The tension between these two software giants got a bit thicker this year, and it's certain that it will again in 2010. Here's a look at who is winning on each front in 2009.
1) IE8 vs. Google Chrome Each version of Internet Explorer released is an opportunity for companies like Google to steal market share. This year was a very big year -- and has given us an early glimpse into browser wars 2.0 that will surely play out over a few years.
Google Chrome had a great year -- development versions are already on version 4.0. The browser is *actually* fast, unlike claims being made by Microsoft about IE8. In fact, most of the facts being given out by Microsoft about their new browser are completely false -- an attempt to retain as much market share as possible.
Even though the number of users using IE8 are greater than those using Google Chrome, I'm giving this one to Google.
2) Operating System: Google Chrome OS vs. Windows
Not much of a fight here this year. Even though Google showed us their plans for Google Chrome OS, there is not much of a threat here for Microsoft Windows.
3) Operating System: Android vs. Windows Mobile 6.5
Microsoft has really been falling behind on the mobile front. Instead of releasing Windows Mobile 7, all they could do was give us 6.5 -- a relatively small improvement over 6. In the same breath, Google's Android operating system has found its way onto a handful of devices, and has had 2 major versions released in just one year.
2010 should hopefully be a more competitive year on this front, but this year has to go to Google.
4) Search Engine: Google Search vs. Bing
I have been surprised so far with Bing actually -- it's been doing better than I had originally thought it would -- though I still don't believe Google has anything to worry about.
Both search engines gained market share this year: Google (+2.3%) and Bing (+0.1%) according to Net Applications as of Novermber.
Both search engines struck deals with Twitter to gain access to their firehose. Real-time search has been added to Google in their main index, and Bing has added a separate tool that you can use to search through tweets.
Due to Google's increased dominant position, and their superior feature created as part of their foray into real-time search has earned Google the gold star for this one.
5) The Enterprise Microsoft is fighting to keep their enterprise clients from Google Apps, while Google is looking to steal any type of market share by offering cheaper licensing fees and lower overall costs.
About the same time Google announced their (impressive) numbers around Google Apps, Microsoft decided to drop their licensing fees. There's no word on whether the price cut has anything to do with any pressure that may be coming from Google, but there's no question -- it's game on.
Even though Google reported impressive numbers (2 million businesses and 20 million users), there's no word on how many of those are using Google Apps exclusively, and how many of those are paid. The Google Apps standard edition is free -- but lets companies only create a limited number of accounts, and doesn't include some of the features of "premium".
There is no way Google won the enterprise battle this year -- though it's unlikely they will give up for 2010.
What do you think about what's happening between the two companies? Let's hear it in the TalkBack!