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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Google & Microsoft – Fundamentally Different

The nonstop evolution of Google's product line provides an interesting analysis writes, James Fallows. Google and Microsoft are often mentioned as the rival titans of today's computing world, but the news of the last month shows how fundamentally different their positions are. Microsoft recently began distributing trial copies of its next version of Windows. Because its operating systems have become the technical standard on which so much of the world's software is based, Microsoft can no longer do anything by surprise. By the time Longhorn/Vista reaches consumers, its features and elements will have been known and discussed for many years within the industry. Google has also become a de facto standard-setter. Whenever it adjusts the secret formula used to determine each Web site's page rank, companies that have optimized their sites to come up near the top of Google search results must scramble to react. Recently,Google improved its map service with a hybrid view, which overlays street names on satellite photographs. At about the same time, Microsoft released its new Virtual Earth service, at VirtualEarth, with a built-in hybrid view and, in some cases, satellite photos that seem sharper than Google's. Google also released Google Earth, a free version of what had been an expensive product called Keyhole. It offers satellite and mapping data for the entire world, albeit with varying degrees of clarity. It has two simple-sounding but fascinating features: a tilt view, which approximates a 3-D perspective on terrain, and a flying view, which approximates the look of flying from point to pointAs Google provides only an indirect service to these other companies, rather than supplying a part of their technical underpinning, as Microsoft does, it can change what it does with a minimum of warning to the outside world. From the typical user's point of view, this mainly means that new Google features show up unexpectedly - and often & thats the key difference between these two!.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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