Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Dive Into Mobile Adds Microsoft’s Myerson and Snapchat’s Spiegel

D: Dive Into Mobile, the hurricaned-out conference we’re reprising in New York on April 15 and 16, should be both drier and livelier than when we had to postpone it in the fall.

Almost every one of our speakers is back from October, but we’re adding a few fresh ones as we push our dates forward.

Today’s new additions are Microsoft’s Terry Myerson and Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel. They are two very different speakers from two companies with important perspectives on the world of mobile: One a giant trying to start over in a new market, and one an upstart with surprising staying power — so far.

What is it going to take for people to buy a Windows Phone?

It’s a question that the folks in Redmond desparately need an answer to — no one more so than Terry Myerson, the man in charge of Microsoft’s phone effort.

Despite being well-regarded and generally well-liked by the comparative few that have bought one, Windows Phone has failed to make a dent against Android and the iPhone, even with its full court press.

Just what else Microsoft can do will be among the questions we will put to Myerson in April, when he takes the stage as part of D: Dive Into Mobile.

Myerson, the longtime Microsoft veteran who spearheaded the engineering of Windows Phone 7, assumed full control over the phone effort after Andy Lees was shifted to other duties.

With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has added a parent-friendly Kid’s Corner, as well as support for multicore chips, and has moved to full-blown Windows under the hood.

But with lead partner Nokia struggling and Android and iPhone running strong, it is unclear just how much of a boost any of those changes will give Microsoft. For his part, Myerson has acknowledged that significant work remains.

“When people try it, they generally love it,” Myerson said in an interview a year ago.

EvanSpiegelMeanwhile, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel was actually set to participate in our Dive Into Mobile App Marketplace in October. In fact, he was marooned in the same midtown hotel as our staff as the storm turned more serious, which is where we recorded this video interview.

Snapchat is an exceedingly simple social app that allows users to send each other ephemeral photo and video messages that expire as soon as they’ve been viewed once.

The past three months have seen Snapchat boom from 20 million to 50 million “Snaps” per day (and that’s a three-week-old stat, which probably means it’s sorely out of date).

And then, in perhaps the greatest mark of respect a startup can receive, Facebook went and cloned Snapchat, releasing its “Poke” iPhone app just before the December holidays.

But, somewhat surprisingly, David seems to be kicking Goliath’s butt; Snapchat is currently the No. 5 free iPhone app in the U.S., compared to No. 266 for Poke.

Almost all of our Dive Into Mobile tickets have already been sold (October registrants, we hope you got that amazing schwag bag in the mail by now), but we are selling a few more. You can find them here.

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