It strikes me that the problem with Google’s open phone plans is that the carriers all still suck and are the opposite of open. Google should just buy one of the carriers and run it in a reasonable manner. If it turns out that you can’t make money running a high-quality, neutral network and being nice to your customers then they would still make up the difference by driving lots of traffic to their web apps.
Don Marti has a great post about business deals he’d like to see. A couple of these are good ideas, a couple are just funny.
Microsoft has settled its lawsuit with Real Networks for $761 million. Rhapsody will get promotion on MSN.
At the press conference, Gates and Glaser said the deal settles all the antitrust claims between them. Glaser, who has worked at Microsoft, called the deal “the start of a new relationship” with Microsoft. “We’re ending one chapter and opening a new chapter,” he said.
Gates said the companies’ agreement extends beyond the legal settlement. Microsoft has agreed to make its operating system “as effective as possible” for Real, easing engineering and ease of use barriers for Real software running on Windows. “It’s more advantageous than it might have been before,” he said.
RealNetworks is reporting record revenues due largely to strong Rhapsody growth, but says its Rhapsody-To-Go service, which offers unlimited DRMed downloads to portable players, is doing very poorly. If it weren’t for the DRM, I’d be subscribed.