It was a difficult task given I was using XP and Office but there was a sense of satisfaction in embracing Firefox and Thunderbird rather than IE and Outlook. These days, Google is the new Microsoft but as much as I’d like to cut back on my Google addiction, it’s difficult. Let’s look at my Google “portfolio”:
1. Search. Simply put, Google continues to be the best, although I’m curious/interested about new search engines such as Powerset.
2. Blog search. Google Blog Search is, strangely, far from compelling but it will continue to be the tool of choice until something better comes along.
3. Image search. Love it. Works.
4. Finance. Google Finance has a nice clean look and feel but Yahoo Finance can be just as good, particularly when it comes to analyst information.
5. Picasa. I just started using Google’s photo tool. It’s pretty good but there are plenty of solid alternatives. For photo-editing, Picnik is great.
6. Google Docs. A great tool if you need to collaborate with other people, and a complement – but not a replacement – to Office.
7. Google Reader. I used to be a big FeedDemon fan but jumped on the GR bandwagon when it became obvious that an online tool was a must-have.
8. Google Earth. Tres cool.
The funny thing about using all these Google services is they kind of just sneak up on you. One day, you’re using search on a regular basis, and then before you know it, you’ve migrated to a bunch of other Google-powered services.
What’s interesting that I look at each Google search as a standalone entity rather than as an application suite – perhaps because there’s little integration between each service. One of the reasons that I really like the concept of a Google Browser (aka GBrowser) is it would give Google an interesting way to showcase its entire portfolio, while controlling the tool that’s replacing the OS as the foundation for personal computing.
More: Jeff Jarvis declares that “Google is God” after looking at the company’s growth in terms of search, pay-per-click, traffic, brand and financial results.
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