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Thread: Microsoft (Decline Of)

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Open the pod bay doors, please HAL

Clash Of The Titans (3) - Haggling Over The Price


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Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 00:56:15 +1100

The great Microsoft Yahoo takeover seems to have gone very quiet in the last few days. This is very similar to the type of haggling that might take place in a flea market. Yahoo, the cagey vendor is feigning indignation at the offer. Even though Yahoo knows that it must sell the goods today, because tomorrow they will be obsolete and worth even less. Microsoft, the punter with a money belt positively bulging with cash is currently turning and walking towards the exit ... but very slowly. Because Microsoft knows there is no where else it can purchase a reasonable sized web-portal and search engine.

So will Microsoft walk all the way through the exit? Or hesitate on the threshold. Will Yahoo call out "Wait!, perhaps we can make a deal?".

And so we all wait breathlessly for an answer.

And as I have said often enough on this site, I don't think this is going to make much difference to Google. If Microsoft swallow Yahoo, they will certainly increase their total girth. But their money belt becomes much lighter. That would make them a less formidable opponent. As long as Microsoft continue to bulk up with proprietary fat rather than open source muscle, they will never be a serious threat to Google. And even though Yahoo currently use Open Source servers, they missed the boat when it came to development of search engines.

Ultimately, a more corpulent Microsoft may make it easier for Google to sprint even further ahead. And Google is already so far ahead that Microsoft is not even in the same league.

All this talk about Microsoft and Yahoo has lead me to investigate something that until now I have ignored. And that was Internet portals. I have preferred to run my own email account and use a Web interface to my own email account. If I want to find out something, I use Google for searching and Wikipedia for general knowledge. That's because the results from these two organisations is consistent and reliable. The World Wide Web is a dynamic construction of open standards and as long as it continues to be so, it will be easy to change search engines. If someone should start a better search engine than Google, we could all change tomorrow. And if anyone does come up with a better search engine, it will almost certainly be built on Open Standards.

All of which made me curious to investigate iGoogle. So for the first time, I have signed up for an online web portal account. My first impression is good. It is exactly what I'd expect from Google. Lean, mean and efficient. It delivers what you want and it delivers it with a minimum of bullshit. If you want to keep your email account there's no subtle pressure to adopt an iGoogle mail account. The whole package looks trim and functional. And considering that it's integrated with the world's best search engine, I predict that iGoogle will carve a big chunk out of Yahoo's market share. So if I was Yahoo, I'd take the money and run. Like the song says: It's a long way to the shop -- If you want a sausage roll!.

One of the first things that popped up on my new iGoogle account was the news that Investors are all cheering Toshiba's decision to ditch support of HD-DVD. The question now remains. Will consumers go out and buy Blu-ray? Or have we already moved beyond Blu-ray? Certainly in Australia, there still could be a market for Blu-ray. Mainly because our broadband is so pathetic, it would take almost a whole day to download a single movie, and for the poor sods who use Telstra BigPond, they'd probably end up with a bill that would make a trip to the cinema look very cheap by comparison. Most Australians refer to this abysmal Telstra con as "fraudband". Unfortunately because Telstra provide most of the bandwidth in this country it is endemic. But if real broadband ever did arrive here, the days of movies on disk might be limited.


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