Sunday, August 24, 2008

Microsoft vs. Google

November 21, 2005 (Computerworld) --

Are Office Live and Windows Live Microsoft's response to Google?
Microsoft's announcement of these new online services was interesting, and there are implications for IT folks.

The speculation about these services being a reaction to Google isn't
totally off the mark, given the fact that Google is making use of
Microsoft's own Windows platform and applications to extend its reach.
For example, Google's toolbar for Internet Explorer, Google Desktop
(which works well with all of Microsoft's desktop applications), Google
Earth (Windows only) and Blogger for Word all leverage Microsoft's
Office and Windows Live are Microsoft's acknowledgement of
these attempts to co-opt the traditional Microsoft space with new
offerings built around Web 2.0 technologies. There's been a lot of buzz
about using Ajax for rich Web development, and Microsoft wants to be
part of that buzz. At the same time, Microsoft knows that a
rich-applications-and-operating-system model still has a lot of life
left in it. It's not about one vs. the other for Microsoft; it's about
both working together. The new services recognize the importance of
connectivity and the near-ubiquitous nature of high-speed access but
also combine those with the richness that you get from a traditional
These aren't replacements for Office or Windows but
extensions of them. If you're looking to replace Word, Excel,
PowerPoint or Outlook with these offerings, you're looking in the wrong
place. Likewise, this isn't about a retreat from Windows as the core
operating system platform.
Overall, this strategy makes sense to
me. It's a way for Microsoft to participate in the next generation of
Web applications while furthering the reach of its core business for
Windows and Office. Look for this extension to continue as we get
closer to a real beta of Windows Vista. This move also repositions MSN
as a content portal and allows the MSN technologies to tie directly
into the Windows brand, which may give them more allure for both
business and consumer end users.

bottom line is that the new Live strategy is about the fact that
Microsoft faces very different challenges today in both the business
and consumer markets than it did in the '80s and '90s. A skirmish with
Google may seem similar to battles Microsoft fought against the likes
of Netscape or Novell, but it's not the same at all. Google is also a
very different company than Netscape was; there are far more business
users and consumers using Google than ever used Netscape, and most of
them see no need to switch to anything else. Google has evolved into a
verb. When was the last time someone said they were going to "MSN
Search" you?
Live is a critical strategy to leverage the
traditional power of the desktop operating system and applications
model and extend it to the next generation of Web technologies. This is
only the first phase. Look for more offerings for small and midsize
businesses when Office Live is launched in 2006 and the next version of
Office ships. Microsoft's news was only the tip of the iceberg in terms
of Web-based service offerings. It's time to take a closer look at what
Microsoft has done to get a glimpse of where it's going.

Credit : ( By Michael Gartenberg)