Microsoft and Yahoo Displeased With Google Buzz

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Microsoft and Yahoo Displeased With Google Buzz

Yesterday Google released Buzz, an integration of new social features for Gmail that connect users with each other. If you read my article I had mentioned something about finding it a little strange the name “Buzz” was used, seeing as Yahoo! Buzz has existed for quite some time now. Evidently I’m not the only one who has taken notice of this- Microsoft and Yahoo have both taken it into their own hands to speak out on how they feel towards Google at this point in time.

Microsoft came out with a pretty hasty statement, saying “Busy people don’t want another social network, what they want is the convenience of aggregation. We’ve done that. Hotmail customers have benefited from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008.”

Microsoft has been pretty chummy with Facebook lately, so I can understand why they may not think Google has the right to release “another social network” when the other search giants have already hopped on board with it. Windows Live has “Spaces”, listing tons (and I mean TONS) of applications for various social networks to share with other Live users. You can broadcast your web activities right on your own page. I just wonder how many of the activities people use. I counted well over 50, and I would use maybe 4 of those.

windows live

I can only wonder if Microsoft is slightly threatened by the capabilities Buzz has and the implications for its competitors.

Yahoo, on the other hand, took more of a direct hit from Buzz due to the fact that they are now sharing the same name. Yahoo! Buzz hasn’t had a ton of publicity lately and for a moment, I almost forgot it existed.

Yahoo about Google Buzz

It seems Google has followed suit of Yahoo! Updates, another feature Yahoo has to congregate your social networking and updates. They decided to send an email out just to “updates” their users on what Yahoo! Updates already has…in case they forgot or got blindsided by Google Buzz, along with a pretty simple tweet for Yahoo! followers.

Yahoo available updates

So, what do Yahoo! Updates and Google Buzz have in common?

Similarities Between Yahoo! Updates and Google Buzz

  • The ability to have streaming updates to broadcast to contacts
  • Updates appear in mail, so comments are never lost or gone unnoticed
  • Connect with sites already used, such as Flickr, to share content
  • Capability to share updates both publicly and privately

…they DO sound pretty similar to me.

All in all, I think Microsoft and Yahoo! have a right to be miffed- after all, Google joined the game a little late with introducing a complete package for social sharing and networking… but do you think Microsoft had the right to put out that public statement openly slamming Google? Thoughts?


Selena Narayanasamy
Selena is a "many-hat-wearing" digital strategist, consultant, and President of Orthris. She loves taking ideas from creation to execution, and owns multiple publication websites in their infancy. You can find her writing on business and marketing on her personal website, The SVN Project .
Selena Narayanasamy
Selena Narayanasamy

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  • Anon

    MS would be better to let Google keep pissing about with Buzz, Wave, etc and improve Bing whilst Google is presenting the worst search results I’ve seen over the last 2+ years.
    Caffeine isn’t working. Google is weaker in search than it’s been for years.
    Google is busy robbing UK taxpayers by not paying any tax in the UK.
    If users in the UK they’d boycott Google’s sponsored results until they cough up.
    C’mon Ballmer, step up to the plate or are you waiting for a written invitation?

    • rvb

      well said Bravo!

  • Selena Narayanasamy

    Anon, I agree with you. I don’t think Microsoft should be wasting energy trying to give Google bad publicity. Users will naturally gravitate to the service which is easy to use and does its job well, regardless of the bells and whistles… publicly slamming another company may do some damage but not enough to persuade users to change. I think Microsoft should stick to improving their own service, like you said 🙂

    • Andrew Rickman

      We should have more social networks that mesh together! More notifications, just think facebook meets google buzz, meets ‘animal book’, no more lost animals! Relief for owners nationwide. Let research take its course.

  • Eric

    Let’s face it, Google is top dog and it can do whatever it want’s to. Honestly, I had never heard of Yahoo Buzz until 5 minutes ago when I noticed it on the NYT site share options after reading an article on Google’s Buzz. Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.

    Nevertheless, Facebook is still a bit clunky awkward. Buzz makes a convincing case. The only prob is it is restricted to Gmail users (I think).

    By the way, Selena, you’re quite a beautiful woman! (Just thought I’d throw that out there.)

  • Eric


  • Eric

    Sorry, one last thought and I’ll go away: you can tell Micro is desperate since the crux of their argument is “people are too busy for another social site” when in fact Buzz streamlines a social site and email (i.e. for busy people).

    (I don’t work for Google. Really. And I’m not sure how I feel about them stealing the Buzz name, but Yahoo and Microsoft’s time is up. That’s the nature of the Beast known as the internet).

    • Selena Narayanasamy

      Microsoft can try and try and TRY with Bing…but aside from the pretty splash page alternating high quality images, there’s nothing that great about it. I use Google all the time and I love it. I never have a problem finding anything I need and there’s always new fun things to play with!

  • Selena Narayanasamy

    Eric- I agree! Google is top dog so Microsoft putting out a statement like that won’t hurt them that much at all. I could pull Yahoo! Buzz out of my memory but couldn’t remember too much about it… that’s never a good thing. I feel like everything Yahoo! does has a habit of fading into memory very quickly, whereas anything innovative or “new” that Microsoft, Facebook or Google does makes top news. It just goes to show the power of status with these huge companies.

    I think Facebook will always be awkward until they really find that one redesign and the key features that work perfectly. They aren’t there yet, but they’re getting closer.

    I think at the moment you do have to be a Gmail user to get access to Buzz… I think that makes sense though, since they have updates showing up as new inbox messages. The full integration wouldn’t be as effective if you sent email out elsewhere and had to log in to your Google Buzz account.

    Nepal? Are you trying to guess at what my background is?

  • Eric

    Really? You think FB will get there? It seems like it has been around for an internet eternity. The one thing it does have going for itself is EVERYBODY is dialed in– unlike Buzz which relies on Gmail users.

    Yes, status is everything in the clash of theses titans. It is amazing to watch. It’s like a new spectators sport: football, baseball and IT wrestling!

    Okay, am I that far off? How about India or… Brazil?? (jk)

  • Selena Narayanasamy

    Eric- I sure HOPE Facebook gets there eventually. It redesigns practically every 3 hours (haha, slight exaggeration) but each update is at least a little better than it was before… plus, like you said, everyone uses Facebook so it will be harder to phase out. There were people who used Facebook and not Myspace, and look where Myspace is now.

    You haven’t guessed correctly yet! I guess you’ll just have to keep reading my articles that I post up because maybe one day I’ll randomly throw in my background 🙂

  • Richard Hostler

    I guess you could say Microsoft is following a tried and true political model. Don’t play up what you can do and try to win followers on your merits. Instead, try to make your competition look bad and hope you can make people believe you. The big difference here is social users don’t have to cast a single vote or even stick with their original vote. They are free to be fickle and go where they like when they like. Whoever has the best (tough to define) product at any given time will have the following. It really doesn’t matter when or how they enter the game.

    • Selena Narayanasamy

      It’s also weird to image what things would be like if there weren’t at least a FEW various social networking/media platforms out there. Imagine if Microsoft was the ONLY big company out there (besides Facebook, Twitter… companies that aren’t focused mainly on search and email), who slowly started integrating streaming updates etc into their Live mail. Who would they have to learn from? Competitors often study what the other company is doing so they can innovate and learn what isn’t working for them, so that they can improve and do it better than the original company. The internet without competition would be no internet at all 🙂

  • dipen

    ya its really nice that Google introduce buzz and i am 100% sure it will get success in some time. Yahoo buzz is same like as google buzz but it not integrate in yahoo mail like Google buzz integrate in gmail. And I think MS has no any other work instead of blaming to other

  • Lana Galileo

    I don’t really think that we need another social media, who will follow all that media. And Google could be more Original here, using Buzz in they name could be trademark trouble, but ok, they are big, they wont get in trouble, they allowed to steal trademarks. I’m sure WIPO have turn hes head away from this.

    • Selena Narayanasamy

      I know! There’s so many different social media venues that it’s hard to keep up. The great thing about it is that you have a choice as to what you want to follow. I’ve slowly weeded out extra services I don’t need (for instance, I used friendfeed for a while but found I just didn’t want to login to look at it) and found that stuff integrated into things I use daily (stuff and things! my vocabulary is great today) such as email, I’m more likely to look at 🙂

      But yes I’m sure Google won’t get in trouble for this. 1) They’re too big, and 2) I think if they use the full name “Google Buzz” and Yahoo uses “Yahoo! Buzz” they’ll let it go, because it’s not the exact same name. Who knows though. The bigger you are, the easier things get pushed under the rug!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Rico

    Well, Microsoft can’t really cheer for Google’s efforts, right? Also, Yahoo is pretty miffed, because Google stole some thunder from them… again.

    • Selena Narayanasamy

      All is fair in love, war and the internet 🙂 These companies will always be pulling the rug out from each other until one gets off the rug and onto the counter top. Did that make sense? Probably not. I’m still on my first cup of coffee, my apologies!

  • Lisa

    It’s stupid that Google reframed Wave (which wimpered away) into Buzz. It is a crack in the ominous Google wall to show a lack of originality and creativity by stealing the name from yahoo. But all of that is secondary to the sleezy practice of having it be a “opt in” service. I don’t respect or trust any company that manipulates or deceives people into participation. I went through several steps to disable Buzz from my Gmail account. But I think that Google Voice is one of the best services available in years.

    As far as social networking goes, I’m still waiting for a great social networking site to emerge. Facebook is dominant but clunky and limited. The interface is sparse and the news feed is arbitrary unless you customize a feed. Overall I’m not a fan. Yelp has a more vibrant interface but the company has been publicly criticized for being a “pay to play” model which makes it loose credibility. I’d be embarrassed to participate on a site that has been widely accused of extorting businesses for sponsorship. It is also heavily populated with trolls. Care2 is a large network of people with an emphasis on philanthropy and social consciousness. But it lacks the bells & whistles of Myspace. So, I’m still waiting for a great networking site that combines the best of the existing sites, learns from the mistakes made by these trailblazers and adds some new features. One of the best ways to get trolls off community-oriented sites like Craig’s List and Yelp would be to use telephone verification systems like Google does for Voice. If people had verifiable memberships (regardless if an alias/persona profile is used) there would less spam/corruption/bad behavior of members. But I digress, even if Google Buzz is the best overall networking site I won’t be using it b/c of the way it was introduced to the market: through deception.