Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Stop it children!!!

I don't know if it's because my parents didn't get divorced until I was 17 or if it's because I never win arguments, but I can spot a pointless argument when I see one.

The pointless argument I see happening at the moment is between Google's Desktop Search and Microsoft's MSN Toolbar suite.

Now while I'm all for technology that helps you organise your life (hell, I could do with a little of that myself), I just don't get the point of this competition. If there was some real commercial stuff (ie cold, hard cash) at stake, then sure, there's every reason for one company to outdo the other. And we, as consumers, would go with whichever product was right for us. Based on a whole load of different factors. Who made it being just one of them.

But the fact of the matter is that nobody's going to lose out on anything. Apart from anything else, both products are in beta, so neither of them are complete. Also, they're both free, so nobody's making money off them as yet.

Picture the scene in a little while. One of the 2 companies decides to release a paid version. Now there's one of 2 things that can happen.

  1. Everyone switches t the product that's still free
  2. Everyone just keeps using the Beta, or eval, or whatever you want to call it, free version, except for a few (and I'm guessing it'll be a very few) businesses who decide to pay for the license
So whoever starts charging for the software first will lose out, I reckon. Once that balance as shifted, if the other one starts charging, only then will there be any kind of level playing field, and by then, everyone will most likely just carry on using whichever they were using before.

So that's what I think. I think that nobody will win. Nobody will make any money off their search utilities, so which is 'better' is a moot point.

2 quick notes, though...
  1. I don't have either installed - to be honest, I don't have enough documents and email to warrant it. It would take me longer to find something with a swanky software widget than it would to just find it by looking for it
  2. I don't want to even think about wither com[any deciding that advertising revenue is the way forward. The thought of my computer being used to advertise stuff at me even more than t already does fills me with untold dread. I get enough of that on the web. I don't need it while I'm trying to work too...

Just wanted to share.

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