In My Dreams, Google Takes Down Microsoft

Microsoftlogo I know, all the current speculation on the financial pages (that doesn’t have to do with speculators) is focused on Microsoft’s unrewarding and unsuccessful wooing of 2nd rate search engine Yahoo. And, of course, how many multiples of billions they are willing to spend. Even Wired can’t avoid the reference to gluttony and greed.
(Wired, July 29) On February 1, Microsoft set the porcine tone by presenting itself as the new champion of choice, explicitly declaring that the (Yahoo) deal represented the best chance at avoiding a Google monopoly.

The message itself was credible, but the source was not. After all, wasn't it just a few minutes ago that Microsoft was the unstoppable Evil Empire? The reality is that most people do indeed want to see a counter-balance to Google's power ... but they're not particularly thrilled to have that balance come from Microsoft.

Yahoo That’s an issue of little importance to me as a consumer. Someone will get stuck with Yahoo and thus 2nd place will join 2nd rate to keep the field honest enough for approval by our esteemed Justice Department.
That’s a
pretty low threshold these days (during a moribund caretaker Attorney General),
but it fascinates me that the Michael Mukasey anti-trust division considers 90%
market penetration (Google plus Yahoo) a no-no.

But Microsoft’s 90% strangle-hold on operating
systems is perfectly OK on the trust-o-meter, even though it gives Europe fits.

Which would be alright, if it were any damned good.
But Microsoft’s operating system underpins a whole menagerie of functionalities that don’t function—at
least not well. What can be said about a system so vulnerable that it writes pot-hole
filling patches at the rate of 60 last year alone? Five a month? You can choose
to call them ‘security updates’ or any user-friendly name you dream up, but
they’re still holes in the road.

An expensive road, one might add, seeded as it is by
proprietary software that effectively locks in users.

Street Journal, July 29, 2008) The software giant (Microsoft)Tuesday unveiled a
Web site called the Mojave Experiment, where unsuspecting people test an
upcoming operating system – only to learn that it’s really Windows Vista. Why
the shenanigans? Because most people think Vista is a dud. In fact, the people
Microsoft filmed on hidden cameras universally panned Vista, calling it
“horrible” and saying they’ve heard nothing but bad things about it. When asked
to grade Vista on a scale of one to 10, some people gave it a zero.

can guess how this plays out: People test the new “Mojave” operating system and
rave about it. Then they laugh and make self-deprecating jokes when they find
out Mojave is really the much-maligned Vista

Will the real Microsoft please stand up?

The reality of present-day computing doles out (essentially)
three choices of operating system, the stuff under the hood that makes your
computer compute. Microsoft, the bull in the china-shop and Apple, which has a
near-cult following of adherents, but only 5% of the market. Linux runs third,
although it runs best, with less than 3% desktop/laptop market share. Linux
boasts an ‘open’ system, to which all are invited to write programs. (Nice
touch, but most program-writers do it for money and the money is overwhelmingly
at Microsoft.)

The global embrace of the Internet and the capability to turn everything
digital -- pictures, text and vital information -- has resulted in an ease of
doing business and communicating. But it has also created a world that is
capable of being exploited by the most malevolent of people.

bad guys are lurking in everybody's network. You're between six and 20
milliseconds from every creep and criminal on the Internet," Seitz said.

people ask me what the safest computer to buy is, I tell them one that you
don't plug in. That's the current state of computer security for the average
business and home user."

Anyone out there care to reinvent? Come up with an

Who wouldn’t welcome the appearance of a player who
could produce a secure, accurate, problem-free and affordable alternate to
Windows? Who wouldn’t love to have it buried somewhere in a cave or deep space,
behind the kind of firewalls only the rich and powerful can afford? Who
wouldn’t love to be able to access
that security and power for a monthly fee—maybe five bucks?

Who wouldn’t love a new way to drive their drivers? Haven’t
we been stuck for long enough behind the proprietary wheel of a car with the
steering (when it steers) in the back seat?

So, here’s the plan—my plan—no one else has shown
any interest in knocking down Microsoft. But they are so ripe for plucking. The ‘low fruit’ can’t get any more tempting
than 60 security updates a year. Who possibly has the scope, knowledge and
bankroll to take ‘em on?

out of the Googleplex are purporting that Google's search database has hit a
significant's finally tipped over the 1 trillion URL (web
pages/files) mark.

Alpert and Nissan Hajaj, two Google software engineers from the web search
infrastructure team, made the unexpected discovery. In an awe filled statement
on the Google blog, the engineers shared:

known it for a long time: the web is big...Our systems that process links on
the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1,000,000,000,000 unique URLs on
the web at once!"

doesn't index "every" page and file on the web (to maintain relevance
and avoid duplicate content), so the actual web is significantly larger.
However, Google's database does represent the biggest index of all the search
engines. As the team point out: "...we're proud to have the most
comprehensive index of any search engine, and our goal always has been to index
all the world's data."

Google, with their name recognition and reputation
for coming up with useful things that are inspired by what people need, leaves
Yahoo to the vagaries of life and buys
. They take some time, because they are long-term players and have some time, to develop super-slick
software that supports business needs as no one has done before.

Google is terrific at doing what no one has done before and open source is the way to go,
but open-source that pays competitive development fees (or parts of fees or
increments of fees). A company that can figure out how to place an ad on a
specific website out of millions of similar sites can handle that.

They’re also good at looking at innovation through
fresh eyes. Why not a system of satellites out there somewhere that power the
Googlesphere and can be updated minute by minute, without annoying you and me.
I don’t even know how it could be put together, much less whether it’s a good

But I know the market would be instantaneous, huge
and grateful.

Sign me up, Scottie.


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