Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft glitch offers up Vista SP1 early

I noticed something interesting the other day – Microsoft released the new Vista service pack early to everybody when they only intended to release it to a small group for testing.

What’s interesting is that Microsoft released the service pack to manufacturing (RTM) back on 4th Feb, yet this seemed to happen on 21st Feb. This means that even post RTM, Microsoft is working on (and making changes to?) SP1 – I didn’t think changes were made to RTM – looks like I was wrong.

a week goes by..

A rapid fire post on the past week having been away from it all in Atlanta.

FAST is being bought by Microsoft – Dylan Fuller, formerly of FAST has a good run down on it. I do think it is interesting that Microsoft bought it rather than Google – it’s an obvious fit for Microsoft in the enterprise search space where it is strong but I thought Google wanted more of this space – is it that they think they can do it themselves? or does it not fit with their “everything in the cloud” philosophy?

Xobni launched its beta. Scott Voigt saved me the trouble of installing it right now by giving me a preview. It looks nice enough and gives you some interesting information about your inbox but it doesn’t aid your productivity. It will be interesting to see if this can evolve into a “Email 2.0” plugin for Outlook, creating a social network through which it prioritises your email. Very early days right now though.

CES happened, the only highlights I heard about were Yahoo Life (integration of the various Yahoo services to give a better user experience – more in a later post); great looking TVs (very thin, bigger..) and Bill Gate’s disappointing keynote looking more at what we know Microsoft is doing rather than anything new. Still it was his last one..

Finally.. Newsgator went free. Finally. The question is whether it is too little too late for them.

Your first port of call – is Facebook a threat to Google?

It is not so long ago that your internet experience went something like this:

  1. Connect to Internet
  2. Check your webmail account
  3. Check your favourite sites
  4. Go to Google to search for something

Then came RSS/webfeeds which allowed you to centralise most of the above into a single page – your personalised home page. There are plenty of options – iGoogle, Microsoft Live.com, My Yahoo and Netvibes (which I use) to name a few.

This was supposed to be the page that became your first port of call and Google has been leading the way.

..except something has happened to divert people away from it.

Facebook

How did this happen? Well actually most people online never really got to that second stage of using a personalised homepage. It was just a bit too geeky and difficult to use. It still is. Instead they joined Facebook in the millions and stored all their info there.

I keep hearing stories of teenagers who say that they use Facebook to message their friends and only "oldies" use email. Photos are stored on there; quick updates (a la Twitter) are submitted there and now you can even play games and chat in there.

So it’s fast becoming a user’s first point of call, integrating your life offline – online. As many have pointed out, it contains a significant amount of info about your life. This has rapidly pushed privacy to the fore.

So where is the threat to Google? Well Google survives by scavenging off the information you leave behind when using its products. So if you are no longer using its products then there’s a problem.

What if Facebook added a search bar for the web into its platform. Since you are there already will you use it? I think that’s only likely if its good enough.. but Yahoo and possibly Microsoft Search isn’t that much behind Google in terms of quality – it’s just habit that keeps Google where it is.

Or Facebook added:

a decent calendar service..

..or a decent email platform

If they can do it well enough.. those teenagers will be shifting away from Google to.. yes you guessed it.. Facebook’s platform.

What would be more interesting would be if Facebook opened up its messaging platform – allowed 3rd party providers to provide the solutions. Oh its doing that already.. but not enough.

Imagine – your preferred calendar/email/search service all embedded in to your Facebook page. Facebook becomes the glue that connects everything together.

First they need to get the privacy right though..

[update] Just read that Facebook signed a deal with Microsoft to place Microsoft adCenter sponsored links and other ads on Facebook and that now there is talk that Microsoft is possibly looking at a £150m-£250m investment in exchange for 5% of the company. That values Facebook at a cool £5bn. More importantly, it would place Microsoft in a stronger position for access to Facebook’s userbase.