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Showing posts from December, 2009

Google's vertical search

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I have been writing for a while about how Google's search results stink, and how vertical search is far better. Some companies might continue on their existing trajectory towards failure, but not Google. Over the past six months, Google has been steadily adding vertical search features, although of course in a very Google way.

Rather than having the user pick a category such as music or stocks and then search, Google guesses what vertical your search is in and puts that result at the top of your search results.

Examples include:

Addresses -> Maps


Businesses -> Map & Reviews


Stock Quotes -> Stock Chart


Music Artists -> Artist Tracks


For some types of searches, Google just shows the results in the Google Suggest feature, so you don't even have to click search! Examples include:

Weather


Flight Status


Missing are Facebook & LinkedIn for people searches and shopping comparison for product searches. I can understand Google's reticence about integrating successful…

The Microsoft comeback

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Everyone is writing Microsoft off, including the New York Times epitaph last month. I think that it is premature to discount Microsoft.
The Cloud
The overall transition to cloud computing has been incredibly slow. Most small and medium sized businesses are still running their own mail servers, file servers, wikis and applications, and the fact remains that most of these businesses are running Microsoft software on their desktops and servers. When these businesses finally transition to cloud computing, what are they likely to do? Try to migrate everything to GMail and Google Apps? That is a huge pain and requires a ton of user training. Microsoft is going to come in and say "we will migrate your Exchange to hosted Exchange, your files to hosted NTFS, your Office to Hosted Office, your SharePoint to hosted SharePoint and your .NET/MS SQL Server apps to Hosted Azure. All for less than the cost of an upgrade cycle." And then Microsoft will turn their license revenue stream…