Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Microsoft Buying Yahoo?

I've felt strongly for a number of years that Microsoft has to make some bold strategic acquisitions. My family were all Kodak employees at one point or another. The Kodak Lesson, for me, is that high margin, high market share companies suffer from the same disease: no one wants to kill the the golden goose. Risk adverse, they let the market and more innovative companies (and technologies) pass them by. Kodak is a great example of this- my Dad told me a story that he saw a prototype of a Kodak branded 3 megapixel digital camera in 1982- they shelved it because it was a threat to the film business.

Microsoft has exhibited a lot of these risk adverse, self defeating behaviors. However, along with the rumors that they were going to invest in Facebook, this might be good news...

From StrategyEye this morning:
Microsoft is rumoured to be considering making a public offer for Yahoo! if it isn't successful in its bid for a Facebook stake, according to the New York Post. The Murdoch-owned US paper claims that the software giant has thought about bidding publicly for the search engine for some months, after former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel rebuffed all efforts to buy the company. It was hoped a public offer could stimulate shareholder interest, which would in turn put pressure on the management of the search giant to sell. Microsoft has USD21bn in cash available to spend, and is reportedly in talks with Facebook to acquire a stake in the social network, which Microsoft values at USD10bn. But, the New York newspaper claims, it is not willing to buy into both the social network and the search engine, given that it has already spent USD6bn this year buying aQuantive, and so is currently weighing up the two acquisition options.
On the other hand, the cynical angel on my shoulder asks, "so how long would it take to integrate Microsoft and Yahoo, fifty years or so?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Web Based Video Games?

Here is an interesting development. Everyone knows that console video games are a huge business. Now, Barry Diller and IAC/InterActiveCorp want to serve them over the web. I'm rather sceptical that "console quality" will be anything better than the game sites currently available now. But Barry is a pretty sharp cat....right?

Diller's IAC Pulls Trigger on Videogame Venture

In a challenge to the videogame establishment, Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp said on Tuesday it will launch an Internet service that it claims will offer the first “Web-delivered gaming system.”

IAC said the service will use peer-to-peer technology to render browser-based computer games with graphics that approach those in high-end consoles, such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

IAC’s announcement follows the company’s two-year effort to buy a gaming company, which culminated in its stealth investment in Eugene, Oregon-based GarageGames in the first quarter.

Mr. Diller’s company said GarageGames’ P2P technology will be wrapped into a new IAC unit called InstantAction, which will serve up a variety of in-house and third party web-based video games.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Changing Landscape of Mobile

Hi all. I've partnered with the Software and Information Industry Association ( to produce a series of events that will take a look at the transformational changes occurring right now in three critical areas. Each of these areas are wrestling with dramatic change that is raising technology, regulatory, and cultural issues while generating tremendous business opportunities and creating real value for customers. Each of these events will spotlight panelists with differing perspectives on all of these issues as well as give insight into what the future might look like given today’s trends.

The first event will be very informative and will focus on the changes in the wireless industry and the impact that mobility is having on consumers, enterprises and marketers. We've scheduled two other events: one on security (Oct 25) and one on enterprise software (Nov 13). Look for those invitations down the road.

I’ve included the event information below. If you’d like to attend, please visit

“The Changing Landscape: Mobile”

Panelists: Leslie Poole, CEO, Javien Digital Payments
Gregg Smith, CEO, Acuity Mobile
Rich Carlson, CEO, Wireless Matrix
D. P. Venkatesh, CEO, mPortal

Jeff Majka, Strategic Communications Group

Date: September 25, 2007

Time: 8am to 10am

Location: SIIA DC office, 1090 Vermont Avenue, 6th Floor, Washington DC

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day Is Over...Back to Work

I recorded a podcast at BlogTalkRadio a few weeks ago. It's an interview with Samir Gulati the Vice President of Marketing for Appian (, a builder of Business Process Management software solutions based here in Tysons Corner, VA. Samir shares his secrets on how to implement a successful marketing campaign. He got his start with General Electric back in the day so he really knows his stuff.

If you are a marketing executive, I recommend listening to Samir's insight here.