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Is Google Spreading Itself Too Thin?

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Is Google Spreading Itself Too Thin?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Coming From Microsoft: 'Hosted Everything'
    - Opinion: Natural-Born Microsoft Killers
    - Trying To Ease Linux Server Management In A Microsoft Environment
    - Microsoft To Launch Online Book-Search Project
3. Breaking News
    - Google Testing Possible EBay Competition
    - Supreme Court Opens Prospect Of U.S. BlackBerry Ban
    - IT Salaries To Rise In 2006: Report
    - Dell Adds Mirroring To Desktops
    - Industry Groups Seek To Stem Chinese IP Violations
    - Japan's IC Makers Report Losses, Spending Cuts
    - Budget Forecast Predicts 'Sharp' Military R&D Cuts
    - Sun Trials RFID Asset Tracking
    - VeriSign Buys Retail Solutions
    - Device 'Controls' Humans Remotely
4. In Depth: Security
5. Voice Of Authority: Students & IT
6. White Papers: Network Security
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was 42. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." -- Rosa Parks, whose simple act of defiance, refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus 50 years ago, helped launch the civil-rights movement. Parks died this week at age 92.


1. Editor's Note: Is Google Spreading Itself Too Thin?

Reading the recent news out of Google, I can't help thinking about Netscape. Like Google, Netscape had a dazzling entry into the world of business. At that time, Web browsers were still a new thing; there were literally two dozen commonly available, none of them with decisive market dominance. And none of them presented any significant competition to the Netscape browser, which was decisively smaller, faster, and lighter.

Later, Netscape launched the first superstar dot-com IPO.

We all know how that story turned out: badly. The common wisdom is that Microsoft crushed Netscape by outmarketing it and by illegally wielding its clout as a monopolist. That's true, but there was another factor: Netscape lost sight of its customers and mission. The browser became the Elvis Presley of software: fat, slow, and bloated. Now, the company's only significant presence is as a brand owned by America Online.

Now, let's fast-forward to the present. Like the Netscape browser circa 1995, Google's search service is so fast and powerful that the competition can't compete.

Like Netscape, Google leveraged its early success to branch out into other services: In Netscape's case, that was Web servers, E-mail, and directory services. Google branched out to provide Gmail, Google Maps, Froogle, and, recently, Google Reader.

Like Netscape, Google is being hailed as the company that will kill Microsoft, doing to Microsoft what Microsoft did to IBM 20 years ago. And Microsoft's critics are talking just like they did during Netscape's prime eight or nine years ago, saying that Microsoft is fat, bloated, doesn't understand the business models created by new technology, and doomed.

But Netscape took on too much. Is Google doing the same? For more on this discussion, and to add your 2 cents, go to my blog entry.

Mitch Wagner
mwagner@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Coming From Microsoft: 'Hosted Everything'
Within a year, Microsoft plans to offer versions of CRM and ERP applications that it or its partners can host, as well as Microsoft-hosted SharePoint implementations, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

Related Stories:
Opinion: Natural-Born Microsoft Killers

Companies like Google, eBay, and Amazon proved their mettle surviving the dot-com crash. But the hypemongers who already have them dancing on Microsoft's grave need to get real: Where and when necessary, Microsoft still has both the paranoia and the inspiration necessary to crush its rivals.

Trying To Ease Linux Server Management In A Microsoft Environment
Likewise, slated to be available in December, aims to help Linux administrators with provisioning, maintenance and other tasks--all the while working within a larger Microsoft Server shop.

Microsoft To Launch Online Book-Search Project
The company plans to steer clear of the legal issues that dog Google's book-related efforts by focusing on materials already in the public domain.


3. Breaking News

Google Testing Possible EBay Competition
Google confirmed that it's testing a new searchable database service, called Google Base. Google is providing few details, but the service was online several hours and at least one alert blogger snapped a screenshot.

Supreme Court Opens Prospect Of U.S. BlackBerry Ban
The nation's highest court has denied Research In Motion's request to stay all lower-court decisions, which means that the decision about whether to issue a BlackBerry ban is now up to the U.S. District Court.

IT Salaries To Rise In 2006: Report
Overall IT salaries will increase 3% in 2006, compared with a 0.5% average increase in 2005, the report from Robert Half predicts.

Dell Adds Mirroring To Desktops
Dell will offer customers an optional second drive for some PCs, to automatically mirror data.

Industry Groups Seek To Stem Chinese IP Violations
The U.S. Trade representative is "deeply concerned" about intellectual-property violations on just about all fronts and wants some answers. China--which can use this as an "opportunity to make its case"--is expected to respond within three months.

Japan's IC Makers Report Losses, Spending Cuts
With the notable exception of Toshiba, Japanese semiconductor makers are "underperforming" relative to the country's overall economy, one analyst says.

Budget Forecast Predicts 'Sharp' Military R&D Cuts
Pressure to reduce the budget deficit, as well as increased costs for medical and other retirement benefits, are combining to force military planners to find savings in R&D outlays.

Sun Trials RFID Asset Tracking
The vendor is using its own products and services to maintain more than 10,000 servers in one facility; Sun says that within an hour it can verify any item's location and physical characteristics, from type to age to expiration date--all without needing a network connection.

VeriSign Buys Retail Solutions
The $24 million deal pushes VeriSign squarely into delivering point-of-sale data, which is gathered at cash registers when customers pay for merchandise at stores.

Device 'Controls' Humans Remotely
The Japanese-developed technology uses electricity to do the job; potential uses include helping guide rescue workers or making video games more realistic. Can military use be far behind?

All our latest news

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Tony Kontzer with "Social Networking"


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Information Security
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4. In Depth: Security

10 Tips For Securing Wireless Devices
As one expert points out, there's no such thing as absolute security when it comes to wireless devices. But there are at least 10 things you can do to make them secure as possible.

Survey: Online Criminals Are Chasing Web Users Away
The survey of 1,500 Web users found that 3 in 10 have reduced their time on the Internet and more than half have stopped giving out personal information, Consumer Reports said.

Snort Bug Exploit Shows Up
The good news: any problems will likely be short-lived, and a patch is available.

RFID Chips To Travel In U.S. Passports
U.S. passports issued after October 2006 will contain embedded radio-frequency identification chips that carry the holder's personal data and digital photo. Terrorism and ID theft fears drive most consumer objections.


5. Voice Of Authority: Students & IT

Podcast: Duke Dean Offers Solutions To Campus Tech Drought
Eric Chabrow interviews Kristina Johnson, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, about what educators should be doing to attract talented students to engineering and other technical careers, despite offshore outsourcing.


6. White Papers: Network Security

Total Access Protection--A Better Approach To Securing Networks
Securing networks and their PC end points has grown increasingly challenging. The answer to these problems is Total Access Protection, Check Point's strategy for defending enterprise networks by ensuring that every PC is secure before it connects to the network.


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