Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Shelly Palmer, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing

Cognitive Computing : Blog Feed Post

Kryptonite and SAT Analogies

Google:Social as Microsoft:Search

I was listening to the most recent TWiT where there was discussion about the recent algo change at Google.  During the conversation, there was an off-hand comment about whether or not the following relationship held water:

Google:Social as Microsoft:Search
That one kind of bent my mind around a bit.  There isn’t any new thought here.  Social is presenting all kinds of problems for Google, and despite their success in South America and some other locales with Orkut, they really haven’t made much of a dent in social.  A fact made more known by the recent additions of the talents of Marissa Mayer to the task.

Some have argued that social isn’t in the DNA at Google, and that’s the source of their problems. It’s not too hard of a stretch to make the same claim about Microsoft: that we never had search in our DNA.

The analogy, however, breaks down when you spend a bit more time thinking about the subtleties of the companies.  Microsoft, at the core, is a platform company. This is an important distinction, and one we will revisit in a little bit. Microsoft started with dev tools, moving to operating systems, into desktop publishing and productivity, into the enterprise with OS and database, and branching ever more from there into mobile, cloud, web, etc, and of course into search.

Microsoft has had many successful forays beyond what is viewed as it’s knitting.  I have tried, quite unsuccessfully, to drive home the following point to people: Microsoft is a tremendous business even without Office and Windows Client.  Think about these businesses:

  1. Windows Server
  2. SharePoint
  3. SQL Server
  4. Project
  5. Visual Studio
  6. System Center
  7. Exchange
  8. Xbox

Those are businesses that are very, very large. As in, start thinking about three commas. Think about that for a moment. Let that wash over you. What else does Google have?  Search is their hit. It’s a master stroke sort of hit, but really, what else have they done? Android is big business, to be sure, but it exists to serve search.

In one way or another, each of the above MSFT big revenues businesses exists to create wealth for other participants in the ecosystem. That’s how we think about things.  That’s what being a platform company is all about.

It’s for this reason that our approach to search (note: I have no inside specific knowledge of our search strategy – completely different group, management chain, etc) renders the analogy incorrect.  We will pursue opportunities for search that make our partners money; not to use it as a gravity well which is meant to extract value and perhaps share some of that with partners.

Let’s look at this another way.  Microsoft did a deal, in theory, with a social networking company (Facebook) to benefit our other businesses. Search is a primary beneficiary, but things like docs.com and Windows Phone are immediate beneficiaries from this closer relationship.  Facebook stands to gain as well, with increased usage and traffic.  There’s shared value.  Google would have to fundamentally rethink their reason for existence to do the same. They are not shy about saying that all value accrues to search.  Everything they offer is to get you to search more.  Searches have an expected revenue, and Google wants you to do more of them, and do them with Google.  Ask any AdSense partner, and they will tell you Google isn’t in the business of equitable sharing of that value creation.

So as a company casting about to bolster it’s position in social, Google would have to have something on offer for trade.  Microsoft did a deal with a social company which bolstered our search business. Who, then, would Google do a deal with to bolster their position in social?  They have nothing to offer other than search, and they don’t want to share that.

Microsoft, as a search company, can do a deal with a Facebook (social), and there are many surface areas for equitable value transfer.  Same thing with Nokia – listen to Elop and Ballmer from the press conference.  How many times did they say the word “ecosystem?”  Google cannot offer the same.  This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that Google’s core search business is under attack by social.  Microsoft didn’t have a social business under attack by search.  We had a search business under attack from the search incumbent, and we had value to trade with other partners to bolster out position.

Back to Google’s core business: the content on which Google seeks to chew, and from which they seek to generate relevant links for their customers, is being generated more and more behind the worst kind of pay-wall; one for which there is no price of admission.

The Google bot assimilates any unstructured data it can find for its own benefit.  The beneficiaries in this relationship are those who create the unstructured data.  StackOverflow is a great example of a company being built on the search platform.  So is Demand Media.  StackOverflow is a company you would want to be in the search results.  Demand Media, and the content farms, have debatable quality content which don’t exist to make their customers raving fans, as SO.com does.

Google, unfortunately, finds itself as Germany did in 1944 – in a two front war.  Social on one side, the content farms on the other.  The value creation has proved too rich a honey pot, and the content farms are gaming the hell out of the algorithm to the detriment of the Google customer experience.  So what does Google do?  They can’t “fire” all the content farms – there’s not enough StackOverflows to backfill that lost content.  The longer the content farms exist to the detriment of Google’s customers, the less revenue available in that honey pot.  It’s a mutually destructive symbiotic relationship.  Social has the curated link content which could backfill the content farms, but they exist in an unreachable land.

Microsoft used to get compared to the Borg. That time has largely passed. The Google-bot is the new Borg. Facebook, in this particular versioning of the Star Trek polemic, is Picard.  However, at the risk of causing a level of nerd rage which is unquantifiable, I would suggest that Facebook is not only Picard, but that he is also made out of Kryptonite.  It’s not enough to simply stop the Google-bot at their front door, but the mere co-existence of the two creations causes one to wither.

The incessant probing and attempts to gain entrance to this walled garden of socially curated web essence is an exercise in futility.  Worse, there is no retreat point.  If we got search wrong, we at least had safe harbor in any of the handful of large, other, businesses.  The proverbial light at the end of this tunnel for Google is so bright that, despite being so far off, it feels just within their reach.  Sadly, it’s not.  Reversing course is impossible, and the only egress is forward through this abyss layered with energy sapping detritus.

One more nerd reference: Admiral Akbar said it best: “It’s a trap!”

To throw one more analogy onto the blog-fire, think about the following chart:

image

If you don’t know it, click on it and learn (perhaps one of the greatest graphics ever). Google is Napolean, marching into Russia in the dead of winter.  Their social endeavor has the risk of moving them along the path of resource losses, only to reach some point where they call it quits, and follow the retreat line out, badly depleted, and a shell of what they once were.  It’s an extreme pronouncement, but I don’t think it’s crazy.  Disagree?  Let me know.

The only way out of this is for Google to buy Twitter.  Sad as it makes me to suggest such a thing, that’s the only current viable alternative.  Maybe Tublr or Posterous, but Twitter is the only logical choice. And it will cost a shit ton of money (that’s a technical term). This will only serve to temporarily stave off parasitic destruction by the content farms.  How long before the Demand Media for the Twitter platform rises?  Without credentialing like Facebook, all of the relevant metrics from Twitter are ultimately subject to gaming, and we repeat the cycle anew.

It must really piss Google off that Facebook can ride on the back of every Android phone, and that those users are 2x more active for Facebook than through the website, and there’s nothing Google can do about it, and they can’t benefit from it.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Brandon Watson

Brandon Watson is Director for Windows Phone 7. He specifically focuses on developers and the developer platform. He rejoined Microsoft in 2008 after nearly a decade on Wall Street and running successful start-ups. He has both an engineering degree and an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, and blogs at www.manyniches.com.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded over 15 years ago in 1999, A&I Solutions continues to provide companies with premier integrated enterprise solutions. By partnering with the trusted and proven solutions of leading technology companies, our customers are assured high performance levels across all IT environments including:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...