元:Goog not learn from Netscape Mistakes
Apparently, google has not learned from Netscape mistakes. Netscape, which was basically a company with one product, a pretty good one, went public - which really meant, publicly made a lot of big mistakes. An IPO gives you a bunch of fake money which you can spend until people stop believing in it. At that point, the fake money loses its value, and then you can't really spend it anymore.
Google seems determined to make the same mistakes as Netscape. They have a great product: a search engine. They have some additional good products, such as the adsense/adwords business. Personally, I think Adwords are the biggest contributors to pollution on the internet. I wade through more pages of fake content laden with Adwords than any other type of SEO spam. But I digress.
Anyone who thinks that googles position as search engine supremo is assured is a relative newcomer to the internet. I mean, how difficult is it to change your favorite search engine? It's not like changing from Windows to Mac - that's an effort. Changing your default home page takes about 30s. And you never need look back.
Personally, I've switched search engines three times in the past 10 years. First, I was an Alta Vista fan. Then Alta Vista got lazy, and then they started polluting their search results with banner ads. Next, I switched from AltaVista to HotBot. For awhile, HotBot was king - I used it intensely, all the time. Finally, I switched to google. These days, I tinker with a9.com (and not because of Lindsay's product mention in the O.C. - did you catch it?), but still mostly use google. However, I think Yahoo! search is rapidly gaining ground. Regardless as to whether goog is the darling, it's obvious that Yahoo! has a better overall grasp of usability challenges. I think it is amazing that they have integrated all their services under the Yahoo! brand and kept it relatively cohesive. Google has the edge in maps at this point.
But this notion of Google expanding into ISP territory and/or taking on Microsoft is just quixotic. Wishful thinking that will eventually turn google into a mush of mediocrity.
But Apple, now there is a company poised to take on Microsoft. They have the operating system, they have the hardware, and they have the iPod/iTunes. But their real advantage comes from the fact that people using Windows are so dissatisfied. To take on Microsoft, you need to be able to strike at Microsoft's heart - in this case, the beast has two hearts: Windows and Office.