The battle between FaceBook and Google mightbe overrated, but in terms of innovation, both companies are definitely doing their best. In the “50 Most Innovative Companies of 2011” list, published by Fastcompany Magazine, Facebook, the leader in 2010 is placed third (“For 600 million users, despite Hollywood”).
Notably, one place ahead of the world’s largest social network is the micro-blogging website Twitter (“For five years of explosive growth that have redefined communication”). 200 million users mark is certainly not far away.
At the very top, placed first, is Apple (“For dominating the business landscape, in 101 ways”). iPad is probably the reason they went two places up from last-years third position.
And what about Google? And Microsoft? Don’t worry, both are there. Google is sixth (“For instantly upgrading the search experience”) – one place behind Groupon (5), whose courage is also admitted (“For reinvigorating retail — and turning down $6 billion”). Microsoft is only 37th – but still 9 places up from last year. Bing, and Win Phone OS 7 are both noted as good products, but it is the hand-free Kinect that impressed Fastcompany, “turning the human body into a game controller”.
Another notable inclusion is LinkedIn (“For turning 90 million members into the world’s most useful career database”) and Russian search engine Yandex (26) that is given credit for successfully battling Google in the Russian search market niche and for various complex algorithms. The list, of course, includes off-line companies, such as Nissan(4, “For creating the Leaf, the first mass- market all- electric car”), Trader Joe’s (11, for “For vaulting past Whole Foods to become America’s favorite organic grocer) and Snohetta (35, “For design that’s both social and beautiful”).
Everybody knows that Yahoo US has teamed up with Bing in order to fight Google in the North American search market. In other parts of the world, however, strange things are happening.
Since the start of 2011, Yahoo and Bing are also a joint force in Australia, Mexico and Brazil. In the UK, however, the deal has not been sealed yet. And although people are saying that it is only a matter of time, noticing that certain Yahoo search results look identical to Bing and speculating about “two different indexes”, it is yet to be seen whether Yahoo UK will be powered by Bing in the end. Why not, anyway? Where will Yahoo go? To Google? Well, yes!
Yahoo! Japan, for example, has made a partnership with Google. The deal (Google US will supply the technology for Yahoo! Japan) was recently approved by the FTC (Fair Trade Commission) – a body responsible for preventing monopolization of the markets. And although the ratification is not permanent, and FTC stated they will monitor the activity of the combined team closely, it was a major hit for both Microsoft and local search engines. Yahoo US was not very happy either, but was unable to stop the move, as it only own about 30% of Yahoo! Japan.
After Google had announced its intention to acquire the renowned flight data provider ITA (the offer stands, reportedly, at 700 million USD), several serious questions arouse. Wouldn’t it be too much a step towards monopoly? What are the benefits for the customers? Why, the hell, Google is buying ITA at all?
Well, the answer to the last question is pretty obvious. In recent years, Google seems to enter every niche available in the market. Long gone are the times when Google was just a search engine. Google maps, Google news, Google Sketch-up – more and more services are provided by the enterprise and some people are already asking – is Google a Search Engine or your ultimate competitor?
However, the Google ITA offer has now encountered a serious opposition itself. A group of businesses, namely the Fairsearch.org, have gathered together in order to prevent the deal. With ITA serving about two thirds of airline ticketing and satellite websites, the ultimate “danger” – according to the Fairsearch claim – is that Google will eventually start selling tickets directly, while it has a control of data flow towards potential competitors.
Google, of course, claims that the intention is purely to improve the service, making flight data offered by Google more reliable and continuing to redirect the searchers to other websites that offer flight tickets.
With the consequences of this case remain to be seen , one thing is clear – more and more businesses (including the giants like Microsoft and Expedia) are concerned with Google taking over.
Google has just taken one more step in its quest for world domination: now it has its own web browser, named Chrome. According to the Official Google Blog:
We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.