Google takes aims at enhancing their mainstream search offering into a vast information portal – Technology > Google Moves to Challenge Web Portals" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/technology/20google.html?ex=1117512000&en=b6262cb6f0850704&ei=5099&partner=TOPIXNEWS">The New York Times > Technology > Google Moves to Challenge Web Portals.
Few thoughts on this move:
1) "Adam Sohn, director of global sales and marketing at MSN, Microsoft's Web portal, said of Google's announcement: "It validates an approach we've had for a very long time. It's a less functional version of stuff we've had in the market since 2001." – I think that although Google currently offers a naive personalization kit in comparison to veteran portals, catching up should be no-brainer for them since rivals' portal functionality does not seem to embed any sustainable competitive edge. Creating the brand name and getting audience is difficult and that Google already achieved. On the other hand destroying this "asset" by wrong move from Google is very easy as well.
2) Does this move by Google creates a room for another search engine to rise as the new "clean" search engine that will be adopted by professional users – I am sure there are people who are using Google thanks to it's clarity and simplicity only and calculating page ranking is no longer a magic.
3) Google took during their lifetime considerable steps to create a highly responsive user experience via their search engine, a level of responsiveness that matches the responsiveness level of today's desktop computers . This responsiveness relies on heavy infrastructure and R&D investments and competencies – a highly sustainable competitive edge. Google's decision to go into a richer productivity environment seems to me as the next step towards a network computing environment and if they will be able to maintain their high level of responsiveness then it will play as a significant differentiator from other web portal companies and will elevate them to a totally different category of product. See more on MS thin client vs. Google.