Sunday, October 7, 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 1-5 October 2007

The New New Internet

Here is a summary of the week's Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb. Note that you can subscribe to the Weekly Wrapups, either via the special RSS feed or by email.

Web News

Adobe Acquires Virtual Ubiquity - Enters Web Office Fray

Josh Catone was at the Adobe MAX 2007 conference in Chicago this week, where several Web-related announcements were made. The biggest was Adobe's acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based Virtual Ubiquity for an undisclosed sum - and in doing so officially entering the Web Office fray. Virtual Ubiquity are the creators of Buzzword, an online, collaborative word processing application powered by Adobe's Flex framework. Buzzword is built on Adobe's Flex framework and runs in the browser using the Flash player. The interface is slick and seems reminiscent of recent Adobe imaging applications, such as Lightroom.

See also:

Lone Remaining Burmese Blogger Uses Lightweight Messaging Service to Broadcast to the World

The story of the monk-led protests in Myanmar, or Burma, and subsequent police crack-down was a widely reported one this week. Bloggers were particularly important as the events unfolded, posting news accounts and photos to the internet from a country that very few outside reporters have access to. At least one blogger remains active in the country, posting to a lightweight messaging service with an embeddable widget for output - click on our story to see the widget in action.

Microsoft Launches Office Live Workspaces

This week Microsoft announced a new online office service called Office Live Workspace, plus re-named its Office Live service to Office Live Small Business. Both moves are attempts to complement Microsoft Office, its dominant desktop office suite - rather than replace functionality present in MS Office. Office Live Workspace will allow users to store, access and share 1,000+ documents in an online workspace. It will also synchronize contact, task, and event lists with Outlook. The service is free and is being marketed as an "online companion to Microsoft Office".

R/WW editor Richard MacManus asked: Is this what Microsoft's answer to the Web Office is - tacked on features to its all-powerful desktop suite? Apparently so.

In other Microsoft news: Microsoft Aims to Store Health Records Online -- Will Anyone Bite?

Yahoo! Launches Search Enhancements

The news search engine features that we wrote about at Yahoo! in early August are now live on their site. The enhancements include Yahoo!'s Search Assist, which is an improved version of their search suggestion feature, and a number of new Yahoo! Shortcuts. Shortcuts are self contained information widgets that appear at the top of results for certain searches and draw content from other Yahoo! properties.

Techmeme Launches Leaderboard - Read/WriteWeb Ranked #6

Provoking a storm of blogger coverage, Techmeme launched a new Leaderboard this week. It's a list of the top 100 sources for the popular tech news aggregator - calculated over the past 30 days. The Leaderboard updates daily and each site is ranked with a "presence" indicator, defined as "the percentage of headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period". Read/WriteWeb is currently ranked 6th, ahead of such news luminaries as the BBC and Wall St Journal.

Web Products

A Flood of Mashups Coming? OAuth 1.0 Released

OAuthlogo.jpg While not a product, this announcement may have wide-reaching ramifications for web apps. This week the distributed group of developers working on the Open Authentication spec OAuth released what they hope will be the final draft of their 1.0 version. The OAuth spec will create a standardized way for applications to request permission for access to user info from other applications and for info-holding services to communicate clear rules and options for accessing parts of the data they hold.

The spec got a burst of publicity earlier this week when the widely used feed reader Bloglines announced that they intend to support it in addition to OpenID and the Attention Data standard APML. Acquired by Rackspace - Subscription Model Does Work, a business web email service, was this week acquired by leading web hosting company Rackspace for an undisclosed sum. We last covered in August last year as part of an overview of the web email market. At that point provided email hosting services to more than 23,000 small-medium businesses. Currently, over a year later, provides services to more than 72,000 businesses and 600,000 users. Also recently made the Inc 500 list as the #217 fastest growing private company in America.

Probably the best thing about is that it's a great example of a web 2.0 startup which earns good revenues via a subscription based business model.

Netvibes Launches Corporate Startpages - Will Companies Go For It?

netvibespublogo.jpg Netvibes, the French startpage near the top of the startpage market, launched a new service this week called Netvibes Premium Universes. The service allows companies to offer Netvibes functionality (reading feeds, posting widgets) on their own website with their own branding and domain. It's essentially a Netvibes page in an iframe on your website.

You can find many other startup profiles in our Startups category.


Storms in the Web 2.0 Petri Dish

Bernard Lunn wrote: "The Web 2.0 world is looking increasingly like a giant petri dish. There are so many experiments, so much innovation and, as yet, relatively little real revenue. Within this petri dish are a few ideas that will turn into billions of dollars, at which point we will all say “why didn't I think of that”? There are also lots of “what on earth were we all thinking” ideas out there. Numerically of course, there will be much more of the latter - but in $ terms the few big winners will mean it'll all make some kind of sense in the end."

Check out Bernard's advice to entrepreneurs, to weather these coming storms. They are wise words worth heeding. Also check out Bernard's other post this week: Creative Entrepreneurs: The Next Masters of the Universe.

The New Rules Of Technology VC

On a similar theme to Bernard's post, Alex Iskold took a close look at the current state of the VC industry and how it effects entrepreneurs. Alex wrote: "If the way in which a company is built has to change, the way in which it is funded needs to change as well. What are the new rules for tech venture capital? Where and how should the money be allocated? In this post we take a deeper look."

You can find more R/WW analysis posts here.

R/WW Network Blogs


The major digital lifestyle news this week on last100 was Microsoft's announcement of second generation Zunes, the company's line of digital audio players. New flash-based models were introduced, along with a beefed up 80GB hard drive-based version. The company also announced that its online music store, Marketplace, will offer 1 million DRM-free songs for purchase, and that the company is launching a music-based social networking site called "Zune Social". In a follow up post titled Zune 2: five things Microsoft got right, last100 editor Steve O'Hear wote: "while the new Zune lineup is at best evolutionary rather than revolutionary, especially when compared to the User Interface innovations found in Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, Microsoft has made some significant improvements - and, dare I say it, done a few things from which even Apple might learn a thing or two."

Also check out a great guest post by Guinevere Orvis on how social media is helping to boost TV ratings.

Alt Search Engines

AltSearchEngines this week released the latest version of the Top 100 Alternative Search Engines list. One trend that ASE editor Charles Knight is beginning to see is that some of the alts are getting larger. Charles noted: "We have always said that there are 4-5 major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Ask) and 100 Top ASE. But we may have to revisit that. Some ASE (maybe - blinkx, GigaBlast, Exalead, picsearch,, Eurekster, Quintura - this is a new concept) seem to be growing larger than a typical ASE, but are not “major” yet either."


This week Sean Ammirati of Read/WriteTalk - our new podcast show - spoke with Dan Saffer, Experience Design Director at Adaptive Path. In the podcast, Dan discussed the process of designing for new types of Web-enabled devices - such as Nintendo's Wii, Apple’s iPhone and the new touch iPod..

That's a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

No comments: