All the big guys are rushing these days to launch as many web applications as possible to “captivate” web surfers in their “club”. Google in a dramatic and maybe a little bit panicked response to Microsoft‘s threats and Yahoo‘s renovated website started launching an application a day. It doesn’t matter anymore what it is, as long it is new and it does something at all then it should be launched – that seems to be their higher strategic guideline.
Google is becoming a one central computing center that does everything in a very similar fashion to the 60’s – 70’s mainframe state of mind. Of course, we don’t see the MF green characters anymore but still, one web address, one state of mind, and one business culture to provide everything for everyone!
I do think Microsoft is doing a good job at scaring Google with its large announcements (which I think is the main and maybe only competitive tactic and tool MS has to deploy against Google right now). They have got them into forgetting their un-disputed “rule” in information retrieval via a search engine and into rushing for growth somewhere else where they are fresh. Of course, in a similar line of thought, except for launching new web 2.0 applications daily, there are the low-cost acquisitions of every piece of web 2.0 technology just to enrich the weapon arsenal.
I think that Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo should leave aside the “consolidation” strategy textbook everyone else in the enterprise SW industry has embraced (Oracle, SAP, MS) and give some space for innovation to bloom and flourish outside their factories. Everything really innovative about “web 2.0” and even the term itself was invented during the exact time Microsoft and Yahoo has stopped believing in the net potential as well as many others. Now when they believe in it again, they kill it softly with their warm hugs.
Innovation is not just a matter of funding and clever R&D processes. It is MAINLY a matter of different points of view brought up by different people who can still think that there is a place for their dream. Knowing you have to fight with MS, Google, or Yahoo for the first 100K users scares me and every new entrepreneur as well.