Thursday, November 10, 2005


The New Battlefront

Well.. the new competitive battlefront is drawn. It's not software but services. it's not licensing fees from software but services that are linked to advertising. It's not services that IBM is going after but services that seem to be core to Google's rise to dominance and prominence.

Microsoft is clearly betting on the services space--while still hoping to maintain its current cash registers as long as possible (as every profitable company should do). But the mother of all battles is in the services space. Not in professional services that IBM is seeking to win but in services on the net where e-commerce is finally taking off and advertising is becoming the new currency.

Microsoft's new service space is (in beta). It could be new wine in old bottle (to use an old cliche)--see the CNET News link:

Clearly Live can be personalized to suit individual tastes. Looks a lot like Google. It's not the appearance that matters. it's the content that matters. Will some content be preferentially available in Live? What will create the 'stickiness' with Live that will propel Microsoft to leapfraog over Google and Yahoo?

Just look at two recent announcements:

Microsoft annouced a partnership with AP News yesterday.

This news may have been lost in the midst of the so-called Gates/Ozzi memo leak. but watch out for announcements that lock up preferential content on Live.

Yahoo announced a link with Tivo

This also might have been lost in the midst of announcements about new gadgets.

They signals the shape of convergence that may shake up media and entertainment. Just as Apple shook up the music industry and altered the pricing models of music, we are on the threshold of shaking up revenue streams in media and entertainment. Afterall, advertising is the bloodline for media and entertainment.

Who will AOL join with? It looks like the final choice is now between Google and Microsoft.

Nice analysis! The war is over what is called loosely Web 2.0, I guess. And as a matter of fact, MS is aiming as figting Google on its own field.
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