Archives for March 2014

Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion

Facebook announced Tuesday that it acquired Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for $2 billion.

Oculus-VR

According to a press release from Facebook, the company plans to expand the Oculus Rift headset’s applications beyond gamming to broader fields such as media, entertainment, communications and education. Also Facebook wants to accelerate the company’ growth in the gaming space. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014.

This is Facebook’s second multibillion-dollar acquisition in as many months. In February, the company announced it had purchased messaging provider What’s App for $16 billion.

For Zuckerberg, it’s all about the future. If mobile is the current computing platform, vision and virtual reality could be platforms of the future. Zuckerberg described buying Oculus as “a long-term bet on the future of computing.”

According to Facebook, Oculus will continue to work out of its headquarters in Irvine, California, and it will continue work on the Rift headset. The company has received over 75,000 orders for the device, but it has not yet shipped.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and company have agreed to pay $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which is valued at $1.6 billion after the close of the market today. The deal also includes $300 million in cash and stock that could go to the owners of Oculus if certain performance goals are reached.

Latest Webmaster Help Video for Ecommerce Websites –Matt Cutts

Google’s new webmaster help video where Matt discusses what to do on your product pages for products that are “no longer available.”

Here is a question where user writes:

“How would Google recommend handling ecommerce products that are no longer available? (Does this change as the number of discontinued products outnumbers the active products?)”

Matt begins, it does matter based on how many products you have and really what the throughput of those products is, how long they last, how long they are active before they become inactive.

Matt suggests, if you run a ecommerce store that deals with a very small number of products, using your inactive pages to direct customers to items are in stock by suggesting other items they may be interested in, else if it’s a mid-sized ecommerce store then go for a 404 for products that are no longer available.

Matt says it’s better to get rid of the pages rather than become known as the store that frustrates users by displaying items that are out of stock.

For more information, check this video:

 

 

Yahoo Maps Partnered With Nokia to Provide Indoor Venue Maps

Yahoo has announced indoor maps for some places and has released maps for various shopping malls, train stations and airports.

Yahoo says in a blog post that “The maps are currently available from your computer and include the layout for building levels an interactive building directory and contact information for many interior businesses.”

Yahoo-Maps

Yahoo has added more than 75,000 Here-powered indoor venue maps to its mapping service. Captures location content such as buildings, traffic patterns, road networks and parks, and its technology is based on a cloud-computing model in which location data and services are stored on remote servers. Nokia’s mapping tech already powers services like Bing Maps and MapQuest.

The venue maps are now live on maps.yahoo.com and according to Nokia, they’ve also received Yahoo’s beautiful “purple and lilac livery.”

Yahoo’s Mayer is going to push deeper into improving Yahoo maps, local and mobile search as a way to capture new usuage.

Image: techspot.com

Microsoft Launches Skype For Outlook

Microsoft today made its Skype for Outlook.com plug-in available worldwide, adding HD video calling for PC users. To get started with this feature, users must first download a web browser plugin, which is available for IE, Chrome, Firefox and now, Safari, browsers.

Skype-For-Outlook

Those who haven’t signed up for Skype they can use Microsoft account to sign in, else they can link up with existing Skype account. Once installed, Skype users can place video and audio calls right from their email inbox. The HD calling feature only works when users have compatible HD displays, web cams, messaging clients, and broadband internet, Microsoft notes.

The company had previously introduced Skype for Outlook.com in preview mode last year including the U.S, U.K, Germany, France, Brazil and Canada. Among the various bug fixes, Skype has also addressed an issue with calls continuing to ring after pick-up when users had the Outlook.com plugin and Skype on their desktop running at the same time.

Skype is playing an increasingly big part in Microsoft’s consumer strategy, and Outlook.com integration is a big move.