Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Redmond Channel Partner Online | Blog: Can Microsoft Save Us From Google World Domination?

Timely snapshot -- read the full article for more details

Just look at the press this week. No less of an opinion influencer than BusinessWeek -- perhaps this country's finest weekly news magazine, period (given that The Economist is British) -- devoted its cover story to the question of whether Google is too powerful. BW did an excellent job (and, no, we haven't applied for jobs there -- we just feel this way) of canvassing the general freak-out about Google that's currently taking place in boardrooms. It's a dread that's spanning the technology, publishing, advertising and entertainment industries -- among others.

My $.02: Google will save us from Google world domination, much as Netscape saved us from Netscape world domination, by over-reaching with a deeply conflicted business model. Google's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Google's business model, however, is almost entirely predicated on advertising revenues, and Google's business modus operandi, at least from what I've heard from several Google partners (and have personally experienced, in exchanges with Google in my industry analyst role), make Microsoft seem proactive and generous in comparison.

Also in the Netscape tradition, Google is indirectly making Microsoft much stronger than it would have otherwise likely been, e.g., accelerating Microsoft's build-out of a global network of super-data centers, along with Microsoft's "software + services" strategy.

I have a lot of respect for what Google has accomplished, but the growing divergence among its end user value proposition (search that works and some reasonable other tools/services), its customer goals (ubiquitous, context-sensitive advertising), and its broader mission (laudable but selectively at odds with, among other things, capitalism and copyright) suggest Google is going to face some very significant and strategic challenges over the next couple years.

Source: Redmond Channel Partner Online Blog: Can Microsoft Save Us From Google World Domination?

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