Another Microsoft veteran has been lured away by a hot young company playing on multiple platforms. Lenn Pryor, director of Windows platform...

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Another Microsoft veteran has been lured away by a hot young company playing on multiple platforms.

Lenn Pryor, director of Windows platform evangelism and founder of the company’s Channel 9 developer network, is moving to the U.K. to work for Internet telephony provider Skype.

Naturally, Pryor summarized his exit interview on his blog.

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“I decided to swap problem sets from one that I am not passionate about anymore to one that I AM deeply passionate about,” he wrote on April 18. “I just couldn’t go on being an evangelist for a gospel that I don’t believe I can sing. I am returning to focus on what I enjoy most, building amazing things that make people happy, change lives, and make money. In this case Skype was a better place for me to do this and one that shares my core values and beliefs in how the future of both software and business will unfold.”

Net homes

The number of Internet households worldwide

is expected to grow from 322.3 million this year

to 409.0 million in 2008.

Source: IDC


Google‘s Gmail registration system made a subtle change last week. Instead of signing in to a Gmail account, users had to sign in to what was called a Google account, setting up a personalized user experience similar to My Yahoo!

Google told the registration will help users by keeping track of their search history and providing more detail about their search activity. Users will get logs and a calendar showing their search activity on a given day, the report said. called it “a move to outdo rivals and endear Web surfers.”

Some may find it endearing. Others may be startled to see how much information about their online activities they are giving to Google and other companies in return for “free” services such as search.

The registration system also raises a few questions about the direction Google is headed. So far it’s been acting like a fisherman throwing bait over the transom to attract schools of fish. Will it start hooking customers with a registration system, and requiring a login to get more than basic service? Will this change the spirit of Google hacking? Should we raise an eyebrow if it operates more like Yahoo! and Microsoft?

Sea browser

Various Microsoft executives have swum in “Lake Bill” over the years, celebrating product launches and other milestones with a dunk in the pond in the middle of the Redmond campus.

But none of those splashdowns compares with the stunt announced last week by Opera Software Chief Executive Jon von Tetzchner. He pledged to swim from Norway to the U.S. — stopping only for a cup of hot chocolate at his mother’s house in Iceland — if a million copies of the new Opera browser are downloaded in the first four days of its release.

Opera 8 was released last week and had reached 600,000 downloads in the first 48 hours, the company said in a news release.

“I am not sure he realizes how cold the Norwegian Sea is in April,” Opera human-resources manager Anne Stavnes said in a news release. “However, having seen Jon in his red beach attire before, I am not sure if swimming to the USA is scarier than exposing people to this sight.”

Watt’s the cost?

Hardly a plug for better employee relations, RyanAir has told employees that they better unplug their cellphones, quite literally.

The low-fare Irish air carrier has issued a memo banning its staff from recharging their cellphones at work, saving on electricity, according to The Mirror.

“Nobody could believe their eyes when they read this memo,” a woman office worker was quoted as saying. ” … it seems so petty.”

What did they expect? It is a low-cost operation, after all.

Quoth a company spokesman: ” … Every penny saved counts.”

Marrying plans

With all the wireless-industry mergers going on, it was just a matter of time before a PR sharpie took the bait and offered advice for newlyweds trying to figure out the burning question: Your plan or mine?

The folks at sent out a release with tips for bride and groom drawn from the site’s e-book titled “The Guide to Buying a Cell Phone and Rate Plan.”

These are our favorites: Don’t commit too quickly … take advantage of the trial period, beware the fine print and sign up for the new service before canceling the old.

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