eBay finally capitalizes on Skype. Google goes after MS Office. Beware of AOL 9.0

by David Spark on August 28, 2006

Today’s Spark Minute is all about finally getting around to what we knew they were going to do.

Last year eBay bought the cheap-to-free voice calling program Skype for $2.6 billion and everyone knew they were going to eventually add a click-to-call feature that would allow buyers to speak directly with sellers. Well, they’ve finally done it. eBay has partnered with Google to add this feature. The service will use both Skype and Google Talk and Google will be the exclusive supplier of text ads for eBay.

In other “We saw it coming” news, Google has been setting its sights on loosening the noose on Microsoft’s near stranglehold of the office application market. I alluded to this in an earlier Spark Minute, but now Google Apps for your domain is officially available, offering private domain labeled calendaring, email, and Web development for free. I’m sure we’ll soon see Google Spreadsheets and Writely, the Web-based word processing application joining the fold.

And my last piece of news is a warning. Stay away from the new version of AOL, version 9.0. Do not download it. It appears to install applications without proper warning and if you want to get rid of it, it doesn’t uninstall cleanly. AOL refers to this as a “design flaw” and they say they’re working on a fix.

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