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Microsoft vs Google...David vs Goliath?

Date: May 23rd, 2006 1:16:38 pm - Subscribe
Mood: indifferent
listening to: the reason-Hoobastank

I picked this information from a website

What possible rivalry could there be between two companies, out of which one has been founded over 30 years ago and is running the global software show, while the other is just seven years old and has the purpose to help users search the dense jungle of today's Internet? If we were talking about any other companies, I would have advised you to bet on the first one, but when we're talking about Microsoft and Google, no rules apply.

Through what miracle has a company that's been around for just seven years has managed to turn itself into a threatening and dangerous presence for the giant from Redmond?

Microsoft's abandoned child

Some years back, when the Internet was just a newborn, Microsoft has analyzed the baby and decided that it shouldn't get too involved in it's growth and development, because it hadn't had any chances of reaching adulthood. It rather took upon itself the task of educating another son from the great family of IT technology, the PC. The events that followed seemed to prove the great OS master right, and after the crash, the other founding fathers shared the same opinion.

The story would have probably ended here, and the Internet would have probably remained just an e-mail vehicle, if it wasn't for one of the older brothers, who decided to take charge of its education and discipline. The beginning has not been quite a bright one, since the little kid had turned into a rather rebelling and disorganized teenager, and Google didn't have enough money in order to supply it with expensive gear.

However, slowly, but surely, with just a handful of Linux servers placed in the right places, with some search algorithms which nobody can really understand and which are still giving headaches to the experts from the rival companies and with a few commercials well placed in the educational breaks, Google has managed to take this child into the world and make it a lot friendlier. And the result is represented by the few billion dollars accumulated in the company's bank accounts, which have become a real threat for Microsoft, whose favorite child, the PC, hasn't been able to keep up the pace with the Internet.

Leaving the joke aside, the Microsoft vs. Google confrontation actually represents the battle between two concepts. Even if Microsoft still lingered in the sweet illusion that the PC is in the centre of the network, Google has understood a lot faster that the network is actually a huge PC. And that's how, in just seven years, Google has managed to occupy a position that is quite threatening for Microsoft's supremacy.

Why is Google a threat to Microsoft?

As long as Google's ambitions were related only to organizing information and imposing some sense of discipline on the Internet, Microsoft hasn't had too many reasons to be concerned. Realizing the gravity of the mistake it has made by abandoning the newborn Internet, Microsoft has tried to do something for its education with the help of the MSN, Hotmail and other services, but the distance between them and Google was already too big to be recovered.

Moreover, at a certain point, Google has decided the game of organizing the Internet has become somewhat of an automatic process, and it was about time to pull out the products and services. For these, you don't need Windows, you just have to be connected to the Internet, and have a browser, not necessarily the Internet Explorer (actually, anything else BUT the IE), and the situation became quite unacceptable for Microsoft.

The idea that, at a certain point, a company could develop applications that would not be restricted to using a certain operating system, but just to accessing the Web is quite hallucinating for Microsoft, and represents, in the end, the complete and total failure of its ideas about the way software should look and work.

But Microsoft really began to see just how close behind it Google really is with the launch of the Google Desktop Search, which rendered the Search utility from Windows useless and which proved that there are no longer some very well defined boundaries between the Internet and PC contents.

Stuck in some endless projects regarding the way in which it will launch the Windows Vista (formerly known as Longhorn), Microsoft has not been able to quite realize the nature of the current trend. Why should a user depend on Windows or to the Internet Explorer when he can access his application directly from the Web? Well, he really shouldn't, and that's how the migration towards the alternatives to this OS is encouraged.The Internet will decide Microsoft's future

The thing that Microsoft fears the most is that Google, in its known secretive style, will decide that it's about time to launch an OS, which would be a real catastrophe for Windows.

Despite the rumors, it's not very likely that Google will seriously get involved in such a project, considering that it's not that simple to create an OS and, by doing so, it would go well beyond what it knows to do best and venture into a territory where Microsoft, despite its problems, is still the master. The concept that Google continues to follow is to offer applications and services, and the development of an Office suite whose functions could be accessed and used from within a browser window would really represent a devastating blow for Microsoft.

Google has already teamed up with Sun, an alliance that could mean nothing but bad news for Microsoft, because both companies have enough knowledge, resources and determination in order to develop Web applications. Loyal to its concept that the PC is the center of the world, Microsoft is doing everything it can in order to launch the Windows Vista, without realizing that its future is at the hands of the Internet.

Compared to Google, who has already realized that the future is in the Web applications, Microsoft still hasn't got a coherent offering in this area, and many of the services it provides are just bad clones of what Google is doing.

The success of Windows Vista, crucial for Microsoft, in not really related to its intrinsic quality, but rather to the way in which it will manage to influence the quality of the user-Internet interaction, an area where Google is the market leader. Microsoft's internal reorganization, the increased interest showed by the company's officials for the Web services, the development of some services like Windows Live, the integration of RSSs in the Windows Vista platform, the preoccupation for launching a better and safer Internet Explorer, all of these are signs that Microsoft has finally begun to realize what's the direction in which the wind of change blows. The only problem it has is to recover a huge difference, and the fact that Google is way ahead in this game.

There are only a few months left before the launch of the Windows Vista, and during this time Microsoft must be very attentive to what Google will launch (or not) during this period of time, and in the same time prey that the former search engine ("former" because today it's much more) won't launch an alternative to the MS Office and that the Vista will sell big.

Because otherwise, the launch of Windows Vista could be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

David has just struck Goliath with his first stone....and Goliath doesn't like it..

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