Noisecast Roundup 5-10-2011: Google/Microsoft Day

Today was all about Google and Microsoft. the only news worth reporting came out of Google’s I/O conference and the press conference held by Microsoft and Skype to announce the $8.5 billion purchase. I’m excited for the 2011 holiday season and 2012 as a whole. Microsoft, Google, and Apple all have exciting things on the horizon. This should be fun. 

  • Google’s finally showed its card and entered the entertainment fray.
    Yeah, they did, in a big way. Google music, movies, the integration, Google @ Home, revamps to Google tv. Google has put the living room and your home on notice. But that’s a fight well stocked by Microsoft and its console. The real target of their canon-fire is iTunes. eat your heart out, the new pirates of Silicon Valley.
  • Microsoft reportedly purchasing Skype. [updated to confirm]
    This is huge. It’s, strangely, the largest purchase Microsoft has ever made. While I’ve contended that they overpaid, there is a good reason for that. Skype was pre-IPO. They had to make an offer that would make it worth abandoning an IPO. For further thoughts on the matter, Steven feels that Microsoft just pulled an Apple. For the record, I hate that phrase. It implies some brilliant move invented and first implemented by Apple. It’s as ridiculous as referring to every new device as the idevice killer. But Steven speaks wisdom.
  • The next iteration of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, will bring tablet features to phones.
    My guess for the next Android name is Ice Cream Cake. This is looking extraordinary. There seemed to be a fork between Gingerbread and Honeycomb but Ice Cream Sandwich looks to bring them back together and have the same Android on every device. Still no word on the fate of Chrome OS.
  • Take a look at Ballmer’s internal memo to employees about the Skype purchase. “Exciting times.”
    The man is excited, I think it’s huge and Microsofties should be looking forward to the new kid helping put a little shine on their swag.
  • Google finally delivers on promise of admin-free chrome frame installs for IE.
    To be honest, I’m largely indifferent to this news. I’m not in an environment where I couldn’t choose to jump ship and have been happy with Chrome for ages now. However, I know there are lots of people who have to suffer through outdated versions of IE and don’t have admin-level access.
  • Youtube boosts movie rentals with 3,000 Hollywood titles.
    You’re either thinking, “it’s about time!” or “They’ve forgotten the people who built them!” Whichever camp you’re in, this is a good thing. These sorts of moves actually help to secure other companies like Netflix. As online rentals increase in ubiquity and the profit margins justify it, we may eventually begin to see affordable release day movies and current tv episodes.

You can watch the whole Google I/O keynote here:

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