Opinion: Corporate cash is never a bad thing!

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Jon_small_new.jpgSo the boss emails me this morning and he says: “Can you do a post on either Microsoft buying into Facebook or Blackberries becoming more of an entertainment device?” ‘Mmm’ I thought, why don’t I do both! So here it is, cunningly combined by way of a tenuous techno link.

I can’t lie, I’m possibly one of the most corporate people you’ll meet. I love big business, capitalism and all the positives that come from it. And I’m overjoyed at Bill Gates grabbing a slice of my beloved Facebook. His firm has invested $240m in the social network site and while it’s less than a two per cent stake, there’s no doubt the company will start to exert some of its muscle amid the Poking and Fun Walls.

When Facebook first launched, it was not only a welcome distraction, it was an easy way to keep up with friends and get back in contact with old mates. It was also far cleaner than MySpace in both design and content and that I welcomed. Lately though, if you can find your way through the maze of name analysers, virtual gardens, petrolheads and other user-designed applications, maybe you’ll be able to send a message. It’s fast becoming far too cluttered but I welcome the involvement of a giant like Microsoft.

I doubt it will be long before we find more useful programs popping up allowing us to check Hotmail messages on the site and chat with friends on a Facebook version of Windows Live Messenger. If it turns into a one-stop communication shop then I am all for it.

The less sites I need to log into, the better in my opinion and with Facebook already taking over far too much of my life than I am comfortable with, it could well save me time.

I never got into MySpace, but Facebook is possibly the best invention to ever grace the Internet – and the more money they have in their coffers, the more it should improve. And while many fled MySpace after Rupert Murdoch bought into it, I can’t see the same happening here. Logging onto Facebook each morning is now as much a part of our lives as switching on our mobiles, which leads my nicely to the Blackberry. See I told you it was tenuous.

Yesterday came news that Facebook is to launch a dedicated mobile client for BlackBerries. And seeing as I spend every waking moment outside of home using the BB browser to log in, I can’t wait for it to be available to download in the UK. It might mean I make more use of my Curve’s camera.
It’s another example of how Blackberry is starting to shed that “geeky business” cloak and become more mainstream. After all, we all want to check our emails, and what better way is there.

Research In Motion is now meant to be planing an unlimited music subscription service for their BB devices. I can’t see that really helping to shift handsets but it’s an interesting move.

A lot of people, like me, use an Unlimited Data Plan on their Blackberry and a service like this could prove useful if I can download tunes without much of an extra cost to my pocket.

What really connects these stories though, besides my fragile link above, is this. Just because it’s corporate, it really doesn’t make it bad!

Jonathan Weinberg is off to watch Wall Street and model himself on Gordon Gecko

Jonathan Weinberg