Monday, August 15, 2011

Google buys Motorola Mobility and its patent portfolio for $12.5 billion

Google has stunned those watching the mobile space with the announcement today that it has purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. Motorola was early onto the Android platform and has gone all in with it over other alternatives. Motorola CEO recently indicated that the company might be looking to bring its patent portfolio to go after other Android device makers; those companies should be breathing a little easier now that Google owns those patents.

It is not clear how Google can remain a business partner with the likes of HTC and Samsung while directly competing with them as Motorola. It also makes one wonder why Google has remained relatively hands-off (on the surface) in the legal challenges that HTC and Samsung have endured on Android’s behalf. That might be looked into by the authorities that must approve the Google purchase of Motorola Mobility.

The new Google/Motorola venture will surely give HTC and Samsung, both suffering from legal battles over the use of Android, a reason to pause and perhaps think things over. The two companies have been defending Android and their use of the platform on Google’s behalf, and now Google is a major competitor. The tenuous legal position of Android just got a lot more confused for them.

Motorola is a reasonably positioned as a mobile phone manufacturer, but it’s not one of the ones at the top of the pile – which is why many think Google chose to buy it. Motorola make some amazingthe stock, and basic workhorse to smartphones that look good and function well. Google buying them gives them a manufacturing system that can design phones to their specifications, and a more solid control over the profit created by their Android based systems. Motorola is already what is considered a ‘dedicated android manufacturer’ but many people, from Acer to analysts have decided that this bold technology move isn’t primarily going to benefit Google – it’s going benefit Microsoft. phones, however, from

Why it’s going to benefit Microsoft

Microsoft are now a major smartphone competitor, and to be honest, the Windows 7 based phones are a serious challenge to Apple and Android’s stranglehold on the market, especially after Psion finally dropped out of the race. Windows is a familiar interface and their newly announced ‘eight’ system, which many people are very excited about – and it looks like the extensible new layout for their menus and controls is going to unify over everything, though of course all of this is still speculation.

The short answer is if Microsoft can leverage a similar deal, now that Google have done so, they might find that they can come out ahead of even Apple – and create a strategic alliance with other companies. Even though Google have bought Motorola Mobility, the important thing to bear in mind here is that they were *already* strategic partners, and there was definitively a bias towards letting Motorola get their hands on the newer operating systems before anyone else (the Xoom was the first to run Honeycomb).


Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the mobile-phone maker that's being bought by Google Inc., is reviving its iconic Razr handset to take on Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

The new version of the Razr has a 4.3-inch touch screen and is 7.1 millimeters (a quarter-inch) thick, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said today at a press conference in New York. Verizon Wireless will sell the device for $299.99 in the U.S. with a two-year agreement, starting next month. It will also be available in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Invite Your Friends To Google+ With New, Tweetable Link

Google just made it easier for you to invite friends to its new social network, Google+, by providing a short link you can post on the web or share with others over instant messaging. In order to get the link, says Google product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair, you simply click the “invite friends” button on the right-hand side of the stream – the same place invites were found before.

With the new feature, you have the ability to invite 150 more people to the network.

Smart thinking, Google. Use Twitter to get more sign-ups! I like it.

I remember wasting hours on Twitter last month, handing out invites by manually (and painfully!) copying and pasting email addresses sent to me through @ replies or direct messages into the Google Plus invite form. This is so much easier. I can just tweet out a link and be done with it! I think I’ll do that right now, actually. And it looks like I’m not the only one, if this Twitter search is any indication.

There is one minor problem with the link, though – you have to shorten it yourself if you post to Twitter or you’ll end up with a mess like this. Why didn’t Google provide an automatically shortened link using its own URL shortening service You know, the one it called the “stablest, most secure and fastest” URL shortener on the web? That seems like a missed opportunity indeed.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Changing Face of Corporate Facebook Landing Pages

As businesses get more involved in using social media, they are starting to redo their landing pages, or places where you enter their ecosystems on Facebook, Twitter et al. It could be a good time to brush up on your Facebook Markup Language and other techniques to not just pretty up the place, but provide solid information as well as calls to action for your visitors.

What can you put on these pages? Lotsa stuff. Anything that you can code up in HTML can appear here, including forms (sign up for our weekly newsletter), lead generation, polls, playing the latest video news item, a link to all the other social media accounts of the company, clickable images, and links. Some of the pages can be very elaborate and a welcome change of pace from the blue and boring standard Facebook layout.

To get started, take a look at this post from Social Media B2B blog. The post lists several criteria on how to judge the effectiveness of these pages, including:

  • Does it have a link to the Like button? This shows the critical mass and community interest.
  • Does it have a call to action to some other place within Facebook? You can link to event calendars, newsletter subscriptions, and other product pages.

  • Does it have a call to action elsewhere that is trackable?For example, to download white papers or marketing collateral.

  • Does it contain links to other social media profiles? This would be a good place to put your directory of corporate Tweeters, for example.
  • Does it have video or some other visually engaging item?Something to catch the eye and keep the visitor around for a few more seconds.

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