First, the people. Tony Fadell’s team is justly admired for its design skills. They will come in handy if Google finally gets serious about selling hardware, if it wants to generate new revenue in multiples of $10bn (its yearly revenue is approximately $56bn now). Of course, this means products other than just thermostats and smoke alarms. It means products that can complement Google’s ad business with its 60% Gross Margin.
Looking past the glitter, the elegant product, the smart people, do we believe there is a purpose in the Nest acquisition? Or is Google simply rolling the dice, hoping for an IoT breakthrough?
~ Jean-Louis Gassée – theguardian.com
A very well written article with details on why not Apple, why Google, and why now.
“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a memo about the company’s in-development voice AI. “Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”
Windows Phone certainly needs all the help it can get — despite showing healthy growth in 2013, the smartphone market still looks an awful lot like a two-horse race between the populist Android and the more elite iOS.
Cortana, if implement across all Windows platforms, could provide some of the connective tissue that Microsoft seems eager to showcase. I’m skeptical of how magical it will actually be, though — Siri was hailed as a Google killer before she was revealed to be mostly a little program that would inaccurately Google things for you. Mildly amusing, sure. Magical, not quite.
Dave Thier – Contributor, Forbes
Finally. “Cortana” if executed correctly could become a good reason for people to look into getting a Windows Phone, especially if they make the service useful across all of the Windows 8 and Windows 9 devices.
According to sources close to the situation, Yahoo’s Editor-in-Chief Jai Singh has quit the company, a major departure which comes in the wake of changes made to its media unit after the firing of COO Henrique De Castro yesterday.
Under the new plan announced by CEO Marissa Mayer in an internal memo, the media unit will now come under the purview of CMO Kathy Savitt. Appointing a marketing person in charge of editorial is probably enough of a reason for many journalists to run screaming from the building, but it’s not clear what prompted Singh’s exit.
~ Kara Swisher Re/code
OK. Who’s next? it is really not surprising, many key people will be let go like COO Henrique de Castro and others like Editor-in-Chief Jai Singh, will leave by themselves as they don’t find the new Yahoo a good fit for them.