‘The Week We Searched For’ is my collection of this week’s most pertinent and interesting stories from search marketing, social media, internet culture, and beyond.
Google’s Top Executive in China Leaves Company
Google announced today that the president of Google in China, Lee Kai-Fu, will step down in September. Kai-Fu is responsible for expanding and improving upon Google’s services in China. He leaves to start his own business. For more information on Kai-Fu’s resignation, check out the BBC.
eBay sells Skype
Having purchased Skype in 2005 for an estimated $2.6 billion, eBay is selling the majority of its stake in the internet telephony company for just over $2.75 billion to a collection of private-equity firms. The sale comes as no big surprise after eBay’s torrid struggle to make Skype profitable for their main auctioning business. To read more on the details of the deal and how they reflect our struggling economic times, check out Bloomberg’s article “Buyout Firms Return to Basics as Silver Lake Acquires Skype.”
Greystripe and Peacock Equity Partner to Expand the Possibilities of iPhone Advertising
Greystripe is a mobile advertisement company based out of San Francisco, which specializes in iPhone compatible Flash advertisements. Rather than traditional banner ads, Greystripe creates ads that mimic free subscription games for the iPhone. Peacock Equity recently invested an additional $2 million in Greystripe to expand their sales team and client base. To read more about Greystripe, their adverts and investment history check out this New York Times article: “Greystripe’s Flash Attracts More Cash.”
Google Finally Offers Some Transparency Regarding their PEnding Book Deal
Up until now Google has been very tight lipped about their pending book deal, but in a blog post yesterday evening Google finally divulged some of the policies they plan to execute, if the deal passes through court in October. The blog post doesn’t seem to be cooling any tempers, however, as Amazon and others continue to raise questions regarding Google’s growing book monopoly.
Twitter Snags Another Ex-Googler
Twitter announced this week that Dick Costolo, former Feedburner CEO and Google colleague of Twitter’s founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, will be joining their team as the new chief of operations officer starting next week. To read more about Costolo’s position and Twitter check out this VentureBeat article.
Falling through a Cloud: Gmail Disappears for 100 Minutes on Tuesday
Gmail experienced an outage on Tuesday for a record 100 minutes. According to Google’s official statement, the outage was an accident caused by a maintenance oversight. Although nothing is fail-proof in life, Gmail’s disappearance does bring into question the stability of ‘the cloud.’ For more information about Google’s mishap and the plethora of user reactions, check out PCWorld’s article “Google’s Gmail Outage: A Familiar Feeling.”
And the Winner Will Be? – Microsoft vs. VMware
By now the epic battle between Microsoft and Google is famous, but it seems that Google isn’t the only force Microsoft has to reckon with these days. VMware is a software development company, headed by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz, that specializes in virtual machine software geared towards reducing hardware and energy costs. As the industry’s leading virtual machine software developer, VMware’s technology, which integrates itself into operating systems like a browser does, poses a grave threat to Microsoft’s operating system. Steve Lohr’s two articles, that appeared in the New York Times this week, “VMware vs. Microsoft: It’s About More Than the Plumbing” and “Challenging Microsoft With a New Technology,” offer further insight into VMware industry strengths and describe why Microsoft is worried.
CoolerBooks and Google
Google announced this week their plans to make more than a million public domain books, i.e. with expired copyrights, available through Coolerbook.com and the Cool-er e-book reader. Not surprisingly, Amazon quickly reacted against this announcement, claiming legal opposition against Google’s book settlement as a violation of both antimonopoly and antitrust laws. To read more about Google’s announcement and Amazon’s growing voice in the battle against Google Books, check out Miguel Helft’s article “Google and Amazon Increasingly at Odds Over E-Books.”