IP Capsule - February 06, 2008

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 7:00pm
 February 06 , 2008 
IPso Facto...

 I object
 Microsoft tried wooing Yahoo! two years ago. Two years ago, buying Yahoo might have been an obvious move. Now? Not so obvious.

Brian SantoBut since then, Google has pulled away from Yahoo, taking more and more of the search business and more effectively tying search to advertising.

Since we're in the Wayback machine, six years ago Microsoft was competitive with Yahoo and Google as both a search engine and as a portal, though it was slipping at the time, and it's slipped further since.

Now Microsoft is going to spend $44.6 billion for a second-place company that's heading for third place. Money-wise, it's a bargain, though the deal would still rank in the Top 20.

But what makes Microsoft, which failed to keep up with Yahoo, think it can buy Yahoo, which failed to keep up with Google, and somehow make the combination competitive with Google?

Perseverance can be a virtue – look at Microsoft in IPTV. And Microsoft is quoting projections that the online advertising market is expected to grow to $80 billion per year by 2010. I'd be happy with 10 percent of that market. But will Microsoft? It should consider the question.

Google immediately raised concerns about the power of the merged company. The combination would control an overwhelming share of instant messaging (IM) and Web e-mail accounts! And what if Microsoft were to exploit its near-monopoly in operating systems to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' e-mail, IM, and Web-based services?! What if Harold had won at the Battle of Hastings?

Sherman and Mr. Peabody
Sherman and Mr. Peabody
enter the Wayback machine

I'm guessing that Google is hoping it can increase its lead if the approval process is dragged out. The best way to do that is to raise the hackles of regulators, especially those in the European Union who are not happily disposed toward Microsoft in the first place.

I dislike enormous corporate behemoths because power does corrupt, and Microsoft has abused its power in the past. But you'd have to be either stupid or desperate to try to fiddle with anyone's e-mail or IMs or Web access, and Microsoft is neither.

And I dislike the term "synergies" to justify a merger – and Microsoft has used the term to justify the purchase of Yahoo – because it can mean only one of two things: 1) the acquiring company doesn't have a good reason to buy whatever it's buying, so it's resorting to a word that in context means nothing; or 2) the word does mean something, and what it means is mass layoffs. Wall Street may love layoffs, but I'm kind of old-fashioned, thinking that the benefits of employment outweigh the drawbacks.

So despite the guaranteed layoffs, there is not much reason to stop this merger. Of course, from my point of view, there is a compelling reason to hope Microsoft pulls this off. If it buys Yahoo, chances are good that the humorless Borg in Redmond will also lay off that stupid exclamation point.

Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
 CED Webcast Series Thursday, February 28, 2008 

AT&T completes largest U-verse rollout to date
By Traci Patterson

AT&T has launched its U-verse TV service in northeastern Illinois, marking the largest U-verse rollout to date and making some competition for Comcast in the area. Continue

Comverse's IPTV solution chosen by Andorran operator
By Traci Patterson

Comverse's IPTV solution has been selected by STA, the Andorran telecommunications operator, for the enhancement of its triple-play offering.

STA provides fixed line, mobile, data, video and value-added telecom services in Andorra. The operator's new triple-play offering will include IPTV with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoding, a conditional access system (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM), all of which will be delivered over STA's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

"We selected Comverse for their extensive expertise in IP technologies, in particular a deep understanding of IPTV and telecommunications from both the operator and subscriber perspective, and for excellence in integration of their applications with our existing system," said Jaume Salvat Font, CEO of STA.

Comverse is a provider of software and systems enabling network-based messaging and content value-added services, converged billing and IP communications. The company's solutions generate revenue, strengthen customer loyalty and improve operational efficiency for more than 500 communications service providers in more than 130 countries.


Charter deletes content from 14,000 e-mail accounts
By Mike Robuck

Charter Communications cited a software problem that led to the deletion of 14,000 e-mail accounts in January. Continue 

AT&T offering Wi-Fi free to subs, adds new U-verse data tier
By Brian Santo

AT&T issued two unrelated announcements concerning its broadband services, the first about a new, higher-speed data tier for U-verse, and the other about extending free access to its Wi-Fi network to all of its broadband subscribers. Continue 

Sprint, Clearwire revisiting WiMAX deal
By Brian Santo

Clearwire and Sprint Nextel may be rekindling their romance. The Wall Street Journal reported that the two have resumed talks about collaborating on a national WiMAX network. Continue 

Ciena to buy World Wide Packets
By Brian Santo

Ciena is set to acquire privately held World Wide Packets, which specializes in carrier Ethernet products and services. Continue 

Cisco launches new Catalyst switches, capabilities
By Traci Patterson

Cisco has introduced new Catalyst switches and capabilities to the Campus Communication Fabric, the company's blueprint for network services. Continue 

Juniper unveils EX line of Ethernet switches
By Brian Santo

Juniper Networks has introduced a new line of Ethernet switches, the EX series. Continue 

FCC commissioners bash NTIA's 2007 U.S. broadband report
By Traci Patterson

Broadband is growing dramatically in the U.S., according to a report from the NTIA, but some FCC commissioners disagree. Continue 

Fourth cable outage in several days occurs in Middle East
By Traci Patterson

Another telecom cable outage occurred in the Middle East on Sunday, this one between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, marking the fourth outage in the region in the past week. Continue 


• AT&T hikes broadband prices, reported by the Associated Press.

• India's Ministry of Information & Broadcasting accepts IPTV recommendations, reported by ipTV News.


Company: BridgeWave Communications
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
CEO: Amir Makleff

Claim to fame: BridgeWave is a supplier of Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) outdoor wireless connectivity solutions. The company's AdaptRate technology and Forward Error Correction capabilities deliver the highest availability at the longest distances for full-rate GigE solutions.

Recent news of note: The city of Temple, Texas, has established its own wireless backhaul system for city services, a network based on seven wireless links from BridgeWave.



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