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ebaydevcon08 Chicago: Skype Developer Roadmap

The following is my live and raw blogging of Peeter Motskula’s from Skype’s session:

Skype: Enabling Conversations

If you put all of the time spent talking on Skype put end to end you would end up going back to the start of human species.

Skype is a thriving ecosystem 190+ hardware devices, 10,000 developers, partnership with world class companies.

Skype Developer Program (SDP) Vision:
More delighted users doing more with Skype
A vibrant ecosystem of external innovators
Supporting the long tail or outside innovation on the Skype platform
Growing selection of SDKs
Clear route to market

Where We Are Today:
Public Client API
Skype Extras Framework
Support Resources
Software Certification

Next Step: Software Certification Update
Focusing on a few really important issues
Much easier to understand and follow
Shorter test rounds

Coming Up: Next Version of Skype for Windows
Redesigned user interface
User and partner feedback is important
Extended beta program
API overhaul will follow

Later On: API & Extras Program
– Multi-Layer API
Core Functionality (cross-platform)
UI integration (platform-specific)
– Distribution and Management:
Extras Gallery
Extras Manager
Blacklist and Whitelist
– Backward and forward compatibility

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White Paper…Query Suggestions for Mobile Search: Understanding Usage Patterns

Bill Slawski wrote up a nice review of the Google paper on mobile search…definitely good analysis to a nice research piece on the most perplexing bottleneck – mobile data input.

It’s my expectation that interest in innovation in the text input, voice input or even new forms of shortcuts will accelerate in the near future as it’s a critical area to create an optimal user experience while increasing frequency of usage and monetization potential.

Are you aware of companies doing interesting work in this arena?

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Net.Finance 2008 – Retail Mobile Banking at Wells Fargo: Eskander Matta, Senior Vice President, Internet Services

Mobile phone penetration in the US is now 95%+ and data plan penetration is now 50%+

Modalities:                             Usage   Capable phones
Texting                                        50%     100%
Mobile Browser,                         25%      >60%
Downloadable Application        17%      >60%

Application download cons are pretty significant – carrier control, downloading, device management, etc

Browser cons – sign-on, complex navigation, lack of awareness

SMS text message cons – Simplistic UI, Security, Plain Text

Distributing services in the mobile ecosystem requires a highly complex series of relationships.

Wells Fargo and external research shows that there is adoption interest.

Most frequent uses presently: checking balances, fund transfers and activity monitoring

Browser usage presently 2.5 times per week, 66% active users (last three months)

Text banking – 83% of all mobile banking enrollees are including the text banking service. Sending 19 text messages a month overall, becoming more engaged with the accounts overall.

Mobile Contactless Pilot with Visa…

Mobile delivers strategically – when, where, why and how?

What is the potential value?
Customer retention, reducing servicing costs by controlling call center calls, reduced risk and fraud, customer acquisition and usage revenue (P2P, Panic Play, Mobile Contactless, etc)

Security order: SMS, Browser, Application

Mobile customers slant towards a desirable demographic overall due to the very fact they are heavy mobile users.

Future state is for SMS, application and browser to be ubiquitous and the three will be tightly integrated.

Well Fargo is trying to build usage of the channel, not charging for the service at this time. Getting techno-savvy users so servicing has been minimal.

Reaction: I’m highly impressed with the full deployment of SMS, Browser and Application download models as they will be fully able to determine which best meets customer needs based on actual usage data. I chatted up Eskander afterwards and he’s a joy to speak to.

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Robert Peck – Bear Stearns: Mobile Spectrum Auction C Block Results Likely To Be Delayed

Robert Peck and his research team at Bear Stearns has been doing an amazing job of explaining, tracking arcane information and sending out brief snippets regarding the ongoing FCC mobile spectrum auction process. The volume of information they are tracking is both significant and lacks immediate transparency as the bidders are not immediately named.

This morning he pointed out that the D auction block is well it’s minimum and will likely be re-auctioned. What is significant about this is that the results of auction 73 can not be shared until all of the blocks are completed. Here is the exact text of what Robert Peck sent out this morning (emphasis added):

GOOG – 700MHz – How D Block Impacts Google…. Auction 73 completed its Round 35 bidding yesterday – results are posted on FCC website. We have previously alerted you to the fact that the PWB regional bids on all 12 regional licenses add up to $4.75B, higher than the $4.71B on the nationwide package which was entered in Round 17. Hence, the original bidder on the nationwide package is Google or another carrier, that bidder no longer has the obligation to purchase the spectrum. Industry advisers think Auction 73 could rap up as soon as the next two weeks.
However, we also want to point out that there are 5 blocks of spectrum in this auction and the 4th one (the D block) is currently set at $472M, below its $1.3B reserve. Many assume that this block will NOT meet the minimum reserve and will need to be put into Auction 76 to be re-auctioned. While this does not DIRECTLY impact Google or other block bidders (those blocks will be locked in at the end of the auction 73), it does INDIRECTLY impact Google in that no Auction 73 results can be disclosed until all 5 block are complete. This means that investors may be significantly delayed in learning who won the C block, as the only timeline deadline statute for the FCC statute in this auction is for all of the spectrum must be over and the money collected by June 30, 2008

Knowing Robert as I do, he probably wishes that they would have put this whole thing on Ebay. 🙂

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Yahoo! Launches Go 3.0 Beta, New Open Mobile Widget Platform, and Mobile Homepage

Yahoo! Go has several exciting announcements that are launching today:

· Yahoo! Go 3.0 beta:
o New features include:
§ Enhanced user interface, optimized for the mobile phone
§ Improved performance
§ For the first time, consumers will have access to third-party widgets from leading publishers through Yahoo! Go.
o Yahoo! Go 3.0 also includes display advertising from Yahoo!’s major global advertisers. Consumers will be able to interact with these ads by clicking to call the advertiser directly or to learn more about the offer.

· New Open Mobile Widget Platform:
o The platform is an open environment for deverlopers to create mobile Widgets for instant access by millions of consumers.
o Widgets created on the Mobile Widget Platform will be available to consumers from various starting points, including Yahoo! Go 3.0 and Yahoo!’s new mobile homepage.
o The platform will enable developers to write code once and publish their content across Yahoo!’s mobile network, allowing accelerated delivery of a feature-rich mobile experience.
o The platform will enable consumers more control over their experience, as well, by providing the functionality to add and delete Widgets at any time.
o Full-featured SDK for developers to be introduced over the coming weeks.
o Third-party Widget launch partners include, eBay, MySpace, and MTV.

· Redesigned Mobile Homepage
o New features:
§ Completely redesigned and engineered mobile interface from the ground up.
§ Homepage centers around intuitive navigational structure where consumers can tailor content according to needs, interests and location.
§ Available to consumers in the United States on high-end mobile browsers, which are included in devices such as the Apple iPhone, sever Nokia Seies 60 devices, including the N95, and select Windows Mobile devices. Availability across additional devices and countries to come in the near future.
o Key features:
§ Personal Vitality and Status Updates: Provides an at-a-glance update of what’s new since the last visit – including recent emails, Flickr photos from your friends, upcoming calendar appointments and status of Messenger contacts – without moving away from the home screen or logging into a separate application.
§ Customizable Content: Offers a collection of mobile content modules – or Snippets – that provide previews of the user’s favorite content – news headlines, weather conditions, etc – whatever the user wants. In many cases, Snippets are extensions of mobile widgets and can be used to launch a full-featured widget built on Yahoo!’s Mobile Widget Platform.
§ Quick Links: Customizable links at the bottom of the page, providing fast access to the Yahoo! features or sites across the Internet that consumers use the most. Consumers can easily add and remove Quick Links as they desire.

That’s alot to digest! Will 2008 be the year mobile breaks through?

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Tmobile Coverage Map Presently Inaccurate in Chicago

I presently can not get a good signal at my residence, yet Tmobile is showing an inaccurate map my area saying the coverage is the best they have. Well let me tell you, I’ve missed calls where the phone has not rung at all in the past few weeks – that is not excellent coverage or 5 bar signal strength.

I’d like to see this problem fixed by Tmobile preferably (or the map updated) no later than December 28, 2007.

The address is near Chicago, IL 60657 (Roscoe and Sheffield)