Dave Rosenberg has a great take on Microsoft's new "Open Value Subscription" for small to medium-sized businesses. The premise is that SMBs can plug into the Microsoft mothership for lower prices and less worry. His take? OVS is NOTA (none of the above):There is nothing open about the code or the contract as you have to use the software for a set period of time The value isn't really there as there is no cost-benefit It's not really a subscription as "lease-like" means it's a perpetual license--you just absorb the cost … Read more
Through this partnership, songs mentioned on Mog's blogs are accompanied by a yellow "play" button that allows users to access the full-length streaming file through Rhapsody, which offers a total of about 4.5 million independent and major-label songs in its catalog. "We couldn't be more excited to have Rhapsody enabling music listening on MOG," Mog founder and CEO David Hyman said in a joint press release. "With … Read more
I'm a software reviews guy by trade, but I've mentioned before I'm also an avid gamer. I grew up in the era of "classic" arcade games and with all the advancements over the years in technology, graphics, and the birth of new and exciting game genres, I've never stopped. But even with today's advanced games, I sometimes long for the games that required only a joystick, a fire-button, and a pocket full of quarters.
The Mac gaming community knows all too well there is often a significant amount of lag time between when … Read more
As Slashdot reports, the UK government computer agency Becta is advising UK schools not to enmesh themselves in Microsoft's School Agreement subscription pricing. Why? Because while the subscription pricing may cost less, it actually introduces other problems:
Becta...suggests [schools] use instead what is known as "perpetual licensing"....
The advantage to schools in using a subscription service such as Microsoft's is that smaller, annual payments are involved rather than a larger one-off cost.
But a spokesman for Becta said the problem was that Microsoft required schools to have licences for every PC in a school that might use its software, whether they were actually doing so or running something else.
I have an even better suggestion. Get both perpetual rights to use and modify software to fit your needs, and pay a subscription to a vendor to deliver ongoing value. It's called open source. The UK hasn't dabbled much in this newfangled thing, but it's all the rage everywhere else.… Read more
Last week, New Yorker classical music critic Alex Ross wrote about how the Internet is reviving classical music. Among other things, he points to an explosion of blogs and message boards that allow artists to communicate directly with fans and help younger listeners educate themselves before diving into this intimidating realm.
One of the most interesting parts of the piece, though, was his conversation with Naxos Records founder Klaus Heymann. After years of plugging along as an "expensive hobby," Naxos has begun to earn significant revenues selling CDs over the Web--the company earned more than $80 million in … Read more
Other than its first reported quarter of positive cash flow, Napster has enjoyed a relatively unremarkable year--at least on the surface. It is now apparent, however, that plenty of tinkering has been going on in the background.
The company on Tuesday announced a fairly significant redesign to its music service and software. The new Napster, version 4, is lighter and a bit simpler--and it definitely appears to take some cues from RealNetworks' Rhapsody.
Of particular note are the launch of a Web-based version of the service, which will enable Mac and Linux users to join in the fun, and the … Read more
Add Rhapsody to TiVo's bag of broadband media tricks. Real Networks' music subscription service is available as of today to users of TiVo's standalone Series2 and Series3 DVRs. The integration makes good on an announcement by the two companies back at January's Consumer Electronics Show. Rhapsody joins a host of other broadband offerings on TiVo's DVRs, including Amazon Unbox videos, Live 365 streaming radio, podcast downloads, Yahoo photos/traffic/weather, and customized TiVoCast video downloads. (Note: CNET is a content provider for TiVoCast.)
Existing Rhapsody subscribers should have no trouble getting access to their music collection, … Read more
The New York Times has finally given up on the Web-subscription model, announcing Monday that the newspaper's online site will no longer charge for any content.
The decision comes two years after The Times began charging $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for Internet access to premium content, such as pieces by columnists and archived stories, according to a story that appeared in the paper.
The Times said that the subscription service met targets, acquiring 227,000 paying subscribers and generating $10 million a year.
Executives at the newspaper seemed to suggest in The Times' story … Read more
Wednesday's Apple announcements included some significant market advances, particularly the iPod Touch and the iTunes Wi-Fi Store. The new lineup of devices should keep the company clearly in the digital-media drivers' seat through the end of 2007, at least, and the pricing strategy is rock-solid. (Microsoft tried to pre-empt Apple's announcement with a $50 price cut on the 30GB Zune to $199, but with an 80GB iPod available for only $249, Microsoft's going to have to cut the price further.)
Even so, a few things that Apple didn't announce might leave some room for other innovators. … Read more
Last week I took a look at TextBookFlix, an invite-only service that ships loaner text books at a sizable discount to cash-strapped college students. This week I've been browsing BookSwim, a similar service that's been around a little longer, and is open to everyone.
BookSwim makes strong self-comparisons to Netflix, with its own books-by-mail turnaround service that lets you keep anywhere from 3 to 11 titles out at a time with five different subscription plans ranging from $20, all the way up to $36 per month. Like Netflix, BookSwim gives each user a queue of books, and will … Read more