May 21, 2009
More Thoughts on Kumo
Continuing in the trend of whether Microsoft is going to get any traction with Kumo, this article in CNET wonders whether Google and Yahoo have already beaten Microsoft to the punch with Kumo features. Every time Microsoft upgrades search they get a slight surge in their market share. Then it erodes. That seems to be the pattern. Is it going to be any different this time? PC World says much the same thing in this article, with the leading question, "Why does Microsoft do what everyone else does?" My observation of Microsoft's attempt at competing with Google is to try and be as Google-like as possible, until it figures out that the money it pours into those attempts aren't getting it anywhere. Book scanning is but one example. Microsoft abandoned their effort, leaving the field to Google. Can they really do search better, or more importantly, communicate that they can? Kumo's ultimate public availability will be accompanied by a $100 million ad campaign. How much money did the company spend promoting the Zune? The only dissenter is this article in ChannelWeb that suggests Microsoft may have a chance due to the two Google outages this past week. I understand the argument, but I don't thing it necessarily follows that two short outages make Microsoft attractive. Google doesn't scare anyone but competitors and the Justice Department. If anything, people want more of Google, not less, as their search share tends to increase with each successive month.
May 20, 2009
Microsoft Search Update Coming Soon?
Microsoft is likely going open up access to Kumo, its upgrade to Live Search, some time next week. At least that is the rumor. Most stories that speculate on this question whether Microsoft is going to get anywhere with it, having between 8 and 9% of the search market. The story in Time Magazine, for example, wonders whether Google is good enough for most people. If that's the case, no matter what Microsoft does is going to make a difference, no matter how much "better" it may be. I wonder what kinds of ads we'll see on the web and on TV to promote this thing. If Microsoft really wants to improve market share, they should find a way to get Oprah to use their search engine. [MG]
May 18, 2009
FTC Shuts Down Car Warranty Calls
The FTC got the Northern District of Illinois to issue a temporary restraining order against the company that pushed robocalls on warranties for cars. The calls were not only annoying but seemed non-stop at times. And why not, they made the company who pushed them millions of dollars in fraudulent receipts. The FTC press release is here, and a story about the affair is in Ars Technica.
Waste In Space
Now that the Atlantis Space Shuttle Crew is spending time on extended spacewalks to repair the Hubble telescope, the question comes up: Ever wonder how astronauts relieve themselves in their spacesuits? The story is here in the Washington Post. The technique to dealing with waste is less high tech than you can imagine.
Windows 7 to Cost More?
Dell implies in this article that consumers may not embrace Windows 7 as much due to higher costs for the OS to OEMs. The article does not say, how much higher can they be, though ddefinitely more than Vista or XP. What a surprise from Microsoft (not).
Another Google Outage
This time, only Google News was affected. It lasted 1.5 hours on Monday morning and is over now. More here.