Less-than-free business model

I've stumbled across this good write-up by Bill Gurley on how Google are changing the market it's operating in. Have a look!

When I was at Microsoft, Microsoft also offered some customers money to search (e.g. by making Live Search the default on machines bought from Dixons or paying enterprise customers to get their employees to use Live Search, or paying consumers cash back), but the economics never quite stacked up to make this work for Microsof or their customers IMHO. And at the heart of the problem was the vicious circle that Microsoft found themselves to be stuck in: Poor search relevancy -> fewer users -> fewer advertisers -> less revenue to share in the model above to compensate for the poor results.

I've just been briefed on the latest features that are being built for Google Apps... Google keeps on making best use of it's (own) assets to augment and enhance it's products. I can't spill the beans on any of this, but as an example...

Street View is now baked into navigation on my phone. What does that mean? Where TomTom would have told me "you have reached your destination" with a flag stuck in the middle of nowhere next to the road, my Nexus S with Android and the free navigation from Google, switches from map view to a street view, showing me the actual door I need to look for.

I'm happy to be a Google shareholder!

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