Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Anybody Used Lotus 1-2-3 Lately?

Today's New York Post--which despite its lowly pedigree does in fact have a must-read business section that occasionally scoops even the Giants of Journalism (mostly in matters of corporate takeovers)--reports today that certain U.S. newspaper chains are planning to go head-to-head, or, at least, toe-to-toe, with Google.

That's right: as Google moves into local search (if you haven't tried Google for local search, you should, because its mapping product is so superior to Mapquest...put it this way: Google Maps is to Mapquest as broadband is to dial-up internet access) the newspapers are getting worried about losing their local advertising base to the Google monster.

So what's the newspapers' solution?

Their "solution," according to the Post, is to opt out of Google Adsense and keep their local ads "in-house."

So when you do a Google search for lunch delivery in Greenwich, Connecticut, you would no longer, as I interpret this, find "The Plaza Diner" in Greenwich because the Plaza Diner would be advertising in the Greenwich paper, which would not be part of Google Adsense.

So you'll get all the other diners delivering lunch to businesses in Greenwich, Connecticut that use Adsense.

This reminds me of the early days of Microsoft Windows, when the boys at Lotus Development Corp (makers of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program--remember that, kids?) decided to fight Microsoft's shift from a DOS operating system to a Windows operating system.

Which, it turned out, was the functional equivalent of a 98-pound Little League batter digging his cleats into the dirt, crowding the plate, and daring Roger Clemens to throw the high, hard stuff.

Microsoft obliged--as would Clemens if given the chance--and Lotus was carried out on a stretcher, into the waiting arms of IBM.

Anybody used Lotus 1-2-3 lately?

Will the newspapers' plan work?

Not bloody likely.

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up


gvtucker said...

Heh. I still use 1-2-3. Though I finally bit the bullet last year and installed Excel on some computers, mainly because that's the only spreadsheet that Bloomberg will communicate with. I'll still use 1-2-3 for non-Bloomberg stuff. Everyone assumes that's only because I have an irrational hatred of Microsoft; they're probably right.

rwgood said...

Same idea behind protectionism best embodied in the old National Lampoon Cover of mut with gun to his head, "if you don't buy this magazine, we'll shoot this dog"