- Online Social Networks: Everywhere, Yet Nowhere
In the late 1990s, a large multi-national technology corporation, hoping to become a major force in online advertising, bought a small start-up in a sector that was believed to be the “next big thing”. That corporation was Microsoft and the start-up was Hotmail. Hotmail and Microsoft established web-based email as a must-have application for personal use. The addition of Hotmail to the Microsoft inventory promised to increase the companies online revenues that were being dominated by Yahoo!, Google and AOL amongst a host of others.
- Web 2.0 and Beyond with Silverlight and XAML
Microsoft is finally making real efforts to woo the designer community who have traditionally worshipped the Adobe and Mac product ranges. One new product that addresses this previously overlooked community is Silverlight, which uses the XAML technology and is touted as Microsoft’s Flash killer. For anyone who is keen to listen, Microsoft proposes that Silverlight will achieve similar results to Flash, but it does so in an entirely different way and has different aims. So, the big question is, will Microsoft be able to break the dominance of Adobe’s Flash platform, that is available on the PC, Mac and mobile devices alike? I’m sure the jury is out on that one, but it can be said it is an uphill task.
- Drive Business Change with Web 2.0
During the 1990s business leaders and venture capitalists grappled with how they would make money from the web. This was tipified by the two VCs, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital, investing $25 million in Google in the late 1990s; they new the search engine created by Sergey Brin and Larry Page was a winning formula, even though the pair had not yet monetised search. Bricks and mortar compaines were deemed “old hat” as the dotcom bubble was expanding. Companies such as eBay, Amazon and Yahoo! were at the forefront of every investors’ chequebook. Every company needed a 21st Century “Blue Sky” web strategy; every company needed to do e-commerce. However, the bubble burst and everyone was brought down with a bang. Boo.com is a classic example of the fallout from the over speculation.