Saturday, June 27, 2009

Android vs Windows

I had discussed battle front of Android vs Windows in the fight between Microsoft and Google on 25-Jun.

I was surprised to hear about the move by Nokia to offer an Android netbook in 2010 on 26-Jun. While I had imagined the Android vs windows battle to be long drawn and fought sometime in this future, this announcement confirms the accpetance of Android as a platform by various netbook vendors.

I now believe that this battle does not lie ahead in the long term future, the danger for Windows from Adroid is clear and present.

Oracle moving to the cloud?

I had alluded in my post on 18-Jun about a reorg at Oracle the apps. This has been confirmed by Rueters on 24-Jun.

I had infact sent a mail on 18-Jun to Oracle's Investor Relation seeking confirmation on Ed Abbos employment status at Oracle. There was no response from Oracle. I am still waiting for a response from Oracle. CEO Marc Benioff in an interaction (watch the video) with Om Malik of Gigaom (on 25-Jun) casually alluded to the fact that Ed Abbo was fired after their earnings call on account of declining apps license revenue (this is Marc's view)

Does the exit of Ed means that there is a change in strategy in apps at Oracle. Does this exit means a move to the cloud for Oracle apps, given that Larry has recently shown greater regard to the cloud

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Google's assault on Microsoft

While Bing and its impact on Google is a hotly discussed debated topic, it seems that Google’s attack on the business model of Microsoft is not getting adequate attention.

Operating Systems - Windows Vs Android
While Android is already available on cell phones, it is going to launch on netbook by the end of this year. While Android is to be seen in ARM netbooks, there is a possibility that Android would be launched in Atom netbooks.

MS Office vs Google Apps
As per a recently published report, Google is set to make a big push for Apps in 2010 and Google appears to be ready to make a much bigger push into third-party distribution and it getting traction with its Apps product line.

Outlook Apps Sync
Apps Sync by Google makes Exchange vulnerable.

It would be interesting to see how Microsoft reacts to these attacks of Google.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Microsoft Yahoo deal - The numbers behind it

"Our shareholders, I told them we were willing to spend 5 to 10 percent of operating income for up to five years in this business, and we feel like we can get an economic return," Ballmer told a business luncheon in Chicago, without elaborating on the timeframe.

What does Ballmer mean by search business? Is search business Bing or does it include the deal with Yahoo.

Ballmer is talking numbers!

Dell's acquisition plans

Preference for Dell's M&A plans would would be storage, software and services (decreasing order of preference).

NetApp has been touted by some as a perfect candidate for Dell.

While many analysts believe that Dell would prefer an acquisition of a storage company, a storage acquisition may impact Dell's arrangements with EMC. EMC accounts for a significant portion of Dells network storage dollars.

In software and services, Dell could attack niches in the enterprise server and storage space.

The suspects by areas include:-

CSC, CapGemini, Sapient, Perot, Syntel, Atos

Netapp, Teradata

Acer, Palm

CA, TIBCO,, BMC, Citrix

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reorg:- Oracle Apps

Less than 2 years after John Wookey's departure, there seems to be news of reorg at Oracle Apps Development.

Is this a change in strategy, impact of the environment or an unknown reason like John Wookey's departure

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reasons why the Yahoo and Microsoft search deal could happen in 2009

  1. Yahoo's value as company is far less if the agreement on search did not happen.
  2. Yahoo is growing slower that overall growth.
  3. Yahoo is US centric, success in growth geographies is limited.
  4. Talent drain
  5. Carol Bartz would need to show some results for a years worth of work

Given all the talk around boat load of dollars, its just a matter of time when there is an agreement on price and the deal is consummated

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Enterprise beware:- Google Apps and Outlook can now sync

While the target of the plug between Google Apps and Outlook is clearly Microsoft, collateral damage to enterprises may be inevitable.

Lets not discuss the Microsoft, Google rivalry. It has been discussed by many.

Its the risk which organizations face with respect to the data. Its not that data is terribly secure in organizations with mobile devices, just that now it may become even more insecure.

Will Google see a back lash from the large enterprise user.

Private Beta

Private Beta (250 Invites) - Nice touch to hype up a URL shortening service by creating an illusion of scarcity.

I used the private beta to take a look inside.

On the surface it looks just like another URL shortening service. While its track back feature does get one excited, but then is it any better than or cl.igs

StumbleUpon users may have a different view, but then I am not a StumbleUpon user.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Update: Trying out Opera 10

I really liked Opera Turbo, it really works on different internet speeds.

On the flip side Opera 10 is in beta, but still its very unstable. It crashes, its unstable.

Google has redefined the meaning of beta.

Hadoop Summit 2009: Missing Microsoft.

Its Hadoop Summit 2009

Microsoft is working on its proprietary grid computing platform, Dryad. Still Microsoft attended the Hadoop Summit 2009.

Cut to Hadooop Summit 2009. In 2008, Microsoft purchased Powerset which creates its search index via Hadoop. Yet Microsoft has given Hadoop Summit 2009 a miss.

I wonder why????

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random Rumors around SAP

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft dismissed talk of Microsoft acquiring SAP as random rumors. Talk of IBM acquiring SAP has been discussed so may time.

SAP founders who still hold around 28% stake in the company may not want to sell off to either an IBM or a Microsoft, but their options are limited. There are certain issues which SAP has been unable to address

Geographical Gaps: While SAP has been a global leader in terms of market share, it is essentially a European company. More than half of its revenues are contributed by Europe and around 18% by Germany. It is relatively weaker against Oracle in the US. APAC’s which will be a growth driver has a limited contribution

Gaps in solution offerings: SAP’s infrastructure providers like Microsoft & Oracle are competing against it in the application space.

In SAP, did a turnaround from its organic growth strategy to an acquisitions strategy when it announced its plan to acquire Business Objects on October 7, 2007. While the turnaround has happened in it’s acquisition strategy, it’s still not as aggressive as Oracle’s and gaps in solution offerings still remain. The gaps have in fact widened

SAP’s weakness in the US would be hard to change given Oracle’s strength in the US.

So who will acquire SAP may be a random rumor, its independence in the long term does not appear to be a rumor.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reality Check for Carol Bartz: boatloads of dollar may not be coming your way sometime soon

Carol Bartz would have ideally liked some more time on her hand to dress Yahoo up and put parts of it for a sale. If the dressing down of the Yahoo team dresses Yahoo into something really nice, she may then be able to get the boatload of dollars she desires from search.

While its becoming clearer that Bing though not a Google killer at this time point may be a reality check for Carol for the search business. Bing may force her on the negotiation table with some lower expectations.

What about advertising and content.

Does Yahoo have what it takes to compete with Google on advertising. Am not sure who would be interested in taking on Google via advertising.

Content could get someone in media really interested, but then AOL & Time Warner was not a great story to go by.

Carol needs to deliver something quick or reset expectations

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bing taking share from Google

In my 6/2/2009 post, I had a view that Bing would take share from Google and not from Yahoo.

This view seems to be getting confirmed from the data published by StatCounter.

However once the dust around the launch hype settles down, it may emerge that the change in market share was temporary and and not sustainable. After the initial period of experimentation, one really needs to see how sticky the experience with Bing would be.

The marketing for Bing does not seem to be working

Microsoft is believed to be spending $80 million to $100 million on ads to help market Bing as a as serious alternative to Google.

The marketing campaings of Bing on, NCB, MTV Networks etal does not seem to be yielding results as the interest for Bing appears to be the highest in the APAC region, followed by the EU. There appears to be hardly any interest for the Bing in the Americas.

The global web search volume for Bing in the last 7 day shows the the regional interest for Bing is highest in India. The other 9 regions among the top 10 regions are (in decreasing order of interest
  • Australia
  • China
  • Germany
  • Singapore
  • Belgium
  • Hong Kong
  • Argentina
  • France
  • Switzerland

Where is the US in this list???

Steve Ballmer said that he “gulped” when he approved the marketing budget for Bing. I guess he will gulp some more seeing US missing from the list.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

eXpresso a collaborative excel application without Firefox support

I read about eXpresso's upgraded collaborative excel application and went on to check it out.

But then I could not check it out as eXpresso currently requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later

It does not support Firefox. I just gave eXpresso a miss.

I wonder, for someone who is competing against MS Office cannot work without IE.

Is IBM vs Google a new battle to be fought via Cloudera and System S?

In the context of the Smart Grid push made by IBM, System S will be an important tool in the overall scheme of things.
Cloudera’s (Hadoop) entry in to the Smart Grid via the Tennessee Valley Authority may lead into a collision with the Big Blue

When this collision takes place, does the startup have the muscle to take on IBM? Will it seek support from its big brother Google?
Cloudera has the blessings of Eric Schmidt, but will Eric fight a battle on behalf of Cloudera against IBM?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trying out Opera 10

Downloaded the Opera 10. It may be in test but it appears to be fast. I took less than a minute to download, a minute to install and it was running.
It appears to be faster than IE, Firefox and Chrome. Would love to see some results from a speed test.
Initial impressions
  • I liked the speed.
  • I liked the interface
  • Opera Turbo appeared to work
  • Am I switching from Firefox to Opera.... lets see ... maybe not ... maybe yes
BTW this post is via the Opera 10

Could Oracle be interested in Hara?

Hara circulated a press release unveiling an Environmental and Energy Management Solution for the Post-Carbon Economy. What caught my attention about Hara was its management team which carried with itself significant experience of working with SAP and Oracle in the past

Given that in May-09, SAP was buying Clear Standards, which sells software to manage carbon emissions, energy consumption, and water use.

Oracle's play in this space includes a product, Business Activity Monitoring that manages the carbon footprint along the entire supply chain of an organization. While IBM has GreenCert, software for emissions monitoring and certification, it has also partnered with Oracle on carbon data management.

Going by Oracle's past in acquisitions, would be interested in Hara given the moves by SAP and the backgrounds of the management team of Hara. Other start-ups Planet Metrics and Carbonetworks could also be of interest to Oracle.

Not only Oracle but other enterprise vendors would be tracking the carbon management start-ups.

Redliner and the enterprise user

Finally I got around to checking out Redliner.

Redliner accelerates document collaboration and approval for:small law firms and solo practitioners;SMBs;PR professionals;newspaper, magazine and book editors; freelance writers

I am wondering if the target audience as defined by Redliner really needs such a collaborative tool and does Redliner satisfy that need

Some of my observations on the currently available technical preview with a limited preview set

  1. The interface is not very elegant and intuitive
  2. It supports text only docs. It did not see any support for charts, tables, exhibits, images. Am wondering how technical editor would use this without support of such features.
  3. Organizations would see a lot of collaboration taking place when making a presentation. It would be nice to support for ppts.
  4. How can one not talk about spreadsheets. One needs to collaborate on each cell. Wich there was a good collaboration tool.
Conceptually, Redliner is a fine start .... but then it needs to take it to the next level when it really is a productivity tool and then differentiate itself from many similar products.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bing driven by China & India not share taken by Yahoo

Google insights has interesting data on the geographic origin of web search volume for Bing

The prevailing wisdom was that Bing would take share away from Yahoo. However region interest for Bing is the highest in China followed by India, the US, UK, France, Canada, Spain, Germany and South Africa in a decreasing order of interest.

The market share for search in China is dominated by Baidu. Google is a distant second and Yahoo a distant third.

Google is leader in search in India.

So should Bing worry Google more than Yahoo

Google's G2 freebiee for developer community

I wish I could lay my hands on G2 distributed by Google at the Google I/O conference.

But then Google really needs to thank its developer community, with just one handset model out in the market (G2 expected)

The number of Android apps for just one handset speak for themselves

Android Apps available on Android Market = 168

Pricing Category # of Apps
Paid All 33
Free Communication 10
Free Entertainment 7
Free Finance 8
Free Lifestyle 11
Free Multimedia 5
Free News & Weather 8
Free Productivity 8
Free Reference 9
Free Shopping 7
Free Social 8
Free Tools 6
Free Travel 10
Free Games - Arcade & Action 12
Free Games - Brain & Puzzle 10
Free Games - Card & Casino 10
Free Games - Casual 6


Android apps available on Handango = 242

Category # of Apps
Business & professional 12
Education & Reference 46
Entertainment 134
Personal Productivity 30
Software Tools 12
Travel 8

Given the nature of apps available in the market for the Android platform it is quite apparent that the developer community is not taking the platform in the direction of a platform of apps for the enterprise.

WatchDox - Its an interesting tool

WatchDox is a tool I tested today

It is an interesting tool to manage usage and distribution of digital documents. Its a appears to be a tool meant for the enterprise user to ensure confidentiality of documents.

A caveat, it is currently in beta and lets hope we see continuous improvements.

Some of my initial observations on the tool were
  1. It took me 3 mins to upload an excel file for testing ... I thought it was bit slow .... for large enterprise documents it would be even slower
  2. I guess it might be a bit faster with an outlook plugin.... what about support for Lotus Notes via a plugin and other platforms.
  3. Am not sure if WatchDox has tested this tool with different formats. My excel file lost all formatting in the viewer.
  4. It would be interesting to know if ppt's can also be viewed well in this viewer.
It would be interesting to know the pricing models for this service.

Word Verification - Can anyone read this

I can't read this text shown for word verification.Am not sure if any other human eye can do this.
Its time google did some better end user testing