So Much Fanfare, So Few Hits

if you cut through the hype, Google’s intimidation factor quickly fizzles. An analysis of some two dozen new ventures launched over the past four years shows that Google has yet to establish a single market leader outside its core search business, where it continues to chew up Microsoft and Yahoo.

Consider just a few examples: Google Talk, an instant-messaging service launched last August, now ranks No. 10, garnering just 2% of the number of users for market leader MSN Messenger, according to comScore Media Metrix. Three-month-old Google Finance, heralded as a competitor to market leader Yahoo! Finance, has settled in as the 40th-most-visited finance site, according to data from Hitwise, a competitive intelligence firm. Gmail, the e-mail service that was lauded at its 2004 launch for offering 500 times as much storage space as some rivals (they quickly closed the gap), today is the system of choice for only about one-quarter the number of people who use MSN and Yahoo e-mail.

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