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Helms Deep - so who are the Orcs and who Humans?

Microsoft guns for enterprise intranet search lead to a wee humorous discussion about how Microsoft seems to be shoring up the battlements around the enterprise to keep out the hordes a la The Battle Of Helms Deep (Lord of the Rings).

I s'pose that makes Microsoft the defenders and Google those trying to break in.

And much like the bomb that blows it all open I can quite happily see Google's Enterprise Search havinga similar affect on Fortress Microsoft in your Office. Once Google is in the Office/Sharepoint walls come a-tumbling down as Google Apps is spread.

Who do you think will win this battle?


  1. Hi Mike
    As any application gets too strong in the market it begins to generate forces against itself. For instance I've recently built a web site, and in the process I searched for many external links to support what I was saying. Google proved close to useless. I ended up using Copernic which gave me far better options. (I have Copernic Desktop Search installed on my machine)

    If Google and Microsoft are engaged in a battle "for your mind" they both lose. Modern people want to have independent minds. See my post on Lloyd Geering in the Open Future Blog.

  2. I don't think the battle is about "my mind" it's about "companies $$$s".

    As for the power of one search engine over another - that battle (outside an org) has been truly won by Google. However, it might not fit all circumstances - I don't use it to search for pictures as Flickr always returns better results ... at the moment. Horse for courses but Google for the majority just works fine.

    And, the semantic web will alter the playing field once again - if Google maintain their investment (I bet they do!) then they really have to fvck up big time to be knocked off the stop of the search pile.

    But search inside an organisation is very different ... Autonomy is probably number 1 and then ... who? If the battle inside the org ends up with a number 1 from the outside I see good things happening otherwise it's the walled mentality for a few more years - it will change but maybe slower than I'd like.

    And don't hold back linking to this blog ;-)

  3. If your analogy holds true, then Microsoft will win (with the help of some dwarf-tossing...)

    In an IT environment as locked down as the one I'm in now, Google Enterprise Search would not lead to a flood of Google Apps.

  4. If your environment is so locked down then you're probably correct. However, the introduction of something from the "consumer world" (such as Google Search) is, in my experience, the thin end of the wedge for most IT environments. The experience is so vastly different from traditional systems, i.e. it just works.

    And I know, I'm just talking about search however finding information is only one step away from demanding the information is "useful" - that means (in it's authorship at least) being able to share and collaborate directly with it ... something traditional enterprise systems are shite at.

    In essence the demands generated just grows and grows and grows. The locked down environment is merely a symptom of the IT Department's inability to get it.

    They will, or be moved aside.


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