Recent articles talk about Microsoft attacking Google Base, with a new offering code-named “Fremont.” Fremont is focused on delivering classified ads based on social networking filters. For example, someone might want to advertise a situation wanted that goes out to people in their contact list. Not exactly Google Base killing material, but it is interesting enough on its own.
Garry Wiseman, the product unit manager for Fremont, expresses confusion around Google Base, but quickly articulates it as an open data store. My guess is that Base confuses Wiseman’s PR representatives. This is definitely a, “wish we had done that moment,” for Microsoft, something they had articulated way back in 2001 with .Net My Services. As Elias Torres points out in his Google Base is nothing new but… posting, no one wanted to store or manage data on a Microsoft server.
Google does not seem to have that kind of ogre image yet. But with GOOG pushing above $400 a share, with 1000 millionaires in the company – imagine almost 1 out of 5 people you walk past – makes you wonder how long Google will be seen as friendly as their holiday logo treatments.
The interesting thing about Google Base is that instead of a search engine crawling the web, people are tagging and pushing content into Google. It is similar to a website owner submitting their URL to a search engine, telling it to crawl the website. The difference here is that Google will store all the content and provide a simple user experience to manage it all. That might seem complicated to some, but, if it works, it is something way beyond Wiseman’s current vision.