Category: MSN

Google Apps to start Charging for Services


Businessweek recently wrote about Google ‘charging a few dollars’ for its ‘Apps for domains’ which would include the entire suite of programs from their Writely Acquisition to their homegrown calendar, gmail and notebook….Since they are chasing SOHOs, Educational Institutes and Public/Private Corporations it takes the Microsoft Office Live Suite which is priced at USD 39.99/month.

Seemingly unrelated, when Toyota launched in India, they launched with an outdated model called the Qualis. Some people argued that lanching with a ‘Multi Utility Vehicle’ was a strategic move primarily to ensure dealerships opened in B Tier towns,district capitals etc. While it was undoutedly a key factor, i learnt later that this was done for a slightly different reason. Reason being…to choke sales of their biggest potential local competitors…Tata (whose Sumo was their most profitable product) & Mahindra (India’s biggest MUV (people mover) manufacturer. Choking sales of the best sellling product would ensure that these manufacturers would have substantially less money for R&D of future launches, and so the beginning of the end of the competitor … classical Art of War stuff that Google is aiming to do to Microsoft.

Web companies are a product of the paradigm shift of computer to network & subscription to advertising…and thats just where MSFT is struggling. Billiions of dollars of R&D, need to be earned back… MSFT either passes the subscription cost to the consumer or advertising ROI to the advertiser. Google is offering lower subscription (the growth-lever is consumer adoption) and already offers good value to advertisers.

We live in interesting times…robust sales of Tata’s low cost Indica & Mahindra’s higher cost Scorpio kept them out of trouble… i wish i knew the answer to the trillion dollar microsoft question!


quaero quero ergo sum: Search Engines & Descartes!

Gaurav Pradhan enlightened a couple of us on the true story behind ‘cogito ergo sum – i think therefore i am’ and i have ‘been’ eversince :). So much so that i found myself on a an English Latin Translation Site to check for translations for ‘i search’ and promptly titled this one ‘quaero quero ergo sum’.

Thanks to Capitalism, Democracy AND the Internet we live in an age of opportunity, in an age where doubt is something you address on a Search Engine.
IMHO the assurance that the answer exists out there somewhere further fuels curiousity (doubt). Living in an age as complex/connected as ours, multiple cycles of doubt, resolution, discussion, further doubt, further investigation….leaves little time for existential concerns. While cogito still holds water, quaero quero holds the key to success.

PS – So much for my $0.02, De coined ‘cogito ergo tum’ – ‘I think therefore you are’ years ago!
The latin-hindi probably has Descartes turning in his grave but i don’t think De ‘thought’ about it! 🙂


Google Apps Vs MSFT Office Live
Microsoft and Google provide myriad popular tools for Web surfers and consumers. Lately, both tech mammoths are also gunning to serve small businesses online. Microsoft Office Live beta and Google Apps for Your Domain let you design company Web pages and collaborate with chosen colleagues.

Unfortunately if you’re a fan of Firefox or Macs, most Microsoft Office Live functions work only with Internet Explorer 5.5 and may require Windows 2000 or later versions. Google’s services, on the other hand, are compatible with Mozilla-based browsers and Internet Explorer, as well as with Macs and Linux machines.

Microsoft is giving away domain names for free, which otherwise cost around $10 from a third party. Via Office Live, you can park and keep for free, which is superior to using some lengthy URL embedded within Microsoft’s corporate domain. However, in return, Microsoft slaps the Office Live logo onto your Web pages.

Google, on the other hand, doesn’t provide personalized Web site registration and hosting, although you can reserve a clunky URL through Google Page Creator beta. Google doesn’t even suggest a registrar; it only links to Google search results for “domain registration.” Instead, you tailor Google Apps for Your Domain to work with a Web site that you’ve already reserved. Basically, this lets you display your company’s name and logo (rather than Google’s) within Google Calendar and Gmail. Thus, customers can e-mail you at, say, [email protected], while you open the messages within your customized Gmail interface.

Microsoft Office Live Basics is free, but there are expanded, paid services too. There’s no calendar or instant messaging within the free Office Live Basics, for example, while Google Apps for Your Domain connects to the beta Google Calendar and Google Talk. If you’re serious about managing a small-business site with Office Live, you can pay for a calendar as well as 19 other business applications. The paid Office Live Essentials and Collaboration are free to try while in beta testing.

Neither Microsoft nor Google wrap together a built-in online Word processor with their small-business packs, which is odd given Microsoft’s corner on the productivity tool market, as well as Google’s Web-based Writely and Spreadsheets. We also find it strange that Google Apps for Your domain makes no mention of Google Checkout, which lets you set up a shop on your Web site.

Office Live is available at You can access Google Apps for Your Domain at

Microsoft Office Live Basics beta Google Apps for Your Domain

Windows Live Spaces

MSN Spaces is dead…Spaces is now Live! 🙂

Is it just me or is it rendering funny to everyone?  Checked earlier today and it rendered just fine.  Looks funny on Firefox 1.5 as well as IE7 now.

Whats new are hundreds and gadgets at the Windows Live Gallery (finally MS awakes to personalisation and boy toys) and new social networking features which it hopes will allow it to snowball past MySpace kinda numbers. Another key point is deeper integration integration with other MS Live offerings .
The integration is interesting, Windows Live Spaces integrates with Live Contacts, which is also used in the Windows Live Messenger product. Instant messaging conversations can now be initiated through the Spaces site. (Why do i feel this is a hybrid of Y! 360 Contacts and Google Chat via Gmail)
MS has also added features to let users choose permission levels w.r.t. being contacted through their Space. (There is however a way of getting the IM address of the person whose space you are on…and works 80% of the time… the old naming structure was …. chances are the User ID on Live Mssngr is maedi …. this is because the default name given (unless the user chose while setting up to change it) was = Mssgr ID.  This however has been changed to

However, folks under 18 can only be reached via their Messenger Contacts. Issues surrounding easy access to children on social networking engines has become the topic of much controversy in the last couple of months, and MS is doing its bit for greater common good…

All said, for the enthusiasts in us, WordPress still rocks…and for the folks who only want a blog that integrates with the rest of their online experience, it just got a whole lot better!


Bill Gates CES Keynote & Zune!

This is probably one of the most interesting keynote addresses i’ve been through in a long time. What’s interesting about it is the number of partners that Microsoft seems to be working with and how eventually they all converge on the Windows Platform.

I’ve heard many an ignoramus state ‘the game is all over for Microsoft’. The core thing to remember though is that, Microsoft owns the platform. And with them actively partnering with companies including LG, Samsung, Motorola, Palm, MTV, Toshiba and Intel, MS is weaving a different kind of web around users. Centralised software, keeping everyone (i.e. Mom, Dad, the kids and Granpa) in mind.

MS announced the launch of their own music player, Zune. With their partnership with MTV Networks (Urge), this should garner decent marketshare in the music download front. (If you have any doubts on that, look at any MS service that was written off initially….be it Windows Media Player if nothing else).

Came across this tongue-in-cheek site on the Zune…..Google threw it up as part of my personalised search.