It was also a time when Yahoo and Microsoft ruled the waves. Microsoft provided the computers and Yahoo provided the easy way to surf the web. It was such a simple time, with so little competition and so much opportunity. The internet was of course in black and white then and the family would gather round at 7:30 to watch the Yahoo search engine in action.
Fast forward 10-15 years and the game is much different. Apple’s super-smooth style has lubricated Microsoft’s mundane perch until they slid off in a frenzied panic; Google now have a 92% market share, an unprecedented share of such a vast market, and social media has extended the boundaries of publication and word-of-mouth.
The internet is a very different beast now; it was more of a luxury item then, now we literally could not live without it. Every piece of information imaginable is available and near perfect communication can be had between individuals on the other side of the planet.
But what’s coming next and how can Yahoo and Microsoft reclaim what was once theirs? Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) et al has failed massively and stupidly; trying to gain a reasonable percentage of Google’s market share is near pointless and extremely risky. No, something new must be thought up, something huge, something that would create a new craze on the web.
The current trend in the web is social networking and blogging. They weren’t always so popular and eventually something will come along and take its place in the hearts of fickle internet users. It is Yahoo’s task to dream it up, sadly it don’t think it works that way. Yahoo have had their time and it was good while it lasted, also the nature of the internet suggests that it is independent companies and individuals that bring about the real change on the web.
User based content and systems has made the internet a democracy with Google as the God and rank organiser through meritocracy. Yahoo and Microsoft don’t seem to understand this side of the web and that now the user is king. It is not an autocracy for them to take over with a wave of their wand.
They need to embrace the new changes, allow freedom through their applications and join in as an contributor, not an all conquering leader.