A couple of big developments today – Microsoft introducing a new and improved Live Search, while LinkedIn gets really radical by giving people the ability to – wait for it – add photos to their profiles.
Question: Does it really matter?
For all the excitement about a better Live Search that quadruples its coverage range, how much of a difference will it really make in winning people over from Google? And why should anyone be excited about being able to add a photo to LinkedIn? Big deal. If LinkedIn were really savvy, they would be opening up their API as soon as possible so it can encourage people to develop cool add-ons/extensions.
Yes, you can accuse me of being overly critical. After all, the only way Microsoft is going to be able to close the huge gap between itself and Google is by making improvements. They may not be radical or work wonders overnight but if you’re going to stay in the game, even getting a little bit better is a good thing.
The big difference between Microsoft and LinkedIn is Microsoft is playing catchup while LinkedIn risks losing its stature as a leading social network for business people by not moving fast enough. The rapid emergence of Facebook’s applications shows the value of creating a large and vibrant ecosystem that only enhances the parent.
The reality is Microsoft and LinkedIn are doing what’s necessary to stay viable but neither move warrants a flurry of news coverage.