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Saturday, May 22, 2004

Will Google's Seach Application Be Successful?

CNET's Stefanie Olsen seems to doubt it. She cites Microsoft's overwhelming ownership of the desktop and past failed efforts by desktop search applications as the reason why Google's bold invasion of Microsoft's turf could very well be doomed to failure.

Now, while I appreciate and understand her reasoning, I'm not sure I agree with her conclusions. Microsoft has owned the PC desktop for decades, and there have been plenty of successful applications, even after Microsoft has co-opted their features and integrated them into Windows.

For example, Symantec's pcAnywhere seems to be going strong despite the fact that Microsoft integrated a remote control for PCs into Windows XP in 2001. The same goes for WinZip. You just have to remember that Microsoft doesn't always implement the same feature the same way as a competitor who has a different vision and a compelling business model. Another example is Google's upcoming Gmail. It may be just another webmail service, but having evaluated it for a few weeks now, I can safely say it is very unlike both Yahoo Mail and Hotmail (which is owned by Microsoft).

I believe that the old adage of "build it (better) and they will come" holds true here. Google's "Puffin" will be a solid success. And not just because the next version of Windows probably won't hit shelves for two more years.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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