Microsoft Answers EC with No IE in Windows 7

microsoftMicrosoft has possibly pulled a fast one on the European Commission (EC) in its wrestling match to see whether their Internet Explorer browser (IE) will be packaged in the new Windows 7 offering. The EC has contended that by including the browser in the operating system that competition is being squeezed out unfairly by Microsoft. Well, we may be seeing that EC stands for ‘Exceptionally Clueless’ considering how they may have stepped all over their own case against the software giant.

The BBC reports

In January 2009, Brussels reached a “preliminary view” that Microsoft was denting the chance for true competition by bundling its browser software in with its operating system.

Microsoft has then taken the step to not offer IE in the Windows 7 operating system release in the EC regions.

Twitter Starts New Verified Accounts Beta

good-housekeeping1In the wake of the run-in with St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa last week Twitter has officially launched its verified accounts beta. The service was mentioned over the weekend in Biz Stone’s blog post that made it known that Twitter would bow to no one on legal concerns that they viewed as frivolous.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore tells of the new process

The feature has been a long time coming, and many celebrities will jump on the opportunity to prove their legitimacy. It’ll also solve the entrenched problem of celebrity impersonations, which are confusing for users and unwelcome by those being impersonated. Businesses, however, will have to wait: the feature has not been rolled out to corporate entities yet.

Areas of Ad Spend Drop 14% in First Quarter

downward-graphAs we rapidly approach the end of the second quarter of 2009 there is still news trickling in from what happened in Q1. As suspected, that news is not good. A study by TNS Media Intelligence was reported in today’s WSJ and ad spend for media including TV, print and online display ads fell 14% year to year to $30.8 billion. It is important to note that this number does NOT include online search ads or in store ads.

Based on that what are these numbers telling us? First, they are from the equivalent of a century ago but they are simply validation that things have been bad and all of the complaining may have some merit. In fact, to hear TNS’s senior vice president of research, Jon Swallen, put it “We are now in the record books with the worst quarter in a decade.”

Google Book Settlement May Be Unsettling to Government

booksJust as Google is trying to secure friends in high places in the halls of Washington, DC it is hearing that its class action book settlement from October with various book publishing entities is getting the serious attention of anti-trust regulators. Good thing there are so many Googlers on the ground in the nation’s capital to try to douse this one, if they can. No one wants to be looked at as an evil big business these days trying to take advantage of free market opportunities. That’s bad for business.

According to the New York Times

The Justice Department has sent the requests, called civil investigative demands, to various parties, including Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and individual publishers, said Michael J. Boni, a partner at Boni & Zack, who represented the Authors Guild in negotiations with Google.

Twittersphere Ain’t What It Used to Be

twitter-birdA study was released today, conducted by inbound marketing company HubSpot, which looked at 4.5 million Twitter users over a nine month period. The data was gathered by their proprietary Twitter Grader tool and provides more confirmation of what we reported last week following a study conducted by a Harvard MBA candidate and assistant professor: As the tool as grown its usage has not in the same proportion.

What in the world does that mean, right? Of course if there are a gazillion people signing up for Twitter accounts and lawsuits being filed over impersonation accounts then it must be that all the world is atwitter with Twitter-itis, correct? HubSpot’s study shows that despite the top line growth in number of accounts the actual usage of Twitter may still rest with the technology crowd that claimed it as their own oh those many years ago (well actually around 3 years ago but in the Internet age that’s like a generation or two).

Number of Mobile Users Seeking Local Info Grows 51%

Maybe we are truly approaching the year of mobile. Maybe we’re not. Maybe we should just stop trying to label these things and stick to the facts. According to comScore you can add a piece of data to the mix that shows growth in the access of local information using mobile devices which will warm the hearts of app developers everywhere.

The 51% spike in users seeking to gather local information is broken out across the following platforms

comscore-local-mobile-61009-jpeg

comScore’s senior VP Serge Matta comments

“Given the explosion in application stores and associated marketing efforts, along with the growth in mobile phones using faster data networks, it would not be surprising within the next six months to see the number of people using downloadable applications surpass SMS for the accessing of local information via mobile devices.”

Schmidt Says Google Looking to Buy Some Little Guys

google-logo1Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Fox Business Network that Google is in the market to buy smaller technology players. For most this comes as no surprise. In fact, with all the cash that Google has it may be a surprise that there is not more buzz concerning acquisitions especially considering the favorable valuation environment that exists currently.

Reuters reports that the company has particular targets

Schmidt said, Google plans to focus on the cloud, mobile, and open source distribution of software in the next year.

Schmidt further clarified the philosophy

“We primarily look for technology. It’s a typical build versus buy. How long does it take us to build it with our engineers, versus there are already engineers in this other company that have built this thing.”