I thought Bing vs Wave makes an interesting comparison. Bing is a rebranding of completely generic search; absolutely nothing new. Not a single feature in the presentation video does anything I don't already have. And yet it's presented in classic Microsoft form as if it was something new and as if these unoriginal product ideas sprang from Microsoft by immaculate conception.
Contrast that to Google Wave, which - if it does something wrong - is overreaching more than underwhelming. And contrast also Wave's internet-born and internet-ready presentation and launch conditions. It's built on an open platform (XMPP aka Jabber). The Wave whitepapers gladly acknowledge the inspiration from research on collaborative creation elsewhere. The protocol is published. A reference implementation will be open sourced. The hosted Wave service will federate. It is a concern for Google (mentioned in presentations) to give third parties equal access to the plugin system - the company acknowledges that internally grown stuff has an initial advantage and is concerned with leveling the playing field.
Does Microsoft have the culture and the skills to make the same kind of move? I'm not suggesting that there's an evil vs nonevil thing here - obviously Google wins by owning important infrastructure - but just that the style of invention in Wave, based on other people's standards and given away so others can again innovate on top of it, seems completely at odds with Microsoft's notion of how you own the stuff you own.Posted by Claus at May 29, 2009 07:29 PM | TrackBack (0)