Hastings expects even bigger things from the little gizmo. He wanted to work with Google because he sees an opportunity to create a new category: a low-cost device that turns a regular TV into a smart TV coupled with “this radical, beautiful proposition that there is no remote control.Google Chromecast Biggest Fan Is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings | Variety
Beyond its ongoing rivalry with Google, Microsoft’s effort may reflect pockets of popularity for Chromebooks at some schools and companies. Businesses are Microsoft’s strength and its biggest source of profits. Educational-testing company Kaplan has said it uses Chromebooks for its call centers, and healthcare chain Mollen said it put Chromebooks in more than 4,000 clinics.
The anti-Chromebook effort spotlights how Microsoft is grappling with competition in areas where for years it held a virtual monopoly.
Some corporate-technology officials and analysts say Chromebooks are catching on for some road-warrior workers, retail-sales employees and other business users that can make do with limited computing features.
“Windows PCs aren’t going anywhere,” said Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder. “But for some use cases at some companies, Chromebooks fill a legitimate niche.”Google’s Chromebooks Winning Over Some Businesses - Digits - WSJ
The Surface Pro 2 is getting great reviews … but there’s no one lining up to buy them. The battle is not between Microsoft and Apple. The battle is between Google and Apple and, specifically, between Android devices and iOS devices. Microsoft hopes, wishes and prays to be included in the conversation, but it’s not there. Microsoft is trying to create a market for tablet computing as opposed to tapping the market of tablet users – it may sound like a semantic argument, I assure you it is not.A Tablet For The Holidays? Maybe - Shelly Palmer - Shelly Palmer - MediaBizBloggers - Jack Myers
"Google is epic in the sense that on brand keywords such as Zaggora or HotPants, things that are really key to us as a business, we see a five or six times return. For generics, people searching for sportswear or fitness wear, it is a bit less and comparable to Facebook.
"The difference between Google and Facebook, is that Google is very reactive. You can only advertise to people who are searching for that particular keyword, whereas on Facebook we are able to proactively advertise to those people who we think are most interested in our products. That’s why we love Facebook because we have that extra element of control."
Does social media keep the business honest? “Absolutely. There is nowhere to hide anymore,” says Bell. “Everyone now has a voice. This empowerment means that you lose a lot of control over your brand messaging. Like it or not your brand and marketing message is now held by your social following. Therefore if your customer service is crap, if your product is crap, then people will talk about it, they will write on Facebook about it, they will tell their friends.
"There is research that tells you that people who love your product might tell four or five other people, but people who have a bad experience will tell ten or fifteen. There is nowhere to hide so before you look outwards, look inwards and make sure you are doing things in the best possible way. You are never going to reach perfection, you constantly need to evolve with the needs of your customers."Google is epic but Facebook is better | Technology | theguardian.com
This is how you beat software fragmentation. When you can update just about anything without having to push out a new Android version, you have fewer and fewer reasons to bother calling up Samsung and begging them to work on a new update. When the new version of Android brings nothing other than low-level future-proofing, users stop caring about the update.
This gets even more interesting when you consider the implications for future versions of Android. What will the next version of Android have? Well, what is left for it to have? Android is now on more of a steady, continual improvement track than an all-at-once opening of the floodgates like we last saw with Android 4.1. It seems like Google has been slowly moving down this path for some time; the last three releases have all kept the name “Jelly Bean.” Huge, monolithic Android OS updates are probably over—”extinct” may be a more appropriate term.Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android | Ars Technica
But here in the U.S., “antitrust” has a certain quixotic ring to it for a very good reason: The federal government’s epic, drawn-out — and ultimately pointless — antitrust pursuit of Microsoft is still somewhat fresh in memory. Microsoft obviously had a monopoly on desktop computing, but then the desktop era started to draw to a close on its own.
Essentially, we’ve stopped thinking about how much power is too much power when it comes to tech companies because we’ve become accustomed to the idea that all power in the tech realm is fleeting.
In other words, Americans know better than anyone that in the technology world, fearsome, all-powerful giants have a way of becoming, rather suddenly, dinosaurs. (Just look at how many comets have struck Silicon Valley.)
As tech companies become ad companies and ad companies become tech companies — as all media and advertising goes digital — we seem to have reached an uneasy consensus: The best way to address too-big players is to just let nature take its course.
Afraid of Google and Facebook … and Publicis Omnicom, for that matter? Just be patient. Just be a little bit patient.Never Mind Publicis Omnicom. Are Google, Facebook Too Big? | Commentary and analysis from Simon Dumenco - Advertising Age
In developed markets like the U.S., “I think there’s fatigue setting in. We’ve gotten into a pattern in [the smartphone] category of more of the same, year after year,” Mr. Wallace said.
He may be onto something. HTC’s One was released to rave reviews in April, but the company’s second-quarter net income fell 83% from the same period a year earlier. Samsung released its feature-heavy Galaxy S4 that same month, but it too is expected to miss initial sales projections. Each phone impressed tech aficionados, but fell flat with U.S. consumers.
So rather than try to wow with technical specs, Moto X wants to be the best looker in the room.
"Everyone I work with, everyone I meet, all my friends and family, will always see my smartphone. It’s an extension of who I am, but it’s currently the most impersonal thing I own," he said. "What if you could design it from the ground up to be about you?"
Moto X customers will have their choice of 22 phone backs, seven accent colors, a white or black face plate, a white or black wall charger and 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory. There’s not one Moto X design, but hundreds. The thinking is that people will put as much thought into designing their smartphones as they do their outfits.
Mr. Wallace believes this proposition can steal share from Apple and Samsung even while spending less on marketing. Marketing Moto X as en vogue will include ad pages in fashion magazines’ fall editions and heavy Pinterest promotion. The layouts show Moto Xs complementing various looks.Google Goes Glam With Moto X | Digital - Advertising Age
When I was watching the launch event for Facebook Home, a loud alarm bell started ringing for me when Mark Zuckerberg said words to the effect that “phones should be about more than apps - they should be about people” - by which of course he means “about Facebook”. The problem with this is that actually, we’ve spent the last 6 years making phones about more than just people. People use Facebook on their phones a LOT, yes, but they do a lot of other things as well. If all I wanted was a phone about people I’d be using a $20 Nokia with a battery that lasts a month.
The same point, I think, applies to Google Glass. If you spend all day in the Googleplex, thinking googly thoughts about data ingestion and Now and the interest graph, then having ‘Google’ hovering in front of your eyes instead of rubbing on a phone seems like a really obvious progression. If everyone you know owns a Tesla and is deeply engrossed in new technology, then the idea that there might be social problems with Glass doesn’t come up - everyone’s too busy saying ‘AWESOME!’. In much the same way, no-one on the Facebook Home team seems to have realised that most people’s news feed isn’t full of perfectly composed photos of attractive friends on the beach.Glass, Home and solipsism — Benedict Evans
In my book, Google itself is important — as a sign, amid the profusion of look-alike portals, that there’s still plenty of room for improvement in the basic technologies we use on the Web every day. If the portals themselves don’t generate innovation, smart people elsewhere will. Commerce is a big driving force in how the Web evolves, but creativity is another. Just
as imaginative marketers will keep finding ways to sell us more stuff, inventive programmers will keep finding ways to reduce noise and confusion online and help us all find what we’re looking for.
The irony here is that the big portal sites are the ones, increasingly, making it harder to use the Web: They’re under such pressure to turn a profit to justify their market valuations that their pages have become crowded, blinking arrays of commercial distractions. Meanwhile, they’re failing to drive forward the technology at the root of their business. That a couple of grad students could build a better search engine than a whole raft of media and technology companies with stock-market valuations in the billions does not speak well of how these firms are spending their budgets.
Which is one more reason to distrust the conventional view that the portals have the future of the Web sewn up. There’s something ultimately dumb about these all-things-to-all-people sites in a medium whose greatest strength is the ability to be specific things to specific people. If the portals can’t even build a better search engine, I am not betting on theirLet’s Get This Straight: Yes, there is a better search engine - Salon.com
ability to control an industry as fast-moving, innovative and metamorphic as the Internet — next year or any year.
As the security researcher Marc Rogers told Slashgear last month, the challenge is around expectation. The first wearable computer was developed by the maths professor Edward O Thorpin and Claude Shannon in the 1960’s to cheat on roulette tables.Google Glass: privacy fears continue
“People weren’t expecting someone to be able to take a computer into that environment,” said Rogers. “Who’s to say what Glass will allow? Industrial espionage, identifying flaws in buildings, scoping out security positions. It would be easy to modify Glass to identify every single security camera, and plot you a path you could walk through a shopping centre where you’re not going to be recorded.”
“What Glass has done is draw people’s attention to new concepts. So, if people are talking about the risk of Glass, in reality that risk has been around much longer. It’s just Glass is making you think about it.
Is Google an upgraded Google? Google brought a new consistent design for Google’s services, made sharing more straightforward and search more social and personal. Google was a necessary tectonic shift for Google. It’s now a different Google Labs, where the experiments turn into features that are used by hundreds of millions of people. From auto-enhanced photos to auto-tagged content, from video conferencing to event management, from social games to surfacing useful content, from object recognition to photo editing, Google is the place where you can use some of the most advanced features released by Google in the past 2 years.2 Years of Google
In 2010, Google estimated that it had indexed just 0.004% of the internet—meaning the vast majority of the web is open for surreptitious message-sending business. Terrorists simply aren’t dumb enough to discuss their secret plans over Skype or to email each other confidential information on Gmail.Sorry, NSA, Terrorists Don’t Use Verizon. Or Skype. Or Gmail. | Motherboard
What makes Snowden’s leak different, though, and electrifying, was its particularity. By informing the public, via this newspaper, of a specific program, and of its widely used commercial targets like Facebook and Google, he has confirmed that the security state that exists inside the United States continues to metastasize – in a way that seems relevant to the lives of ordinary citizens. Oddly, the banality of the Powerpoint form, with its sentence fragments and terrible graphics, served to render the program much more real than hearing from an ATT employee that the NSA was recording American’s phonecalls wholesale.Edward Snowden and the security state laid bare | Clay Shirky | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk