Mike Arrington of Tech Crunch joins the regular Gillmor Gang (including myself) minus Jon Udell this week for a game of vendor sports, assessing which company is doing what to whom. Host Steve Gillmor starts out with a monologue on Dave Slusher's comments about the EarthLink ad on this podcast. Apparently Dave doesn't think the content or quality of the ad is worthy of one's attention; Steve defends it and says his advertiser is "part of the conversation" and he is excited they have joined. It sure is part of the conversation given the five minutes devoted to the dustup! The Gang first hones in on Jim Allchin's Vista promo tour, revisionist history and Microsoft melding offline and online and developing more personalized search. Microsoft is struggling to take advantage the control it has of the desktop without appearing or actually being evil, special guest Mike Arrington says. Mike also gives his take on Google and Yahoo--for example, Google puts out a lot of dumb products and hasn't been clear about its product strategy, Mike says. Doc said Google hasn't enjoyed instructive failure. Steve goes off on Yahoo. The Gang also passes around the Google/China/DOJ hot potato.
The rest of the vendor sport show (40 minutes) is devoted to the most high profile news of the week--Steve Jobs as the unifying thread across Disney/Pixar/Apple, so what does this mean for Disney, Apple and the rest of the burgeoning digital entertainment industry. How will Jobs' aesthetic sense and perfectionism play against the Mouse ear's popular culture orientation, Doc asks. The Gang handicaps Jobs' chances of running Disney. Steve says the Jobs is vying for control of the network architecture and his biggest competition is Google. Dana Gardner says Jobs' business is based on hardware and direct sale of content and Google is about advertising. OK..what about Disney and Yahoo vs. Time Warner/AOL? Steve says Google is about attention. Mike Vizard asks, "Are they fighting yesterday's war?" Convergence everywhere. You can download the entire podcast here.