Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Microsoft vs. Google and the Future of the Web

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times. This could have an effect on customer assistance in the near future.

In short, Google and Microsoft are currently riding out a "battle" that may change the way people work with computers and the Web. Google is beginning to offer free web-based versions of Microsoft products. For example, Microsoft has Word, Google has Writely. Microsoft has Excel, Google has Google Spreadsheets. Microsoft has Outlook, Google has Gmail and Calendar.

Will some of our customers prefer to use the Google products? What sort of products will be available in the future? We once could control the types of programs available on our computers, and the Web was used exclusively for finding information and communicating with other people via e-mail and chat. But the Web is everchanging (recently by leaps and bounds). As we have witnessed in the past year, our customers now use the Web to apply for jobs (more so than ever before), to organize their pictures, to listen to music, to create their own blogs or MySpace pages (for now), to interact with other people (not just communicate). Pretty soon, they will also use the Web to write papers, create presentations, establish spreadsheets.

As the Web grows, and as we continue to be the only access to the Web for %10 of the online population, we will continue to be responsible for providing some basic assistance to these customers. And as the Web changes, the definition of basic assistance will continue to change as well.

That is why I write this blog, and that is why I hope you read it.

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