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March 29, 2006


Niel Robertson

I agree that the hegemony can't go on much longer. I think one long term mis-step was getting into Google Desktop. While it surely provides lots of value to the customer, Google has exposed itself to a world of multi-platform support issues. It's on thing to worry about which versions IE, FireFox, and Mozilla you need to support a toolbar in, it's a whole other thing to consider which OS versions, service packs, and installed software combinations need to be supported. Personally I have had to remove Google Desktop twice as it goes hog wild with my CPU after runnning for a while.

One of the powers of SaaS is that you own all the delivery infrastructure. That keeps you nimble. Look at MSFT suffering under the weight of their installed base now. I think Google may be headed down this path as well. Stick with things like Writely and Google Maps. True innovation, all online.


I do know Google is planning some massive data center changes and perhaps you saw a hiccup in that.

As far as wheels coming off, I think Google's prime IP is at risk. When Google was first around, it was the technically well-connected who first fell in lose. We loved the unique back-link algorithm's results. We passed it on to our families, wives, etc and soon word of mouth took over and made some very rich young men.

The very reason we fell in love with Google was simplicity, but more importantly RESULTS! It is now clear MSN and Yahoo have changed their algo's to include back-link ranking and in some cases improve upon it. Google no longer has the powerful market differentiator they once had. Combine that with about 90% of their revenue coming from Search and it is a scary view. I personally have no more of this stock as I think Yahoo is preparing an onslaught with the new AJAX Yahoo Email, Yahoo/60 Minutes pages, the purchases of Delicious and other prime Web 2.0 companies. If I were at Google, I would be very very worried...

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