Monday, May 08, 2006

The Great Imivator passes ... AdCenter!

Maybe it's just me, but the only things more staid and boring than Microsoft press releases are the product names that leak from the corporate rectum in Redmond. Take recent bowel movements such as "Windows Vista" and "AdCenter" as but two examples. The latter, the moniker for Microsoft's foray into the online search advertising market, was reportedly the product of two long years peristalsis within the company, and the only reason the late entrant has any chance of competing with the likes of Google and Yahoo is the ol' Internet Explorer trump card. To quote one source:
Microsoft has a long way to go to create the kind of user loyalty Google's search system has been able to create. A new version of Internet Explorer, by far the most popular browser, will feature an MSN search tool in the upper right corner. Already Google has begun to make noise with the Justice Department about the feature, clearly fearing what could be a killer app for Microsoft's search ambitions.
Microsoft also unveiled "Windows Live" in response to Google's collection of online applications. Here is what passes for innovation at Microsoft:
Many of the Windows Live features were revealed. For example, its mail product, which launched in beta mode last week, offers Outlook-like functions such as the ability to view new e-mails without refreshing the screen and the ability to move mail from folder to folder by dragging and dropping.
It will be interesting to see how far Microsoft is pulled from its comfort zone of disk-based client software toward true web applications, and how much internal strife any such movement causes.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Strategic Account Summit, analogizing for customers that the effort required to launch AdCenter in a scant two years was "akin to passing a stool about yea big while wearing a wetsuit over a diaper!"