Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Freemium model comes to Amazon EC2

Amazon will offer free cloud services developers starting this November.

Jarrod Phipps, a student in this course, has wrote a blog post giving his thoughts on Amazon's new pricing model. He asserts:

"The main reason I believe Amazon would go this route is that cloud services are moving closer towards commodity as the cloud vendor marketplace continues to crowd. This pricing model is likely an attempt to grab customers early and hope that high intra-vendor switching costs cause them to remain loyal to EC2. We know computing cycles, bandwidth, and storage are only getting cheaper, is this the first step towards a perpetually free cloud-hosting environment for web applications?"

What are your thoughts on Amazon's new pricing?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Microsoft moves deeper into the clouds with Office 365

Microsoft just announced its answer to Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365, the company’s next generation in cloud productivity that brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service.

Google has gained a lot of traction with small businesses and educational institutions with Google Apps. But it appears that Microsoft's packaging and pricing was designed to directly challenge Google's assault on this market.

Pricing Scenarios

Microsoft Office 365 (e-mail only) $24 / user account / year

Microsoft Office 365 Small Business $72 / user account / year

Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise $288 / user account / year

Google Apps Standard Free ( 50 user limit)

Google Apps Premier $50 / user account / year

How should Google respond to the introduction of this new suite?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Search is turning 'Social'

Microsoft just got a bit cozier with Facebook a new search deal.

Now when you search with Bing, you have the option of using Facebook and Twitter to enhance search results.

Instead of partnering with Facebook, Google appears to be enhancing its social presence by leveraging its current products and with acquisitions.

Which firm is in the best position to win the battle for social search?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MIT Sloan's Dean Schmittlein at the Huffington Post

A fourth theme is understanding big changes in business models as organizational strategy. MIT Sloan takes a unique perspective on what most people think of as strategy. Among our faculty, insights into the kinds of things that determine which organizations will succeed or fail is actually fundamentally an understanding of the role of innovation and the role of transformations in business models that come from outside as the drivers.

That's from Dean David Schmittlein's interview at the Huffington Post.
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nanodata at work: the Google Price Index

Google is creating a Google Price Index using the vast data they have on prices of goods and services available online. This provides a daily measure of inflation.

Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist, says that the GPI shows a “very clear deflationary trend” for web-traded goods in the US since last year. In contrast, the GPI rose during the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, the official government "core" consumer price index shows a small 0.9% increase since last year.

When I met with Ben Bernanke last fall, I encouraged the Fed to rely more heavily on the vast amounts of "nanodata" and "nowcasting" available via the web and other sources to get more fine-grained and timely information about the state of the economy. Given the damage that deflation can cause to an economy, I have no doubt he's looking closely at the GPI as he thinks about how to manage monetary policy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Susan Athey on Online Experimentation

Susan Athey is a professor at Harvard and Microsoft's Chief Economist. She just did a short radio commentary about online experiments. Here's how it starts:

Did you know that every time you do a search on Google or Bing, you are improving the quality of the search engine? The more people click on a search advertisement from a clothing company or on a link on an online news story, the more prominently it is displayed for the next consumer. And the firms constantly experiment to get things right. They watch what consumers do and adapt their products in response to the results of their experiments.

You can listen to the rest via the Marketplace website.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another layer in Google's Infrastructure: Google Chrome OS

Here is video of how Google's Chrome OS fits into their overall web strategy. This is just another example of how Google uses its internal technology as a competitive advantage. Since Google has decided to keep this platform completely free, what challenges could they encounter in the next 2-5 years?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Should Apple give away the Apple TV for free?

Apple is clearly using the razor/razor blade model for it's latest version of the Apple TV. The new device offers instant TV show rentals, Netflix and more from the comfort of your living room.

Apple chose the aggressively low price of $99 for this new product. Can you make a case of offering the device even cheaper? or free?