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Archive for September 2008

20
Sep

Google Chrome Beta: Google’s New Browser

Google Chrome: The New Open Source Browser

Google's Open Source Browser

Google, yet again, is going to attempt another hostile takeover of the internet marketplace with Google Chrome

There’s tons of solid info all over the web already, at places like Techmeme and Blogoscoped.

Heck, Google even released a comic book illustrating how they want this new browser to work, piecing the best parts from Firefox, Safari, Opera, and a bunch of other browsers, to compile this open-source monster. Right now a Beta version of the browser exists only for Windows, but the G-Men are hard at work making it compatible for Mac and Linux.

UPDATE: (9/3/2008)

The Google Chrome Browser has been released into the wild. You can download Chrome here. You should also check Matt Cutts’ blog for his explanations of where Chrome is going and what it can do now.

19
Sep

New Microsoft Marketing Campaign: Another Failure

Hey, What’s The Deal With Microsoft?

Microsoft and Jerry Seinfeld

That’s right, Microsoft has enlisted the help of Jerry Seinfeld for it’s next round of Ad campaigns against their arch-nemesis Apple. Check the details of this new alliance at WSJ, some good information here.

Why The Microsoft Marketing Team Needs To Be Shot

Nothing says 90’s relevance like Jerry Seinfeld. Instead rebranding themselves as forward-thinking and futuristic, they have relegated themselves back to 90’s when Microsoft was king and Apple had yet to break through with the iPod. The days of yore.

Of course Seinfeld is going to be just one of the many celebrities promoting Microsoft, but if this is any indication of where this $300 million dollar campaign is headed, then Microsoft is about to piss away a fortune and end up in worse shape than they already are.

This is a stroke of less brilliance and more trying to capture a middle-aged/Boomer market that has drifted to Apple in the past 5 years.

Why It’s Going To Fail (Just Like Everything Microsoft Does Lately)

There’s no innovation whatsoever. They’ve always been a johnny-come-lately (i.e. search engine algorithms, AdCenter, Live Maps, etc.) , and they will always be. They are continually five or more years behind the curve on just about everything they do, outside of their Office Suite. (Which, by the way, is quite possibly the only thing Microsoft does well)

Microsoft reads the focus group reports, crunches the numbers, and come up with a strategy on that. They are always, always aiming for the where bar is TODAY not where they want the bar to be TOMORROW. That’s the problem. Apple has the market cornered on the “satirical” ads between the two, and to green-light this marketing strategy, is just another example of today-thinking, not tomorrow-thinking.

Perhaps Microsoft should actually build themselves a “Wall” before they completely throw their money and their brand “Out the Window”.

Update: 9/8/2008

Here’s the first of the Seinfeld/Gates/Microsoft Ads: (Note: Wow. Not Great)

Even Bigger Update: 9/18/2008

Microsoft announces the end of the Gates/Seinfeld Ads. When I’m right, I’m right. Check out this ValleyWag Article.

19
Sep

Is Google A Search Monopoly?

Redefining What Search Engine Monopoly Means:

According to Search Engine Roundtable, Google now owns a monstrous 70+% share of the entire search market. (Image is courtesy of Hitwise

The question whether or not Google is a monopoly is a sound one. And, inherently, the answer I can come up with is, “yes” it is a monopoly, based on the proof the Hitwise image provides (see above). Google has been steadily drowning the competition for over two years, each year pushing them (Yahoo, Live, and Ask) further in the undertow. But are they are true monopoly?

The definitions of monopoly are as follows:

  • “Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service”
    • “A market containing a single firm”
    • Investment Dictionary: “A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition – which often results in high prices and inferior products.”

    It’s the last definition that gives me pause. Based on this definition, one could go either way on the monopoly vote. And, based on the last definition, my answer changes. I don’t think Google has a monopoly, just a better products and services that a populous prefers. They’ve revolutionized search and the clarity of search. Google has competition in the market (albeit poor competition in the populous’ eyes). Moreover, this competition produces inferior products and services.

    So, if others will continue to insist that Google is a monopoly, then we will have to redefine monopoly for the Digital Age. Something to the effect of:

    “Dominant market control in an individual industry, made up of several sub-industries, in which market competition produces inferior, under-caliber products and services.”

    There are, as I see it, only three possibilities from here and monopoly-hood:

    1. Google continues on its current path. And, by 2010, will have effectively crushed all their competition, owning over 90+% of the search market share. Read this as: Google Officially Becomes A Monopoly
    2. Yahoo does eventually, team up with MSN/Live (MicroHoo). This partnership creates enough innovation within search and its sub-industries to cause a slight reverse in trends. Google will still own 50+% of the search market share.
    3. A new search engine firm will emerge and help create destabilization within the search market. (The most unlikely of the three)

    Personally, I’m rooting for the second or third option, because, frankly, it’ll make my life pretty boring if all I have to do is think: WWGD (What Would Google Do). I’m not saying that Google is/will become Skynet or the Matrix, but it could happen. Anything we can do to help shake up the market is a good thing.

    UPDATE: 10/08/08: Googleopoly

    Check out this post by Rusty Brick (a.ka. Barry) posted on SE Roundtable.  More great information about whether Google is truly a monopoly or not.

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