Tis A Season To Copy

Just came back from the best Starbucks on the planet – the one outside 50 California Street. They are all decked out already with holiday trimmings, and that put me in a jolly mood. Hence the headline! With enough caffeine pumping, let me take a gander at one of the most provacative headlines of the day. Jeremy Zawodny riffing on a comparative matrix built by Tristan Louis says, Google is Building Yahoo 2.0.

I dearly wish Google had a blogger in their ranks worth his sarcasm, but since they don’t, I am going to self-appoint myself in the role of agent provocateur. First, if something is version 2.0, it means it is decidedly better. Well, tactical admission? But more importantly, why isn’t Yahoo building Yahoo 2.0? Regardless, J-Zee might want to look around before calling the “pot black.”

GMail, was followed by increase in Yahoo Mail quota. Yahoo IM got voice, perhaps inspired by Skype. Yahoo Maps? Shall we go on? The point is that there are three competitors in this space – Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. All they are doing is crazily copy each other and offer the same offerings. These might be inspired by the other two, some start-up, or just simply a home grown idea. Nevertheless, unlike Yahoo and Microsoft, Google has no legacy to hold on to, and they can be crazy enough to throw everything at the wall, and hope something sticks. GMail is a good example. Froogle is not.

Amazingly, none of the companies talk about the uptake of their new services. Have Yahoo IM downloads increased because of VoIP? Same goes for Google too… how many Google Talk users? Nothing to write home about, I can bet you. At the end of the day, these new fangled features are not the reason people use the three networks. People go to Google for search, Yahoo for MyYahoo, and Microsoft… well they don’t know any better.

As a not-so-mainstream consumer I am happy with the choices and pick the one that is the best. Hey Google, how about getting a real blog going!