Tag: web_2.0

Riya being bought by Microsoft?

Riya is a company I have mentioned previously – they have an incredible application which combines text and facial recognition with photo uploading, so that once you tell Riya who is who in your photo albums, it will recognise those people from then on out in any photos it sees! Riya also has tagging built in to the application – like any half-decent web 2.0 application. Riya is due to launch tomorrow.

Now comes the rumour/news that Riya is being bought by Google – before it has even launched! I have to stress the news that this is still just a rumour – and the way rumours grow legs on the blogosphere (remember the Technorati buyout rumours?), it may well be completely untrue.

However, given Yahoo!’s purchase of Flickr, Google needs a cool photo app like this to maintain a presence in this space – then again, so does Microsoft! Anyone want to start a Microsoft is buying Riya rumour? Funny, Robert Scoble didn’t mention it in the interview of him which I podcast yesterday… then again, he wouldn’t, would he? 😉

UPDATE:
I see Michael Arrington and Dave Winer and others have picked up on this story as well.

Microsoft 2.0? Yawn.

The online world is buzzing with the news of Microsoft’s conversion to Web 2.0!

Tim O’Reilly is quite positive about it:

Overall, leaves me with a lot of optimism that Microsoft is fully engaged with the right problems, and we’ll be hearing a lot more from them.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch said:

After what I saw today, I despair for many a silicon valley startup. Seriously.

And Om Malik, in what has to be one of the more original posts on Microsoft’s announcement reckons:

A little nip-and-tuck, some hip-hop and a $500 haircut with highlights to hide the 40-odd summers. Its a midlife crisis you can see from a mile. Trust me!

What are they all on about? Well, yesterday Microsoft announced two new services – Windows Live and Office Live – these are not, as the name might imply, online replacements for Windows and Office (more’s the pity – but i guess that’s one cash cow not ready for the slaughterhouse just yet!) – they are more like portal sites.

Windows Live, for example, is Start.com but there’s loads more coming to it we are promised – just look at the Windows Live Ideas page.

The announcement was made by Bill Gates himself, and by Microsoft Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie – and it is being claimed as another “turn on a dime” moment (remember the last one was in 1995 when Bill realised that there was something out there called the Internet and people were using it without paying microsoft anything?).

Personally, if it weren’t for Michael Arrington’s enthusing, I’d fail to be even slightly whelmed!

UPDATE:
I just spotted the Live.com team have a blog

Further Edited to add:
Of course, if you have a Mac, don’t bother trying to view live.com – as usual microsoft’s developers live in a monocultural Windows only world – the chances of them taking over the web when they stubbornly refuse to develop for other platforms are, thankfully, small!

Yet another update:
I see Joel Spolsky has also rounded on Live.com’s poor Firefox support and DHTML issues

Google to release Google Office?

Susan Kuchinskas of internetnews.com, eWeek, Scoble and a bunch of others are all reporting that a Google-Sun alliance is set to announce a Google version of Microsoft’s Office suite of applications. Sun bring their much vaunted StarOffice codebase to this partnership while Google bring their experience of running massively trafficked web apps.

Google Office is a logical extension of the online Web 2.0 office apps I mentioned last week.

This development, when announced, has the capability to change radically the way people interact with their PCs (and could be an IT Manager’s dream – no more Office install or patch nightmares!).

UPDATE:
The Sun/Google announcement was a bit of an anti-climax after all the rumours. The agreement is:

to promote and distribute their software technologies to millions of users around the world. The agreement aims to make it easier for users to freely obtain Sun’s Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the Google Toolbar and the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite, helping millions of users worldwide to participate in the next wave of Internet growth

So no Google Office – at least not yet anyway! Personally, I think yesterday’s rumour explosion was a kite flying excercise and that we will see a Google Office in the not too distant future for all the reasons expounded yesterday.