Flipcart’s Flyte – Dancing to Indian e-tunes !

Earlier this month, Flipcart has announced the acquisition of Letsbuy to enrich its portfolio of e-Commerce offerings. Here is yet another news(talks/rumors?) from Flipcart about its plan to integrate music service to the Flipcart website. The music service is being launched under the brand Flyte. Flyte would be a service which is 320 Kbps DRM free (pretty good) and device agnostic.

The music service is being powered by Mime360 which Flipkart acquired November last year. Mime360 was a Mumbai based Digital Media Distribution company. The digital media catalogue is being provided by Chakpak, a Bangalore based startup providing Bollywood media content. This is yet another attempt to grow stronger than Amazon which is slowly entering into the Indian market.

The key factor for the success of Flyte is a “Competitive pricing” of the tracks to reduce piracy. This is a very critical factor for the success of the service in Indian market which is  being dominated by internet piracy.

Here is a Flipkart screenshot (available for a short duration in Flipkart website) revealing the introduction of the music service as reported in Woikr.

Also there are talks that Flipkart is gearing up for the ePub service.

I was really hoping that Google Music would enter into the Indian market, but i guess it is now too late for them and it might be a tough fight against the “to-be-homegrown” Flyte.

Stay tuned for the official news from Flipkart.

Advertisements

Google – From “don’t be evil” to “try to be evil”

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Google is requesting Microsoft to pay a hefty fee for use of its 50 H.264 video standard patent which it acquired from Motorola. These patents are used for accessing video services over Wifi. Google is claiming Microsoft to pay 22.50 USD for every Microsoft Windows  laptop less than or equal to 1000 USD. The patent fee doubles for laptop that are 2000 USD worth. This price is ridiculous when compared to the amount that Microsoft currently pays for use of 2000 odd licenses – which is less than 2 cents to 29 companies. Not sure if this fee would be for the video access over Wifi for the Windows mobile and tablets.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Microsoft is ready to pay for a fee that is justifiable and not ready to pay such a huge amount. I think the huge fee is an attempt for the patent fee that Microsoft charges Google for every android phone activation. Microsoft has filed a compliant with the European Commission and the US. Department of Justice seeking investigation the patent fee.

Here is a report from Dave Heiner, Corporate Standards, Microsft. Snippet of the blog post is as below:

<Snip>

There is an obvious way out of all this. Motorola should honor its promises, and make its standard essential patents available on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. Microsoft is certainly prepared to pay a fair and reasonable price for use of others’ intellectual property. Within just the past few years, Microsoft has entered into more than a thousand patent licenses. We know how it’s done.

</Snip>

Is Cisco trying to secure the future of Video communication?

Image representing Cisco as depicted in CrunchBase

Cisco, a leading networking gear conglomerate has appealed    before the European Union concerning the fact that the merger of Microsoft and Skype would create a monopoly in the Video communication space. With the 8.5 billion dollar buy-out of Skype by Microsoft, Cisco feels that Microsoft would be able to leverage on the 700 Million + user base of Skype in its Lync platform and would be attempting to create a monopoly where its service would not be compatible with the services from other vendors. MessageNet, an European VOIP provider have also joined the race.

Cisco believes in the future of the Video communication and prepares itself as a networking vendor as well as a provider of its service platform “Telepresence“. In the recent years Cisco has introduced high powered routers for handling terabytes of video traffic.

Although Cisco does not really oppose the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, all it wants is to create a Open standards based Video Communication ecosystem where users in multiple platform can inter operate.  Cisco’s concern is pretty fair. The next question which needs answer is what Cisco going to gain from this battle? I do not agree to the fact that Cisco is fighting for this, without a clear strategy for a “win” situation. Would the empowerment of user in adapting the open standards based architecture increase the network traffic and with this Cisco expects more sales in its high-powered routers? Could be.

In my opinion,

– Video communication should use open standard based architecture which would enhance innovation in the network and branch out services / applications based out of Video.

– Users of the video service would be greatly empowered with an inter-operable platform.

Hopefully European Union Commission would revisit the deal approval and request Microsoft to adhere to Open inter-operable based standards.

Here is a blog release from Marthin De Beer, SVP, Emerging Business Group from Cisco

“White Space” – Aptly explained

One of the reader Will W (wordpress@wykeham.net) has explained “White space” aptly

When the allocator gives out tv spectrum, they make sure that two adjacent tv zones aren’t on the same frequency so that they interfere, as you would expect. TV Masts cover a large area though, so if you are only transmitting a short range you can be cleverer.

Let’s say you have Mast A transmitting in Zone A on frequency A, next to Zone B (etc.). If you’re in the middle of zone B, you can safely transmit on low power using frequency A, because you’re too far from A to interfere.

This is what white space does – intelligently reuses unused bits of frequency at short range (shorter than a TV Mast). This is already how frequencies for things like Radio Microphones are done – you apply for your licence, and someone in an office somewhere works out what frequencies you are allowed to use at your address without interference. White Space intends to do the same thing automatically, probably with some form of database based solution (using a known location, possibly from GPS).

The most valued “White Space” – Super WiFi

The coming decade is going to see the next biggest innovation in the wireless industry – Super WiFi which uses the existing white space in the spectrum for transmission,

To start with, What are “White Spaces‘? At the start of the radio and television broadcasting era, several frequency ranges were allocated for different types of transmission / channels and there are some vacant/un-used frequencies in between these allocated bands. These un-used frequencies are called “White Spaces”. The reason why the white spaces were required is to reduce the interference among several channels when the transmission medium was analog.

Now that “analog” transmissions have been a long past history in this digitized world, it is worth reconsidering the frequency allocation done long back. As a part of this, it was identified that there is no need for the white spaces to be made available as interference is not expected to occur during digital transmissions. Hence the existing frequency bands which have been allocated can be tighten-ed and these white space could better be used for any other Wireless transmissions.

These white spaces are now being considered to be used for a new wireless technology called Super WiFi. Super WiFi (also known as WiFi on Steroids) covers a few miles as opposed to a 802.11n WiFi which covers a little more than 100 feet. In addition to this, Super WiFi is expected to provide higher speeds than the current 4G technology.

Microsoft , in its Redmond campus has already replaced many of its 802.11n WiFi routers with 2 Super WiFi routers. FCC has approved the first real public WiFi and it was launched in Wilmington , North Caroline a couple of weeks ago.

All in all, I believe that this is going to be a key wireless technology that is going to rule the next Internet revolution.

TMCNet is organizing Super-WiFi summit at Austin, Texas from October 2-4 , 2012.

Google Drive – Google’s cloud storage solution

  At a time when Dropbox is enjoying the master status of the world of Cloud storage, Google is getting geared up with the launch of Google Drive (though this has been in the making for few years now). Google drive would act as a cloud storage solution for its audio, video and other text content. Eventually Google Drive would be integrated with the Google apps platform. Users can expect a better experience once the integration with the Google apps is completed.

Although Dropbox which has 45 million users would continue to rule in the desktop / laptop space for some more time, my guess is  that it will be a tough luck for Dropbox to provide its support in the Mobile support given the number of android devices that are activated each day. I would expect Google drive to be *tightly* integrated with its Android platform (as you can see now that the photos taken on your android devices are automatically uploaded the Google photos / picasa, without any pain from the user to manually upload it)and Chrome laptops. My guess is that Google Drive would provide similar  services to Android users akin to iCloud for Apple.

Hopefully Google is not stuck in any patent related issues that Apple might have as a part of its Apple iCloud implementation. I really don’t bother about the SkyDrive from Microsoft as I do not think that they are the front runners in the cloud storage space anyways. As with any service from Google, Google drive is expected to be a free service for personal users and with a free for SMB’s.

It would be really interesting to keep a tab on the sudden peak in the user count once Google Drive is integrated with the Google apps for Android platform. As usual, Google Chrome users is expected to have a plug-in in their chrome browsers.

Photo courtesy: digitaltrends.com

Amazon gets approval for logistics service in India

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Amazon has received approval from FIPB (Foreign   Investment Promotion Board) for setting up the logistics service in India. Amazon has been taking a series of baby steps for entering into the Indian market at the right time. The approval for setting up the logistics center adds a stepping stone for the Amazon expansion plans in India.

amazon-india

Amazon is waiting for the regulatory clearances from the FDI advisory board for starting the full fledged operations in India. If the clearance is obtained, then its going to be an  e-Commerce war in India and the customers are the ones who are going to be benefited from the war.

It would be interesting to watch out for the mergers in the e-Commerce space. Flipcart move to acquire Letsbuy is a brilliant one at the right time.  On the contrary, Amazon has setup Junglee.com to understand the customer behavior which would be helpful in some of the strategic decisions for its tie-ups with vendors in India. Amazon’s Logistics operations would be based out of Mumbai.