A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Yahoo! agrees to acquire open source office suite Zimbra, Google launches PowerPoint alternative called Presently, Netscape makes the switch regarding their social news service to new site – Propeller, Digg adds new social features and Diggers are not happy, and finally, nine search engine executives make Forbes 400 richest Americans list.
- Yahoo! To Acquire Office Suite Zimbra? – That’s what TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is reporting – Yahoo! will acquire open source office suite, Zimbra for $350 million in cash. This acquisition will allow Yahoo! to join the race with Google in the next generation of online/offline office suites that are chomping at Microsoft’s heels. Zimbra is open source server and client software for messaging and collaboration – email, group calendaring, contacts, and web document management and authoring.
- Google Launches PowerPoint Alternative - Google has finally launched their long anticipated alternative to PowerPoint – Presently. This will be added to the office suite of products found at Google Docs. This new presentations feature of Google Docs helps you to easily organize, share, present, and collaborate on presentations, using only a web browser. If you have a Google Account you can go start a presentation by clicking New -> Presentation, or by switching to the Upload tab to convert an existing PPT file. More info and reviews can be found at Philipp Lenssen’s Google Blogoscoped, Mashable, and TechCrunch.
- Netscape’s New Social News Site Goes Live - In lieu of Netscape no longer functioning as a “Digg” style social news site, they have moved that functionality to a new site – Propeller, which officially launched today. Loren Baker reports that the old Netscape.com URL now points to a traditional news portal at netscape.aol.com and users actually have to type in “Propeller.com” in order to view the social news sharing site. He also suggest that instead of making the switch instant, AOL should have served a choice for Netscape visitors to view the new Propeller or the traditional AOL powered news portal.
- Digg Goes Social, Changes For the Worse - Many Diggers do not like the social features that have been added to an update they rolled out yesterday. Tamar Weinberg tells us why the new Digg sucks. She thinks they took a step back in social news, wonders where the story descriptions went and that they killed usability. She follows this up with a post that highlights 23 community reactions to why people are not liking the new Digg. I, myself find it very slow. What changes did Digg make anyway? According to this video, there are over 50 new features. Here are three of them: Enhanced User Profiles – includes an “About Me” area where you can enter basic personal information, add links to all of your blogs and social networking profiles, and add photos. You can also see all of your recent activity on the site; Add Friends – A prominent new link in the header “Add Friends” brings you to a new page where you can import your address book from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL, or Outlook and invite people; and Shouts – shouts are essentially a messaging system for Digg. Settings allow you to decide if you want to accept shouts from anyone or friends-only. A few more are highlighted at Mashable.
- Search Engines Executives Keep Getting Richer - Barry Schwartz summarizes The Forbes 400, a list of the top 400 richest Americans and a total of nine search engine executives made the list. Bill Gates (MSN) is still number one with a net worth of $59 billion (down from previous highs) while Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin share the number 5 spot with a net worth of $18.5 billion (more than double from last year). Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, is number 48 with $6.5 billion, Googler, Omid Kordestani, is number 204 with $2.2 billion, David Filo of Yahoo is number 239 with $2.0 billion, Yahoo’s Jerry Yang is number 261 with $1.9 billion, Google’s Kavitark Shriram is number 271 with $1.8 billion, and finally, IAC’s (Ask.com) Barry Diller is number 317 with $1.5 billion.