Google versus Microsoft. Phooey!

Published on September 25, 2005

I'm guessing it is a slow news month. Everyone seems to be talking about how Microsoft better shake themselves up or Google will beat them up. Forgive my candor but what a crock. Let's look at what Google do well. Their search engine is way better in my opinion than Microsoft's. I don't know what MS are doing but their own internal MSDN search engine is one of the most useless I have ever come across. How they expect to index everyone elses content if they cannot sort out their own I don't know. is phenomenal. It kicks MapPoint's butt. Gmail kicks hotmail's butt! There is no doubt that Google has developed some really cool stuff in the web app space. I like Google's UI philosophy. Make it simple but think about it a lot. You can tell that somebody spent a huge amount of time making Gmail and maps as effective as they are and yet the end result looks very simple.Interestingly if you check out you can see that Microsoft are starting to get the idea. Much of the premise that Google have the potential to overthrow Microsoft is this idea of the Web as a platform. But hold on a second, Google's last few offerings, Google Earth, Google Desktop search and Google Talk are all client applications! Sure they are internet aware apps but fundamentally they require an OS to install on. As a sidenote, it would be interesting to know how much revenue Google are making on these tools. I have read some comments on newsgroups that Google are planning a Linux based OS. Of all the Unix distributors, I would say that Google has the best chance of pushing a Linux variant into the mainstream. This is certainly a much more realistic option than the pie in the sky web platform hoopla. If Google do go that way they are then going head to head with Microsoft trying to deploy a client OS. I don't think Google will survive that fight. Microsoft have the money, the people, the marketshare and they can actually charge for their OS. Google are an innovative company, with some great web apps, that has a very clever way of dealing with the media and its own image. They don't have an OS, they don't have an Office system, they don't have a huge network of partners, they don't have business applications, entertainments systems, they don't have developer tools... I could go on.