Microsoft’s Social Networking Site Windows Live Planet: Too Late?

windowsliveplanetSounds like something a Bollywood actor would say about a role, “But this is different!” Microsoft has launched a social networking site Windows Live Planet targeted at surfers aged 18- 25 years. But it claims it is ‘not just another social network’, AlooTechie reports. The difference lies in what the company has added to the site – such as Match Meter which suggests friends (Facebook already has it) and integration with chat (again, Facebook’s a step ahead!). With the Messenger Web Bar, users on the site can chat using Windows Live messenger (ex-MSN Messenger). The interesting bit is that the social network has been launched in India first, yet there has been no hoopla: the site has had a quiet launch and it’s only attempt to entice users to register is a ‘personal portfolio session’ with fashion photographer Tarun Khiwal. We wonder if it is too late for MS to leap into this market, what do you think?

ToI Online is world’s No.1 newspaper website?

In the terms of the page view, TimesofIndia.com has emerged as the top English newspaper site in the world.

Quoting ComScore figures, the company has announced it pulled ahead of other international news sites such as The Sun, NYT, UK’s Daily Mail and The Washington Post. The top 5 English newspaper websites in the world in May 2009 were: Timesofindia.com (159 million),TheSun.co.uk (142 million), NYTimes.com (124 million), Dailymail.co.uk (73 million) andWashingtonpost.com (61 million).  Visitors to the NYT website spend an average of 2.8 minutes per visit, whereas Timesofindia.com readers spend 5.2 minutes per visit, the company said.

Please note Medianama is not au courant with comScore’s sampling methodology in India, and hence does not endorse these numbers.

RCOM To Launch Audio Books

rcomm_logonewAfter UTVi launched audio cinemas for mobile users, Reliance Communication (RCOM) is developing an IVR that will allow us to listen to an entire audio book from the mobile. The audio books will be 60 minutes long and in English. A book will be offered for a flat subscription price of Rs. 30 but users will also have to pay Re.1 per minute to listen to it. So that makes it Rs. 90 – but is it per book? Or will the subscription be a monthly one? Did RCOM have to invent this strategy to keep the new VAS within its “Re.1” pricing strategy?

It is not known how many audio books RCOM plans to offer and what genres. It is planning to offer shayaris as audio books too. RCOM will also soon bring the novel Deaf Heaven to mobiles via text messages. For more, visit Rediff.

Helix Infuses Funds Into LearningMate

helixlearningHelix Investments, the Mumbai-based private equity firm, has invested in online education services portal LearningMate Solutions. An undisclosed amount, only learnt to be less than $10 million, has been injected by Helix, according to VCCircle. The amount will be used to expand in US and India. Helix had previously invested in tutoring chain Mahesh Tutorials Educare, medical transcription provider OSi and health portal Calorie Care. LearningMate employs 200 and is a spin off from Educomp, which recently set up a joint venture with Pearson group to offer vocational training.

LG Opens App Store

lgappstorelogoA year after Apple launched its iTunes Store, handset maker LG has launched an online store for buying mobile applications. According to IT Voir, it will be focusing on Asia first and then panning out to cover other countries. The store – LGapplication.com – appears to be restricted to Australia and Singapore as of now. We were unable to find the Indian store. Still in Beta, it will offer 1400 applications including 100 free programs, and will be made available in 15 languages.

Panel To Decide Specifics Of 3G Spectrum Auctioning

After suffering many delays due to red tape, the auction of 3G spectrum to private mobile operators is finally set to begin. The government has set up a panel of ministers to be headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to decide the starting price and number of 3G licenses to be auctioned. According to the Wall Street Journal, the panel consists of P. Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar and telecom minister A. Raja.

MonsterJobs Active By Dish TV & Monster

dishmonsterDTH provider Dish TV and job portal Monster India have inked ties to bring job hunting to homes via TV. The interactive jobs search, called Monster Jobs Active, will include services through which jobseekers can get their resumes written by professionals and forward their resumes to thousands of placement consultants in one go. It will reach 5.5 million subscribers in 6600 towns and will be integrated across Monster’s portal and TV.

Dish TV has previously launched matrimonial services via Shaadi Active, banking via ICICI Active and a Diwali special called Bhakti Active.

Sterlite Technologies wins Rs.372 crore BSNL contract

sterlitelogoSterlite Technologies has been awarded a contract from BSNL valued at Rs 372 Crores to set up a Fiber-to-the-Home network.  Sterlite is a manufacturer of OFC cables.  The network, to be ready by 2010, will bring speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to 5 lakh subscribers. It will power IPTV roll outs and BSNL’s ISP business. Similar FTTH networks will be rolled out at 25 cities across India by Year 2012, which would impact 2 million subscribers. At the recent OFC/NFOEC 2009 conference in San Diego, Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, promised that up to 5% of all Indian households would be connected to such networks by 2011.