Amazon also is aggressively building out its advertising technology portfolio. The company is “developing its own software for placing ads online that could leverage its knowledge of millions of web shoppers,” the WSJ reports (paywall). Amazon supposedly has told potential partners that it could start testing a “new placement platform, dubbed Amazon Sponsored Links” this year. Amazon also recently debuted a new service that runs banner ads on other sites, called Amazon CPM Ads. (“CPM” is ad-industry jargon for “cost per thousand” ad impressions—referring to the way that banner ads often are priced and publishers often are paid.)

In other news, Google Shopping Express launched in New York. And how do they make a splash about it? By starting a charity program about backpacks. Btw, I have nothing against charity programs, but they could’ve done it anywhere & anytime, just the place & timing of it is borderline “evil”.

Anyways, coming back to the main point - both of them are basically trying to capture all the ways users want to spend money on. And then help others with this information so that they can sell their products better. It’s quite simple & in some ways sounds useful.

But if I’m selling a product today, I can’t definitely stay with just one of them & be done with it. I’d effectively end up paying even more. And most likely the cost hits the consumer. I believe product makers & consumers would see this in the long term and this inefficiency would break.

It’s not yet clear what would be the solution for the next gen, but it’d be something else.

Interesting move by Microsoft, still serious about devices.

I believe this is Satya marching along the longer vision of IoT as he has talked about earlier.  I believe this is a great pick and a big congrats to Peggy Johnson! She was with Qualcomm for a quarter century, a company that has deep relationships with it’s partners & customers; besides being the mobile & connectivity platform for so many consumers. Going forward, this is going to be very important for Microsoft as well.

As noted by Satya, devices alone are just one side of the coin. The other side, the cloud backend, is working well for them. Azure grew more than 150% last quarter, and Microsoft is already tuning it’s profit margins instead of following the Amazon cost model.

It’ll be interesting to see whether they focus on enterprise vs consumer in their new efforts. Look forward to some updates over the next year.

At StrongLoop we are very excited and honored to announce that as of this morning, TJ Holowaychuk has transferred the Express repo and domain to StrongLoop.

I’ve been using LoopBack off late and been blown away with what all it allows me to do in such little time. Really psyched about Express coming to them and look forward to a stronger dev environment going forward.

Some really interesting numbers in this study of high school kids graduating this year.

It seems Facebook still has some footprint (at least in US). Foursquare, LinkedIn, etc. are obviously not as popular.

But if you consider Facebook as a source of news & photos, like other apps in the top category, it’s a great place for consumption. Kids are consuming videos, music, photos & news.

Then comes a wave of communication - I’d have like to see iMessages separately, but surprised to see GChat & Kik in there.

Maybe the survey didn’t cover many apps for creation, but that seems to be a big missing category.

This season’s Game of Thrones has also recorded the largest audience ever … 18.6 million viewers, up 29% from the last season.

Jon Erlichman sharing some data on GoT.

I wonder if anyone has the analysis of “non-hbo” viewership and how the P2P craze in the early seasons impacted this.

Needless to say, this is an Epic story and all that… Looking forward to some 13 episodes seasons like GRRM wishes.