example, this past Wednesday we announced our strategy to focus on verticals with high commercial intent, such as travel, and offer users cash back on their purchases from our advertisers."

Google Founders says

"Our goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. In pursuing this goal, we may do things that we believe have a positive impact on the world, even if the near term financial returns are not obvious. For example, we make our services as widely available as we can by supporting over 90 languages and by providing most services for free," wrote Google's founders in the IPO letter.

From the above statement its obvious that Microsoft focus only on making more profit rather satisfying the customer need. One example is the recent launch of Cash Back Live Search that pays money for users. Also MS has closed their book search engine because it doesn't pour $$.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Top 10 Firefox 3 Features

The newest version of our favorite open source web browser, Mozilla Firefox 3, offers dozens of new features and fixes, but only a handful will make the most dramatic difference in your everyday browsing. After 17 months of alphas and betas, Mozilla's finally made a feature-complete release candidate available, so it's time to spotlight the biggest improvements that will make "Gran Paradiso" the browser to beat. Nearly everything in the open-source app has gotten a second look from the minds at Mozilla, from back buttons to bookmarks, address bars to add-ons, passwords to performance, and the changes will make Firefox 3 worth the upgrade come its official release date, slated for sometime next month. Let's take a look at the 10 best upgrades in Firefox 3, and how they'll bolster your browsing, after the jump.

10. Souped-up Add-ons manager

9. More intuitive interface overall

8. Stronger phishing and malware protection

7. Improved download manager

6. Native looks for every system

5. Streamlined "Remember password" handling

4. Smart bookmarks

3. Places Organizer replaces the Bookmark Manager

2. Smart Location Bar learns how you browse

1.Insanely improved performance

Read the full article here

HDFC Bank agrees to buy Centurion Bank

HDFC Bank, India's third-biggest lender by market capitalisation, agreed on Saturday to buy Centurion Bank of Punjab in an all-share deal in the nation's biggest financial sector buyout.

The boards of the two banks will meet on Feb 25 to consider the share swap ratio and again on Feb 28 to finalise the details of the merger, a joint statement from the lenders said. The two first announced plans for the merger late on Friday.

"The two Boards have resolved to pursue the merger subject to satisfactory due diligence, a fair share-swap ratio and all the requisite statutory, regulatory and corporate approvals," the statement said. It did not give a value for the deal.

According to Times News Network the deal may value Centurion's shares at 57 rupees each, or roughly the price at which they closed on Thursday after jumping 14 percent on the day as speculation of a deal intensified.

Ernst & Young and Dalal & Shah have been appointed to determine the share swap ratio, HDFC Bank said in a statement to the stock exchange. The merger will create a bank with 1,148 branches, surpassing second largest lender ICICI Bank's 955 branches.

Centurion had 394 branches and HDFC Bank 754 branches as on Dec. 31 2007, the statement said. However, the merged entity's total advances of about 870 billion rupees ($21.7 billion) are far lower than ICICI's 2.2 trillion rupees. The merger will allow HDFC Bank to extend its reach in the country before a central bank review next year that may allow foreign banks such as Citigroup and Standard Chartered to buy Indian lenders.

Indian banks, led by State Bank of India and ICICI, the top two by market value, are raising funds to expand ahead of the review and to meet the demands from an economy that has grown at an average of 8.6 percent over the last four years.

State Bank is raising $4.2 billion in a rights share issue, HDFC Bank plans to sell bonds worth up to $1 billion and ICICI sold $5 billion of shares in June, eyeing rapid growth in the fragmented Indian banking sector. HDFC Bank and Centurion, which got banking licenses in the mid-1990s, are among the few to have acquired local rivals. HDFC Bank bought Times Bank from media publisher Bennett Coleman & Co in 2000.

While Centurion, which was rescued by buyout firm Sabre Capital in 2003 after major losses, has bought Bank of Punjab and Lord Krishna Bank. Bank Muscat owns 14.02 percent and Sabre Capital 3.74 percent of Centurion as on Dec. 31, stock exchange data showed.

Centurion Bank shares, which ended one percent down on Friday valuing the bank at 105 billion rupees, have risen 13 percent since Feb. 20. HDFC Bank shares have lost 4 percent in the same period.

Windows 7: The information lockdown

Why is so little known about the next version of Microsoft Windows?

Microsoft is maintaining a cloak of silence around its next major release of Windows. ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan talks with blogger colleagues Mary Jo Foley, editor of All about Microsoft, and Ed Bott, editor of Microsoft Report, about the road map for Windows 7, including feature sets, timelines, partners, OEMs, and marketing. The beta for the new operating system is due in late 2008. The bloggers predict that Windows 7 will launch earlier than 2010, its anticipated release date.More>>

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Internet FAQ from 2085

What was the internet?

The internet and the world web was a computing system to transfer human information. Scientists have based its beginning to the years 1920 to 1940.

What was electromail?

Electromail was another transport protocol to transfer human information, but it was quickly discontinued as it caused misunderstandings due to lack of correctly representing emotions.

What were world web sites?

A so-called world web site consisted of an address of its owner to locate their physical business location, as well as other miscellaneous transmitting of human information that was considered important at the time. The protocol used to decode the information was called hypertext, and as its standards changed quickly over the years, it is impossible to decode most of the information contained within.

I noticed the word “NSFW” in a world web sites museum displaying hypertext reproductions. What does it mean?

Scientific research at the late Mars Research Laboratory came to the conclusion that NSFW announced the display of a widely popular human called Britneyspears in the 1970s. Why warnings were issued before the viewing of this human is unclear.

Did the world web have version numbers?

Yes. In the beginning, the world web was numbered from 1 to 10, with most people considering world web 8 to be the first stable release. Afterwards, the world web received code names for each new version, like “Omega Sun” or the popular “Happy Happy Rabbit" release.More>>

Microsoft Should Know Money Can’t Buy Love

The rap on Microsoft is that it copies everyone else’s good ideas. That may be too kind. I think it also copies a lot of proven bad ideas. To wit, Microsoft’s latest move to offer shopping rebates to people who use its Internet search service.

You can see why Microsoft would want to do this: It has too much money and not enough customers, so why not pay people to use its services? Sometimes putting money into creating value for your customers is a great strategy. For an example, see Amazon’s decision to subsidize free shipping rather than buy television ads.

But Microsoft’s approach is wrongheaded. First, it’s not really about the main market for search. Price comparison shopping is a good service, but a relatively modest market, with none of the independent sites — like eBay’s — or the services of search engines — like Google’s Product Search — really taking off.

More importantly, history has proven that you can’t build a mass Internet business by buying customers with cash or rewards. I’ve seen hundreds of companies that have tried versions of this. There was AllAdvantage, a company that wanted to pay people to surf the Web and see ads. There are all kinds of bonus and reward programs, like the now defunct Netcentives, which offered airline miles for online shopping, and Upromise, which takes a cut of purchases and kicks it into a college savings account.More>>

Microsoft looking to buy Yahoo search

Rather than make an all-out acquisition, Microsoft Corp. has proposed buying Yahoo Inc.'s search business and taking a minority stake in the company, according to a report.

The complex deal, reported Tuesday by Reuters citing an anonymous source, would also involve Yahoo putting its Asian assets, which include sizable stakes in Yahoo Japan and China's Alibaba Group, up for sale.

The two companies revealed the talks on the weekend but declined to reveal terms of the discussions, Reuters said. The proposal represents Microsoft's current thinking and does not yet put a value on Yahoo's search business, according to the source, who the news agency said was not authorized to speak on the record because the discussions are confidential.More>>

Namakkal girl is State topper

TWO years after she brought laurels to her weaving hamlet, getting the state first rank in SSLC examinations, R Dharani of Pallipalayam, Namakkal, has done it again.

Daughter of a weaver, Dharani has bagged the first rank in the Plus Two examinations, scoring 1,182 out of 1,200. The student of Vikas Girls Higher Secondary School, Thiruchengode, scored three centums — in chemistry, mathematics and biology — besides 199 in Physics, 193 in Tamil and 190 in English. Her father runs a powerloom unit in Pallipalayam. According to her chemistry teacher, Dharani used to be very attentive in the classroom and is a very hardworking student.

Dharani made it clear, “Bagging the first rank is no accident, but result of a conscious effort,” she said. Dharani, who is also interested in chess, wants to become a doctor, but hasn’t decided the specialisation.

Can Dell be as cool as Apple?

The news that Apple now commands a massive 66% of the market share of PCs costing more than $1,000 and 14% of the overall market mush have sent shivers through some of the big OEMs. Part of Apple’s runaway success has to be down to the fact that the company and its products are seen as being cool and stylish. Could an OEM like Dell ever be as cool and as stylish as Apple?

Over the weekend my daughter showed me the new Dell Inspiron notebook. Overall it’s a nice machine that does everything she wants it to do (email, Facebook, IM, bit of gaming, photo storage …), but there’s no way that I’d say that the system had a tenth of the cool or style of an Apple system. Sure, she had bought one with a purple shell, and Dell had thoughtfully set the desktop background to match, but beyond that it was just a notebook. The build quality was average and the feel of the notebook was average. But then that’s the problem - most OEMs feel that average is enough. Compared to a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, the Dell looks and feels awfully generic.More>>

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Microsoft CEO's egg attack

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, was heckled and had eggs thrown at him during a lecture to university students at the Corvinus University in Budapest. More>>

What's next for Apple? We think it's the remote

What's one of the most hated electronics on the planet? The universal remote.

While companies like Logitech have made great advances in making these electronics devices easier to set up and use, for the average individual, anything with an LCD screen and more than 10 buttons can be daunting.

Apple, which has a history of making complicated devices a simpler affair, could be the next company to take a stab at dominating the third-party remote control market. The company has a good track record of venturing into fields where others have gone for more, and succeeded in offering less. For example, the iPod's click wheel, which was introduced with the advent of the iPod mini married two sets of controls in one. Also, the mighty mouse--Apple's current pack-in for iMacs and Mac Pro towers took the idea of a multi-button mouse and disguised it as a single button device.More>>

iPhone 3G Launch Date Confirmed

We all suspected it, but now it is confirmed: someone very, very close to the 3G iPhone launch has told me that Apple will announce their new model at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th. The second-generation iPhone will be available worldwide right after the launch, and not at year's end, as previously thought. The new model will also herald new sales policies in some countries.

In Spain, for example, the 3G iPhone will be available for sale at the June 18th grand opening of Telefonica's megastore—an Apple Store-like shop located in the company's historical building in Madrid's Gran Vía— with nationwide availability the next day or after a few hours. The other European countries with iPhone availability will have similar launch schedules.

According to another source involved in the launch, the 3G iPhone will no longer be available at a fixed price point—at least in some countries, and its launch will also bring new sales policies, although these have not been completely specified yet.More>>

Will Android have a tougher time than expected?

Access Co has been developing its own Linux ecosystem for years, and when it purchased Palm Source in 2005 it was expected that mobile Linux would go mainstream.

Unfortunately little has happened and at this year’s Wireless Developers Forum, Access had great ideas but little to show.

So Android should have a clear run. However the industry is following a different path led by LiMo, an association which includes many Android supporters plus a number of major networks and developers.

This is now a race between Google’s Open Handset Alliance and LiMo. In that case Android and HTC will be the winners.

The Tug of War Begins Again: Microsoft and Yahoo Having a Fresh Round of Talks

Two weeks after saying no to the Yahoo demands, Microsoft is back on the negotiation table with a new deal

The world’s biggest software giant and the world’s second biggest Internet search company are back on the negotiation table.

A fortnight ago, Microsoft had backed out of the offer made to Yahoo! saying that it had given up the idea of this acquisition.

The facts that Jerry Yang, Yahoo! CEO, had asked Microsoft to up its initial offer of $ 47.5 million and that the share prices of the search company fell by 15% consequently are said to have led to Microsoft’s saying a firm’ No’.

Two weeks down the line, they are back together, discussing how to work out a deal that would be mutually beneficial.

However, this time round, Microsoft is not seeking complete control over Yahoo!, while still reserving the right to a complete buy-out at a later date.

If this deal goes through successfully, Yahoo! would be able to retain some of its stake and therefore its control over the company.More>>

India's top IT companies hire less

Last year something unprecedented happened in the top Indian software companies. As a bunch, they hired less number of people in 2007-08 than they did the previous year.

For years, the burden on the recruiters in India's top six IT companies - TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, Satyam and HCL Tech - has been going only up and up. If they hired 100 people one year, they could safely assume that they will have to hire anywhere between 125 to 150 people the next.

But, last year they had to hire only 97. These six companies made addition of 89,868 people in 2007-08, about 2500 less than 92,412 people they hired dur-ing the previous year.

Going by early indications, this year could be as bad. In the earnings call, none of the companies have been very enthusiastic on the hiring front. Engineering colleges, traditionally the recruitment bastion for IT companies, are feeling the pinch already and they expect the campus intake to come down by at least 15-20% this year. More>>

10 Truths About Tom Cruise

After two years of battling bad PR, courtesy of his own couch-jumping and weirdly devout ways, Tom Cruise's image rehab is officially underway.

Monday's second hour of Oprah's Tom Cruise fest was, well, enh. Unlike Friday's visit to the Colorado Cruise compound (Tom Shales reviewed part one in yesterday's paper) -- complete with a peek inside Tom's inner sanctum and a visit from Suri -- yesterday's in-studio visit had all the charm of an infomercial: enthusiastic sales pitches, marketing posters and an audience of rabid believers.

Still, it isn't every day we get to study the elusive Mr. Cruise for the better part of an hour and, never one to squander a chance to flop in front of a TV for 60 whole minutes, I watched. And, because this is how I work people, I took notes -- resulting in the following list of Tom Cruise Truths, a sort of recitation of realizations about the actor who [brainwashing begin] has been entertaining us for 25 whole years! Please buy the box set![brainswashing end]: More>>

Xerox plans the future of today

A rare glimpse of the future has been given by Xerox at its famed Palo Alto Research Centre (Xerox Parc).

On show were a handful of innovations including re-usable paper, environmentally friendly plastic, solar power, water filtering and a cell detection method that could help save lives.

Sophie Vandebroek, chief technology officer at Parc, told BBC News: "I think it is extremely critical to continuously come up with innovative ideas and work with your partners to turn them into innovations that the customers of the world can benefit from.

"If you stand still you become obsolete."

Xerox along with commercial partners, universities and the government spends $1.5bn (£754m) on research and development at Parc and other research centres around the world.

Ms Vandebroek said this was just the tip of the iceberg and that she found it hard to choose just one project as a favourite to show journalists.

"It's like picking between your children," she said.

"We picked 10 out of many more projects that are happening in the world today. The ones we have chosen today are among the newest, that are important to our customers and critical to the future of Xerox and they really enable a sustainable world. So that is really what Xerox and Parc is all about."

Parc is something of a shrine to innovation. Over the years it has given us ethernet, laser printing and pioneered the idea of ubiquitous computing. Today Xerox is hoping some of these innovations will have just as great an impact on our world and its bank balance.More>>

Hollywood stars in movie deal with billionaire Anil Ambani

HOLLYWOOD'S biggest stars have struck a deal with the world's sixth richest man to make movies.

Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Nicolas Cage, above, along with Tom Hanks and Jim Carey will produce10 films with Indian billionaire Anil Ambani.

Film-makers Chris Columbus and Jay Roach have also signed up with Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment.

Ambani earned £12.2billion last year and is worth £21.5billion.

Criticism for 'UK database' plan

Plans for a super-database containing the details of all phone calls and e-mails sent in the UK have been heavily criticised by experts.

The government is considering the changes as part of its ongoing fight against serious crime and terrorism.

Assistant Information Commissioner Jonathan Bamford has warned that the UK could be "sleepwalking into a surveillance society".

Others have questioned how such a database could be made secure.

Public confidence

"While the public is "sleepwalking" into a surveillance society, the government seems to have its eyes wide open although, unfortunately, to everything except security," said Jamie Cowper, data protection expert at data protection firm PGP Corporation.

"The bottom line is - information of this nature should only be held if - and only if - it can be demonstrated that an appropriate system of checks and balances is in place and the security of the information being stored is of paramount concern," he added.

Public confidence in the governments' ability to look after data has been dented in recent months with high profile failures, including the loss of a CD carrying all the personal details of every child benefit claimant.

The latest plans being mulled by the Home Office will form part of the proposed Communications Bill, which is due to be considered by MPs later this year.

It is, said a Home Office spokesman, crucial "to ensure that public authorities have access to communications data essential for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime purposes."More>>

$100 laptop platform moves on

An independent effort to develop the software originally designed for the $100 laptop has been launched.

Sugar Labs will take the laptop's innovative interface, known as Sugar, to the "next level of usability and utility", according to its founders.

It is intended that the free software will be made available on other PCs, such as the popular Asus Eee.

The launch comes after the announcement that the group behind the $100 laptop has joined forces with Microsoft.

The deal means that One Laptop per Child (OLPC) will now offer the low cost laptops with Windows XP, as well as an open source alternative.

It will also continue to offer the Sugar educational interface that the new foundation intends to continue to develop.

"We will continue to work with OLPC but we will also work with other manufacturers," explained Sugar Labs founder Walter Bender.

"Hopefully it will mean that these ideas will get out there faster and to a broader community."More>>

IT Workers Weigh In on Health Habits

Feeling a little, shall we say, sluggish lately? You might be among the vast ranks of IT workers who have put on some extra heft while sitting at their desks.

A study by found that half of U.S. IT workers have gained weight at their current jobs.

The study, which polled nearly 7,700 participants from Feb. 11 through March 13, found that 34 percent of IT workers report they have gained more than 10 pounds in their current positions. Even more alarming, 17 percent say they have put on more than 20 pounds!

Who knew managed services could be hazardous to your health? While the study doesn't specify anything about workers monitoring customer systems remotely, come on, you've got to admit that keeping an eye on a customer's systems from miles away by staring at computer screens surely produces far less sweat than even the minimal amount of walking to and from the truck a technician drives to a customer site for troubleshooting.

But let's not get crazy. The channel shouldn't turn its back on managed services just because that back is getting a few inches wider.

Perhaps a little more exercise during the day will do the trick, or taking better stock of what you eat. That is, if the extra weight bothers you. Hey, some people might enjoy the extra girth - who knows?More>>

iMac turns 10

It was ten years ago today that Steve Jobs mounted the Flint Center auditorium near Apple's campus and revealed the product that would save Apple, and become the best selling computer of all time: the iMac. It is hard to believe that this cute little guy is ten years old, but it is true.

The original iMac came stocked with a 233MHz G3, 32MB of SDRAM (though you could bump it up to a whopping 128MB), a 4 gig harddrive, 2 USB ports, a CD-ROM drive (not a CD burner, Apple was late to that party), and an IrDA port. These specs might not make your heart skip a beat nowadays, but the iMac is the product that started Apple's amazing turn around. It was the first mainstream computer to break with the past and offer only USB ports, no legacy connectors here. And it is worth noting that the iMac can also be attributed as the killer of the floppy disk.

I recall the howls from the tech community about the iMac's lack of a floppy drive. 'People love their floppies!' 'This is nothing more than an expensive toy!' All charges leveled against the iMac, but the decision actually helped create a market for USB accessories as most people bought their iMac and a USB floppy drive (I know I did. I used that floppy drive twice: once to make sure it worked, and another time to copy a file).More>>

How to make work Firefox 2.0 Add-Ons Work With Firefox 3.0

If you're like me, you've been playing around with the beta releases of Firefox 3.0. The new version of the open source browser is better-looking, uses less memory, and feels snappier all around. There's just one problem: Every time they release a new beta version, some of your extensions and add-ons are bound to stop working. With the release of Firefox 3.0rc1, almost none of them work.

Fortunately, there is a solution that will "fix" all of your extensions at once. But I caution you, it's not for the weak-hearted. The fix doesn't take longer than a few seconds, but when it comes to troubleshooting your browser afterward, you'll be on your own.

I can't repeat this enough. DO NOT TRY THIS unless you are comfortable editing the advanced preferences of your browser. And don't do anything until you've read through this entire post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

In my experience, extensions that worked with Firefox 3.0b5 will generally be stable with 3.0rc1. It is possible, however, that some of them will cause the new version of the browser to crash. It might even crash on startup -- which means, obviously, that you won't easily be able to undo the fix I'm about to describe.

The key to the fix is to prevent Firefox from checking its version number before it tries to load extensions. To do this, you will need to set a new preference value. Point your browser at the URL "about:config", then right-click on the preferences list to bring up the contextual menu. You should see an option that says "New." Select that, and choose "Boolean." When it asks you for the preference name, type "extensions.checkCompatibility" (without the quotes). You have to enter the name exactly. For the value, choose "false."

Now restart Firefox. When the browser comes back up, it should give you a warning that version checking is disabled. You can double-check under "Tools:Add-Ons" to make sure everything is activated once again.

If the worst case happens and the browser won't start after you add the new preference, you'll need to remove it by hand. Locate the file "prefs.js" within your Firefox profile directory and edit it with any text file editor to delete the line with the preference you just created. (If you're not comfortable doing that, then as I've said, this fix is probably not for you.)

Also, you'll want to remember to delete the preference once the final version of Firefox 3.0 is released, or else you'll never be certain that your installation is stable.

Apple cleaning up in $1,000-plus retail market

Apple's doing well in the high-rent district of the computer industry, according to NPD.

On Friday eWeek published some data confirmed by NPD that reveals Apple now owns 66 percent of the U.S. retail market for personal computers that cost more than $1,000. Its percentage of the U.S. retail market in general is 14 percent, according to NPD.

Apple only sells one Mac below $1,000--the Mac mini--so it's not all that surprising that it would do well in that category, given the momentum behind Mac sales over the past year. By contrast, the single largest category of notebooks available at Best Buy--when sorted by price--falls between $700 and $899. And two-thirds of the desktops on the site are priced below $1,000.

These numbers don't include an awful lot of sales--such as corporate PCs that account for about half the market, and online-heavy sellers such as Dell--but tend to illustrate trends in the U.S. PC market over time. Apple only had about 18 percent of the same category in January 2006, according to Fortune. That was the same month Apple introduced its first Intel-based Mac.

This is a profitable category, however, that all PC companies covet. Those PC companies may be reaching corporate customers at those price points, but Apple is dominating the consumer half of the high end.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wipro becomes First SAP® Partner to Launch Innovative Solutions Lab

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited (NYSE:WIT) today announced an agreement with SAP AG, through which it established a closer collaboration and an increased focus on customer adoption of SAP® solutions. Under this agreement, Wipro has invested in a state-of-the-art Solutions Lab, through which it is building “Industry Networks” to help companies leverage industry best practices and templates on SAP’s business process platform.

The Solutions Lab will help customers evaluate SAP solutions, build proof of concepts, and leverage adoption infrastructure to “test drive” solutions before making their buying decisions. Members of this lab will work closely with members of the SAP Co-Innovation Lab and other SAP collaborative communities such as the Industry Value Network program.

“Wipro has traditionally taken a lead in embracing enterprise SOA and creating composites on SAP’s platform to deliver value to customers,” said Manfred Heil, senior vice president, Global Ecosystem and Partner Group, SAP AG. “In particular, the use of collaborative Web 2.0 technologies will help to accelerate the accessibility and adoption of SAP’s business process platform.”

Leveraging Wipro’s thought leadership around SAP solutions and its investment in the Solutions Lab, Wipro has extended the accessibility, collaboration and adoption through use of Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis and virtual worlds like Second Life.

Speaking on the occasion, Sangita Singh, senior vice president, Wipro Technologies said, “Wipro sees its investment in the Solutions Lab and efforts in building Industry Networks as an extension towards applied innovation. We are sure that such collaboration with SAP will go a long way in helping our customers derive maximum potential from their current and planned IT investments.”

The latest on ‘Dasavatharam’

Film buffs may not know how many of the 10 avatars in ‘Dasavatharam’ actor Kamal Haasan is done with, but titbits about the film have been doing the rounds among his fans’ circle.

An official press release issued by the crew recently said two songs remained to be shot and that the audio launch would be held this month. The songs will be shot in Chennai at sets art director Thotta Tharani has been constructing at a cost of Rs. 3 crore. Himesh Reshammiya has scored the music for the film.

Kamal Hassan is said to have given 10 different variations to his voice while dubbing for the characters he plays and heroine actor Asin has also dubbed for her role for the first time. The film, earlier perceived as a possible comedy, is said to have become a completely performance-oriented script. With veteran actor Nagesh, who has performed with Kamal in many of his comedies, including ‘Avvai Shanmugi’ and ‘Panchathantiram’, playing a role in the film, the audience may be surprised by an interesting comedy track.

Actors Napolean, Mallika Sherawat, Jayapradha and Rekha, and directors P. Vasu and Ramesh Khanna are among the other actors.

Kamal Hassan has paid attention to the action sequences that have been choreographed by U.S.-based Joop Katana and Andy Dixon, apart from Kanal Kannan and others. The crew began shooting the film in Chennai, and then went to Malaysia, United States and came back to Pichavaram. Eager fans are said to have spotted the crew at different parts of the city, including the Chintadripet MRTS railway station and Nehru Indoor Stadium.

With all this buzz on the one side, what does Kamal have to say? “The fact that the Chief Minister enjoyed the pictures with enthusiasm and pinched my cheek with affection is equivalent to celebrating the success of ‘Dasavatharam’ with a huge function,” he has said in the press release.

Dasavatharam - Costliest Movie ever made in India

Kamal Haasan starrer “Dasavatharam” has overshot its Rs.1.3 billion budget and becomes the costliest Indian film to be ever made, said sources. “Friday’s much hyped trip of Jackie Chan to Chennai on a chartered flight had cost Rs.100 million to the producer and has added to the total cost that has now gone beyond Rs.1.4 billion, said sources close to producer “Oscar” Ravichandran.

The producer, however, is not said to be complaining.

“Since top stars from Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Mallika Sherawat were present, the worldwide publicity generated has contributed more to the movie’s Hindi release than what we actually ended up spending,” the source added.

Unfortunately, there was chaos at the film’s audio launch function last week in Chennai. Dozens of people, including journalists, were injured when police cane-charged frenzied crowds at the star-studded event.

“Any news is good news. Despite spending all this money, there were no pictures of our shy producer Ravichandran. And there is no mention of his apologising to anyone anywhere,” said a publicist associated with the film, referring to the mismanagement of the audio release function.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Google Health Launches

After a year and a half since the first announcement, the much-anticipated Google Health has been released at Google Factory Tour of Search. "Patients need to be able to better coordinate and manage their own health information. We believe that patients should control and own their own health information, and should be able to do so easily," said Adam Bosworth in November 2006.

Google Started Blurring Street View Faces

Google updated the panorama photo imagery of Manhattan as part of Google Maps, and for this update also blurred the faces of persons shown in the pictures. Google at their maps-related blog writes, “This effort has been a year in the making – working at Street View-scale is a tough challenge that required us to advance state-of-the-art automatic face detection, and we continue working hard to improve it as we roll it out for our existing and future imagery.” (Google already uses face recognition technology in Google images, by the way – just tick “faces” in the advanced options.) More>>

Edit Google Spreadsheet With Everyone

Ionut Alex. Chitu reports you can now edit a spreadsheet with anyone who knows the URL, as an option, and not just people with a Google account which you invite. To set this up, start at Google Docs and click New Spreadsheet. Prepare your data and hit the Share tab; now configure the “Anyone can [edit] this without logging in” box, and share the URL Google provides you with. Ionut says, “your spreadsheet becomes a wiki.” More>>

Will Gmail Get Themes?

A source is telling me that Gmail will get themes – custom layouts to personalize Google’s web mail client. According to the source, the launch of this may happen within the next months. There will be 12 themes to pick from, according to this information, like a black-and-green “terminal” view, as well as a flowery view.

Already, using third-party tools like Greasemonkey or custom user stylesheets, you are able to add skins to Gmail... but officially, you can only toggle Gmail views like mobile, classic HTML, or normal.More>>

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The future of the Firefox address bar

I had an interesting discussion today about Firefox with Mozilla's Mike Schroepfer and Mike Beltzner. One of the things we drilled into a bit was the address bar in Firefox 3 (download). It's being called the "awesome bar" at Mozilla, and while it will end up with an official name eventually (the "smart location bar"), what it does for users can fairly be described as awesome. And as it's probably the most important touchpoint in the browser, it's worth exploring not just what it means for users but for Mozilla as well.

The Firefox 3 address bar helps users auto-complete the URLs they type in, but it's smarter than it appears at first. The choices that pop to the top of the list as you type are not based just on best text match, but on your previous behavior. Sites you visit frequently pop up higher on the list. Bookmarked sites also get special treatment. And since Firefox now has a new high-performance database to record your behavior, it can track what you do over a long period of time; it doesn't have to flush your history every week or so to keep the performance up. More>>

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Economic Slowdown in the US to Accelerate Offshoring of IT Services

In a recently published report, Gartner said that the current U.S. economic slowdown will lead buyers of IT services to consider increasing the percentage of their labour in offshore, lower-cost locations. India will remain the dominant location for IT offshore services for North American and European buyers as a result of its scale, quality of resources and strong presence of local and traditional service providers.

With concerns that the US economic slowdown could extend to other geographies, organizations are refocusing on IT cost reduction and taking steps to accelerate the use of offshore labour. Buyers of IT services will shift from cost containment goals to a greater focus on cost reduction and productivity increases in their sourcing decisions. This will lead to a steady increase in the adoption and expansion of offshore services - primarily from India, but increasingly from other countries as well.

“Factors that will give India the edge over other offshore locations are scale and quality of labour. North American and European buyers of IT services have been the force behind a growing offshore services market and India is central to almost any discussion of offshore services delivery for these buyers”, said T J Singh, research director, Gartner. “Whether it is the indigenous India-centric service providers that have a wide-reaching impact on the IT services sector, or a vast and growing IT labour pool being trained to support a global client base, India will continue to be the most-sophisticated country option to source offshore IT services in the near term.”More>>

Gartner Says Worldwide IT Services Revenue Grew 11 Percent in 2007

Worldwide IT services revenue totaled $748 billion in 2007, a 10.5 percent increase from 2006 revenue of $677 billion, according to Gartner, Inc.

“This strong growth, combined with strong first quarter results for market leaders, runs counter to the gloomy and widespread economic concerns arising in the United States,” said Kathryn Hale, research vice president for Gartner’s worldwide IT services group. “Many providers are successfully selling buyer value propositions that external spending on IT services and solutions can help customers save money and be more productive, even in a profoundly uncertain economic climate.”

Across all IT services, IBM continued to be the worldwide market leader (see Table 1), with 7.2 percent of the market. IBM and Accenture delivered strong growth rates, 12.2 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively, and were the only companies in the top six that experienced revenue growth rates above the overall market average.More>>

There's no stopping Kamal!

Kamal Haasan has indeed come a long way.

The actor who made his acting debut when he was just six years old has acted in over two hundred Indian films in various languages including Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and even a silent film.

Kamal's first film was the 1960 film Kalathur Kannamma, which was directed by Bhim Singh. He played Gemini Ganesan and Savithri's son who later grows up in an orphanage. The role fetched him a National award for best child actor, the first of his four national awards.

Now, 48 years and innumerable awards later, the talented actor is taking on ten roles in his Tamil film Dasavatharam, which incidently was written by him and directed by K S Ravikumar.

In the picture: Kamal in a still from Dasavatharam and an inset of him from Kalathur Kannamma.

Jackie Chan releases Dasavatharam audio

Jackie Chan, the Superstar of Hollywood, became the real hero at the Dasavatharam audio launch held at Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. Right from his entry into the dais along with superb looked Mallika Sherawat, the super actor became the center of attraction in the event. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi launched the audio of Dasavatharam along with Jackie, V Shridhar, elder brother of producer Ravichandran and Kamal Hassan the hero of the film.

Oscar Ravichandran's decision to invite the Hollywood action hero Jackie Chan as the Chief Guest served the purpose meaningfully. He made the entire function enjoyable like his fabulous films. The audience loved his simplicity, innocence, smile, meaningful speech and mannerisms.More>>

Dasavatharam on May 23?

'Oscar' Ravichandran is hopeful of releasing his magnum opus Dasavatharam on May 23 worldwide, if the last of the work of "30 seconds of Tsunami effect" is complete.

Trailer of the film has been dispatched to all the theatres where the film has been booked for release. In case the work is delayed, the film will be postponed to June 6.

Said an excited Oscar Ravichandran to"It is a mega budget Rs 60 crore film and took time to complete. The special effects and graphics are mind-blowing on par with Hollywood films. Please note this is not film that can be wrapped up in 50 days with two songs shot in Pollachi and then trying to keep to a deadline. The kind of grandeur and richness that you see in Dasavatharam is going to be talked about in the coming days."

Ravichandran says he is going to market the film himself throughout Tamilnadu. He has booked nearly 400 screens in the state, where he is upgrading the sound and picture quality at his expense.

The idea is to give the viewer “the feel and touch of Dasavatharam, and make it an enjoyable outing for the entire family”.

Managed Hosting

Without doubt Managed Hosting is not a novel idea, but it is a growing development among large corporations. A rising amount of these organizations are evolving from their traditional web hosting to managed hosting. The reasons are because these organizations are aware of the advantages that managed hosting can provide. Some of the benefits are:

- Multiple and simultaneously computers updates and upgrades
- Up-time permanently
- Speed server and processing time increasing
- Security increasing
- User browsing control
- Time and money savings

These Managed services can significantly improve the operational effectiveness and security of a large corporation’s website.
Corporations that use managed hosting do not share their digital space with users outside of its network, because a dedicated server is used in its own data centre. It ensures that only trusted users have access to their network reducing the activity risk that can harm the online business success.

The benefits of Managed hosting for large companies can be massive. Most significantly, it ensures that the site should never experience any down time because of the uniqueness of the server. My final recommendation is if you have a managed hosting service you should make sure to check if it they are PCI compliant or not.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HP taking aim on IBM with risky $13.2B acquisition of EDS

Riding a hot streak that has doubled its stock price in the past three years, Hewlett-Packard Co. is rolling the dice on a $13.2 billion acquisition of technology services provider Electronic Data Systems Corp.

The all-cash deal announced Tuesday represents HP's biggest gamble under the leadership of Mark Hurd, who was hired as chief executive in March 2005 to turn around the Palo Alto-based maker of personal computers and printers.

As Hurd relentlessly cut costs while demanding better execution from the company's remaining workers, HP recovered from a nagging financial hangover that was exacerbated by the biggest acquisition in its 69-year history — the $19 billion purchase of Compaq Computer Corp., completed in 2002 over strident shareholder objections.

Now HP will try to show it learned from its mistakes by making the second largest deal in its history pay off faster.

Investors already are worried that HP is taking an unnecessary risk on EDS, whose disappointing profit margins had caused its stock to drop by about 30 percent over the past year. HP shares sagged $2.56, or 5.5 percent, to finish Tuesday at $44.27.More>>

Apple and Eve

In Pixar Films' upcoming animation epic, "Wall-E," the title character is a cute but clunky robot whose centuries of solitude on an abandoned Earth is broken by the arrival of a svelte, futuristic robot named Eve - who is so white, gleaming, and well, pod-like, that she looks like she was born in Apple's design room. It turns out that she was - sort of: Eve marks the first design collaboration within Steve Jobs' culture-shaping Apple-Pixar-Disney axis. (Jobs sold Pixar to Disney and is Disney's largest shareholder as well as the CEO of Apple.)

"I wanted Eve to be high-end technology - no expense spared - and I wanted it to be seamless and for the technology to be sort of hidden and subcutaneous," Andrew Stanton, Wall-E's director, told Fortune. "The more I started describing it, the more I realized I was pretty much describing the Apple playbook for design." It is, of course, not the first time a product has inspired a film character - think of the murderous HAL 9000 robot in "2001: A Space Odyssey," based loosely on big IBM mainframes of the day.

But it may be the first time a character was based on a true corporate sibling. A call from Stanton to Jobs in 2005 resulted in Johnny Ive, Apple's behind-the-scenes design guru, driving across the San Francisco Bay to Pixar's converted warehouse headquarters to spend a day consulting on the Eve prototype. Stanton said that it was a "lovefest" with Ive, but that the notoriously tight-lipped design wizard offered few specific modifications. "Apple is so proprietary and so secretive that he couldn't even really allude to where the future of technology was going," says Stanton. "The most he could do is nod his head to the things we said we wanted to do." (Through a spokesman, Ive declined to comment.)

Among her other attributes, Eve has expressive blue eyes that look inspired by an old Lite Brite game, a head and arms that seem unattached to her body, hovering and flying abilities and an onboard weapons defense system. Asked whether the robot is meant to be a preview of Apple's product line circa 2,700 - when the film is set - Stanton says: "I kind of leave it to interpretation." Still, don't be surprised to see Eve bots working the counters this summer at an Apple Store near you.

Adobe Finally Takes On Apple, Google In Mobile

Today Adobe announced a new hugely important strategic initiative regarding the Flash Player called the Open Screen Project. The upshot: It's finally ready to start competing with Google and Apple for mobile platform developers.

There are three keys to the announcement. First Adobe (ADBE) is removing all licensing restrictions and fees for the Flash Player and the SWF file format that the player runs. OEMs will now be able to embed Flash at no additional cost and with no restrictions.

Second, the next version of the Flash Player and the AIR runtime will have two separate parts. The layer that is platform specific will be separate from the layer that is the real brains of the Flash system. This means that it will be easy to embed the Flash player any new non-PC device offering. All you will have to do is port the platform specific layer to your device. And Adobe will be providing a reference implementation so that you can see exactly how to do it, presumably just making minor changes related to the specifics of your platform.

And finally, the next version of the Flash Player will be the same across all devices. This means that you will be able to use Flex, Flexbuilder, and Thermo to build applications that run on mobile and embedded devices. This will *radically* simplify the process of making applications that run on mobile devices. It really is, essentially *the* next generation mobile operating system.

It's not an OS in the traditional sense. That will continue to be some form of Unix, or more generally,Linux. But the Flash platform will become the premier application development target for devices.

This is a direct shot across the bow of both Apple (AAPL) with the iPhone and Google (GOOG) with Android. Adobe has far more 3rd-party developers than Apple does with Mac OS/iPhone or Google does with Android, and if they can make it totally seamless to develop for desktop or mobile, it will radically change the dynamics of the business. Presumably Adobe will be able to port this next version of Flash to the iPhone as well, though the politics of that will be interesting given Steve Jobs' antipathy for Flash.

From a business perspective, Adobe seems to have everyone onboard that matters including Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel, and lots of others. Now that Flash is free and presumably easy to embed, it instantly becomes the mobile and embedded software platform to beat.

Google Confirms Plans To Put Display Ads On

The most pressing question for Google (GOOG) shareholders is what product will drive the company's next growth boom as the search product cycle ends. Most likely candidate? Not sexy mobile or video. Just boring old display ads.

Google has been serving display ads on other sites for years, and the DoubleClick acquisition will accelerate that effort. Third-party display ads will only make a small contribution to the bottom line, however (10-20 cents on the dollar). So the key question here has been whether Google would deign to put display ads on its own sites.

We've argued that a full load of display ads on could add $3-$4 billion in annual revenue. Many SAI readers considered this estimate too optimistic, and it might be, at least over the next couple of years. But $1-$2 billion seems easily achievable.

Most importantly, Google itself is now talking explicitly about display ads on It will start small--placing display ads on, for example, image search results. But we imagine that display ads will gradually spread throughout over the next few years.More>>

Google Search To Surpass Size of Microsoft Windows in 2009

Why is Microsoft (MSFT) so concerned about Google? (GOOG) Lots of reasons, one of which is this: By this time next year, Google's search business will be larger and more profitable than the most profitable and legendary monopoly in history--Microsoft Windows. (Just Google's search business--that doesn't even include AdSense).

Before we go to the numbers, a few important observations.

  • Both products are natural monopolies. Google's share of the search market should continue to approach Microsoft's share of the operating system market (90%+)
  • Both products are wildly, fantastically profitable. Microsoft's Windows business has operating margins of 75%-plus. So does Google's search business (once you factor out the billions Google is spending on products that produce zero revenue).
  • Google natural monopoly is growing a lot faster than Microsoft's. Google's search business should be bigger than Microsoft's Windows business by early next year (at the latest). Google is also growing faster than Microsoft's two monopolies combined--Windows and Office. Google has yet to develop a second huge, fantastically profitable monopoly--the Office equivalent--but AdSense is getting there.More>>

Google founders have grown up

It's official: the guys who founded Google are grown up.

That was the pronouncement on Thursday from Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, who was hired in 2001 to provide mature, traditional business savvy to the Internet search company founded by whiz kids Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

"The boys have grown up," Schmidt told a news conference ahead of the wildly successful company's annual meeting.

Now billionaires, the two who formed the company, which has the motto "Don't Be Evil," were seen as "brilliant young founders," Schmidt said.

"They now function in the company as the senior executives with the kind of skills and experience --"

"-- We wish he had five years ago," Page said, finishing Schmidt's thought.

Page, 35, and Brin, who was born in the Soviet Union 34 years ago, made history in their 20s when they set up the Google search engine.More>>

Samsung beats Motorola as India’s No. 3 mobile brand

The January-March 2008 quarter has seen a change in the pecking order of the Indian mobile phone market. While Nokia is still enjoying leadership position by a huge margin followed by Sony Ericsson, there has been a change in the position for the third slot. Korean vendor Samsung has replaced Motorola to emerge as the third largest player in the Indian market.

Latest ORG data reveal that Samsung is the only prominent player to have increased its market share in the Indian market in the January-March period. It has gained market share from 5.7% in January to 7% in March. In the same period, Motorola India lost market share from 6.7% to 5.9%, but Sony Ericsson remained at the same level of 8.1%.

Even Finnish handset biggie Nokia lost market share in India from 72.3% to 69.5% between January and March. Nokia India managing director (mobile phones) D Shivakumar refused to comment on the issue. “As a policy, we do not comment on market share.” When contacted, Samsung Telecommunications India country head Sunil Dutt said: “In January-March, we registered a good growth in our mobile phone business based on our channel expansion programme, new product launches like the Guru 100, SGH-G800, Samsung i450 to name a few, as well as our brand activity involving Aamir Khan.” Samsung plans to double its Indian market share by end-2008 from the present level. More>>

Info Edge to launch education portal 'Shiksha'

Info Edge (India), provider of online recruitment, matrimonial and real estate classifieds and related services, plans to launch a portal exclusively focussed on education, a top company official said here.

"We are all set to launch an education portal, Shiksha, in the next two-three weeks," Info Edge (India)'s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Director Hitesh Oberoi told PTI.

The company plans to invest USD 5-10 million in the project over a period of three years, Oberoi said.

Info Edge already has portals like, and

Shiksha would offer information about educational institutes in the country as well as overseas, he added.

"The portal will have the entire gamut of information on education, ranging from the name of a college, the courses offered, course content to the fee structure."

Oberoi said instead of targeting the entire education market which is very huge, it would focus on advertisement which is a great source of revenue.

"Education market is very huge and so we are not targeting the entire education market. Our focus will be on advertisements as it is the biggest revenue-generator for any application. For print especially, it is the number one revenue-generator," he said.

Google offers to imbue all websites with social networking

Google has set out to enable all websites, free of charge, to be imbued with common social networking features as the Internet evolves toward becoming a giant community along the lines of MySpace or Facebook.

Google Friend Connect was previewed at a Campfire One gathering of third-party software developers at the company's "Googleplex" campus in Mountain View, California.

The unveiling of the plan comes just days after top social networking websites MySpace and Facebook broke down walls of their online communities to let members share profile information at other websites.

"Social is going mainstream," Google director of engineering David Glazer said during a conference call with reporters.

"What used to be hard and proprietary is becoming easy and open. It's the evolution of social networking."

Glazer described the MySpace and Facebook announcements as "big steps forward in giving users control over their data" and said Friend Connect is intended to further advance the movement.

"We see the web moving toward an end state where people can use any application on any website with any of their friends," Glazer said.

"Social activity on the web has been bottled up in a handful of sites. As things mature on the web they become more open and more interoperable."

Friend Connect lets website owner's add social-networking features such as registration, member galleries, message boards, and fun or useful third-party applications called "widgets" by simply adding snippets of free computer code. More>>

Tatas may export Nano to promising markets, including US

After making a wave worldwide with unveiling of the cheapest car from India, Tata Motors on Tuesday said it will consider exporting the Rs 1-lakh car to many promising markets, including the US.

"There is nothing that we can not export Nano to any country. Tata Motors also has plans for exports. But the Tata Nano will be initially marketed in India," Tata Motors spokesperson told reporters.

The announcement comes close on the heels of the US publication Conde Nast Portfolio's report that 'Nano' would not be sold in the US.

"The model (Nano) won't be sold in the US but has the potential to radically alter the market for manufacturers here. Tata-inspired followers are already revving up their engines," Conde Nast Portfolio reported while naming Ratan Tata as one of the 73 biggest brains around the world. More>>

JPMorgan Chase CEO: Recession is just beginning

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s chief executive said Monday that while the crisis in the credit markets appears to be three-quarters over, he believes a U.S. recession is just beginning.

"Even if the capital markets crisis resolves, it does not mean that this country will not go into a bad recession," said CEO James Dimon, whose bank saw its first-quarter profit fall by half due to the recent collapse of the U.S. mortgage market. "The recession just started."

"We don't know if it's going to be mild or severe," he continued, speaking at a conference in New York hosted by Swiss bank UBS AG. "We're thinking there's a third of a chance that it's going to be pretty bad ... closer to the 1982 recession than the very mild recessions we had in 2001 and 1990."

Also incomplete is JPMorgan's acquisition of Bear Stearns Cos., the toppling investment bank that JPMorgan offered to buy in March.More>>

HP wants to buy EDS for about $12 billion

In a move aimed at reshaping the $750 billion global tech-services industry, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) on May 12 revealed that it is attempting to buy Electronic Data Systems (EDS). If the deal is consummated, EDS, the No. 2 player in tech services, and HP, No. 5, will be combined to create a $40 billion-a-year powerhouse that's more capable of challenging market-leading IBM (IBM).

Pulling off such a combination won't be easy, though. This would be HP's largest acquisition since it bought Compaq in 2002 for $18 billion—a deal that caused HP serious indigestion and led to the fall of the deal's architect, former HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina. EDS has more than 135,000 employees and has struggled in recent years to compete with industry leaders IBM and Accenture (ACN) and a handful of Indian challengers. "It's a big fish to swallow, but [HP CEO] Mark Hurd is a very good manager, very good at execution, so it makes sense," says Rebecca Segal, an analyst at market researcher IDC. More Details>>

Monday, May 12, 2008

Study Says H-1Bs Aren't the Best or Brightest

One of the main arguments touted by groups interested in seeing an increase in the cap on H-1B temporary worker visas is that those who wish to work here on these visas are some of the world's best recruits, and their addition to the work force would foster U.S. innovation and global competitiveness.

Opponents to the program argue that H-1B visas do none of the above, but are instead used by large, greedy tech companies to undercut the wages of U.S. workers, effectively pushing them out of jobs. Opponents cite fines levied against system abusers as evidence. More>>

Google to strengthen relationship with Yahoo!

Google has said it will strengthen its relationship with Yahoo!, fuelling recent speculation the two companies will develop an on-going ad-share deal.

The two internet giants recently underwent a two-week trial that saw Google ads served on

Ahead of a shareholders meeting, Google co-founder Sergey Brin confirmed the success of the trial and that two companies were looking at other possibilities.

"We have been talking to Yahoo! and we're very excited to be working with them," said Brin. "We share a lot of values with them."

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said any deal with Yahoo! would have to comply with anti-trust laws.

"If there were a deal, we would anticipate structuring the deal to address the antitrust concerns that have been widely discussed," said Schmidt.

Brin also rubbished speculation that the two-week trial was responsible for the collapse of Microsoft's proposed takeover of Yahoo!.

"We really believe in companies having choices about their destinies," said Brin. "It's not about scuttling (the deal). They were under a hostile attack and we wanted to make sure they had as many options as possible."