Over the past few years, I’ve adopted a non-Microsoft policy. Instead of IE, I use Firefox; instead of Outlook, I use Thunderbird; instead of Vista/XP, I use Mac; instead of Hotmail, I use GMail. The exception is Microsoft Office, which continues to be a staple despite some looks at Open Office. It’s not that I don’t like Microsoft or its products; it’s more a goal to support rival services.
As Microsoft has been shunted to the sidelines, Google has grabbed more of the spotlight. My Google applications include GMail, Google search (regular, images, news, blog), Google documents, Google Calendar and, most recently, Picasa. It’s gotten to the point where Google dominates my online landscape. The question is whether there’s a danger about not sharing the wealth. As someone who likes to support the little guy, is it time to explore some non-Google services?
One service I’ve started using again is Blogdigger, a blog search engine created by Greg Gershman. I used to be a big Blogdigger fan before Google Blog search emerged. I’ve been using Blogdigger again after getting an e-mail from Greg that he’s coming to the mesh conference this week in Toronto (I’m one of the five organizers). It wasn’t just Greg’s e-mail that got me on the Blogdigger bandwagon again but my disappointment recently with Google Blog search’s results, which appear to be far from current or comprehensive enough. As well, some blogs simply don’t appear in the ranking. My Nortel blog, for example, is non-existent despite the fact it’s probably the only blog focused entirely on Nortel.
Still, it’s hard to give up Google services because they’re good. For example, I’ve used a number of photo-editors, and really been impressed by Picasa. One quibble is it’s tied to other Google services so you can’t use it to link with a blog unless you’re a Blogger user.
In terms of the search market, clearly more people are Google believers. The latest Comscore numbers show that Google has 50% of the market while Yahoo has 27%, Microsoft 10% and AOL and Ask.com 5% each. Don Dodge estimates every point of search engine market share is worth at least $1-billion of market capitalization, and then provides some eye-opening number-crunching.