Google Buzz slammed by Yahoo and Microsoft

By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Well, that didn't take long.

Less than an hour after Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) unveiled its new social network, Google Buzz, Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) and Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) took shots at their rival, both claiming that they've been running a similar service for years.

"Busy people don't want another social network, what they want is the convenience of aggregation," Microsoft said in a statement. "We've done that. Hotmail customers have benefited from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008."

Yahoo tweeted a similar gibe.

"Two years after #Yahoo! launched #Buzz, Google follows suit. Check out the original: http://buzz.yahoo.com/"

Ouch.

But even as Yahoo and Microsoft came out swinging Tuesday, neither has quite been able to deliver the knock-out punch: Both have had very limited success so far in the social networking sphere.

Yahoo launched Yahoo Buzz in 2008 as part of Yahoo Updates in an attempt to filter hundreds of social networks through Yahoo Mail, Messenger and Yahoo.com. But the company signaled in December that its social networking experiment wasn't working when it announced it would "deeply integrate" Facebook Connect into Yahoo Updates.

Similarly, Microsoft's Windows Live hasn't exactly taken the world by storm. Microsoft is right in saying the social networks that Google Buzz would integrate with Gmail have been integrated into Hotmail for years.

Google Buzz goes even further and threatens the ground that Facebook walks on. Microsoft made a $240 million investment in Facebook, giving Microsoft a million reasons for wanting to play down Google's new social network.

To be fair, Google has had its share of social network failure as well, with its wildly unpopular Orkut social network.

But a new Google social network that is fully integrated with Gmail, Google, Google Maps and other social networks has the blogosphere intrigued. As Google began to announce it, Google Buzz immediately became the most popular trend on Twitter.

And if Yahoo and Microsoft sound nervous, it's with good reason. Since Google Buzz integrates with Gmail without the need for users to sign up, Google just added 176 million users (according to com Score) to its new social network on Tuesday -- not a bad start. To top of page

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