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Squawk Box May 15

Comcast has acquired Plaxo. In a deal worth $170 million dollars, Comcast is buying Plaxo in order to add social capabilities to their networks. We discussed the fit with Comcast, and concluded that it was a really smart buy. 

We also discussed Verizon’s endorsement of LiMo yesterday, and were lucky enough to have some very knowledgeable individuals on the show.  Frankly speaking, it would be hard to imagine, given what we learned, any developers making a commitment to LiMo.  As one individual stated “it’s a completely closed system that is a disgrace to the name Linux”.  The fees alone are massive:

  • Founding Member $1.6M for 2 year commitment
  • Core Member $400K/yr
  • Associate Member $40K/yr
  • No membership required to use the developer application level APIs, just acceptance of the License

Here’s the kicker: members that are not Founders or Core Members are required to agree to contribute patents to promote a patent freeze against the LiMO platform over proprietary software but don’t get access or rights to the software without subsequent license and cost. So unless you play big, you really are not playing.

Interestingly enough, the conclusion of the group was the Nokia is likely to win big here, given the immaturity of Android and the closed nature of LiMo.

On the call: Jeb Brilliant, James Swinger, Andy Abramson, Jeanette Fisher, Adam Somer, Greg Manto, Ian Hood, Bill Volk, James Body, Peter Childs, Tom Howe, Randall Howard, Todd Spraggins, and Greg McQuay

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Greg May 16, 2008, 5:28 am

    An open source question?

    If I have a BI open source application that monitors the network as part of the application to customers I bring, does the network allow this or will I need a deal with the network provider?
    Example – A customer is P&G. The network is ATT targeting smart phones. Subscribers opt in to get context ads pushed based on an intelligent BI application.
    Verizon I am sure is a 'no' and would not waste my time trying to reason with these cave dwellers, but in the real open source world (Meaning -even a case man can do it) this should be possible as a subscriber option?

  • Alec May 16, 2008, 9:41 am

    It will depend on the network, Greg. I have no knowledge of Verizon's network, but one of our participants on the call, Bill Volk, does. He says that Verizon won't allow third party apps on the phone. I don't believe you can implement push without a client. But… I will try to get Bill to comment.


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