Two huge digital conferences churned out a lot of news this week, but which was more important, All Things Digital's D7, or Google's I/O? Let's look at the tale of the tape.
D7 had one thing going for it -- names. The big news was Steve Balmer of Microsoft, who unveiled Bing, the software giant's latest attempt to dethrone Google. Bing isn't live yet, but it certainly looks great visually, and Microsoft is taking a hard angle that it's not a search engine, but a "decision engine."
D7 was also graced with the Twitter guys, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, who said they aren't interested in selling banner ads, which we already knew (yawn). Yahoo's Carol Bartz stopped by to put a definitive dollar amount on what it will cost to buy Yahoo's search business: "boatloads of money." Mark Cuban complained about something (online video), which is par for the course. Arianna Huffington, NBC's Jeff Zucker, and new MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta all swung by as well.
Where D7 had the all-stars of the digital world, Google's I/O conference had developers. Yes, those same people that create the programs that help Google take over the world finally got their due, perhaps none more than brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon, who unveiled Google Wave, a project that could revolutionize the way we communicate online by combining email and IM.
Wave, in a word, looks overwhelming, and I won't try to sum up its features here. If you have time, check out the full presentation over at Google's official blog.
Grab the swag
So who won? Wave could be astounding, Bing seems pretty neat, and in the contest between talking CEOs and developers, it's really a tossup. Like with all conferences, this battle really comes down to the swag, and you can't beat Google here. The search giant gave everyone at the show a free HTC Magic phone, and on top of that, every phone came with a SIM card and unlimited 3G access and talk time for 30 days. I think we have a winner.