Microsoft Buys Skype, Facebook Starts A Fight With Google, Google Set To Dole Out $500 Million, & More

Microsoft Buys Skype, Facebook Starts A Fight With Google, Google Set To Dole Out $500 Million, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks

Microsoft Purchases Skype For More Than Market Price

After reportedly flirting with Google and Facebook, Skype is officially in a $8.5 billion relationship with Microsoft. The move came as a major surprise to tech insiders, and Microsoft’s plans for the popular video/direct message chatting service are still a bit unclear.

.net Magazine provides some predictive analysis about the decision, and some of the ramifications for Microsoft as well as the tech industry as a whole.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Facebook Vs. Google Public Relations War Turns Ugly

The recent smear exchange between Facebook and Google is about as close to a Tupac vs. Biggie Small feud as the tech industry will ever get. In short, a company that treats private user information like it’s Monty Brewster’s money wants people to know a competing company does the same thing, and is therefore more dangerous.

Here’s a quick timeline of events:

–          Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm, spent the last week pitching anti-Google story ideas to Silicon Valley media claiming the search engine giant is collecting private information from its users.

–          Burson asks a blogger to write a column on the topic, and promises syndication in The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post. The blogger declined and published these emails.

–          USA Today discovers that Burson is engaging in a “whisper campaign” against Google for an unknown client, which The Daily Beast soon discovered was Facebook.

–          Facebook confirms the rumors, claiming Google is violating users’ privacy on their social network (Social Circle) and Google wants to use Facebook’s data to drive that service.

–          Anyone who pays attention to Facebook’s privacy issues LOLs at their hypocrisy.

–          Burson-Marsteller confirms the dirty laundry operation, and claims after-the-fact that the whole campaign is against their ethical standards and Facebook is the one to blame for all of this.

Sources: The Daily Beast, Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch

Illegal Prescription Drug Ads Cost Google $500 Million With Department Of Justice

Google will potentially pay $500 million to settle a case with the Justice Department that the search giant made hundreds of millions of dollars off law-breaking online pharmacy ads. If the payment number holds up, it will be the highest penalty paid in a conflict with the U.S. government.

The government is apparently taking this issue with illegal online pharmacies seriously, as searching for “no prescription required” in Google returns an ad leading to a Justice Department message of, “Prescription drugs. Buying online could mean doing time.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

Chromebooks Launch, Featuring Cloud Storage Structure

On Wednesday, Google announced the release of their first Chromebook on Samsung and Acer notebooks. Because all information stored on your Chromebook is done on an Internet cloud system, the notebook supposedly takes eight seconds to boot up. Google’s blog post on the newest addition to the notebook market details other additional features for a comparably affordable price.

Source: The Official Google Blog

Notable Commentary

Worth Notable Comments

Google’s Amit Singhal Drops Some Knowledge On Post-Panda Best Practices

Most quality web sites were not penalized, and actually rewarded, for possessing good content under the Panda update. Amit Singhal provides some new guidelines for site’s that were affected by the update to help them raise their standings with Google.

Analysis By: Amit Singhal, Google Webmaster Central Blog

Scamming Google On Mother’s Day

Flower companies are usually not what you think about when you think of industries trying to con Google, but Mother’s Day brought out the best in unethical SEO from the country’s most popular floral web sites.

Analysis By: David Segal, New York Times

The Ultimate Twitter Marketing Best Practices From Copyblogger

Copyblogger has basically compiled a catalogue of Twitter advice and articles for beginners, intermediates, and experts interested in expanding their brand on the social network. Some of these are really obvious, but this is definitely worth a bookmark as a reference.

Analysis By: Gabrielle Conde, Copyblogger

Multi-Channel Search Experience

People are not just purchasing from one channel. They may look for a product online, look up a store that carries said product on their mobile phone, and then finally go into the store to ask more questions and purchase. This article explains that not only is measuring each channel is important, but also guaranteeing that the switches between different channels are completely seamless.

Analysis By: Pete Bell, User Interface Engineering

UX: If You Write It Well, They Will Read It

This article is a great reminder that content plays into a user’s experience as much as anything else you could do to a web site.

Analysis By: Brett Sandusky, UX Magazine

Would You Wear Cat Ears That Register Your Brain Waves And React Based On Your Mood?

Didn’t think so, but the option is just a click away…

Analysis By: Neurowear

To Flash, Or To HTML5?

Periscopic has a very good explanation of the merits of site design with Flash, HTML5, and iOS compatibility. This article very cleanly dissects the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Analysis By: Dino Citraro, Periscopic

Graph Out Your Tweets, If You’d Like

Sparktweets allows you to graph out tweeted data in Unicode format, and share it on Twitter. This is most useful if you’re a service business that wants to graph your value for clients.

Analysis By: Zach Seward