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Commodity Computing

By - August 08, 2007

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has a very nice post about not only his company’s new, ultra fast chip, but two radical shifts to his company’s business model. It’s very well done.

So when we announce (via this webcast) the fastest microprocessor the industry’s ever seen (the benchmarks are staggering) – and say we’re entering the “commodity microprocessor market,” what does it really mean? It means we’re no longer limiting ourselves to serving an internal market, inside Sun. Instead, we’re opening ourselves up to the broadest market possible – where the opportunity’s largest.

Despite having what’s arguably the single biggest competitive advantage our systems business has ever had, we’ve separated out our microelectronics business – and told them to win on the open market, as well. ….

….To add fuel to the fire, the blueprints for our UltraSPARC T2 (I personally like the moniker, “Niagara 2″ – named after Niagara Falls, btw, and the great volumes of water that pass over them), the core design files and test suites, will be available to the open source community, via its most popular license: the GPL. Making Niagara 2 the only commodity silicon whose core designs are available to the open source community – whose strength, and market power, only grows by the day.

These are all huge changes to our business. Driven by a simple philosophy: the open market is bigger than any internal one. But ultimately, why now? A simple reason: because customers building infrastructure for the internet have been asking us to do so.

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Indexing Speed

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Matt points out that Google’s indexing speed has increased and uses blog entries as an example. I’ve certainly noticed how fast Google indexes this blog, it’s markedly faster than a year ago.

Google Phone-y

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(image from the Telegraph) I just do not believe Google is going to get into the hardware business with phones. Service, apps, platform, sure. But a phone? I don’t believe it.

But if you read the press, it seems Google has already decided to go for it. Read this lead and headline in the Telegraph:

Google to unveil phone of its own by next year

By Sophie Freeman

Last Updated: 2:29am BST 04/08/2007

Google is hoping to launch a mobile phone early next year that allows users to surf the internet on the move.

Er….the company is hoping? What the hell kind of journalism is this? What sourcing does the paper have? None, it turns out. Buried in story is this gem:

The company refused to confirm any plans for the phone.



I dislike this kind of speculative journalism. It’s just hype. Phoney.

Accoona IPO

By - August 06, 2007

Accoona, a search engine and, apparently, an ecommerce business, has filed for an IPO, Paid Content alerts us.

To my mind, this smells like opportunism, after all, the search engine has gotten very little traction and the company has no profits. That’s the kind of IPO that got us into trouble last time. The offering is dressed in a Google like auction process to boot. So I took a quick look at the S1. It’s clear from first blush, this is not a search company. Sure, they have a search engine, but what revenues they have they seem to have purchased – and they are all ecommerce sites. And while the S1 speaks of six sites that provide its revenues, I can’t find them listed anywhere. I’ll keep looking, but if you all can find em, let us know.

Accoona Finances

Acconna is also playing the “China is hot” card by playing up a deal with the China Daily Information Company.

Furthermore, the company is losing a lot of money, and seems on track to lose a lot more. They lost $50 million last year, and lost nearly $15 million in the first quarter of this year.

More from the S1:

We are an Internet company engaged in three primary business lines — online-based lead generation, online search in the United States, Europe and China, and e-commerce consumer electronics retailing. Our services assist our users in finding the products, services and information they want, obtaining competitive pricing and making informed buying decisions. We use our expertise in technology, marketing and management to support and create efficiencies across our business lines, which are organized primarily into the following sectors:

• Online-based lead generation — We developed and operate ExchangePlaceTM, which we believe is one of the first U.S. online-based marketplaces that enables consumers to obtain offers from as many as four providers of services in which they are interested and allows providers to bid for the opportunity to contact qualified consumers, or leads, (i.e., those meeting the providers’ criteria), across a range of vertical markets. We believe that these leads are more valuable to providers because of the greater likelihood they will result in sales, thereby resulting in increased returns on investment, or ROI, for those providers.

• Search — We have developed and operate an artificial intelligence driven search engine in the United States, China and Europe. Our business plan contemplates the development of techniques to use our existing technologies to enable our users to better access certain specialized search markets. In addition, we operate a shopping comparison search engine, BuyersEdge.com, that allows shoppers to search for and compare products and prices available at numerous online merchants.

• E-commerce — We operate six Internet retail websites offering primarily a wide selection of consumer electronics and home appliances, backed by customer service and support. According to a report in TWICE, in 2006, the combined revenues of our e-commerce sites made us one of the top 10 consumer-direct electronics retailers in North America by online revenue and one of the top 55 consumer electronics retailers overall.

Update: Silicon Alley Insider goes a bit deeper. Ouch.

Hypertext Solutions

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Apparently Paul Allen is throwing his hat into the next generation semantic search game. From this blog posting (thanks reader Charles), we learn that

Hypertext Solutions, a Seattle startup in stealth mode (they are hiring), has purchased the assets of a search technology called InFact (original page is dead, here is a Google cache) from Insightful Corp. The release is here.

Paul Allen is reportedly behind Hypertext Solutions. I am not finding it easy to confirm that. However, the blog posting, from a fellow involved in the tranasction, says Hypertext Solutions is “building upon the world’s best NLP based text analysis and search platform”. I’ve got some feelers out…

Udpate, yeah, it’s easy – Vulcan is an investor.