Online Ajax Desktops

Dion Hinchcliffe writes about the value proposition:

* One Stop – Centralized online consumption of content and services
* Accessible Anywhere – Roaming accessibility from anywhere with Web connectivity
* All Your Data – Easy integration of most existing information sources including e-mail, calendars, bookmarks, news, blogs, pictures, etc.
* Engaging, Fun, Fast – Rich, interactive experiences that match native software
* A Platform that Grows And Evolves – Open platform for in-browser third-party software add-ons (Live.com’s Gadgets and Pageflakes’ Community Flakes)
* Real Software Not Just Data – Increasing integration with Web 2.0 software applications like word processors, messaging, and wikis, plus rich Javascript widgets
* Intelligent Consumption – Ad-hoc, decentralized, user guided content filtering and mashup creation

Web 2.0 in the Enterprise

Zoli Erdos blogs a TiE event and comes away with the following conclusions:

# Web 2.0 is people, collaboration, creating together.
# Business Model change is more important than technology change.
# The divider between consumer and enterprise software will blur.
# Give up control, gain value.
# Start small, grow bottom up.
# The question is not what new programs can do for us, but now that we’re enabled, what do we do together, better.

Emerging Markets Companies Gaining Clout

WSJ writes:

Companies from emerging markets, armed with piles of cash from rising commodity prices and abundant financing, are snapping up targets in Europe and the U.S., a trend that could shift the global economic balance of power in some industries.

Bankers and executives say the latest wave is being driven by a host of new factors. One is an excess of cash, generated in part from the soaring price of oil and other commodities in recent months. Many buyers are backed by national governments that are looking to invest their newfound riches in other industries that will help diversify their economic base or provide new distribution outlets for their exports.

Economic conditions have changed, too. At the same time that once closed countries like China and India have opened up their economies, hedge funds are controlling ever-wider stakes of public companies in Europe and the U.S., and generally are neutral about who buys their holdings.

Broadband as Utility

Business 2.0 writes about City Telecom of Hong Kong:

City Telecom [is] a Hong Kong company that offers 100 megabits per second–65 times as fast as a typical DSL connection–for just $25 a month, with no phone or cable strings attached. Ricky Wong, founder and chief executive of City Telecom, describes his company as “a broadband utility.” City Telecom is already Hong Kong’s second-largest residential broadband provider, despite competition from PCCW, the area’s largest and oldest phone company; iCable, the dominant cable operator; and HGC Telecom, a firm backed by billionaire Li Ka-Shing. Now, in fact, those larger competitors have made it their mission to halt Wong’s progress. Says Dave Burstein, editor of industry newsletter “DSL Prime,” “City has inspired incumbents to sprint and catch up.”

In 2000, City Telecom spent $25 million to deliver residential Internet access, in part by using wireless transmitters perched on rooftops and cell-phone towers. The plan didn’t pan out–the wireless technology couldn’t pump enough bandwidth–but there was a silver lining: City Telecom had already installed Ethernet jacks in 1.2 million homes. The company regrouped by wiring each building to a fiber-optic trunk line, which in turn connected to the Internet.

The result is a citywide version of the local area networks found in many corporate offices.

Indian Cricket’s Big Deal

ContentSutra writes about Nimbus which bagged the four-year rights to cricket played in India for an amazing sum of $612 million.

Even if you consider a moderate margin that Nimbus would like to make on an investment of $612 million, the break-even for it will come close to $800 million (around Rs 3,500 crore), which translates into $200 million per year. The $200 million is almost a sixth of the entire Rs 5,500-crore ($1.25 billion) revenue for all television advertising, and includes even distribution revenues.

How will the returns come: For four years of 165 days of cricket (55 ODIs and 22 Tests), it works out to $4.84 million per day.

Mobile and broadband rights have not been given out.

TECH TALK: DEMO 2006: The Event

There were two conferences that took place recently I would have liked to attend DEMO 2006 in early Feb and 3GSM World Congress in mid-Feb. Since I couldnt go to either of them, I thought Id do the next best thing use the Web to aggregate reports by people who were there to get an essence of what went on. Well start with Demo 2006.

DEMO is positioned as the premier launch pad for emerging technologies. Torsten Jacobi outlined the essence of the Demo conferences:

DEMO is a twice yearly held event. DEMO describes itself as the premier launch pad for emerging companies. DEMO stands out because each company goes through a rather though selection committee and must prove it has something new and interesting to launch. In addition to the booth each company maintains, the company has 3-6 minutes to present the innovative product/ solution on stage. Important no Power Point is allowed – it must be a real demo. This way DEMO stands out from the crowd of emerging technologies conferences.

DEMO is such a value to entrepreneurs presenting because of the media attention and number of potential investors in the auditorium. As Jeff Nolan noted a good share of the Silicon Valley VC industry could charter a plane to get to Phoenix. The event surely helps investors to find new trends and identify new potential investments. While DEMO is no investment pitch it has a great track record to get presenters financed.

DEMOs own site outlines its attractiveness:

70 new technologies. 2 days. 1 place.
Rigorously screened from hundreds of technologies from around the world, you’ll see only the most significant, relevant and viable. The ones that exemplify and lead emerging trends. We do all the vetting so you can do a lot of business in a very efficient two days.

At DEMO, it’s all about technology.
This is a show like no other. Each company who launches here, regardless of size, faces the same screening process. Marketing budgets must be checked at the door. It’s technology vs. technology on a level field.

Hold what the future holds – literally.
Do you like to try a technology before you invest or purchase for your enterprise? DEMO puts the proof in your hands. You’ll have ample opportunity to personally take an innovation through its paces. To speak directly with its creators. To know what you’re holding is real.

The industry trusts Chris Shipley, so you can too.
As the executive producer of DEMO, Chris Shipley heads-up product selection. She is widely regarded one of the top analysts covering technology today. Her judgment is considered a litmus test for new technologies by investors and innovators alike.

Here is a list of all the companies that presented at DEMO 2006. The videos of all the presentations are also available at the DEMO 2006 site. Companies pay $15,000 to present for 5 minutes to about 700 people.

Tomorrow: Chris Shipley Talks