Bill Gates must be a bewildered man!
I am sure he is very busy now-a-days pondering on how to crack down Google! Not only because MSN search has not become popular, also because his company Microsoft is losing employees who are leaving to join Google.
Meanwhile Google has launched two new products within the last one month. Google talk is a messaging service similar to MSN or Yahoo messengers. But its edge is in the VoIP integration and the simple interface. I have not used it, but those who used the voice messaging told the clarity is very good. Meanwhile, Yahoo has released version 7.0 of its messenger which is voice enabled. Buzz is that Microsoft is trying to buy some VoIP or P2P company; meanwhile eBay has bought Skype, the premier company in this segment.
Blogsearch is an add-on to Google's search service, which is dedicated only for searching blogs. It is anticipated that the tool will make blogs more popular, as it will be easier to find blogs of an individual’s interest.
Meanwhile Yahoo is trying to popularize Yahoo360, its blogging and networking service, through Yahoo messenger. It is also trying to integrate Flickr with rest of its services by enabling login with a yahoo id. Flickr, which was bought recently by Yahoo, is a photo sharing service. User can add friends or family as contacts and set privileges for the photos to decide who should see them and who should not. There is a provision to create groups similar to yahoogroups, but only to share photos. I think it should be integrated with yahoogroups so that all the existing members can use it without registering again to the groups in Flickr, I believe they have plans to do this. Most of these services are also provided by Orkut, similar service from Google, which has recently started integrating it with Gmail login. But Orkut site has always some problem or the other. Yes, it’s still in "beta" version, like most other services from Google, but then beta is not an excuse which can be used for years.
As end users, all we need is some patience and the curiosity to try out these new products. By the time all this predictions of popularity and success in between the product wars of these companies consolidate, we shall have a better cyber world. Till then we shall wait keeping our fingers crossed.