To be honest, I haven't been very impressed with any of the products that Google has released besides the dominating trifecta of Search, Maps, and GMail. Pretty much every other product that Google has released is pretty ho-hum. I'm not counting services that Google has bought like YouTube, Picasa, Blogger, GrandCentral (Google Voice) etc. which are great products. To name a few in no particular order: * Orkut * Android * Google Shopping * Google Checkout * Google Finance The telling one here is Android. I have used an Android phone (not the new Nexus One, but the Droid) and found it to be supremely disappointing versus the iPhone. Supposedly, the Nexus One is supposed to be better but from all the online demos I've seen of the Nexus One, it's incrementally better than the Droid but not by leaps and bounds. Unlike Microsoft, I don't see Apple getting complacent about their product development and Google has a lot of ground to make up.
My first job was at a database marketing consulting firm which had Apple as its client. This was back in 1996 when Apple wasn't doing too well. Gil Amelio was CEO and the company was floundering. One of his final acts was to buy NeXT which would lead to his eventual ousting and the return of Steve Jobs. I remember in 1997, Steve Jobs is giving one of his first "Stevenotes" and in the middle of the speech, who would appear on the big screen behind him but Bill Gates to announce a $150 million investment in Apple. Thought sacrilegious at the time, this investment would provide the capital that Apple needed to carry out its plans to launch the first generation iMac and iBook. The rest is history. Maybe Yahoo needs something similar - a little jolt of outside investment from an old enemy. The question is ... Microsoft or Google?