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May 15, 2006
  • In my prior post about Yahoo! and the quote attributed to Terry Semel, I had actually been posting about how the Internet does not really allow for complete competition complete market control. Thus, no reason to believe anyone has "no chance". Why? Because as I was going to say, there is no natural monopoly to form. Oh sure, you can talk about this or that regarding Microsoft - clearly there is fodder. But all things aside, proprietary systems like hardware are much easier to lock down. What keeps a person from switching to a different search engine?

    At any rate, this article from The Economist - Is Google The New Microsoft (subscription required) touches on exactly this point. For those without a subscription to The Economist, here is a free link to the complete article simply retitled Google = Microsoft. (This site may require free registration)

    At any rate, as the article rightly points out, among other things:

    "Try to avoid using Microsoft's software for a day, particularly if you work in an office, and you will have difficulty; surviving a day without Google is relatively easy. It has strong competitors in all the markets in which it operates: search, online advertising, mapping, software services and so on. Large firms such as Yahoo, which previously farmed searches out to Google, have switched to other technologies. Google's market share in search has fallen from a high of about 80 percent to about 50 percent today."

    Additionally, it touches upon the fact about why Microsoft and IBM were able to command such success. Point being? Yahoo! should not be promulgating notions about the search business being over. If it is for them, then indeed it will be.

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    May 15, 2006 at 10:03 PM in Business, Companies, News, Search Engines
  • I have never had anything against Yahoo! In fact, I find Yahoo! to have more relevant search results then others (including Google) quite often. That being said, I find this statement attributed to Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel to be asinine at best and frightening at worst:

    "My impartial advice to Microsoft is that you have no chance," Semel said. "The search business has been formed." - Read the rest of the article (via Good Morning Silicon Valley)

    Perhaps there is a contextual discrepancy, because if not, this statement is truly absurd. Semel does go on to say that other forms will take place but that itself implies the search business is not done. Perhaps he should read The Search. Everything boils down to getting information and we are clearly no where near where we need to be for anyone to believe there is not room for complete change or realignment. Perhaps he should also take a look at this April 2006 search usage chart.

    For Yahoo! shareholders, this should be frightening. One, I am not sure I would bait Microsoft with such a call out. Two, it does not seem to bode well for Yahoo! to be pushing ahead. If everything is set and the game is over, why bother innovate? Why bother bring forward new products or innovations? Perhaps this is the thought that has led Yahoo! to wait 8 years before providing a major upgrade to its ad program, all while Google chomped up and passed it. Third, does that mean he is happy to be second in search? Finally, I find this all the more perplexing because the developer APIs Yahoo! continues to release are quite forward thinking.

    The search business is no where near over and anyone that thinks otherwise is either confused, delusional or attempting mind games.

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    May 15, 2006 at 04:30 PM in Business, News, Search Engines
December 20, 2005
  • And? After reading MS Research: Typo-Squatters Are Gaming Google via Neowin and then Scoble, I am left with a big - so what. I do agree with Robert that it is interesting, but I think to say it is "gaming" Google is incorrect. Gaming: An illegal activity; a racket.

    For example, is it gaming when a person types a word incorrectly into a search engine and then clicks an ad that is the real company? I do not think so.. That is one of the purposes served by search engines. The only thing getting "gamed" appears to be trademark law. Trademark issues aside (which should be handled via trademark law), I do not see how this is at all different than when a person mis-types a domain that does not exist, the browser may then take you to a search engine where ads may appear. Moreover, when I do not know how to spell a product or domain, I might go to an engine and attempt to spell it. What happens? A bunch of returns, along with ads, are listed. Sometimes I see an ad and say "Hey, that is what I wanted!" and I click. Is this gaming?

    -BB
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    Dec 20, 2005 at 02:00 PM in News
December 06, 2005
  • Once again Bruce Schneier uncovers something I find quite disturbing. This reminds me of reading over non-disclosure, non-compete and or employment agreements. Why? Because when doing so, it seems more times than not (especially lately), there are items written in that are completely unbelievable and sometimes unenforceable. For example, one company actually had it written that no employee was allowed to purchase/ own stock in a competing company... Since the aforementioned company is in the software sector, as they defined it, no employee was allowed to own stock in Microsoft, Oracle or any other firm. Moreover, it was all at their discretion; they actually expected employees to ask for permission before making investments in companies, public or not, and could approve or decline at their discretion. Absurd? Yes.

    When asked about this clause, their answer was "Well, we do not enforce it or anything." Then why is it in the agreement? If you have no plans to enforce said item, then take it out. Long story longer, while it seems unlikely the FCC will be able to enforce the clauses outlined below, the trend towards inserting these items is disturbing because if there is an attempt to enforce them, their validity will need to be litigated. Litigation takes time, and if you get enough of these items stacked up, then that is more time and more money. This is not just governmental, it is also in the private sector.. Bottom line, pay attention and be careful to what you sign, but I digress.

    FBI to Approve All Software?

    Sounds implausible, I know. But how else do you explain this FCC ruling (from September -- I missed it until now):

    Dec 6, 2005 at 01:27 PM in Current Affairs, Legal, News, Take Notice
November 25, 2005
  • Here we go with the Google click-to-call. I am quite intrigued by the potential, especially when linking it up with the rumored print ads and Google Talk. Screenshots and more information can be found via Greg Yardley's blog.

    I am a huge fan of VMware and accordingly I have been chomping at the bit to see VMware 5.5 released from beta. As of today it has been and can be downloaded here. I need to get back to gorging myself on turkey so I will be brief... The new version increases performance, inclusion of the free VMware player, advanced snapshot management and what I think are two biggies... full 64-bit host/ guest support and guest systems and virtual smp.

    Nov 25, 2005 at 02:26 PM in Electronics & Devices, Link Roundup, News
June 23, 2005
  • Welcome to techThoughts. I had intended to have this site operating for quite some time. It seems that while there is no limit to what can be discussed, taking the time to etch it in stone can seem rather daunting. To that end, I have heard the requests, sipped my beverage, gulped my fear and am excited to join the blogosphere.

    Like many people involved in technology, I am constantly asked questions about a wide range of technology. As a person works in the software world, many of these questions often involve help desk activity for both family and friends.

    Jun 23, 2005 at 04:32 PM in News


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