The iGoogle service is very impressive. Especially considering that Google have created it as a spin-off from their core-business. This would be particularly worrying for Yahoo and MSN, who tried to make portals their core-business. Google has so much computing power they can create a service that rivals those offered by the likes of Yahoo, MSN, Apple's Mac et cetera. They can do with this with their excess capacity. And they can give it away for nothing.
Quite frankly I think Yahoo should take the money and run. Google is a Juggernaut and they have so much momentum they are going uphill like the hill wasn't even there.
Things don't seem to be going all that well for Microsoft lately. Some of their recent losses include:
- The Loss of the High Definition Format War. Yes it is officially
over. The old Format Warrior Sony has shown that they gained some valuable
lessons from their previous Format Warfare experience. And
although, in this war, Microsoft was only a junior partner in the
Coalition of the Willing, they were on-board. I said earlier, that
that they had made courageous decision (in the Yes-Minister
sense of the word). This will cost them ground as they continue their
battle with Sony. Sony showed a much better understanding of the computer
market, and if they catch up with Microsoft's market position (i.e. by
offering a good selection of software for the PS3), they will give them
some serious competition. BTW Microsoft are now offering half price HD-DVD
players. Hmm ... anyone want to take a HD-DVD player for 75% off ... No?
How about 80?
- Microsoft have been handed another hefty fine in Europe. According to
the Washington Post (28-Feb-2007), they have been hit with three fines.
The latest one, also the largest, is for the princely sum of 1.3 billion
dollars. Which brings their total so far to 2.5 Big Ones. I don't know if
these fines are being issued in dollars or in euros. But if they are being
issued in euros, they should pay them quickly. The way the dollar is going
this could also turn out quite expensive.
- It has been revealed that the Redmond corporation was a little bit
careless with the Truth when it came to handing out Vista
Ready stickers for Intel machines. This is a breaking story. And it is
all over the net. Of course, it is no big deal. Most of the people
who bought the machines wouldn't have installed Vista anyway, But for all
the usual reasons there is a lot of pressure on Intel and Microsoft to
sing the same lyrics in harmony from the same sheet music. Now even though
it is no big deal, it could end up being a costly mistake, if there
is litigation as a result. Also it undermines confidence in Vista (as if
it needed any more undermining)
Ok, having said all that, I will return to my explorations of iGoogle. The range of services is good. Some of them are still in Beta mode, but compared to Windows 95, they shine in excellence, competent systems design and comprehensive testing. But compared to Windows 95, a pile of horse-shit would seem really excellent (does anyone remember just how bad Windows 95 was?). But sarcasm aside, I am impressed with iGoogle. So far the only service I have used extensively is the iGoogle notes, however I am planning to look at Gmail and Picasa shortly. I have added gadgets like Scientific American, Weather, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Google Map search etc. A lot of these are things that Google already supplied and are the main reasons why the competition are eating the dust from Google's mighty wheels.
I do, however, have a couple of criticisms about notes. Just little niggles, but I may as well make them. In fact there is only one criticism of notes. Criticism number number 2 is so trivial it is hardly worth mentioning and 3 is (I suspect) Apple's problem.
- The Notes attachment is great. Safari is not supported. But Firefox
is. And most Mac users that were serious about browsing would have a
version of Firefox installed also. However the date (which appears in the
right hand side of the note) is in American format. This, no doubt, would
make the folks at Conservapedia happy,
but I have to ask - Why not ISO? And if they are going to make it
American, could us folks (the 95 per-cent of the population not living in
America) please have it in our format? Or failing that a sensible format
(like ISO). I note that they did allow me to change the date format in my
settings when I set up the account, so this change might be in the
- There is a trivial bug which will probably be fixed in the next
release. When moving notes around with the move option, you can't move it
to the very top position. Which would be ok, except that when you position
the item above the top there is a dotted box to indicate that is possible
to move the item there. This is trivial. Now that I know that I can't move
items to the top, I can work around it by moving to second from the top
and them moving the top item under the second one. But it is a bug
- Something strange happens to Firefox on Mac OS X. For some reasons
fonts like "Courier New" don't render. Of course the Mac has this font.
But for some strange reason Firefox does not grok them. I am pretty sure
that it is an Apple problem not a Firefox problem.
So for the time being, I will keep on iGoogling. Over the next couple of weeks I will be looking at iWeb on the Mac.