This is the tech news that was not only most important to me today, but that you should know. Ya know, if you care about that type of thing.
Today’s news is mighty Facebook-centric. I wish that wasn’t the case, but Mark Zuckerberg apparently can’t stay out of the news for longer than 12 hours, go figure.If Facebook Wants to Buy Opera, it’s gonna be pricey
There were rumors over the weekend that Facebook was interested in buying internet browser Opera. Talking heads in the tech world have been wondering aloud why the social network would want to make this type of move, including me. I said on Status Update #19 that I think this is another mobile move, not a desktop move. Opera has a relatively weak desktop market, but their mobile browser is fairly penetrated. Better yet, they speed up their browser by caching, which is just more data Facebook can track about you.
However, don’t think Opera is a cheap company to buy. Upon this news, their stock price jumped 20%, and their valuation is now over $800 million. However, Facebook would likely pay more than $800 million, as generally speaking when acquiring a company you pay more than the valuation. This is especially true if there are other suitors, and I’m sure Google would love to get into a bidding war. After all, rumor has it Google shelled out $30 million for the Milk team because Facebook engaged in a bidding war. I’m sure Google would have no problem returning the favor, Storage Wars style!
There’s also the problem that, ya know, in order to be purchased you kind of have to be for sale. You don’t walk up to a house that looks nice and just start bargaining with the owners. Facebook could not engage in conversations if someone in Norway didn’t answer the phone. Although, I hear talking to yourself is a sign of genius. It’s also important to note if the price tag did push $1 billion, that would be the second $1 billion purchase for Google in two months.
Facebook is Definitely Buying Face.com
TechCrunch today is reporting that Facebook is also definitely buying, at least they’re pretty sure, facial recognition website Face.com. Aside from having a great domain name that Facebook would redirect to Facebook.com, Face.com would bolster Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram and their recently released camera app, by adding facial recognition technology.
Essentially, Face.com allows you to take photos and then have them automatically tagged with who is in the picture. Ah, we see that’s a picture of Jessica, we know this because she is your ugly friend – please stop taking photos of her, that type of thing. Clearly this makes sense for Facebook. Any type of “innovation” on the platform is welcomed, especially when it adds functionality that makes the photo uploading process that much easier. One word of caution, if it does not work, it is a waste of money. There is a double-edge sword with technology like this; it is great when it works, but incredibly frustrating and worthless when it fails. And if it fails too often, it reflects poorly on the company.
Facebook Shares Take Another Tumble
Breaking news, Facebook shares tumble again! When will this stop being news? Sure the stock price is now a full $10 lower than its initial price, but didn’t we kind of expect this? I sure did. Like we’ve said on Status Update, we expected a pop and then the price to settle back down to earth. Facebook is NOT worth $100 billion, sorry not even close. I would give you $50 billion, and that seems to be where the valuation is headed.
The stock will continue to fall until the company is valued where investors think it should be valued. The problem? No one has any idea what Facebook is worth. Even worse, no one has any idea how to value the company. When not only the value, but the way the company is valued is up for debate, expect a topsy-turvy stock.
Samsung and Google release new Chromebook and Chromebox
Say hello to the new Chrome OS! It’s been a rough ride, but all of the reviews of the Samsung Chromebook and box seem to be positive, at least more positive than early reviews of Chrome OS.
The problem with Chrome OS and the Chromebook is the market it is going after. Google can go after the enterprise, small business, or average consumer. Let’s face it, most computer users just want to surf the web and do some minor word processing. Chromebook can do that no problem. However, it is a drastic change from the current model of computing. Everything’s on the cloud, no Microsoft Office, and no wide selection of third-party programs. So it is hard to educate the average consumer audience. Furthermore, the enterprise audience takes years to change any process they currently have in place, and plenty of companies are still incredibly wary of complete cloud solutions.
I haven’t actually used Chrome OS or a Chromebook, so I will not discount the platform personally, but I find it hard to believe there is a market for wide adoption of this type of operating system and computer. I guess the education market could be penetrated, but that is about it.
Rumored Images of Apple’s 3D Map Leaks
WWDC is coming up and everyone is getting purely gitty to hear about the “improvements” to iOS6. The most major makeover, allegedly, is the removal of Google Maps for a homegrown map solution from Apple. Couple of problems, 1.) People love Google Maps. 2.) Apple does not make great software – their operating systems are usually nice, but open iTunes on your computer and tell me that’s a great piece of software, I will laugh in your face, repeatedly. 3.) Their gimmick feature is impractical.
The big “feature” that is spotlighted in this rumor, are 3D maps, where you can fly around any area and get a clearer picture of where you are going and how you are going to get there – assuming you are on WiFi. I’m sure this functionality will “work” on 3G or 4G – but I’m also sure it will take forever to load. When I’m trying to get from point A to point B, I usually turn off those frills in the mapping software and just get the plain map overlay. It is easier and quicker, and does just fine for communicating the fastest route.
By the way, sorry about all the air quotes in that section, don’t know what got into me.