Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Competition is good: A9/Amazon, Yahoo, Google, Firefox Home Page

If only we had this kind of competition in productivity software. Alas, Microsoft has left much of the software world a barren desert. OS X has not provided great productivity software alternatives because Microsoft Office rules there too.

Not so on the net.

Amazon/A9, Firefox, Google and Yahoo are all in a complex and intense struggle that's increasingly interesting.

In the past few weeks:

1. I switched to Amazon/A9 because Amazon has put together an excellent Firefox toolbar. It uses Google search, but it has a number of fascinating and subversive features. Amazon is leveraging their review infrastructure and their customer knowledge in fascinating win-win ways. Privacy shmivacy. (I made my last stand for privacy in 1994, when it was obvious that privacy was doomed if we didn't act. We didn't act.)

2. I switched my web site and blog search engines from Google to Yahoo because Google is having serious indexing problems. They are not indexing Blogger -- their own property. If I had time I'd short Google stock. They're a great company, but they are heading for a rough patch.

3. Google's GMail is great. I love it and I'll happily pay for it -- esp. when they add IMAP support. I'm looking forward to their image and backup solutions. Now if they can only fix their search. Above all -- will they make Firefox their core browser?

4. Firefox, my Win browser of choice for about 8-10 months, is moving from strength to strength. Their extension collection is becoming amazing. Bloglines has added some nice extensions. Google has been oddly quiet. The Amazon A9's ability to share data and bookmarks effortlessly between platforms is highly subversive -- it may drive me to Firefox on the Mac as well as on my Win machines. I also like the ability to pass notes around. Now we need a Palm client for the Amazon repository that Firefox/A9 builds. Hmm. I wonder if AvantGo could be set to pull down that data ...

Ahh. I do love a fight like this. Bring it on guys.

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