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News For March 18, 2008

Here’s some stuff going on today or recently:

Novell Free To Sue Over Long-Dead WordPerfect
The Supreme Court has ruled to allow Novell to go ahead and sue Microsoft for alleged antitrust infractions involving WordPerfect, which Novell sold 12 years ago. Novell is complaining that Microsoft used its Windows monopoly to depress sales of WordPerfect, resulting in the product dropiing in value from $1.2 billion in 1994 to $170 million in 1996. Novell only owned WordPerfect for two years, and much of the failures of WordPerfect that allowed Microsoft Word to trounce it in the marketplace occured before they bought the product, but the case is apparently strong enough to go trial. We’ll see if it’s strong enough to actually win.

OneCare Gets Marketing Campaign
Microsoft has a new marketing slogan for Windows Live OneCare, its all-in-one security suite. The tagline is, “Don’t Worry, We Took OneCare Of It” and the ads typically featuring some nasty virus it “took OneCare” of. You have to read it a few times before the sentence makes sense, but the ads are cute. I’m pretty sure I saw one of these ads in the Post yesterday.

Flash Coming To Windows Mobile
Microsoft has licensed Adobe Flash for Windows Mobile. Specifically, Adobe Flash Lite will be built into Internet Explorer Mobile in future versions of WinMobile as a plugin, so webpages with Flash should, for the most part, work as intended. That means full YouTube for Windows Mobile users, even as Apple complains that Flash doesn’t work on its devices. Boo hoo. I’d look forward to seeing Flash in Windows Mobile 7, but that’s pure speculation.

Become a Windows Mobile Fan on Facebook
Facebook has a feature that lets you become a fan of entertainers, celebrities or politicians, but apparently you can be a fan of a product as well. You can now become a fan of Windows Mobile and show your love for the platform. I’m in. Just head here while signed in to Facebook and click “Become a Fan”.

Live Spaces Loses 15% Of Visitors
Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft’s once high-flying social network/blogging platform, slipped badly in the last year. It’s still technically the biggest blogging platform around, but it failed to keep up with MySpace and Facebook, its real competitors, losing 15% of its unique visitors in the U.S. in the last 12 months. Live Spaces lost 1.4 million unique visitors, coming half a million of LinkedIn, which rose 271% last year. Guess the buzz on Live Spaces is over, and Microsoft has some work to do to keep the rest from leaving.

Bill Gates on Running A Good Startup
A student at the University of Waterloo stood up and asked a question of Bill Gates during a roundtable breakfast at the University (no, it was not a Q&A session, she just really wanted to ask), wondering how he had the courage to start Microsoft at 17. Gates answer says a lot about how he values his employees, and could be a good lesson for startups.

At 17 I didn’t have much to lose. I promised my parents that I would go back to university if things didn’t pan out. But I did worry about all those people who had spouses and children. They depended on the business succeeding. That’s what worried me at night. So I made sure that I had enough money in the bank to pay everyone’s salary for a year if none of my customers came through. That’s how I got through it. Eventually there came a time, though, when we needed to hire 30 people, and that was a real crisis. I really didn’t want to expand without a financial safety net in place. Ultimately, I compromised and said yes, go ahead and hire. But I want to know immediately when the increased revenues offset the costs of paying everyone a year’s salary … that way I could sleep again.

March 18th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile, OneCare, Adobe, Mobile, Bill Gates, Live, Corporate, Security, Law, Windows, Spaces, Word, Applications | one comment