RealNames ceases trading

Gordon Mohr
Mon, 13 May 2002 17:17:04 -0700

I completely understand MSFT's self-interested decision here.

It wasn't a matter of controlling 100% of the search market,
but rather, whether they take an immense asset they have -- 
in-browser default resolve/search mechanisms -- and deploy it 
towards building up another in-house asset (MSN search, now
and in the future) or an external company which could someday
be a threatening monopoly in its own right.

I think there were some good things about the RealNames
concept, but their need to get to a runaway dominant
position -- where people expected this capability for
all their quickie searches -- while avoiding resistance
from people who didn't want to grant them a monopoly 
just proved too tricky.

I think blaming MSFT is also a bit of an excuse for them.
There are other distribution channels they could have 
used -- syndication to search engines (a la Overture),
browser plug-ins, bundling deals with ISP/3rd-party 
software (a la Gator etc).

If they hadn't grown so large in headcount, and thrown so 
much money (and equity) to MSFT previously, perhaps they
could've pursued a broader, more patient and methodical 
approach to ubiquity. 

As it was, they bet the farm on the IE relationship, and
lost. The inside dirt on MSFT's thoughts and RN's proposals
is great stuff but doesn't suggest to me that MSFT did
anything wrong.

- Gordon

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Hall" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 12:41 PM
Subject: RE: RealNames ceases trading

> One of the reasons he claims Microsoft is no longer interested is that
> Microsoft couldn't control his product but they have 100% control of
> search.
> Microsoft doesn't control 100% of search.  I doubt they get 10%.
> I have trouble believing someone at Microsoft would claim they own 100%
> of search.
> Which creates a credibility problem in part of the letter.
> Am I missing something?  Could anyone claim with a straight face that
> Microsfot does control search?
> > From: [] On Behalf Of
> Luis
> > Villa
> > Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 10:26 AM
> > To: FoRK
> > Subject: Re: RealNames ceases trading
> > 
> > For those who don't read links all the way through, I strongly
> recommend
> > (the CEO's personal page.) Amusing/scary read.
> > Luis
> > 
> > On Mon, 2002-05-13 at 13:13, Jim Whitehead wrote:
> > > Via Dave's Scripting News:
> > >
> > >
> > >