Daily Archives: November 7, 2007

At Long Last, Symantec Pulls Trigger on Vontu Acquisition

Readers of this blog know that I’ve long foretold the acquisition of Vontu by Symantec. It finally happened.

My expectation was that it would have occurred earlier, but it’s entirely logical that the deal has been consummated, even if belatedly. There are well-grounded business reasons for this move by Symantec, though some observers will debate whether Symantec overpaid for its latest security jewel.

HP Looking for OEM Designer-Manufacturer for Digital Cameras

In 2008, HP-branded digital cameras will still be on the market, but they won’t be designed, manufactured, or distributed by HP.

With its so-called Print 2.0 initiative at the center of its digital-imaging strategy, HP evidently believes digital cameras are of secondary importance to the whole business of retail photo finishing, home photo printing, and various online photo services. Margins, no doubt, are pretty thin on HP’s digital cameras, at least relative to other HP products and services, so this move makes sense. HP still needs a branded digital camera, at least for now, but it doesn’t have to design, manufacture, and distribute that camera.

As a result of its new camera business strategy, HP will take a pre-tax charge of approximately $30 million in the fourth fiscal quarter ending Oct. 31, 2007.

Facebook’s Cynical Advertising Push

I tried Facebook a few months ago just to see what all the fuss was about. I did my best to be open to the experience, to understand what drove the kids wild about the Facebook phenomenon. In the end, I didn’t get it. I didn’t see what was so extraordinary or special about it. There’s nothing on Facebook that you can’t already do with existing web-based programs and tools.

What’s worse, now we discover that Facebook is all about egregiously violating the privacy of its users. If your credit-card company abused your trust this badly, you’d probably sue them. There’s something disgustingly, revoltingly obscene about using your subscribers in such a thoroughly exploitative way. I’m most appalled at how Facebook wants its users to function as unpaid shills for corporate products and services. It’s merchandising taken to unconscionable extremes.

Nick Carr hits the ugly nail right on the head.