Here is a summary of the week's Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb.
Top Web News
The launch of Google Apps Premier Edition was the big news this week. In our view, this represented a significant (but not earth-shattering) step forward for Google - in its bid to create a web-based Office Suite. Some comments from our readers:
"In the short term, lets be honest this is not going to have a profound impact upon the sales of ms office any time soon. i think 'docs and spreadsheet' is great but a huge mind shift."
"The styles of Microsoft and Google are going to become of utmost importance in defining the way people work in the next 20 years.
Microsoft=big, heavy, showy programs.
Google=light, focused, simple programs."
Juha noted that "a bunch of bought-in, loosely integrated web apps do not make for a full office suite..."
Also noteworthy this week was Microsoft WPF News Readers. Following the high profile launch of NY Times Reader in August last year, three more were launched this week: Forbes, Seattle PI, Daily Mail.
As usual here on R/WW, there was plenty of commentary on Web issues to keep you thinking. Check out Emre Sokullu's latest post, an illuminating analysis of how Microsoft's Vista-Live Strategy is already impacting Google. It studies the early results of Microsoft making its Windows Live web properties the default in Windows Vista PCs, where possible - for example Live Search is the default search engine in IE7 on new Vista machines. This post prompted some insightful comments from readers.
Bryan Jones noted:
"I think it is inevitable there will be some shift from Google to Microsoft Live. But how great a shift will come done to a perception of how good the search results are. In the past 2 weeks I 've noticed at least a doubling of visits to my site via Live. From a tiny base relative to visits via Google, and still small, but a very noticeable jump."
"As Vista comes down in price and more people upgrade their machines to it the next few years, what is the likelihood that the less tech-savvy masses, many of whom use google but could just as easily use anything else, will take the time or have the knowledge to switch from Live, which will already be installed - and assumably, will be "good enough" and simple enough for their liking?"
Finally, Charles Knight's 55 Piece Mobile Search Tool Kit is a very useful resource for those of us still getting familiar with the Mobile Web!
There were a couple of Web events in London this week and David Lenehan (one of the developers of PollDaddy, which we use here on R/WW) kindly provided 3 reports for us:
We profiled the following up-and-coming web companies this week:
- Pickle and Cellblock Re-define Viral, Using Widgets
- Songbird - Will Desktop/Web Blends Take Off?
- Text2store.com - Mobile Shopping Service To Launch Monday
- Car Parking via the Web and Mobile
- Central Desktop Partners With EditGrid, Adds Online Spreadsheets
- iReader Previews The Content Behind Links
- Talkr Sold - New Owners Plan To Make Money Via Audio Advertising
- QQ - China IM Service Goes Web 2.0, With Half a Billion Registered Users!
This week's poll asked: Do You Actually Use OpenID?
We asked this because OpenID is gathering a lot of momentum as the single sign-on mechanism of choice in the web 2.0 world. But are people actually using it? Here are the results, from 530 votes as of writing:
Yes I have an OpenID a/c and I use it frequently 10% (54 votes)
Yes I have an OpenID a/c, but I haven't used it much so far 39% (207 votes)
No I don't have an OpenID a/c 42% (220 votes)
What's OpenID? 9% (49 votes)
So 42% of respondants don't have an OpenID account yet - what's more, a further 9% still don't know what OpenID is. So over half of respondants either don't use OpenID, or don't know what it is. A lot of education and promotional work to be done yet - although you'd expect the bigco support to help a lot in that regard.
Just 10% have an OpenID account and use it frequently. A further 39% have one, but haven't used it much so far. As Miles commented:
"I have it (just signed up recently) but as of now, there are not many services that I am looking to use it on.. Until Digg, Yahoo, etc integrate it... I will not have much use for it."
So what we learned from this poll is that OpenID is nowhere near mainstream yet, in fact even the early adopters don't use it much (you could probably call the 10% who use it frequently early early adopters). It'll be interesting to run this exact poll again in 6 months time.
That's a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone...