Restless consumers and technology are creating disruption
La reacción de Facebook ha sido tan sencilla como eficiente: hacer indistinguible el HTML de su publicidad del de su contenido orgánico, lo que impide que los bloqueadores la identifiquen como publicidad y puedan bloquearla. Una manera de forzar a sus usuarios a que vean publicidad haciendo que las estrategias utilizadas por los bloqueadores no funcionen, porque los anuncios aparecerán disfrazados como contenido y serán indistinguibles de este a efectos de código.
The Lenovo G570 laptop: the Windows PC market is undergoing a comprehensive squeeze, both in units and margins.
Lenovo’s stated intention to stop installing third-party apps on its PCs in the near future could have a dramatic effect on the PC industry, perhaps driving smaller rivals out of business altogether. Already the world’s biggest PC company, both by revenue and unit shipments, Lenovo could actually get bigger because it got caught.
In case the first part passed you by, Lenovo was discovered in late February to have been pre-installing an app called Superfish on its consumer PCs between October and December 2014. Superfish, it breezily declared, would help you by offering “suitable ads”. It did this by interposing its secure certificate into any secure SSL connections you made – to Google, a shopping site, your bank – and watching what was transmitted. If it saw something ad-like, it could replace that with its own Superfish-supplied ad.
Security specialists rapidly realised that Superfish and its SSL-grabbing ways were extremely bad news that could leave you open to “man in the middle” attacks by sites using the same certificate as Superfish. One expert showed his personal server pretending to be the Bank of America and getting a thumbs-up from his machine’s browser.
So Lenovo recanted, ate humble pie, and declared it wouldn’t pre-install any more– apart, that is, from “security software” (which you can take to mean products like McAfee’s Antivirus and their ilk) and Lenovo’s own applications.
You might wonder why Lenovo did this in the first place. Simple: Superfish and another app, called Pokki, and some others, paid Lenovo to be pre-installed, so they could benefit from access to users. Lenovo benefits from their money – and with margins in the consumer PC business wafer-thin, it wanted that badly. In the fourth quarter of 2013 its entire PC business had operating margins of 3.3%; in the fourth quarter of 2014 it was 5.3%.
That’s ahead of the rest of the PC market, which has wallowed around an average of between 2% and 4% since 2007, according to financial data from the five main Windows makers (Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus and Acer). The violence of the market persuaded Dell to take itself private in October 2013, so its financial results since then are not available, but it often used to show zero profit or a loss in its consumer business. The rest aren’t doing much better, and the big five have 67% of the Windows PC market, and probably even more of the profit (because they get economies of scale).
The Windows PC market (ie, ignoring Apple) is undergoing a comprehensive squeeze, both in units and margins. With 1.5 billion PCs worldwide, and tablets and smartphones vying for purchases, the business has become a replacement market, and slowing. Consumers tend to buy a Windows PC on price, as there are few distinguishing features (beyond high-end Ultrabooks or 2-in-1s with detachable keyboards). That makes it a vicious, low-margin business.
If Lenovo’s “no bloatware” idea becomes popular, it will slice dollars per PC off its profitability – but also others’. For instance, Acer also installs Pokki. The other day someone complained to me that Pokki was slowing up their new Acer machine. Given the choice next time between a “clean” Lenovo and Acer, what might they take?
But can Acer afford to drop Pokki? Its operating profit has bumped around close to zero for some time. Without -installs, what happens to its PC profits? And then what happens to its PC business? I’m sure Lenovo would be happy to take up the slack in any market Acer withdraws from. From bad guy to humble pie to winner.
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February 26, 2015 2:45 am
Last updated: February 19, 2015 7:00 pm
Así es Ello por dentro, la red social en la que quieres entrar y no sabes por qué
This is the text version of a talk I gave on May 20, 2014, at Beyond Tellerrand in Düsseldorf, Germany.
- THE INTERNET REMEMBERS TOO MUCH
- THE WEB HAS A CENTER
- EVERYONE IS SPYING
- THE FOUNDATIONS ARE ROTTEN
Facebook lanzará esta semana la venta de espacios publicitarios en las páginas personales de sus usuarios, informó el martes The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Según el diario estadounidense, que cita una fuente no identificada cercana al proyecto, estos espacios se lanzarán de forma automática cuando el usuario consulte su perfil, ya sea en una computadora o en un teléfono inteligente.
Se espera que la red social anuncie su plan el martes para que entre en vigor el jueves, dijo el Wall Street Journal, y agregó que el primer spot será un trailer del film de ciencia ficción “Divergent”, que se estrenará en el primer semestre del año que viene.
El lanzamiento de estos espacios publicitarios fue pospuesto varias veces en los últimos meses por temor a que provocara una pérdida de usuarios, según el diario. Otra de las preocupaciones eran las fallas técnicas, agregó el WSJ, agregando que la última semana se hicieron pruebas al respecto.