Thursday, December 11, 2003

An intriguing battle is shaping up between Google and Microsoft. First came the improved Google Toolbar. Since this was a direct attack on the consumer desktop, Microsoft responded with its initiative to integrate search into the OS.

Now Google has introduced the Google Deskbar, a search utility that can "[cut] out the browser for search tasks".

My take: Google's technology advantage is daunting. Its toolbar has achieved a significant level of penetration (my estimate is that 10-15% of regular Google visitors have installed it). By expanding on its consumer desktop beachhead, Google can provide some fantastically useful functionality:

  • Personal web servers (like BadBlue) that allow blogging, file sharing, and other 'publishing' features for broadband-connected, 'always on' users; each PC could then be indexed by Google, providing new personal and shared searching capabilities that go far beyond what is available today

  • Corporate information dashboards using the Deskbar, alleviating the need for unified storage based upon Longhorn's (Microsoft's next-gen OS) new file system

  • Multi-device, real-time news delivery agents, dispatching personalized news items to consumer desktops and their mobile devices

    Microsoft and Google will have to coexist for quite some time. Neither is going away anytime soon. Hedge your bets: go long on both MSFT and GOOG.


    "I have been testing a beta version Microsoft's new SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) wristwatch for [the] last month and thought I would share some observations... First and foremost, SPOT is a watch. It has every watch feature you might want including alarms, timers, chronographs... One of the core features of the watch is an integrated radio that allows the watch to receive information over the FM band. There's no need to re-set SPOT for daylight savings time or when traveling to a new city as the watch picks up the local times automatically. SPOT also has some very cool custom watch faces, they range from the whimsical, to the cute to the downright cool. Overall, as a watch, SPOT is great. Where the product really shines is in information. By configuring your information feeds at a website, SPOT will automatically update the following information, local weather, news headlines, stock information (with trends and graphs), MSN messenger users can send messages directly to your watch and Outlook will Sync your calendar to the watch and automatically remind you of the appointments ahead. In short, Microsoft took the concept of watch and turned it into watch plus. Does it work? Yes."

    Sweet SPOT.


    Survivor Recap for Warren, since once again he somehow missed out on the show by "seven minutes". Waaahhhh.

    Not a bad episode: highlighted by the biggest tactical screwup that Johnny Fairplay has made thus far. In the reward challenge - another pointless digging and shooting extravaganza - Burton dominated the field and won reward. Instead of screwing up the three girl to two boy advantage, he chose John to share in the reward. Overconfident in their ability to fool the women (who "should be peeling potatos," according to John), they enjoyed Burton's new vehicle (Envoy) oblivious to the fact that they were about to be schooled.

    Darrah won reward for the third time in a row, due to her small hands being able to reach into the fleshy folds of Jeff's private-most parts. Just kidding. But she was able to reach keys that others had to work a lot harder for, giving her the advantage in a multi-stage "plank walk".

    John and Burton schmoozed Lil - with Sandra as backup - assuming that they had at least one in the bag. For once, the girls had their act together and completely shocked the J&B gang by knocking Burton out in the expected 3-2 tally. Jeff closed with an interesting missive, "...seeing that no one is thinking about who's going to finish third.".

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