This week featured some troubling news for Microsoft and Google (July 14-20 2008):
- Recent data from Hitwise shows that Microsoft has lost almost 50 percent of its market share in search from June 2007 to June 2008. In the U.S. the drop is from 9.8 % market share to 5.5 %. In the U.K. the drop is from 5.7 % to 3.7 %, and in Australia a dramatic fall from 14.7 % to 6.7 %. Google is the great winner, while Yahoo shows a minor drop and Ask a minor gain. Ask is now almost as big as Microsoft on search in the U.S. As it seems, to remain a major player in the search field, Microsoft desperately needs to get hold of Yahoo's search service.
- Google's supposedly open mobile platform Android, loses in credibility among developers, as it was revealed this week that a few select top contestants of the Android Developer Challenge were given access, under the counter, to an updated version of the SDK. Additionally, the code was provided under a non-disclosure clause, rhyming poorly with the promise of open, though technically Google has done nothing wrong.
There seems to be a lack of communication from the part of Google. As suggested by AndroidGuys, more frequent updates to the official Android blog would certainly calm down some hard feelings among developers. It will be interesting to see in the coming year what impact Android will make on the mobile phone market, which currently is overwhelmed, in terms of buzz at least, by the new iPhone.
- Gnip, the notification proxy service, finally hooks up to the XMPP firehose of Twitter. Does this mark the beginning of the end of the troubles of Twitter?
- OStatic points to an "executive summary of Open Source", a white paper challenging 10 Open Source Myths. Some examples of myths covered: "Open source is free", "Open source equals open standards", "Open source is not for mission-critical functions", "Open source is for non-conformists" and "Open source software is lower quality".
- 5 tips on using Twitter to improve your online-reputation. Some examples: "Start conversations with notable peers", "Share valuable industry news" and "Monitor your Twitter reputation".
- IPv6, the next generation internet protocol, about to replace the current IPv4 in a couple of years, might pose a security risk, writes the Wired. The problem is that it is enabled by default in many operating systems, and lots of applications may not yet be up-to-date to handle the new protocol. Affected operating systems include Windows Vista and Mac OS X. Windows XP is however safe, i.e. IPv6 is not enabled by default. You can test here which IP protocols are supported by your computer.