May 7, 2009
Microsoft Will Play to Google's Ad Dominance in Defending European Browser Complaint
Microsoft is under the gun in the EU because of it's browser share in Europe, somewhere between 65% and 85% of the market. Microsoft is formulating its response to the chargesbrought against it by Opera and joined by other industry competitors. Microsoft is going to argue to the European Union that adding competing browsers to Windows would strengthen Google's hold on the advertising market. There is no doubt that Chrome is optimized for Google services. While Chrome makes using Google easier, would a person who doesn't use Gmail or Google Docs start using them because of Chrome. The browser doesn't serve up ads. It's the sites. What Chrome might do is make it somewhat easier for Google to track online behavior, and that may lead to better ads served up. That's not as direct and argument as Microsoft would like to make, but the reply is still being formulated. Moreover, Chrome is not key to Google's business. It build an impressive lead in the search and online ad business well without a browser, and has a minuscule market share, somewhat slightly larger than Opera, which is nothing but a browser company. Firefox is also a browser only entity, and it seem to do pretty well for itself.
Should Microsoft's competitors succeed and get placement in a new Windows system, they may not get what they want. If Europe wanted Opera, the residents could just as easily download it. Apparently they don't. Increased visibility may raise Opera's market share from minuscule to somewhat minuscule. More likely Firefox would be the biggest beneficiary of desktop placement. We'll see how this plays itself out.
May 6, 2009
Amazon Announces Kindle DX
The Kindle DX is listedfor pre-order at the Amazon.com web site with a release date listed as "summer." It sports a thickness of just 1/3 on an inch with a 9.7" diagonal display, larger than the current Kindle models. More details at the Kindle DX page. A nice analysis of what this all means and where Amazon is taking this product is at CNNMoney. Obviously Amazon wants to reach out beyond the older demographic where the Kindle is most popular. The new model has the right features that can expand the mainstream appeal of this technology. I remain skeptical of the over all success of Kindle, but changes to the product made over time have softened that. At $489 a pop, however, Amazon has more work to do on the price point.
Windows 7 RC Available
The Windows 7 release candidate is available for download here. Here's a report on the actual use of XP Mode in Windows 7 from the Vnunet.com Labs blog. It works, but has a high hardware cost for working well. Read about it here.