Archive for February, 2009

As we all know the year 2008 was a momentous for the IT industry, neverthless it’s not too late to remember some of the duds in 2008. With some cool launches across categories and of course the troubling recession, 2008 year also saw several new faces and companies entering the big league and some fading away. Some deals being made, others floundering, but anywaz the length of this post was never ending untill I thought, “forget it” letz outline only importance 🙂

Here’s over to some of the duds of the year 2008, I need not rank them u will very well understand if you are tech freak 😉

————————————————————

1) The year 2008 must be one Yahoo will like to forget atleast for it’s name. As we all know the year started with Microsoft proposing Yahoo $31 a share buyout. The bid is rejected by Yahoo board of directors saying it “substantially undervalues” the company. Yahoo reportedly explores alternative deals with News Corp, Google and Time Warner unit AOL. In May Microsoft revises its offer to $33 a share, which is gain rejected by Yahoo. 😦

The chief executive Jerry Yang kept waiting for the software giant to offer a better price than $47.5 billion for Yahoo. It never happened. Instead, Yahoo’s stock sagging and hits nearly five-year lows. Yahoo’s plan 2, an advertising deal with Google too failed, after Google out of the deal fearing a court battle with the Justice Department.

—————————————————————-

2) Again Yahooooo in the flop list, I know why they left the “OOOO’s” never ending in there name, among the Silicon Valley dotcom billionaires, Yang was named CEO in 2007 after Terry Semel’s exit. As CEO, Yang struggled to turn around the company’s dwindling fortunes. The rejection of Microsoft offer and a failed advertising deal with Google marred his brief tenure.

In 2008 beginning, Yang rejected a $33 per share offer by Microsoft for Yahoo worth a total of more than $47 billion. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer later withdrew the offer after Yang sought $37 per share. The negotiating breakdown triggered a shareholder revolt led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who called for Yang’s ouster. After a rocky tenure at Yahoo, co-founder Jerry Yang stepped down as chief executive this November. 😦

—————————————————————

3) Infosys-Axon deal was hailed as the largest outbound acquisition by an Indian IT company. The analysts termed Axon as strategic fit for Infosys. 🙂

Then came the rumours that there was competition: a rival UK security firm has quoting a price higher by 7 pence per share to counter Infosys’ offer. But the software giant was confident. MD and CEO, S Gopalakrishnan said that the company can sail through the deal with its transaction advantage of a full cash deal offer.

However, it seems the Indian IT giant underestimated its rivals, tough competition was there, and closer home. HCL Technologies makes a counter offer to Infosys’ Axon bid by raising the value by 8.3 per cent to seal the biggest overseas deal by an Indian firm in this space. The deal got shareholder’s nod finally.

————————————————————-

4) The year saw the death of HD-DVD, putting an end to the long-going high-definition format war. At Consumer Electronic Show in January, just hours before the HD-DVD group was due to hold a press conference, Warner Bros film studio announced that it was withdrawing its support for HD-DVD, and instead would be exclusively backing rival format Blu-ray. 😉

Warner Brother’s defection spelled the end of the line for The North American HD DVD promotion group, which had been backed by Toshiba and Microsoft, among others. And by February, Microsoft too announced that has stopped making the HD-DVD add-on for its Xbox 360 console, while Toshiba also said it would cease production of HD-DVD players.

Sony’s Blu-ray emerged as the defacto standard for next-generation high definition. oh no 😉

5) last year Microsoft said that it is updating its Zune digital media player so the product can wirelessly download and stream songs when users have access to Wi-Fi networks.

The company also updated Zune’s hardware with the rollout of a model with a 120 GB hard drive, and a model with 16 GB of flash memory. Microsoft phased out the hard drive-based 80 GB model, which had been its most capacious player, and the flash memory-based 4 GB model, which was its smallest.

However, just like most other music players this one too faced tough competition from smartphones and other Web-enabled devices which are full of features that threaten these one-trick players. In fact there’s a buzz that Microsoft may discontinue Zune in favor of Zune phones. The Internet media is abuzz with rumors that the software giant is planning to put Zunes into a whole new generation of smartphones.

—————————————————————

6) Google launched Google Lively (I hope u have heard it), yeah a virtual reality service with lot of fanfare. Come November, and the company announced its decision to shut down the service by the end of the year, reflecting Lively’s inability to stand out from the rest of the virtual reality crowd. 🙂

The management concluded that it needed to sharpen its focus on its primary business of Internet search and advertising as the company’s revenue growth decelerates in the deteriorating economy.

“We’ve also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off,” Google wrote in a blog post.

—————————————————————

7) Bowing to customer `revolt’ Microsoft previous year rolled back its recent changes to Windows Live Hotmail.

The Hotmail update did not impress users, who complained that they were unable to access their folders and emails and had difficulty forwarding and replying to messages. Others said that the new version did not sit well with their screen size.

“We heard many users say that they had trouble navigating through Hotmail, especially if they had a smaller monitor,” Microsoft’s Hotmail team wrote on its company blog. “We’ve decided to make a significant change in our product: Hotmail will scroll like classic Hotmail.”

Users can revert to Hotmail’s earlier scrolling behavior by clicking the “Inbox” folder, clicking “Options” in the upper right, then under “Reading pane settings,” selecting “Off.”

Earlier Microsoft said that it would not revert to the earlier look-and-feel, or offer, as it once did, a so-called classic interface as well as the newer design. “We can’t provide two fast, secure reliable experiences, so we have decided to just keep the new version,” Mike Schackwitz, lead program manager for Hotmail, said in Microsoft blog post.

———————————————————–

8) Here’s another Yahoo service which got smashed in front of competition. Yahoo’s social networking site Mash was shutdown after one year of its launch. The social site was supposedly pitched in competition to Facebook.

Yahoo community manager reportedly sent messages to Mash members that said “Thank you for trying out our Mash Beta service. We hope you had fun with it. Please note that we will shutdown Mash in 2008. As a result, your current profile on Mash will no longer be available.”

Yahoo’s other social networking experiments also buckled up under competition within a few months of their launch, like the site called `Mixd’. Other than Mash and Mixd, Yahoo’s another venture into the social networking scenario –Yahoo 360 also had the curtains pulled down on it this year.

Just for you infor 🙂 Mash was launched in 2007 while the Yahoo 360 was launched in 2005.

————————————————————

9) The year 2008 would have ended for India’s fourth largest IT company, Satyam, just like it will for most other IT cos with worries of ongoing economic gloom. However, there’s much more on Satyam plate to tackle now.

The company’s troubles started on December when Satyam announced acquisition of Maytas Infrastructure for $1.6 billion (Rs 7658-crore). Institutional investors strongly opposed the move. Satyam’s ADR loses 50 per ent on NYSE. Faced with shareholders’ revolt and heavy criticism over corporate governance issues, in the early hours of December 17 the company withdrew the proposal. But the scrip loses over 30 per cent in India.

————————————————————

10) Popular Mechanics called it the year’s No 2 breakthrough product and Fortune heralded it as the videogame of the year. yeah 🙂 However, Electronic Arts’ “Spore” failed to impress consumers overall including me…

Gamers criticised the game’s intrusive copy protection scheme and termed its game play as a ‘disappointment’. Many lamented that the game lacked spark. I virtually myself picked up one of this copies from my cousin in Swiss, I will tell you one word “What a waste of time and money”. I Hope atleast the 8+ category enjoyed it..

————————————————————

Hmmm ;), I hope I didn’t miss any other Important ones, well if so there is alwayz space for it.. 🙂

For all you Cricket Buffs here is some good news!! 🙂

Yahoo!!! India and the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a 3-year partnership through which Yahoo! will have access to exclusive images, videos, interviews and player chats around all major ICC events. According to the press release, for the next 3 years, users can go to iccevents for information on all ICC tournaments including the ICC World, Twenty20, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup. Yahoo! also launched a new global cricket website, that includes updates, images, match schedules and player profiles from the world of cricket.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat commented “In today’s technology-driven world, this is a massive boost for the ICC and cricket. Not only do we get another vibrant and committed commercial partner on board but this deal also ensures cricket fans will benefit from Yahoo’s already established popularity and enormous reach across the cyber world. The ICC corporate website and the various event sites that will spring from this partnership will set a new benchmark for innovation and user interaction to ensure that people who choose to follow their team online are rewarded with an entertaining and exciting experience.”

The ICC corporate Web site and the various event sites that will spring from this partnership will set a new benchmark for innovation and user interaction to ensure that people who choose to follow their team online are rewarded with an entertaining and exciting experience,” Lorgat said.

Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who attended the launch of ICC’s new online destination, said the internet had become a popular way for fans to enjoy cricket.

“Live scoring is a great way to keep in touch with matches that are going on and it’s a great medium for sharing opinions and information about games and players,” Dravid said.

Yahoo with its massive reach, coupled with exclusive content from ICC, Yahoo! will make the game accessible to millions of cricket lovers..

I recieved this drawing yesterday from one of my friend a perfect example of Business Application User Interface Design and Complexities and one topic I love to comment on always ..

Striving for Simplicity

 

Though most applications provide flexibility and simplicity simultaneously; a feat that’s difficult and often expensive to accomplish because it fights the natural tendency towards complexity. Ultimately this will be the combination which is the holy grail of every UI design…

When we perfrom multiple usability/system analysis on various business applications we end up writing multiple reports which should probably include the diagram shown above . It defnitely crystallizes the reason why multiple applications we use gets a bad rap they are often more complex to use, even if it quantifies the business purpose and also significantly more difficult to train them on than many other commercial applications. Applications aren’t exactly the same as as Ipod and search engines but we can certainly learn from mimimal and applicable UI’s we ease the burden on our users in many perspectives which we can adopt in every application we develop irrespective of domains…

It is hard for some people to believe that their users do not want to see everything at one time and that they do not know everything they know, which would be required to navigate the really really complex applications built, now I wonder why some applications gain priority than other with these simple thoughts on UI even though both achieve the same business purpose for what they were built for…