Good morning.

I'm flying to Las Vegas for MIX'11. Look out for a keynote live blog, with Ed Bott, Mary Jo Foley, Kip Kniskern, Rafael Rivera, Bob Stein and Long Zheng, on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I'll be linking to those from the site home page.

I wrote about Google's approved purchase of ITA earlier this morning, but there's a lot of other Google news today for some reason:
  • Still new to the position, Google CEO Larry Page has promoted at least seven executives in charge of some of its most important divisions.
  • A new Google survey shows how people really use their iPads. Not surprisingly, it's not the same as PC usage, with the most frequent activities, in order, being game playing (84 percent), searching (78%), email (74%), and reading news (61 percent). Note the utter lack of content creation in that list, and 88 percent of iPad users only use the device at home.
  • And speaking of tablets, Google is for some reason developing a tablet-based version of its Chrome OS. I suppose this will compete with Android "Honeycomb" based tablets?
  • Google has bid $900 million for Nortel patents in order to defend itself against future litigation. How big a deal is this? Only Google's purchases of YouTube and DoubleClick involved more money. BIG.
  • Even before its purchase of ITA, Google was slowly but surely killing of TripAdvisor, which is interesting (to me) because I was an early TripAdvisor user and advocate and I have to admit, I haven't used the service much recently at all. Expedia purchased TripAdvisor for $219 million in 2004, but may be spinning of the company now.
I have to admit I'm surprised by this: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has agreed to participate in an authorized biography. Due in 2012, it has a terrible title: "iSteve: The Book of Jobs." Is that really the best we can do, people?

And speaking of Apple, co-founder Steve Wozniak says he'd return to the company if asked. I can't imagine that happening, unless Apple is looking for the high-tech equivalent of a Wal-Mart greeter. No offence to Mr. Wozniak, who is both historically significant and clearly a great guy, but his one-time impressive technical skills are horribly out of date in today's world, and this guy hasn't exactly had any successful business ventures in the past couple of decades.

The New York Times has an interesting look at RIM, where rumors of the company's impending collapse are NOT appreciated. RIM co-CEO (don't ask) Mike Lazaridis asks rhetorically: “Why is it that people don’t appreciate our profits? Why is it that people don’t appreciate our growth? Why is it that people don’t appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don’t appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages?”

And finally, according to a site I've never heard of and based on StatCounter data, Windows 7 usage on the web (not "market share" as it reports) has surpassed that of Windows XP for the first time. Barely. Just a side note, this site refers to the "failure" of Windows Vista, and OS that, inconveniently, STILL outpaces Mac OS X using the same data set, with over 19 percent usage share compared to Mac OS X's 14.87 percent.