San Fran house prices fall as more dot-coms die

A study by Cushman & Wakefield says 80% of the remaining dot-coms in the valley of technology will call it quits during the past year. The bust will clear out needed office space for companies that actually have the word profit in their business plans.

Change is in the wind here in Silicon Valley. Randi gleefully pointed out an article to me from The Wall Street Journal that said housing prices for the most expensive residences in San Francisco are finally dropping. (She’s hoping for a better deal on her solar home purchase.)

And a study by Cushman & Wakefield said that 80% of the remaining dot-coms in the valley of technology would join the likes of Pets.com and others that have called it quits during the past year. The bust will clear out needed office space for companies that actually have the word profit in their business plans.

Even I haven’t been feeling quite myself lately. But there’s no rest for the weary, hard-nosed journalist.

InfoWorld recently published a response from Microsoft regarding reports in this column of the Redmond giant’s squashing attempts to publish negative benchmarking results for Windows 2000. Microsoft says that the clause in its licensing agreement is “there to ensure that published data is accurate”.

Toward the end, Microsoft states that it is interested in hearing from readers on the topic of benchmarking and vendor restrictions. Readers should let Microsoft know what they think at bnchfdbk@microsoft.com.

If you do decide to give Microsoft a piece of your mind, please also cc: yours truly, at cringe@infoworld.com, and InfoWorld’s reader-advocate columnist, Ed Foster, at gripe@infoworld.com.

We’d like to have a look at what you say about this issue before Microsoft twists it for use in its positive-PR spin machine.

High tech in the Big Apple

Business travellers may be tempted by the tag line “New York City’s most technologically advanced hotel”. The Holiday Inn Wall Street advertises T1 hookups in all rooms. But don’t be surprised if after you check in you can’t send any email.

The hotel supports only POP3, not SMTP, because the latter puts too much stress on the hotel’s servers. Hotel help desk personnel suggest that guests use AOL or Hotmail because “we have to protect our servers from too much activity”.

More dot-gones

Rumour has it that eJewelry.com and Office.com are close to the edge of the abyss we know as dot-dead. EJewelry.com has asked its head of marketing, responsible for a 600% increase in sales last year, to step down.

Office.com laid off about a dozen field editors last month. And in the past week a subcontractor company that provides content to Office.com ordered all its writers to stop providing content immediately because Office.com hadn’t paid its bill. Word is the company, owned by Winstar, which is billions of dollars in debt, will call it quits by the US summer.

“Even if the prices are dropping, maybe it makes more sense to buy out of state,” Randi said, poring over the real estate classifieds. I hoped she was talking about a vacation home.

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