Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's The Best Buyer for Yahoo!?

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After the board of Yahoo shot down Microsoft's proposed 40 billion plus dollar takeover offer, Microsoft's board who just can't take buzz off for an answer will likely reply with a proxy battle to acquire Yahoo. There are rumors among the chattering classes of stock market analysts and technology journalists about a friendly merger with another tech or media company. Who are the likely friendly corporate suitors and who is the best fit for Yahoo?

News Corporation AKA Fox Interactive. The most widely rumored to be in a position to buy Yahoo to beat off Microsoft is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The owner of myspace has pockets big enough to out bid Microsoft. News corp. hasn't been in the online media business very long, only since acquiring Myspace a few years ago. Linking the services of Yahoo with Myspace is believed to be a stop gap of people leaving myspace to facebook.

Time Warner After merging with AOL with 34 million dial up subscribers AOL has been run down to yet another web portal. Life jackets and Life boats had better be ready at Yahoo offices.

Comcast, AT&T A buy out from the largest cable company or largest telco isn't about the vertical integration of content and distribution, this is a hedge against any net neutrality law that may be passed when Barak Obama becomes president (face it Hilary is going down, accept it). "How can we give Google equal access to bandwidth when we own the Yahoo servers"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What does the death of HD-DVD mean for the rest of us?

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Tuesday's announcement from Toshiba that they will cease manufacturing and selling HD-DVD players has brought to an end of the High Definition disc format war and made Blu-Ray the winner. Now that Toshiba has conceded defeat all that is left is to hire an army of lawyers for the class action lawsuit from the 1.3 million of buyers of HD-DVD players.

The winner by far is Sony who will forever will make money from licencing fees when ever somebody buys a blu-ray player or content on blu-ray.

On the surface it appears that consumers win because the choice becomes a lot easier but the problem for the consumer is that blu-ray is more expensive and because it's the only choice now consumers will be paying the premium price forever.

It may eventually be that lower tier electronics manufacturers will end up making so many blu-ray players and selling them at mass sellers like Wal-Mart that it will force prices down like when companies like Apex Digital brought the price of a DVD player to under 200 dollars.

The format war is over and we are still treating the wounded, and Toshiba is carrying way their dead.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Google's Android, What does it mean for the Cell Phone Industry

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A prototype of Google's Android operating system for cell phones was shown off at a recent trade show in Spain. Many expect Android to be the iPhone killer especially CDMA carriers who have seen customers defecting to AT&T to get an iPhone. Selling the Mobile phone operating system to cell phone manufacturers and cell carriers will give Google a revenue source from an actual product instead of advertising.

Those who should shake in their boots are Microsoft whose Windows Mobile operating system hasn't exactly the mobile world on fire and Palm the PDA pioneer turned fledgling smartphone maker whose best days are long past. Both companies are getting new competition from a new offering that is cheaper and has more capabilities.

Unlikely unaffected will be Research in Motion because Blackberry is so very entrenched in the corporate world and in the halls of power their users are so loyal they won't even consider switching to something else.

So where does this leave Apple, Android promises to bring iPhone type capabilities to phones made by other companies on all cell phone carriers. The fanboys who are replicating faster than tribbles will always carry iPhones.

We have so far since the days of the StarTac 3000 which I was using up until a couple of years ago.