Google as White Knight.

O’Reily thinks (below) Yahoo’s web mail and Microsoft’s Exchange dominance make a great combined platform for launching an Address Book 2.0 and capturing social advertising and vendor relationship management.  But Google is already moving towards its own implementation of that platform, and doesn’t have to worry about the cost of Borg-ing Yahoo to get it done.

No, this recent Microsoft ploy feels more like a battle for Enterprise 2.0.  While Google fired the first shot with Google Apps for your domain, it is still a long ways from integrating all its services (like Blogger and JotSpot) with a unified social graph that can be secured to the degree that makes traditional IT departments comfortable. 

Conversely, Microsoft used to have the good will and trust of corporate IT, until they released Vista.  Then there seemed to be a rebellion of sorts.  Redmond may have started looking at the concept of Google Apps and it may have stopped seeing it as a threat and started looking at it instead as an opportunity: the means to dilute the traditional decision making power of corporate IT by taking over their traditional role.  In effect, removing their ability to say “no” to Vista.  Is this hostile bid just embrace and extend 2.0?  Get a huge consumer base trained on the MicroHoo platform at home, then move into the workplace, usurping the IT department in the process?

Its interesting to see the Google response (below).  It mentions only the lack of choice that may arise for “the consumer” if the MicroHoo deal goes through.  Sounds familiar.  Over the weekend, Google offered to ride to the rescue Yahoo.  If someone had rode the defense of Netscape…would that have made a difference?

Of course not. 

Microsoft plus Yahoo! Strategic Assets in Email

Email hasn’t changed significantly in years. As I’ve written previously, there’s a huge opportunity in building a next generation address book. (Doc Searls calls this Vendor Relationship Management. I prefer the term Personal Relationship Management.) I want tools that augment my ability to remember, manage, and communicate with all the people I deal with every day, in both personal and business contexts.

Official Google Blog: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet

Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft — despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses — to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? …  Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions — and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

Yahoo may consider Google alliance, source says | Reuters

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Sunday that Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt called Yahoo’s chief executive Jerry Yang to offer his company’s help in any effort to thwart Microsoft’s bid.

Published in: on February 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm  Comments (3)