Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo - interesting synchronicity

I could not help, but notice an interesting synchronicity between the various announcements and news clips about these three firms in the last 2-3 weeks or so:

Sep 9, 2007Microsoft fails to win ISO approval for OOXML. A review of detailed country comments does, however, show that they are likely going to succeed in the next round in March 2008.
Sep 16, 2007Yahoo launches Mash - a new social networking site designed to compete with Facebook.
Sep 17, 2007Google adds slide-show/presentation application to Google Documents in an effort to increase competition with Microsoft Office.
Sep 24, 2007The The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is in talks with Facebook to acquire a 5% stake in the social networking site.
Sep 27, 2007Microsoft announced an updated Search capability in the Live Search engine. Incidentally it is also Google's 9th birthday.
Sep 30, 2007Microsoft unveils its answer to Google Docs called Office Live Workspaces.
Oct 1, 2007Yahoo announced a new Search Assist function to improve Yahoo Search.
Oct 2, 2007Steve Ballmer speaks in Europe and says that the craze for individual social networks such as Facebook risks being exposed as a "fad". UPDATE: Robert Scoble responds that Steve Ballmer doesn't "get" social networking.

Office, Social Networking, Search, Office, Social Networking, Search, ... — is it just me, or is there some kind of pattern here?

And it all seems to revolve around online advertising platforms. Hmmmm.

1 comment:

Kurt Cagle said...

I've recently been working with an eXist based data publishing system, and one of the things that keeps emerging out of this is that ultimately you're dealing with the search/edit/publish cycle as an indelible part of the "Web 2.0" zeitgeist. The various online offices are increasingly just more sophisticated mechanisms for handling the edit part of that cycle, with the audience being of course the relevant social networking groups that drive the search into new content.

Advertisers have had a decade+ to come to grips with the fact that advertising on the Internet is far more than placing strategic banner ads or Flash presentations (interactive or otherwise), but I think that they are only just beginning to understand the power of the SEP cycle overall. That Ballmer doesn't get it is not all that terribly surprising - he's still thinking at the application level, when in fact much of this is happening more at the confluence level where SEP works; the edit mechanisms that can most effectively integrate with both the Social Networking (Publishing) side, likely through an intelligent use of syndication, as well as integrating more cleanly with Search (ditto) will be the one that wins. Personally, I see that being Google - they've demonstrated pretty much from the beginning that they have a far better appreciation for that dynamic than either Microsoft (which is still locked into a mindset of these activities being separate and unrelated) and Yahoo (which is seeking the more immediately profitable activities at the expense of strategic positioning long term).