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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:38 on 22. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Apple iMessage, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Mobile Group Messaging, , Office 365, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, , ,   

    Skype Acquires GroupMe 

    Skype acquires group messaging service GroupMe, to help users stay in touch and make decisions; http://eicker.at/SkypeGroupMe

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 22. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Skype: “I’m delighted to announce we’re acquiring GroupMe, a provider of mobile group messaging services that helps users stay in touch and make decisions. – This acquisition is another step towards our vision to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience. It complements our existing leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class mobile text-based communications and innovative features around group messaging that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties.”

      GroupMe: “Today, we have entered into an agreement to be acquired by Skype. Over the last few months, we had been in talks with Skype that started with discussions about potential commercial partnerships. As we got to know the core Skype team better, though, and as our conversations evolved, it quickly became evident that our visions were perfectly aligned. Both companies are focused on changing the way the world communicates, and helping people stay in touch with the people they really know. With a shared vision – an ambitious one – we decided our efforts to own real-time communications and the real life network could be best executed as one company.”

      VB: “Both Facebook and Google recently released their own offerings targeted at group messaging with Facebook Messenger and Google+’s Huddle. Skype’s decision to buy GroupMe shows it wants to make sure it also has its group communication bases covered. It should pair well with the services it already offers, including video calling, global calling, instant messaging, and text messaging services. – Skype is still in the process of being acquired by Microsoft. The big M said in May that it would buy Skype for $8.5 billion and as soon as the deal is completed, we will likely see Skype integrated into Xbox 360, Kinect, Windows Phone and Office 365. GroupMe’s application and technology would also help Microsoft flesh out its mobile offerings as it continues to expand Windows Phone 7’s presence and capabilities.”

      pC: “Far from being a messaging service aimed only at enterprises (like Yammer, for example), GroupMe has been making some strides into the consumer market by linking up with brands and events to increase its profile and relevance there as well: earlier this year it announced that the music event Lollapalooza and the TV show Dexter would both be using GroupMe’s APIs in their apps for their respective audiences to add more social features and to connect with each other via those platforms.”

      GigaOM: “Skype so far has been reliant on its instant messaging and voice (and video) call offerings to engage its hundreds of millions of users. However, the mobile phone changes that behavior – shifting the focus to more instantaneous services such a GroupMe in addition to a combination of other communication mediums – SMS, mobile phone, Beluga, Twitter and Facebook Messages in addition to email. – Skype, which has been one of the earliest beneficiaries of the iPhone boom, has seen lightweight group messaging clients like GroupMe gaining in popularity and it is right to be worried. … The fact remains that the sands of time were against GroupMe. The oncoming competition from Facebook Messenger, Google’s Huddle and most importantly Apple’s iMessage were going to fundamentally increase the pressure on GroupMe, which in turn decided that it was better to find comfort in the arms of a much larger company. … From a long-term perspective, Skype as an entity is going to have an identity crisis. It cannot figure out whether it wants to be a friend to the consumers or whether it wants to be a corporation- focused collaboration company.

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:10 on 15. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Acer, , , Android Licensee, Android Licensees, , , , , , , , Huawei, , , , , , , LG, , , , , Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, , , , Patent Wars, , , , , , , , , Sony Ericsson, , , , , Windows Phone 7   

    Google Acquires Motorola 

    Page/Google: I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola; http://eicker.at/GoogleMotorola

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:11 on 15. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Page/Google: “Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide – with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day – through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. … This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. … The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.”

      Google: “Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. – The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.”

      BI: “Needless to say this is a gamechanger in the mobile world, as Google moves down the stack, and is no longer just an operating system provider meaning it competes directly with Apple as well as the various other handset makers who currently use Android. … Other handset makers, like RIMM and Nokia are both up pre-market on the news as the focus obviously turns to Microsoft: Is it now forced to buy one of them? Or does Microsoft benefit because the remaining handset makers (Samsung, etc.) now turn more towards Windows?

      TC: “Big question now is: how will HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Acer, Huawei, Lenovo and all other Android device makers respond to this news?

      TNW: “Analysts and industry experts have said Google needs to get into the handset business but nobody predicted this. Google has upped its game and is on a collision course with Apple, we can’t wait to see how it pans out.”

      HuffPo: “In January 2011, Motorola announced that it would split into two companies: Motorola Solutions, which would manufacture tech products aimed at businesses; and Motorola Mobility, which would focus solely on handsets.”

      HuffPo: “Motorola, the 82-year-old consumer electronics pioneer responsible for early televisions, cell phones and even the first broadcast from the moon, split into two companies … in a reflection of changing markets. – As separate companies – Mobility, targeting consumers, and Solutions, for professionals – the two will have simpler stories to tell investors and a nimbler approach to developing cutting-edge products such as tablet computers.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 15. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “[T]his … gives Google a chance to build very integrated devices that combine hardware and software well, something Apple products are known for. But it will, again, pit Google against its manufacturing partners. – Now, we’ll have to see how if this adds momentum to Android or saps it. Will it be worth it ultimately for Google to get more patent protection and its own hardware maker, or could this slow down the Android Express?”

      GigaOM: “However, purchasing Motorola Mobility isn’t a magic bullet solution to Android’s ongoing patent woes. Apple and Microsoft decided to pursue legal action against Motorola despite its patent portfolio, so it obviously isn’t watertight. But whereas previously Google seemed to have little recourse beyond complaining publicly about the unfairness of the system, now it has some actual weight to throw around in court. … As far as ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ moves goes, this one by Google is a pretty bold one. It was beginning to look like Android was facing a long, slow death at the hands of licensing fees and patent litigation.”

      TC: “During today’s conference call explaining the deal, Page noted that Motorola’s ‘strong patent portfolio’ will help Google defend Android against ‘Microsoft, Apple, and other companies.’ The first two questions on the call went right to the patent issue as well. With Android under attack on the patent front by Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others, buying Motorola is very much a defensive move as well.”

      Doc Searls: “At the very least, this is patent play. That’s why Larry talked about intellectual property. In mobile, Motorola (I’m guessing, but I’m sure I’m right) has a bigger patent portfolio than anybody else, going back to the dawn of the whole category. Oracle started a patent war a year ago by suing Google, and Google looked a bit weak in that first battle. So now, in buying Motorola, Google is building the biggest patent fort that it can. In that area alone, Google now holds more cards than anybody, especially its arch-rival, Apple.”

      TNW: “This is a massive twist and major turn in the patent battle, and Google has well and truly upped the game. – It is sad to see innovative companies resort to patent acquisition tactics to get one-up on competitors, but sometimes the only option is to fight fire with fire. – However, let’s not forget this isn’t just about patents. Google now has direct access to mobile phone handsets too, so who knows what other developments we’ll see in the coming months/years.

      pC: “Patents may be why Page also noted that the top five Android licensees showed ‘enthusiastic support’ for the deal. Google was quick to put out a release with quotes from four of them to support that. From Samsung’s Mobile head J.K. Shin: ‘We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners & ecosystem.’ … Meanwhile, the markets and the Internet are now zooming with speculation about what this might all mean for the wider mobile competitive landscape. Nokia’s shares are creeping up, as people wonder if this increases the changes of Microsoft buying it…”

      ATD: “First of all, the deal will give a lot of fresh meat to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is already investigating several aspects of Google’s business, including its Android mobile operating system business. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, investigators from the FTC and from the offices of several state attorneys general have been exploring whether or not Google prevents phone manufactures who become Android partners from using the smartphone operating systems of other companies.”

      RWW: “The deal is subject to regulatory approval in both the United States and the European Union. Yet, unlike many of Google’s acquisitions in recent years, this one should go through relatively quickly. That is because of what Apple has done to the ecosystem. … Yet, that is excluding the Android ecosystem itself. If Android is ‘open’ (and many people doubt how open it actually is, even if it is licensed for free), then what is going to happen with Samsung and HTC? … Android lovers should be excited that Google now has Motorola under its thumb. There should be more and better Android devices coming to market. Google lovers should be happy because it means that Google is defending itself in the patent wars and should raise the bottom line of the company. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and the Android ecosystem should be wary because Google now has the capability of completing disrupting the balance of the environment in the same way that Apple has.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:29 on 17. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “Our sources say that Motorola was in acquisition talks with several parties, including Microsoft for quite some time. Microsoft was interested in acquiring Motorola’s patent portfolio that would have allowed it to torpedo Android even further. The possibility of that deal brought Google to the negotiation table, resulting in the blockbuster sale.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:44 on 28. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Windows Phone 7   

    Smartphone Adoption 

    Pew: 35% of American adults own a smartphone and 25% of owners mostly go online with it; http://eicker.at/SmartphoneAdoption

     
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