Get your ringside seats. The fight is about to begin. The flurry of announcements coming out of Google and Yahoo! recently show their preparations for the onslaught of MSN Search. And one of the most interesting was Google's announcement of another issue of 14.6 million shares, to give them an estimated $4 billion cash injection.
First, let's look at the recent Google announcements. Google Talk, the new IM application, is in beta now, which probably explains the current lack of advertising; don't expect an ad-free zone for long. A few days before the IM report, Google announced the new version of their desktop search appliance with new features, such as RSS integration and self-updating navigation. To top it off, The New York Times ran an article claiming Google is taking Microsoft's position as Silicon Valley's favorite villain. According to the article, Google's huge roster of engineering talent can do almost anything it puts its mind to, basically freezing start-ups in their tracks.
RSS appears to have conquered the last hurdle in becoming the industry syndication standard.
Microsoft's inclusion of RSS into the newest version of Internet Explorer and reports that RSS will be in Longhorn's coming release appears to be the final nail in the coffin of the Atom specification. Even Atom's steadfast supporter Google, appears to have seen the light. Google had previously acquired Blogger, a popular blogging tool that uses the Atom specification to syndicate the contents of blogs created on the Blogger platform. In the past Google had strategically steered clear of endorsing the RSS specification hoping that Atom, would take hold.
Google's recent new service that allows web surfers to monitor Google News using either RSS or Atom feeds, appears to be an acknowledgment that perhaps in purchasing Blogger, they chose the wrong specification.