My boss took his little camera (we must get him a tripod) over to Office 2.0 conference yesterday and got someone from Google to show him its new Docs and Spreadsheets.
I guess that’s a good thing, cause we’re both speaking together on Saturday at the sold out Converge South. Our topic: 10 ways to create a killer blog. Hey, if I blog enough I’ll die. Think about that one for a while. It’s true. I read it on the Internet.
I was just adding stuff to my linkblog, cause we missed our plane to Greensboro (got another one that leaves at 1 p.m., we’ll be spending the night in Chicago) and I saw a couple of things that got me to write about the coming Microsoft/Adobe developer/designer death match.
Both Microsoft and Adobe are readying their armies for a massive fight with each other next year over both developers and creative professionals.
Microsoft fired its big gun with the Visual Studio 2005 vs. Dreamweaver page. But, don’t count Adobe out of this fight yet, this is only the first battle in a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar battle. I was over at Adobe yesterday and they have some major things coming next year that’ll play off of Adobe’s strengths and take the battle back to Redmond.
Looking at Microsoft’s list it’s interesting to note what’s not there. Some things that come to mind?
1) Video. Adobe’s Flash is what YouTube used. Microsoft doesn’t have a good video story anymore because it pulled out of the Macintosh, which is where a lot of video folks spend their time.
2) Web standards. Yeah Visual Studio supports most of them, but weird that they didn’t call that out. For designers this is the #1 most important thing whenever I hear them talking at conferences or on blogs.
3) Integration into print workflows. Adobe’s strength is its Acrobat franchise. That came from print fidelity. Things look the same on screen as they do in a magazine. Microsoft is just getting onto that bandwagon with Windows Vista printing. Also, because Dreamweaver rarely sits alone, but as part of InDesign and Acrobat, it has a strong print-centric workflow (ask Printing for Less’ CEO what designers use to create printed items and he’ll tell you largely Adobe software).
So, you can see how Adobe and Microsoft are going to attack each other over the next year. Adobe comes at it from design/video/print/layout. Microsoft will come at it from the programmer’s point of view. Tools. Protocols. Source code control. Debugging.
You’ll see both shoring up their offerings where they are weak. Winners? Both designers and developers who’ll have a raft of new tools and approaches to choose from.
Oh, and me, cause I’ll be videotaping this battle from both sides.
Some of the battlefields where this will be decided on?
1) Security. Who can make it easier to build secure corporate systems. For instance, what happens when your laptop is ripped off? Does Adobe or Microsoft protect your corporate data there?
2) Openess. Which systems really will be most extendable and usable on all platforms. Important now that Apple has been gaining market share again.
3) Collaboration. Which systems let disperse development and design teams work together best?
4) Faithfulness to original creator. If you shoot a photo and on one system it keeps its color integrity, no matter where it’s displayed or printed, and on another it doesn’t, the one that’s faithful will win.
5) Blog-centricity. More and more corporate systems are going with blog-centric content management systems like Moveable Type or WordPress. Even big ones that you might not expect. Neither Microsoft nor Adobe has gotten on these bandwagons yet, but this will be a more important point over time.
6) Multi-tenant system development. More and more of our Web data, especially inside corporations, will be stored on multi-tenant systems. Salesforce.com shot its big guns off with “Apex” which is a toolset to make it easier to develop systems that’ll reside on dozens or hundreds of servers. Watch for Adobe and Microsoft to help developers build these systems too.
Anyway, what do you think? Will designers move to Microsoft? Will developers move to Adobe?
Oh, and Ajaxian points out that we can’t write off Google or third party companies in this battle either.
Damn, I saw some people talking about how much better Microsoft’s Live Search was and I just tried a few searches and, indeed, it’s a lot better than it used to be. They’ve significantly closed the gap with Google.
How does it do on your favorite searches? I even picked out a random Windows API call and did a search on that. MSN used to always suck on those. But Live.com gets it right.
It’s also fast and the UI is nice. I think it matches Google all the way around on search.
Google is still slightly better on some searches (I think the result set on Google for Scrapbooking Blog is better than that on Live.com for Scrapbooking Blog, for instance). But, it’s much harder to tell the difference than it used to be. Live.com even does well with all my stock quotes (it used to be far less consistent than Google) and on my ego search for “scoble” Live.com is much better than Google (Live.com lists my current blog first, Google lists my blog that I haven’t posted to for a year first).
How does it do on your searches?
Now, the problem is, if Microsoft matches Google, who will switch away from Google? I won’t. The trust I’ve built since the late 1990s of searching Google many times a day without a problem is going to be a very hard thing to beat. To get me to switch Microsoft will have to be better than Google.
How about you? Does Microsoft (or Yahoo or Ask) have any hope of getting you to switch your default search engine?