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, 2007||Microsoft 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, 2007||Yahoo launches Mash - a new social networking site designed to compete with Facebook.|
|Sep 17, 2007||Google adds slide-show/presentation application to Google Documents in an effort to increase competition with Microsoft Office.|
|Sep 24, 2007||The The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is in talks with Facebook to acquire a 5% stake in the social networking site.|
|Sep 27, 2007||Microsoft announced an updated Search capability in the Live Search engine. Incidentally it is also Google's 9th birthday.|
|Sep 30, 2007||Microsoft unveils its answer to Google Docs called Office Live Workspaces.|
|Oct 1, 2007||Yahoo announced a new Search Assist function to improve Yahoo Search.|
|Oct 2, 2007||Steve 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.