Weekly Digital News Roundup: Sept 18 – Sept 22
Cortana Coming To Windows 9, Will It Replace Bing?
- According to the Search Engine Land, this week in San Francisco, Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 for the press. Among the features of the new OS is reportedly going to be the virtual assistant Cortana.
- Windows Phone users can initiate a search using Cortana, as iPhone users can also with Siri (using Bing). We would thus equally expect that Cortana search capability to be part of the forthcoming Windows 9. The question is whether the Bing brand will be entirely subordinated to Cortana in the new OS. The technology will of course be there in the background regardless.
- As Cortana makes its/her way to the PC and PC-like tablet devices does it signal the beginning of the end of the Bing brand? Microsoft may see Cortana as a differentiating feature and a way to inject more utility and appeal into the PC, which has suffered consistent sales declines among consumers as mobile devices have become more prevalent.
Groupon Doubles Down On Its DIY Deal Builder, Racks Up 25k Offers
- According to TechCrunch, Groupon — on a mission to expand its businessbeyond the daily deal and into more local commerce— is also making efforts to ensure that the inventory of offers that it does have continues to grow. As part of that, Groupon is updating its Deal Builder, a do-it-yourself tool it launched in February for merchants to create and upload their own offers to Groupon, without working with live sales reps.
- Groupon says that since the Deal Builder launched in February this year, over 25,000 deals have been built on it. That’s pointed to some success for the company: inNorth America in Q2, Groupon tallied up some 105,000 deals, out of 240,000 globally. In other words, the Deal Builder is likely already accounting for double-digit percentages of deals (likely because the 25,000 figure is aggregated between February and today, not just for the quarter).
- It’s also potentially bringing in a new class of small business customers. The original idea for the tool was to cater to businesses that might be too small or offer too infrequent a series of deals to necessarily work directly with sales reps.
Dollar Shave Club Raises $50 Million to Be Your ‘Best Friend in the Bathroom’
- According to Mashable, Michael Dubin launched Dollar Shave Club in 2012 with aviral video outing its razor blades as “[freaking] great.” Two and a half years later, Dubin has proven that the club is more than just a marketing gimmick.
- Dollar Shave Club is on pace to pull in $60 million in revenue this year, up from $20 million in 2013, cofounder and CEO Dubin told Mashable. It now has more than 1 million active members who receive a shipment from the company every month or every other month.
- Dollar Shave Club plans to launch more new products later this year and early next. When asked whether the company might move into women’s products at some point, Dubin said it was a little too early to comment. For now, it is a brand focused solely on men.