Google's Web Accelerator helps speed searches for broadband users, but it has limited appeal because it will not download rich files faster. Look for upcoming Web portal peer-to-peer networks to speed big-file downloads.
On 5 May 2005, Google released a beta version of Web Accelerator, a free browser plug-in that speeds Web surfing. It can be used with Internet Explorer 5.5 and above or Firefox 1.0 on Windows 2000 or XP.
Web accelerators were hot topics years ago, when many users were surfing the Web via dial-up connections. Today, with the popularity of broadband options, an increasing number of users will not find a Web accelerator compelling, and they cannot speed downloading of rich media files, such as large, network-clogging music and video files.
Web Accelerator is not a major competitive force in Google's battle for market leadership as a search provider. Neither Microsoft nor Yahoo will likely respond with similar products. For most consumer Internet users, Web accelerators are more of a “nice to have” option than a “must have” feature.
Web Portal Providers: Do not view this as a major competitive threat at this point. Because AOL, MSN and Yahoo plan to build closed peer-to-peer networks based on instant messaging that will offer fast file transfer, Web accelerators are unlikely to increase the value of the service.
Analytical Source: Allen Weiner, Gartner Research
Recommended Reading and Related Research
"Leading Search Providers Add Desktop Search Capabilities" ( https://www.gartnerg2.com/qa/qa-0105-0003.asp ) — All the major desktop search providers are battling for consumers, which may lead to more features and better technologies. By Allen Weiner
"As Search Evolves, Media Titans Look to Gain Competitive Edge" ( http://www.gartnerg2.com/rpt/rpt-1004-0096.asp ) — As search becomes the favored way to find content, new opportunities and threats will arise for search providers. By Allen Weiner
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