Google shares plunge on earnings miss

Google shares got rocked today when poor earnings numbers were prematurely released. Trading had to be halted but the bloodbath would have happened regardless, though many investors were caught off guard of course.

I have no idea why Google missed earnings numbers, but I can say that they need a serious lesson in customer service. Google has treated its Adsense partners with contempt, and if Microsoft wasn’t incompetent, Google would be losing even more business.

Initial reviews are good for Xbox Music

The online music world is getting a new entry soon with the launch of Xbox Music. The question is whether Microsoft will finally get things right after their doomed Zune experiment.

Still, Xbox Music is more than just about rebranding. Microsoft clearly intends it to be an all-encompassing effort. Users can download music a la carte like Apple (AAPL) iTunes, stream music a la Spotify, and listen to customized playlists in the same vein as Pandora (P). Early impressions cast the Xbox Music experience as “wonderful,” even.

The problem is that it’s only launching on Xbox and Windows * and won’t be on other platforms until next year. Still, Microsoft needed a new music service, and it looks like again they might have a good product based on copying its successful competitors.

Get ready for Outlook.com

Microsoft is moving all of their mail properties to Outlook.com, so say goodbye to Hotmail.

With the release of new Office and the upcoming release of Windows 8, Microsoft is completely overhauling their mail properties. It will be interesting to see if this is a great leap forward or whether it will become another fiasco like Vista.

In many ways, it sounds like it has too many features, which we’ve come to expect from Microsoft, and many of the features seem to be huge time wasters.

Tablet revolution is accelerating

The switch from laptops to tablets is accelerating, and this fall we’ll see an avalanche of new products like the Surface from Microsoft.

In some ways, the death of the laptop is being exaggerated. Most people who are getting tablet computers are also buying tablets. Sure, some people will replace their laptop with a tablet, and new consumers may choose a tablet over a laptop, but laptops will still be essential for most business people and students.

Still, you have to wonder what some companies like HP are doing. They risk being left behind as Microsoft bypasses them and they don’t have their own tablet solution.

Google will phase out Windows

The Financial Times is reporting that Google is phasing out Windows from Microsoft due to security concerns. Of course it’s not lost on all of us that this can be seen as a significant blow to Google’s biggest competitor.

That said, Windows has had significant problems for years, though it remains a cash cow for Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how many more companies follow suit.

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