Google Aims At Microsoft – Google Apps In the Enterprise – Google Sets Up Channel Partners

In an big move Google is taking the classic enterprise sales move – set up a channel.  Indirect channel marketing is great leverage and if pulled off is very disruptive. I’ve spend many years in the channel business with Hewlett-Packard and the channel model is based upon a simple formula – get thousands of people selling your product everywhere.  However, the key to success is money which Google has plenty of.  If Google can incent channel partners with good products and great margin, they will put a dent in the Microsoft dominance.

Here is more detail. Web search leader Google Inc took another step on Wednesday toward direct competition with Microsoft Corp by recruiting IT resellers to market its Web-based applications to business clients.

From the end of March, authorized resellers will be able to sell, customize and support premium versions of Google Apps, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, calendars and email.

Google Apps is broadly similar to Microsoft‘s top-selling Office package except that Apps is completely Web-based and is part of Google‘s push into so called ‘cloud computing‘ or software-as-a-service. Microsoft said in October it is also looking at adding Web-based features for its Office applications.

Since it launched Google Apps in February 2007, Google has only sold directly to business users over the Web. Analysts said the move to work with third parties is necessary if Google hopes to compete seriously with Microsoft or IBM.

Microsoft, which is the world’s largest software company, sells more than 95 percent of its software through more than 440,000 third party resellers, according to Gartner Research, and intends to spend around $3 billion on managing those sales channels in 2009.

Google’s Catch and Release Developer Ecosystem – Google Analytics Has Flash Tracking – It’s About Time

Google is announcing today Google Analytics supporting Flash content. This is a very big deal. Widgets and flash based content is everywhere and soon it will be the preferred navigation method for most content.

Catch and Release Strategy to Ecosystem Development
I am very impressed lately by Google’s commitment to open source. Specifically, I love their strategy of what I call the ‘Catch and Release’ strategy for developing their ecosystem of developers and partners.

They are certainly doing a lot of land grabbing, but they are releasing their innovations and improvements as open source. This strategy for ecosystem development is much different than Microsoft’s old model (closed ecosystem embrace and extend). Google is earning credibility in a new way by enabling key technology and then by releasing code for open collaboration and development – Catch and Release.

They are betting on the Internet Operating System. If more people use the web then Google wins. Here again with Flash (like Andriod, Chrome, and dozens of other projects inside the Googleplex) Google’s innovation is the ‘catch’ and their ecosystem developer strategy is the ‘release’.

Tracking Flash – The Next User Interface That Needs Search and Navigation

Google is announcing a simplified solution for tracking Flash content for everyone, called Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash. This feature is a translation of the current Google Analytics tracking code into the ActionScript 3 programming language that dramatically simplifies the ability to track Flash, Flex and AS3 content. This new Flash tracking code provides all the rich features of the current JavaScript-based version, including campaign, pageview and event tracking and can be used to track Flash content such as embedded videos, branded microsites and distributed widgets, such as online games.

Now it’s simple for Flash content developers to answer questions like:

* How many people have watched my video?
* Are we developing the right creative that attracts new users?
* How effective is my content at getting people to take action?

Google is providing tracking libraries for both Flash and Flex which can be downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:

* Flash visual component
* Flash AS3 library
* Flex MXML component
* Flex AS3 library

And you can learn more about how to use them through this developer documentation.

Open source is the way! Google is delivering on innovation and code for developers. Google is providing the entire AS3 code base under the Apache 2 License as Open Source, available here.

If you are a developer and want to improve the code’s functionality, you can contribute to the code base. Or, if you are a company that is running a content platform, you can seamlessly integrate the Flash tracking codebase into your existing architecture.

Google Memo To Publishers – They Are Saying Don’t Panic We Are Innovating

Google is sending letters to their AdSense publishers saying don’t panic we’ll be fine. Google has to be worried that the economic times will hurt publisher. What’s worse for Google is the AdBlocking technologies coming out.

Here is the Google “Don’t Panic” memo

Dear Publisher,

We understand that the recent economic turmoil has created a lot of uncertainty in the lives of AdSense publishers. During these difficult times, we’re continuing to invest in innovations that improve publisher monetization and advertiser value in the content network.

We’re focusing on further developing our product offerings and boosting ad performance for publishers. We recently announced advancements in AdSense for search and experiments to make ads more effective. We’re bringing DoubleClick technologies to AdSense publishers, and we’ll continue to launch new products and features. We’re also continuing to improve our offerings for AdWords advertisers, making it easier for them to target the Google content network. Features for advertisers, such as the new display ad builder, are designed to improve ad performance on AdSense publisher sites.

We’ll keep driving technological progress, but our best asset will always be our publisher partners. The strength of AdSense lies in the value of the content you bring to users and the quality of the sites you bring to advertisers. Our success is tied to yours. We look forward to partnering with you for the long term, and remain dedicated to helping you succeed.


xxxx xxxx {name removed}
Director AdSense Online Sales & Operations

Google and Intel – Weaving the Web Of Relationships

Interesting article on Intel. This brings up some interesting data points. The relationship between these companies is compelling.  The Intel CEO sits on the board of Google and the CEO of Google sits on the board of Apple.

Within five years, they estimate that Google will purchase one-third of all microprocessors

Google already exerts significant monopoly power in the market, since when they construct a new standard build, the chips have to come either exclusively from AMD or Intel. AMD’s last few profitable quarters a couple years back can be traced to their holding of the Google contract.

The best business development has always been with the CEO.

Google 3rd Quarter Finanical Results

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

“We had a good third quarter with strong traffic and revenue growth across all of our major geographies thanks to the underlying strength of our core search and ads business. The measurability and ROI of search-based advertising remain key assets for Google,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “While we are realistic about the poor state of the global economy, we will continue to manage Google for the long term, driving improvements to search and ads, while also investing in future growth areas such as enterprise, mobile, and display.”

Q3 Financial Summary

Google reported revenues of $5.54 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, an increase of 31% compared to the third quarter of 2007 and an increase of 3% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2008, TAC totaled $1.50 billion, or 28% of advertising revenues.

Google reports operating income, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures in the accompanying financial tables.

  • GAAP operating income for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.74 billion, or 31% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.58 billion, or 29% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2008 was $2.02 billion, or 37% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $1.85 billion, or 34% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008.
  • GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.35 billion as compared to $1.25 billion in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2008 was $1.56 billion, compared to $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2008.
  • GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2008 was $4.24 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $3.92 for the second quarter of 2008 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2008 was $4.92, compared to $4.63 in the second quarter of 2008.
  • Non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income, and non-GAAP EPS are computed net of stock-based compensation (SBC). In the third quarter of 2008, the charge related to SBC was $280 million as compared to $273 million in the second quarter of 2008. Tax benefits related to SBC have also been excluded from non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS. The tax benefit related to SBC was $63 million in the third quarter of 2008 and $48 million in the second quarter of 2008. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP operating income, operating margin, net income, and EPS are included at the end of this release.

Q3 Financial Highlights

Revenues – Google reported revenues of $5.54 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, representing a 31% increase over third quarter 2007 revenues of $4.23 billion and a 3% increase over second quarter 2008 revenues of $5.37 billion. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting TAC.

Google Sites Revenues Google-owned sites generated revenues of $3.67 billion, or 67% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2008. This represents a 34% increase over third quarter 2007 revenues of $2.73 billion and a 4% increase over second quarter 2008 revenues of $3.53 billion.

Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $1.68 billion, or 30% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2008. This represents a 15% increase over network revenues of $1.45 billion generated in the third quarter of 2007 and a 1% increase over second quarter 2008 revenues of $1.66 billion.International Revenues – Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $2.85 billion, representing 51% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2008, compared to 48% in the third quarter of 2007 and 52% in the second quarter of 2008. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the second quarter of 2008 through the third quarter of 2008, our revenues in the third quarter of 2008 would have been $59 million higher. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the third quarter of 2007 through the third quarter of 2008, our revenues in the third quarter of 2008 would have been $168 million lower.

In the third quarter, we recognized a benefit of $34 million to revenue through our foreign exchange risk management program.

Revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $776 million, representing 14% of revenue in the third quarter of 2008, compared to 16% in the third quarter of 2007 and 14% in the second quarter of 2008.

Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, increased approximately 18% over the third quarter of 2007 and increased approximately 4% over the second quarter of 2008.

TAC – Traffic Acquisition Costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners, increased to $1.50 billion in the third quarter of 2008. This compares to TAC of $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2008. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 28% in the third quarter, compared to 28% in the second quarter of 2008.

The majority of TAC expense is related to amounts ultimately paid to our AdSense partners, which totaled $1.33 billion in the third quarter of 2008. TAC is also related to amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to our website, which totaled $167 million in the third quarter of 2008.

Other Cost of Revenues – Other cost of revenues, which is comprised primarily of data center operational expenses, amortization of intangible assets, content acquisition costs as well as credit card processing charges, increased to $678 million, or 12% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008, compared to $674 million, or 13% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008.

Operating Expenses – Operating expenses, other than cost of revenues, were $1.63 billion in the third quarter of 2008, or 29% of revenues, compared to $1.64 billion in the second quarter of 2008, or 31% of revenues. The operating expenses in the third quarter of 2008 included $859 million in payroll-related and facilities expenses, compared to $810 million in the second quarter of 2008.

Stock-Based Compensation (SBC) – In the third quarter of 2008, the total charge related to SBC was $280 million as compared to $273 million in the second quarter of 2008.

We currently estimate stock-based compensation charges for grants to employees prior to October 1, 2008 to be approximately $1.1 billion for 2008. This does not include expenses to be recognized related to employee stock awards that are granted after October 1, 2008 or non-employee stock awards that have been or may be granted.

Operating Income – GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2008 was $1.74 billion, or 31% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.58 billion, or 29% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2008 was $2.02 billion, or 37% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $1.85 billion, or 34% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2008.

Interest Income and Other, Net – Interest income and other was $21 million in the third quarter of 2008, compared with $58 million in the second quarter of 2008. The decrease was primarily related to an increase in expenses substantially due to more activity under our foreign exchange risk management program. The cost of the options used to manage our foreign exchange risk is amortized on a mark-to-market basis. As a result, the amount of amortization expense we recognize in any particular quarter is impacted by how much the option moves into or out of the money, as well as the underlying currency’s volatility.

Net Income – GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.35 billion as compared to $1.25 billion in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income was $1.56 billion in the third quarter of 2008, compared to $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2008. GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2008 was $4.24 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $3.92 for the second quarter of 2008, on 318 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2008 was $4.92, compared to $4.63 in the second quarter of 2008.

Income Taxes – Our effective tax rate was 24% for the third quarter of 2008.

Cash Flow and Capital Expenditures – Net cash provided by operating activities for the third quarter of 2008 totaled $2.18 billion as compared to $1.77 billion for the second quarter of 2008. In the third quarter of 2008, capital expenditures were $452 million, the majority of which was related to IT infrastructure investments, including data centers, servers, and networking equipment. Free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. In the third quarter of 2008, free cash flow was $1.73 billion.

We expect to continue to make significant capital expenditures.

A reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities, the GAAP measure of liquidity, is included at the end of this release.

Cash – As of September 30, 2008, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $14.4 billion.

On a worldwide basis, Google employed 20,123 full-time employees as of September 30, 2008, up from 19,604 full-time employees as of June 30, 2008.

Chrome and OS? Yes Google Chrome is an OS

I posted on the day leading up to the Google Chrome announcement that it was an Operating System. Now a guy named Ted Dziuba (programming who worked at Google) says that people don’t know shit about this being an Operating System.

First of all a message to Ted. Nice try ( I have to differ having a degree in Computer Science in what oh Operating System Design) and Chrome is in fact and operating system or operating environment. By the classic definition maybe I can buy your argument but this is not about the classic definition. It’s about the future. The future operating environment where traditional elements are commodities.

I think that you need to look back at other environments to find some similarities. Outside of the common sense that Chrome is a platform for an operating environment of “new apps” I think that the networking stacks of the 80s is similar. I’m old enough to remember the ‘networking protocol’ wars (SNA, Decnet, TCP) and TCP replaced them all in the end. I would argue that this Chrome debated isn’t just about the classic definition of the Windows paradigm.

Chrome is an modern view of an Operating System.

For any environment if it quacks like an OS then it is an OS- Chrome at its core is a OS with a browser front end.

Browser Judo – Google Chrome’s Secret Move

I like Chrome. Chrome is impressive. Chrome is about the future. However, it lacks the innovation on the video side, but that wasn’t expected in this first version. Bottom line: Chrome doesn’t suck. It’s good. I have been using Chrome since it launched and it hasn’t crashed once.

As I reflect on Chrome and what it means, I’m struck by two things: The immediate hit on Firefox and the strategic blow to Microsoft – I’m calling this Browser Judo. The inventor of the browser hints to some of the same things here.

The big tech story isn’t that Google in essence copied Firefox. It’s browser judo. The judo being put on Microsoft. The move is little old Javascript. On the surface Javascript is Javascript, but Google’s Judo move takes this little (major) element of the web and uses it against Microsoft. Why? Because Microsoft Internet Explorer is weak when it comes to Javascript. In talking to tech geeks over the past few days Chrome is 40x faster then Internet Explorer.

Little Javascript is the Judo move on Microsoft. Microsoft COM is actually very good but Internet Explorer treat Javascript as a separate silo even in how they develop the broswer – it’s a separate coding team. So this makes the hidden classes piece of V8 huge – especially against the big turtle now known as Internet Explorer.

Because of the relationship between COM and Javascript, Microsoft incurs a huge “overhead” penalty in managing pages and interactions – In the geek developer world this is called “taking out the trash” or garbage collecting. IE 8 doesn’t really solve this problem of overhead.

Google is taking a small but important element in Javascript and using to throw down IE in performance. As an end user I see immediate benefits on page loads especially if I use the web a lot – hello that’s what the browser is for. Google has it right in this version.

With Chrome Firefox in the short term is impacted, but the real loser will be Internet Explorer. Dean and his team better get busy and fast. I’m a big fan of Internet Explorer since it’s inception, but it’s time for Internet Explorer to compete and put out a faster product.

Better Microsoft better counter the Browser Judo with a move of their own.

Google Chrome – Google Wants to Say It – Just Say It Sergey- It’s a Modern OS and Where is Intel?

Platform for web apps bla bla bla. A couple of observations on Chrome – It’s good, it’s an OS, and where the hell is Intel. Multi-process?? Hello multicore on the desktop – Hello Intel? Wake up.

I think that Google is being smart by not calling attention to the OS issue. Why? Because the definition of an OS favors Microsoft – and all the legacy baggage with PC centric stuff. Why get into that conversation – just let the technology speak for itself. We need a redefinition of what a modern OS is?

The reality is that this is an operating system for a modern environment – web centric computing. Google is proud and should be. They have been focused on advancing computer science to provide a better users experience rather than fluff marketing. Oh yeah why not make a few more billion in the process.

When I had a moment with Sergey to talk he was excited (except not having a Mac version). Expect a Mac version in short order. Sergey is emailing the team daily he said. Anyway it was interesting yesterday when Sergey outright dismissed the operating system question yesterday by Rob Hof of Businessweek. He then goes on to answer my strategic question about V8. After Rob’s question I asked Sergey the following question:

John F: “so Lars (super guru on V8) said that the three components of the v8 are: Compiler, Linker/Loader, and Memory management.. is that correct.”

Sergey responses “Hmm .. Right on John (nice pickup) yes except I wouldn’t call the 2nd piece a Linker”….

I can see that Sergey was parsing the semantics of the question and certainly didn’t realize that he just admited that this is a modern OS. He right in a traditional sense, but it’s an OS from my seat. It’s not a full blown OS as we know by Microsoft’s definition but certainly it is by computer science and Google’s definition. Linking is the process of combining various pieces of code and data together to form a single executable that can be loaded in memory. Compiler, Linker, Memory Management – V8 OS engine has some compelling features for loading more code to be executed. Very good for developers.

The elephant in the room is that Google is an OS. It’s a good thing. We need a new OS – a modern one. What that will end up meaning is still under development by the top comp sci guys around the world (and they are employed by Google).

To me it’s search, advertising, new software model, communications technology (broadband), and collaboration tools.

One thing that no one picked up yesterday – Where is Intel? Is Intel sleeping at the wheel on this? Google just validated Multi-core. This is relevant to Intel on the desktop. Multiprocess software needs multicore computing power. Where is Intel on this? If Intel was worried that cloud computing will kill their multicore desktop business then that is over. All Intel has to do is keep serving up multicore “crack” to Google engineers and the desktop will be a robust edge client to a ever growing ‘cloud’ and ‘datacenter’.

I think that Google’s advances are important to Intel. The desktop computing paradigm isn’t going away – just the definition of an OS is.

Entire Video and My Notes from Google Chrome Briefing – Web Sites and Web Services are the New Application

Update: Here is the actual video of the entire Google presentation.

Here are my raw notes from the Google Chrome briefing. Walt Mossberg has a review up. Kara Swisher is going postal – pun intended she is liveblogging. GigaOm, Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, Wired, Cnet, NYTimes, Reuters, LA Times, ..all are here.  I posted yesterday about this – it’s an operating system war.

Google founders came to meet and great the press and guys like me. Here are my notes from the event.

Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, is giving an overview.

WebKit core technology behind android. Why Webkit? Speed.

Multiprocess architecture – hmm Intel will love this? Each tab has it’s own process.

Google is trying to ease the pain of users regarding crashes. Each tab on the browser has it’s own process so if there is a crash – one app crashes the entire browser doesn’t go down.

Security? Sandbox – each app is silo’d so apps can’t read/write across apps.

Underlying technology is good for apps. Because Google started from scratch

V8 is the innovation – It’s basically a virtual machine – it’s a javascript engine written from scratch. It executes faster and is tied to each multi process or app. Lars Google’s tech guru talks about V8.

Stability Speed, and App support.

Chrome is designed for multiplatform but only windows at the moment. Mac and Linux coming soon. Day 1 Chrome is over 100 countries in 43 languages.

Fully open source – completely open source. Google is mining the best from open source and giving back via open source. Of course their backend is a service so there is no license issue. Google is building proprietary glue around open source code they selected – that is not available. That is Google’s IP. Developers win by leveraging new hooks. As Google advances so do the application and services developers.

Ben who is in charge of the UI – says that it’s not just a content viewer. Building on success of simplicity of the Google homepage. More of a window mgr for apps. Lightweight window. First thing was tab browsing – hmm navigation. Google’s bread and butter has been providing a great experience in providing navigation (to content and to ads).

Navigation is the key to design. The address bar is just the toolbar built into the address bar. Omnibox is the name of the Google address bar. Microsoft called it autosearch that’s been around for a while. Autosearch has been the target for navigation highjacking for years and now Google will own it. They renamed it but now its under Google’s control. No real innovation on address bar – it’s just autocomplete and search UI.

Chrome does have a nice feature what I call learning mode – where it sees what you do on your favorite sites – navigation choices are built into the address bar. Some sort of “metareasoning”. This shows Google’s focus on software innovation. Hope to see more of this kind of AI-lite functionality.

Bookmarks bring the search paradigm to site management and web service. Default homepage is the bookmark tabs. Kind of session restore as a default web page. Google is clear that they are not putting any Googles services embedded in the browser – hmm I don’t see it that way.

For the about time feature (meaning it’s about time someone did this) – It’s called Incognito mode (aka Porn mode): incognito window – all browsing will not be stored in browser history.

One goal of Chrome is to create the invisible browser. Example downloading content (e.g. music). Managing downloads is easy. Can interact with downloads even if they are still in process – ability to drag and drop while downloading (to desktop to a folder). The user experience is awesome independent of what is happening behind the scences (eg the download being completed)

Tab management. Love the drag and drop of tabs. For people who have many tabs open this is a dream.

Darren Fisher, tech lead for Chrome, talks about what’s under the hood. Biggest problem is the browser crashing to take down the entire browser session (all tabs). Point here is that browsing web pages is over. We are really browsing (or interacting) with applications – web services like gmail, media site,. etc

Multiprocess architecture is the heart of the design. Secuirty benefits come from this architecture – Sandbox – strips down all privilege to nothing but browsing. No way for bad guys to get in – separating the rendering engine from the process for the application adds a layer of security.

Task manager shows each tab as a process. If a page hangs the tabs stay available to manage the rest of the pages.

Plugins – 3rd party either Netscape style or native. Code is open source.

Performance – static content and dynamic content

Lars Bach – web tech lead presents v8. brand new engine – take care of the future of web applications. Virtual machine expertise. This guy Lars is excited who wouldn’t be Google is pouring some serious computer science into delivering on this mission.

Javascript is the new standard for next generation of web applications and user experience. Software advances applied to ‘stale’ current standards. A new software model – this is the foundation of an operating system – 3 components: 1) compiler, 2) “javascript loader” (kind of a linker loader), and 3) memory management.

Javascript engine in V8 is optimized in Chrome. This allows for dynamic access and management of 3rd party sites and applications. A turbo javascript of some sorts.

Question that i didn’t get to ask: what is the dependence on windows? I remember the old saying at msft years ago – job not done til lotus doesn’t run. What will msft do now – job not done til Chrome doesn’t run

Chrome code is at is available on open source basis.

Sergey said: Over two years of work – not a me-too browser but something completely different – This is a paradigm shift.

Larry is talking about the comp science effort – many google employees have been using it for a long time.

I get the feeling like this is Google’s Moon Shot. Tons of passion by the founders on this project.

I asked the question on video user experience – no answer on video innovation in this browser beta – they said that this first rev is about getting webkit done right and the basic innovation and superior user experience. Video advances will come later or from a 3rd party via a plug in.

End of the session

Google Chrome What Does it Mean? – It’s Official – The Search Wars Just Turned into Operating System War

NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

SEARCH WARS now OPERATING SYSTEM WAR – It’s official the search war just turned into the Web 2.0 operating system war. Philip Lenssen just posted what looks like a early version of what Google will be announcing tomorrow – Google Chrome

Folks this is the operating system war in full action. One between Microsoft and Google. Google is coming out with their own browser called Chrome.

This browser is a direct maneuver to block Microsoft IE8 (and other msft moves) from cutting off Google’s ‘hooks’ in search and desktop environments. People (like me) who have been following Google since their inception know that they have infested the desktop with little ‘hooks’ into search which translated into adwords and adsense – e.g. toolbar, tracking, and other services. These little hooks provide the superior user experience in navigation and search as well as power the money printing machine at Google (their ad business).

Google’s dominance in search and user navigation experience is at risk with IE8. Why? Because Microsoft’s window of opportunity to leverage their current (and eroding) monopoly in their operating system and browser market share is closing. This Chrome product is a direct answer to that Microsoft push.

Google’s browser is just that – a competitive strategy to maintain their stronghold and defend their current search offering.

Chrome – Beyond Search

Chrome goes beyond search. Google having a browser (Chrome) is strategic. It’s just one piece of the user environment (aka the edge software) that Google needs to own to have a fully functional operating system. By making Chrome open source Google sends a message to the army of software developers that the Google platform is worthy to develop ontop of. Also Google garners the support from a growing and rabid community of developers while deflect any policy and antitrust discussions.

From a platform perspective Chrome as an open source development project increases the range of edge devices that the software can be ported to. I am talking about Android both phone and set top box environments. Open sourcing the project is good for developers and if played right great for Google. We will see which company is friendlier to developers – meaning how does each platform vendor incorporate new developer technology.

Impact on Startups

I am very bullish on Chrome as a good thing to push competition and innovation. It will be a good thing for startups to leverage this massive platform shift. For startups it’s an opportunity if you can see the vision of these platforms then intersect a business or technology deal into it.

Good Luck Google and I hope to see startups and 3rd party technology in the platform. For me success will be judged by the user experience and the amount of 3rd party participation. Google will fail if they can’t build a developer ecosystem around their platform.

From Phil Lenssen on the details on Google Chrome – Thanks Phil for breaking this story. This is a big deal.

Google gives the technical details into a project of theirs: an open source browser called Google Chrome. The book points to, but I can’t see anything live there yet. In a nut-shell, here’s what the comic announces Google Chrome to be:

  • Google Chrome is Google’s open source browser project. As rumored before under the name of “Google Browser”, this will be based on the existing rendering engine Webkit. Furthermore, it will include Google’s Gears project.
  • The browser will include a JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8, built from scratch by a team in Denmark, and open-sourced as well so other browsers could include it. One aim of V8 was to speed up JavaScript performance in the browser, as it’s such an important component on the web today. Google also say they’re using a “multi-process design” which they say means “a bit more memory up front” but over time also “less memory bloat.” When web pages or plug-ins do use a lot of memory, you can spot them in Chrome’s task manager, “placing blame where blame belongs.”
  • Google Chrome will use special tabs. Instead of traditional tabs like those seen in Firefox, Chrome puts the tab buttons on the upper side of the window, not below the address bar.
  • The browser has an address bar with auto-completion features. Called ’omnibox’, Google says it offers search suggestions, top pages you’ve visited, pages you didn’t visit but which are popular amd more. The omnibox (“omni” is a prefix meaning “all”, as in “omniscient” – “all-knowing”) also lets you enter e.g. “digital camera” if the title of the page you visited was “Canon Digital Camera”. Additionally, the omnibox lets you search a website of which it captured the search box; you need to type the site’s name into the address bar, like “amazon”, and then hit the tab key and enter your search keywords.
  • As a default homepage Chrome presents you with a kind of “speed dial” feature, similar to the one of Opera. On that page you will see your most visited webpages as 9 screenshot thumbnails. To the side, you will also see a couple of your recent searches and your recently bookmarked pages, as well as recently closed tabs.
  • Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an “incognito” window “and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer.” The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Google’s use-case for when you might want to use the “incognito” feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoft’s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a “porn mode.”
  • Web apps can be launched in their own browser window without address bar and toolbar. Mozilla has a project called Prism that aims to do similar (though doing so may train users into accepting non-URL windows as safe or into ignoring the URL, which could increase the effectiveness of phishing attacks).
  • To fight malware and phishing attempts, Chrome is constantly downloading lists of harmful sites. Google also promises that whatever runs in a tab is sandboxed so that it won’t affect your machine and can be safely closed. Plugins the user installed may escape this security model, Google admits.


Kara Swisher has some insight. I like how she talks about the cold war moving to a frontal attack. Other notable posts – Mathew Ingram as always has laser focus post and Marshall at RWW – hints to what I called on as the Modern Browser.

Android is Centerpiece of the Google Equation for the Edge

Talk about bleeding edge. Google Android might just be the software platform for developers. Venturebeat has a great post – actually Eric’s story trumps the NYTimes story imho.

I posted on Broadband Developments blog ( my views on how I see these kinds of strategic efforts killing the Unified Communications vendors effort to win the platform.

More importantly is the advances in software that Google is developing. It is being architected as an operating system for sure. Google’s core asset is the distributed datacenters that power search and then new edge devices. All Google needs is it’s own communications backbone.

“Cloud Bandwagon” is the Hottest Trend in Tech – Wait That’s Web 2.0

I love how the bandwagon of cloud computing it hitting on all time high. Everyone is about the cloud even AT&T.  Today AT&T announced it is joining the Cloud Bandwangon. AT&T said Tuesday that it will offer cloud computing services via a new service dubbed AT&T Synaptic Hosting. AT&T is just the latest company to join the cloud computing game. Everyone from traditional IT giants like HP and IBM to Amazon and Google have cloud computing services catering to companies ranging from enterprise giants to startups.

The category of the “Cloud” is the new branding or categorically sector for all the big infrastructure players. Cloud computing is the new category that we’ll all keep score on who is the best vendor.

Why is cloud computing such a hit for these companies? It’s because it spans multiple sectors – enterprise datacenter, web services, consumer, virtualization, security. It’s sort of a convergence between intranets, DMZ, extranet, and outside web all in one.

It’s a land grab and yet it’s so unknown. It’s a marketing dream for a big vendor to say ‘we own the cloud’.

My take: it can’t be owned. Lock-in is harder in today climate. Old lock in tactics don’t work in today’s infrastructure.

What are the new lock-in tactics? We’ll be covering all the cloud computing trends on (my new blog on cloud computing among other topics).

Right now Google, VMWare, and Amazon are putting on a clinic in the cloud area. Everyone else is an also ran.

“Apples and Googles” More Like “Apples and Pears” – Bad News for Enterpreneurs? Where’s the Halfway House –

All the talk about companies being sold, founders getting ousted, and ventures failing or being killed by VCs. This seems to be the trend in Silicon Valley and around the world. The captial markets are a mess. The Wall Street Journal has a story on it today in a post called “Who’s going to fund the next Steve Jobs?”. James Freeman really nails this story and highlights very accurately the ugly trend being witnessed by many entrepreneurs out there right now. This is a big problem with serious economic implications.

This post hits home with me because I’m an entrepreneur living in this market with four kids and it ain’t pretty. The capital markets are in the tiolet and founders around the world are working hard to find no buyers of their ideas or products. It’s a bootstrapping market. The entreprenerial market isn’t broken or starved for good ideas and needed innovation. Instead the ecosystem is stuck in the sand. Incubators are clearly seeing the action and see the need for innovation. Some bright lights are shining out there like Y Combinator among others, but overall it’s pretty dark.

What does this mean?
Bad news for entrepreneurs short term and bad news for innovation long term. M&A doesn’t yield innovation. Passionate and skilled entrepreneurs need the runway to make their visions happen. Lack of exit stunts the available growth capital needed for those next big ‘Apples and Googles”. Big ventures take 3-5 years to develop. Problem today is that capital isn’t founder friendly. Founders getting ousted after one year doesn’t make innovation happen. I’m seeing more founders on the street then ever before. There needs to be a new financial model or new incubator model (or halfway house) for founders and entrepreneurs. Y Combinator calls it a startup for startups.

Big problem is that initial public offerings of young companies had become rare. Venture-backed IPOs in 2005 and 2006 were far below the levels of the early 1990s, never mind the boom years that followed. A recovery in the early months of 2007 still didn’t push IPO numbers anywhere close to the number of young companies being acquired by bigger, more established firms.

Love this passage from James Freeman of the WSJ. “This is bad news for the U.S. economy. Does anyone think that we would be better off if Bill Gates and Michael Dell had sold out to corporate behemoths early in their careers, instead of leading their firms for years as public companies? Would consumers enjoy the same vibrant market in Web services if Yahoo had gobbled up a nascent Google? How powerful would our computers be if Intel had become an IBM subsidiary, instead of going public in 1971?”

“Of course we can’t run these experiments. What we do know is that entrepreneurial drive, combined with venture investors’ money and experience, plus access to the public markets, equaled a tech revolution and an industry that is the envy of the world. That model may be collapsing.”

“True, investment in U.S. venture funds is holding up well despite the market downturn, with investors pouring $9 billion into this asset class in the second quarter. But over the long term, venture investments have to result in a healthy number of home-run IPOs to justify the risks and offset the inevitable failures. The industry cannot continue raising the money to fund American innovation if its returns trail the stock market indexes, as they did for the five-year period through 2007.”

“Some have ascribed the broken venture model to the “cheap revolution,” meaning that, thanks to earlier innovations, the tools to create new tech products are so cheap that entrepreneurs don’t even need funding from venture capitalists. That’s great, but we’re not seeing a flood of IPOs of young companies built without venture money, nor the creation of lots of privately held global powerhouses. By and large, founders of Internet startups are not creating companies with the dream of conquering the world, but rather with the intention of selling to Google, eBay, Yahoo or Microsoft.”

“Our society should be encouraging these entrepreneurs to dream big. Instead, they’re looking for the exit before they have to deal with the burdens of our public markets.”

“An acquisition generally means that the founders move on, see projects they championed get axed, and watch old colleagues get fired. How many company founders would aspire to conduct a sale of the business instead of a public offering, absent some bizarre and unnatural conditions in the market?”

Of course I’m biased but founders and entrepreneurs need to be in charge. Never fire the founder in a changing market.

Note: Steve Jobs was ousted by his investors (Venrock Associates) only to come back and change the world a second time. Can you imagine August Capital firing Bill Gates. Good venture capitalists understand the long term value of entrepreneurship not just the quick flip.

Breaking: Google buy Russian Ad Agency Begun from Rambler Media – The Global Growth Plan

Update: Google is timing a blog post around their international plans. Plans to expand to 40 languages. The international growth is very real for Google both on the ad side and the search side. Connecting the dots makes you wonder about how strong the long term prospect are for Google. I’m bullish on the growth plan.

Breaking right now is that Google is buying the Russian Ad Agency. What this means is growth internationally. While some nickle dime the Google financials, Google is rolling. Buying Begun begins their international growth plan. Expect higher revenue growth from Google with this move. As ICANN is in shambles Google has a global opportunity.

Rambler Media (RMG.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the British-registered owner of Russia’s Rambler Internet portal, said on Friday it has agreed to sell the Begun advertising agency to Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) for $140 million.

Rambler, which currently owns 50.1 percent of Begun, said in a statment it would first buy the remaining 49.9 percent stake from Bannatyne Limited and then sell the entire firm to Google.

Technology Behind Google Ranking – Not Mentioned “Real Time”

Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, writes a blog post today about the technology behind the Google ranking.

Key concepts are understanding pages, users, queries. What’s needed (imho) is to understand the context in trends mapped across the global trendbase. Google recently was blasted on images on Google Trends. I personally didn’t see a big problem with it because Google sometime ‘hiccups’ now and then. What most people don’t uderstand is that Google is constantly ‘tweaking’ their algorithms and that it can cause some wierd results. I had a chat about this with Tim O’Reilly on my podcast and he agrees that Google must push the real-time envelope in order to innovate.

This blog post is trying to be a thought-leading (deep dive) blog post on some of their search technology. I think that it falls short in one area. I want the Google fellows to talk about how they are dealing with technology to make “real time’ data more relevant.

Search is changing in the way Google is looking at it but also in other areas. Social search is something everyone is trying to solve. The problem is it’s harder now to write algorithms on the new global web. Why? The data sets are changing – it’s a moving train. The real-time nature of the web these days is causing a lot of problems for engineers trying to ‘crack the code’ on new search paradigm – it’s search chaos.

Here are some snips from the Google blog post on technology behind their ranking
Search in the last decade has moved from give me what I said to give me what I want. User expectations from search have rightly increased. We work hard to fulfill the expectations of each and every user, and to do that we need to better understand the pages, the queries, and our users. Over the last decade we have pushed the technologies for understanding these three components (of the search process) to completely new dimensions.

Another technology we use in our ranking system is concept identification. Identifying critical concepts in the query allows us to return much more relevant results.

Our clear focus on “best locally relevant results served globally” is reflected in our work on localization. The same query typed in multiple countries may deserve completely different results.

Finally let me briefly mention the latest advance we have made in search: Cross Language Information Retrieval (CLIR). CLIR allows users to first discover information that is not in their language, and then using Google’s translation technology, we make this information accessible.

Defensive Strategy: Yahoo Sends CYA Letter to Shareholders

Today Yahoo sent a letter to their shareholders talking about the latest developments (wow what an understatment). I originally blogged that the Google deal was a ‘white knight’ deal for Yahoo. It forced Microsoft to run out on the deal. It was a godfather deal that allowed Yahoo to cover their ass against lawsuits (I’m sure they are coming).

Here is the letter that Yahoo sent out. I’m sure Kara Swisher will decode this for us. Mike Arrington says it’s a ‘buy the entire cow deal – the search milk isn’t for sale’.

My take: Yahoo will keep Jerry Yang and put a new team together. I’d love to fly that ship for a day. I think that Yahoo has some big guns it could bring out. They need guts and a maverick management team.

Dear Fellow Stockholders:

We are writing to update you on the latest developments here at Yahoo!, including our recently announced commercial agreement with Google and the outcome of our discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction.

On June 12, we announced a non-exclusive agreement with Google that we expect will generate approximately $250 to $450 million in incremental operating cash flow for Yahoo! in the first twelve months following implementation. This cash flow will enhance our profitability as well as help support achievement of our key strategic objectives. Combined with continuing advances in our own search capability, the agreement is an important step in our efforts to capitalize on the high-growth online advertising opportunities where we are best positioned to compete successfully and create more value.

Let us explain why we find this new agreement so exciting.

The Yahoo!-Google Agreement is Financially Attractive and Strikes the Right Strategic Balance.

Under the agreement with Google, Yahoo! will continue to provide algorithmic and sponsored search results, but now will also have the ability to run sponsored search ads supplied by Google alongside Yahoo!’s search results. Advertisers will pay Google directly for each click on Google paid search results appearing on Yahoo!. Google will then pay us a fee (in industry jargon, traffic acquisition cost) based on revenue realized from click-throughs on ads supplied to Yahoo! by Google.

This carefully structured agreement strikes the right strategic balance, enhancing our financial results while advancing our strategic objectives of being the “starting point” for the most users on the Internet and offering such compelling value that advertisers will see us as the “must buy” in online advertising.

One of our key strategies for achieving these objectives is to capitalize on the increasing convergence of search and display advertising, where we are especially well positioned to compete and succeed. We have already accelerated our efforts to strengthen our presence in display through a variety of initiatives and acquisitions in recent months. Our new commercial agreement with Google enhances our ability to pursue this strategy.

Another key strategy is to open our platform to other developers to optimize monetization for our advertisers and publishers and provide the best experience for our users. We see this agreement as a natural extension of the efforts we have already made toward an open marketplace.

The Google agreement is non-exclusive and provides strategic and operational flexibility for Yahoo!. It allows Yahoo! to use Google’s services in those areas where Google monetizes our inventory more effectively but also permits us to continue to use our own search technology in areas where we believe we are most competitive. The net result is that the agreement helps us accelerate one of our strategic aims–closing the monetization gap. At the same time, it allows Yahoo! to continue to compete aggressively in search and display advertising.

Importantly, the agreement does not prevent Yahoo! from pursuing other alternatives that could increase stockholder value. Because the agreement can be terminated by either party upon a change in control, it would not preclude a transaction with Microsoft or any other potential acquiror in the future.

The Yahoo!-Google Agreement Does More for Stockholder Value than Microsoft’s Search-Only Hybrid Proposal.

We also want to update you on the conclusion to our discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction. As we explained in our last letter, our board and management held numerous meetings and conversations with Microsoft about its proposal to acquire Yahoo!, both before and after Microsoft withdrew that proposal on May 3. On June 8, our Chairman, Roy Bostock, other independent board members, and members of Yahoo!’s management team again met in person with Microsoft representatives. At that meeting, Microsoft stated unequivocally that it has no interest in acquiring all of Yahoo!, even at the price range Microsoft had previously suggested.

Microsoft did propose an alternative transaction. Rather than acquire our whole company as it had been proposing for months, Microsoft now proposed to acquire only our search business for $1 billion and a share of future search advertising revenue. This proposal also included an $8 billion investment in Yahoo! but required Yahoo! to commit to a 10-year exclusive arrangement that would have made us dependent on Microsoft for all of our search business. It would also have given Microsoft veto rights on certain future Yahoo! actions, including a sale of Yahoo!. Our board of directors and management made a great effort–and conducted in depth negotiations–to elicit a feasible proposal from Microsoft that made strategic and financial sense for Yahoo!, but without success.

While Microsoft’s search-only hybrid proposal may have been helpful to Microsoft, our board and management concluded it would have had a significant adverse impact on Yahoo! strategically, leaving the Company without the operational control of search assets and technology we view as critical to our objective of becoming a leader in the converging search and display advertising business. The board and its advisers also carefully studied the financial impact of Microsoft’s proposal and concluded that it would have provided no meaningful improvement to our operating cash flow. In short, this proposal would have generated substantially less value for Yahoo! stockholders than Microsoft has suggested.

Based on all the key factors–strengthening our competitiveness, protecting our strategic position, generating attractive financial returns–the Google agreement is far better than Microsoft’s search-only hybrid proposal. That’s why we moved forward with it.

Your Current Board of Directors Has the Knowledge, Experience and Commitment to Best Represent Your Interests and Maximize Stockholder Value.

The events of recent weeks underscore the fact that your board of directors is far better qualified to represent your interests in the effort to maximize stockholder value than the slate put forward by Carl Icahn.

Based on Mr. Icahn’s narrow agenda, it seems highly unlikely that either he or his slate would bring added value to Yahoo!. Consider the following:

– Mr. Icahn put forward his slate so as to sell Yahoo! to Microsoft, even though he had no knowledge of the sustained efforts made by your current board and management to determine whether Microsoft was willing to engage in a transaction that would provide appropriate value and certainty of achieving that value. On June 8, Microsoft once again made it perfectly clear that it is not currently interested in acquiring Yahoo!.
— Mr. Icahn publicly opposed any alternative form of transaction with Microsoft. Your board and management, after thorough and deliberate negotiations and evaluation, separately concluded on its own that the alternative hybrid deal proposed by Microsoft was, indeed, not in the best interests of the Company or its stockholders.
— Mr. Icahn urged, as an alternative to a Microsoft transaction, that Yahoo! find a way to partner with Google that would not preclude a transaction with Microsoft in the future. We have done exactly that through the commercial agreement with Google we announced on June 12.

Simply put, you can choose to vote for a slate of nominees with no articulated plan for the future of Yahoo!–and who now have essentially no alternative agenda to offer you–or you can choose to vote for your existing board of directors which has the independence, experience, knowledge and commitment to navigate the Company through the rapidly-changing Internet environment, execute on our strategic objectives and deliver value for Yahoo! and its stockholders.

It is time for Yahoo! to turn its undivided attention to implementing its key strategies, and we therefore urge you to reject Mr. Icahn’s slate and his ill-defined agenda.

We strongly urge you to vote your WHITE Proxy Card today for your current board of directors.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you as we move forward and we thank you for your support.


Roy Bostock Jerry Yang
Chairman of the Board Chief Executive Officer

The Quiet Google Microsoft Battle – Unified Communications Front

With the recent Salesforce Google announcement among other recent moves, it’s clear that Google has a full on push to get a position in the Unified Anything market – Unified Communications.

I sat down with Eric Swift, Senior Director, Microsoft Unified Communications team where he answered the question on how Microsoft views to compete with Google.

Here is Eric’s answer – a video post at

Microsoft Has To Be Pissed – Google the White Knight

Kara Swisher has a detailed report of the Microsoft offer to Yahoo. Microsoft has to be pissed.

What we have hear is a failure to communicate (name the movie). Yahoo did the ‘godfather’ deal with Google. Google is Yahoo’s white knight – period.

It’s a smokey back room deal that saves Yahoo from clutches of Wall Street and an escape from the frontal assault from Microsoft.

Microsoft’s only move? Burn the village and buy up the market. I expect Microsoft to go on a rampage and buy up everything that moves. They have to retreat and regroup.

Microsoft’s move: change the game. Google won this battle.

SAI has a great writeup on the details and implications on the Yahoo pass on Microsoft.

It’s the Silicon Valley poison pill.

Google Freedom Machine Being Blocked Around the World – War for Freedom – It’s a War of Ideas

Freedom on the Internet is not accepted around the world according to Nicole Wong of Google, and in America, that freedom is being tested. I applaud Google Inc. (GOOG) for not taking down the terrorist videos under the attack of U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.). Lieberman is old and out of touch with the country and the new world order. Hey Joe: It’s not a series of tubes.

Nicole Wong, Deputy General Counsel for Google, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law at a May 20, 2008 hearing on Global Internet Freedom. Topics of discussion include Google’s commitment to freedom of expression, our efforts to meet challenges posed by legal and cultural barriers to the free flow of information, and the role of governments in reducing Internet censorship and promoting free expression.

The issue here is about censorship and human rights – war for Internet Freedom. Broadband access provides value – plain and simple. Freedom to access the internet will create huge opportunities. Before I wrote this post I just got off a collaborative chat with engineers in Europe who are building products for me. That benefit wasn’t there years ago. Areas that deprive Internet access are denying freedom and economic benefits to both individuals and their countries.

The war in Iraq is stupid. The real war is a new kind of cold war – ‘wired war’.. It’s a war online – It’s a WAR OF IDEAS. The country that is most connected will win this new ‘cold war’.

Pull the troops out of Iraq; connect the world – then fight this new war online. Send in the bloggers, twitters, diggers, stumblers… 🙂

Facebook Just Pulled a Netscape – Hey Facebook What Are You Thinking

Facebook just pulled a Netscape. What the hell are they thinking? They just flipped off Google and others in this openness war – how? by being closed.

Most of the Facebook kids were not around when Netscape blew it to Microsoft. Now Facebook is making a blunder to fight Google on a frontal basis.

Here they write via their developer blog ….hold on let me get the violin out..”Now that Google has launched Friend Connect, we’ve had a chance to evaluate the technology. We’ve found that it redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge, which doesn’t respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect and is a violation of our Terms of Service. Just as we’ve been forced to do for other applications that redistribute data in a way users might not expect or understand, we’ve had to suspend Friend Connect’s access to Facebook user information until it comes into compliance. We’ve reached out to Google several times about this issue, and hope to work with them to enable users to share their data exactly when and where they choose.”

Kara Swisher please decode this for us? I think that this is garbage for Facebook to do this – Hello Beacon…

I have been following Facebook for some time and never got one response from their PR people. I’m tired of waiting. My opinion is that this move is bad. What a PR blunder.

Update: Mike Arrington has a detailed post from both companies. Nice post Mike!.

Facebook: Privacy my ass – This is a Facebook PR stunt backfired…this imho only hurts Facebooks platform development efforts because FB need to develop the platform and this petty shit has to stop.. ..Elliott’s 2nd day on the job. Nice job pal – NOT.