I saw Real Networks’ CEO Rob Glaser on a webcast this week at a high-tech gadgets preview and had a flashback to his company’s nightmarish RealPlayer — the most advertising-laden, nagging, hard-to-uninstall piece of software ever to grace my desktop.
This memory struck me the same week that Microsoft, getting lathered up about Google, previewed its next-generation, Web-based, ad-supported set of services dubbed Office Live and Windows Live. These services, initially targeted at consumers and small businesses, will include things such as calendar management, information management, and solutions implemented on Windows SharePoint services.
I immediately thought: Don’t do it, Microsoft! I don’t want ads mucking up my Office or Outlook. I don’t want a zillion plug-ins and add-ons nickel-and-diming me at every turn. I don’t want to relive that RealPlayer experience again.
Remember one thing, Ray Ozzie: Google is succeeding because it helps us cut through the clutter, not because it delivers more clutter.
How will enterprises take to Microsoft Live? I would predict that Microsoft will face an uphill battle because enterprises are wary of accepting software automatically downloaded from the Internet or that contains advertising, and also “may not be comfortable with Microsoft adopting the role of their systems integrator.” – Unless the provider are named GOOGLE.
Can they win the game ??