Another Forrester take on Google Personalized Home for Mobile
By Charlene Li
My colleague, Charlie Golvin, covers the consumer wireless space and participated in the Google Personalzied Home for mobile briefing with me today. He offers the following thoughts on the service and asks for your thoughts as well:.
The mobile Internet is a different experience from the PC Internet — as it should be. The applications tend to fall into one of two categories:
- Information with a short half life (think stock alert or ebay outbid notice);
- Time killers (think Tetris or a 3 minute Daily Show clip).
Google looks to have done a good job of addressing some of the shortcomings in the first category, because your personalized home page — configured on your desktop, not your phone — is something you can arrange to have the resources that provide the information you know you’re likely to need when you’re on the go (like Charlene’s RSS feed). And also because they’ve streamlined the delivery of that information, ensuring that the delay between clicking on Google and getting the information you want is as short as possible (to the extent they can influence that).
Finally, they’ve chosen the platform that allows them to reach as many consumers as possible with the lowest barrier — xHTML browsers. This last point is in stark contrast to Yahoo!, which is limited to some Nokia Series 60 devices today and requires a somewhat convoluted download and installation process on some of them (like my 7610). Down the road Yahoo! will bear much higher development costs to reach their broad audience.
But will it make a difference? Will Yahoo! or MSN loyalists who have invested in personalizing their experience invest time in doing likewise at Google because the resultant mobile experience is so much better? I think the answer is no — for the real loyalists. But for those whose investment is lower and who don’t mind doing a quick setup of a personal page in order to make the mobile Internet more useful, sure. Charlene’s willing to do it just to get her RSS feeds more efficiently, but my use will be more of a flirtation before I go back to Yahoo! What do you think?