March 13, 2006

Analyst Rant

Analyst Rant – How many toolbars does any sane human need?

Every now and then analysts have to get on their soapbox and rant.  Today’s one of my days.  I’ve been ranting lately about communications being behind computing.  So I got talking with another analyst colleague, Dale Vile who owns Freeform Dynamics about the whole thing, and I rambled on about integration and he rambled on about virtualization and without those things, communications is never going to get to the Promised Land.  And this got me thinking about lots of random bits as I was opening Yahoo to read mail there.  I caught the bit about downloading the Yahoo toolbar so I could be notified about yet another inbox deluge.

And this is what led to my current rant which ties in to my earlier ranting.  I am tired of Yahoo and Google and MSN alternating versions of toolbars, of instant messengers, and other bits of software that require me to continue to download new versions, suffer endless rounds of popup messages and so on.  I have to have all these services, because my brothers use one service, my friends back in Boston another, and my colleagues scattered about the globe a third.  The thing is, I need only one instant messenger program, and I need one toolbar.  I do not need two or three.  I may want bits from each of the three, I may want to use all three services, but the underlying service should be singular.  The services should integrate into a single platform.  That would benefit users.  And there’s really no underlying brand value in the base platform is there?  

They all look the same to me taking up all that real estate at the top of my browser.  I know Microsoft and Yahoo are getting to play nice, and there are aggregators like Trillian which I’ve used on and off over the years, but it’s the principle that annoys me.  We’re supposed to be integrating, not creating separate multiple kingdoms.  Sure, people should have choice to download what they want.  But we should also be able to download only the bits we want into the base platform.  Me?  I use Google’s toolbar. Why?  Because they have a version for Mozilla Firefox, my browser of choice. When is this industry going to realize that playing nice leads to better customer experiences than playing difficult?  This isn’t going to stifle competition.  I promise. And while you’re thinking about this, go ask Dale about the difference between an email address and a phone number.  You’ll get an interesting answer.

1 comment:

Nesjo said...

Does anyone know the maximum number of toolbars that can be added to IE? Is it possible to fill more than half the screen with toolbars alone??