A friend and I were comparing Google and Yahoo! He loves Yahoo! and hates Google. He loves Yahoo! because it has a comprehensive suite of web-services, and comes up with pioneering revenue-generating ideas. He hates Google because the guys there act like they are "the saviors of technology", and because they front crap like "We are in it because we love technology", while "they are actually in it for money" (which, by the way, they are making tons of).
As for me, I hate Yahoo! and love Google. For pretty much the same reasons he hates them. Let me clarify: Sure, Y! has a suite of websites, but have you used them? They are stinking piles of shit. Y! Maps has been around for ages, and its probably the clunkiest web software around. Have you seen their homepage? Even after a (much-hyped) redesign, their homepage is cluttered with ads, and with no clear focus. And let's not even get into My Yahoo!
I believe that it is important to get things working. I concede that Yahoo! does that. But then, they sit on their asses doing nothing to improve things that are working. Especially when there is trememdous potential to do so. This is the very reason Google could enter and dominate the web search market that was once Yahoo!'s domain. There is no point in being a pioneer if you don't continually strive towards improvement.
As a Mac user, another thing that greatly ticks me off about Y!'s development culture is their absolute contempt, and lack of support, for non-Windows environments. It may be true that setting teams of people to work on developing software for the Mac might not reflect in financial returns, but then, why even bother? Their website features a half-assed Y! messenger client for the Mac that doesn't even anti-alias fonts, leave alone supporting audio/video. I would actually be willing to pay them for a decent OS X client.
I don't need to sing praises about Google here, since Slashdot already does that for me. But I do believe most of that praise is warranted. Have you looked at how prolific they are? My point is that it is not beyond most tech companies to do good stuff (Yes, even Microsoft). They just need to have the right mindset.
Any way, this whole rant was finally written because of my frustration using Yahoo! messenger for the Mac. So, I am thinking of writing a third party client for Yahoo! messenger that addresses all my frustrations. Yes, I want to go all the way, and provide audio/video support. I am not brave enough to write code from scratch. But it is going to be a challenge to even reuse components. Any way, in the meanwhile, I will start migrating away from everything Yahoo!, so that if I don't get around to developing my client, I can still survive.
Apple iChat, here I come.