Posts for Tag: allthingsd

Yahoo's new CEO is ...... Carol Bartz!

AllThingsD is reporting that Carol Bartz (previously CEO of Autodesk) has accepted the Yahoo CEO position. Good move for her as there are only a handful of companies with iconic status in Silicon Valley (if not the country). It's interesting how CEOs tend to reflect the state of where a company is and will most likely go. When Koogle was CEO, he was basically brought in as the adult to mind the store the kids built. His tenure was marked by impressive growth but not really sure if he was the driving force behind that or more just the conductor of the train already on track to do what it was going to do. Next was Semel who was brought in because Yahoo no longer wanted to be a tech company but a mass media player with its hands in Hollywood, Madison Ave, etc. Yang's short tenure saw Yahoo try to get back to its tech roots, albeit with little or no success. What will the Bartz era bring? Probably sound management with a focus on maximizing profits and shareholder value. Whether that means trimming more fat or selling off a business unit for a pretty penny (perhaps Search to one S. Ballmer?), I'm not really sure. One thing that's certain is that Bartz is a very capable business manager, often compared to Mark Hurd over at HP. I hear he's done an ok job.
Of bigger concern to me is the fact that in a way, Yahoo was able to get an insider without getting an insider. In my opinion, the whole point of a new CEO was to inject new life into the company - get an outside perspective because the inside one was not working. Bartz has had a prior relationship with both Yang and Decker (sits on Cisco board with Yang, Intel board with Decker) and are good friends. Let's hope that their prior relationship doesn't prevent Bartz from doing what needs to be done.

Palm Pre - Pretty cool, but so what?

CrunchGear has a demo video from CES of the Palm Pre. Overall, I think it looks pretty cool. Definitely a huge step up from where the PalmOS was before, but I can't help but feel like it's a very "Me, too" product. The Card View method of viewing applications is nice and there are some pretty nice innovations on the Contacts side of things. If you don't currently own a touch screen smart phone, I think the Pre is a very viable alternative to the iPhone, Blackberry Storm, or anything from HTC.
Rumor has it that they are going to price the phone at $399 SUBSIDIZED, which would put it at the high end of touch screen smart phones. A quote from Palm CEO Ed Colligan, as reported by Peter Kafka, when asked if Palm considered pricing the Pre at $200 or below to compete with the iPhone was "Why would we do that when we have a significantly better product?" Well Ed, you don't really have a significantly better product. You can make the argument that the Pre is as good, at best slightly better than the iPhone (though I wouldn't). In other words, I wouldn't switch to the Pre from my 1st generation iPhone because there's nothing that much better in the Pre. And let's not forget that anything that can be claimed to be better on the Pre can easily be copied in future iPhone software updates.

As someone who has had a litany of smart phones, it took a significant feature or service improvement from one device to another for me to make the switch. I started with the original Sidekick, moved to a color Sidekick (for the color, of course), then to a T-Mobile MDA (Edge performance increase plus more flexibility in adding apps on Windows Mobile), and finally to an iPhone (my first video iPod plus all the amazing UI features). I even bypassed an upgrade to the 3G iPhone because faster data speed wasn't enough for me to pay extra for essentially the same UI. Suffice it to say, simply being a little bit better (if at all) is not enough for someone to want to pay $100-$200 more for a Pre than a 3G iPhone.