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Google Wants To Own The Video And Software Industries

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Google Wants To Own The Video And Software Industries
2. Today's Top Story
    - Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 1.5
    - Conflicting Numbers: Did Firefox Meet '05 Goal?
3. Breaking News
    - Apple Accused Of Privacy Violations With ITunes
    - SEC Opens Formal Probe Into IBM Earnings
    - Symantec Denies It Uses Rootkit In Software
    - Microsoft Stops Windows Media Player For the Mac
    - People's Bank Is Latest To Lose Customer Data
    - Trucks At LA, Long Beach Ports To Be RFID-Tagged
    - No-Fly Database Could Be Used For Space Flights
    - Blogs, Podcasts Pushed As Enterprise Tools
    - Craigslist Founder Forges Ahead With Site
    - Virtual Iron To Embrace Sun Galaxy Servers, Microsoft Windows
    - LANDesk Extends Support To Macs
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
    - Network Babel In The Living Room
    - Anonymity Won't Kill The Internet
    - Nikon Says It's Leaving Film-Camera Business
5. In Depth: Business News
    - Chief Exec Bruce Claflin Leaving 3Com
    - Apple's Stock Keeps Rolling
    - Networking's Big Players Form Ethernet Industry Alliance
    - Cisco Takes 'Strategic' Stake In Home-Networking Firm
    - SAP Combines Business Units, Preannounces Revenue Growth
    - CA To Acquire Automation Company
6. Voice Of Authority
    - In India, For India
7. White Papers
    - Management Update: Eight Steps Needed To Define Reasonable Security
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain


1. Editor's Note: Google Wants To Own The Video And Software Industries

Google Video and Google Pack are intriguing hints of possible future strategic directions for Google, even though the products and services themselves are only mildly interesting.

Google apparently is looking to be the decider of what's popular in online video and software, the same way it decides what Web pages are popular and which Web pages languish in obscurity.

That is one hell of an ambition. It means the company will be taking on Microsoft for desktop software, as well as taking on Hollywood and its entire distribution infrastructure for movies, DVDs, and TV.

But Google's secret motto is "Ambition 'R' Us."

Google Video is the company's attempt to go into competition with iTunes and other Internet video providers. It's what we in the technology journalism biz call a "me-too" product. StupendousColossal Technology Inc. comes out with a new, revolutionary product or service, and competitor ColossalStupendous comes up with a competitive offering a short time later that does pretty much the same thing.

True, Google Video Store has a couple of interesting wrinkles on it. Google will let content providers set their own prices; iTunes sets the price itself. And Google is coming out with its own digital-rights-management technology, adding to the proliferation of incompatible file formats already available. (My colleague Johanna Ambrosio has more about the problems of proliferating DRM here, and colleague Preston Gralla says the DRM is "pure hypocrisy" by Google.)

It's nice to have another option for downloadable video. One thing I intend to do over the upcoming long weekend is go online there and poke around and see what's available. Will they have "Lou Grant"? Lou Grant was my role model in life; even as a teenager, on some psychic level, I knew I was destined to be a barrel-shaped hirsute-bodied, balding-headed grouch, and so I looked to Lou Grant to guide how I could be good at it.

So Google Video Store is nice. But as a consumer offering in and of itself: not all that interesting. Lots of other stuff out already there that's similar.

Likewise, Google Pack is a software bundle, comprised of Norton AntiVirus, the Firefox browser, a few of Google's own applications such as the Google Toolbar and Google Desktop, and some other stuff. As my colleague Tom Smith points out (scroll down a bit, to the Editor's Note), that's nice and convenient to have, especially when configuring a new computer for home or small business.

But, still: It's a bundle. The applications are already available elsewhere. Not all that interesting to the consumer.

However, these products and services become very interesting indeed when considered as hints for future directions for Google.

Read the rest and leave a comment. What do you think of Google's strategy in general, and Google Video and Google Pack in particular?

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 1.5
Mozilla Corp. on Thursday released the 1.5 version of its Thunderbird E-mail client, building and improving on automated spam and security control.

Related Story:

Conflicting Numbers: Did Firefox Meet '05 Goal?
A Web-measurement company refutes a rival's recent take on Firefox's market share.


3. Breaking News

Apple Accused Of Privacy Violations With ITunes
Apple doesn't disclose that iTunes reports back to a third-party marketing agency with lists of what songs a user is listening to. That's led bloggers to start calling the software "SpyTunes."

SEC Opens Formal Probe Into IBM Earnings
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the tech company's disclosures relating to its first-quarter 2005 earnings and expensing of stock options.

Symantec Denies It Uses Rootkit In Software
Symantec disputes the claim by researchers who said it was using a rootkit to hide files from users.

Microsoft Stops Windows Media Player For The Mac
Microsoft has apparently stopped developing Windows Media Player for Apple Computer's Mac OS X.

People's Bank Is Latest To Lose Customer Data
Backup tape with data on 90,000 customers lost in transit to credit reporting bureau.

Trucks At LA, Long Beach Ports To Be RFID-Tagged
Driven by security concerns, PierPass Inc. has developed a program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to improve the check-in process for trucks and drivers entering the terminals.

No-Fly Database Could Be Used For Space Flights
Terrorists should not be blasted into space--at least not for recreational purposes.

Blogs, Podcasts Pushed As Enterprise Tools
Content-management developer iUpload has integrated with NetSuite's on-demand business application and is working to provide access to Microsoft's CRM and SharePoint products.

Craigslist Founder Forges Ahead With Site
After years of relying solely on participant flagging and human monitoring, Craigslist has another tool in its belt for tackling people who abuse the site.

Virtual Iron To Embrace Sun Galaxy Servers, Microsoft Windows
Customers will be able to virtualize server, storage, and network resources to automatically provision to Linux applications running on Sun's new x64-based Galaxy servers. A Windows version is due next summer.

LANDesk Extends Support To Macs
The firm's security products stop infected or unprotected systems from connecting to corporate networks.

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John Soat With 'Horsepower TV'
AMD unveils the Athlon 64FX-60 dual-core processor.

Lori MacVittie With 'Microsoft's Fat Stick'
Microsoft finally gets patent application approval for its FAT file system.

Stephanie Stahl With 'Linux Security Blanket'
An interview with Novell CEO Bill Hewitt about the company's commitment to Linux.

Curtis Franklin And Bruce Boardman With 'CES: Sound & Fury'
Take a look at some of the cool things on display at CES.

We Have Our First Winner For The TechWeb Scavenger Hunt: Dan Moskaly
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web

Network Babel In The Living Room (Wired News)
Are consumers awakening to a bright future of seamless electronic entertainment or an interoperability nightmare?

Anonymity Won't Kill The Internet (Wired News)
Nameless Web surfers won't spoil the online world. That's good, because anonymity remains essential in these imperfect times. Commentary by Bruce Schneier.

Nikon Says It's Leaving Film-Camera Business (The Washington Post)
Nikon Corp., one of the flagship brands for amateur and professional photographers alike, said yesterday that it will stop making most of its film-camera products to concentrate on marketing digital cameras.


5. In Depth: Business News

Chief Exec Bruce Claflin Leaving 3Com
Bruce Claflin, president and chief executive officer of 3Com, will retire from the company as soon as a replacement has been found, 3Com says.

Apple's Stock Keeps Rolling
Shares of Apple Computer shot up another $3.04 on news that the company will report an all-time-high quarterly revenue of $5.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Networking's Big Players Form Ethernet Industry Alliance
After Ethernet's 25 years in existence, some vendors felt it was time to gather as a voice for the technology, particularly on the development side.

Cisco Takes 'Strategic' Stake In Home Networking Firm
Financial details are being withheld, but Cisco execs say their primary interest is in Zensys' Z-Wave wireless home-control technology.

SAP Combines Business Units, Preannounces Revenue Growth
As the company reorganizes, it will continue to push Mendocino, software to allow users to access SAP enterprise applications through the Microsoft Office desktop, especially to smaller customers.

CA To Acquire Automation Company
The deal for Control-F1 Corp. is part of CA's larger plan to increase focus on enterprise IT management with products that provide unification, self-healing, and cost reduction.


6. Voice Of Authority

In India, For India
More from Aaron Ricadela, blogging live from India: It's a bright, sunny day in Bangalore, and Microsoft has rolled out the red carpet for its research director, Rick Rashid; the government's minister of science and technology Kapil Sibal; and some of India's top academics for the one-year anniversary of the company's India research lab, which employs 30 scientists and may soon double in size. Sibal, a well-known lawyer, walks up the stairs of the Taj Residency hotel and the press photographers' flashbulbs pop. Hundreds of guests at Microsoft's symposium pack a hotel ballroom.


7. White Papers

Management Update: Eight Steps Needed To Define Reasonable Security
This complimentary report addresses a recurring and deceptively simple question: How much security is enough? The answer needs to be customized to each organization. No law defines due care in security. Eight elements should be considered, including the affordability of security technologies, procedures, and techniques.


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