Thursday, March 15, 2007

Microsoft Watch - Web Services & Browser - Who Shot Windows Live?

MS Corporate politics (yawn):

"The question remains: Who shot MSN—or is it Windows Live? There may have been multiple shooters, in a free-for-all of Second Amendment rights.

Johnson is a candidate, because his ascension to president of the Platforms & Services division knocked down Cole and led to ongoing changes to MSN/Live."

I keep trying this stuff, at least those parts of it that don't require Windows. Just hard to imagine they have "millions" of users. Maybe advertisers see through the funny accounting tricks after a while. Some of the Yahoo stuff is still usable, but mighty cluttered and disorganized. Google stuff isn't perfect either, but the interface is simple, and response is (mostly) fast.

Google is taking separate products (most but not all of which are developed in-house) and allowing them to sink or swim on their own. Microsoft seems intent on rolling together one big monster online package (pattern sound familiar?) Yahoo, which has more years worth of stuff to integrate continues to do a lousy job of hooking it all together, even the look-and-feel of one Yahoo product compared to another doesn't correlate very well.

Google, who's interfaces all have the same text-mode looking simplicity (which I like, but some people probably don't) keeps making the packages talk to each other better. It was frustrating that when you uploaded a picture to a blog entry you no longer had any control over it (it didn't show up on a list anywhere, couldn't be edited, deleted or replaced). But now those pictures go into Picasa (if you share blogs, it can be a bit tricky to predict WHERE they go into Picasa though) and you now have a gig of picture storage rather than the 250 meg you had before. Will a gig of space hold all the huge pictures I'm taking these days? No, not for long. But if I only upload the "good" ones I'm fine so far, and in addition to this ID, I have a couple of "corporate" ids each with their own storage. I think I'm getting more bang for the buck (well, metaphorically) with Google than with either of the other two. Is there a contrary point of view? Is anyone singing the praises of MS Live, Yahoo Groups, or Yahoo anything? I haven't found them.

Oh, and I didn't mention AOL because nobody else seems to be either. They have some quality online offerings out there (who else has IMAP e-mail?) but none of the regular suspects in the "blogosphere" ever mention them. Is this holdover resentment for all those floppies?

At least half of these companies need to merge. My bet/preference would be Google/AOL and MS/Yahoo. In terms of interface style those are the pairings that make most sense. Pairing a cluttered/bloated interface with one that was clean and simple would ruin both (hypothesizing a group of people who actually LIKE clutter here).

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