Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Napster Acquired by Best Buy -- Congrats to My Friends Chris Gorog and Chris Allen

Surprising news today -- Napster has been acquired by Best Buy for $121 million, nearly a 100% premium over their last trading price. Napster had been looking for a suitor for quite some time, and this is a good result for all involved (especially under the current market circumstances). Napster, as of June 30 2008, had over $70 million "Total Current Assets", $37 million in cash and $31 million in short term investments.

Congratulations to CEO Chris Gorog, a friend and colleague at Universal Studios back in the 90's, as well as to COO Chris Allen, a friend and colleague at Musicmatch a few years back.

SightSpeed Now on Netbooks and for Linux -- What Do the Experts Say?

Okay, so it's been a while since my last post -- now you know why. We've been a bit busy over here at SightSpeed. And, just this morning we are announcing that our best in class video chat and conferencing is the first and only multi-party video communications service that is fully cross-platform across all three major operating systems, including Linux.

Why is this a big deal? Because the new category of mini PCs (netbooks) and even smaller form factors demand Linux -- and SightSpeed's new Linux "flavor" is now available for the first time as "Dell Video Chat powered by SightSpeed" on Dell's newly-launched Inspiron Mini 9 netbook (Dell Video Chat, Windows version, is also pre-installed on the Windows XP version of the Mini 9).

What do the experts have to say about this new Linux development?

(1) Om Malik of Gigaom -- "Linux is the preferred operating system for NetBooks. This video chat client can work with SightSpeed software on other OS platforms ... The company has optimized the software for the netbooks, which are not as powerful as regular computers and have cheaper components."

(2) Jamie Watson of ZD Net UK -- "Hooray! This is going to be very, very good news for a lot of people ... This says to me that Dell really puts a lot of faith in the Dell Video Chat product, if it is important enough to them that it figures into their new product releases like this. That's very good news, both for SightSpeed and for Dell customers ... I have recently been thinking that I would get a mini-note for my partner (that's also why I have been asking questions about switching users from Windows to Linux), she has always said that she liked the idea of a notebook, but she didn't want to lug around a full sized (full weight) notebook just for email and web surfing. I had just about decided to get her an Asus, as I have seen a few good offers here for them. I'm glad that I haven't bought one yet, because I'll be looking very seriously at the Dell mini-notes now, and I probably wouldn't even have considered them before. Giving her SightSpeed on top of everything else really makes a difference."

(3) Dameon Welch-Abernathy of The PhoneBoy Blog -- "[SightSpeed's] press release goes into how well-suited SightSpeed video is for these lower-end notebooks. I can attest to just how little CPU horsepower is needed to run SightSpeed based on personal experience. While you can sometimes get great video from Skype with the High Quality video, the SightSpeed video experience is far more consistent under lesser CPU and bandwidth conditions!"

These are some of the most respected voices in our industry. And, their plaudits and candid feedback are always very much appreciated.