Archive for the ‘Yahoo’ category

Wikipedia turns 10

January 12, 2011

On January 15, Wikipedia will turn 10. Yes, 10 years old!

Looking back over time, the search engine game has been one of the the most rapid evolutions on the internet.

Gopher dates back to the earliest days of the internet. Primarily a text-base (command line) interface, it severed well when academia was the primary beneficiary and searching scholarly papers was the intention.

Closely related early search engines were named Archie, Jughead, and Veronica. Archie is generally considered to be the earliest search engine focusing on FTP hosted files.

During the mid-to-late 1990s, Infoseek was a popular service. It was bought by the Walt Disney company and eventually became the Go.Com search engine. Later in the 1990s, Ask Jeeves was extremely popular with people posting actual questions – and the answers tended to be accurate!

Web 2.0 has both consolidated the search engines and fragmented the information on the web. Google remains the most popular search engine followed by Yahoo and Bing.

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The cyclical high-tech companies

January 5, 2011

Throughout my career, I’ve seen behemoth companies that were on the top of the world and had the world beating a path to their door, only to be displaced by upstarts.

Wordstar (anyone remember this) owned the word processing market but was replaced by Word Perfect, and then Microsoft Word.

Same thing with spreadsheets: Visicalc –> Lotus –> Excel. And databases: dbase –> SQL.

Companies have also risen and fallen. Banyon was the premier networking company displaced by Novell, displaced by Microsoft.

Now people say Microsoft and Google are too large, too entrenched, too commanding. But look closely at Microsoft – it is losing edge in Office to Google apps and in networking to the ubiquitous Internet.

Google is large, having displaced Yahoo, who displaced Ask Mr Jeeves, who displaced Infoseek.

But I venture to say, in 5-10 years, that both Microsoft and Google will be scratching and clawing to hold onto their former glory. Maybe not. Maybe 15 years.


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