With all the talk centering on FaceBook's entry into the email service sector and how it would effect Google it's interesting to note a few facts. Google isn't more that a distant third in email while Yahoo is first and HotMail is second and by large numbers. So if FaceBook has anyone to beat in email it's more Yahoo and HotMail than Google. And you can bet that those two are Mr. Zuckerberg's real targets. Yet it may be more of a MS collaboration than a contest if FaceBook allows MS's on line office apps to work in their email. That would be more of a hit on Google than their offering email service anyway. Google desperately want's to stop MS from getting any traction from their on line office products. Because if office 365 (as it's called today) takes off Google will feel the pain in it's online suite of office products. How Google would handle such a sudden availability of office 365 to millions of users might be interesting to watch. But no mater how it plays out FB is causing some realignment and new thinking in the back offices of Google, MS, and Yahoo you can be certain.
Who's the biggest U.S. e-mail service of them all? (Hint: It's not Gmail)
On the day Facebook is expected to throw its hat into the crowded and competitive e-mail ring, it’s worth noting what the current landscape looks like.
Compete.com recently published stats on e-mail market share, based on U.S. Internet users’ engagement with web-based email clients.
“Based on unique visitors from the US IBP (internet browsing population), Gmail doesn’t even hold a candle to Hotmail (94% larger than Gmail) and Yahoo Mail (190% larger). Gmail’s buzz is obviously much larger than it’s bite.”
It’s interesting to see many press and bloggers claim that Facebook’s main target with its expected e-mail entry is Gmail (a distant number three in Compete’s stats). It’s also interesting to consider how the Hotmail team views the increasing cooperation between Facebook and Microsoft — especially if Facebook does end up announcing today that it will be offering Facebook e-mail customers the ability to view and edit Microsoft Office Web Apps documents from inside their inbox. That’s a capability that is currently offered only via Hotmail.
Update: Yes, Office Web App integration is part of the new Facebook e-mail (that Facebook officials say isn’t email.)
In my most recent monthly column at Redmond Magazine, I noted that there’s a tug-of-war happening inside Microsoft. On one side are those who believe that making Microsoft products and services available on as many platforms as possible is the way to win. On the other are those who believe that software and services are the company’s greatest assets and should be treated as incentives for Microsoft-centric users. Office Web Apps inbox integration is a prime example of this battleground.Read more at www.zdnet.com