Top Android app developer spills his sad, sad sales stats — Matt Hall has some of the top-selling apps on Google’s Android Market. For that, his company has earned a pathetic $62.39 average daily revenue. Matt’s list of Android Market failings that he thinks have washed away sales opportunities:
- “No screenshots (Totally insane. No idea why.)
- “325 character application description maximum (Why do I get 4.208 × 10-8 of my free GMail storage to convince people to buy the app I just spent months developing? That number is correct because I used Google to calculate it, they have hundreds of computers and usually store huge amounts of data.)
- “Google checkout only way to buy (Lots of users don’t have credit cards, or don’t want to use their credit card to make an impulse buy. Google checkout really isn’t set up for selling apps on the market, it basically treats everything sold like a sofa. They notify you of every canceled order, you provide first line purchase support, etc.)
- “Hard to find paid apps (We suspect Google would rather just have everything be free since they default most views in the catalog to free apps, or top downloaded apps which means free apps. The option to show paid apps is buried in a submenu.)
- “Various intermittent problems like failed or stalled downloads, credit card verification delays that look like stalled downloads, and other problems. These problems have been improving since the launch of the catalog, but they still make up a good percentage of our support email.”
Admit it: Wasn’t there a too-good-to-be true aroma to this year’s instant-wealth-off-apps mania? It’s like that year we were all going to get rich playing poker.
[Image: Matt Hall]
Chinese pirate fined for Windows knockoff, but to the people he’s a hero — Hong Lei, who ran the Tomatolei.com site from which millions of people download free copies of Tomato Garden, which was obviously a pirated-and-slightly-modified copy of Microsoft Windows, has been fined 11 million yuan (about $1.6 million) for violating copyright laws so brazenly as to sell ads on his site to Baidu and Alibaba Group, a company partly owned by Yahoo. The Wall Street Journal reports the problem: Hong is a hero to a huge cross-section of Chinese computer users who see Microsoft as an arrogant, exploitive American company.
Back in the USA, Microsoft hires former Yahoo search chief to beat back Google — Qi Lu, the 47-year-old Yahoo search exec who, after 14 months off, now works for Microsoft, is remarkably low-key, reports the New York Times. Most people, Miguel Helft writes, would presume he was a software engineer rather than the president of Microsoft’s online services division. But Helft reports that Lu has “unusual stamina and a maniacal work ethic,” requiring managers below him to meet at 9:30 pm nightly until Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo to hook up Yahoo to Microsoft’s Bing search engine — sorry, decision engine.
Hachette CEO lashes out at Google and Amazon over e-books and online books –– Arnaud Nourry, who heads one of the world’s largest publishers, is quoted by the Financial Times as saying publishers are “very hostile” to Amazon’s $9.99 e-book pricing and Google’s plans to build a free public library of millions of out-of-print books. Here’s the quotes-only version of the article:
“On the one hand, you have millions of books for free where there is no longer an author to pay and, on the other hand, there are very recent books, bestsellers at $9.99, which means that all the rest will have to be sold at between zero and $9.99. That cannot last . . . Amazon is not in the business of losing money. So, one day, they are going to come to the publishers and say: ‘We are cutting the price we pay’. If that happens, after paying the authors, there will be nothing left for the publishers.”
One in five notebooks sold is now a netbook — We should’ve had an office pool on this inevitable milestone. John Paczkowski at AllThingsD thinks it’s reason to gloat over Microsoft’s presumed movie-villain rage. It’s true that Microsoft blames consumers’ shift from $1,000 notebooks to $300 netbooks as a reason for the company’s weakened results this year. But I don’t buy JP’s claim that non-Windows netbooks are about to wipe Microsoft off the map. Journalists get a free pass whenever they say Microsoft is doomed. I should know: I helped collect “83 Reasons Why Bill Gates Reign is Over” just over 11 years ago. It’s one of those articles you can write every six months forever. I predict that in three years, 99% of netbooks will run Windows and we’ll be writing the same stupid articles about how Microsoft is doomed, just doomed. Any day now.
EMC buys FastScale to crank up the performance of private clouds — Um, what exactly does FastScale’s tech do? The company’s website isn’t much help: “Only with FastScale can you generate lightweight, resource-efficient server software stacks on-the-fly and repurpose and/or consolidate your infrastructure as conditions change, all without the need to build and manage golden images.” For non-IT people, it means EMC now owns a critical technology that will let its clients make changes to their EMC-hosted servers with much less hassle than before. Anything called a “golden image” probably isn’t something you want to have to deal with every day.
Salesforce.com wants help changing its logo. Someone please, please crosspost this to Fark — “We are considering a contemporary logo and would like your feedback on the concept below,” says a post on the company’s official blog. Aside from dropping the dot-com suffix, what’s contemporary — or even different — about Concept #1? At first, we thought Salesforce was baiting the Internet to get someone to redesign its logo to something much, much, better for $0.00, the new price of everything. But no, it’s dumber than that: They really do think Concept #1 is an improvement. Does anyone care? Marc Benioff succeeds despite, not because of his aesthetic sense.