This past few weeks definite indicators have come forth as to how the interface to the internet is being reshaped to better suite our needs. Some of the biggest names in the industry have revealed their plans on making the internet experience a lot more user centric while at the same time keeping people rooted to their respective platforms.
Microsoft’s Mesh Plans
Much has been said about this lately on the web. The Redmond giant has had a marginal role to play in the events shaping the internet experience and clearly Mesh is about bringing the message that they are best positioned to make all the big difference when it comes to making the online/off line experience seamless. Consistent with their marketing strategy they have got talking about this (and got others talking as well) way before there are any substantial things on the ground. Nonetheless, Microsoft is looking to take their advantage on the desktop and mesh it with an online experience to bring user’s access to their data across any device, anywhere. Its a great idea, one only MS can really claim to deliver.
An excerpt from ZDNet:
Live Mesh the service is definitely starting out as a consumer play for Microsoft. In describing the kinds of scenarios users might rely on Live Mesh to provide, Microsoft execs mentioned being able to share photos across devices and with preselected contacts. In the near term, Live Mesh will support PCs and Web browsers. As time goes on, it sounds like Microsoft expects it to work on/with portable media players, gaming consoles, TVs, printers and more. Live Mesh will allow users to choose to sync home PCs and personal devices with work PCs.
Google’s iGoogle play
iGoogle is the personalized page one gets with a Google account. You can very much add any of the Google services to this page as a widget and with the latest newsfeed feature to know what your friend’s activities, there is little doubt that iGoogle has a central role to play in Google’s OpenSocial plans.
An excerpt from Google Operating System:
iGoogle has tens of million of users, 50% of the users are from the US and it was one of the fastest growing Google products in 2006 and 2007. It’s also the homepage for many Google users who want to personalize their experience by adding a theme and fresh information from the web. The new social component will not affect all the gadgets, so you’ll still have gadgets for mail, weather or news, but some of the gadgets could share information with your friends.
Yahoo’s grandiose Y!OS
In midst of the acquisition bid from Microsoft, Yahoo has gone to great extent to stamp its zeal to prove it can live it out alone. The spate of product releases was followed by announcement from its CTO Ari Balogh of Yahoo’s Open Strategy to rewire its services to give users a social, single point access to the plethora of services and also provide an open platform for developers to build apps on.
An excerpt from TechCrunch:
Yahoo mashes the social stuff and the open stuff under the same banner of Y!OS. There are three components to the additional news announced today – platformization, opening services, and portability. It’s important to note that nothing has launched, and there’s no public timetable for the launch of any particular part of YOS. Sample said in a briefing today that the pieces will be released over the coming months.
It’s all about the user
The efforts being put by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are strategies that begin from different points but all seek to end with a user centric interface which brings the web to them and does not require them to leave the companies web property. Each of these players lacks in one way or other – MS does not have the clout on the web to immediately challenge Google and Yahoo, Yahoo has many web properties in place but no single successful operation such as search, Google has the operations in place but no property that keeps users glued to its services.
How to you rate these changes that are occurring in the social space?