Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SES London - MicroHoo: The Big Switch view

Now this is what I call a great way to start the day.

Nick Carr, author of the Big Switch, gave the keynote address here this morning at SES. OK, it was a video recording from the US but it was that good it got a round of applause (including me) which felt a little strange!

I've never clapped a video before.

Still it was filmed specially for SES and it offered a perspective on the Microsoft Yahoo deal which makes sense.

His view is that computing and software is increasingly being used on the web with documents saved there as opposed to downloading the software to your PC.

Related to this is the trend for software providers becoming more and more like media companies offering their software (content) for free or cheap to consumers, relying on ad revenue for their profits.

So here's the rub - if this continues where does this leave Microsoft?

Could the giant have its carpet pulled from it?

They can't take that risk obviously. They need web properties, distribution networks and social sites. Hello Yahoo!.

The other gem from Nick was that this trend could produce a digital elite. Take Craigs List which sells more ads then many traditional, massive media concerns.

Employees? 20. Skype which now serves more customers then BT has only 200 employees compared to BT's and other telco's thousands.

And YouTube only had 60 employees when bought by Google for 1.6 billion.

The recent lay-offs from Yahoo! take on a slightly different light now.

Matt Brocklehurst, marketing director, Latitude Group

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