Google vs. Microsoft: Call it a draw over time

Google vs. Microsoft: Call it a draw over time

Summary: Could it be that there will be no clear winner in Google vs. Microsoft battle?


Could it be that there will be no clear winner in Google vs. Microsoft battle?

That's a question worth asking. While observers get caught up in the battle between the two giants it's not a zero sum game. Microsoft will impact Google and vice versa. The real enemy for Microsoft is Microsoft. And ditto for Google.

This conclusion springs from a presentation from Gartner analysts David Mitchell and Tom Austin. The presentation was delivered Wednesday at the Gartner Symposium and ITxpo in Orlando.

Austin and Mitchell reckon that the most important battlegrounds for Google and Microsoft are:

  • Consumerization of IT: The user revolution.
  • Web 2.0: Can the companies build solid visions that take advantage of consumer-generated media and social networking?
  • Relationships: Who can partner better?

The Gartner analysts conclude:

The battle between Microsoft and Google will not have a clear winner or loser. Both companies have deep pockets and smart people making important decisions. Each company is likely to have significant impact on each other's key product areas — Google on Microsoft's desktop and applications businesses, and Microsoft on Google's ad platform business. Although it is possible that neither will take large market share from the other in the short term, each is making an attempt to take advantage of established products and services to grow and protect its existing revenue.

Well that isn't much fun is it?

The upshot:

  • Microsoft can leverage its platform to push its Live services;
  • Google will dabble in the enterprise, but it's more for giggles since it really is focused on search advertising;
  • Microsoft will wind up playing on Google's advertising turf instead of differentiating like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned on Wednesday;
  • Microsoft has relationships with device manufacturers, content providers and carriers than can be used against Google;
  • Microsoft trails Google on the consumer front, but the search giant is vulnerable on consumer generated content.

In other words, neither company is perfect. Here's Microsoft's ledger:


And Google's:


Gartner comes down on the side that this whole Google vs. Microsoft thing is really about mutual distraction. Google plays Office to distract Microsoft. The software giant talks up advertising and SaaS as a way to hit Google's core market and adjust to the threat of SaaS. For instance, Gartner reckons that Office 2007 will be last release of its kind with its current pricing and packaging. Office will use automatic upgrades and rentals from this point on.

Sure, you can pick apart various items, but in the end both cookie jars (Google's advertising business and Microsoft's software business) are left untouched. That outlook is less dramatic for sure, but probably more accurate.

Topics: Microsoft, CXO, Google, IT Priorities

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  • Google should wake up and crush MS

    MS derives 100% of its product from two products: windows and Office.

    Attack the windows profits by supporting Wine. A good enough implementation of
    the win32 api will be enough to destroy the house of cards on which MS is built
    (monopoly profits from a single product).
    Richard Flude
    • even more google could hit ms where it hurt the most

      Buy corel for word perfect which give you the best payable office suite after MS office or star office ( which they already use )

      get a nice BSD ( pc-bsd is great and work like a charm, program installation is so easy its a joke ) or Linux version pimp it and produce Google OS make a few nice alliance with intuit and adobe and a few more and give a hell a wack to MS sell it for peanut just to hurt MS about 100$ or so since your money cow is not OS its just bonus money. and foot in the face of MS
      • They would go down in flames...

        if that worked Linux would be growing faster than Apple... Can't support the infrastructure, not able to handle the support and could handle the number of hardware configs. Same reason Apple will never take over. Linux (like Ubunutu) - if it ever gets its act together - would be better poised, but even the then can't handle the support MS has to deal with today.
        • well we could be supprise

          As a tech i see a lots of converter to open-source mostly Ubuntu and Pc-bsd ( people truly love it )
          So i would still put my money on Google and (maybe ) with the help from other IBM and the rest ..... it could become a really leathal combination a nice poison to inject to MS
        • Beware The Sleeping Giant

          Are you kidding? Linux/Ubuntu get it's act together? I take it you have not heard of [b][i]Vista[/i][/b]. Thanks to Vista, I have rid myself of Microsoft's shackles and am now proud to count myself as one of [b]Ubuntu's dedicated followers[/b]. Microsoft's support is ridiculous! The Linux/Ubuntu community provides MUCH better and more timely support than Microsoft EVER could. Wake up, Dude! Microsoft's got some serious competition coming in the form of Linux. That's why they've been making their comedic claims of patent violations regarding Linux. Just wake up!
      • Better to put Google Engineers on Ubuntu and OpenOffice. That would cost

        them almost nothing. And, they could offer Google branded versions of both products. The trick then being how to make that all work with Google Docs.

        In my opinion, Google should stay out of the OS business and just support Ubuntu and Linux in general. They could help Mark Shuttleworth immensely by putting as many engineers as possible on the last nagging details, such as device drivers, improving LSB standards and making them universal, . . . .

        Google should also stay out of the bloated desktop office suite business and just support OpenOffice, since the bloated, locally installed, office suite designed for printing everything on paper is going to fade away. But, for the next five years, we need a strong competitor to MS Office and Google needs its documents editable offline. How about a plug-in for OpenOffice that synchronizes all Google Docs for offline editing with OpenOffice?? And, along the way, Google needs to support ODF.

        Putting 25 more engineers on each of Ubuntu/Linux and OpenOffice would be a drop in the bucket for Google.
        • too true

          but one more player could be nice since ubuntu is very power but im not to sure about google giving money when they could make some
    • Pinch yourself - your dreaming...

      • Pinch yourself - you think this is 1992. This is actually 2007, a new

        century. But, that said, Google should not distract itself with trying to hurt Microsoft by cutting revenue for the twin cash cows. The best they could do is just fund a couple of large groups of engineers to hack on Ubuntu/Linux and OpenOffice/ODF. That would be a drop in the bucket for Google, but, has a chance to very significantly change the balance of power.
    • winFX?

      • Actually, WinFX is not part of the history of the MS name game.

        From Wikipedia: ".NET Framework 3.0, formerly called WinFX,[2] includes a new set of managed code APIs that are an integral part of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems. It is also available for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 as a download. There are no major architectural changes included with this release; .NET Framework 3.0 includes version 2.0 of the Common Language Runtime.[3]"


        But, that has yet to catch on, the vast majority of Windows applications are still written to Win32.
    • Server software is the third major profit category

      With the growth in that market, servers and tools should exceed Office, especially with a new version to arrive in 2008.

      Why should Google support Wine? How would Google make money?

      Also, using Wine implies an intention to escape Windows. That would be a significant change in attitude for many people.

      Which do you think is more likely, widepsread adoption of Wine, or Windows finding its second billion customers?
      Anton Philidor
    • And, just in, Google surges to 60% in search while MS falls to a distant

      fourth place behind Unbelievable.,1895,2194537,00.asp
    • Better for both to keep each other in check

      I don't want to see Microsoft go under. It would hurt many people including employees and investors. What I would like to see is Microsoft knocked down a notch or two. Enough, so its arrogant attitude towards its customers changes to a customer-centric relationship. Enough, so it is focused on innovation rather than crushing its competitors and/or locking its customers into mediocrity.

      I would also like to see Google kept in check, so it doesn't become the internet "800 pound gorilla". That would be detrimental to the public as well.

      Competition will help keep either one from becoming "too big for their britches". I want the internet to be platform independent and have acceptable choices on the desktop for the masses (I know that some Linux distributions are getting close - I have Ubuntu as well as some Windows boxes). It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next couple of years.
  • Innovation

    One huge plus for Google is innovation. They actually do have new and really cool ideas. I just can't remember the last time Microsoft showed us anything new (Zune? Xbox?), Microsoft just totally lacks innovation.
  • A draw might be best

    One giant replacing another won't be any better for innovation or the marketplace.

    For all the things Google does great in its core area (search and advertising) it continues to have more mixed results when it branches off into other areas (and less stellar results when it comes to monetizing these channels.) However, I think Google could eventually get a leg up on Microsoft though when it comes to sheer worth. Google's control of the online advertising pie could soon be more than 50%. And online advertising is increasingly getting a larger share of the MEGA advertising dollars that have traditionally gone into TV, radio and print.

    I think the average joe underestimates Microsoft's reach in the business sector. And after having numerous issues with a couple Google search appliances over the last couple years I can tell you Google has a LOOOOOOONG way to go before they can be a real threat at the local hardware/server/OS level. Google's still at its best in the cloud where they have more direct control. However, I can see Microsoft slowly shifting toward a more Apple-like hardware-oriented foundation in the future as the world becomes less OS-dependent and more apps dependent.

    Google clearly has its eyes on becoming a new generation of telcom which would reinforce their core business and potentially open new channels of appreciable revenue. How far they make headway in that area could be the deciding factor.
    • Applications and operating systems.

      You wrote:

      "However, I can see Microsoft slowly shifting toward a more Apple-like hardware-oriented foundation in the future as the world becomes less OS-dependent and more apps dependent."

      How many of those applications are going to become part of Windows?

      The company's established practice is to maintain pricing by "innovating", having Windows do things it has never done before. That won't simplify the engineering, but it will keep up profits.
      Anton Philidor
  • Google - a bubble?

    they sell ads
    their stock is incredibly overvalued
    wait until reality sets in

    • well that could be true but

      how much they have in bank i think a lots of zero ...... lots of it They may crash but they will have a nice pillow to lay on.
      • Do they really... or is it paper value...

        It would be interesting to see how much cash they have on hand. I don't know.