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Smartphones’ ecosystem dilemma

Why  is the Motorola Droid apparently gaining traction in the smartphone market, when Microsoft and Nokia are failing so miserably?

The Droid, built on Google’s Android mobile operating system, sold 250,000 in its first week on the market. That’s way behind the 1.6 million iPhone 3Gs sold in the first week after its launch, but it’s still enough for Motorola to see possible salvation after years of decline and for Google to feel self-congratulatory about its venture into mobile.

Some of the success of the Droid, and the increasing number of Android-based phones available, can be ascribed to its clean and versatile operating system. Reviewers and users agree that Android still lags the iPhone, but the gap is closing. In contrast, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile has stumbled through numerous iterations — it’s now on version 6.5 — and endless renamings. No one has ever liked it.

 Nokia once ruled the roost with its Symbian-based smartphones, but its market share has been declining steadily. Nokia still sells more mobile phones than anyone else in the world, but Apple — which sold 7 million phones versus 113 million for Nokia in Q3astoundingly makes more profit, $1.6 billion on handsets in Q3 this year against $1.1 billion for Nokia.

Dow 10,000 is a gas

Jack Healy’s story in The New York Times about the Dow getting closer and closer to the magical 10,000 mark is OK, but it contains few surprises. But I really was blown away by the chart that shows the perfomance of Dow component stocks since March 29, 1999–when the index crossed 10,000 for the first time.

The chart, which includes a number of stocks that are no longer part of the Dow–such as AIG, Citigroup and Eastman Kodak–is interesting because more component stocks have lost ground over the past 10 years than posted gains.

Why Paddy powers past the field

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Here’s why Paddy Power makes the other bookies look flat-footed. Microsoft’s politically-incorrect move to turn a black model’s face white for an ad featuring three smiley happy people that ran in Poland has produced the predictable grovelling apology from the company.

Now Paddy (is that racist? – ed) is offering odds on the racial mix when the campaign for MS Office 2010 is launched. Here they are: 12/1 against white and Asian, 4/1 white only, and a reassuring 11/10 for the original mix of white, Afro-American and Asian. Bet on the favourite, I’d say.

from The Great Debate:

Forget Microsoft, Yahoo’s value is overseas

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

eric_auchard_columnist_shot_2009_june_300_px2The fate of Yahoo Inc has become intertwined in the public's imagination with the success or failure of its dealings with Microsoft Corp in recent years.

That's despite the fact that as much as 70 percent of the value investors put on Yahoo's depressed shares are tied up in its international assets or cash holdings -- factors that have nothing to do with Microsoft.

Revolution?

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Video compression technology can be interesting, really.

On2 CEO on Beet TVMost people forget how online video worked before YouTube popularized the embedded Flash video player. Remember the frustration of making sure you had the right video player to play this or that web video? It was YouTube that popularized giving people one-click access to videos.

On Wednesday, Google said it had agreed to acquire On2 Technologies, a maker of video compression technology, in a deal that could have sweeping effects for how video works on the web. The Internet search leader has a bland blog post about how it intends to use On2 to innovate in how video working on the Web, but it isn’t at all clear how far it Google is ready to go.

Apple-Google learn Corporate Governance 1.0

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LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – The resignation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt from Apple’s board should come as no surprise to anyone with an inkling of what corporate governance means.

But then Silicon Valley’s idea of corporate boards has long consisted of cozy, interlocking directorships which would be considered collusion in most other industries.

Tech Links: Phones, more phones and communion wafers

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HTC Android phoneBetter luck next year for Android
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has warned of a revenue shortfall, saying it has too many new phone models chasing too little revenue. Revenue growth will turn negative in 2009, instead of growing 10 percent, as the company had previously forecast.

Chief Executive Peter Chou says: “Momentum on both the Windows Mobile and Android platforms are also turning out to be weaker than expected.”

Saying boo to Micro-hoo: Eric Auchard

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Eric AuchardLONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – There’s been a bonfire of shareholder value at Yahoo and the blaze is not out yet, even after the agreement to a long-delayed deal with Microsoft.

Eighteen months ago, Yahoo walked away from Microsoft’s nearly $45 billion acquisition offer — a 60 percent premium to Yahoo’s then market value.

The European browser elections and other tech news links

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Microsoft says the best way to resolve its dispute with European Union competition regulators may be an election.  The software giant spelled out late on Friday Brussels time plans for an election-style ballot to decide the question of which browser consumers use in Windows.

The forthcoming Windows 7 operating system would offer a “ballot screen” that lets consumers turn off Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer (IE) and instead use rival browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari Google Chrome or Opera Software.

Tech results give few clues to economy: Eric Auchard

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Windows 7 touchscreen demonstrationBy Eric Auchard

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Investors have proved all too ready to interpret positive earnings trends from Intel, IBM and Apple as signs of economic recovery and to justify a continued rally in technology stocks.

Now they are taking the wrong lessons in reverse by reading disappointing results from Microsoft Corp as evidence that a nascent rebound in the economy has stalled.

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