Google dumps Nexus One

Google appears to have conceded defeat to the iPhone in the mobile devices hardware market with its decision to stop selling its Nexus One phones.

Less than a year ago, Google had announced its entry into the mobile devices hardware market with its launch of Nexus One. Right after the launch they used their muscle power in the advertising space to show the Nexus One phone in front of every single person. It appears that the customers have shown their muscle power and reminded Google as to who the final decision maker on this market is.

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Open Source Third Party Product Trends and Models

We have been using open source software for over six years now. We generally classify them into two main categories for our convenience:

1. Core System Products: This includes the key software we need for developing solutions for our clients. Some of these core system products are Linux Operation System, PHP, MySQL, etc.

2. Third Party Products: All products that take care of a technology business need are grouped here. Some examples of these are WordPress for blogs, Magento for eCommerce Shopping Carts, PHPBB for forums, OpenX for serving advertisements, OpenOffice for business communication needs, etc.

In the past two years, we are noticing a trend where these third party products are gaining attention with investors, due to the significant adoption of open source, as a result of which these open source products are beginning to adopt innovative models which are different from what they used to have before.

A few of these models are listed below:

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Soft Layer and The Planet to merge

Soft Layer and The Planet are two major data centers in the US where were host some of our servers. This morning we got a notification from the CEO of Soft Layer, Lance Crosby, that both the companies are merging and the merger will be completed before the end of the year.  Also got a mail from CEO of ThePlanet, Douglas Erwin (full text of his mail given below).

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Google gives 68% to AdSense Publishers

Google disclosed today for the first time in their history, the percentage of advertisement amount that they pay out to the publishers via their AdSense platform.

AdSense along with AdWords is the primary revenue generating engine for Google. All these days, the publishers on AdSense network had no clue about the percentage of cut that Google was retaining. There were many speculations in the past that Google keeps 50% of the ad revenue from the advertisers and only gives 50% to the publishers.

Today, Google has come out with a blog referring to the fact that they wanted to be more transparent to their users. It is a very good move and is a positive step in the right direction.

The full details are available here:

Good job Google.

OpenX 2.8.5 Download Ready?

As announced earlier, we have been using OpenX as our advertising engine and we are quite happy with its performance, despite the limitations we have found in the product.

An interesting thing happened last week. We realized that Openx 2.8.5 is available for download, though there was no official announcement about it. The home page on OpenX website still shows that OpenX 2.8.4 is available for download, though we were able to download OpenX 2.8.5.

Our server support team went ahead and downloaded the latest version, ran it through our usual ‘New Downloads Review’ process and after verfiying it, approved it as ‘Ready for Production Use’. Based on this verification, late last week we have now installed it on our ad server and have not seen any visible issues with it. We will continue to monitor this latest version and see how it performs.

In any case, we are still wondering why OpenX have forgotten to announce the availability of v2.8.5.

AdSense Certified Ad Networks?

Google AdSense has now made a significant enhancement by allowing publishers to show ads from other Ad Networks who have been certified by Google.

These ads currently are only for image ads and appear to be only for CPM based ads (We are yet to verify this). Adsense does give the publishers the ability to block ads from one or more adnetworks.

Some of the certified adnetworks are ValueClick, Chitika, DSNR, OpenX, etc. The full list of the certified AdNetworks is provided at the end of this blog, but the interesting point is to think why Google would allow other adnetworks to leverage its platform.

One might wonder why Google would allow a part of its inventory to be eaten up by other competing ad networks. We could think of some of the possible reasons which are provided below:

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OpenX Third Party Click Tracking – Still An Issue

We had posted sometime back about a click tracking issue with unknown third party providers, that we were facing with OpenX.

We tried approaching different people, including OpenX forums, third party freelance sites, etc. A consistent answer we received was, if the third party advertiser does not support the extra parameter in their ad code, there is no way to capture the clicks from their ads. We were puzzled at realizing that such a simple requirement might not be handled in OpenX.

Very interestingly, someone from OpenX Services wrote to me a few days after the last post was published, saying that they could solve this problem for us.

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Apple launches iPad

Apple’s Steve Jobs has launched iPad, Apple’s version of the tablet, which has a very sleek design – as usually expected from Apple after their successful launch of iPod, iPhone, iMac and iTouch.

iPad is just half an inch in thickness and weights just 1.5 pounds. It has a 9.7 inch touch screen interface and looks as sleek as any other Apple device. It uses hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics and hence the resolution is expected to be amazing.

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OpenX 2.8.4 Released – More OpenX Market Integration Options

OpenX announced the release of the next version of their ad serving tool yesterday.

There are quite a few good features announced, but all of them listed so far, appear to be related mainly to OpenX Market integration – not a bad idea though.

For those of who, who are not familiar with OpenX, it started as an independent open source community project and went through many name changes before it became OpenX. Around this time, it got good funding from venture capitalists and now they are trying to make the product better as well as make it revenue generating by using alternate ideas such as offering consulting services, a hosted version, etc.

In this version 2.8.4, some of the key non-OpenX market related features are:

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Employee of the year 2009 – Aravind Raj

We are happy to announce that Aravind has been selected as the Employee of the Year 2009 at Auro Infotech.

Aravind has been with Auro Infotech for five years now and has grown from the role of a Server Administrator to Manager of the Server Support Team.

In this role, he has gone above and beyond his basic job responsibilities and has contributed to various initiatives at Auro Infotech.

In 2009, Aravind was instrumental in leading the efforts in engineering various solutions such as WordPress MU, Magento, OpenX, etc. He has also been managing various client initiatives in different projects we delivered to our clients.

As a result, in 2010, Aravind is now also overseeing the design team and is on track to managing the operations of Auro Infotech, Chennai.

As a part of this reward, Aravind gets a special gift of his choice from the Auro Infotech Management team. I hope he will write about his gift in the near future.

Please join me in congratulating Aravind on a job well done and wish him all the best in all his future initiatives.