Netvibes

A Little Perspective On Ajax Home Pages

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We’ve tracked a bunch of customizable, Ajax-rich home pages over the last couple of years. At one point it seemed like a new one was launching every week.

New ones are still launching (here’s a promising one in beta), and the youngsters, Netvibes and Pageflakes, are showing the most energy and creativity. See, for example, Netvibe’s new effort to create cross platform widgets, and Pageflake’s really cool new video search/notification widget.

Neither of those services, though, have grown large enough to be tracked by Comscore. The big old Internet giants own this space, and will continue to do so in the near future.

That doesn’t mean they are keeping pace with the innovators, though. Netscape relaunched their personalized home page a week ago, and we panned it. Others, with a sense of nostalgia for the Netscape of yesteryear, cried foul. Their line of argument seems to be that since Netscape has been around for a long time it deserves special consideration.

But people vote with their mouse, and Netscape has so little market share that it can’t lose much more and still be ranked by Comscore. Even when combined with the unique users of the My AOL service, they are dead last.

January worldwide Comscore numbers show that the My Yahoo personalized home page has more users, with just over 50 million, than all of its competitors combined.

All Yahoo has to do is remain competitive, and their massive user base will keep them at the top of the pile. Their recent enhancements are a good first step. Now they need to focus on integrating their Konfabulator desktop widget platform into My Yahoo as well – widget compatibility is an area where they are noticeably lagging Microsoft and Google.

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