Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Each day, I find the latest Google Toolbar to be more useful. It is feature rich. I use the popup blocker, the autofill, autolink, news site, and of course the many search features. When reading a book I have searched, it is neat to fast forward to the next section that has a reference to the topic I am researching. I still use MSFT's browser but all my search goes through Google.

Google and Yahoo are adding many features to the FoxFire browser. I expect to be using FoxFire before long but the feature rich Google Toolbar on any browser enhances productivity. The down-load is free and it installs quickly.

Google management has expressed disappointment in the adoption rate of the tool bar. It takes a good push to give many folks the momentum to make a change. Momentum gives MSFT a huge advantage in the coming software wars.


A couple of days ago, to watch a certain media clip, I was forced to down-load the free Apple media player. Naturally, Apple took the opportunity to inform me that the player plays Apple I-tunes. Apple offered me a special deal. I declined the special offer but watched the clip and I now have three media players on my computer, Apple Quick Time, Real Media by RNWK and MSN from MSFT.

The Google battle with MSFT is similar with the Apple battle with MSFT. Folks who buy an i-pod will gravitate toward using the Apple media player. Indeed, some i-tune users will purchase a compatible Apple computer. The stakes are huge and content will be key. The only way I could watch the clip I wanted to see was through the Apple player. If I want to search library books, the only way is to search through Google. Apple is in a leading position with music down-loads and Google is leading in search.

The default search tool on Internet explorer is through MSN and the default search in the FoxFire browser is through Google. Yahoo is designing enhanced features for its version of FoxFire. I believe FoxFire, with the support of Google and Yahoo will give MSN a run for the money. The use of an independent browser, under-neath Google and Yahoo add-on features will take away much of the advantage that MSN gets from being a standard part of Windows.

The ultimate outcome of the media player battle is less certain. It seems that Apple, RNWK, and MSN will each need to partner with content providers. They each need to build a base of users. Otherwise, each provider might offer its own player. Each content provider could become a lot like a TV channel. With a base of users who select from available content, the media player could become the portals for viewing. Google and Yahoo would have a lot to say about either solution. I believe I read that AOL has its own player in development and no-doubt TWX has plenty of content.

For the time being, Google is opening more doors to more business than anyone else; Yahoo is second. In the case of the clip I watched, I found it through a Google blog site. I would not have needed the player without the Google site.

I have chosen not to invest in Apple. The stock has done well. With every cell phone provider preparing to offer music, I cannot see where Apple has the leverage that others see. On the other hand, Google is very far ahead of the pack in various aspects of the search business. I have trouble seeing others catching up. Yo ho, its the Google toolbar for me.


The Assetman said...

Jack --

I just wanted to tell you that you have a very interesting, well-designed blogsite. I plan to include you in my blogroll @ The Asset Allocator.

Keep on blogging... and good luck selling that beautiful oceanfront proprty in SC!

Phil said...

By the way the browser is called Firefox and not FoxFire. See