Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals
Blog Categories (aka Tags) Archive of Traffick Articles Our Internet Marketing Consulting Services Contact the Traffickers Traffick RSS Feed

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A Lotta Huffin' and Puffin' for Nuffin'? Or a Showdown with Microsoft?

Hi, Google here. How's it going? That's a nice-looking desktop you've got there. Mind if I have a look around?

With increasing signs that Google is planning to challenge Microsoft for control of a large portion of the computer user's daily experience, it might be interesting to harken back to our inaugural column about the portal wars from 1999.

At that time, Google wasn't even on the radar, although it had gained some early notice as a cute new search technology.

Microsoft surely was a contender for portal supremacy, and not just because it owned MSN, but because it wanted to control pretty much everything about your daily process and workflow, as it had for what seemed like forever. We all know how that's gone. Yes, on the surface, Microsoft is still on top of the technology world. But as a result, most of us have suffered from horribly inefficient lives due to their inability to execute on promises to create new versions of their products that will fix what's broken about the daily computer experience. Whether it's Linux, or Apple, or an alternative browser, or a congenital fear of Outlook Express, the anything-but-Microsoft movement seems to be gaining steam.

Back in 1999-2000, we had high hopes here that Yahoo would be a visionary company that would perhaps make the "portable desktop" a reality. They got halfway there, and may still make it now that GMail is showing them how it's done.

So essentially it's now looking like a three-way race for deep control of user habits, with AOL increasingly looking like an also-ran fourth and Lycos hilariously but irrelevantly stepping up with their free 1GB of email storage, just for old-times', it's-fun-to-offer-more-for-less-like-it's-1999, sake. No longer is it just about a number of "media companies" battling for who has the nicest looking home page, or the most compelling fantasy football game, or, dare we say, the biggest inbox. It's about the BIG picture. Which of the major contenders here will control the agenda; which can see into the future? (Not Lycos, obviously.)

But the old boring questions about who has the best email, calendar, search, message board service, etc. really are kind of interesting. Who can knit all this stuff together properly? Yahoo can come close, but they're not quite a technology company, remember, they're a "media company." Close isn't bad -- it still means you can be a multi-billion-dollar brand.

So now it looks to some like it's shaping up to be a two-way race. A race for what, we're not quite sure, but a two-way race nonetheless. Microsoft is all about knitting things together, however obnoxiously. And let's face it, about half the planet is about to take GMail for a spin, and from that platform other features (calendar/PIM, etc.) can grow. That's good both for users (GMail is fast and has clever features) and Google (if it's cool enough people will pay for a premium version, so this makes Google less dependent on ads).

Not too long after we naturally ignored Google in our initial review of the portal contenders of 1999, it raced past others like AltaVista to become the best search engine. Four years after that, it has finally stopped arguing with reporters who have insisted that with so many diverse services, it was becoming a "portal." And now, perhaps, it wants to be even more than that.

What was that old canard? That search isn't "sticky"? Ha, ha. Turns out it was, and is.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




View Posts by Category

 

Speaking Engagement

I am speaking at SMX East

Need Solid Advice?        

Google AdWords book


Andrew's book, Winning Results With Google AdWords, (McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed.), is still helping tens of thousands of advertisers cut through the noise and set a solid course for campaign ROI.

And for a glowing review of the pioneering 1st ed. of the book, check out this review, by none other than Google's Matt Cutts.


Posts from 2002 to 2010


07/2002
08/2002
09/2002
10/2002
11/2002
12/2002
01/2003
02/2003
03/2003
04/2003
05/2003
06/2003
07/2003
08/2003
09/2003
10/2003
11/2003
12/2003
01/2004
02/2004
03/2004
04/2004
05/2004
06/2004
07/2004
08/2004
09/2004
10/2004
11/2004
12/2004
01/2005
02/2005
03/2005
04/2005
05/2005
06/2005
07/2005
08/2005
09/2005
10/2005
11/2005
12/2005
01/2006
02/2006
03/2006
04/2006
05/2006
06/2006
07/2006
08/2006
09/2006
10/2006
11/2006
12/2006
01/2007
02/2007
03/2007
04/2007
05/2007
06/2007
07/2007
08/2007
09/2007
10/2007
11/2007
12/2007
01/2008
02/2008
03/2008
04/2008
05/2008
06/2008
07/2008
08/2008
09/2008
10/2008
11/2008
12/2008
01/2009
02/2009
03/2009
04/2009
05/2009
06/2009
07/2009
08/2009
09/2009
10/2009
11/2009
12/2009
01/2010
02/2010
03/2010
04/2010

Recent Posts


How Not to Do It

This is a Test of the Blogger Commenting System

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses Their R...

About Those Google Desktop Rumors

From the "Day Late, Dollar Short" Department

All the News... And then Some

Google. Banners. In the Same Sentence. This is ...

Yahoo WebRank Toolbar: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has C...

Blindsided Google Responds to Gmail Privacy Concer...

Market Efficiency: Can Financial Markets Learn fro...

 


Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals

 


Home | Categories | Archive | About Us | Internet Marketing Consulting | Contact Us
© 1999 - 2013 Traffick.com. All Rights Reserved