Has Microsoft Given Up on Internet Domination?

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Preston Gralla

Preston Gralla
Oct. 11, 2005 05:53 AM

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While Google and Yahoo over the last year have been busy introducing countless innovative Internet services, including RSS readers, podcast sites, blogging services, putting massive libraries online, and even a bid to provide free WiFi service in San Francisco, Microsoft has been uncharacteristically quiet.

Can you name a single, innovative, forward-thinking Internet service Microsoft has introduced in that time? I can't.

What's its biggest online news of late? It's redoing Hotmail so that it looks more like Outlook. Mercy -- stop the presses!

Why has Microsoft fallen so far behind? It's not just that the company is distracted by trying to get Vista out the door. I think that it's recognized that it's lost the Internet war, and so it's not even trying any more.

I don't think that's a bad thing. Better the company focus on its core mission --- to provide the best operating system and applications possible --- than to spend resources on something that, frankly, Google does a whole lot better than Microsoft will ever do.

So I for one am glad that Microsoft has apparently ceded the Internet to its competitors. That means it can focus better on Vista and the upcoming new version of Office.

Preston Gralla is the author of Windows Vista in a Nutshell, the Windows Vista Pocket Reference, and is the editor of WindowsDevCenter.com. He is also the author of Internet Annoyances, PC Pest Control, Windows XP Power Hound, and Windows XP Hacks, Second Edition, and co-author of Windows XP Cookbook. He has written more than 30 other books.